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Porting Debian to the Excito B3


I am considering to try and port Debian to the Excito B3 [1]. This is a
small size, low consuption, Marvell Kirkwood-based home server.

    [1] http://www.excito.com/bubba/products/overview.html

B3s are provided with a pre-installed custom Debian, with a custom
kernel and a specific web-based administration interface. I had some
email exchange with Excito! the kernel customization are for handling
LEDs and switches, nothing very important for the beginning.

They boot using Das U-Boot, which is installed on flash banks, and
configured to look for a kernel uImage on either:
• normal mode: internal SATA drive, first MS-DOS partition, Ext2/3 file
  system, a given path;
• rescue mode: external USB drive, first MS-DOS partition, FAT file
  system, a given path.

The only no-so-cool think I can see with the B3 is that its serial port
is not very accessible, as it requires soldering. This will be a good
occasion for me to finally get a soldering iron. :-)

So I think porting Debian simply means adapting flash-kernel to install
the uImage to the right path, and building installation images for USB
drives. I will have some questions about flash-kernel and devio, but I
shall ask them in another message. Is there anything I forget?

Excito are quite friendly to free software developers, and they can
offer some rebates for free software development. They can even provide
hardware for free to work on Debian: I think I shall ask one, but if
the project or other contributors need some ARM hardware, they may be a
hardware sponsor.

: /` )   Tanguy Ortolo <xmpp:tanguy@ortolo.eu> <irc://irc.oftc.net/Elessar>
| `-'    Debian Maintainer

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