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Re: Getting Debian running on an EfikaMX Smartbook

Hi Konstantinos,

Thanks for your quick reply!

markos@genesi-usa.com said:
> Please check again
> http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2196
> The image and the installer script *do* include 2D video drivers, just
> not the binary 3D GLES drivers, for which I'm working on a separate
> armhf repository which you'll be able to use -almost there just a

It says there, right in the first post:

"NOTE: No 2D/3D drivers have been included, as I'm in the process of
converting these to multiarch and setting up the repository for easier
download via apt-get. Stay tuned."

Anyhow, this is the image that I downloaded and installed on my SD card. As
I wrote in my original email, after putting the SD card in the left-side SD
slot and powering on the machine I get three flashes from the CAPS LED
which would appear to be U-boot starting up, then nothing.

Can you please confirm whether or not the image
"efikamx-armhf-20120226.img" is supposed to boot out of the box on the

> couple of packages missing. This installer script is a stop-gap until
> we get proper mainline support for the Efika displays so that you can
> install Debian armhf right out of the box on your system using plain
> Debian Installer (hint: we have 2D working on the Smarttop right now
> on 3.2.x, we'll make sure Smartbooks work as well before we release
> the display patches.

I understand that there would be work and time required to get display
drivers into the mainline; that's fine. But presumably at least the
pre-built image above can actually be used to boot a Smartbook today?

As for the installer script, I only need that if I want to
rebuild/customize your image from scratch, right?

> As a matter of fact I am running Debian armhf on my 2 Smartbooks and 8
> Smarttops (DISCLAIMER: I work for Genesi).
> In fact I had to as the Efikas were the first machines running armhf
> almost 2 years ago :)
> FWIW, I'm doing most (~90%) of my actual daily usage on the efikas,
> and only use my PC when I need to do some long compiles. I think
> you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you can do with the system,
> provided you know what you can expect from the hardware and dont'
> start comparing it to a typical PC.

Sounds good -- I got it precisely as an experiment to have a small cheap
netbook around to take on trips. If I'm happy with it, the other thing I'm
thinking of doing is building a custom installation for my Mum, with some
kind of dead simple "Connect to network, read my email, browse the web"
type UI.

And sure, I definitely don't expect an 800Mhz ARM to do what a modern
normal PC can do. I do most of my dev work on a 8 year-old Panasonic W4
(1Ghz P-M, 1GB RAM). Would love to replace that but means paying $$$$ and
ordering from Japan, so not right now.

> Hope I have been of help, but don't hesitate to ask me anything reg.
> armhf on the Efikas.

Yes, thanks, you've certainly reassured me -- apologies if my original post
was somewhat ranty, I just had the feeling I had purchased another random
embedded thingy with two-year old software on it I could do nothing about


Martin Lucina
http://lucina.net/ (interwebs/blogs/rants/consulting)
martin@lucina.net  (smtp/xmpp/jabber/gtalk)
@matolucina        (twitter)

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