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Debian ARM on Gp2x?

Hello All,

I would like to pick up a thread called "Re: home project" from 16 Jul
2006. For the online archive please see here,
For convenience I have included the last (and most important message
below, I apologise in advance if this is against the conventions of
this list. I cannot reply in the normal way as I have just joined the

Okay to the point. A Korean company called 'Game Park Holdings' has
created a cute little handheld console for the homebrew and emulation
game market. I am wondering if Debian ARM or something similar can be
made to work on it?

Here are the specs:

-It is an ARM9 based system. The main processor is a 200MHz ARM920T,
and there is also a 200MHz ARM940T used mainly for graphics rendering
and so on.
- It has 64 MB of SDRAM used for memory.
- It has 64 MB of writable NAND Flash used for the main operating system.
- It has SD Card of 1 to 4 GB used for programs and user data.
- It has an unpowered USB port.
- It has a so-called EXT connection, this can be used with different
external adapters to become a serial cable or powered USB connection
or TV cable or other things.
- It has an integrated display, 320×240.

More specs can be read here:

It currently runs its own version of GNU/Linux, it boots with some
kind of bootsplash but with Ctrl+C (on USB keyboard) you can
interrupt, or you can get to the console through a serial cable, or
through a graphical terminal called STerm. The kernel source that it
uses is available. as well as the source for the boot loader (Das
U-Boot), and some other bits and bobs.

In many ways it is a lovely piece of hardware. When used with a USB
keyboard and a USB wireless stick, it is basically a very light,
portable and cheap laptop. The same specs as a circa 1998 machine that
weighs 160 grams.

I have used Debian and Gentoo quite a bit over the years, and I have
done some cross-compiling before, but never for ARM. I also have made
liveCDs and such. So I am willing to do a bit of work to 'roll my
own'. I have access to Linux workstations and servers to do
cross-compiling on.

So I am wondering if I can roll a working distro for this, I am still
doing the initial research really. Any tips you can provide would be
much appreciated. Especially if you know how this processor fits into
the ARM kernels that Debian has.

Thankyou for reading and best wishes,


Mikael Larsson wrote:

   hi there!

   I am not sure if this is the right place for this... but I'll give
it a try...

   the thing is I got myself a little portable game console called
gp2x... it contains a strongarm 266mhz 64meg ram 64 meg nand flash for
op system and 2gig sd memory, and a realy realy light version of
linux... It also got an usb port which it is possible to mount
harddrives etc on...

   Hmm being quite new to developing under linux and esp for anything
not x86, I was wondering... if the machine got a working linux running
at the moment? do you people think it would be possible to install a
more complete version of say debian on it?

   It might sound strange, but my gold is to have this little
handheld as a mail server and file server... but considering this
built in linux it wont do... no make no build commands :(

   ok this is tad confused sorry if I made no sense and spammed ya folks :)

Did you open this device?

Perhaps the easiest way to get something useful on this device (i.e.
debian) would be to open the device, and find the serial console, if
it has any.

Where the current operating system is: on 64 meg flash, or on 2 GB SD card?

Does it have a network card? How did you connect to the Linux that's
on this device right now? Do you have a "chroot" command on this

Does the device work in big-endian or in little-endian mode?
What kernel does it have?

There are many questions, perhaps you will find most answers to it on
http://openwrt.org (and figure out how to get debian on it thanks to
it, too).

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