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Re: RISCV porting effort

From: Efraim Flashner
Subject: Re: RISCV porting effort
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2021 16:20:42 +0300

On Tue, Jun 08, 2021 at 03:43:44PM +0200, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> Hello!
> Efraim Flashner <> skribis:
> > Porting Guix comes with two parts: building the bootstrap-tarballs and
> > adding support for the new architecture in (gnu packages bootstrap).
> > Support for riscv was added to GCC with 7.1.0 so I had to bump the
> > bootstrap GCC to 7 (and adjust some inputs), and guile-2.0.14 didn't
> > known the endianness of riscv64 so instead of patching it I bumped the
> > bootstrap guile to 3.0. I uploaded my bootstrap-tarballs to my regular
> > spot after signing them and switched over to the riscv machine.
> >
> > Building Guix from sources is much easier thanks to the work of Vagrant,
> > I was able to apt install most of the dependencies on riscv. The
> > packaged version of guile-zlib was too old in 21.04 so I built that from
> > source (0.1.0 is available in Debian experimental), and I also had to
> > build gnutls from source for the guile-3.0 bindings. I added the riscv
> > binaries to (gnu packages bootstrap) and temporarily switched the
> > raw-build function to look for 3.0 guile libraries instead of 2.0.
> >
> > Where I'm at right now:
> > Downloading using the daemon (builtin:download) fails currently, it says
> > it doesn't have permissions to open-file to write downloaded files to
> > the store.
> > I haven't built anything using the bootstrap binaries to see if they
> > actually work yet.
> Exciting news!  I saw discussions about this ‘guix perform-download’
> issue on IRC.  Did you eventually find what the problem is?

Right now it seems to be some sort of permissions error with writing to
the store. I haven't been able to figure out what's causing it yet.

> If the HiFive works fine, let me remind you that we have budget to buy
> hardware, so we could just as well order a couple of these right away
> (maybe you’ll have Guix System running by the time we receive them ;-)).

On one hand they seem similar to some of our aarch64 boards (but with
16GB of RAM), on the other hand it'd be a coup to announce serious
support for the platform so quickly.

> What we need is someone to order the machine(s) and to host it
> afterwards, with stable connectivity.  This must be agreed upon by the
> Spending Committee (currently Tobias, Ricardo, and myself; email
>  You’ll then be reimbursed by the FSF, our
> current fiscal sponsor.
> Any takers?  Or should we wait until you have more experience with
> yours, Efraim?
> Thanks,
> Ludo’.

I had to pay import tax when I received mine, and I assume those in
Europe did too, so I'd recommend they be hosted in the US since IIRC
they're shipping from Texas. It might be nice to wait until we have it
working for sure, but the lead time is still expected to be 6 months
between ordering and shipping dates.

I suppose if something else comes along that's faster we could always
cancel an order and switch to that.

I have mine sitting in a mini-ITX case, using a libre-respecting NVIDIA
card. Definitely a more serious board than the aarch64 boards I've
bought in the past.

Efraim Flashner   <>   אפרים פלשנר
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