u-boot policy for CIP
I’m bringing a discussion I’ve started in other places here as it will benefit from wider participation.
As you know the aim of CIP is to maintain not just the Kernel, but a number of other ‘core packages’. One of these is u-boot.
For the Kernel the project will provide super long term support for a chosen version. For u-boot this will be harder to achieve as
a) there are no ‘LTS’ versions of u-boot to base our ‘SLTS’ version on;
b) a lot of hardware providers tend to use forks for their platforms, rather than add full functionality upstream.
Ideally CIP should choose a version of u-boot and use it when testing/verifying the CIP Kernel on the reference hardware. How we actively maintain that version (bug fixes/security patches/features?) is another question. Given that most devices in the field won’t have a way to update u-boot in the field (security issues/practicalities), I think ‘SLTS’ support for u-boot may not be required. Perhaps we just tag a version of u-boot at the launch of a new CIP Kernel and stick with it?
How do we decide what u-boot version to support? Currently it looks like the BBB platform are shipped with 2014.04 and the Renesas platform is shipped with 2013.01. That said, it looks like there is upstream support for BBB , but how the feature set compares to the version shipped with the platform I don’t know. There is also support for some Renesas platforms , but not for the exact board CIP will be using.
Do we want to push Ti/Renesas to ensure there is full support for their boards upstream? When this is done do we pick the first version that includes this support to work with? Or do we just stick with the vendor provided forks?
Is there a particular feature set that CIP requires?
Forgive my random ramblings, I appreciate there are a lot of different questions here!
Kind regards, Chris
Agustin Benito Bethencourt <agustin.benito@...>
On 16/03/17 12:07, Chris Paterson wrote:
Hello all,Slightly related to this topic, Ben H. gave a talk/Q&A about hardware support in Debian Stable back in DebConf13
Agustin Benito Bethencourt
Principal Consultant - FOSS at Codethink
On 16.03.2017 13:07, Chris Paterson wrote:
Hello all,thanks for raising this question. The problem you describe does not just
exist for U-Boot, but also for many other components that we will be
I also assume that updating the bootloader is currently not required
for many appliances, so it suffices to ensure it is labelled properly
and can be (slt) re-produced for these cases.
However, things change when networking features of U-Boot come
into play. These are usually used during product development, but
I imagine that certain (IoT-class) devices will use such features more
in the future. For these cases, it would be desirable to have something
like a CIP standardised update process for the boot loader besides
a SLTS version. Do member companies plan to employ these features
for other than development/debugging purposes in the future?
If the boot loader is part of a secure/trusted boot scenario, the
ability to update U-Boot will also become more important, but that
depends on the threat models.
To me, it seems important to collect information from the members
on U-Boot use-cases, and then decide if and what further action is
necessary. For Siemens at least, I would not be able to come up with a
definitive set of requirements without asking around in the company.
Having upstream support for the HW components is a critical precondition
for me. CIP has committed to working with the upstream projects as
closely as possible, and maintaining code outside is usually a good
recipe for disaster... Unless there's a really compelling reason
for sticking with a vendor fork, which I cannot think of any in our
context, we should always start from the upstream projects.
Or, in other words: Companies should usually be pushed to bring their
changes upstream, I'm not aware of any case where this has created more
problems than it has solved issues.
that is something we would have to define. I again guess it makes sense
to collect configurations from products of the member companies, as the
in-company variability will already likely be substantial.
Best regards, Wolfgang
Ben Hutchings <ben.hutchings@...>
On Thu, 2017-03-16 at 12:07 +0000, Chris Paterson wrote:
I’m bringing a discussion I’ve started in other places here as it willThank you. I have limited knowledge of u-boot, but I did work on it
recently to add support for a new board.
Ideally CIP should choose a version of u-boot and use it whenWe should certainly pick one version for each reference board.
How we actively maintain that version (bug fixes/securityIf u-boot is configured to use network boot, or to require
authentication of its environment or boot images, or authentication to
interrupt boot (CONFIG_AUTOBOOT_KEYED=y), then it is sometimes handling
untrusted input and might need security updates. Otherwise it probably
It seems possible that some fixes might be needed to improve
reliability, e.g. if boot timing changes as hardware gets older.
How do we decide what u-boot version to support? Currently it looksI have a new BBB that came with 2015.10 installed. So we cannot be
certain that a particular model of board will always be shipped with the
and the Renesas platform is shipped with 2013.01. That said, it looksI don't have an opinion on whether CIP should provide support for
u-boot, beyond the testing it will get through booting each kernel to be
tested. If we do, I would prefer not to include vendor forks as this
could greatly increase the maintenance effort.
Is there a particular feature set that CIP requires?[...]
For testing purposes we will need at least an unauthenticated command
prompt (CONFIG_AUTOBOOT_KEYED=n), networking and TFTP support. That
probably isn't a complete list.
Software Developer, Codethink Ltd.
Hello all,toggle quoted message Show quoted text
I'd like to reach some conclusion on the discussion/policy about u-boot. We briefly spoke about it in the last TSC, and agreed to continue the discussion here.
As highlighted by Ben and Wolfgang, a policy should be driven by the use-case requirements from the member companies. Until more feedback comes in from the member companies, would it be an idea for me to draft an outline policy we can use to focus discussions? Sometimes it is easier to have a starting point to amend, rather than waffle aimlessly.
On a side note, I won't be able to attend the next TSC (Easter holidays), but please continue the discussion without me.
Kind regards, Chris
From: Ben Hutchings [mailto:ben.hutchings@...]
On 12.04.2017 10:34, Chris Paterson wrote:
Hello all,that's a good idea, thanks for pushing this forward. Discussions
are usually easier when there's some starting point. I'll try
to get some in-company requirements via our internal channels.
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