[rescue] Bigger Iron at Home (was: SNMP, Baby!)

Joshua Boyd jdboyd at ohno.mrbill.net
Wed Nov 12 10:31:54 CST 2003

On Wed, Nov 12, 2003 at 11:17:51AM -0500, Sheldon T. Hall wrote:
> Actually, it's so my son can compile his Linux-based projects for school.
> Doing them on his Linux laptop is pretty slow, and if cross-compiling them
> on the Challenge would be faster-enough to make up for the set-up time, it
> might be a win.  His code is in C++, I think, and the run target is
> Linux-on-i386.  Obviously, he wouldn't be able to run the stuff on the
> Challenge, but if the compilation/linking step were fast ehough, it would
> make up for it.
> So, I'd need a gcc that runs on MIPS/Irix and outputs i386/Linux, and a
> linker that has sense enough to use i386/Linux libraries kept on the
> Challenge, and have it all run in normal-user userland ... over ssh.  Right?

Sounds about right to me.  Getting the cross compiler set up should be
easy enough.  How to make it use the i386/linux libraries I'm not so
sure how to do.  I think you just use -L flags to point it to the
i386/linux libraries, and you may need a -T/path/to/proper/target.ld,
but I'm not certain of all the ins and outs.  I'm using gcc on
i386/linux as a cross compiler for sh3/ecos, so setting up cross
compilers either direction appears clear enough, but I'm less certain
about the libraries.  In particular, I'm not sure what that -T flag is
really used for, just that I need it for things to work.

Anyway, I'd suggest having the laptop NFS mount the Challenge's drives,
and then instead of running make, you would have a script called
dist-make (or whatever you name it) that triggers the remote make on the
current NFS directory (so, obviously dist-make would have to make a SSH
connection, and translate the local path to the equivelent Irix path,
which if it was me, I'd use /export on both ends).  I haven't actually
done this though.

But, are you strictly looking for the most practical way to do things,
or do you want fun projects?  If you only want the most practical, get
rid of the challenge.  If you want the most fun, just do it, and once it
works, it might take quite awhile to pay off in time savings the time
you spent setting it up.  But the aggrevation if you enjoyed it is payed
off much more quickly. 

BTW, keep an eye open for quad R10k boards on ebay.  Not that long ago
they ran around $300, and they would provide a massive boost to the
performance of that challenge.

Also, configure the challenge to usr memory instead of disk space for
tempory files, either by using a ram disk, or setting the pipe flags on

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