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ARM porting?

 
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m.alessandrini



Joined: 29 Jan 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:27 am    Post subject: ARM porting? Reply with quote

Hi, has anyone ever considered an ARM port, and planned what would be the needed work? How much of the kernel should be rewritten?
I know it's a trivial question (trivial to ask, of course). I think Syllable has not many chances in the overcrowded desktop world, but would be very useful on devices like Raspberry Pi or the myriad of boards with limited CPU power and memory. Not to mention its educational value, as an OS simple to understand at low level and to put your hands on, at least that's my impression.
ARM would also mean porting it to tablets, and a lot of other devices.
Bye
Michele
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Kaj
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 2202
Location: Friesland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, and there are one or two previous threads about it here.

In short, it's a pity to see the wave of new ARM devices knowing that Syllable would have made them run much better than the systems they come with, but Syllable doesn't run on them. Syllable, or rather AtheOS, was created when x86 had firmly taken over computing. Still, there's not much assembler or otherwise system dependent code in it, so porting is very doable, but someone needs to do it.
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m.alessandrini



Joined: 29 Jan 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, first of all don't get me wrong, I like Syllable very much, it's incredibly efficient and fast, only on the desktop there are a lot of OSes with a huge amount of resources and developers, supporting new cool hardware and with the latest applications ready to be installed, etc.
On the other hand, the embedded world desperately needs an OS like this, I personally think linux distributions are too overkill and bloated there. Syllable there could perhaps gain new users and developers, and reach that "critical mass" it lacks.
Do you think the low-level assembly code could be borrowed from linux or other ARM OSes? ARM is good in that it's very standardized at low-level, even among different architecture families.
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Kaj
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 2202
Location: Friesland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'd do well to look up the previous threads here. Several of your questions were discussed in there.

Much of the assembler that is in the Syllable kernel and the drivers was already ported from Linux, so yes, Linux also has versions for ARM that could be ported.

I don't think it's true that ARM systems are very standardised. x86 is an industry standard, but ARM systems are basically up to the embedded vendor. There are standards, but there's much more variety that you would have to support.
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