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#1 2012-08-14 17:56:54

rokowsky
Member
From: Slovenia
Registered: 2012-05-24
Posts: 12

[SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

I am trying to install archlinux on mini pc with amd geode lx 800 processor, which is acording to wikipedia x86 compatible. Having a lot of faith in linux kernel i installed archlinux x86_64 on compact flash, tested it on my laptop and it worked perfectly. But when i boot from ssd on the mini pc, nothing happens. All the logs from the boot on mini pc are empty. So i started to think that there is something up with kernel and processor. What could be causing the issue? Should i use x86_32 and where to find it? Should i use i586 as some have suggested?

PS: i can't really see what is going on on mini pc, because it only has EGA connector and all my displays are VGA

Last edited by rokowsky (2012-08-17 11:23:35)

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#2 2012-08-16 12:45:38

Pancake_Palace
Member
Registered: 2012-07-27
Posts: 21

Re: [SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

You won't find x86_32 binaries, because they don't exist. 386-compatible binaries have been dubbed i386, 486-compatible i486, and Pentium-compatible i586. Arch's 32-bit x86 binaries are made generally for Pentium Pro compatible CPUs, AKA i686.

The Geode LX is an updated Nat Semi Geode GX2, which was an updated Cyrix MediaGX, which was a highly-integrated derivative of their 6x86, that came out way back in 1997, long before x86_64's release in 2001, and subsequent supporting CPUs in 2003.

Being that Arch's standard 32-bit binaries are i686, the Geode LX might not be fully compatible with them, but it aught to run. A few years ago, on a different distro, I had issues with i686-compiled VLC, for instance, but otherwise everything ran OK as i686.

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#3 2012-08-16 23:40:14

skeerly
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2012-01-14
Posts: 20

Re: [SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

I don't think you'll have much luck. The Geode LX 800 is an i586 processor. Many years ago I managed to get Arch to take but it was a fluke. I've never been able to do it since. Debian and derivatives perform pretty well though. Try Haiku, I'm using that on my Geode box currently.

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#4 2012-08-17 07:47:52

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,589

Re: [SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

All that should be required is a kernel patched to emulate the nopl instruction in software. The Geode LX has everything required for i686 except that instruction.

Last edited by Gusar (2012-08-17 07:49:10)

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#5 2012-08-17 11:20:48

rokowsky
Member
From: Slovenia
Registered: 2012-05-24
Posts: 12

Re: [SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

Thank you for the replies. There was a project to make archlinux-i586, but now it seems to be dead (http://code.google.com/p/archlinux-i586/) and there are patches that emulate nopl (https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=775414) for older versions of kernel, so i would have to use older binutils and glibc and i am not to fond of that solution so i decided to use some other distribution.

For those that might have similar problems, i installed striped debian distribution called voyage linux that is and i quote "best run on a x86 embedded platforms such as PC Engines ALIX/WRAP, Soekris 45xx/48xx and Atom-based boards" - so exacly what i need for my ALIX. Since i only intend to run programs like rtorrent, vsftpd, rsync and lighttpd the voyage will do.

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#6 2012-08-17 11:33:57

Gusar
Member
Registered: 2009-08-25
Posts: 3,589

Re: [SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

rokowsky wrote:

so i would have to use older binutils and glibc

I don't see why that would be required. Those two have been fixed, so you could use the latest versions. Of course there's the possibility that I'm wrong, so if someone knows for sure what the situation here is, do tell.

Basically, all you'd need is a kernel patch for a still supported kernel, like for example 3.0 LTS. I'll do a search if that's available. Not that I have a Geode processor, I'm just curious smile

Edit: Found this: http://teknoraver.net/software/geode/ <- contains patch for kernel 3.2, Arch doesn't package it anymore, but there are still regular releases of it, so it's the kernel I'd use.
Edit2: If I'm reading this right - http://notes.osuv.de/doku.php?id=notes:geode - it should be possible to use Arch without any patching, just remove Architecture=auto from /etc/pacman.conf

Last edited by Gusar (2012-08-17 11:55:11)

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#7 2012-11-10 18:15:55

votacom
Member
Registered: 2012-11-10
Posts: 3

Re: [SOLVED] Arch and AMD Geode LX 800 processor

skeerly wrote:

The Geode LX 800 is an i586 processor.

Which is wrong. Yes, the Geode lacks of the NOPL instruction, but this instruction never was part of Intel's i686 specification. Unfortunately, it became an unofficial standard. But as it seems, new versions of binutils or gcc or whatever realized that fact and stopped building NOPLs into executables, because ARCH i686 works on the Geode (using arch's November 2012 iso).

I have just installed Arch Linux on my ALIX Board (3d3) with a Geode LX 800 processor. The only things you have to take care of is to press TAB at the installer's boot screen and add the option "arch=i686", and set "Architecture = i686" in your pacman.conf. That's it.

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