Which ARM Linux "distro"?

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I'm currently running ARM Linux on an SA-1100 platform and to date I've been using stock 2.6 series kernels and Nico's ramdisk_ks with lots of success. However, I'd like to move to a more modern "distro" with recent tools and root file system structure. I did look at the Wearable Group's ramdisk but that's pretty long in the tooth as well. Does anyone have any suggestions? It doesn't have to be ramdisk based and I'm flexible on the hardware platform.

I've been able to run OpenZaurus/OpenEmbedded built kernels and images with considerable success, but booting the OPIE desktop adds a lot of bloat. This is fine when I want a PDA desktop, but often I'm just testing or doing command-line stuff and don't need the GUI at all. Also I don't want to be stuck forever with the archaic 2.4.18 kernel used on the Zaurus.

What I'm looking for is a simple modern ARM distro which I can run more like a (headless) server. There's Debian for ARM but that doesn't seem to be so active these days. I could also start from the Netwinder distribution though that platform also seems rather dated now.

I'm wondering whether to go with the GumStix software distributions from www.gumstix.org. The advantages are that its reasonably up to date and actively maintained. But I'd prefer something that was based on RPM/APT (or something similar) with a decent library of pre-built software, rather than just a collection of files randomly thrown into a root file system. Also I'm not sure if I'll have to upgrade to a PXA-series processor to run the gumstix software or whether there's sufficient ARM user-land binary compatibility to run it on an old SA-1100. Of course I can download the sources and rebuild everything if it comes to, or upgrade my platform to PXA (which is overdue really).

There are plenty of choices. I'd really appreciate some ideas and advice. Thanks!

Mark.
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mark@xxxxxxxxxxx


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