Promoting support of mga on Raspberry Pi and other boards

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Promoting support of mga on Raspberry Pi and other boards

Postby filip » Apr 25th, '21, 13:09

Hi there.

I know many of you own and like to "play" or/and use different ARM boards.
Personally I have a soft spot for Raspberry Pi ;) which in my case is used for years as
a local web server for development tests, backup server (currently desktop and Sailfish phone)
and also cosy couch browsing on TV with very obsolete browser.
It's also a great sysadmin learning area for me ;) with a lot of help from all over net and you of course.

Where we already are:
We have excellent level of ARM package support.
We have a git for building different ARM images.
We even host some of those 64 and 32 bit images.

What we need now is documentation. So I created a very humble Wiki skeleton for a start. BTW if you think it has a potential I can move it to the proper Wiki place.
And we also need more tests and bugfixes.

My wish is to promote our ARM images to a more visible level. Several distributions already have different level of support for various architectures.

If this gains some proper traction and of course council support we can go even further and make images for download from our web pages.

I think this can also attract new contributors.

So. WDYT? Are you interested to contribute in some way?

Have a great day,
Posts: 455
Joined: May 4th, '11, 22:10
Location: Kranj, Slovenia

Re: Promoting support of mga on Raspberry Pi and other board

Postby xboxboy » Apr 26th, '21, 07:34

I have, very old Rasp Pi2 now, it started with a hacked Fedora 22 image (ubuntu kernel IIRC, then fedora filesystem, something like that) then F25 become official... and I've just upgraded that over time. I know there's a heap of love for the rasp pi, but man, it can get super frustrating at times: I've lost count of how many times the SD card's have crashed out on me, and I run the OS off the USB HDD, to keep SD card wear to minimum. Powering the bugger is an issue too: Must have far better USB power supply than you'd think.

My ARM device I'd like to get Mageia on, is the original ARM Samsung Chrome book. I did mess around ages ago, and get a 'kinda' working Mageia but coasting on Crouton's tail coats: Here's mine: I wasn't able to get it pulled into main, because I hadn't been able to (IIRC) get URPMI emulated using the Google OS CLI tools, so the project leader wanted that fixed :/

Now a days, I think Google dropped support for it, so we could blast the Google OS off it, and just run Mageia.

I have a little Asus XT205A, that Martin did all the work on (64 bit CPU with 32 bit UEFI: YUCK) and we have that running nice, although a kernel update has broken that, I need to repair that: The partition naming is the issue, I just need to spend some time on IRC with a helpful soul and we'll have that back in working order.

Hardware support has always been a strong point of URPM* based distro's. I still remember the first time I installed Mandrake 9.0... OMG, it blew me away! I was young and doing stupid things with PC's back then, and blasting away windows after messing with settings I didn't know about was done regularly: Between Windows 98, ME and XP I must have installed them 30 times I'd say,,,, it seemed each time was inconsistent with the previous! Drivers were a PITA, disc after disc, download after download... etc etc... But Mandrake, slip in 2 cds, and it's done: And beautiful, and fast!!!!

Today is the same I believe: Mostly I just upgrade the OS. Mageia has treated me VERY well. I have raid issues: But that's an edge case.... and way old hardware, using Fake raid: I tell everyone to avoid it now!!!!

I don't do social media much, but if a few guys got the latest Pi's up and running, showed how to use them as file servers: download boxes, media/music streamers, printer servers etc... You could start to build a bit of a community. That's the hard part. Ubuntu/Raspbian have massive support. On IRC i speak with some of the fedora devs now and then, and Broadcom (Rasp pi's manufacturer overlord boss) is funny with some drivers etc. I haven't asked in a while, but for a long time, even the boot process wasn't open source: Not the end of the world, but Fedora try to be 'open'... Mageia walks a beautiful balance of open/closed sourced stuff:

For me the draw to Mandrake initially was the Xbox project (Mandrake 9.0 had an original xbox release... no, I never could get it to work) then Mandriva 2005 LE had true official support for xbox... but once I installed on PC, and seen MCC: OMG, I was sold... For a few years I messed around with trying Ubuntu/Fedora... probably others... They all work fine, but NONE have MCC. Yes, CLI is great, and I can use it usually enough to get out of trouble, but MCC is just epic. Install a printer, partition a HDD, mess with video drivers etc etc... MCC just get's it done.
Even when X wont start, CLI version of MCC is great!

So I think that's what you have to sell to 'rasp pi' newbs.

Look how easy it is to get a web server up: Install Mageia, then "urpmi task-lamp"... done!! None of this aptget, or dnf install individual packages...

Adding a new HDD for more storage? "diskdrake"... boom, graphically set up your partitions!

I think even traditional pc versions could do with some more 'pushing'. If you're on social media, post that you just upgraded from 7 to 8 with no issues. Post that you installed a new printer in 4 clicks. Post that you could recover data from a wiped USB stick (Still blows my mind that I actually did that! Accidently wrote over our wedding pictures back up USB.... can't remember what I used now, "ddrescue" rings a bell... got everything back: Seriously!).

I've got a couple of laptops that have reached the end of their 'portable life" ie: One was bought purely for the screen to repair another laptop, the other is my wifes i9, that is literally falling apart. I think these are going to be repurposed as my home server/lab, and virtualize everything this time. My pi has served well, but it's a PI2, it's network speeds suck.

Will I get a pi4 etc??? Not while I have so many pc's laying around unused that I can repurpose.. Yes the pi uses less power. I just can't be bothered with the sd card and power issues (although I think pi4 can boot from USB?), network speeds (IIRC it's faster networks now too)etc etc anymore.

But I would love to see Mageia get some traction in maker world.
Posts: 343
Joined: Jun 2nd, '13, 06:41

Re: Promoting support of mga on Raspberry Pi and other board

Postby filip » Apr 27th, '21, 00:25

Impressive story, xboxboy. I got an idea when you got your nick ;).

I share most of your feelings. Indeed MCC is one of the greatest mga strengths.

Yeah, RPi 4 can boot from USB key nicely. At least with Raspbian. It also does with mga8 but no DE image I tried try to read SD now and then anway. And in root console it's annoying to read obviously useless errors to access.

I'm testing further for now. I really hope some more contributors on that area will arrive.
Posts: 455
Joined: May 4th, '11, 22:10
Location: Kranj, Slovenia

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