Posts tagged - Raspberry Pi

Have your Pi and eat it too

Yesterday was a big day for embedded Linux and Open-Source. While I was reading what’s new via RSS feeds, I came across a slashdot article: “Raspberry Pi goes Open-Source”. As I have mentioned before, some of the Linux running on Raspberry Pi is closed source/proprietary. One of the big gripes in the open-source community is the secrecy about video hardware. Understandably, video chip manufactures want to protect their IP (Intellectual Property)—to the point of not describing what the registers in the chip do. Really, how much of it is novel? True, one could reverse engineer the GPU easier with this information. Consequently, most of the FOSS graphics drivers are reversed engineered anyway and considering that a new graphics core is released every year, is this really necessary? Okay, I’m sure you get my opinion at this point.

In short, Raspberry Pi has worked with Broadcom to Open Source ARM userland, which is a huge step because it is the first vendor to open their mobile GPU. Hopefully, other vendors will follow. Get the source for the VideoCore via GIT. Do you see anything novel in the source? If you believe in open-source, thank Broadcom for this contribution.

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Sweet Raspberry Pi

I try to stay up-to-date with technology… While procrastinating getting up-to-date, came across Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi (model B) is a $35 single board computer. I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Raspberry Pi Isometric View

Raspberry Pi

When I read that the Broadcom chip (BCM2835) has an ARM core (ARM1176JZF-S), I thought, “Sweet, I can run Linux on this”. At that point, I knew I had to have one… but no idea what I’d use it for. Since the organization was in the UK, I knew I would have to wait and wait I did. When I received my Raspberry Pi from MCM electronics, I researched putting my distribution of choice: Fedora. Consequently, the Fedora distribution is pure; that is, only open-source content is distributed by Fedora, which means the closed-source libraries that utilize the hardware—such as, the video core acceleration—are not distributed with Fedora. Therefore, the OS is officially referred to as Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix, which was at one time, the Raspberry Pi distribution choice because some students at Seneca College modified and compiled the Fedora ARM so it would utilize the hardware benefits such as the floating-point unit.
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