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Opened 5 years ago

Last modified 13 months ago

#417 assigned enhancement

Port HelenOS to an existing 32-bit MIPS board / computer

Reported by: jermar Owned by: jermar
Priority: major Milestone:
Component: helenos/kernel/mips32 Version: mainline
Keywords: gsoc12 Cc:
Blocker for: Depends on:
See also:

Description (last modified by jermar)

Port HelenOS to an existing 32-bit MIPS board / computer.

HelenOS has run on two virtual mips32 platforms since very early in its history. At one point in time, a version of HelenOS even ran on the simulated MIPS Malta evaluation board. Unfortunately, the support for the only real MIPS hardware has been removed after some serious bit rot occurred in it. The current version of HelenOS/mips32 runs only on the machine emulated by the msim simulator and on the GXemul's oldtestmips machine.

The goal of this project is to port HelenOS to a real 32-bit MIPS machine, such as the MIPS Malta evaluation board.

What Gains and Benefits will this bring?
It turns out that our mips32 support will be more useful if we change our focus from running on exotic and, sometimes, troublesome virtual platforms that are each supported by exactly one simulator, to running on existing hardware which is also emulated by multiple simulators (Qemu, GXemul, Simics etc.)
This project falls somewhere between medium and difficult on our difficulty scale. The fact that an ancient version of HelenOS once ran on MIPS Malta makes it a little bit less difficult as there will be no surprises in the core kernel support needed (i.e. no changes are expected). On the other hand, HelenOS has evolved and grown extraordinarily since then and there will be some new problems to solve, such as defeating the 4M boot image size limit. Moreover, the peripheral devices on the MIPS Malta evaluation board are basically PC-peripherals so the project can be extended in an interesting way by making sure HelenOS can make use of some of these devices.
Required skills
A successful applicant will be an experienced C programmer feeling comfortable touching all areas of HelenOS ranging from the boot code to the kernel and user space. The candidate shall not be afraid of learning / using the MIPS assembly and tweaking the HelenOS build configuration files.
Possible mentors
HelenOS Core Team, Jakub Jermar

Change History (8)

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by jermar

  • Description modified (diff)

comment:2 Changed 5 years ago by jermar

  • Keywords needswork added

comment:3 Changed 5 years ago by jermar

  • Description modified (diff)
  • Summary changed from Port HelenOS/mips32 to some existing board / computer to Port HelenOS to an existing 32-bit MIPS board / computer

comment:4 Changed 5 years ago by jermar

  • Description modified (diff)
  • Keywords needswork removed

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by jermar

  • Keywords gsoc13 added

comment:6 Changed 4 years ago by jermar

  • Keywords gsoc13 removed
  • Milestone set to 0.5.1
  • Owner changed from decky to jermar
  • Status changed from new to assigned

I am taking ownership of this ticket as I am reviving and improving the support for the MIPS Malta development board.

comment:7 Changed 3 years ago by jermar

  • Milestone changed from 0.6.0 to 0.7.0

Support for MIPS Malta is still half-baked, retargeting for after 0.6.0.

comment:8 Changed 13 months ago by jermar

  • Milestone 0.6.1 deleted
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