November 06, 2014 posted by Martin Husemann
Those following the source-changes mailing list closely may have noticed several evbarm kernels getting "options MULTIPROCESSOR" in the last few days. This is due to those configurations now running properly in SMP mode, thanks to work mostly done by Matt Thomas and Nick Hudson.
The list of supported multiprocessor boards currently is:
- Banana Pi (BPI)
- Cubieboard 2 (CUBIEBOARD)
- Cubietruck (CUBIETRUCK)
- Merrii Hummingbird A31 (HUMMINGBIRD_A31)
Details how to create bootable media and various other information for the Allwinner boards can be found on the NetBSD/evbarm on Allwinner Technology SoCs wiki page.
The release engineering team is discussing how to bring all those changes into the netbsd-7 branch as well, so that we can call NetBSD 7.0 "the ARM SoC release".
While multicore ARM chips are mostly known for being used in cell phones and tablet devices, there are also some nice "tiny PC" variants out there, like the CubieTruck, which originally comes with a small transparent case that allows piggybacking it onto a 2.5" hard disk:
Image from cubieboard.org under creative commons license.
This is nice to put next to your display, but a bit too tiny and fragile for my test lab - so I reused an old (originally mac68k cartridge) SCSI enclosure for mine:
Image by myself under creative commons license.
This machine is used to run regular tests for big endian (!) arm, the results are gathered here. Running it big-endian is just a way to trigger more bugs.
The last test run logged on the page is already done with an SMP kernel. No regressions were found so far, and the other bugs (sligtly more than 30 failures in the test run is way too much) will be addressed one by one.
Now happy multi-ARM-ing everyone, and I am looking forward to a great NetBSD 7.0 release!