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Above average nerdiness
Warning: This completely removes the existing filesystems from disk and kernel images from the flash that ship with the ix2-200 and leaves you with a basic Debian install. Only do this if you understand what this means and have nothing important stored on the device.
Most of the information in this post is based on Diogo Gomes’ work on the iConnect.
The first step in installing Debian that I did was to reconfigure the uBoot environment to fix a number of issues. This is done from the uBoot prompt, which is only accessible via a serial interface.
Update the MAC address of the disconnected ethernet port on the SoC to an address from an unused range so that udev doesn’t get confused:
setenv ethaddr AA:00:00:00:00:01
Enable booting of a standard linux kernel
setenv mainlineLinux yes setenv arcNumber 1682
Save and reset
I used the published debian installer images from here copied to a ext2 formatted usb stick. I connected the usb stick to the front port of the ix2-200.
You should also have the ix2-200 connected to the internet somehow. A simple way of doing this for me was to connect to the Ethernet port of my laptop running Ubuntu and bridge it with the virtual bridge I use for running VirtualBox VMs and provides DHCP and NAT. Internet connectivity can than be used through another connection e.g. a home wireless connection. You can do this by running the following command on the laptop:
sudo brctl addif virbr0 eth0
From uBoot on the ix2-200, start the usb subsystem and load the netboot installer kernel and initial RAM disk into memory:
usb start ext2load usb 0:1 0x01100000 /uInitrd ext2load usb 0:1 0x00800000 /uImage
Set the boot arguments for the installer:
setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200n8 base-installer/initramfs-tools/driver-policy=most
Boot the installer:
bootm 0x00800000 0x01100000
You can now go through the normal debian installation almost to the end. A few tips to get you through:
At the last step, the installer will tell you that it can’t make the system bootable. To get around this, we need to install the uboot utilities and save the uboot images to the usb stick.
First select the ‘Execute a shell’ from the Debian installer menu, and then chroot to your fresh Debian install:
Install the utilities:
apt-get install mtd-utils uboot-mkimage uboot-envtools
Change to the boot directory and convert kernel and initrd files to uboot format:
cd /boot mkimage -A arm -O linux -T ramdisk -C gzip -a 0x00000000 -e 0x00000000 -n initramfs -d initrd.img-2.6.32-5-kirkwood uInitrd mkimage -A arm -O linux -T kernel -C none -a 0x00008000 -e 0x00008000 -n Linux-2.6.32-5 -d vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-kirkwood uImage
Mount your usb memory stick and copy the new files to the memory stick:
mount /dev/sdXX /mnt cp uImage /mnt/uImage-new cp uInitrd /mnt/uInitrd-new
Exit the shell and reboot into uboot by selecting the “Finish the installation” option. At this point we should be able to now boot from disk using the uInitrd and uImage files on usb. Note that I also setup the mtd in the bootargs_console setting so we can write the kernel and initrd files to flash once we know it’s working. Replace the root value with what ever you setup during the install:
usb start setenv bootargs_console 'console=ttyS0,115200 mtdparts=orion_nand:0x300000@0x100000(uImage),0x1000000@0x540000(uInitrd) root=/dev/mapper/' setenv bootargs $(bootargs_console) ext2load usb 0:1 0x00800000 /uImage-new ext2load usb 0:1 0x01100000 /uInitrd-new bootm 0x00800000 0x01100000
Congratulations! You should now be in your debian install.
Login and become root, and execute the following command to confirm that the nand flash has been configured correctly:
# cat /proc/mtd dev: size erasesize name mtd0: 00300000 00004000 "uImage" mtd1: 01000000 00004000 "uInitrd"
We can now erase and flash the uImage and uInitrd files:
# flash_eraseall /dev/mtd0 Erasing 16 Kibyte @ 300000 -- 100 % complete. # flash_eraseall /dev/mtd1 Erasing 16 Kibyte @ 1000000 -- 100 % complete. # nandwrite -p /dev/mtd0 /boot/uImage ... # nandwrite -p /dev/mtd1 /boot/uInitrd ...
Reboot to get back the uBoot prompt to setup loading the kernel and initrd from flash. Replace the root value with what ever you setup during the install:
setenv mtdids 'nand0=orion_nand' setenv mtdparts 'mtdparts=orion_nand:0x100000@0x000000(uboot)ro,0x20000@0xA0000(uboot_env),0x300000@0x100000(uImage),0x1000000@0x540000(uInitrd)' setenv bootargs_console 'console=ttyS0,115200 mtdparts=orion_nand:0x300000@0x100000(uImage),0x1000000@0x540000(uInitrd) root=/dev/mapper/red_vg0-root' setenv bootcmd 'setenv bootargs $(bootargs_console); nand read 0x800000 uImage; nand read 0x1100000 uInitrd; bootm 0x00800000 0x01100000' saveenv reset
You should now be booting Debian from flash and disk.