Emdebian GNU/Linux Crush/Grip 1.0 (based on Debian 5.0 "lenny")
Posted on: 02/15/2009 01:17 PM

Emdebian GNU/Linux Crush/Grip 1.0 has been released:

The Emdebian Project is very pleased to announce the official release of two flavours of Embedded Debian - Emdebian Grip 1.0 and Emdebian Crush 1.0, each based on Debian GNU/Linux version 5.0 (codenamed "lenny"), after several years of constant development.


Emdebian GNU/Linux Crush 1.0 (based on Debian 5.0 "lenny").
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The smallest Emdebian installation

Limitations of selecting Emdebian Crush 1.0:
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1. Crush 1.0 (lenny) is a developer-release, full support is expected in Crush 2.0 (squeeze).
2. Support is only available for ARM in Crush 1.0 (lenny).
3. No pre-built installation images - Crush supports customisation for each machine type and variant.
4. Installing and maintaining Crush requires significant user involvement but provides complete flexibility to achieve the smallest installation sizes.
5. Emdebian Crush requires Debian to build - using Debian derivatives or other GNU/Linux distributions is unsupported.
6. Emdebian methods are Debian methods, so a knowledge of Debian packaging methods is also required.
7. Uses glibc until uClibc can be reintroduced into Debian 6.0 "squeeze".
8. Some library packages in Crush 1.0 have had functionality (and therefore symbols) removed, so care is needed when building applications.

Release names
=============

Full release title:
Emdebian GNU/Linux Crush 1.0 (based on Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "lenny"). Short release name:
Emdebian Crush 1.0 (lenny)
Common release names:
Emdebian Crush or Crush (lenny)

Please use these names if promoting the releases elsewhere.

Grip and Crush are a play on words for the next Debian release - "squeeze". Emdebian will continue to use the Grip and Crush titles for future releases and will continue to use the unstable, testing and stable suite names. Future releases are intended to continue following Debian in the codenames (lenny, squeeze etc.) and be tied firmly to Debian release schedules.

More information: http://www.emdebian.org/crush/

Features of Emdebian Crush 1.0
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Busybox based root filesystem and cross-built packages to support the G Palmtop Environment based on GTK+2 or any workable package selection in-between. Kernels and kernel modules are not provided directly but support exists to add custom kernels to the installation tarballs. Packages are heavily modified and then cross-built from Debian source packages - functional changes do exist between Emdebian Crush and standard Debian. Emdebian Crush 1.0 (based on Debian 5.0 "lenny") is only available for ARM - adding more architectures is non-trivial.

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny) includes the new ARM EABI port, "Armel". This new port provides a more efficient use of both modern and future ARM processors. As a result, the old ARM port (arm) has now been deprecated in Debian. Subsequent Crush releases will migrate to armel instead of ARM and include i386, mips and mipsel. Powerpc support can be considered, if there is sufficient interest.

Emdebian Crush does not support building packages on Crush itself, all work to develop packages for Crush must be done on a normal Debian machine using cross-building support provided by Emdebian. There is no migration path from Debian to Emdebian Crush due to functional changes in the core package set of standard Debian. In particular, the emdebian-tools package used to build packages for Crush cannot work on a machine already running Crush (or packages from Crush) because Crush does not include perl or perl scripts.

Installations of Emdebian Crush will require significant user involvement, images will not generally be available for direct download. Instead, each installation is customised from the available package set using the scripts in the emdebian-rootfs package and possibly a few custom packages cross-built using scripts in the emdebian-tools package.

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny" contains the emdebian-tools package to allow Debian source packages to be cross-built and shrunk for Crush and updates to emdebian-tools on lenny are available via Emdebian.

Users will need to customise Crush for their respective machines, including configuring the base system (including inittab and boot sequences, configuring and cross-building appropriate kernels and fitting the Crush root filesystem into existing installation methods.

This release includes numerous updated software packages, such as the X.Org 7.3, GNU Compiler Collection 4.3.2, Linux kernel version 2.6.26 and more than 700 other ready to use software packages. With the
integration of X.org 7.3 the X server autoconfigures itself with most hardware.

For non native English speaking users the package management systems now support translated package descriptions which will automatically show the description of a package in the native language of the user if available.

Emdebian GNU/Linux Grip 1.0 (based on Debian 5.0 "lenny").

