Formal apology

This board posts about running linux on your webdt366

Formal apology

Postby quotaholic » Fri May 20, 2011 4:29 pm

Hello fellow WebDT owners. I need to take a moment to apologize to everyone because I fell off the face of the planet about a year ago. I had a pretty consistent effort going on the linux side of things and it all stopped when I relocated to Colorado. I think I could sum it all up with five words as to why I went on the missing. I met a girl and....

Well now that that's over.... I would like to try to fulfill a promise to myself. Get a "GOOD" custom linux distribution made for the DT. This is something I wanted to do for longer than I can tell all of you. Daunting as this may be it needs to be done. A year and a half ago I shipped a tablet off to the developer behind Nimblex linux asking for help. While he did give us a distro in folder form none of us could get it to boot from our DT's. A similar package was sent to another and while they helped out quite a bit in the form of a mentor the task still needs to be done. I am not impressed with how Puppy linux runs on the DT so I need to try to improve upon. That and I cant seem to bend my mind around the puppy way. The reason I got in to linux was because I could force the computer to bend around my way of thinking.

Don't get me wrong I want to see android up and running on the DT. That would be more than huge. However I need to get this done first before taking any more projects on or putting effort to existing projects. My inspiration for making a good distro was seeing the Slax project continued. Slax is now called Porteus linux. There is also a sister effort going on called Fido-Slax. I may touch base with the devs behind Porteus to see how recompiling a kernel would go in the livecd environment and how to do it exactly. If I can add the Penmount touch screen drivers to their distro its pretty much good to go. I just want to make sure all this old geode and via 6656/ intel2200/ cisco air0/ aes/  stuff gets natively supported in the kernel.

If not I will be trying to make my own version of Porteus. I have a kernel ready to go but the AUFS2 kernel stuff is a bit of a speed bump for me. If anyone has any tips or can lend a hand I would be most appreciative. So this is where I am at. I have been perfecting methods of compiling a custom kernel over the last week which is actually the easy part. Now on to making a live file system and then compressing the existing one over to lzma modules.

So I am sorry if I was gone for a while. All I did during that time was clear spam during my morning coffee. I will be checking in more regularly and hope to make some progress making a live distro for the DT. I will log my progress here and again if anyone has some tips for me on compiling aufs2 kernel support I am all ears.

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Re: Formal apology

Postby damwashere » Sat May 21, 2011 7:13 pm

Thank you for all your hard work on these cool little systems. I look forward to your progress on the distro. I would like to help, but I am not sure how much I can add.

Have you considered Tiny core? It definitely boots on the DTs, but I have not managed to get much else working...

BTW, don't apologize for having a life!

DAM
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Re: Formal apology

Postby volkswagner » Sun May 22, 2011 6:13 am

I played with tinyCore  a while back on a DT366GX.  It does fly when first installed.  If you set it up with persistent boot and added modules, it is really not any faster than say Debian.

The biggest problem with TinyCore is the CF card slot is not recognized at all, if I remember correctly.

I also found it frustrating the 'business model' of tinycore.  You have to purchase the CD with the modules, or your in for a lot of work downloading individual packages and saving on your own.

I do have to admit, it was intriguing after seeing how responsive it was at first.
Nothing is ever easy, but if it is difficult you must be doing it wrong.
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Re: Formal apology

Postby damwashere » Mon May 23, 2011 10:53 pm

I am on a 368 running tiny core right now. I can see the CF card just fine. I just used the built in "mount" application, and it popped right up. So far I am on wired networking, and I have not yet attempted the touch screen driver.

As to the distribution model, I think that is what I like about TinyCore. You only download what you need. So far, I am starting fresh every time, and experimenting with different apps, but they make it fairly easy to "freeze" an install, once you are happy with it. Granted, it is a bit of work...

I am starting on the wireless config... They now have a "pre-packaged" set of network tools. I think I will try that route.

Has anyone had any luck with wireless or penmount on Tiny Core?
Does anyone know what version of the penmount drivers would be applicable?

