September 2010

Gentoo/MIPS O32: MIPSel-I stages up, others underway

Hi all…

After a long wait, Gentoo/MIPS is on the comeback trail. Okay, I’ll stick my hand up and admit I did a bit of carnage by pulling keywords on vim-7.0 (which might’ve worked with older releases but did not work on this latest release) however we’ll soon have that cleaned up. We’re still in discussions whether to drop the stable keywords on the packages that depended on vim (probably a wise move considering the vim keywords I pulled were stable ones), or whether to promote vim to stable early (probably also fairly safe given the circumstances).

In the meantime, my builds have plodded on. Gentoo/MIPS O32 for MIPS-I little-endian is now complete, with the stage 3 due to finish uploading in 5 hours time… after which, the stage 2 for the MIPS-III little-endian port will begin its upload. Progress can be watched here if people so desire… the upload is throttled at 8KB/sec so that I have some bandwidth left-over for other tasks (it’s a 128Kbps uplink).

MIPS-IV little-endian builds are going slowly… with a snag hit when the Qube2 couldn’t download an amended patchset for binutils (basically patchset 1.1 + patches from bug #338405) because muggins forgot to copy across the envscript specifying my local GENTOO_MIRRORS.

The O2 is also happily compiling a seed stage, for what will be a round of stage builds for big-endian systems… no issues so far and stage builds will commence there in earnest shortly.

It is hoped that we will soon be offering N32 stages to compliment this release very soon. N32 will likely be the future direction for the Gentoo/MIPS port, with O32 being provided for legacy installations and for hardware unable to run 64-bit kernels reliably (or at all).

From here, the next step will be uClibc stages and installation media for the various platforms we support. This should include the newer Lemote systems which have previously enjoyed semi-official support in the past.

Gentoo/MIPS o32: Little-endian stagebuilds continue

Hi all…

Just to let you know, there will be new stages to replace the ones I uploaded recently. Having found a solution for the issues with building on the Lemote computers, I now have MIPS-I and MIPS-III builds going simultaneously on the two Fulong systems. MIPS-IV is being handled by my much slower Qube2. One of the hold-ups was a parallel-build with gcc-4.4.4 (and I note that distcc doesn’t seem to work under Catalyst anyway).

I hope to get big-endian ports bootstrapped soon, with my O2 up and running.

Hunting spambots with bad clocks

Looking back in my email history, I receive a lot of emails that are either back in the past by some significant margin (i.e. 01-01-1970… before I was even born) or way off in the future (in 2038). I just received one today which was a month old.

In almost all cases, these emails are spam. I suppose the idea is that being way back in the past, or way off in the future, it’ll appear ahead or behind all other emails. Not here however. I recently upgraded the server here, and decided to give qpsmtp a try. Being able to code plugins for SMTP is a nice feature, and there’s already a plugin that can look after this very problem. I’ve extended it, so that I’ll tolerate emails up to two weeks old, or no more than two days ahead. (I should probably make this two hours ahead, since the international date line is two hours east of me.. anyway.)

I also tweaked it so that the messages it sends back are more … well … entertaining:

552-Get with the times, 24 Aug 2010 01:08:04 -0000
552  was ages ago.
552-Get back in your tardis, 24 Aug 2011 01:08:04 -0000
552  hasn't happened yet.

In both cases there, the email was flat-rejected. No spam checking, no nothing… it took one look at the Date: header, and tossed it into the bin. The updated check_basicheaders script is here. It’d be nice if more SMTP servers rejected emails that are off in the future, or too far back in the past. I can understand a week in the past, but two weeks is getting just a little old… and until time-travel into the future becomes possible I refuse to believe I can get an email from the future legitimately (and even then, they can come back to the present and re-send it!).

Gentoo/MIPS O32: Fuloong2E Errata

Hi all…

A little note regarding the usage of the latest MIPS-I stages on Fuloong 2E… I found I had a hard-lock compiling some applications which can be possibly traced back to an issue regarding the NOP instruction on the Loongson CPU.  I understood it to only affect 2F-series systems, and also assumed latest binutils had the patch, it seems I was wrong on both those fronts.

A workaround is described on Lemote’s site… compile the fix-nop.c then use it to patch up ld and as… then builds should go smoothly. Now that I know about this issue, I can use the faster Loongson2E machines to build the stages, which means I’ll address the other issues I’ve found and roll out a new set of stages, rather than waiting for the slow Qube2 to chug its way through the build queue.

Gentoo/MIPS: Little Endian MIPS-I stage3 up

Hi all,

Well, after a long plod the stage 3 for MIPS-I little-endian systems is uploaded. I’m working on MIPS-III and MIPS-IV stages, as well as equivalents for big-endian systems.

Two things with this stage 3 tarball. First and foremost, /dev seems to be empty. I think this is most definitely a bug, and I’ll try to rectify it, but in the meantime, just merge sys-apps/makedev. That should clear everything up.

The second is that somehow dev-vcs/git got pulled in. I guess this is a happy accident since many will probably want it for fetching kernel sources. I’m undecided whether to leave it there or not… I probably should see why it got in there and fix it as that’s probably related to makedev‘s absence. I don’t see it in the profile, so it’s a mystery why it wound up in the system. I’ll do some further checks, but for the most part, it’s harmless.

I’m just rebuilding one of the Fulong2E’s with it to check it out… and as always, feedback is appreciated.

Gentoo/MIPS: Incremental uploads commence

Observant viewers may notice that I’ve begun uploading some of the stage tarballs. The first of the stages built is the stage 1 tarball for MIPS-I little-endian. Stage 2 is building as I type this, hopefully by this weekend it’ll be uploaded and stage 3 will be on its way.

I’ll let you know when all the MIPS-I little-endian builds are done, that way you won’t wind up downloading a partially uploaded file. That said, should you jump the gun, you should be able to resume the download to fetch the remainder. I’ve started with MIPS-I since that’s the lowest-common-denominator … MIPS-III will be next, followed by MIPS-IV.

I plan to get onto the big-endian port shortly. SGI owners have not been forgotten, just I’ve been busy. 🙂