Debian MIPS Port

MIPS is one of the first RISC CPU architectures invented around 1985. It was a radical design which removed many features deemed unnecessary, since the goal was to get the best possible performance from a limited transistor count. Back then, MIPS were powerful general purpose CPUs, and very successful in that role, until they lost ground to systems based on cheap mass-produced Intel-compatible CPUs. Later on, the simple and elegant design allowed to create a wide range of low power CPUs targeted for embedded applications.

Today, MIPS is a popular architecture for embedded systems, with a strong presence in various networked devices, and spanning a range from 32-bit at 100 MHz to 64-bit at 1.2 Ghz.

The Debian 'mips' and 'mipsel' ports support a range of older workstations and servers as well as a few newer embedded devices. The Debian 'mips64el' port support the 64bit little endian CPUs, see mips64el for more information. All the Debian MIPS ports use the hard-float ABI. On CPUs without a floating-point unit, the kernel emulates the FPU instructions.

The global state of the development branch is tracked at mipsLennyReleaseRecertification.

A howto for installing a SGI Indy over network is available at NetworkBootingIndy.

Build daemons & porter boxes

Machine

Architecture

Sub-architecture

Purpose

FPU?

lucatelli.debian.org

mips

Cavium Octeon

buildd

No

mips-aql-01.debian.org

mips

Cavium Octeon II

buildd

No

mips-aql-02.debian.org

mips

Cavium Octeon II

buildd

No

mips-aql-04.debian.org

mips

Cavium Octeon II

buildd

No

mips-aql-05.debian.org

mips

Cavium Octeon II

buildd

No

minkus.debian.org

mips

Cavium Octeon II

porter box

No

eberlin.debian.org

mipsel/mips64el

Loongson 3A

buildd

Yes

etler.debian.org

mipsel/mips64el

Loongson 2E

porterbox

Yes

mipsel-aql-01.debian.org

mipsel/mips64el

Loongson 3A

buildd

Yes

mipsel-aql-02.debian.org

mipsel/mips64el

Loongson 3A

buildd

Yes

mipsel-manda-01.debian.org

mipsel/mips64el

Loongson 3A

buildd

Yes

mipsel-manda-02.debian.org

mipsel/mips64el

Loongson 3A

buildd

Yes

thor (vip.sparklingly.org:60022)

mips64el

Loongson 3A

porter box

Yes

Most of the machines above were donated by Imagination Technologies and new ones, Cavium Octeon III, bi-endian, with FPU are being evaluated currently before they are donated to Debian.

Known issues

Package

Issue

Assigned-to

Status

Comments

gcc-4.4

#519006 PR45387

Aurelien Jarno

Solution offered

https://lists.debian.org/debian-mips/2010/08/msg00064.html

openjdk-6

FTBFS

Sometimes works, may depend on the buildd

Wishlist / Possible improvements

How to contribute

1. Make yourself visible/integrate yourself and learn more about the project in general

Join the projects mailing list and say hello. Feel free to ask questions.

Links to mailing lists and wikis:

An easy way to start contributing is to fix packages that cannot be built. The following points are related to this matter. Do not hesitate to ask the mailing list for more options if you feel like it.

2. Get a mips device or set up QEMU on your PC

Qemu is an architecture emulator and will replace your need for a mips device if you or whoever may be mentoring you cannot provide you with one.

However there is currently an issue with doing all the work with a QEMU emulated device: some functionalities may not trivially work and it may be impossible to access repositories and therefore to run any package on this virtual device. The networking part will be fleshed out as much as possible here. Future updates of this guide will hopefully be enough for newcomers to start up. If you have any insights on this matter, do not hesitate to add information or email the relevant information at this email address: jnthjackson@gmail.com

3 Download QEMU, images, kernels and set up networking

You will need images and kernels to run a version of mips Debian. You will find these at this link. Read the README for more information on how to get going with the images.

4 Learn more about package maintaining and the buildd network

How does the buildd network works:

5 Chose a package and study the failed-build log to find/fix the bug

Links to build status of packages:

Be sure to check for existing bug reports before starting to work on a package so you dont do work people have already done. You will find a "bugs" link at the top of the package web page. This is where the reports will be if any.

6 Report your progress or found bugs

If you feel like contributing in any other way, please do so and if you want to know more ways to do so, feel free to write to the mailing list.