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AOSC OS/Retro: An Introduction to Users and Maintainers

Enjoying AOSC OS on Your Retro Devices

Now that we have introduced our rationale to maintaining a Retro branch for AOSC OS (we will now refer to this as AOSC OS/Retro), this page will serve as an introduction to our design specifications and goals in maintaining this branch.

Specifications§

In terms of end-user experience and management characteristics, AOSC OS/Retro is a standard AOSC OS distribution. However, changes are made in terms of dependencies, features, and maintenance schedules. In brief, AOSC OS/Retro will...

Now, we will present the commonalities and differences in detail.

Target Hardware§

AOSC OS/Retro currently support the following processing architectures and devices...

ArchitectureTypical Devices
ARMv4, soft float with no Thumb supportHP Jornada 710/720/728/820, etc.
ARMv6, hard floatRaspberry Pi 1, etc.
ARMv7, hard float with NEON SIMD supportRaspberry Pi 2, etc.
Intel 80486 compatible or above (i486)IBM Palm Top PC110, Toshiba Satellite 430CDT, Dell Latitude CPi, Asus EeePC 901 etc.
Loongson 2F (loongson2f)Lemote YeeLoong 8089B/D, etc.
PowerPC G3 and above, 32-bit big endian (powerpc)Apple iBook G3, Apple iMac G4, etc.
PowerPC G5 and above, 64-bit big endain (ppc64)Apple PowerMac G5, IBM eServer pSeries 610, etc.

Common Components and Tools§

As AOSC OS/Retro is not a fork but a branch of the mainline AOSC OS distribution, it will share not only the package tree, but also the Core and the maintenance tools as the mainline...

Dependencies§

As AOSC OS/Retro targets storage and performance constraint devices, unlike its mainline counterpart, AOSC OS/Retro will ship packages with minimal optional feature enabled. Listed below are a few general rules to be followed...

Distribution Features§

AOSC OS/Retro will ship in several flavours, Base, X11, Server, and Trinity. All flavours will come fully localised (once locale is enabled by the end-user) as well as a generic, non-optimised Linux Kernel for each architecture.

Extra packages, such as Firefox and more feature-complete desktop environments will be available from the community repository, however, hardware requirement checks will be enforced based on processor and memory installed on your AOSC OS/Retro device (i.e., package installation will be aborted when attempting to install Firefox on a computer without SSE2 SIMD support).

Maintenance Schedules§

AOSC OS/Retro will be maintained on the retro branch, sharing the same package tree with the mainline distribution. However, in interest of both the maintainer's reasonable maintenance effort, as well as the longevity and usability of the target devices, AOSC OS/Retro will update on an annual schedule.

After the first update cycle of a year, the retro branch will perform a dual-direction merge with the stable branch from the mainline distribution (stable => retro, then retro => stable). After which, no further merge or reverse merge will be allowed. Package versions in the retro branch will remain constant unless...

At the end of each annual cycle, a new distribution tarball will be made available on the downloads page, as well as an update CD image containing a local repository containing all system updates. A full AOSC OS/Retro repository will also be provided in forms of a tarball or a set of CD/DVD image.

Goals§

AOSC OS/Retro will be maintained with a few goals in mind, relating to system performance, storage requirements, and peripheral support. This chapter will also serve to outline AOSC OS/Retro's system requirements.

This chapter will then be split into sections, containing requirements and metrics shared and specific to each of our target architectures.

Common Metrics§

System Requirements§

General Advise§

In order to ensure an acceptable and productive AOSC OS/Retro experience, we recommend the following when considering installation of AOSC OS/Retro on your devices:

x86/i486 Systems§

On the 32-bit x86 architecture, AOSC OS/Retro Base and Server requires the following system components...

AOSC OS/Retro X11 requires the following system components...

AOSC OS/Retro Trinity requires the following system components...

PowerPC Systems§

All AOSC OS/Retro flavours should run on all supported devices on this architecture - that is, PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh computers with New World ROM support. If you would like to run Trinity Desktop Environment on your PowerPC devices, you are advised to have at least 256MiB of RAM installed.

For storage requirements, you may refer to the x86 section above.

Loongson 2F Systems§

All AOSC OS/Retro flavours should run reasonably well on Loongson 2F-based devices (with performance close to an Intel Pentium III Coppermine). Currently, we only support the Lemote YeeLoong 8089 family of laptops.

For storage requirements, you may refer to the x86 section above.

ARMv4 Systems§

For ARMv4, AOSC OS/Retro supports a limited range of devices. Specifically the HP Jornada 710/720/728/820 Windows CE handheld computers. AOSC OS/Retro Base and Server should run on any of the supported devices with their standard RAM capacity (32MiB or 64MiB), X11 requires that you install a 64MiB RAM capacity ROM card to ensure acceptable performance. Trinity Desktop Environment is not supported, for obvious performance reasons.

For storage requirements, you may refer to the x86 section above.

ARMv6 Systems§

For ARMv6, AOSC OS/Retro currently support only the Raspberry Pi 1 models with 256MiB - 512MiB of RAM. All AOSC OS/Retro flavours should run reasonably well on these devices.

For storage requirements, you may refer to the x86 section above.

ARMv7 Systems§

For ARMv7, AOSC OS/Retro currently support only the Raspberry Pi 2 models, with Allwinner device support planned. All AOSC OS/Retro flavours should run reasonably well on these devices.

For storage requirements, you may refer to the x86 section above.