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Help with the SS4000-e install process

Hi all,

I am new to the whole cross-compile, embedded linux world and trying to
install debian on my SS4000E. I have a number of questions below. I know
there is a ss4000e.pkg file that can short cut some of these steps and I may
end up using that if I can't make progress but in the interest of improving
my understanding I have followed the suggestions for compiling my own kernel
as at  http://em7210.kwaak.net/cgi-bin/trac.cgi/wiki/DebianInstall

1) One of the things that is new to me is making my own serial cable and
using them in general. Currently when I plug the cable in, I am getting no
characters on the console using gtkterm or the 'cu' command line application
(ttyS0,115200,8N1). I am attempting to test the cable by connecting it to
the nas device and PC before setting up the tftp server. Should I get
characters on the console if I haven't setup DHCP/tftp/boot image yet for
the nas box? I.E. I am just booting it without any software changes. (Sorry
if this is a stupid question but I am attempting to deal with 1 issue at a
time and make sure the cable is working.)

2) I read forum post where people are cutting holes in their nas box for the
ribbon cable. I thought the ribbon cable was only necessary to get linux
installed and after that it could be removed?

3) Whilst trying to build the arm based boot image I have done the

3.1) Downloaded the linux kernel   ftp.kernel.org
3.2) Downloaded the patches from
3.3) Create a directory to hold the extracted files
3.4) Changed directory into the kernel source and then ran the following
bash script to patch. 

patches=`cat ../ss4000e/series`
for patch in $patches; do
        if [ ${patch:0:1} = '#' ] 
        then echo 'no!'
         echo `/usr/bin/patch -p1 < ../ss4000e/$patch`

At first I battled with the patches not being applied properly to the kernel
because of version differences. I eventually managed to get the patches to
apply using kernel-2.6.32 and 2.6.26 and applying the patch from the git
repository from 2009-09-28 and  2009-07-03 respectively. 

3.5) I then copied over the .config file as specified in the wiki (cp
arch/arm/configs/em7210_defconfig .config) but had to run 'make ARCH=arm
oldconfig' to get the missing config entries sorted. I could then run 


Although the compile started ok it always fails on the GPIO drivers. It did
this for both the 2.6.32 and 2.6.26 and 2.6.22 kernels. I eventually got
around this by removing the "GPIO drivers for em7210"  from the kernel
completely, in the .config file, but not sure if they are required for boot
image. What am I doing wrong? Why can't I get it to compile? All of them
complained about the class_device_destroy but there were differences in the
error messages for each kernel. Here is the message for the 2.6.26 kernel.

drivers/misc/gpio.c: In function 'gpiodrv_cleanup':
drivers/misc/gpio.c:244: error: implicit declaration of function
make[2]: *** [drivers/misc/gpio.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [drivers/misc] Error 2
make: *** [drivers] Error 2
4) I should not be able to complete brick this system? Or could that end up

Thats it for now but I am sure I will have more as I progress.

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