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"Brian Schueler" 01-14-2008 12:21 AM

CentOS-5 Cross-Build Environment (arm, mips, sparc, others..) / pre-alpha released
 
Hi, folks.

I've begun to work on a cross-build environment hopely to make
CentOS 5 run on other architectures than supported by CentOS yet

and that supported by the PNAELV.
This project comes with a patch for the glibc 2.5 with added
support for architectures like arm, mips, ppc, alpha, etc. to
generate a cross-compile toolchain (cross-compilers, assemblers,
linker/loader). It runs quite well with the Timesys 'tsrpm'
tool (which is compatible with that project).
Many RPMs does cross-build very well, but others fails on
sanity checks, incompatible configure scripts, etc.
(Kernel compilation is not included at this time.)

Note that software created through that toolchain is not binary
compatible to anything released by CentOS or the PNAELV.

I want to switch to 'mock' and - I need a lot of help with
its internals. The best enhancement were that 'mock' could
recursively rebuild software entirely from source (using a
yum repository that _only_ provides SRPMS). - only needing
compiling natively (host-arch = target-arch). And there are
many things to discuss at one event (glibc, cross-compiling,
Kernels, automated RPM cross-(re)build machinery, repository
management, yum-bootstapping, etc.)

IMPORTANT:
This is my first version - so please consider my project as
unstable/pre-alpha. My wish is to make this project work as
desired to bring CentOS to many more architectures and hopely
to make it part of the CentOS project. This is leaned to
Cross Linux From Scratch and is licensed under the terms of
the GNU GPL v2.


The tree is located at:

http://dbl76.tfh-berlin.de/~s18009/c5/cross


reviews, improvements, suggestions, bug reports are very
welcome.

- BriSch

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Lennert Buytenhek 01-14-2008 11:57 PM

CentOS-5 Cross-Build Environment (arm, mips, sparc, others..) / pre-alpha released
 
On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 02:21:06AM +0100, Brian Schueler wrote:

> I've begun to work on a cross-build environment hopely to make
> CentOS 5 run on other architectures than supported by CentOS yet
> and that supported by the PNAELV.

Fedora, CentOS, Debian and the like do not really lend themselves well
for cross-compiling. Even if you do fix most of the package issues and
packaging issues so that cross compiling will work, upstream will end
up breaking stuff faster than you'll be able to fix it.

When I did the initial port of Debian to ARM EABI, I bootstrapped by
taking an OpenEmbedded root filesystem, and gradually building more
and more Debian packages on top of that. I think such an approach is
probably more effective (in terms of time spent) than trying to make
each and every Debian/CentOS/Fedora package cross-compile-able.


> This project comes with a patch for the glibc 2.5 with added
> support for architectures like arm, mips, ppc, alpha, etc. to
> generate a cross-compile toolchain (cross-compilers, assemblers,
> linker/loader).

There is an x86->ARM cross toolchain built from Fedora sources
available at:

http://ftp.linux.org.uk/pub/linux/arm/fedora/cross/

The patches pretty much only touch the packaging side of things, and
manage to build both userland apps and kernels.


> Many RPMs does cross-build very well, but others fails on
> sanity checks, incompatible configure scripts, etc.
> (Kernel compilation is not included at this time.)

In the case of Debian or Fedora, even if 90% cross-builds fine and
only 10% of packages doesn't cross-build out of the box, the amount of
time and effort required to maintain such a solution is _huge_. (And
forking off the entire distro at one static point to apply your cross
fix patches to it is not a very interesting value proposition.)


> I want to switch to 'mock' and - I need a lot of help with
> its internals. The best enhancement were that 'mock' could
> recursively rebuild software entirely from source (using a
> yum repository that _only_ provides SRPMS).

There is 'thetango', which is a tool that is intended to help with
bootstrapping an SRPM collection, and tries to (given a set of SRPMS)
come up with a build order for those SRPMS that meets build
dependencies. I haven't used it myself, so I'm not sure how well it
works.
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