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Advice on getting Debian working

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  • David Given
    ... Hash: SHA1 I m trying to install little-endian Debian on my unmodified NSLU2, based on the images available from http://www.slug-firmware.net. What I m
    Message 1 of 11 , May 4, 2006
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      I'm trying to install little-endian Debian on my unmodified NSLU2, based on
      the images available from http://www.slug-firmware.net

      What I'm finding is that while the OpenSlung image Just Works, the Debian
      image seems to do nothing at all. Because OpenSlung works, I'm pretty sure
      that the network settings are correct; but Debian just appears never to come
      to life. I've waited about twenty minutes, but the device never even starts
      responding to ARP requests.

      (I'm aware that the Debian image's kernel doesn't flash LEDs or beep.)

      Does the Debian image load the driver for the built-in ethernet automatically,
      or is it expecting me to log in via a USB ethernet widget and load it manually?

      Installing armeb Debian via OpenSlung seems to work fine, and so if I really
      have to I can use that, but I'd very much rather run the stock little-endian
      version. Any suggestions?

      - --
      +- David Given --McQ-+ "If you're up against someone more intelligent
      | dg@... | than you are, do something insane and let him think
      | (dg@...) | himself to death." --- Pyanfar Chanur
      +- www.cowlark.com --+
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    • Wouter Rijkhoff
      David, please read on in this maillinglist. I got the same result as you. Goto the wiki and search for resetsysconf. That is the sollution. Than also
      Message 2 of 11 , May 5, 2006
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        David, please read on in this maillinglist.
        I got the same result as you.
        Goto the wiki and search for resetsysconf.
        That is the sollution.

        Than also debianslug just works fine.


        Greetings,

        Wouter


        -----Original Message-----
        From: "David Given" <dg@...>
        To: nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: 5-5-06 00:37
        Subject: [nslu2-linux] Advice on getting Debian working

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        I'm trying to install little-endian Debian on my unmodified NSLU2, based on
        the images available from http://www.slug-firmware.net

        What I'm finding is that while the OpenSlung image Just Works, the Debian
        image seems to do nothing at all. Because OpenSlung works, I'm pretty sure
        that the network settings are correct; but Debian just appears never to come
        to life. I've waited about twenty minutes, but the device never even starts
        responding to ARP requests.

        (I'm aware that the Debian image's kernel doesn't flash LEDs or beep.)

        Does the Debian image load the driver for the built-in ethernet automatically,
        or is it expecting me to log in via a USB ethernet widget and load it manually?

        Installing armeb Debian via OpenSlung seems to work fine, and so if I really
        have to I can use that, but I'd very much rather run the stock little-endian
        version. Any suggestions?

        - --
        +- David Given --McQ-+ "If you're up against someone more intelligent
        | dg@... | than you are, do something insane and let him think
        | (dg@...) | himself to death." --- Pyanfar Chanur
        +- www.cowlark.com --+
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      • Martin Michlmayr
        ... That doesn t mean anything. What is your network configuration like? Static IP or DHCP? ... Yes. -- Martin Michlmayr http://www.cyrius.com/
        Message 3 of 11 , May 5, 2006
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          * David Given <dg@...> [2006-05-04 23:37]:
          > What I'm finding is that while the OpenSlung image Just Works, the
          > Debian image seems to do nothing at all. Because OpenSlung works,
          > I'm pretty sure that the network settings are correct;

          That doesn't mean anything. What is your network configuration like?
          Static IP or DHCP?

          > Does the Debian image load the driver for the built-in ethernet automatically,

          Yes.
          --
          Martin Michlmayr
          http://www.cyrius.com/
        • David
          ... [...] ... Thanks, but why would that help? As far as I know, the networking settings are all correct (because OpenSlug works). Does Debian use a different
          Message 4 of 11 , May 5, 2006
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            --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Wouter Rijkhoff <wouter@...> wrote:
            [...]
            > David, please read on in this maillinglist.
            > I got the same result as you.
            > Goto the wiki and search for resetsysconf.
            > That is the sollution.

