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16  Linux Stuff / Linux distributions / Re: Debian on a non-dev-kit SheevaPlug? on: November 30, 2010, 12:53:32 AM
You might want to try sheeva-uboot-tools, they work for me. You can search the forum for them.

Newer hardware releases such as the GuruPlug use different checksum methods for uboot but if the TonidoPlug is based on standard Sheevaplugs, sheeva-uboot-tools should work at least for reading the configuration. Not sure if I would try to change the uboot configuration with those tools, though -- might be a bit risky.

17  Linux Stuff / Kernel / Re: sheevaplug USB mount fails periodically (debian) on: November 29, 2010, 01:27:15 PM
Is the hard disk attached to a USB hub? I had numerous issues with cheap USB hubs which kept disconnecting themselves (and all attached devices) every few days or weeks. Right now I'm using a Logitec hub which, unfortunately, is no longer available but with this hub the plug is running for months without any problems whatsoever. The chipset in the hub is:

  0409:005a NEC Corp. HighSpeed Hub

18  Linux Stuff / Kernel / Re: mmc issue with eSATA plugs on: November 29, 2010, 01:06:56 PM
That's indeed odd -- I, too, was under the impression that there's no hardware difference between the original Sheevaplug and the eSATA models from NewIT (except the eSATA port being soldered onto the circuit board, of course).

Maybe Martin is reading this and has a clue? He is maintaining the Debian ARM kernels... You may also try to send him an email -- he usually replies very quickly and helpfully; his email address can be found on his web page (http://www.cyrius.com/contact)

19  Linux Stuff / Linux distributions / Re: Debian on a non-dev-kit SheevaPlug? on: November 29, 2010, 12:50:08 PM
If you know that the uboot configuration will boot from USB disks (you can check this with tools that read the uboot configuration from the running Ubuntu installation), you could copy a bootstrap image to a USB disk and make sure the kernel and ramdisk images are stored in the correct place with the correct names (uImage and uInitrd most likely); check the script "flash-kernel" to see how this is usually done on Debian installations. Bootstrap images can be found on Martin's page. Make sure you patch the "flash-kernel" script correctly to prevent it from accidentally flashing the kernel to NAND as it would do on QNAP devices, for example.

You may also want to check whether you can find a serial header or pins to solder the serial cable to. A cheap and working cable that uses 5V on the serial port side and provides a USB/serial port adapter on the computer side is labeled CA-42; I used it on my NSLU2. For example (sorry, the page is in German):


The serial header may also be a USB port in disguise -- don't know the TonidoPlug good enough to tell.

20  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Error: couldn't bind to socket: Address already in use on: October 17, 2010, 10:37:58 PM
The error message means that something tries to bind to a socket number which is already in use. The first step would be to find out which socket number causes the problem -- maybe you have something already running which conflicts with ESIA. In order to find the number, try the following:

strace -f -e trace=bind -o strace.out php -f runme.php mmc

This will log all calls to the bind() system call to strace.out. After the error has occurred, check strace.out and find the socket number that causes the problem. Then run

netstat -anp | grep <number>

where <number> is the socket number identified above. This should give you the process that already uses this socket number.

21  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Headless X Server on: October 16, 2010, 01:37:11 PM
It's also be possible to run a display manager, for example gdm, without actually starting a local X server. In order to do so, remove the entries in the gdm configuration that launch local X servers and enable network access. You can then connect using the "-query" option for the x.org X server or similar options for other X servers. Or use an xdm chooser.

This way, no X server runs on the plug but you can connect remotely using an X server and the XDM protocol. If you're interested in further details, I can get configuration files from my office box -- a QNAP but it's the same Marvell CPU and running the same Debian Squeeze I have on my Sheeva Plug at home.

22  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Stack Trace during debian install on: September 29, 2010, 01:07:59 AM
Is this a GuruPlug? Because the SD card slot on GuruPlugs is attached to the USB bus...
23  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Stack Trace during debian install on: September 26, 2010, 11:00:02 PM
Looks like it crashes when scanning the USB bus. Is there anything special on your USB bus that could cause this symptom?
24  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: Does a 3G USB modem require additional power after network registration? on: September 26, 2010, 10:57:28 PM
While the Plug's power supply is known for breaking over time, especially when overloaded by unpowered USB devices, it can power things like an external hard drive even if it takes more than the nominal 500mA to start up. There's no circuit that would limit USB current to 500mA.

Unless your power supply is already half broken, I would not assume that the modem draws enough power to cause the symptoms you're describing.

