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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RE: Nice to see !
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 15:27 UTC in reply to "Nice to see !"
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[3]: Nice to see !
by Alfman on Thu 7th Mar 2013 18:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Nice to see !"
Alfman Member since:

"How is this reinventing the wheel ?"

The article didn't go into details, but it really reads as though the bulk of the work was re-invention and not adding math support. If you are opposed to labeling it re-invention, then how about we call it extraneous side-work, which is only tangentially related to the main task of recompiling the packages with new math support.

If and when debian decides to support the RaspPi's math processor, will they really reproduce this guy's hardware rig and use his toolchain to produce new packages? Or will they modify their existing toolchain to support the math processor?

I've placed my finder on it, this reminds me of a rube goldberg invention for software!

Edited 2013-03-07 18:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2