On May 2, 2006, at 1:44 PM, Erik D. Rodriguez wrote:

I noticed that the Release version on my day old gumstix is 773. I installed the r773 version of Buildroot and everything works well. So, my questions are: Are there any advantages to upgrading to the most current? Is it easy to do, or do the instructions online appear to be accurately complex?

There are lots of bugfixes in the current HEAD of the buildroot, relative to r773.  But the HEAD of the buildroot is a "development" branch; I am working fairly hard with high priority right now on stabilizing the buildroot so that I can generate a new set of official binary releases, which will both be the new shipping "factory" software install, but will also be more easy for folks to upgrade to themselves.  That is, I'll post new u-boot and rootfs binaries to sf.net once I've at that "stable" point.  I expect that this will happen in the next week or so.

You may well find that the easiest thing to do if you're doing software development on the gumstix platform right now, is to actually rebuild the rootfs, and update your gumstix to the current HEAD -- pretty much everything is now working well, and you'll avoid the problem with r773 where the cotents of the buildroot are starting to get pretty out-of-date relative to the currently released versions of all the various packages.  In particular, the 2.6.11 kernel which is in r773 is now really quite old, and has a lot of deprecated stuff in it which shouldn't really be used as the basis of new product development.  Add to that the fact that binaries built with the uclibc which is in HEAD right now won't run on r773 due to uclibc changes, and you're limiting your forward-compatibility somewhat by using r773 as a base.

As far as the upgrade process right now to get your r773 gumstix up to HEAD (r974), here's the short script version (reference the wiki for more details on any step):

1. Check out the buildroot from svn, or svn update if you already have r773
2. In the buildroot directory, rm -rf toolchain_build* build*
3. make
4. Go get coffee
5. You'll now have u-boot.bin and rootfs.arm_nopu.jffs2 images in your buildroot directory.
6. Install the rootfs on your gumstix, following the wiki instructions
7. Before you try and boot the new rootfs, modify the u-boot "bootargs" variable to use root=1f01 instead of root=1f02 (the other bootargs args stay the same as the were).  "saveenv" in u-boot to persist this change to flash.
8. You can now boot this gumstix, and everything should work pretty good.

You shouldn't need to update u-boot to a more recent version (other than changing the bootargs variable), unless you have an older gumstix; there are one or two bugfixes in later u-boots, but nothing earth-shatteringly important.  If you do want to upgrade u-boot, then use the binary from sf.net and repeat the bootargs change; if you feel you know what you're doing, then you can use your own built u-boot.bin, but I don't think it's actually changed at all other than the root=1f01 being compiled in instead of needing to be set and saved.