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Re: armel disk image

Jeff Breidenbach wrote:
> Ok, I made one too ...
> Now I need three things - help.
> 1) A website to post armel-2gb.img.gz. This is presumably contaminated
> with the proprietary network driver, so it should be behind one of those
> stupid click-through license agreements. There's already similar armel
> stuff at http://www.slug-firmware.net - can someone with a connection
> there help me? This is a ~150MB file.

This is one of the reasons why the nslu2-linux project carries kernel
patches which load the proprietary firmware from a separate MTD flash
partition, which is flashed once and never again modified irrespective
of the kernel, initramfs or rootfs contents (or modifications to such).

This isolates the proprietary code, and would mean that you could host
the 150MB file anywhere (since it would then be DFSG compliant).

We agree on the stupidity of the required click through licenses, and as
such we try and miminize the number of times you need to see it to only
*once* when you download your very first Debian/NSLU2 flashable image.

Martin, is there any chance of doing this for the Debian kernel?

I can investigate the bandwidth and download quota implications of
hosting the 150MB file on slug-firmware.net, but would strongly prefer
not to do so for the reasons above.  We really want to restrict that
site to flashable 8MiB firmware images that contains the proprietary
code, not complete distro root filesystems.

> 2) I don't actually know how to pull off the firmware currently flashed
> to the nslu2. That means I don't have a copy of armel-firmware.bin
> mentioned in the instructions. How do I do that? 

cat /dev/mtdblock* > backup.bin

> I presumably would
> dump a copy of this on the same website as the armel-2gb.img.gz.
> Although if it isn't contaminated by the proprietary ethernet driver, I can
> easily find a home for it. (Joey: is it contaminated or not?)

It is almost guaranteed that an 8MiB firmware image will contain Intel
proprietary microcode (if not in the last flash block where we put it
for the open source driver to load it, then in the RedBoot bootloader in
the first flash block - unfortunately that copy cannot be used by the
open source driver due to major microcode version mismatches).

That 8MiB image I would be happy to host on the slug-firmware.net site.

> 3) I should put these instructions on a wiki or something so that users
> can make notes when or if they run into problems. Can some existing
> Linux / Debian / NSLU provide a wiki page I can edit? I don't really
> want to run my own wiki.

Feel free to make a new page hanging off


but perhaps


would be a better place to consolidate all the armel information.

-- Rod Whitby
-- NSLU2-Linux Project Lead

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