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 Post subject: Firmware overhaul
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:52 pm
Posts: 2
Hi,

I've got this MD-254 on which i have been fiddling with the firmware. My main interest in changing the firmware is to remove some of the default installed apps and be able to add whatever i want (and will run on the box). Removing existing apps is mainly because i do not use most of them and there is no easy way of upgrading them if you wanted to.

Anyway, the current status: I added a root prompt on the serial console, a loop that starts all services found in the sysconfig directory and using a (4GB) diskimage located on the HD for /usr (instead of the squashfs image in flash memory). It is feasible to use a dedicated partition instead of the diskimage. I have not yet compiled any new apps, i have added a precompiled (from older firmware) dropbear executable. This build could, with some extra cleaning up, produce a nice start for a more configurable box.

At this moment i am trying to get a self compiled kernel running on the box, i have downloaded many different toolchains and GPL kernel sources for comparable systems and hacked together a 2.6.24.4 kernel that nearly does the trick. My major problem right now is the mtd (physmap) stuff. I've used the config.gz kernel config file that the original firmware kindly provides but apparently this is not enough. It looks as though the sitecom kernel has been patched in some way to handle the flash memory correctly. When reading blocks from the flash memory, my kernel seems to read these 65k blocks as follows; 1 3 3 5 5 7 7 ... instead of 1 2 3 4 etc. One could argue that, since i have no use for the filesystem stored on the slash memory i do not need to read it from the kernel but then neither would i be able to write any updates to it ...
Another (smaller) problem is networking, the sitecom kernel seems to fetch the binary firmware from the fs, i'm not sure why my kernel does not (it looks like it is available).

My main goal is upgrading the kernel to something recent, if possible including a btrfs driver instead of the current zfs.

Anyone that can help me out here, or perhaps shed some light on my mtd problems?


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 Post subject: Re: Firmware overhaul
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 5980
WitchDoc wrote:
My main goal is upgrading the kernel to something recent, if possible including a btrfs driver instead of the current zfs.
You might find this interesting.

Quote:
perhaps shed some light on my mtd problems?
Did you already look at the Sitecom GPL sources? And maybe you don't even need to flash.


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 Post subject: Re: Firmware overhaul
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:52 pm
Posts: 2
I had seen the pogoplug kernel thread and already downloaded the sources ;) I'm building on the 2.6.24 sources since these are specifically patched for the OX810 platform, once this runs i've got a good base to have a go at the pogoplug sources. I might just try the pogoplug version for fun.

I started off with the sitecom GPL source but if i'm correct that contained vanilla 2.6.24.4 kernel sources, not much use ... come to think of it, i will have another look, just to be sure. The uboot replacement is cool but since i only have 1 device and no JTAG (i only have serial) not something i'm prepared to try, specially if this system uses some flash memory magic that requires a "secret" kernel patch.

That said it would be nice to have a better uBoot, i'm getting a little tired of entering the setenv and tftpboot commands over and over (i'm loading kernels directly in to memory instead of flashing the device for every change).


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