About RedSleeve Linux

RedSleeve Linux is a 3rd party ARM port of a Linux distribution of a Prominent North American Enterprise Linux Vendor (PNAELV). They object to being referred to by name in the context of clones and ports of their distribution, but if you are aware of CentOS and Scientific Linux, you can probably guess what RedSleeve is based on.

RedSleeve is different from CentOS and Scientific Linux in that it isn’t a mere clone of the upstream distribution it is based on – it is a port to a new platform, since the upstream distribution does not include a version for ARM.

The reason RedSleeve was created is because ARM is making inroads into mainstream computing, and although Fedora has supported ARM for a while, it is a bleeding edge distribution that puts the emphasis on keeping up with the latest developments, rather than long term support and stability. This was not an acceptable solution for the people behind this project, so we set out to instead port a distribution that puts more emphasis on long term stability and support.

The initial RedSleeve release has been brought to you by
Gordan Bobic
and
Donald Gullet.
RedSleeve re-branding artwork is by
Giles Meakin.

The initial EPEL repository build was contributed by Michael Lang.

13 thoughts on “About RedSleeve Linux

  1. Pingback: CentOS for ARM | CentOS FAQs

  2. Do you support Genesi? I’m considering getting a Genesi smartbook but I am not sure if the distribution is good enough. Knowing I have a backup would definitely be a good thing.

    • The userspace should run just fine on the Genesi Efika MX Smartbook. I don’t have a kernel for it, but you can use the kernel they ship with it, just copy it over to wherever you extract the RedSleeve rootfs.

      You may also want to consdier a Toshiba AC100. I have written about both at some length on my technical blog, including things like screen upgrades to something more usable than 1024×600.

    • Yes, the rootfs will run on all ARMv5 and later processors. Allwinner A10 is ARMv7m so it should work fine. You just need to build a suitable kernel for your board.

    • It will be supported when/if the upstream distribution updates the toolchain to a version that supports ARMv8. Currently that is not the case. If ARMv8 is backward compatible, the current build of RedSleeve should run on it. Of course, if the platform vendor is willing to provide the patches required for the kernel and toolchain, as well as a testing machine, I would be more than happy to work on building an ARMv8 version of RedSleeve.

  3. You discuss installing by copying the kernel, I am new to ARM systems and will be receiving a Trim-Slice Pro dev kit in the next week and a Raspberry Pi by August at the latest. Now I am curious as to the process involved in this as I am a Fedora and CentOS user and would love to be able to use a similar system. Aside from that best of luck with advancing the project, I would be interested in helping if you can build a community for it.

    • In a nutshell – you extract the rootfs tar ball onto whatever media you are going to use in your ARM device (e.g. a SD card, USB stick, or even a SATA disk), and copy the kernel related files on top. This means at least /lib/modules and /lib/firmware, and depending on your boot loader, the kernel image files. I haven’t had a chance to play with my TrimSlice much yet, but assuming it is anything like a Toshiba AC100 (also based on Tegra2), you should be able to keep the existing boot image partition as is. If it is using aboot, the aboot kernel image contains the kernel and the initrd. The installation process is essentially identical to the one used by the ARM version of Fedora.

  4. As someone who is new to ARM devices, do you happen to have a howto for getting this to work on, lessay a Dreamplug, for example?

    • This is the sort of question that should go to the mailing list.
      The installation procedure is exactly the same as Fedora.
      As a general overview: Create partitions (at least root, optionally swap), extract the rootfs tar ball to the root file system you just created on the SD card. Check that etc/fstab fits the device you will be booting from (IIRC on the DreamPlug, both SD cards show up as USB disks, i.e. sda and sdb). Copy the contents of /lib/modules and /lib/firmware from the file system the DP ships with to the new rootfs. Insert the SD card into the DreamPlug, and connect the console. Get into uboot and change the parameters that set the root file system (root= parameter). Save the paramters, and it should boot the new userspace with the old kernel.
      I will put together some documentation on the wiki in the near future about how to install RedSleeve onto the popular devices.

  5. Pingback: RedSleeve does RHEL-ish clone for ARM | UnixProfs

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