Pine64 – ordered

I ordered the 2 GB Pine64 64 bit ARM board. It’s extremely constrained compared to the normal 64 bit ARM boards I use, but it’s good that there’s one which may be supported by upstream Linux in the near future.

Total cost for the board + the wifi accessory + postage to the UK is $50.98 (£42.36).

Let’s see how it goes …

They also have this strange SO-DIMM form-factor co-processor. I’m not sure what to make of it.


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Fabrice Bellard’s RISCVEMU supports Fedora/RISC-V

You can now boot Fedora 25 for RISC-V in Fabrice Bellard’s RISCVEMU RISC-V emulator. Here’s how in four simple steps:

  1. Download riscvemu-XXX.tar.gz and diskimage-linux-riscv64-XXX.tar.gz from Fabrice’s site.
  2. Download the latest stage 4 disk image for Fedora/RISC-V from here.
  3. Compile riscvemu. You should just need to do make.
  4. Run everything like this:
    ./riscvemu -b 64 ../diskimage-linux-riscv64-XXX/bbl.bin stage4-disk.img

If you’re going to do serious work inside the disk image then you’ll probably want to customize it with extra packages. See these instructions.

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Supernested on the QEMU Advent Calendar


I wrote supernested a few years ago to see if I could break nested KVM. It works by repeatedly nesting KVM guests until either something breaks or the whole thing grinds to a halt. Even on my very fastest machine I can only get to an L4 guest (L0 = host, L1 = normal guest).

Kashyap and Thomas Huth resurrected the QEMU Advent Calendar this year, and today (day 13) supernested is featured.

Please note that supernested should only be run on idle machines which aren’t doing anything else, and it can crash the machine.

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CentOS 7.3 available in virt-builder

CentOS 7.3 was announced today, and the x86_64 version is available in virt-builder already:

$ virt-builder centos-7.3

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Fedora 25 is out, virt-builder images available

$ virt-builder -l | grep fedora-25
fedora-25                x86_64     Fedora® 25 Server
fedora-25                i686       Fedora® 25 Server (i686)
fedora-25                aarch64    Fedora® 25 Server (aarch64)
fedora-25                armv7l     Fedora® 25 Server (armv7l)
fedora-25                ppc64      Fedora® 25 Server (ppc64)
fedora-25                ppc64le    Fedora® 25 Server (ppc64le)
$ virt-builder fedora-25
$ qemu-system-x86_64 -machine accel=kvm:tcg \
      -cpu host -m 2048 \
      -drive file=fedora-25.img,format=raw,if=virtio

Or to try out Fedora on a different architecture:

$ virt-builder fedora-25 --arch ppc64le -o fedora-25-ppc64le.img
$ qemu-system-ppc64 -cpu POWER8 -m 2048 \
      -drive file=fedora-25-ppc64le.img,format=raw,if=virtio


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virt-builder RISC-V edition

$ file builder/virt-builder
builder/virt-builder: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, UCB RISC-V, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked, interpreter /lib/, for 
GNU/Linux 2.6.32, BuildID[sha1]=184c9522f22abc5c325ac5a1ee2d272b225d5503, not stripped

Probably the least useful copy of virt-builder since there’s no qemu and no network. However it does demonstrate that we can now build large mixed C / OCaml binaries on RISC-V successfully.

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OCaml 4.04, RISC-V, S/390, POWER and more …

I pushed OCaml 4.04.0 to Fedora Rawhide last week. There are loads of new features for OCaml users, but the ones that particularly affect Fedora are:

  • New, upstream POWER (ppc64, ppc64le) backend, replacing the downstream one that we have maintained for a few years. I was quite apprehensive about this change because I had tried the new backend during the OCaml 4.03 release cycle and found it to be quite unstable. However the latest version looks rock solid and has no problem compiling the entire Fedora+OCaml software suite.
  • New, upstream S/390x backend. I actually found and fixed a bug, go me!
  • New, non-upstream RISC-V backend. I found a bug in this backend too, but it proved to be easy to fix. You can now install and run most of the OCaml packages on Fedora/RISC-V.

And talking about Fedora/RISC-V, it took a month, but the mass-rebuild of all Fedora packages completed, and now we’ve got about ⅔rds of all Fedora packages available for RISC-V. That’s quite a lot:

$ du -sh SRPMS/ RPMS/

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