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Thread: Linux for M68K

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bifo86 View Post
    NetBSD is the only unix/Linux that I'm aware of which is still under active development for M68k, and it would also run quite well within a single SIMM. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to port but I believe the reason why things like Amiga or Mac require a full project is because they aim to support a wide variety of hardware and a build for the CB030 would only need to support the one configuration. If you're able to start selling them as kits it would probably go quite a ways towards garnering some interest from people more familiar with that side of things (I know I have no way of building boards using SMT components).

    That being said, maybe the KISS-68030 ECB board project on retrobrew could provide a kick-start? There was a running version of linux (kernel 4.4.1 according to the video) built for it, although it's several years out of date and I can't find a download for it on the site. It may have been lost when they rolled over the site a while back, it's from about 3-4 years ago.
    I've read some of KISS030 development log and watched a few videos. The striking impression was how much memory it needed (128meg or more) and how slow it executed. I can revisit the older NetBSD and see whether the software bloats can be removed, but that requires more knowledge of NetBSD than I have. I'm sending out two of the CB030 prototypes to interested users so perhaps that'll pique the interests of software guru.

    As a hardware person, the area where I can do most good is drive down the cost of a product and make it easy to produce and build the foundational tools (monitor, diagnostic, CP/M68K) to enable the next level of development. For advertisement I could auction off a few on eBay starting from 99 cents to attract attention, but in the past people have bid it up so high, I think it discourage rather than encourage users.
    Bill

  2. #12
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    One common 68K platform where there was some development a few years back is the Cisco 2500-series router. It's not currently being developed, but there is some historical information at http://www.kdvelectronics.eu/uClinux...cisco2500.html. The 2500 is more limited in RAM size, maximum being 16MB.

    But NetBSD is probably the best choice for a 'heavy' traditional Unix.

    I do think that this would be a killer platform for Fuzix, though.
    --
    Thus spake Tandy Xenix System III version 3.2: "Bughlt: Sckmud Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!"

  3. #13

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    How much current does the board eat?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowen View Post
    One common 68K platform where there was some development a few years back is the Cisco 2500-series But NetBSD is probably the best choice for a 'heavy' traditional Unix.
    NetBSD on my old modded Apple LC475/68060 box was 3 times faster due to the lighter pressure of the internal kernel mechanism and MMU pressure.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivelegacy View Post
    How much current does the board eat?
    The board consumes about 800mA at 5V peak. That's with 64meg DRAM. Current consumption is lower with 16meg DRAM
    Bill

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowen View Post
    One common 68K platform where there was some development a few years back is the Cisco 2500-series router. It's not currently being developed, but there is some historical information at http://www.kdvelectronics.eu/uClinux...cisco2500.html. The 2500 is more limited in RAM size, maximum being 16MB.

    But NetBSD is probably the best choice for a 'heavy' traditional Unix.

    I do think that this would be a killer platform for Fuzix, though.
    Personally I'd love to have NetBSD simply because I know so little about it. FUZIX will be major cool! Maybe I can ship one to Alan if he'll work on it. Hey Alan, are you listening?
    Bill

  7. #17

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    I found my Apple LC475 box on eBay for about 20 Euro, but you need to modify two things
    - replace the default 68LC040 CPU with a 68040 (with MMU and FPU. 68LC040 is pin to pin compatible with 68040)
    - add a network card (found one, 10Mbps, for 30 Euro).
    Then you can modify and recompile "Emile68k" in order to bootstrap an elf file without the need for "macOS" classic.
    For this part you also have to "hack" the harddrive's partitions, in order to properly install the bootloader.

    This turns an LC475 into a Linux/m68k box, and it also allows you to bootstrap macOS classic (v7.5)

    ---

    In my experience with the LC475/68060, I modified the socked, the PLL, and the four ROMs due to the incompatibilities between 68040 and 68060. These two CPUs are not pin to pin compatible, and you need to add a "smartsocket" between the 68060 CPU and the 68040 socket. This solves the hardware side, but ... there is also a software side to be solved, and I had to add the "Motorola Support Package" for the 060 because some 68k-instructions are not implemented and they need support, and also had to add a couple of instructions to correctly initialize the CPU. Also I put "Emile68k" inside the ROM (1) in order to have fewer troubles with common SCSI Harddrive. This because Emile68k requires you to manually "hack" the logical volume of an HFS formatted hard drive, and it is annoying.


    (1) Apple ROMs come with the QuickTime code built-into the ROM. I deleted this part of the code in the ROM in order to have space for the bootloader. This makes it able to load an elf binary (even over the ethernet, or over the serial), it also added a debug console on the serial line (Zilog chip), but it made the machine no more compatible with macOS.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmo View Post
    The board consumes about 800mA at 5V peak. That's with 64meg DRAM. Current consumption is lower with 16meg DRAM
    That's great! Less than 5Watt is WOW!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivelegacy View Post
    I found my Apple LC475 box on eBay for about 20 Euro, but you need to modify two things
    - replace the default 68LC040 CPU with a 68040 (with MMU and FPU. 68LC040 is pin to pin compatible with 68040)
    - add a network card (found one, 10Mbps, for 30 Euro).
    Then you can modify and recompile "Emile68k" in order to bootstrap an elf file without the need for "macOS" classic.
    For this part you also have to "hack" the harddrive's partitions, in order to properly install the bootloader.

    This turns an LC475 into a Linux/m68k box, and it also allows you to bootstrap macOS classic (v7.5)

    ---

    In my experience with the LC475/68060, I modified the socked, the PLL, and the four ROMs due to the incompatibilities between 68040 and 68060. These two CPUs are not pin to pin compatible, and you need to add a "smartsocket" between the 68060 CPU and the 68040 socket. This solves the hardware side, but ... there is also a software side to be solved, and I had to add the "Motorola Support Package" for the 060 because some 68k-instructions are not implemented and they need support, and also had to add a couple of instructions to correctly initialize the CPU. Also I put "Emile68k" inside the ROM (1) in order to have fewer troubles with common SCSI Harddrive. This because Emile68k requires you to manually "hack" the logical volume of an HFS formatted hard drive, and it is annoying.


    (1) Apple ROMs come with the QuickTime code built-into the ROM. I deleted this part of the code in the ROM in order to have space for the bootloader. This makes it able to load an elf binary (even over the ethernet, or over the serial), it also added a debug console on the serial line (Zilog chip), but it made the machine no more compatible with macOS.
    Interesting works. That's the kind of hack I love reading about. So how much RAM you've installed in LC475 to make Linux work?

    I think there is a socket that translate the 5V 68040 signals to 3.3V 68060. Maybe that is the "smartsocket" you talked about.
    Bill

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivelegacy View Post
    That's great! Less than 5Watt is WOW!
    68040 is a power hog. Heat management is high priority and everything become bigger and noisier.

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