Josua - arm tier 1? how to approach it

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Hi there,

First a disclosure:
I am affiliated with the company SolidRun Ltd, as you can see in the
from address of this email; And maybe more important my arm board park
is sponsored by them! However with the exception of the SolidRun wiki
page, everything below is done in my free-time and not payed for.

A few episodes back I was delighted to hear that supporting the
macchiatobin as a tier-1 platform is a goal.
I have taken some personal interest in running freebsd on some of my arm
boards which happen to be mostly by SolidRun.
Sadly I was always stopped in my tracks: After building freebsd from
source, and making a bootable microSD image, I did never figure out how
to run the resulting system as a production machine. This is mostly
because I could not figure out how I was supposed to build, test and
finally deploy updates.

It appears to me that all that infrastructure relies on making arm a
tier-1 platform.
I now have 2 32 bit arm boards that can run freebsd, thanks to the work
of Semihalf in Poland.
In addition I have integrated the bits into crouton for building
bootable sdcard images for both!

And now I don't know what to do for pushing things forward.
I am hesitant doing anything productive with these boards without a good
update mechanism.
A friend of mine has the same hesitation for her armv6 based
raspberrypi. She wanted to put freebsd on it, but was put off just like
myself from using it for anything serious.

Maybe you know a way to raise interest here, or find the right people?
Please note that I am not a freebsd user, or see myself as part of the
freebsd community.
I spend my life on Linux, and currently consider freebsd for two
embedded use-cases, namely router and nas.

Things I would be willing to contribute:
- regularly test freebsd builds on my devices to help decide if said
build can be published as an update
- offer regular sdcard images built from source
- maybe other things? I really don't know what would help the goal.

best regards
Josua Mayer

Please see below for the devices I work with and what has already been

1. SolidRun Clearfog
- supported by semihalf and stormshield since 319914:
- instructions for building from source:
- U-Boot sources available, based on 2018.01:

2. Helios4 NAS (by Kobol Innovations Pte. Ltd.)
- not explicitly supported in FreeBSD. However apart from circuit layout
and assembled connectors it is identical to the Clearfog.
  It turns out that with the right DTB it just works flawlessly!
- instructions for building with crouton (as written by myself):
- my crouton fork for both helios4 and clearfog:
- U-Boot sources available based on 2013.01:
  Yes it is old, but it works. And I believe there are efforts to add
support in mainline U-Boot
- Can boot from SPI flash --> u-boot not needed as part of sdcard images!

3. I am sure raspberrypi, beaglebone and others also tick enough boxes
to be usable with freebsd if we can figure out updating.
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