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Joined: 14-April 10
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Last Seen: 1st July 2010 - 11:26 PM
Local Time: Jun 20 2013, 08:53 AM
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11 Jun 2010
as I had Hackweek 5 at work, I had a look into Netwalker's kernel a bit. My aim was to port latest Netwalker's coe which can be found in Ubuntu 2.6.28 araneo kernel sources to latest 2.6.31 Freescale kernel. I'm not telling I'm kernel expert but I gave a try. At the end of this week I abandoned this idea
I have never seen such mess. As some of you alrerady know, there is no machine ID dedicated to Netwalker. There is used one for Babbage board which is quite (but not completely) similar. Unfortunately this machine ID is used in RedBoot - the Netwalker's bootloader, so to do things correctly NOR flash where RedBoot is located need to be altered and you can brick your device when this is not done correctly. Great! When this is done, change in current kernel is quite cosmetic.
Unfortuinately - this is the lesser problem. Bigger problem is that board configuration is written in headers statically and #ifdefs are ensuring that right HW is used. This would mean maintaining separate kernel tree for Netwalker and porting to newer versions will be always pain. As the biggest pain I find fact that there are widespread #ifdefs in 46 files in different areas of kernel altering code slightly for Netwalker. That means a LOT of time to do things correctly and maintainable. It seems that these changes were done by Nissin Systems Co.,Ltd. - thanks for hardly maintainable code!
I abandoned porting code to Freescale's kernel but I hope there is way to do it correctly in upstream. That will be my long term focus.
UPDATE: it seems that some files contain some partial backport of newer kernel features and statistic measurement so the count of files which needs to be reworked is a bit smaller. It also seems that hidden cursor in framebuffer console is ugly handled feature, not bug. Authors didn't want to have SHARP logo (which seems to be easily altered) disturbed by blinking cursor.
UPDATE2: Yes! Got blinking cursor - what a relief...
22 Apr 2010
I was thinking about creating second stage kexec based bootloader. I have it done completely (boot from internal flash, SD card, USB and set preffered way of boot) with plans to enhance in mind (like restoring flash without restore system on microSD card, creating backups, etc.), but I fail with booting through kexec. I'm using sources 126.96.36.199 (sources of linux-image-*-araneo19).
Was anyone successful in booting through kexec?
I know that kexec utils need to be patched and I got to new kernel I think, but it hangs with white screen and watchdog kill it in a minute.
And one question a bit offtopic - does anyone found the way how to boot initrd from card? I'm not sure, what to put into boot.conf so it loads also initrd...
14 Apr 2010
I'm here because member of Sharpnetwalker yahoo group point us about this forum with its own section dedicated to Sharp PC-Z1 Netwalker. Finally I can vent all that pain about poor quality of kernel code, share informations I found so far and find some proper substitute for Ubuntu.
I hope I passed (http://xkcd.com/632/)
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