Linux for 680x0 based VME boards



Cold news

1st September 2000: Added a diff between Linus' 2.2.10 and a fully patched Debian woody 2.2.10 tree.

22nd August 2000: Updated MVME147 install guide, as Nick Holgate has built a proper Debian install package.

21st August 2000: Updated io.c with lots of new features.

28th July 2000: Significant updates relating to Debian 2.2 install on MVME147 boards.

For those of you who havn't noticed yet, Debian now includes support for MVME16x, MVME17x, and BVM boards. This means you shouldn't normally need to download things from here any more - kernel images, vmelilo, tftplilo, etc are all available from Debian CDs or FTP sites.

The very first thing you should do is find debian/dists/potato/main/disks-m68k/current/mvme16x/install.txt on your local Debian mirror, and read it carefully.


The following might be of interest to some people. I now work for Linuxcare, so, if you have funding for Linux related developments (ports to other CPU boards, drivers for I/O cards, etc), please get in touch with me. If you don't have funding, get in touch anyway - I'm still doing this stuff for fun as well, and would like to expand the list of supported VME hardware.

For those with time to waste, you can find some pictures of me here ;-)


Welcome to the home page for the Linux port for various 680x0 based VME boards. Currently there are ports for Motorola boards (MVME147, MVME162, MVME166, MVME167, MVME172, MVME177), BVM boards (BVME4000 and BVME6000), and the Tadpole TP34V. The BVM board is similar to an MVME162; typical configuration for one of these boards is as follows:

If you would like Linux to run on some other VME board, and can supply a board and technical documentation, please get in touch. I am also available through Linuxcare (my employer) to undertake various developments - mail me if you are interested.

If you want to know a little more about these boards, you could try looking under 'products' on the Motorola support pages. The BVM web site is http://www.bvmltd.co.uk. BVM supplied me with the BVME6000 card so that I could do the port, and Nick Holgate at BVM has done some excellent work on the VMELILO and TFTPLILO packages, which supports both BVM and Motorola boards. Nick was also the driving force behind adding VME support to the Debian distribution. My main development system is a BVME6000 board with 32MB of DRAM, and a 3 GB disk.

Many MVME162 boards are fitted with a 68LC040 CPU, which does not have an on-chip FPU. Most of the kernels available here include FPU emulation. I used to use a port of the *BSD emulator, but that has been replaced with a newly devloped emulator in 2.3 and ater kernels. Debian 2.2 kernels also include that emulator.

I first started this port on a 0.99 kernel, and now support kernels from 2.0.xx. For 2.0.xx I supply four different kernel images, one each for the MVME147, MVME162, MVME166/MVME167 and the BVME4000/BVME6000. Note though, that you should really use the Debian kernels these days (except for MVME147, which Debian does not support). For 2.2.xx I supply just one kernel image which, if correctly configured, will boot on any of the supported boards (seperate kernel for the MVME147, at the moment).

If you install linux on a VME board today you should use a current Debian 2.x Linux distribution. For the MVME147 you should use the install package Nick Holgate created, as detailed in the appropriate README below.

The port was heavily based on the Linux port for the Atari and Amiga machines, and probably would never have happened without such a good base to start from - thanks guys.


Files specific to the Tadpole TP34V port are available here.

Files for the other ports available are:


Please note that many of these files are compressed with gzip. If you just click the links under your web browser, it may dump the (possibly uncompressed) files in your browser window. Mosaic has a 'save to file' option, and for Netscape you can use <shift>-<click> to get a 'save to file' dialog box. You should also ensure that you do binary transfers for these files. A few people have reported problems with apparently corrupt gzip files. These 'problems' have always been found to be as a result of an ascii transfer, converting LF to CR/LF.


Old stuff:


Other useful notes:

Nick Holgate has produced a version of LILO for diskless systems called tftplilo. This gives you all the facilities of LILO, but using a configurtion file, kernels, ramdisk images, etc, on your tftp server rather than on a local disk.

The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France is using linux/m68k on MVME16x boards; look here for more details. They have a mail list for discussing the use of Linux in embedded comtrollers here, and have made version 1.0.0 of the E.S.R.F. OMS VME-58/PC-68 device driver available on their FTP site, here.


Other useful links:


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Please let me know if you make use of these ports.

Linux for 680x0 based VME boards
richard@sleepie.demon.co.uk