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Re: Notes on Mirage meeting - 11 Sep

On 12 Sep 2013, at 12:01, Christopher Greenhalgh 
<Chris.Greenhalgh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> On September 2013 17:14 Richard Mortier wrote:
>>> On 11 Sep 2013, at 17:08, Amir Chaudhry wrote:
>>> - Xen-arm (cubie boards).  Progress being made so Mort will try out.
>> specifically, i've forwarded info to chris greenhalgh (prof @ notts) who has 
>> expressed interest. not sure whether/on what timescale he'll try them out -- 
>> at least the lead time of getting a cubieboard i imagine. i think chris is 
>> on cl-mirage so can ?comment further if he wants.
> I want to develop some services for (1) media sharing and (2) network sharing 
> (http://opensharingtoolkit.org). There are a few overlapping use cases, 
> including (a) on an Android tablet running as a kiosk-type device (with and 
> without an internet connection) (b) on something comparable to a plug 
> computer but battery+mains powered to be used as a local media exchange point 
> & managed internet access point (with a 2G/3G modem) (c) cloud hosted. The 
> second of these is the one that a cubieboard might fit. 
> Right now I'm working on the Android use case so I'm not in a great hurry. 
> And I'm still more in the position of "giving Mirage a go" for embedded 
> service development than being fully committed to it :-) I haven't touched 
> Mirage since January but plan to give it a go again in the next week or two, 
> targeting Linux thence Android in the first instance.

Your Android patches all look very interesting.  In particular, I hadn't 
realized that there existed an OPAM Android package repository already!

A newbie question in return from someone who's never owned an Android: what's 
the best tablet I can buy that is easy to develop for and test your patches 
under?  I can rotate it into the OCamlot pool [1] when it's stable too...

[1] http://anil.recoil.org/2013/09/09/ocamlot-autotriaging.html

> I'll probably order a couple of boards anyway; I'm guessing anything labelled 
> cubieboard2 will be the same(?). By default I was going to try one of the 
> German resellers as there don't seem to be any UK ones yet, e.g. 
> http://www.exp-tech.de/Mainboards/Kits/Cubieboard-2-Starter-Kit.html 

The Cubieboard2 is most interesting because it will (does?) support Xen/ARM in 
PVH mode, which makes it the target for a Mirage/ARM/Xen combo.  However, 
Mirage also works just fine in POSIX mode of course, which is the likely target 
for initial infrastructure that you build on earlier ARM variants (the utility 
here being that you should be able to simply recompile into unikernel mode in 
the future).

The downside with the Cubie2 is upstream Linux support atm; it's making steady 
progress, but you'll be on the bleeding edge until at least the 3.12.x kernel 
series is released, and possibly into 3.13.x.  However, it does ship with an 
Android kernel by default which should be fine for running Linux, and there 
appear to be no barrier to long-term upstreaming that I've noticed.

Ian Campbell is making good progress in xen-devel on the Xen/ARM port if you 
want to follow discussions upstream in Xen-devel:




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