DAM
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Re: Formal apology

Postby quotaholic » Tue May 24, 2011 11:23 am

Hey DAM,

Never played with TinyCore. Penmount is actually really good with support. They line their driver up with kernel version and again xorg version. To make it quick I go to distrowatch.com and go to the main say... ubuntu page. I can scoll down and see a table of what kernel and which xorg they used in any given release. I have installed the ubuntu driver on slackware many times now. They will work on other platforms as long as kernel and xorg line up. Here is the kicker though. The calibration utility that comes with the driver uses gtk2, a 40mb payload. I have heard of people installing it just to calibrate then removing it.

If you cant find any drivers they released that line up with what you need write to them. From memory its penmount@seed.net.tw. They will send you a very corporate looking inquiry form to fill out but it works. They have made me drivers that worked for my application in the past.

On a 368 you have a transmeta cpu no?

Have you ever had hard buttons working on it? I have tried the acpi=force method with the atlas_btns kernel module and no joy. This method works on most other DT's.

Cant speak on wireless.

As for progress so far I have made contact with Penmount and formally requested support for a 2.6.38.5 kernel as well as a 2.6.37.6 both 1.9.5 xorg version. I am filling out the request form now actually. Getting set up for a slackware based distro.

I have also made contact with brokenman of the Porteus project. He indicated he will help me out with the aufs2 kernel stuff and give me a config (kernel config file) file to recompile the geode specific kernel I have with. This will give a normal kernel the live capability. If their forum wasn't having some database issues I would link to my posts there.

I am excited about this for a few reasons. One being that I ran porteus on my lx800 DT366 last night and it was quite usable. I grabbed KDE 3.5.x from the fido-slax project and swapped it out with the 4.6 version of KDE shat shipped with Porteus. Two, Porteus is quite modular and supports installing from source, .deb, .rpm and slackware source the .txz. And with persistent changes I think that many of us "tweakers" will be able to tune Porteus to whatever we need in the form of software packages being three. LXDE also ships with Porteus however the devs there took the time to make all these nice right click menu's with all the integration they packed in with regards to software installation. One can right click on a folder containing the source for a software package and "install from source" will be in the menu. Possibly this will be too easy? That was my motivation behind trying KDE3 out. That and the first youtube WebDT video I made showed KDE3 being used. Right now my installed size is 300 megs and it has LXDE, KDE and everything down to the kitchen sink. 

I'll report back when I have more.

quotaholic
Last edited by quotaholic on Tue May 24, 2011 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Formal apology

Postby quotaholic » Thu May 26, 2011 7:20 am

Good progress so far. Here is a link to the Porteus forums and my thread there:

http://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=518&sid=d288256e87e24f1d7159058cb9694269

brokenman, Porteus project lead, is helping me out with compiling a shiney new kernel with aufs2 support. Thank you vey much brokenman!! That portion of the build out is done. At the point now of repacking the initrd.xz with the new modules.

Penmount got back to me with a driver for both kernel version 2.6.38.6 and xorg 1.9.5, thank you Penmount! Installed that last night to test it out. It works and with persistent changes. On reboot the touchscreen still worked. I am still booting off usb to make the kernel transplant easier. Once it's in I will install to flash and begin tuning software.

Before I included the penmount driver I tried installing Porteus to internal flash. First go with fat32 did not take. When I tried ext2 for a filesystem install went perfectly. Mbr was written to and reboots were smooth.

At this pace I am hoping to have something by the weekend that can be shared.
Last edited by quotaholic on Thu May 26, 2011 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Formal apology

Postby quotaholic » Fri May 27, 2011 1:13 pm

Looks like I did not do a good job compiling the kernel the first time around. I seem to hang in init so I know there are missing drivers in init.xz. It may take me more than the weekend to recompile and start over. If anyone wants to try Porteus out without an optimized kernel I would not discourage. Just be aware that I have not built an on screen keyboard as of yet.


