Several people have expressed interested in a port of GNU/Hurd for the ARM architecture.
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2012-07-28
<mcsim> Has anyone heard about porting hurd and gnu/mach to arm architecture? <braunr> mcsim: i think so <braunr> mcsim: why are you asking ? <mcsim> I found an article where author stated that he has ported hurd to arm, but I have never met this information before. <mcsim> He wrote ethernet driver and managed to use ping command <mcsim> author's name is Sartakov Vasily <braunr> well that's possible, a long time ago <braunr> and it was probably not complete enough to be merged upstream <braunr> like many other attempts at many other things <mcsim> Not so long. Article is dated by June 2011. <braunr> do you have a link ? <mcsim> Yes, but it is in Russian. <braunr> oh <braunr> well i don't remember him sharing that with us <antrik> mcsim: he did some work on porting Mach, but AIUI never got it nearly finished <antrik> nowadays he does L4 stuff <antrik> was also at FOSDEM
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2012-10-09
<mcsim> bootinfdsds: There was an unfinished port to arm, if you're interested. <tschwinge> mcsim: Has that ever been published? <mcsim> tschwinge: I don't think so. But I have an email of that person and I think that this could be discussed with him.
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2012-10-10
<tschwinge> mcsim: If you have a contact to the ARM porter, could you please ask him to post what he has? <antrik> tschwinge: we all have the "contact" -- let me remind you that he posted his questions to the list...
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2012-10-17
<mcsim> tschwinge: Hello. The person who I wrote regarding arm port of gnumach still hasn't answered. And I don't think that he is going to answer.
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2012-11-15
<matty3269> Well, I have a big interest in the ARM architecture, I worked at ARM for a bit too, and I've written my own little OS that runs on qemu. Is there an interest in getting hurd running on ARM? <braunr> matty3269: not really currently <braunr> but if that's what you want to do, sure <tschwinge> matty3269: Well, interest -- sure!, but we don't really have people savvy in low-level kernel implementation on ARM. I do know some bits about it, but more about the instruction set than about its memory architecture, for example. <tschwinge> matty3269: But if you're feeling adventurous, by all means work on it, and we'll try to help as we can. <tschwinge> matty3269: There has been one previous attempt for an ARM port, but that person never published his code, and apparently moved to a different project. <tschwinge> matty3269: I can help with toolchains (GCC, etc.) things for ARM, if there's need. <matty3269> tschwinge: That sounds great, thanks! Where would you recommend I start (at the moment I've got Mach checked out and am trying to get it compiled for i386) <matty3269> I'm guessing that the Mach micro-kernel is all that would need to be ported or are there arch-dependant bits of code in the server processes? <tschwinge> matty3269: http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/faq/system_port.html has some information. Mach is the biggest part, yes. Then some bits in glibc and libpthread, and even less in the Hurd libraries and servers. <tschwinge> matty3269: Basically, you'd need equivalents for the i386 (and similar) directories, yep. <tschwinge> Though, you may be able to avoid some cruft in there. <tschwinge> Does building for x86 have any issues? <tschwinge> matty3269: How is generally your understanding of the Hurd on Mach system architecture, and on microkernel-based systems generally, and on Mach in particular? <matty3269> tschwinge: yes, it seems to be progressing... I've got mig installed and it's just compiling now <matty3269> hmm, not too great if I'm honest, I've done mostly monolithic kernel development so having such low-level processes, such as scheduling, done in user-space seems a little strinage <tschwinge> Ah, yes, MIG will need a little bit of porting, too. I can help with that, but that's not a priority -- first you have to get Mach to boot at all; MIG will only be needed once you need to deal with RPCs, so user-land/kernel interaction, basically. Before, you can hack around it. <matty3269> tschwinge: I have been running a GNU/Hurd system for a while now though <tschwinge> I'm happy to tell you that the schedules is still in the kernel. ;-) <tschwinge> OK, good, so you know about the basic ideas. <braunr> matty3269: there has to be machine specific stuff in user space <braunr> for initial thread contexts for example <matty3269> tschwinge: Ok, just got gnumach built <braunr> but there isn't much and you can easily base your work from the x86 implementation <tschwinge> Yes. Mach itself is the more difficult one. <matty3269> braunr: Yeah, looking around at things, it doesn't seem that there will be too much work involoved in the user-space stuff <tschwinge> braunr: Do you know off-hand whether there are some old Mach research papers describing architecture ports? <tschwinge> I know there are some describing the memory system (obviously), and I/O system -- which may help matty3269 to understand the general design/structure. <tschwinge> We might want to identify some documents, and make a list. <braunr> all mach related documentation i have is available here: ftp://ftp.sceen.net/mach/ <braunr> (also through http://) <tschwinge> matty3269: Oh, definitely I'd suggest the Mach 3 Kernel Principles book. That gives a good description of the Mach architecture. <matty3269> Great, that's my weekends reading then! <braunr> you don't need all that for a port <matty3269> Is it possible to run the gnumach binary standalone with qemu? <braunr> you won't go far with it <braunr> you really need at least one program <braunr> but sure, for a port development, it can easily be done <braunr> i'd suggest writing a basic static application