[Buildroot] Buildroot in use

Steve Calfee nospamcalfee at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 16 16:44:12 UTC 2011

----- Original Message ----

> From: Thomas Petazzoni <thomas.petazzoni at free-electrons.com>
> Hello,
> On Tue, 15 Mar 2011 14:32:07 -0400
> "Heyendal, Carl" <CHeyendal at stanleyworks.com>  wrote:
> > Really!! 'make clean' from Buildroot directory? That's a  complete
> > rebuild!!
> Yes, it is. For now, Buildroot is "nothing"  more but a tool that
> automates the process of building an embedded Linux  system. It is not
> very smart, so it cannot remove packages that have been  installed, or
> revert changes that have been made to the target  filesystem.
> My view on this: Buildroot has been more or less abandonned  until late
> 2008/early 2009, when Peter took over the maintainership of  the
> project. Since that time, our main goal was to clean up the  existing
> code base, keeping the existing feature set (in fact, we added a  bunch
> of features as well, but we didn't fundamentaly changed how  Buildroot
> works). Now that this cleanup process is mostly over, I'd say  that
> solving the issue you're facing here is now on the top priorities  of
> the project. At least it's where it is on my own Buildroot TODO  list.
> But there a fairly huge and complex amount of work to do here, so  it
> isn't going to happen overnight.

I think a general discussion of how we use buildroot and what we would like to 
see is in order. It seems the framework is stabilizing and useful (thanks guys).

It seems in my use that I am either working on the kernel or configuring a 
system with packages (rootfs). make clean is unbearable where it removes the 
toolchain etc. 

So what I do is I git pull one tree just for my toolchain and compiler. I 
configure and build it without bootstraps, busybox, kernel etc. If I need to 
change a toolchain option I go back to this tree and fix it. This build becomes 
my "external toolchain".

I then git pull another tree which uses that external toolchain. Make clean is 
now much less painful.

During development it is common to want to change stuff in the "skeleton" 
filesystem - add scripts, configure things etc. This is kind of painful from 
within the buildroot framework, with no clear way to force an update to the 
rootfs image etc. So what I do is I create a skeleton directory for my board. In 
the post build script I copy my skeleton on top of the existing buildroot 
constructed skeleton. In this way I only have the files I care about in my board 
skeleton, they are updated every build etc.

I have not moved my bsp to the new board/company/bsp file system yet, but here 
is my post install script:
# script which runs before creating rootfs
echo "***************patching some stuff in " ${DESTDIR} from ${SRCDIR}
#echo "SRCDIR " ${SRCDIR}
#ls -l ${SRCDIR} ${SRCDIR}"/etc"
cp -rv ${SRCDIR} ${DESTDIR}
echo "end of userdefined script before packing rootfs"

I am curious how people do development with cutting edge kernels like 
linux-next? Do you do it completely removed from buildroot and just use the 
external tools? Do you use some kind of sym-link to point to the other kernel 
git tree?

Regards, Steve


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