gentoo

I’ve been trying to write some drivers lately (using Linux) – the problem has never really been understanding the code – its more been setting up a build environemment (pretty stupid huh)… Not really ever having been forced to use Linux I found it a bit of a mission – I’ve normally just used it for pretty standard stuff and only just to play with. Anyway, I tried setting up a few environments using various distributions (they worked fine – just not for making my own drivers – there was obviously something I was missing but I couldnt seem to get them to work…) but I seemed to find 1) they were bulky, and 2) even running make at the source tree level would cause it to blow up/would blow up when I tried to run the module build which I needed for making v2.6 kernel drivers. Finally I gave up and ran with gentoo.

I set this up inside a vm following the online instructions and it all went pretty smoothly. The only problem I had is that when I tried to compile the kernel using my own build options I wasnt sure what drivers the vmware’s virtual hardware needed – resulting in a little bit of a headache – although I learnt lots on the way which I was stoked about 🙂 – finally after a few builds I just went with the full blown build – but even that didnt work – grrr – after adding the flag “doscsi” (im running on sata drives) to the grub kernel boot line I managed to get it to kick off 😀 (I now need to go back and try this with my original “slim” buid)…

 Anyway – I’m now loving gentoo – straight off the bat everything compiled fine and the first driver I wrote worked first time – Yee yeeah! The only extra bit I chucked on there was the “vim” editor – just so that I could get some color syntax going on… the problem was that the vim package I emerged in using emerge didnt ship with the c and c++ syntax files 😦 – So I grabbed the main vim source (which has them :-)) and just manually copied them on… good times!

 So – anyone thats trying to write some drivers and is struggling a little off the bat – maybe this is the way to go 🙂 gentoo seems a little daunting at first (just because you configure everything) but honesly – just follow the online help and you cant go wrong 🙂

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