Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Mar 2013 11:43 UTC
Debian and its clones "When you buy a Raspberry Pi, the $35 computer doesn't come with an operating system. Loading your operating system of choice onto an SD card and then booting the Pi turns out to be pretty easy. But where do Pi-compatible operating systems come from? With the Raspberry Pi having just turned one year old, we decided to find out how Raspbian - the officially recommended Pi operating system - came into being. The project required 60-hour work weeks, a home-built cluster of ARM computers, and the rebuilding of 19,000 Linux software packages. And it was all accomplished by two volunteers."
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Nice to see !
by Kochise on Thu 7th Mar 2013 14:54 UTC
Member since:

Re-inventing the wheel everytime for the challenge is something that should be rewarded at least with a little fame ;) So much time spent (not said wasted) on redoing/adapting stuff is impressive.


Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice to see !
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 15:27 in reply to "Nice to see !"
Alfman Member since:


Is that sarcasm ;)

This thing happens quite a lot. You start recompiling custom kernels, then recompiling the latest userspace tools one by one, make your own init system and before you know it, you have your own distro.

Sometimes we ask why do it? There's no doubt that it is reinventing the wheel. Having been there, for me it's party to prove to oneself that one can do it and to gain a more in dept understanding of everything. Sometimes there's something specific that you'd like to change, such as the directory hierarchy. Is it worth it? Well obviously there need to be some people to do it, but after a point it becomes totally redundant. Most of us will never be commercially viable. On the other hand there is personal learning, gratification and bragging rights.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Nice to see !
by Lennie on Thu 7th Mar 2013 17:53 in reply to "RE: Nice to see !"
Lennie Member since:

How is this reinventing the wheel ?

Debian is the Linux distro which supports the most hardware of all. But they didn't support the floating point unit of this type of ARM-processor line yet.

So they recompiled everything optimized for that floating point unit.

Edited 2013-03-07 17:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Nice to see !
by jockm on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:10 in reply to "Nice to see !"
jockm Member since:

Reinventing the wheel? It is Debian, so they hardly reinvented something, they added much needed support for ARMv6 hard floating point, which no other distro did.

And I am personally very glad they did — I am doing voice recognition, and other compute based tasks on the Pi, without hardfloating point I don't think I would be able to use the Pi for this project at all...

Edited 2013-03-07 16:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Nice to see !
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 16:32 in reply to "RE: Nice to see !"
Alfman Member since:


Reading the article, it's seems pretty clear to me he did a lot of reinventing well beyond the floating point unit. It looks like he had a lot of fun building his ARM cluster and converting packages the way he did, but he could have avoided a great deal of work by cross compiling the packages in a more conventional way.

Edited 2013-03-07 16:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3