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Re: Howto install Debian arm

On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 9:04 AM, Denis Gottardello
<sviluppo.software@sintesisrl.net> wrote:
> Hello everybody. Can you explain me how to install Debian Lenny on this Arm
> board?

> http://www.bolymin.com.tw/Embeddeddetail.asp?productid=183

 denis, hi,

 it's complicated: you can expect to spend full-time six to twelve
weeks, reverse-engineering the hardware.  you start by buying one; you
open it up and see if it has a JTAG port easily accessible.  you
create a wiki page on e.g. handhelds.org, elinux.org or anywhere, and
you record the status of your reverse-engineering progress.  you
photograph all ICs and place them online.  you then ask people to help
identify the chips.  you then download HARET (or gnuharet) and you
also download the Microsoft MSVC ARM compiler (which does run under
Wine, successfully) in order to compile HARET.EXE (or you can
cross-compile gnuharet).  you then use HARET.EXE or gnuharet under
WINCE to poke around in the memory of the machine, looking for the
addresses of the hardware.  once you have done this, you can begin to
build a linux kernel, which you can start up in-memory using HARET.EXE
or gnuharet (just like LOADLIN.EXE used to be used for, under DOS and
Win95, on x86 systems).

with a little luck and a lot of patience, after you have spent six to
twelve weeks full-time reverse-engineering the hardware and you have
the linux kernel on the machine, you can then put any linux
distribution of your choice onto the machine.

however i recommend that you begin with a very large "initial ramdisk"
- initrd - into which you place e.g. dropbear (embedded ssh server),
usb gadget ethernet (if the ARM926 supports it), the ethernet driver
etc.  you can then log in to the system, remotely, without having to
reverse-engineer or touch the NAND flash.  the initrd can be loaded by
HARET.EXE or gnuharet into memory (under WINCE) and this will
jump-start you into a semi-working system, with a prompt, where you
will then be able to poke around, load and unload experimental modules
by scp'ing them over to the linux system running in-memory, from the

i did this for the HTC blueangel when i was reverse-engineering that
device: it worked very well as it saved on boot time.  i was able to
experiment loading and unloading the LCD screen driver and the
touchscreen driver, and it cut the development time from years to

yes, you heard me correctly: i did say it cut the reverse-engineering
development time from years to months.


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