***EDIT Actually I would discourage. As of 6-06-2011 neither porteus iso will work on the WebDT. I will edit this post once things have been straightened out. For the time being RC-1 will not recognize a keyboard plugged in on usb and RC-2 needs a pae capable CPU, which the dt does not have.

Needed things. Keyboard, powered usb hub, two usb sticks of at least 500megs in size.

Go to Porteus.org to grab an iso.

http://www.ponce.cc/porteus/i486/testing/porteus-v1_rc2-x86/

Grab a penmount driver from here:

http://210.68.130.200/Download/Driver/P ... .3.tar.bz2

Mount your ISO and copy your folders, boot and porteus, to a usb drive. If you are on windows I use a program from slysoft called virtual clone drive to mount an iso. In linux its something like
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mount -o loop /path/to/iso /mnt/


Go in to the boot folder and make the drive bootable by clicking win_start_here and if you are running win7 do the uac option then install. Otherwise install porteus would be the right option. The dialog should tell you that the drive is now bootable.

Now repeat process with another usb drive.

Boot your webdt to the first usb stick. Upon seeing a screen with the Porteus logo press tab and arrow over the left and change the
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vga=791
to
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read vga=771
and arrow back to right, hit the space bar one at the end of the line and add
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toroot
. This will put us right in the root account in the gui. Press enter.

Once in the gui open a terminal by pressing
Code: Select all
alt and f2
. Type
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xterm
in to the dialog. Now we have a terminal. Now the fun stuff.

At the terminal type
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cfdisk



Within cfdisk and making sure we are on /dev/sda1

erase all the partitions on the drive and
make one large partition,
bootable,
type 83,
then write changes to disk,
type yes to confirm.

Now just to be safe lets reboot as the partition table is only read once at boot. When Porteus logo comes on to the screen dont forget we need to change vga=791 over to vga=771 and put toroot at the end of that boot line.

On reboot lets open a terminal again type

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parted /dev/sda1


at the command line type
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mkfs /dev/sda1 ext2


and press enter. A dialog will pop up and we select
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partition 1
, type out
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ext2
and confirm if asked. Now parted will make a ext2 fs on /dev/sda1

Now we insert our second usb stick in to our powered usb hub and after a few moments type

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dmesg | tail


Look for a (sdc) mention or something similar. If you have sdc try these two commands:

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mkdir /mnt/sdc1

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mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/sdc1

if no worky try mount
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/dev/sdc /mnt/sdc1


or use what sd? you have to work with.

So in review we now have one internal flash drive in the webdt at /mnt/sda1
we have one usb stick that we booted to located at /mnt/sdb1 or at least it should be there by default and we have one stick that we just put in that we have manually mounted at /mnt/sdc1. Excellent!

Take a moment here to consider which of the two desktops you want to use. KDE3 or LXDE. If you want LXDE and no KDE simply erase the KDE.xzm files found in /porteus/base folders. KDE and possibly a kde-apps too. On boot it will skip over kde and boot to LXDE instead.

So lets copy Porteus over to the webdt:

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cp -r /mnt/sdc1/boot /mnt/sda1/

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cp -r /mnt/sdc1/porteus /mnt/sda1/


Now lets change over to the internal flash and make it bootable:

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cd /mnt/sda1/boot


*if you get a long list of i/o errors at this point something did not go right with the step after partitioning. The ext2 fs is not intact if errors persist. If no errors lets move on.

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./lin_start_here


and follow the steps to write the mbr on to the internal flash in the WebDT.

Once completed lets take a look at one file in the /boot folder. Open porteus.cfg in your favorite text editor. Make some changes to each boot line we see in there. Add
Code: Select all
toroot
to all of the boot lines found as well as
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acpi=force
and
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noswap
. Change all the
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vga=791
to
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vga=771
and now we wont be bothered to do this on reboot any more.

