May 30, 2007


Due to the increasing amount of spam comments, I have turned on the moderation. Sorry for inconvenience.

May 17, 2007

AROS ISO with USB built-in


If you would like to test AROS with USB stack built into kernel (no need to manually start or load the stack), download the following link. The md5 sum of this file:

4a6c45111e87e4bc79f6d397b01ad953 aros.iso.bz2

Boot your machine and use your USB mouse and keyboard regardless of the USB host controller of your PC. Be careful - this build sends tons of debug over the serial line (COM2 port). Have fun :)

PS. I have updated the iso. Now the OHCI driver should be less noisy and handle Reset signals on USB ports properly.


May 15, 2007

USB enters beta, OHCI driver comitted

Hello there ;)

Last few weeks were horrible. Tons of important things to do in my private life, at my work and here, with AROS (The AROS Research Operating System :)). That was the reason for no posts for a really long time. When I had time for AROS, I was fighting with strange behavior of my UHCI driver with hardware I own. It seemed to me that some devices are refusing to talk with the driver at all, namely the mass storage ones. I do know that I have not written the driver yet, but the base USBDevice class should be able to initialize them at least.

The reason was very simple. The beloved BIOS support and the presence of USB2.0 controller (namely the EHCI) in my system. The EHCI may route some USB ports to legacy UHCI/OHCI hardware, but it doesn't have to. A small EHCI driver I wrote fixes this problem - it resets the EHCI controller and routes all USB ports to the USB1.1 legacy. Now (and after proper BIOS-handoff procedure required to switch the USB legacy support from BIOS off) I may fully use the UHCI driver and hot-plugging is working as expected.

Tonight I have committed the first version of the OHCI driver - it was pre-alpha unstable and non-working release at 9 PM, but I have successfully fixed it by midnight ;). The release which will come to the nightly build is still very noisy, but works. It was really a pleasure to see that my USB devices work on my wife's PC, with OHCI hardware :).

Let me tell you what works and what doesn't. The current USB stack should work properly on all machines containing USB1.1 UHCI and OHCI controllers. Even if you have USB2.0 onboard, you will be able to use USB1.1 mode only. Sorry for that. The USB2.0 EHCI driver will come, but I cannot tell when exactly. The drivers are able to do control and interrupt transfers. Bulk transfers will be easily added soon, but isochronous ones will have to wait a while - until I write a driver for USB device requiring them. Hot-plugging is working of course - without that USB makes no sense for me ;). There is one USB class for devices now - the HID class. It handles successfully USB mice, keyboards (without special keys which are not handled by AROS anyway) and some (perhaps all) tablets already. The command line/GUI tools are still missing. I plan to add some PCITool-like application.

USB stack enters beta stage now. I will hunt for bugs and improve the code. It still needs some semaphore locking here and there.

Anyway, have fun :)


May 2, 2007

Nick Andrews Interview

Paul J. Beel did it again :) This time, you may read a very interesting interview with Kalamatee here.