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Debian on C750 The Easy Way

A very quick, dirty, and (hopefully) easy howto.



Here are some easy to follow instructions to set up
a debian chroot environment on an SD card.

My setup: C750 running cacko 1.18 w/256MB Lexar SD
card and a Netgear MA701 CF wireless network card.

All the hard work to make this possible was done by
Klaus Weidner. I am merely trying to provide some
clear, easy to follow, documentation for C7X0 Zaurus users.

To install pocket workstation:
0. Check out Klaus' website. But don't getdiscouraged by the
confusing, outdated instructions. Go to the downloads
section and get the BIG tgz file and gnu-tar-static. You will need
gnu-tar-static if you intend to unpack the
file on the zaurus, say from a CF card to a
SD card. That's what I did. It took a while, but it worked ok.

0.5 Only read this step if you do not know howto make an ext2 filesystem on a SD card.a. Stick the SD card in the Z. It will be   automounted.b. unmount /dev/mmcda1 from the terminal app.
c. fdisk /dev/mmcda
d. delete existing FAT16 partition
e. create new partition of type 83 (Linux)
f. write partition table
g. create ext2 filesystem. mke2fs /dev/mmcda1
1. Unpack Klaus's big debian .tgz file onto an
ext2-formatted 256MB (at least) SD card. Put it
all in one directory called debroot. I put the
.tgz and gnu-tar on a CF card using a PC
cardreader and then unpacked to
SD using the steps below. This took a while.
You may discover at this point that your
zaurus+card don't like each other--i.e. that the
sdmmc bug has reared its ugly head. See below,
but there's really not much that can be done.
#cd /mnt/cf
#mkdir /mnt/card/debroot
#./gnu-tar -C /mnt/card/debroot -xvzpf zaurus-debian-*.tgz
2. Exit Qtopia. How? First goto a terminal and
#echo a > /home/sharp/etc/launch.default.
If you don't do this step, qtopia will just restart.
Then use the shutdown app to TERMINATE QTOPIA.

3. You should see a login prompt. Login as root. If
your screen does not scroll properly when you
get to the bottom, type clear to get back to the
top of a clear screen. (I have this problem on my C750.)
# cd /mnt/card
4. Run the postinst.sh and answer the prompts.
#./debroot/INSTALL.d/postinst.sh
DO NOT SAY YES when asked to start the Vncserver and Fbvnc.


5. Take a look at /mnt/card/debroot/usr/local/bin/zvncserver.
Change C700to your model CXX0 if you don't have C700.
(I have C750.) If you have aSL5X00, don't change anything.

Make sure you edit /usr/local/bin/Fbvnc, add "-hw c700"
switch to fbvnc invocation (two places).

You may have real problems using vi outside of
qtopia. Do all your editing in a the qtopia terminal app.

One C760 user reported that the included
/usr/local/bin/fbvnc would not start for him
and that he needed to download this file

6. Run Vncserver to start the vncserver.

7. Run Fbvnc to connect to it.

icewm and some aterms should start up at this point.
icewm has two graphical config tools, icepref and iceme.
You might want to try apt getting them.

#apt-get install packagename


8. Mommy, I wanna go back to Qtopia.

You can get out of the X environment by pressing
SHIFT+Fn+Q. You should be back to the command
prompt after pressing Shift+Fn+Q.
To get back to qtopia, run the script to stop
zdebian, put a q in launch.default, and exit.

#/etc/rc.d/init.d/zdebian stop
#echo q > /home/sharp/etc/launch.default
#exit



SD card problems


Many people have problems cleanly unmounting their
SD cards after exiting the chroot environment.
This is because processes from the chroot
environment are still running. You need to make sure
all processes from thechroot environment are dead and that the
/mnt/card/debroot/procfilesystem is unmounted.
The `zdebian stop` ought to have done this, but
it may not have. Here is my debkill script
below. kbdsim and python are for pockettop IR keyboard.

killall python
rmmod kbdsim/etc/rc.d/init.d/zdebian stop
#Just making sure.
killall Xvnc
killall icewm
killall S99zdebian
umount /mnt/card/debroot/proc
crashes due to buggy sdmmc module
I have experienced this problem a great deal on the
SL5000 using a variety of different ROMs and
different SD cards, but it has never happened to
me using the C750, using Lexar 128 and 256 MB cards.
Your mileage will probably vary.

The sdmmc module has problems with some Zaurus
models or with some combination of certain brand SD cards and zaurus models.
During intense write-activity, the filesystem on the
SD card goes dead and any process that touches it becomes a zombie.

Try mounting your card with the sync option. This will slow things down quite a bit. :(