Friday, December 16, 2011

Pandaboard ES: How to get 1 GByte RAM

Some colleagues told me they have only ~750 MByte RAM available on their PandaBoards.  So I checked my PandaBoard ES and it was the same there. As first I tried to set mem=1024M in boot.scr, but this didn't help. After some research I found that our kernel from the openSUSE:Factory:ARM repository wasn't build with HIGHMEM support. But the kernel need HIGHMEM-support to access the memory above 768MB on ARM/OMAP.

I changed the kernel config for the omap2plus package and build a new kernel RPM locally.
As soon as I installed the new kernel and rebooted, I got this:
root@pandboardES:/ # free 
             total  used   free shared buffers cached
Mem:       1010680 54604 956076      0    3516  29384
-/+ buffers/cache: 21704 988976
Swap:            0     0      0
I'll submit a new kernel package, but for now you can get the RPMs here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PandaBoard ES ... got it up and running openSUSE

I finally found some time the last days to play with my new PandaBoard ES. As first Dirk Müller helped me by providing an image for my SD-card with an image that worked with the normal PandaBord. Thanks! Unfortunately we couldn't get the machine running with this image.

Later I tried a Linaro Android build and the machine booted. As I copied some of the files from the boot partition to the SD-card with the openSUSE installation it booted into openSUSE. After a hint from Alexander Graf (to change the console in u-boot to ttyO2) I could also access the serial console.

I could now play around and build on the board to find a fix for the openSUSE image Dirk provided to me: Since it didn't boot with the latest u-boot/x-loader git code from mainline, I tired the u-boot git from Linaro. This step finally solved the issue. I created a new u-boot package for openSUSE: u-boot-linaro-omap4panda. While the upstream u-boot package deletes the MLO file at the end of make, the Linaro u-boot doesn't. Therefore the new RPM should obsolete x-loader-omap4panda at openSUSE. 

You can get the Factory RPM (temporary) here. I already made a submit request for Base:System ... we will see if and when it gets in.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New PandaBoard ES arrived

Today finally my new PandaBoard ES arrived from Digi-Key. Here the new features compared to the former PandaBoard:
  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ (OMAP4460) with SMP from Texas Instruments
  • provides 25% increase in graphics performance over OMAP4430 (but use a Imagination Technologies’ POWERVR™ SGX540 graphics core as the PandaBoard)
  • DSI Support
  • Bluetooth Low Energy Capable
  • Sysboot switch available on board
The rest of the board should be the same as on the OMAP4430 based PandaBoard. Here some pictures:

Let's start to get an openSUSE running on the machine ... I'll post updates as soon as I found the time to play around with this tiny thing.