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Status of Debian on QNAP

I wanted to capture the status of Debian on QNAP.  These devices are
slowly reaching end of life but there are still users.

The only ARM devices supported in Debian are the TS-x09 series based
on a Marvell Orion chip, and the the Kirkwood based devices

# Kirkwood

* There were some reports that Wake-on-LAN (WOL) stopped working in
  Debian 10 (buster).  I'm not sure if it stopped working for
  everyone or what the circumstances are.  Nobody looked into it.

* There are some issues setting the RTC:
  I'm not sure if this got resolved (Uwe Kleine-König?)

* Models with 1 GB RAM don't work.  We reported this upstream
  several times and it never got fixed.  The best solution is
  to add a mem=768M parameter to the kernel options.  I've
  added docs on my web site on how to do this.

If someone is interested in tracking down these issues and getting
them fixed in Debian 10 (buster), please speak up.

# Orion

* When buster came out, there was a kernel oops when booting.  Thanks
  to Arnaud Patard, this got fixed upstream.  It was fixed in Debian
  unstable in September 2019 (bug #908712) but unfortunately the fix
  never made it into the 4.19 kernel upstream... until recently.
  This will be in Debian 10.7 in a few weeks.  Given this bug, I
  believe there aren't many Orion users left (although I get emails
  from time to time).

* Debian installer is not available with buster (due to size limitations
  in MTD flash).  It's still possible to install stretch and upgrade.
  In theory, it would be possible to have a small ramdisk that loads
  debian-installer from a USB stick, but someone would have to do the
  work.  I don't believe there are many QNAP on Orion users left.

* qcontrol doesn't work on Orion devices: I'm not entirely sure if this
  applies to all devices or only some.  I think it's a communication issue
  with the PIC.  See bug #933294  Someone would have to try older kernels
  to see when this issue was introduced.

* Otherwise I'm not aware of any major issues

# Debian 11 (bullseye)

QNAP support won't be in Debian 11 (and probably the whole armel port
will be dropped).  Support in the Debian kernel package was disabled
in August 2019 due to size issues.

While I still get emails about Debian on QNAP, the amount of email
has definitely decreased over the years, so I think by the time
Debian 10 reaches its end of life most people will be okay with
decommissioning the hardware (or running an unsupported OS).

Martin Michlmayr

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