Okay so lets tell it to reboot and lets unplug all the usb stuff once the screen goes blank. If everything worked out well you should be booting to porteus. If you have not been prompted to as of yet make your save.dat file. If you removed KDE you will have a lot of space to allocate. If not you will have around 100 and 150 megs to work with.

Now lets install that penmount driver. Before we copy the driver over I rename it so its easy to navigate to on cli. Your choice. Copy the driver to your root directory.

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cp -r /mnt/sdc1/penmount.tar.bz2 /root


would be the command if you had the file on a usb stick mounted on /mnt/sdc1 and you were in the root directort on the WebDT internal flash.

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tar -xvf penmount.tar.bz2


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cd penmount


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./install.sh


follow prompts

Logout and log back in as root.

open terminal wth
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alt + f2


type

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gCal 9


and have stylus ready to calibrate screen. Log out and back in again and you should have a touchscreen.

Heading out of town for the weekend. I hope that this is complete enough to work with. If not let me know and I will hop on IRC chat and try to help out.



 
Last edited by quotaholic on Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Formal apology

Postby ShortMan » Mon May 30, 2011 7:49 pm

Keep up the good work Quotaholic, we are all interested and watching, just a busy holiday weekend! Hope your weekend off was a good one!
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Re: Formal apology

Postby damwashere » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:56 am

This is looking like a great distro. I have not gotten it onto the DT yet... but I booted it on a desktop and it looks great! Thanks for all the effort and keep us posted!
DAM
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Re: Formal apology

Postby quotaholic » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:18 pm

Thanks guys. Still at it. Just came up for air. On attempt number ten at recompiling the kernel.

Didn't know until recently but initrd is a small disk image. To modify it I need to mount it as a block device in /mnt. Neat!

Anyways I hope to get this kernel stuff down soon. Cant tell you how many cool options there are for things to add or to attach to the kernel as a module. There are a number of geode mentions all over the place from via locks to watchdog timers to south bridges. When I actually make a successful kernel for the DT's it should mesh well with the hardware.

Hope that everyone had a good weekend!
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Re: Formal apology

Postby damwashere » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:35 pm

I have a working download of the Porteus build linked in your earlier post. It boots fine on a PC notebook. When I try to boot it on a 366, before I get to the spash screen, I get the following.
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USB boot device : Mass storage class [00F9h/FFh/3Fh]
SYSLINUX 4.04 EDD 2011-04-18 Copyright (C) 1994-2011 H. Peter Anvin et al
-

The boot stops there, the system is unresponsive after this...

When I try on a DT360 (Atigo S) I get the Porteus splash screen, enter your VGA=771 edit, and attempt to boot. The result is the following...
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Loading /boot/vmlinuz.....
Loading /boot/initrd.xz....ready.
This kernel requires the following features not present on the CPU:
pae
Unable to boot - please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU.


This would appear to indicate a need for the "Physical Address Extension" capability
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension

Did I miss an edit?

Both systems boot fine with puppy.
Which system are you working with? Any thoughts on the cause of these issues?

I like porteus, and will try it on an HP thin client to see if it works well there.

DAM
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Re: Formal apology

Postby quotaholic » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:55 am

Sorry about that Dam, Seems after I made this post and took off for the weekend someone uploaded an iso on the porteus end with a questionable kernel config. [url]http://forum.porteus.org/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=518&sid=3bbbeee0c0ca6adca40a5b932a8eeec1&start=10#p4227[/url

RC-1 may work for you. I cant seem to get the cheat code "toroot" to take on it bypassing the need for keyboard input during init. That and my keyboard wont recognize during init either so I get stuck unable to answer the question about save.dat.

RC-2 same results as you. I didn't really expect anyone to try it out. I was hoping to have a kernel rebuilt without the need for pae by this time. That is what I will be doing over morning coffee at least. If I can get that far we should have a working hybrid distro. I will edit my post so that readers are aware.
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Re: Formal apology

Postby damwashere » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:36 pm

No problem. I look forward to your progress. It works great on my HP thin client!
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