What do embedded people want to change in Debian

how does Emdebian need to change Debian to make this work?


Core Objectives

  1. Cross-compilers in Debian. Auto-built, auto-updated, auto-synchronised, migrating into testing and stable using Debian mechanisms to improve installability.

  2. Grip processing by default within Debian. Making an infrastructure which replaces the static list of packages which I have to manually control so that packages are selected and automatically generate Emdebian versions such that when foo migrates from libbar0 to libbar1, libbar0 can be tagged for possible removal and libbar1 can be automatically added to the list for Emdebian.

  3. Multi-Arch-Cross support - replacing all of the hacks based on current dpkg-cross with a variety of other changes, all based in the Debian core packages like dpkg and apt. Some packages will need fixes to avoid pitfalls currently managed by the -cross process. Some of those changes need to go upstream.

  4. Support for conditional build processes which can turn off particular dependency chains / package options. e.g. busybox, avahi, cups, Qt.

  5. Debian Installer option to use Emdebian Grip packages to create the ISO and downloadable files to support an Emdebian Grip netinst automatically after each release and point release.

  6. Mirroring Emdebian Grip packages, by default, alongside Debian packages.

Wishlist objectives

  1. Kernel packages. Conditional builds are one thing, constantly variable configurations to suit each particular kernel variation for each of the thousands of ARM boards (without considering all the other architectures) are simply unachieavable in the current system. Possibly, with cross-compiler support, there might be ways of building an ARM kernel from the existing linux-2.6 source code with a custom .config but the hard part is always getting the config right and getting any patches to apply.

  2. replacing coreutils / perl: We tried this, it took too much work and there are no obvious solutions. Other systems do this better than we can, so do we let this slide? (We are, currently, unless someone steps up to do the work after Multi-Arch-Cross is deployed.)