Continuation of armv6 support?

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Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby cablespaghetti » Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:10 pm

Hi,

This is in response to the announcement that ARMv6 support is being dropped next month

I've never posted here before but have been a long time user of the distro on my (mostly old) Raspberry Pis which are still useful to me for tasks requiring very little resource.

I absolutely understand why you would focus your time and effort on newer and more widely used architectures, so I'm not here to try and convince you to keep supporting the old architectures. However I personally would like to keep running Arch, potentially with a more limited number of available packages on my old hardware.

I've had a look on GitHub and tried to get an understanding of what would be required to spin up a fork (much like https://archlinux32.org/), initially for my personal use. However there is currently no documentation and I don't find the plugbuild repository (if this what is currently used?) easy to follow with its many different components.

It would be great if someone could tell me a) If I'm in for far more work that I realise, and I should just switch to Debian ;) or b) Provide a bit of explanation (or link to) of the various components of the Arch Linux ARM build system and what would be involved in replicating it on my own infrastructure for a single architecture.

Many thanks
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby zebul666 » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:01 pm

Hi cablespaghetti,

Everything I know of seems to be in https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUILDs/

At the end of the support, you might able for a while to keep updating your install by building your own pacakge, I guess.
It is just matter of using the PKGBUILD available, and bumping the release most of time.

You should be familiar with makepkg, and building packages. You could play too with distccd and building with the help of others machines, and even cross-compiling.
I had success compiling kernel for armv6 in a systemd-nspawn container on a x86_64 host, and using distcc and distccd to cross-compil on the host.

But at some point, you will hit some problem, where some work might be needed for the package to build successfully.

So Raspberry pi Os could be your option, then. Or any distro still active for your architecture.
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby sausix » Tue Feb 08, 2022 5:48 pm

Hey!

There are a lot of Raspberry Pi Zeros out there. Switching back to Raspbian/-OS would be very "ugly" for Arch fans.
So I'm thinking about forking and offering armv6 with automated builds.
I'm having a colleague who uses a ton of Zeros in his project and just got fascinated by Arch.

Such a project would definitely be a lot of work once builds will fail. That's my biggest concern. Building infrastructure would be fun for me. I'm having experience in Docker, cryptography, networks and scripting.
So it would be more inspiring if people would join the team or offer a little bit help. May be the alarm team could spend some knowledge in the first time? Keeping the forum sub categories for armv6 alive would be nice at least.

I'm open for ideas and discussion.
Thanks.
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby ronybc » Tue Feb 08, 2022 8:06 pm

Very sad and disappointed to hear this. For me, there is a number of devices installed at remote locations running the armv6h version. Cheated beyond my utmost belief on such a distro that it will be there for sure.
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby RadioGnome1971 » Wed Feb 09, 2022 9:51 pm

Sad to find the reason why my two R-pi's could not find their repositories anymore for their bi-weekly updates. The fact I never used this forum is testament to the quality of the product.

As both pi-s still fulfill their function 24x7 I would highly praise an initiative as cablespaghetti suggests.
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby junesoo » Wed Feb 16, 2022 5:58 am

Hi zebul666,

Thanks for the link! I too am a proud owner of pi and quite sad to find out that it's not supported.

However, I share the same sentiment as with cablespaghetti. It does sound very fair from their side to drop the support based on their explanation.

I am keen to learn more about what it would take to easily build packages for my existing pi running arch.

Based on your link (https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUILDs), it seems that I have to come up with my own script to run the compilation of all packages.

Does anybody know if there is any other repository that has the scripts to run compilation for everything or the process that the official maintainer use? I might consider making a mirror for my fellow arch linux users here if it proves to be not a big hassle.

If not, the least I can do is to provide a documentation on how others can do it for themselves, and who knows if someone else is willing to take the baton once my pi is dead..

Edit:
Just found out this page:
https://archlinuxarm.org/wiki/Distcc_Cross-Compiling
https://archlinuxarm.org/wiki/Distributed_Compiling

Might try it later and see if it answers my question..
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby junesoo » Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:20 am

Hi everyone,

I am still in the process of setting up distcc and found out that the precompiled corsstool-ng has been removed. It looks like I will have to build it manually.

I haven't checked this link: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/De ... ean_Chroot not sure if it's useful.

I have however, managed to get the wiki's source code from before armv6 is removed: https://github.com/archlinuxarm/wiki/bl ... mpiling.md

Also, PKGBUILD repo before armv6 is gone: https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUIL ... 083d4e31d0

Honestly, I am not sure if I am on the right track. But if the previous maintainer can come in and help us here, it would be much appreciated!
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby graysky » Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:31 am

Building the toolchain is pretty easy. Use crosstool-ng from the AUR. You can probably use the armv7h config as a guide. I have not used armv6h in years but the one from 10.1.0 is here: https://archlinuxarm.org/builder/xtools ... tconfig-v6

On your x86_64 box:
1. build latest crosstool-ng
2. update xtools-dotconfig-v6
3. ct-ng savedefconfig
4. build

mkdir build
cd build
wget https://archlinuxarm.org/builder/xtools ... tconfig-v6
cp xtools-dotconfig-v6 .config
ct-ng menuconfig
### configure it
ct-ng build

Fix links... Not sure if this is needed but probably is:
cd x-tools6h/arm-unknown-linux-gnueabihf
chmod 755 bin
cd bin

cat <<EOF > makelinks.sh
mapfile -t filearr < <(find . -type f -printf '%P\n')
for i in "\${filearr[@]}"; do ln -s "\$i" "\${i/arm-unknown-linux-gnueabihf-/}" ; done
EOF

bash makelinks.sh
rm -f makelinks.sh
chmod 555 ../bin

Then you can tarup the toolchain and use distccd-alarm from the AUR to install it, might need some tweaking. https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/distccd-alarm-armv8

DATE=20220217
bsdtar cfp x-tools6h-$DATE.tar x-tools6h
xz -0 x-tools6h-$DATE.tar
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby junesoo » Fri Feb 18, 2022 8:36 am

Hi everyone, after having a quick look on some links @sausix sent to me and the guide @graysky provided, I have decided that I will first try to follow the wiki using my pi4 and existing guide and get a feel for how it supposed to look like using the supported architecture.

@sausix has sent me some repos that @graysky wrote:
https://github.com/graysky2/buildhelper
https://github.com/graysky2/distccd-arch-arm

Those looks very helpful and like with everything else, the latest one seems to have no support or example for armv6 (although there is git history)

@graysky, I would like to thank you for having spared some time writing that guide. Based on what I gather, you've done so much and your time must be very precious.

I think it's also a nice idea to I check if what I know is correct.

Based on my understanding:
* https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUILDs/ is the collection of PKGBUILD for the packages that http://mirror.archlinuxarm.org/ served
* distcc is a software that allows other (faster) computer to do the compiling

I still do not understand what a toolchain exactly is and what role it plays in the process.

I imagine once I have properly setup a distcc and toolchain is that, running makepkg in my arm device would have my super fast x86_64 machine to do the compilation and it would result in a .pkg.tar.zst file in my arm.

After that, it is only a matter of writing a script to compile everything related to the target architecture in https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUIL ... 083d4e31d0

Then I should have all that the mirror used to provide before February right?
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Re: Continuation of armv6 support?

Postby graysky » Fri Feb 18, 2022 11:34 am

junesoo wrote:I still do not understand what a toolchain exactly is and what role it plays in the process.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_toolchain
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