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A small Debian-compatible Emdebian installation

Emdebian Grip 1.0 (lenny) is a smaller Debian that is binary compatible with Debian and based around a small set of Debian packages intended for embedded machines. Emdebian Grip 1.0 provides complete repositories of packages for seven architectures (i386, amd64, powerpc, arm, armel, mips and mipsel), based on coreutils, glibc and perl. Grip includes support for standard Debian tools like debootstrap and debian-installer and no functional changes compared to Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "lenny".

Installations of Emdebian Grip 1.0 will work with standard Debian tools like debootstrap, debian-installer and maybe debian-live - as long as the device has enough space to generate such systems.

Emdebian Grip can support building packages (although this currently requires using packages from Debian and is untested) and can be installed as a simple migration from Debian in the normal ways. Indeed, the recommended way to install Emdebian Grip 1.0 is to use the Debian 5.0 "lenny" installer in Automatic Installation mode to install a Debian base system and use pre-seeding to migrate to Grip during the installation process.

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny) includes the new ARM EABI port, "Armel". This new port provides a more efficient use of both modern and future ARM processors. As a result, the old ARM port (arm) has now been deprecated for both Debian and Emdebian Grip.

This release includes numerous updated software packages, such as the Xfce 4.4.2 desktop environment, X.Org 7.3, Iceweasel (an unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6), Linux kernel version 2.6.26, Python
2.5.2 and 2.4.6, Perl 5.10.0 and more than 1,000 other ready to use software packages.

With the integration of X.org 7.3 the X server autoconfigures itself with most hardware. Newly introduced packages allow the full support of NTFS filesystems or the usage of most multimedia keys out of the box. Overall improvements for notebooks have been introduced, like out of the box support of CPU frequency scaling.

Further improvement regarding the security of the system include the installation of available security updates before the first reboot by the installation system, the reduction of setuid root binaries and open ports in the standard installation as well as building several security-critical packages with GCC Hardening features. Various applications have specific improvements, too.

For non native English speaking users the package management systems now support translated package descriptions which will automatically show the description of a package in the native language of the user if available.

Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from various installation media such as DVDs, CDs, USB sticks and floppies, or from the network. XFCE is the default desktop environment for Emdebian Grip 1.0.

The installation process for Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 has been improved in many ways: among many other improvements, firmware required by some devices can be loaded by using removable media and installations via braille display are supported. The installer boot process has also received much attention: a graphical menu can be used to choose front-ends and desktop environments, and to select expert or rescue mode. The installation system for Debian GNU/Linux has now been translated to 63 languages.

Debian GNU/Linux can be downloaded right now via bittorrent (the recommended way), jigdo or HTTP; see Debian GNU/Linux on CDs for further information. The recommended media for Emdebian Grip is USB
stick. It will soon be available on DVD, CD-ROM and Blu-ray Disc from numerous vendors, too.

Upgrades to Emdebian Grip GNU/Linux 1.0 from the previous Debian releases, are automatically handled by the apt package management tool for most configurations. As always, Debian GNU/Linux systems can be upgraded painlessly, in place, without any forced downtime, but it is strongly recommended to read the release notes for possible issues and for detailed instructions on installing and upgrading.


Release names
=============

Full release title:
Emdebian GNU/Linux Grip 1.0 (based on Debian GNU/Linux 5.0
"lenny"). Short release name:
Emdebian Grip 1.0 (lenny)
Common release names:
Emdebian Grip or Grip (lenny)

Please use these names if promoting the releases elsewhere.

Grip and Crush are a play on words for the next Debian release - "squeeze". Emdebian will continue to use the Grip and Crush titles for future releases and will continue to use the unstable, testing and stable suite names. Future releases are intended to continue following Debian in the codenames (lenny, squeeze etc.) and be tied firmly to Debian release schedules.

More information: http://www.emdebian.org/grip/

Dedication
==========

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny" is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, a Debian Developer who died on December 26th, 2008 in a tragic car accident. Thiemo was involved in Debian and Emdebian in many ways. He has maintained several packages and was the main supporter of the Debian port to the MIPS architectures. He was also a member of our kernel team, as well as a member of the Debian Installer team. His contributions reached far beyond the Debian project. He also worked on the MIPS port of the Linux kernel, the MIPS emulation of qemu, and far too many smaller projects to be named here.

Thiemo's work, dedication, broad technical knowledge and ability to share this with others will be missed. The contributions of Thiemo will not be forgotten. The high standards of Thiemos work make it hard to
pick up.

Thiemo also contributed to Emdebian and so the first ever release of Emdebian to be available on MIPS (Grip 1.0) is also dedicated to his memory.

About Debian

Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux distributions.

The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible. Debian 5.0 is another important step in that direction.



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