DebianOn is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owners would know how get the best out of that hardware.

The purpose is not to duplicate the Debian Official Documentation, but to document how to install Debian on some specific hardware.

If you need help to get Debian running on your hardware, please have a look at our user support channels where you may find specific channels (mailing list, IRC channel) dedicated to certain types of hardware.

Translation(s): none

Models covered
Cisco Linksys WRT1200 AC

Overall Status

Core Components

[ATTACH]

Boot Standard Kernel:

{OK}

LAN network card (Generic Ethernet):

{OK}

Detect CD/DVD (Generic DVD+RW) :

n/a

Detect hard drives:

{OK} (USB/eSATA)

CPU Frequency Scaling

{X}

Hibernation


Sleep / Suspend


Xorg


Wireless/Wifi

X-(

Legend :
{OK} = OK ; {X} Unsupported(No Driver) ; /!\ = Error (Couldn't get it working); [?] Unknown, Not Test ; [-] Not-applicable
{i} = Configuration Required; X-( = Only works with a non-free driver and or firmware

Important Note

Successful installation requires USB-TTL cable attached to router's serial port (pin 1 - Gnd, pin 2 - Tx, pin 4 - Rx), working TFTP server in the same LAN segment, and any USB/eSATA-attached HDD (internal MTD chip is hardly enough to store Debian kernel and initrd).

Configuration

Download current d-i kernel, initrd and dtb:

wget http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stretch/main/installer-armhf/current/images/netboot/vmlinuz
http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stretch/main/installer-armhf/current/images/netboot/initrd.gz
http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stretch/main/installer-armhf/current/images/device-tree/armada-385-linksys-caiman.dtb

Prepare u-boot images (need to have u-boot tools installed):

cat vmlinuz armada-385-linksys-caiman.dtb > blob
mkimage -A arm -O linux -T kernel -C none -a 0x200000 -e 0x200000 -n "d-i" -d blob vmlinux
mkimage -A arm -O linux -T ramdisk -C gzip -a 0x4200000 -e 0x4200000 -n "d-i initrd" -d initrd.gz initrd

Attach USB-TTL cable, USB drive, and a single CAT5e cable (any LAN port). Power on the router. Interrupt autoboot process. Configure u-boot ():

setenv ipaddr xx.xx.xx.2
setenv serverip xx.xx.xx.1
setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200n8
setenv fdt_skip_update yes
tftpboot 0x8000000 vmlinux
tftpboot 0x10000000 initrd
bootm 0x8000000 0x10000000

Debian installer should start on serial console. Proceed as usual. Since Armada 385 is not supported by d-i, it'll try to install grub, but will fail. At the end of installation, obtain shell for your new Debian installation, and install flash-kernel package.

Make the following files with the following contents:

/etc/flash-kernel/db:

Machine: Marvell Armada 380/385 (Device Tree)
Kernel-Flavors: armmp
DTB-Id: armada-385-linksys-caiman.dtb
DTB-Append-From: 4.9.0
Mtd-Kernel: kernel1
Mtd-Initrd: rootfs1
U-Boot-Kernel-Address: 0x200000
U-Boot-Initrd-Address: 0x4200000
Required-Packages: u-boot-tools
Bootloader-Sets-Incorrect-Root: yes

/etc/flash-kernel/machine:

Marvell Armada 380/385 (Device Tree)

Invoke /usr/sbin/flash-kernel, it should overwrite /dev/mtd4 with Debian kernel and /dev/mtd5 with Debian initrd.

Install u-boot-tools, make the following configuration file:

/etc/fw_env.config:

/dev/mtd1       0x0        0x20000      0x40000

From now on, /usr/bin/fw_printenv should print u-boot configuration for your router. Using /usr/bin/fw_setenv, set the following bootscript.

nandboot=setenv fdt_skip_update yes; setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/mapper/vg00-root ro quiet; nand read 0x2000000 kernel 0x400000; nand read 0x3000000 rootfs 0x2000000; bootm 0x2000000 0x3000000

Reboot, enjoy your Debian installation.

Power Management

CPU scaling for this board is disabled at Debian's kernels. Suspend/hibernate/hybrid-sleep were not tested, as it would make a little sense on a router.

WiFi

WRT1200AC uses Marvell 88W8664 802.11ac chip, which requires both out-of-tree kernel module and a non-free firmware.

System Summary

lspci

00:01.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Device [11ab:6820] (rev 04)
00:02.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Device [11ab:6820] (rev 04)
01:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88W8864 [Avastar] 802.11ac Wireless [11ab:2a55]
02:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88W8864 [Avastar] 802.11ac Wireless [11ab:2a55]

lsusb

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         3
  iProduct                2 xHCI Host Controller
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Single TT
  iProduct                2 xHCI Host Controller
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Single TT
  iProduct                2 EHCI Host Controller

Resources

https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/linksys/wrt_ac_series

http://blog.schmorp.de/2017-11-10-gnudebian-on-the-linksys-wrt3200acm.html



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