Forums

Linux on Microblaze

Started by maxascent December 6, 2010
I am looking to get started with Linux on a Microblaze. There seems to be a
few companies out there doing it and Xilinx has a Wiki site. What exactly
is the difference between the Xilinx and the others. Presumably you have to
pay for the others, although I thought Linux was supposed to be free. So I
would of thought I should be able to get hold of the source even if I dont
get any support. 

Any thoughts would be helpful

Thanks

Jon

	   
					
---------------------------------------		
Posted through http://www.FPGARelated.com
On Dec 6, 7:00=A0am, "maxascent"
<maxascent@n_o_s_p_a_m.n_o_s_p_a_m.yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> I am looking to get started with Linux on a Microblaze. There seems to be=
a
> few companies out there doing it and Xilinx has a Wiki site. What exactly > is the difference between the Xilinx and the others. Presumably you have =
to
> pay for the others, although I thought Linux was supposed to be free. So =
I
> would of thought I should be able to get hold of the source even if I don=
t
> get any support. > > Any thoughts would be helpful > > Thanks > > Jon > > --------------------------------------- =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 > Posted throughhttp://www.FPGARelated.com
You're not paying for The Kernel, you're paying for the effort of porting it. Most (all?) GPL flavors allow compensation for effort. What I remember from the last time I tried the Xilinx app notes is that the Xilinx version was both PPC and NLA. There are sources out there for free, and perhaps a bootable image or two. Most of what I have seen are uClinux variants; every one I found stopped being updated after the creator graduated from school. :) And don't be too surprised if what's out there is completely incompatible with your hardware (the joys of a soft processor). RK
On 12/06/2010 09:01 AM, d_s_klein wrote:
> On Dec 6, 7:00 am, "maxascent" > <maxascent@n_o_s_p_a_m.n_o_s_p_a_m.yahoo.co.uk> wrote: >> I am looking to get started with Linux on a Microblaze. There seems to be a >> few companies out there doing it and Xilinx has a Wiki site. What exactly >> is the difference between the Xilinx and the others. Presumably you have to >> pay for the others, although I thought Linux was supposed to be free. So I >> would of thought I should be able to get hold of the source even if I dont >> get any support. >> >> Any thoughts would be helpful >> >> Thanks >> >> Jon >> >> --------------------------------------- >> Posted throughhttp://www.FPGARelated.com > > You're not paying for The Kernel, you're paying for the effort of > porting it. Most (all?) GPL flavors allow compensation for effort.
Could you please cite chapter and verse? That's 180 degrees out from what I read the last time I went over a GPL in its entirety. Per the GPL, if you distribute the software in any way shape or form it has to be free, and you have to distribute source code. The way people make money on this stuff is by never documenting it well, and offering consulting and/or training services. Or if it's a more widely available product (like a desktop OS) they'll document it well enough that an individual will like it, then offer consulting for the corporate user. Bottom line: the software has to be free, but it doesn't have to be easy. The marketplace has evolved various means to allow individuals and companies to make money off the "doesn't have to be easy" part. -- Tim Wescott Wescott Design Services http://www.wescottdesign.com Do you need to implement control loops in software? "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" was written for you. See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
On Dec 6, 9:18=A0am, Tim Wescott <t...@seemywebsite.com> wrote:
> > Could you please cite chapter and verse? > -- > > Tim Wescott > Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com >
According to gnu.org: "Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible =97 just enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding." <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html>
d_s_klein <d_s_klein@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Dec 6, 9:18=A0am, Tim Wescott <t...@seemywebsite.com> wrote: >> >> Could you please cite chapter and verse? >> -- >> >> Tim Wescott >> Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com >> > >According to gnu.org: "Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU >Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of >software, or that you should charge as little as possible =97 just >enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding." > ><http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html>
The free market principle says that people will get something from the cheapest source. In this case: they download from internet. Tim Wescott's post is spot on! -- Failure does not prove something is impossible, failure simply indicates you are not using the right tools... nico@nctdevpuntnl (punt=.) --------------------------------------------------------------
On 12/6/2010 2:39 PM, Nico Coesel wrote:
> d_s_klein<d_s_klein@yahoo.com> wrote: > >> On Dec 6, 9:18=A0am, Tim Wescott<t...@seemywebsite.com> wrote: >>> >>> Could you please cite chapter and verse? >>> -- >>> >>> Tim Wescott >>> Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com >>> >> >> According to gnu.org: "Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU >> Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of >> software, or that you should charge as little as possible =97 just >> enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding." >> >> <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html> > > The free market principle says that people will get something from the > cheapest source. In this case: they download from internet. Tim > Wescott's post is spot on! >
This assumes your time is free. Timesys, Montavista, Wind River, and many others seem to stay entirely in business by convincing folks that their time is worth more than the cost for their Linux ports/BSPs, etc. -- Rob Gaddi, Highland Technology Email address is currently out of order
On 12/06/2010 01:43 PM, d_s_klein wrote:
> On Dec 6, 9:18 am, Tim Wescott<t...@seemywebsite.com> wrote: >> >> Could you please cite chapter and verse? >> -- >> >> Tim Wescott >> Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com >> > > According to gnu.org: "Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU > Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of > software, or that you should charge as little as possible &#2013266071; just > enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding." > > <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html>
I think you're correct in the details, but still off in the main point. You can sell me some GPL-ed software, but you can't keep me from turning around and posting it on my website for free. So, sooner or later, if there's much interest in the stuff at all, it'll turn up for free. -- Tim Wescott Wescott Design Services http://www.wescottdesign.com Do you need to implement control loops in software? "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" was written for you. See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
On 06/12/2010 23:58, Tim Wescott wrote:
