Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Loongson Manufacturer Calling for Software Supports

One of the Loongson manufacturer, Lemote, is now calling for software supports from all its first users.

Loongson CPU is not built on x86 but on an altered MIPS III 64-bit architecture, which is particularly named "Loongson Instruction Set". As a result, Windows and many other popular softwares based on Win platforms are impossible to run on it. Even most distributions of Linux and their softwares are still waiting for tranplantation.

Lemote officially now provides two OS for customers to choose. One is Debian Linux and the other is a new-born distribution of Linux called "OpenRays" beta version. They guarantee that the two OS will be run almost smooth and easy. They also admit that there might be some small problems. Softwares are still to be transplanted and optimized for Loongsons. There is a long way to go for Loongson, especially on softwares.

"We wish all users carry forward the spirit of opensource community and we will appreciate any help." said by Lemote official. They promised to pay a reasonable money for Loongson-based software developers. This is also one of the reasons why they choose 600 out of thousands customers by their techinal backgrounds. Another reason is the limited capacity of the production.

The following is what they would like Linuxers to do:
Origally posted here:

1. Operation System Transplantation
Famous Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Gentoo, Suse, Fedora, and so on.s
All kinds of liveCDs
Embedded systems: eCos, ucOS/II, vxworks, winCE(?!)
FreeBSD or NetBSD
Pure 64-bit OS
Prelink support

2. Specific Applications:
Vehicular PC:GPS, video monitor, multimedia
IPTV(maybe mythTV, GeeXbox) and Set-Top-Box
Network computers: E-library, E-classroom
Education informatization
Rural informatization

3. Software improvement:
Linux kernel
Compilers optimized for Loongson Instruction Set
Better multimedia support
Java Virtual Machine
Firefox plugins
initNG or other fast boot supports
Oprofile and other tools like it
Other software for Loongson achitecture

Some tasks (especially in part1 and part2) are virtually impossible for single person to finish. Besides Linuxers who interested in Loongson, Lemote official will also participate in the development. Any one who would like to help improving Loongson's performance should contact Lemote official to avoid repeated work. Lemote promise to encourage all fans who contribute considerably to Loongson, for example, a free Lemote box.


Alain said...

Hi Ubuntpku,

I was wondering, what do you think is needed the most at this point for software support?

Talents/skills? Financial incentives? Hardware infrastructure? Open Source community? Others?

ubuntpku said...

Open Source community. That's my view. A Linux-only CPU cannot grow up without the essential spirit of GNU/Linux.

What is your suggestion, Alain?

Alain said...

I agree with you. If you look at the x86 (Intel/AMD) world, the community is also heavily supported by the likes of HP, IBM, and others. They understand that they will sell more hardware only if there is some good software to run on it. I have read somewhere it is also apparently the case with many peripheral manufacturers in Asia .

I think the goal is to understand what are the things that could help the Loongson Linux community flourish.

We can talk in private if you email me at amellan AT gmail DOT com :-)

ubuntpku said...

Sent a mail to you!

When we are talking, please forgive my slowness in writing. I can't write quickly in English.