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Author Topic: Experiences so far  (Read 3571 times)

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« on: April 07, 2009, 11:38:22 PM »

My SheevaPlug arrived yesterday, and so far I'm very pleased with it, though I've come across quite a few minor issues. I thought I'd share to see whether other people are seeing the same things. I see a few have already appeared in the FAQ.

I started trying to follow Marvell's README 1.1 instructions. I downloaded the Linux host software support package, unzipped it, but then found that I got an error (not a bzip2 file) when I tried to uncompress Linux Host Filesystem - rootfs.tar.bz2.

So then I just booted the plug and logged in through the USB serial terminal. I got the IP address and logged in via SSH. I added /var/cache/apt/archives/partial to get apt to work. I also had to get DNS to work by enabling the DHCP server's DNS information - just comment out the line 'supercede domain-name-servers' in /etc/dhclient.conf, and run /etc/init.d/networking restart.

I've seen a few messages in the logs like this:
JFFS2 notice: (687) check_node_data: wrong data CRC in data node at 0x048b3000: read 0xab835e7d, calculated 0xb7afc291.

On a couple of occasions the plug has hung completely when connecting a USB device. This appeared to be to do with the electrical connection not being made cleanly rather than any software problem (in one instance I tried to plug in the USB cable upside down). Both devices which caused this problem later connected without issue.

I tried to use a couple of FTDI USB->serial based devices, but no device file was created on connection. There doesn't seem to be a ftdi driver in the kernel, and there seem to be no kernel modules on the filesystem. I can't find any more information about that.

I see that the openplug downloads section has an image called Ubuntu 9.05, but I can't find any commentary as to what it is. I also considered compiling my own kernel, but couldn't find any reference as to whether 2.6.30 (currently at rc1) should work.

I look forward to hearing other people's experiences!

« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009, 01:17:20 AM »

I've had the same issue with hotplugging usb devices.  Seems to kill both the usb host and the usb serial terminal requiring a reboot of the plug.

The ubuntu-9.0.5.Release.jffs2 is used in conjunction with uImage.sheeva.20090319 to make a complete computer.  Flash the uImage to /dev/mtd1 and the jffs to /dev/mtd2 (you shouldn't need to do this out of the box I believe.) and you will have a working computer.

The plug kernel is pretty monolithic.  While rebuilding it I found that the kernel does not have ftdi_sio turned on by default.  What ftdi device are you trying to attach to the plug? On a side note, it also has NFS turned on, but no CIFS or Samba which is fairly odd.

If you manage to get the kernel rebuilt, I could sure use some pointers.  Despite having a good cross compile enviroment on my linux development enviroment I've been unable to successfully rebuild the kernel image to include what I need.

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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 06:45:32 AM »

Does the plug have the required compiler tools to compile a kernal locally, rather than cross-compiling?

I took your advice, by the way - I bought a terabyte external drive for when my plug arrives. It's this thing, and I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality.


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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 02:20:40 PM »

I've been compiling locally without too many problems, but I havent tried to build a kernel.

I set up NFS to a disk on another system so I wouldnt thrash the flash during the compiles.

I installed gcc, make and subversion from the Ubuntu repository. They work fine.

My first local build was mplayer.  I got the sources from svn and tried to build it.

The build failed trying to assemble some arm specific optimizations.
I found that allthough I enabled armv5te in the configuration it was generally ignored in the Makefile. So I modified config.mak - inserting -march=armv5te in the C and Assembler options.
Then it built a working mplayer!

I don't need a new kernel yet, so I'm going to hold off on that exercise for a while.

Hope this helps.

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