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FreeBSD is NOT ready to be used on the Neo Freerunner or Neo 1973, do not try unless you know what you are doing and are able to help porting. It will only get to single user mode with a very cut down root filesystem.

Interested in using FreeBSD on the Neo1973 or as a Host OS? Get in touch with andrew -at-, they are currently exploring what to do about this.


Running FreeBSD in Qemu-neo1973

A FreeBSD port is only ready for kernel developers.

Required tools

You will need:

  1. mkimage from u-boot. It's available in ports in devel/u-boot
  2. makefs from ports in sysutils/makefs


To build Qemu on FreeBSD to test and develop FreeBSD on the Neo's:

  1. Use subversion to checkout
  2. In gnokiigsm/device.h comment out the declaration for device_read and device_write, see Talk:Openmoko under QEMU#FreeBSD_and_Qemu...
  3. Edit, search for the line LIBS+=-lm and insert "-L/usr/lib" before "-lm"
  4. If your running FreeBSD on an AMD64 edit x86_64.ld and remove all occurrences of ONLY_IF_RO and ONLY_IF_RW
  5. Run ./configure --target-list=arm-softmmu and gmake
  6. Edit openmoko/ to add kernel_image="/path/to/kernel.boot" between the calls to most_recent and where it prints the kernel image it will use

Building FreeBSD

You will need to download to build FreeBSD for the Neo1973.

From the FreeBSD src tree run:

make buildworld TARGET=arm TARGET_ARCH=arm TARGET_CPUTYPE=arm920t
make installworld TARGET=arm TARGET_ARCH=arm TARGET_CPUTYPE=arm920t DESTDIR=/path/to/root/fs

You will now need to trim down /path/to/root to remove things noot needed to test in single user mode

makefs -B little /path/to/root.ufs /path/to/root/fs
make buildkernel TARGET=arm TARGET_ARCH=arm TARGET_CPUTYPE=arm920t KERNCONF=NEO1973 -DNO_MODULES MFS_IMAGE=/path/to/root.ufs
mkimage -A arm -O freebsd -T kernel -C none -a 30008000 -e 300080e0 -n "FreeBSD" -d /usr/obj/path/to/kernel /usr/obj/same/path/kernel.boot

You will now have a copy of FreeBSD that is able to be loaded by u-boot.

Running FreeBSD

From the qemu directory run


This will fetch the required parts and create an image to run. They require you to have bash installed.

Finally run qemu with

arm-softmmu/qemu-system-arm -M gta01 -m 130 -mtdblock openmoko/openmoko-flash.image -kernel openmoko/openmoko-kernel.bin -usb -show-cursor

It will display "Kernel loading..." with no further messages.

You can append

-serial telnet:localhost:1200,server

to the qemu startup line to start a telnet server which represents the serial console, just

telnet localhost 1200

and qemu will go on with the startup process.

Useful pages

GTA02 Openness

Next steps

  • DMA
  • Drivers:
    • LCD
    • USB

Using a Kernel Testimage

Another method of getting the kernel into the neo is to use an image for the emulated sd card. I already have a file called sd.img ( dd'ed from a 32mb usb stick).

cp /usr/obj/arm/usr/src/sys/NEO1973/kernel .
/usr/obj/arm/usr/src/tmp/usr/bin/objcopy -O binary kernel
sudo mdconfig -a -t vnode -f sd.img
sudo mount_msdosfs /dev/md0s1 /mnt/tmp
sudo cp kernel /mnt/tmp/
sudo umount /mnt/tmp
sudo mdconfig -d -u 0
arm-softmmu/qemu-system-arm -M neo -m 130 -mtdblock openmoko/openmoko-flash.image -kernel openmoko/openmoko-kernel.bin -sd sd.img -usb -show-cursor -serial telnet:localhost:1200,server

In another terminal:

telnet localhost 1200
fatload mmc 0 0x30008000 kernel
go 0x30008000

And wait for the crash :)

Kernel Constants

  • KERNVIRTADDR is the virtual address at which the kernel is loaded (and linked) (0xc0008000)
  • KERNPHYSADDR is the physical address at which the kernel is loaded (0x30008000)
  • PHYSADDR is the physical address of the RAM (0x30000000)
  • KERNBASE is the virtual address of the beginning of the kernel virtual address space (0xc0000000)
  • STARTUP_PAGETABLE_ADDR is a physical address, suitable for the very early pagetable we build in locore.S (0x30800000)
  • FLASHADDR is the address of the flash, virtual or physical depending on what the loader does (??)
  • LOADERRAMADDR the address at which the loader maps the RAM if we're running with the MMU enabled, and the physical address if not (??)


u-boot header size: 64 Bytes elf header size: ??

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