But I don't have a good explanation about what else could be your problem, either. Maybe you could try hooking up the modem to a powered USB hub, just to rule out power problems?

25  General Category / General Discussion / Re: compiling C++ for a plug computer on: September 13, 2010, 03:36:48 PM
I even compile the kernel on the plug. Or tuxbox images (tuxbox being a Linux-based firmware image for TV set top boxes such as a DBox2). Or all kinds of stuff when I need a Linux box remotely.

The internal storage might be a bit too small for huge projects, though. I got a harddisk attached so that's not a problem in my case but I don't think I would waste the internal NAND storage with kernel sources...

26  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: How to build a native C compiler on a SheevaPlug? on: September 11, 2010, 10:46:36 AM
I wouldn't try and install binary Lenny packes in Squeeze because the dependencies may be all screwed up. But compiling a source package with apt-get and dpkg-buildpackage is so simple that it surprises me every time. In your case:

  • add the Lenny sources to /etc/apt/sources.list:
    deb-src http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ lenny main contrib non-free
  • run "apt-get update" or "aptitude update" to update the cache with available packages and sources
  • run "apt-cache showsrc gcc-3.4"
  • find the entry with the correct gcc version if there are multiple. In my case, there was only 3.4.6ds1-9 but there might be a slightly newer one as I didn't run "aptitude update" for a few weeks
  • create an empty directory for the build and change into it
  • run "apt-get source gcc-3.4" in the build directory; if you need to pick a specific version, add the version number to the package like so: "apt-get source gcc-3.4=3.4.6ds1"
  • change into the source directory (gcc-3.4-3.4.6ds1 in my case)
  • run "dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot" to build the compiler
  • once the build has completed successfully, you'll find binary package files to install with "dpkg -i" in the parent directory (the one above the source directory)

You may have to change configure options (e.g. to select the proper ABI) or hack the dependencies section if there are dependencies to older packages -- things should work with the versions provided by Squeeze because you recompile using those packages. Configure options can be changed in debian/rules and dependencies hacked in debian/control.

If you miss packages for the build, run "apt-get build-dep gcc-3.4" to have them automatically resolved (as far as they can be resolved with Squeeze packages). Again, if Squeeze only offers newer versions of packages needed at build time, I would install those newer packages, manually if necessary, and hack the debian/control file.

Last but not least, if you have to build again and again to get things resolved, you can add the option "-nc" (no clean) to the dpkg-buildpackage command to avoid having to start from scratch all the time.

Hope this helps (and works),
27  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: Make IP Forwarding permanent? on: September 10, 2010, 12:02:49 PM
See if you have a file called something like /etc/sysctl.conf and add the entry


If the file doesn't exist, locate a startup script (e.g. /etc/rc.local, this depends on your distribution) and add the following line:

echo 1 >/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

28  Linux Stuff / General Linux questions / Re: How to build a native C compiler on a SheevaPlug? on: September 10, 2010, 11:58:19 AM
I don't have finished configure arguments for you but maybe some pointers. I believe it's odd that it would try to find a label indicating gcc 3.5 while you're trying to compile 3.4.6. Maybe some bits of the toolchain are taken from the Ubuntu compiler, some from the one you're trying to compile. How far does the compile process get?

Another thing you may want to try is to find a source package for gcc 3.4.6 in the Ubuntu archives and check the configure arguments in there (.../debian/rules). You'll probably have to change some of the flags, most likely the ARM/ABI-related flags, but it would be a starting point.

BTW, Debian Lenny has a package for 3.4.6 (source and binary):


29  Linux Stuff / Kernel / Re: Unreadable characters in console on: August 20, 2010, 11:40:17 AM
There was an issue with recent releases of the Marvell CPU that led to incorrect clock rates in the Linux kernel. Those appear to affect the serial baud rate as well. If you use later kernels, the clock rate is detected correctly.

Sorry, I don't have the exact kernel versions right now but I seem to remember that Martin Michlmayr has fixed this in the latest Debian Squeeze kernels as well, even though they are still based on 2.6.32.

30  Hardware and U-Boot firmware / Hardware / Re: USB Weirdness on: August 20, 2010, 01:24:08 AM
As to the wiring diagram: Just hook up a 5V 2-3A PSU to the thin cables coming from the orignal power supply. Red is plus. There are other threads here on the forum with pictures and detailed instructions -- just seach for "dead" Wink

BTW, the power supply should of course be regulated. I would recommend to check the voltage with a meter to make sure it's 5V +- 0.1V both when idle and when connected to the plug to be on the safe side.

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