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Re: Providing (armhf) u-boot images together with d-i images?

On Wed, 3 Dec 2014 23:09:17 +0100
Karsten Merker <merker@debian.org> wrote:

> several armhf systems do not have u-boot (or another firmware) in
> non-volatile (i.e. ROM/Flash) memory, but instead store their
> system firmware on a removable medium such as an SD card.  In
> many cases the user does not receive a suitable firmware medium
> when buying the hardware, because the vendors often expect these
> devices to be used with pre-built android images.  This means
> that a user who has freshly bought such a system and wants to
> install Debian on it, has to first find and install an appropriate
> u-boot image to be able to start d-i.

vmdebootstrap can create a suitable image although it isn't actually
the installer. There is an example script for beaglebone-black and if
someone has the knowledge of the u-boot setup for particular boards,
that can be added to the examples.

This gets around the problem of needing armhf setup first, via qemu.
> Debian provides appropriate u-boot images for several supported
> systems in the u-boot-{exynos,imx,omap,sunxi} packages, but those
> are not easily accessible to somebody who does not already run a
> Debian/armhf system (or at least Debian on another architecture),

There's also a lack of documentation of exactly how to use the u-boot
files for some boards and get to a working uboot.

> so I am wondering whether we should offer these u-boot images
> (in unpacked form) together with the d-i images, similar to what
> we do with the device-tree files extracted from the linux-image
> package.

The modules.tgz would also be handy...


Neil Williams

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