            Thanks, but why would that help? As far as I know, the networking
            settings are all correct (because OpenSlug works). Does Debian use a
            different mechanism for determining the network settings?
          • Martin Michlmayr
            ... Yeah, but please save a copy of your sysconf partition (/dev/mtdblock1) before running resetsysconf. In case it works after running resetsysconf, that
            Message 5 of 11 , May 5, 2006
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              * David <dg@...> [2006-05-05 13:34]:
              > > David, please read on in this maillinglist.
              > > I got the same result as you.
              > > Goto the wiki and search for resetsysconf.
              > > That is the sollution.
              >
              > Thanks, but why would that help? As far as I know, the networking
              > settings are all correct (because OpenSlug works). Does Debian use a
              > different mechanism for determining the network settings?

              Yeah, but please save a copy of your sysconf partition
              (/dev/mtdblock1) before running resetsysconf. In case it works after
              running resetsysconf, that will allow me to debug the problem.

              --
              Martin Michlmayr
              http://www.cyrius.com/
            • David Given
              ... Hash: SHA1 Martin Michlmayr wrote: [...] ... Problem solved, without needing resetsysconf; it turned out that it was the bug that means that if you don t
              Message 6 of 11 , May 6, 2006
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                Martin Michlmayr wrote:
                [...]
                > Yeah, but please save a copy of your sysconf partition
                > (/dev/mtdblock1) before running resetsysconf. In case it works after
                > running resetsysconf, that will allow me to debug the problem.

                Problem solved, without needing resetsysconf; it turned out that it was the
                bug that means that if you don't configure *all* the networking parameters,
                then the Debian networking won't start up. (I'd missed the DNS settings.) So I
                know have it all working fine.

                Next problem, though: I'd rather like to rebuild my kernel (in order to change
                drivers). Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any information about what
                kernel.conf to use, what patches I need to apply, how to build a firmware
                image, how to integrate the built-in ethernet driver, etc --- can anyone
                supply any pointers? All I can find are references to MasterMakefile, which is
                almost certainly not what I want (because I'm not cross compiling and I only
                want to rebuild the kernel, not userland as well); and the 'source' link on
                www.slug-firmware.net simply points at the vanilla debian-installer source,
                which is not helpful.

                BTW, for some bizarre reason Yahoo is only occasionally sending my email from
                the list; would people mind ccing me so that I get the replies without having
                to use their ghastly web interface, please? No, I don't know what's going on...

                - --
                +- David Given --McQ-+ "If you're up against someone more intelligent
                | dg@... | than you are, do something insane and let him think
                | (dg@...) | himself to death." --- Pyanfar Chanur
                +- www.cowlark.com --+
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              • Martin Michlmayr
                ... That s not the same bug, and hardly a bug at all - although it s a feature request. Unlike the netmask (which can be figured out automatically), the
                Message 7 of 11 , May 6, 2006
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                  * David Given <dg@...> [2006-05-06 12:56]:
                  > > Yeah, but please save a copy of your sysconf partition
                  > > (/dev/mtdblock1) before running resetsysconf. In case it works after
                  > > running resetsysconf, that will allow me to debug the problem.

                  That's not the same bug, and hardly a bug at all - although it's a
                  feature request. Unlike the netmask (which can be figured out
                  automatically), the installer really needs DNS, otherwise it won't be
                  able to download packages. However, it would be nice if we could
                  configure a basic network that'll allow you to log in remotely and
                  then configure more details, such as DNS.
                  --
                  Martin Michlmayr
                  http://www.cyrius.com/
                • Martin Michlmayr
                  ... You can find the config in /boot/config*. The source package is called linux-2.6. I posted rough (incomplete) instructions at
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 6, 2006
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                    * David Given <dg@...> [2006-05-06 12:56]:
                    > Next problem, though: I'd rather like to rebuild my kernel (in order
                    > to change drivers). Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any
                    > information about what kernel.conf to use, what patches I need to
                    > apply, how to build a firmware image, how to integrate the built-in
                    > ethernet driver, etc --- can anyone

                    You can find the config in /boot/config*. The source package is
                    called linux-2.6.

                    I posted rough (incomplete) instructions at
                    http://lists.debian.org/debian-arm/2006/05/msg00020.html but I really
                    don't have time to document it fully.

                    Please tell me which options do you need enabled and I'll change the
                    main config file in Debian.
                    --
                    Martin Michlmayr
                    http://www.cyrius.com/
                  • David Given
                    ... Hash: SHA1 Martin Michlmayr wrote: [...] ... [...] ... Actually, haven since taken apart debian-sda1.bin and studied the ramdisk, I realised that the boot
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 6, 2006
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                      Martin Michlmayr wrote:
                      [...]
                      > You can find the config in /boot/config*. The source package is
                      > called linux-2.6.
                      [...]
                      > Please tell me which options do you need enabled and I'll change the
                      > main config file in Debian.

