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Hi, I'm researching on programming in non-x86 processor with unix/linux programming environment. However, as far as I've searched, such piece of hardware is not available on pc. I see them ...
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  1. #1
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    non x86 processor with linux prog env


    Hi,

    I'm researching on programming in non-x86 processor with unix/linux programming environment. However, as far as I've searched, such piece of hardware is not available on pc. I see them only on servers. Is there any solution to this? I've totally run into a blind alley here.

    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    You're trying to get a non-x86 PC?

    That'll be difficult. There are second hand Sparcs, or old PPC's. These are the only fully grown PC's I can think of. Perhaps in the Thin Client section you can find more ARM based hardware. These are generally not sold in the corner electronics store though.

    Lenovo announced launching an ARM based netbook this summer. That is something that looks promising. And there are ARM based plug computers (SheevaPlug, or Ionics plugs) but these are headless. Another possibility; a Playstation.

    That is, assuming you don't want to convert some embedded device to a PC-like device. Such as a router, a fridge, a smartphone or indeed, a badger

    Edit: Oh, forgot to say, my knowledge on the matter is of course limited. There may be more or other options, but this is what I know of
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

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    i looked at dell's latitude on feature that uses arm processor..but i doubt it would support an entire programming environment..i have the same doubt with lenovo netbook

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    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artoo_d2
    i looked at dell's latitude on feature that uses arm processor..but i doubt it would support an entire programming environment..i have the same doubt with lenovo netbook
    Then I guess you're running out of options. If it's disk space that's the problem, you can hook up some external drive/network share. And it may be possible (not sure with such a netbook) to add some RAM. CPU power is lacking compared to x86 hardware. But then, it's always faster than an emulator.

    Because, all other non-x86 hardware I know of has lesser stats than the Lenovo. I mean, Thin Clients and such, you may be lucky if you find one with more than 100MB disk/flash.

    One last thing, the Ionics Cirrus has a 2.0Ghz ARM processor and 120~320 GB SATA HDD. Only 512MB RAM I'm afraid. And it's headless. But if you work on it over SSH then you may just get it to do what you want?


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    Hoping I'm not breaking any forum rules by pointing towards such a device. But I thought, this is more in the category of exotica than commerce.
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    I got a nice ARM9 PC104 processor board and development system w/ RS-232 console driver, 100mbps ethernet, USB 2.0, and boots from SD flash cards for only a few $100USD from Technologic Systems, Inc. (Technologic Systems PC/104 Single Board Computers and Peripherals) including all the cables, power supply, bootable 2GB SD card with Debian Etch (2.6.21 kernel) and the full GNU-ARM tool chain. Works great. Boots the kernel and network in about 1.5 seconds, or 4 seconds to boot, start NTP daemon, set system clock from network, and mount a remote NFS volume on my workstation/server. It supports the full TCP/IP, X-Windows, and AMP (Apache, MySql, PHP) stacks, etc.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Thats a start!..I'll have a look

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    Dont really want large ram or huge disk space..would be working only in system programs..but i need the prog env - emacs, gcc, gdb et al.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Their systems come with 32+MB of RAM, can run a 2.4 or 2.6 kernel (depending upon the board), and they provide the full gnu tool chain (gcc, g++, gdb, et al). A nicely put together set of tools, and works very well. I'm using our system to build a prototype for controlling warehouse/distribution systems. In 2 weeks I got the system running, customized, tweaked, software written, and integrated with an Allen-Bradley PLC. That included adding cifs support to the kernel (built with the provided tool chain on my CentOS workstation) and modifying the runtime environment to suit our particular needs. The documentation is decent (as always could be better), tech support was always available (during business hours) and very helpful. All in all, a good experience. All of their documentation is available on their web site, as is all of the source code, including kernels, drivers, etc.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    FWIW, a 2GB SD card costs $5-6 these days. I did some price shopping at Best Buy last week, and a 2GB SD card there (not the cheapest - a SanDisk device) was $5.99 USD. Contains plenty of storage after all the system files are installed. I think there is about 1.5GB leff over after the full system, compiler suite, my source code and executables, etc. are loaded on the chip. They also provide a USB carrier for the SD card, so you can easily plug it into any Linux system to transfer files, though with an NFS mount that was pretty much unnecessary, except when installing a new kernel on the chip.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Just Joined! toddedw's Avatar
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    Allow me to introduce to you the Touch Book by Always Innovating.

    Always Innovating (sorry not allowed to post links just google Always Innovating)

    The specifications
    9.7" x 7" x 1.3" for around 3 lbs (with keyboard)
    ARM Texas Instruments OMAP3 chip
    1024x600 8.9" screen
    512MB RAM - 8GB SD card for storage
    Wifi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth
    3-dimensional accelerometer
    Speakers, micro and headphone I/O
    7 USB 2.0 (4 internal, 3 external)
    10 hours of battery life

    Always Innovating OS RC1 (January 2010)

    Currently, the default Always Innovating OS includes:

    Linux 2.6.29 with all the required drivers
    Xfce desktop environment
    A unique 3D interface for starting applications with your finger
    Firefox 3.5, Midori 0.2.2, and Chromium
    Youtube and daily motion support
    A video and music player, with a special Hulu video watching program
    OpenOffice 3.1
    Bluetooth support
    GPS and 3G dongle support (not included)
    A Google-maps-based application with GPS support (GPS USB not included)
    Some 3D accelerometer-based iPhone games
    A PDF reader, evince
    A chat manager, Pidgin
    Gimp 2.6.3 and Mypaint 5.1
    An e-book reader, Fbreader
    A printer manager, Cups
    All usual accessories (zip, picture viewer, dictionary...)
    Support for most standard USB accessories
    Java support
    Multi-OS selection and reinstall options during boot
    Self-update mechanism
    The software roadmap includes at least the following:

    A better Flash solution supporting version 10.1
    Other Linux-based OS support including ChromeOS


    If I'm not missing my guess it should come with a compiler and all the goodies you need to do full on development and it already has a strong community behind it.

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