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Experimental developer release for QNAP TS-109/TS-209

I'm hereby making an experimental developer release of
debian-installer available for QNAP TS-109/TS-209.  And when I mean
"developer release", I mean it.  This is not for end-users but for
people who know what they are doing.  Also, it's quite experimental
and had little testing.  I performed a couple of successful
installation with these installer images, but that's it.  Note that
this release installs Debian unstable rather than testing (lenny)
because the 2.6.25 kernel is not in testing yet.  This means if
unstable is not installable on a given day, the installer will fail to
install Debian.


 - A QNAP TS-109 or TS-209.  Support for TS-409 will be added soon.

 - A serial console.

 - A TFTP server.

Before making the installation

I recommend you boot the QNAP firmware and then make copies of your MTD
flash, i.e.
  cat /dev/mtdblockX > mtdX
for X = 0...5  Then copy mtd0...5 somewhere.

Also, make a backup of your hard drive in case you have any data on it
because debian-installer will wipe the whole disk.

Starting the installer

Download the two files (initrd.gz and kernel) from
and put them on your TFTP server.  Then boot your QNAP, press a key
on the serial console so you can enter commands and enter:

setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200n8 root=/dev/ram rw initrd=0x800000,0x3fffff
setenv serverip
setenv ipaddr
tftpboot 0x0800000 ts-209/armel/di/initrd.gz
tftpboot 0x400000 ts-209/armel/di/kernel
bootm 0x400000

Replace with something appropriate for your
network and ts-209/armel/di/ with the path on your TFTP server.

The installation

When debian-installer starts it will show you a message after a few
minute saying that you can log in via SSH.  You can either follow
these instructions or simply press enter and go ahead with the
installation on the serial console.

After selecting the mirror, you will get a message "Download installer
components" saying "Continue the install without loading kernel
modules?".  Simply answer "yes", this is harmless.

Partition your disk (guided partition will do the right thing), and
install the system.  At some point it will ask you "Kernel to install:".
Choose "linux-image-2.6.25-1-orion5x" and go ahead.

At the end of the installation, the new kernel and ramdisk should be
written to flash and you should be able to boot into your new Debian

Missing things

 - The PIC control tool is not installed automatically yet (needed for
   LEDs and fan) because it's not in Debian yet.

 - Add some more customizations for NAS devices, e.g. a config option
   for e2fsck so it won't prompt the user to press enter or something.

Future work

The current plan is to produce a beta2 release based on 2.6.24, but
we need 2.6.25 for Orion/QNAP support.  beta3 will be based on
2.6.25.  So we will continue to make unofficial test images based on
2.6.25 available for now, and then make sure everything is in place
for beta3.  beta3 will then be the first release of QNAP support aimed
at end users.

Some specific work that's needed:

 - Add TS-409 support (I just completed everything, but it needs a few
   days to enter the archive).

 - Test it more

 - Document it better.

 - Write a script to flash the installer in the QNAP firmware so people
   don't have to start it via TFTP and the serial console.


QNAP for supporting this effort, Frans Pop for answering some questions
about debian-installer, Byron Bradley for adding TS-209 kernel support,
Sylver Bruneau for TS-409 kernel support, the Marvell team for all
their help.

Martin Michlmayr

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