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Old 10-17-2009, 04:39 PM   #16
Antartica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulno View Post
Ok, thanks for the info. I will try to toy a little bit around with the kexec patch and take a look at nalims patch.
I would love to take part in providing a 2.6 kernel to the iliad. My core competencies are not in porting kernels, as I usually only do driver development, so someone with some experience in that part (you?) is needed . OTOH as I have very little free time, I need some other dev feedback to keep committing my free time to it.

My perfect iliad would be to have openinkpot running in it (requires kernel 2.6) with the ability to launch a chroot to debian armel. That is, primary use read books with fast boot (openinkpot) secondary: everything else (debian).

What do you think?

Anyway, there are two things that I'm unsure about the best way of converting iliad to 2.6:

TFFS
====

AFAIK the bootloader of the iliad looks for the kernel in a tffs partition. TFFS is a propietary file system, and we only have the module for it for 2.4. If we flash 2.6 into the iliad, that kernel would not be able to reflash itself. Some possible solutions:
(1) change the boot loader: difficult (see next point).
(2) don't reflash to 2.6, do as angstrom for zaurus collie that every boot is loading 2.4 and then kexec'ing 2.6: easy but adds to boot time (no way for me)
(3) reflash 2.6 but kexec to 2.4 whenever an update to the kernel in flash is needed: sounds ok for me
(4) ask Matthijs of iRex if they are still willing to compile TFFS for "our 2.6 kernel" as he proposed in iRex forum: Linux 2.6 port.

BOOTLOADER
==========

Related to the previous point, the problem is that we don't know anything about the bootloader. Neither if it's based on one of the usual suspects (U-Boot, RedBoot) or is something less standard.

With information about the bootloader we would know if something different to TFFS is also supported...

Also, it would be handy to know how it works so as to not break the reflash ability of the iliad .
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Old 10-17-2009, 05:13 PM   #17
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Hi Antarctica,
thanks for the detailed reply. Nice to see, that the developer community for iliad is way more fresh than the device itself!

Sorry to disappoint you: I am not a kernel developer. My closest connections to kernel porting was related to some experience on the ps3.
My contributions to the OS community are more python and java based but my personal roots and lots of my work is C-programming - so I am not too afraid.

I just dumped my kindle due to its closeness in favor of the iliad and trying to get my hands dirty with setting up the toolchain and toying around with some chroot stuff. The last time I did something related was when I owned a Sharp Zaurus SL5500. I also am fairly limited in terms of the time I can commit, but I like to do some OS work just for fun.

My current goal would be just getting an armel debian on cf card in a latter kernel 2.6 with ethernet, wifi, (and powermanagement) and display support running. I could live without TTFS for a while. Before I really decide, how to create a nice boot environment, I would like first to get a small 2.6 kernel running via kexec. In the long term, I guess your third option sounds ok.

I have not yet read a lot about openinkpot, but my main concern would also be speed + notetaking ability. I would not mind, if I had to do some conversion on my Desktop to speed things up.

I hope this does not sound too ambitious or impossible.

Cheers and best,
Uli
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:17 AM   #18
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Hi Ulno,

Short version: go for it! I'll jump into it too .

Long version:

Not having a seasoned kernel porter is not the end of the world. Hope that the groundwork done by nalim is enough to get us started.

About openinkpot, it doesn't have note taking ability, but if someone adds that functionality, I'm sure that openinkpot devs would gladly accept the patch. For me that is not crucial if there is a debian chroot there for launching something that does support notetaking when one needs it. Anyway openinkpot is very young (that's a plus here, IMHO). Using openinkpot is just to be futureproof (e.g. maintained); at least one openinkpot dev has an iliad, just no time to do the port (LunohoD, see openinkpot irc log:2009-09-02).

And no, that doesn't seem too ambitious.

One important thing: if you are going to format a CF card with ext2 in your desktop for the iliad, use a command similar to:

Code:
# mkfs.ext2 -I 128 -O none /dev/devicename
This is required if your Linux computer runs a somewhat modern distro:

"-I 128" tells mkfs to use 128bytes inodes. Modern distros use 256bytes inodes to support seamless future upgrades to ext4, but 256bit inodes are not supported in most 2.4 kernels.

"-O none" tells mkfs that you want a plain old ext2 filesystem (without any bells and whistles). By default modern distros creates ext2/ext3 filesystems with additional attributes that add large file support, faster access etc, but some of those aren't supported by the iliad 2.4 kernel, so to be in the safe side, this is needed.

Ok then. I'll try to put the kexec-enabled kernel in my iliad this week. Tell me if you manage to do so too .

Happy hacking!
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antartica View Post
One important thing: if you are going to format a CF card with ext2 in your desktop for the iliad, use a command similar to:

Code:
# mkfs.ext2 -I 128 -O none /dev/devicename
Allow me ask a question about bootable CF here.

I have created a bootable CF with all contents copied from rootfs of iLiad. I use as a emergent rescue tool. It has nothing to do with kernel porting.
Right after created, I used "dd" to backup all data on the CF. The problem is that the CF can be used only once. After a successful boot, I have to dump data to the CF using "dd" so that I can use it again. I believe that something on the CF is altered during boot, but I am not sure what are the alterd data.

Last edited by ericshliao; 10-18-2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:13 PM   #20
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Hi antarctica,
thanks for the tip with ext2 and cf - experienced this already ;-)

Just trying to find out differences about these different arm types: iop32x, ixp4xx, kirkwood, orion5x, versatile (last one seems to be for qemu)

All these seem to be available in 2.6.30

Anything suitable or adaptabel for iliad in there? Anybody any clue?