for your tests once you reach an advanced state <braunr> the critical parts of a port are memory and interrupts <braunr> and memory can be particularly difficult to implement correctly <tschwinge> matty3269: I once used QEMU's virtual-FAT-filesystem-from-a-directory-on-the-host, and configured GRUB to boot from that one, so it was easy to quickly reboot for kernel development. <braunr> but the good news is that almost every bsd system still uses a similar interface <tschwinge> matty3269: And, you may want to become familiar with QEMU's built-in gdbserver, and how to connect to and use that. <braunr> so, for example, you could base your work from the netbsd/arm pmap module <tschwinge> matty3269: I think that's better than starting on real hardware. <braunr> tschwinge: you can use -kernel with a multiboot binary now <braunr> tschwinge: and even creating iso images is so fast it's not any slower <tschwinge> braunr: Yeah, I thought so, but never checked this out -- recently I saw in qemu --help's output some »multiboot« thing flashing by. :-) <braunr> i think it only supports 32-bits executables though <matty3269> braunr: Yeah, I just tried passing gnumach as the -kernel parameter to qemu, but it segged qemu :S <braunr> otherwise i'd be using it for x15 <matty3269> qemu: fatal: Trying to execute code outside RAM or ROM at 0xc0100000 <braunr> how much ram did you give qemu ? <matty3269> I used '-m 512' <braunr> hum, so the -kernel option doesn't correctly implement elf loading or something like that <braunr> anyway, i'm not sure how well building gnumach on a non-hurd system is supported <braunr> so you may want to simply develop inside your VM for the time being, and reboot <matty3269> doing an objdump of it seems fine... <braunr> ? <braunr> ah, the gnumach executable is a correct elf image <braunr> that's not the point <matty3269> Is there particular reason that mach is linked at 0xc0100000? <matty3269> or is that where it is expected to be in VM> <tschwinge> That's my understanding. <braunr> kernels commmonly sti at high addresses <braunr> that's the "standard" 3G/1G split for user/kernel space <matty3269> I think Linux sits at a similar VA for 32-bit <braunr> no <matty3269> Oh, I thought it did, I know it does on ARM, the kernel is mapped to 0xc000000 <braunr> i don't know arm, but are you sure about this number ? <braunr> seems to lack a 0 <matty3269> Ah, yes sorry <matty3269> so 0xC0000000 <braunr> 0xc0100000 is just 1 MiB above it <braunr> the .text section of linux on x86 actually starts at c1000000 (above 16 MiB, certainly to preserve as much dma-able memory since modern machines now have a lot more) <tschwinge> Surely the GRUB multiboot loader is not that much used/tested? <braunr> unfortunately, no <braunr> matty3269: FYI, my kernel starts at 0xfff00000 :p <matty3269> braunr: hmm, you could be right, I know it's arround there someone <matty3269> somewhere* <matty3269> braunr: that's an interesting address :S <matty3269> braunr: is that the PA address of the kernel or the VA inside a process? <braunr> the VA <matty3269> hmm <braunr> it can't be a PA <braunr> such high addresses are normally device memory <braunr> but don't worry, i have good reasons to have chosen this address :) <matty3269> so with gnumach, does the boot-up sequence use PIC until VM is active and the kernel mapped to the linking address? <braunr> no <braunr> actually i'm not certain of the details <braunr> but there is no PIC <braunr> either special sections are linked at physical addresses <braunr> or it relies on the fact that all executable code uses near jumps <braunr> and uses offsets when accessing data <braunr> (which is why the kernel text is at 3 GiB + 1 MiB, and not 3 GiB) <matty3269> hmm, <matty3269> gah, I need to learn x86 <braunr> that would certainly help <matty3269> I've just had a look at boothdr.S; I presume that there must be something else that is executed before this to setup VM, switch to 32-bit more etc...? <matty3269> mode* <braunr> have a look at the multiboot specification <braunr> it sets protected mode <braunr> but not paging <braunr> (i mean, the boot loader does, before passing control to the kernel) <matty3269> Ah, I see <tschwinge> matty3269: Multiboot should be documented in the GRUB package. <matty3269> tschwinge: yep, got that, thanks <matty3269> hmm, I can't find any reference to CR0 in gnumach so paging must be enabled elsewhere <matty3269> oh wait, found it <braunr> $ git grep -i '\<cr0\>' <braunr> i386/i386/proc_reg.h, linux/dev/include/asm-i386/system.h <braunr> although i suspect only the first one is relevant to us :) <matty3269> Yeah, that seems to have the setup code for paging :) <matty3269> I'm still confused how it could run that without paging or PIC though <matty3269> I think I need to watch the boot sequence with qemu <braunr> it's a bit tricky <braunr> but actually simple <braunr> 00:44 < braunr> either special sections are linked at physical addresses <braunr> 00:44 < braunr> or it relies on the fact that all executable code uses near jumps <braunr> that's really all there is <braunr> but you shouldn't worry about that i suppose, as the protocol between the boot loader and an arm kernel will certainly not be the saem <braunr> same* <matty3269> indeed, ARM is tricky because memory maps are vastly differnt on every platform
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2012-11-21
<matty3269> Well, I have a ARM gnumach kernel compiled. It just doesn't run! :) <braunr> matty3269: good luck :)
IRC, freenode, #hurd, 2013-01-30
<slpz> Hi, i've read there's an ongoing effort to port GNU Mach to ARM. How is it going? <braunr> not sure where you read that <braunr> but i'm pretty sure it's not started if it exists <slpz> braunr: http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/open_issues/arm_port.html <braunr> i confirm what i said <slpz> braunr: OK, thanks. I'm interested on it, and didn't want to duplicate efforts. <braunr> little addition: it may have started, but we don't know about it