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Update on Thecus N2100 support in Debian

Since Debian lenny (version 5.0) has now been released (see
<http://www.debian.org/News/2009/20090214>), I thought I'd provide
an update on Thecus N2100 support in Debian.

Thecus N2100 support in lenny

The Thecus N2100 continues to be supported in lenny.  In my view, N2100
support is basically in "maintenance mode" since most things are
supported.  Some changes or important notes for lenny:

 - Riku Voipio added support for the LED and beeper.  This means that
   the orange light will no longer flash by default, and that you can
   control the LED and beeper.  The beeper can be used e.g. with:
       beep -e /dev/input/event0 -f 220 -l 500 -d 500 -r 3

 - The r8169 network driver still has some issues but they might get
   fixed soon.  The 2.6.18 kernel in etch had some problems with NFS
   that got fixed later, but the multicast problem (#488495) from etch
   is still present in lenny.  The good news is that Thecus recently
   sent a N2100 to Francois Romieu, the developer of the r8169 driver,
   so hopefully we'll get a bug fix soon.  When there is a fix, I'll
   make sure it will be part of the next stable update of Debian.

 - There's still no DMA support, but I will provide an unofficial
   kernel for lenny that has some DMA patches:

Debian's ARM ports: arm vs armel

Debian lenny has added a new ARM port, known as "armel", which is based
on the new ARM EABI.  The old "arm" port is now deprecated but will
continue to be supported for lenny.  It's up to you whether you want to
move to armel or stay with arm; moving to armel involves a new
installation of your system.

See http://wiki.debian.org/ArmEabiPort for more information on the
EABI port.

IOP and new devices

The Intel IOP chip used in the Thecus N2100 has been EOLed at the end
of 2008 and the Thecus N2100 has been EOLed as well.  We'll of course
continue to support the Thecus N2100 in Debian.

In Debian lenny, we added support for Marvell's Orion platform which is
a good alternative to IOP: http://www.cyrius.com/debian/orion/  There
are many interesting devices based on Orion, in particular the QNAP
Turbo Station series.

Now that lenny is out, I'll also look into adding support for Marvell's
new Kirkwood platform which goes up to 2 GHz.  There are not many
Kirkwood based devices yet but I expect there will be some soon.  If
you're interested in following my progress on this, I suggest you
subscribe to me blog: http://www.cyrius.com/journal

Problems, etc

If you have any problems with Debian on your Thecus N2100 that I'm not
aware of, please let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Martin Michlmayr

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