(Yes I know, I have nalim's one, but the newer versions promise easier driver support apart from the display driver)

Best,
Uli
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:20 PM   #21
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Hi ericshliao,

why did you use dd? Why not just formatting the stuff as antarctica described in ext2 and use rsync -a with the respective excludes to copy the root filesystem?

I made just a backup of my system like this. It might be actually a good idea, if I will be able to boot this from the cf via the 2.4.19 kexec kernel from nalim. I will see, if I find some time the next days to try this.

Best,
Ulno
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:37 PM   #22
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Hi ulno,
I created the bootable CF by imitating this thread: http://forum.irexnet.com/viewtopic.p...r=asc&start=15

mke2fs is the first step to create a bootable CF. After created, I used dd to backup the whole CF as an image. After used, the bootable CF can't be used again, so I have to "dd" from the backup image to CF.

Last edited by ericshliao; 10-18-2009 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulno View Post
Just trying to find out differences about these different arm types: iop32x, ixp4xx, kirkwood, orion5x, versatile (last one seems to be for qemu)

All these seem to be available in 2.6.30

Anything suitable or adaptabel for iliad in there? Anybody any clue?
To compile for the iliad, it is
PXA2xx/PXA3xx-based

The ones you have mentioned are not compatible with the iliad.

But bear in mind that unlike the PC world, each ARM board is somewhat unique, so some adaptations will have to be made (similar to nalim's ones).

Best regards,
Antartica

Edit: what I meant is that the path to go is to forward-port nalim's patch to 2.6.31

The subarch that I gave earlier is very broad, see
http://kernel.xc.net/html/linux-2.6.31/arm/

Additionally, we can search on how the guys of openpandora got into mainline, their board was similar to beagleboard but not identical. That is, how they submitted the patches, etc.

Last edited by Antartica; 10-19-2009 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:45 AM   #24
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Hi ericshlio,
This
Code:
echo "boot"> /mnt/cf/config.txt
seems to be very interesting. Does config still have this entry after reboot?

Best,
ulno
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulno View Post
Does config still have this entry after reboot?
After boot, /config.txt (on CF) is not changed at all.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:13 AM   #26
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Hi,
I am a italian college student.
I would like to contribute to development. I am not expert in programming, but I have the support of a pro.
I have an Irex Iliad 2nd edition, of course without the serial port enabled (usedful to pilot the boot device step-by-step, as reported in first post).
My contact ask me info about:
-to pilot the boot step-by-step without serial port, it is possible via SSH in LAN?
-where to attach a serial connector DIY, on the motherboard or on the external connector?
-Irex still sends devices with serial port enabled?
Thanks in advance and sorry for my bad english.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:00 AM   #27
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Hi alegott, welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegeott View Post
-to pilot the boot step-by-step without serial port, it is possible via SSH in LAN?
No. LAN is started very late in th boot process; but there is an untested alternative in netconsole (see post 6 of this thread).

Quote:
-where to attach a serial connector DIY, on the motherboard or on the external connector?
I assume that you mean the one in this post. It is in the motherboard.

Quote:
-Irex still sends devices with serial port enabled?
For that you will have to ask iRex. Sign-up in irex forums and send a PM to Matthijs. See this thread in irex forums.

And some unrelated things:

I've seen that tffs is in fact a "block layer" over flash. Above it run the standard filesystems (ext2 and vfat in iliad case). There is a free implementation, but doesn't support the disk-on-chip of the iliad (M-sys DOC G3), only the newer disk-on-chip (DOC2000 and DOC Millennium Plus). Add to the fact that M-sys was bought by Sandisk in 2006 and that the old website is down (so there is no access to the support downloads for the tffs).

I've also seen the the bootloader is also in that disk-on-chip. It is a 1024 bytes partition that is mapped to /dev/tffsa3

So I finally have a full picture of the flash in the iliad.

Attached is the manual of the disk-on-chip.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Mobile_DOC_G3_DS_Rev1_0.pdf (784.1 KB, 204 views)

Last edited by Antartica; 10-20-2009 at 09:05 AM. Reason: sp.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antartica View Post
There is a free implementation, but doesn't support the disk-on-chip of the iliad (M-sys DOC G3), only the newer disk-on-chip (DOC2000 and DOC Millennium Plus). Add to the fact that M-sys was bought by Sandisk in 2006 and that the old website is down (so there is no access to the support downloads for the tffs).
Not that I really understand all this kernel level programming, but I am following this thread with "high hopes" .

The M-sys website may be down, but it lives in the WayBackMachine (using www.m-sys.com ), namely:

- Mobile DiskonChip Product Family

- DiskonChip - Product Page

- DiskonChip Documentation

Caution: The general website layout is there, but some large (and/or obscure) files may be omitted and not found using the WayBackMachine for that snapshot. If you really need something, post the request here and perhaps someone has that file...

Also, the access to some of these webpages may be slow as there is A LOT of info to traverse...

Note: Lots of documentation available here...

Happy surfing...

Last edited by nrapallo; 10-20-2009 at 05:52 PM. Reason: added link to a lot of cached documents...
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:36 AM   #29
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First of all, thanks for the quick response.
Regarding the request for a device with serial port enabled, then I will ask directly on the iRex forum.
For the rest, I will try to understand what can be done.
Thanks again.
Walk on.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:40 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegeott View Post
-Irex still sends devices with serial port enabled?
You must have read this post: http://forum.irexnet.com/posting.php...6d1450894282f5


I haven't seen anybody claimed that he borrowed a iLiad for developers from iRex. It seems that even Nalim, the only person who did the kernel porting task, did not borrow a iLiad from iRex. You should ask iRex for the loan. Since iRex has no use of those iLiad for developing use, I guess (hope) they are willing to lend one to you if certain criteria is met.

Last edited by ericshliao; 10-21-2009 at 04:46 AM.
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