                      Actually, haven since taken apart debian-sda1.bin and studied the ramdisk, I
                      realised that the boot process is significantly more complex than I originally
                      thought; so I'll stick with the prebuilt firmware for the time being (the main
                      reason I wanted a new kernel was so I could use ReiserFS instead of ext3, and
                      it turns out that your firmware supports this).

                      [studies the config file]

                      Aha! It already supports iptables, which is the other big thing I wanted. This
                      means that my requirement for rebuilding the kernel has pretty much gone away,
                      although eventually it'd be nice to have a custom kernel to save space.

                      A few minor notes:

                      a) where's the LED driver? sys/class/leds doesn't exist.

                      b) the full set of modules don't seem to come with the Debian installation; I
                      had to pull the ramdisk off the flash, unpack it, and copy them out of there.

                      c) I tried JFS. Kernel panic (as far as I can tell without serial, I got a
                      segmentation fault and the system froze).

                      d) when I use slugimage to unpack some firmware, and supply -l to tell it to
                      byte-swap the kernel and ramdisk, it doesn't.

                      Other than that, it's all looking good. It's a bit chuggy when running a
                      reasonable set of servers, but given that it has no moving parts and is
                      smaller than the hard drive it's attached to, I'm quite happy to live with that...

                      - --
                      +- David Given --McQ-+ "If you're up against someone more intelligent
                      | dg@... | than you are, do something insane and let him think
                      | (dg@...) | himself to death." --- Pyanfar Chanur
                      +- www.cowlark.com --+
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                    • Martin Michlmayr
                      ... LEDs aren t supported currently in Debian. It will be in 2.6.17. ... They should be installed already but if not do a: apt-get install linux-image-nslu2
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 6, 2006
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                        * David Given <dg@...> [2006-05-06 21:40]:
                        > a) where's the LED driver? sys/class/leds doesn't exist.

                        LEDs aren't supported currently in Debian. It will be in 2.6.17.

                        > b) the full set of modules don't seem to come with the Debian
                        > installation; I had to pull the ramdisk off the flash, unpack it,
                        > and copy them out of there.

                        They should be installed already but if not do a:
                        apt-get install linux-image-nslu2

                        > c) I tried JFS. Kernel panic (as far as I can tell without serial, I
                        > got a segmentation fault and the system froze).

                        Maybe JFS on ARM doesn't work? I don't know.
                        --
                        Martin Michlmayr
                        http://www.cyrius.com/
                      • Martin Michlmayr
                        ... You ll always need DNS, but one bug related to network parameters has been fixed in the meantime. ... MasterMakerfile is a NSLU2-Linux thing and I m not
                        Message 11 of 11 , Nov 4, 2006
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                          * David Given <dg@...> [2006-05-06 12:56]:
                          > bug that means that if you don't configure *all* the networking
                          > parameters, then the Debian networking won't start up. (I'd missed
                          > the DNS settings.) So I know have it all working fine.

                          You'll always need DNS, but one bug related to network parameters has
                          been fixed in the meantime.

                          > Next problem, though: I'd rather like to rebuild my kernel (in order
                          > to change drivers). Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any
                          > information about what kernel.conf to use, what patches I need to
                          > apply, how to build a firmware image, how to integrate the built-in
                          > ethernet driver, etc --- can anyone supply any pointers? All I can
                          > find are references to MasterMakefile, which is almost certainly not

                          MasterMakerfile is a NSLU2-Linux thing and I'm not sure whether it
                          applies to Debian.

                          With Debian, you basically need to download the linux-2.6 source
                          package and install the build-dependencies (apt-get source linux-2.6;
                          sudo apt-get build-dep linux-2.6). Then edit
                          debian/arch/arm/config.ixp4xx and also edit debian/arch/arm/defines
                          and uncomment all flavours except for ixp4xx. Then compile and when
                          it's done, install the linux-kernel*.deb file - it will automatically
                          be written to flash. (Assuming you've first upgraded to 2.6.17 using
                          the instructions from http://www.cyrius.com/debian/nslu2/upgrade.html)

                          However, I suggest an easier way: tell me what modules you need and
                          I'll enable them.
                          --
                          Martin Michlmayr
                          http://www.cyrius.com/
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