[Xenomai] Reference Board

Philippe Gerum rpm at xenomai.org
Mon Feb 5 19:29:05 CET 2018

On 02/05/2018 05:22 PM, Greg Gallagher wrote:
> Hi,
>     After the recent meet up we had, I had an idea to help with a
> couple of issues that we identified.  One issue that was brought up is
> new users don't know how to get started with Xenomai, this impacts the
> community of users and downstream feedback we get.  To help this
> problem I'm proposing we choose one hardware board (maybe more later)
> that we would ensure has proper Xenomai support.
>     This would ensure that new users are able to try out Xenomai on
> real hardware and we (the Xenomai community) can make sure that it
> works well and gives new users a great experience as they get started
> with Xenomai.  Based on popularity and availability I suggest we start
> with the Raspberry PI family of boards.  They are pretty common and
> most people of this list probably have one or two (because of an
> office clean out at work, I now have almost one of each variant).  The
> wide availability would make it easy to (eventually) distribute the
> testing across interested contributors and new Xenomai users.
>     The other nice benefit is the ability to test and maintain a good
> set of example drivers for the raspberry PI platform.  We can ensure
> that these RTDM drivers are using the most up to date interfaces and
> best practices.  These could be examples that we point developers to
> when they try to create RTDM drivers for their own platform.  I did a
> quick audit of what we currently support today in Xenomai for
> raspberry pi and we are only 3-4 drivers away from supporting most of
> what's on the board.  Video drivers, GPU etc would be left to only the
> Linux domain for now.
> Creating and easy to use getting started wiki around the raspberry pi
> would give us the ability to create interesting examples using Xenomai
> that controls real hardware.  We could provide pre-built images based
> on either buildroot or Ubuntu (I've done both of these for different
> pi boards with good success).  This would give new users the ability
> to get their hands dirty pretty quickly and with out having to build
> everything from scratch.  Once they get comfortable with Xenomai then
> they can move into building it from scratch and replacing bits and
> pieces of the stock images.
>     The cost of doing this may seem steep at first, but I'm willing to
> take on a good chunk of the work and then hopefully the maintenance
> and testing won't prove to be too bad.  As the idea becomes more clear
> hopefully other users or developers will help out.  The benefit of
> doing this I believe will help with the ability to build a community
> around Xenomai and start to create a larger base of downstream users.
>     If we think this is a good path to go down, I can post some more
> information on what I've already started and what needs to be done.
> Discussion and feedback would be appreciated :)

I would definitely support this effort, RPI seems a good showcase for 
illustrating how the dual kernel architecture can be leveraged to get 
good latency figures with little overhead from the rt machinery on the 
whole system. I have a couple of RPIs I can test on.


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