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Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Call for testers: gNewSense / MIPS almost complete

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Call for testers: gNewSense / MIPS almost complete
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 21:52:52 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090105)

Robert Millan schreef:

gNewSense for MIPS/Yeeloong is almost complete now.  What we have is:

  - A blob-free Linux image that works on the Yeeloong.

  - A port of D-I.

  - A set of changes that implement gNewSense branding/theming.

  - A set of APT archives that provide:
    - Lenny without the non-free packages (pruned-upstream)
    - Security support, again without the non-free bits 
    - An overlay with replacements for the non-free bits and/or branding stuff, 

A netboot image can be obtained from:


  - Put vmlinux and initrd.gz in a USB image (in the example I used ext2)

  - Get to pmon2000 prompt and type:

      load /dev/fs/address@hidden/vmlinux
      initrd /dev/fs/address@hidden/initrd.gz
      g console=tty no_auto_cmd

  - Follow installation process in D-I.

  - Once finished, your system can be boot with:

      load /dev/fs/address@hidden/boot/vmlinux-
      g console=tty no_auto_cmd root=/dev/hda3

    (assuming you installed to third partition of the internal
    disk, otherwise you'll have to change wd0c and hda3)

    And you can make this the default by setting "al" and "karg"

Some areas could need a bit more polish but everything is there already.
The system in my laptop now looks like gNewSense, walks like gNewSense and
smells like gNewSense.

I need people to help identify issues that need to be addressed.  Please
test the image above and report.  Thank you!

Hm, in the partitioning stage the installer tells me I should use "the old ext2 (revision 0) filesystem" (maybe same problem as Laurent Guerby). I go back and do that.

Then it says my boot partition should be the first primairy partition on the disk. I liked to keep what was on there, so I just continued. At the end it tries to get a file from the mirror server, but fails, so I choose "Ignore".

A bit later it says it failed to install 'colo' in /target/. Continuing.

Then it fails to execute preconfigured command ("echo do_symlinks = no > /target/etc/kernel-img.conf ; apt-install linux-image-2.6.27-libre-medan"). Next. Finished. Reboot.

PMON2000 still confuses me. I booted with wd0b and /dev/hda5. The latter makes sense because I created a logical partition, but how does that match with wd0b? Oh wait, I installed that Chinese Debian distro on /dev/hda3 and that has vmlinux- I'd still say b!=3. My new install on /dev/hda5 on the other hand has no kernels. /boot contains default.colo and delo.2nd.

Anyway, it boots into a console and I can log in. Yay! What I can't do is "sudo" and I was never asked to set a password for root.

And that concludes the story of my experiences with Robert's netboot. I hope it will prove useful. Join us next time for more exciting gNewSense hacking. (Seriously, join us!) Goodnight.

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