new to netwinder

Andrew E. Mileski andrewm at
Mon Jul 30 14:00:45 EDT 2007

D. Hugh Redelmeier wrote:
> My netwinder has 128M of RAM.  As I understand it, that is a lot, but
> the limit is 256M.  My impression is that Fedora 7 needs more RAM to
> be comfortable.  Perhaps the same could be said of CPU crunch.

I'm running Fedora Core 6 on my Crusoe NetWinder.  It's my home gateway.
It really needs more memory, like 256 MB.  I suspect ARM would be
similar, though the code is typically larger.  Of course, I'm not doing
any desktop stuff.

> Having said that, I'd be interested to know what sorts problems you
> encounter when you try to port packages.

Some packages don't recognize ARM.  Then there are all the issues with
alignment and byte packing to deal with.  Of course if the code has any
inline assembly (like Berkely DB uses for mutexes), that's another

Then there are the packages with regression tests that don't recognize
the ARM compiler warnings.

Compiling Fedora is a pain because of the package dependencies which
can be quite deep.  Often dependencies are mutual, which requires some
sort of bootstrapping to get around.

Lastly there are strange complier errors you can hit since ARM isn't as
popular as say x86.  Once upon a time, I remember one where a buffer
"char a[32768];" would produce garbage code but "char a[32769]" worked
fine.  Whatever it was, I believe this one at least was fixed in gcc.

Basically it can be a headache.

> I read somewhere that there is a 30G limit on hard drive size.  Where
> does this come from?  Is this changed by newer firmware?  (I'm tempted
> by a local deal for a 120G notebook drive.)

I've used an 80 GB drive with both my ARM and Crusoe NetWinders.

Andrew E. Mileski

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