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.
- Video card
- Screen size: 5" WSVGA (1024x600) with touchscreen
- Internal wireless card
System as sold
This comes with GNU/Linux pre-installed.
- distribution: customized Ubuntu 9.04 (Netbook remix base, Japanese)
Debian on microSD
So far, it seems to be able to install Debian by using the recovery microSD card. (NetWalker PC-Z1 Debian : This link is to Japanese page) This requires you to boot system as recovery mode and root is on microSD card.
Debian on MTD
In order to install to on board mtd flash, ubi.img needs to be created and placed onto the recovery microSD card.
Resource for hacking
Here are some resources to use Sharp PC-Z1 (NetWalker) by both Debian and Ubuntu.
For English users: How to change Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 OS into English.
This PC-Z1 comes with internal wifi card as eth0.
Any USB connected wired Ethernet adapters seem to work fine as eth1 without any action.
- I use Logitec LAN-TX/U2H3B (3 USB port hub + Ethernet)
Kernel and user land source as provided
Sharp official GPL compliance site: not working as of Oct 25, 2009. This is sad ...
This source has few interesting lines in "grep -R spider *":
arch/arm/mach-mx51/mx51_erdos_splash.c:static volatile char *fb_show_spider_logo_mem; and like
drivers/video/mxc/mxcfb_sharp_wsvga.c: * 2009/07/21 : fb_show_spider_logo() use. and like
The armel architecture is known to use "char" as "unsigned" which is not normal behavior thus breaks many existing softwares working fine on i386.
Ubuntu kernel provided is patched. You need to use it for now to get proper hardware supports. Many user land softwares are patched for armel too.
APT line can be added to get sources for kernel and other applications:
deb-src http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports jaunty main universe deb-src http://netbook-remix.archive.canonical.com/updates/dists/jaunty-araneo/ jaunty main universe
URL links for browsers:
Although it is tempting to put archive such as Ubuntu security updates for Ubuntu system as provided, it will likely to break installed softwares such as Firefox. I guess update from pertinent canonical archive is needed for proper armel patched updates.
Kernel cross compile hint: NetWalker Kernel Rebuild (JPN)
UFO: unidentified foreign object
There are 3 UFO packages which are not found on the repository.
- imx-lib : platform specific libraries for imx platform. VPU firmware.
- Freescale i.MX515 (ARMv7) is CPU used.
- Why not on repository?
- Freescale multimedia core libraries.
- Why this is not on repository?
- Sharp non-free font. (This is understandable.)
On rescue microSD, there are 8 UFO binaries (flash_erase, flash_eraseall, nanddump, nandverify, nandwrite, ubiattach, ubidetach, ubiformat)
These should have beem installed as a part of initial installer image. (most of these programs are available in the debian package:mtd-utils http://packages.debian.org/mtd-utils )
Directories related to the imx-lib package are set to UID=1000 (first login user). Also / being 777 permission is a bad bug. These can be used to escalate privilege thus considered security bug. (I know risk is small but this is sloppy.)
The official recover script will let you create microSD (2GB). That is essentially:
- Download files using recover.sh script to microSD card.
- os.tar.bz2 : root file system content for the recover system run from microSD slot.
- zImage : kernel to used to update the system.
- ubi.img : rootfile system image (Large!)
- Insert microSD (if you removed.)
- Reboot with both buttons for mouse on left top corners pressed well after you see sharp logo.
- Linux system is booted from microSD card.
/etc/rc2.d/S01upfirm is executed to call a program /usr/local/bin/update_spider.sh.
/usr/local/bin/update_spider.sh (Its configuration file: spider.srp) updates system by:
ubi.img (RFS ubifs) to MTD NAND Flash device (I guess)
zImage (Kernel) to NOR BOOTLOADER Flash device (I guess) -- merely placing kernel at /boot may not be good enough
Alternative recovery script
In order to enable our normal Debian PC with good network connection to create recovery disk, I created alternative recovery script: spider-recovery
This may be buggy. Please use this with care after reading its source.
Recommended use style:
Use this script on NetWalker to create recovery microSD with its internal microSD card slot.
Last resort use style:
- Use this script on normal Debian PC while having a microSD card connected to the USB microSD reader.
Please note (tune2fs -l):
- ext2 created by Debian lenny on amd64: Filesystem flags: signed_directory_hash
- ext2 created by Ubuntu 09.4 armel: Filesystem flags: unsigned_directory_hash
The original ext3 hash algorithms assumed that variables of type char were signed, as God and K&R intended. Unfortunately, this assumption is not true on some architectures. There were patch to fix kernel (2009-05-08 11:58:01). The armel architecture is known to use "char" as "unsigned". Debian lenny can handle signed_directory_hash and unsigned_directory_hash. Somehow tools on recovery image treats non-armel formatted disk as non-clean. As a work around, symlink at /etc/rcS.d/S30checkfs.sh on such microSD card is killed in my recovery disk if created by non-armel.
This seems to use Redboot as its backend.
Per, comments in update_spider.sh:
# spider.srp # 6,rootfs.jffs2 (RFS jffs2) # 5,ubi.img (RFS ubifs) # 4,zImage (Kernel) # 3,info.bin (System information) # 2,fis.bin (Redboot fis) # 1,redboot.bin (Redboot)
Normally, it is wise not to touch NOR flash since it will make your system unbootable. If you break it, you need hardware such as JTAG connected to somewhere on main board to fix your system.
Rescue microSD only update ubi.img and zImage to reinstall system. Related links:
User-space tools git://git.infradead.org/mtd-utils.git
You need squeeze/sid version of mtd-utils (20090606-1) package to have mkfs.ubifs command.
Official hardware spec is at http://www.sharp.co.jp/netwalker/spec/index.html
You can see internal hardware photos at http://hitaki.net/diary/20090928.html. Per this page:
CPU: Freescale Semiconductor, i.MX515 processor
Flash memory: Samsung,NAND Flash > MLC-large block > K9GAG08U0M PCB00 16Gbit DRAM (2GB)
- 2 of these flash chips make total 4GB MTD storage.
Some of Mac How
Audio codec: Freescale, SGTL5000
USB Keyboard controller: ALCOR Micro Corp, AU9410
- There are DIP solder ready pattern on the left front side of main board to select boot (I guess boot from internal microSD is good enough by pressing both buttons).
Here, you can see keyboard: http://blog.livedoor.jp/j02r/archives/1084872.html