> On 12/06/2010 01:43 PM, d_s_klein wrote: >> On Dec 6, 9:18 am, Tim Wescott<t...@seemywebsite.com> wrote: >>> >>> Could you please cite chapter and verse? >>> -- >>> >>> Tim Wescott >>> Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com >>> >> >> According to gnu.org: "Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU >> Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of >> software, or that you should charge as little as possible &#2013266071; just >> enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding." >> >> <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html> > > I think you're correct in the details, but still off in the main point. > You can sell me some GPL-ed software, but you can't keep me from turning > around and posting it on my website for free. So, sooner or later, if > there's much interest in the stuff at all, it'll turn up for free. >
It is perfectly legal to charge for GPL'ed software (though you can only charge someone a reasonable handling fee for the source code once you have sold/given them a binary). And once you have the software, you can then give it away to anyone you want. That much is all true. But there may be additional issues in hand, such as trademarks. For example, (almost) all of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is GPL'ed. You can buy RHEL, and you can distribute the packages for free (or you can download the packages for free from Red Hat). But you can't re-distribute the entire system without infringing on Red Hat's trademarks. Thus CentOS (and Oracle, and Scientific Linux) take RHEL, remove all Red Hat's trademarks, perhaps make a few other minor changes, and distribute the code. Most GPL'ed software that is popular is already given out for free - any charges are typically for additional non-GPL software, documentation, support services, etc. More specialised software, such as Wind River's Linux packages, may well only be available for a fee. Once you've paid the fee and got the binary and source code, you can then publish it for free on your website. But would you do that, with software you've paid good money for? And would anyone download it for you, rather than getting up-to-date and supported packages from the original site? There are many people that make money from providing or selling GPL software, and they do it by providing it as professional-level software including documentation and support. It is almost invariably zero-price software that has poor documentation - after all, few people /like/ writing documentation, so they'll only do it if they get paid to do it.
On Dec 6, 10:58=A0pm, Tim Wescott <t...@seemywebsite.com> wrote:
> On 12/06/2010 01:43 PM, d_s_klein wrote: > > > On Dec 6, 9:18 am, Tim Wescott<t...@seemywebsite.com> =A0wrote: > > >> Could you please cite chapter and verse? > >> -- > > >> Tim Wescott > >> Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com > > > According to gnu.org: =A0"Many people believe that the spirit of the GN=
U
> > Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of > > software, or that you should charge as little as possible just > > enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding." > > > <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html> > > I think you're correct in the details, but still off in the main point. > =A0 You can sell me some GPL-ed software, but you can't keep me from > turning around and posting it on my website for free. =A0So, sooner or > later, if there's much interest in the stuff at all, it'll turn up for fr=
ee.
> > -- > > Tim Wescott > Wescott Design Serviceshttp://www.wescottdesign.com > > Do you need to implement control loops in software? > "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" was written for you. > See details athttp://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
Petalogix of PetaLinux fame is one company who specialize in Linux on Microblaze. The offer free downloads of their software, and have put a lot of work into getting microblaze supported (to the point that it is now in the kernel mainline, instead of the uclinux branch) AFAIK you can also pay for a premimum distribution, which comes bundled with a lot more custom-written (by them) scripts and utilities to make your life a lot easier in getting it running on YOUR board - like scripts that convert the EDK mhs/mss files into kernel configurations automatically, for example. So everything GPLed that they touch is freely available, and in the linux kernel mainline, but that doesn't mean you get everything they have built around it that that makes building the complete hw-to-sw system for free (unless you are a student, in which case you can get it, I think)
On 12/6/2010 6:18 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:
> On 12/06/2010 09:01 AM, d_s_klein wrote: >> On Dec 6, 7:00 am, "maxascent" >> <maxascent@n_o_s_p_a_m.n_o_s_p_a_m.yahoo.co.uk> wrote: >>> I am looking to get started with Linux on a Microblaze. There seems >>> to be a >>> few companies out there doing it and Xilinx has a Wiki site. What >>> exactly >>> is the difference between the Xilinx and the others. Presumably you >>> have to >>> pay for the others, although I thought Linux was supposed to be free. >>> So I >>> would of thought I should be able to get hold of the source even if I >>> dont >>> get any support. >>> >>> Any thoughts would be helpful >>> >>> Thanks >>> >>> Jon >>> >>> --------------------------------------- >>> Posted throughhttp://www.FPGARelated.com >> >> You're not paying for The Kernel, you're paying for the effort of >> porting it. Most (all?) GPL flavors allow compensation for effort. > > Could you please cite chapter and verse? That's 180 degrees out from > what I read the last time I went over a GPL in its entirety. Per the > GPL, if you distribute the software in any way shape or form it has to > be free, and you have to distribute source code. >
I don't quite understand why people tend to mix "free" and "free of charge". There is no place in the GPL where it is stated the software has to be free of charge. From http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html you can read: "Preamble The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for software and other kinds of works. The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed to take away your freedom to share and change the works. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a program--to make sure it remains free software for all its users. " GPL license is a copyleft type of license (viral license) that enforce the freedom under which the piece of software was created, freedom to change it and freedom to share it. This has nothing to do with money.
> The way people make money on this stuff is by never documenting it well, > and offering consulting and/or training services. Or if it's a more > widely available product (like a desktop OS) they'll document it well > enough that an individual will like it, then offer consulting for the > corporate user. >
Most of the success Linux has achieved is because it is not only very well documented, but also because anyone has the chance to improve the documentation (and implementation) making it a better system. Very well documented system doesn't mean anyone can install it on a blade server in a farm cluster and make it work out of the box. That is why most of the companies dealing with Linux sell services, not products. Al