[pkg-fso-maint] d-i installation on embedded devices (was Re: MTD Installation)
avtobiff at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 13:53:41 UTC 2009
On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Luca Capello <luca at pca.it> wrote:
>> 2009/3/25 Joachim Breitner <nomeata at debian.org>:
>>>> Maybe some other thread discusses this already,
>>>> but why don't you use d-i for installation?
>>> Simplicity. We wanted to get started as fast as possible. But given the
>>> ever increasing complexity of install.sh, this should be the goal, yet.
>>>> Could porting d-i to GTA02 (and GTA01 but I don't
>>>> have one of those) be worth doing as a GSoC project?
> For anyone working on/for the pkg-fso, thanks to Arne Anka  I can
> borrow/offer a GTA01 (if needed the full development kit, i.e. with a
> debug board as well). Since I was in contact with people interested to
> sell their GTA01, I can also find more than one device, if needed. This
> is *only* for Debian-related work, in any field (e.g. X11, ALSA, GPS,
> etc.) and not only for d-i.
Cool, a d-i knowledgable person (willing to mentor)
could borrow a handset then.
>>> Quite possible – please raise that idea on the pkg-fso-maint list. Some
>>> others have expressed interested in trying to port d-i to the FreeRunner
>>> (Steffen Moeller, IIRC). He’s subscribed to the list.
> I am interested as well, and this is one of the first item in my pkg-fso
> ToDo list, it seems that other stuff (kernel, bug fixing and so on) is
> keeping me away from it.
I am not speaking to deaf ears then, good. :-)
>>> Do you know any d-i knowledgeable person that has a FreeRunner and would
>>> be able to mentor this project?
>> @debian-boot: Anyone up for this?
> NB, I have no knowledge at all WRT how the GSoC work, but I am not sure
> we can still change the different projects we submitted.
Any proposal is accepted and then ranked on after
proposal deadlines. No projects are written in stone
until after the proposal deadline. (Proposal deadline
is 3 April IIRC.)
> In any case, I think that the MTD project should still have an higher
> priority, because:
> - its use is wider (e.g. for NAS devices)
> - it involves more people (not only the pkg-fso crew), thus it is
> probably easier to have advices
I agree with both points, just an idea I had (as a
backup proposal) if mentoring becomes a problem
with the MTD project.
And I would really like to work on d-i for Openmoko
phones as well of course.
> - ATM no official Debian kernel can be used on the FreeRunner and I
> really do not have ETA about when one will be available (Openmoko
> has now switched to 2.6.29 and the last time I checked for IIRC 2.6.26
> they had something like more than 100 patches)
This would be a deal breaker...
>> I have a FreeRunner myself.
>> Without having done any research at all yet, I think
>> that similar infrastructure to how Debian Installer is
>> booted and installed on NAS devices could be used.
>> The bootstrapping part seems very similar to the
>> GSoC project I did last year, since the FreeRunner
>> uses U-Boot as well. (Of course it would have to be
>> made to work with the Qi bootloader as well which
>> widens the scope.)
> Disclaimer: everything below is my personal opinion.
> I think we clearly need to have a plan, divided into two phases:
> 1) installation into the microSD
> a. booting d-i on the FR, which is an easy task given that we must
> use the pkg-fso kernel package .
> b. starting the graphical installer with a virtual keyboard, since
> there is no physical keyboard, thus the textual installer cannot
> be used.
And/or accept SSH connections to the installer. As is
done for NAS devices.
> After my talk at last FOSDEM'09 , I talked with Jeremy Bobbio about
> that: from a quick view he had at d-i, this should not be so
> difficult either, given that d-i already uses the framebuffer.
> c. installing everything on the microSD, which means that d-i should
> not use the microSD at all, thus it should probably be run from a
It should be possible to write d-i kernel and ramdisk
to MTD flash and boot from that, not touching
> d. deafening some tasks for tasksel and then installing everything.
> e. modifying the boot loader.
> On this point, I am a strong opponent of Qi  (the now default
> bootloader used by Openmoko), because it lacks at least one very
> important feature U-Boot has: a menu. This is why I think that
> any effort should firstly target U-Boot and then Qi, which AFAIK
> is ATM available only for the Openmoko.
I agree with this opinion.
> 2) installation into the MTD
> Given that everything above will be already done, we will have only
> two showstopper:
> a. MTD support in d-i.
> This is also why I consider implementing MTD in d-i of an higher
> priority than adapting d-i to the FR.
> b. disk space.
> The FR (GTA02) has 256MB of flash memory, while the 1973 (GTA01)
> only 64MB . In both case, there is no way we can fit a normal
> Debian system on it, especially considering that we should target
> the FreeSmartphone.Org initiative , which ATM relies on Python.
Are there any indications on how much flash memory
the GTA03 will have?
> The solution in this case is EmDebian.
> Given the above, if it was not clear yet, I have a clear vision of what
> everything should move. Not that this vision is the correct one, but I
> think it makes sense. Obviously, I am available to discuss it: I am not
> looking for glory, on the contrary I would like that we progress by
> small and well-defined steps :-)
> Thx, bye,
> Gismo / Luca
>  http://lists.linuxtogo.org/pipermail/smartphones-userland/2009-February/001173.html
>  http://git.debian.org/?p=pkg-fso/linux-2.6-openmoko.git;a=summary
>  http://www.fosdem.org/2009/schedule/events/debian_openmoko
>  http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Qi
>  http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Neo1973:_GTA01Bv4_versus_GTA02_comparison
>  http://www.freesmartphone.org/
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