Priority for Angstrom board validation/demo image (was: BeagleBoard-xM rev.C and Angstrom demo)

Hi,

I just got a brand new BeagleBoard-xM (shipped in September 2011),
provided with a validation Angstrom distribution. Kernel version is
2.6.32 and the microSD is named xMTEST beta 4-25. Mounting the microSD
I can access a FAT partition, plus an EXT3 partition.

My question is: I read in different tutorials (even if most of them
somehow old) that the provided Angstrom version is for demo and
validation purposes only. Moreover, different resources report that
neither GUI nor file system is provided.

Dear Gabriele Randelli,

Sorry to say this, but i will strongly suggest you to read/learn more about Linux+embedded systems and start commenting here.There are plenty of updated documentations are available about how to run angstrom on beagleboard.I feel like , you are commenting here without having any basic understanding about Embedded Linux,Beagleboard and Open Embedded.

I feel this is a very valid question given the amount of old information sitting about, especially on eLinux.org, which is a rather excellent resource for both embedded Linux and working with the BeagleBoard, but the key contributors have moved on. Further, the original validation image information on code.google.com/p/beagleboard is painfully out-of-date and new releases of the validation image haven’t included a full write-up. Priorities have been on fixing newer images and even regular updates on those have stopped coming due to work on the upcoming major board revision (leaking more information on that soon).

The best approach is to go to each of the outdated pages and provide a pointer to an updated page, without removing the old information that might be valid for people with older software. Simply deleting out-of-date information isn’t the best approach since the legacy of how we got here is an important part of people trying to come in and put the BeagleBoard story together.

Personally, I keep debating on if I spend the time to document the 4_25 image or to work on fleshing out the updated Angstrom images. This image is far beyond the original scope of software offered with the BeagleBoard, which was largely mean to be just hardware where you could download Ubuntu, Android, WinCE, QNX, etc., etc., etc. and burn it onto an SD card. More and more people are coming in with little experience and could benefit greatly from being told how to do more with the validation image that ships with the board.

The updated images from Joel have pretty much stopped coming, which is why I think the feedback has been so limited. I think people need regular streams of updates if they are going to invest their time on giving feedback. While I’m frustrated, it is my fault for getting us all engaged in the bring-up of the new board. Clearly, expecting someone to manage their time in a way that allows for continual updates at the same time as being in school and solving the always seemingly countless challenges with a new platform is just too much to expect.

When in doubt, I want your feedback. Should I spend my energy documenting how to use and rebuild the 4_25 image or continuing to iterate on a newer image that brings in the 3.0.6 kernel, systemd for faster start-up, etc.? Is anyone else capable of cleaning up the eLinux and code.google.com wikis (or the updated Angstrom validation/demo image) to help with this initial software experience?

If there is enough opinion that the latest images from Narcissus, and/or what Joel was providing in his last updates, are of sufficient quality to replace the currently shipping validation image, then I’d rather spend my time there. It is certain that as I start to give more information out about the new board, I don’t want people to think that development will stop or further slow on the BeagleBoard and BealgeBoard-xM. It has slowed down over the last month or two and it time for it to pick back up again!

My latest BeagleBoard 101 presentation is at http://beagleboard.org/esc. For someone new, that might also be a useful starting point, but the specified image uses the older user space (without systemd) and the included 3.0.4 kernel doesn’t have multimedia or 3D graphics rebuilt.

What I’m thinking I’ll do is create a link off of the home page with slidy that will walk people through the individual steps of verifying they have a useful set of peripherals, writing an SD card from an existing image from Windows, Mac or Linux, and the best ways to ask questions to the community. Opinions?