Thursday, February 26, 2009

The not-slug: SheevaPlug

popcon lists approximately 1000 arm/armel Debian installations. There is also listed 864 installations of nslu2-utils, letting us estimate that approximately 85% of debian/arm(el) installations are Linksys nslu2's. It is nicked sympathetically as "The Slug", which pretty accurately describes the performance of nslu2. Still, people have found absolutely amazing amount of ways to use their slugs. What would you do with something approximately 10x more powerful with same prize/size range?

Enter the Marvell SheevaPlug

| What | Slug | SheevaPlug |
| CPU | 266Mhz | 1.2Ghz |
| Cache| 32KB | 32+256KB |
| Flash| 8MB | 512MB |
| MEM | 32MB | 512MB |
| Net | 100Mb | 1Gb |

And that's not everything - SheevaPlug comes with SDIO slot and miniusb to be used as a serial console (and JTAG). No soldering needed for hacking.

Some more details on the LinuxDevices article.

For those of you who think that has one port too few of something, or don't like the wall-wart design, Other devices based on kirkwood SoC (which SheevaPlug is based on) are on the way from various ODM/OEM houses.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

obligatory lenny post

In practice for me, this that I finally had to setup stable buildd chroots for armel (ya!). This makes the Debian the first general purpose distribution to release with a ARM EABI port. Thanks for everyone who made this happen, even when the naysayers were claiming that Debian would be too inflexible for another arm port! The list of people who made this possible is simply too long to include in a blog post, and I'm afraid I would still forget someone...

For squeeze, I hope we can keep the name as the release theme and squeeze minimal Debian install into smaller disk and memory than what it takes with lenny :) For more specific squeeze plans on the armel port, we are looking at least into providing optimized versions of various libs (using HWCAP feature) and extending the amount of hardware supported. Not ARM-related directly, but I'd really like to see #206684 fixed finally.