OESF Portables Forum

General Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: penguinman on September 17, 2020, 10:40:35 pm

Title: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: penguinman on September 17, 2020, 10:40:35 pm
Recently I bought a used Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1 in excellent condition as my learning machine for linux. The preloaded system (Ubuntu 9.04) is okay but I really want to update the system to make the device practical for real use. Plus I simply hate its UI.

For those not familiar with this old machine, it runs on an i.mx515 and the stock kernel is 2.6.28.
Official source codes are here: https://jp.sharp/support/mit/source/download/fileset_001.html
The latest source I can find is 2.6.31: https://github.com/darion76/linux-sharp-netwalker-2.6.31

I've done a bit of research but there was so little info about running linux on this machine, and all the information looks rather outdated. At first I wanted to start with Debian, but the information there fails to enlighten me as to how to install that: https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Sharp/PC-Z1NetWalker

So I would be most appreciative if someone can guide me where to get started to breathe new life into this adorable gadget.
I have no preference for distros (debian based, arch, fedora, suse, etc). As long as a current system can be set up and run X I am a happy guy. :)

Thanks all!!

p.s. I am also aware that NetBSD (up to the current 9.0) has a port for NetWalker under the branch of evbarm. 9.0 fails to boot (throws tons of errors on boot), while 8.2 did boot, but the booting USB (created by dd the raspberry pi image) was mounted as a read-only UFS filesystem and I couldn't do anything to go further.  So I just gave up.

Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Varti on September 18, 2020, 07:12:44 am
Hi and welcome!

I'm not aware of any more recent kernel available for the Netwalker, I'm afraid the only solution to this is to attempt a port yourself. For now you might try to use LXDE as UI, which apparently runs much faster on the Netwalker: https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?topic=34496.0

For reference, here's the archived NetWalker board on OESF, you might find some valuable info there: https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?board=166.0
Note that currently all the links to other threads on the board are broken; we have recently updated the forum and we still need to figure out how to fix them.

The NetBSD port might be broken because no-one is currently maintaining it, the same problem might be with the Zaurus port.

Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Mike1978 on April 05, 2021, 04:03:01 pm
Hi I have joined this forum as when searching for how to restore the Sharp Netwalker I came across this post.
I attempted to download from the web archive but sadly the link seems to be failing and timing out.
So if anyone has a copy of the file from the website netwalker.img I would really appreciate a copy. Id like to start by resetting it to the stock build.
I bought mine via the yahoo auctions on Buyee but frustratingly the build on it is password locked and in Japanese and Im unable to find a way around this to reset it.
It came with a 2gb card which looks to have a build on it as the file structure looks plausible as a build disk as the files match what I had read online in a few forums, but it fails to rebuild when holding down the two mouse buttons when I restart it despite getting the prompts to do so it simply switches off.

So any advice would be greatly appreciated, even if I can find a way to reset the password so I can convert it back to English and maybe navigate it more easily.

Thanks Varti for posting the archive link I found it useful, although frustrating as I can't use the restore instructions from the web archive.
Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Varti on April 06, 2021, 05:02:34 am
Hi and welcome!

Unfortunately it seems that the archive.org mirror is still gone, I'll get in touch with the maintainers, I hope they'll manage to bring the archive back online. In the meanwhile, I have found two recovery backups elsewhere, you might want to try them instead:

(link: netwalker.img)

(link: netwalker.tar.gz)

I'm now downloading both archives to mirror them here.

Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Mike1978 on April 07, 2021, 03:23:27 pm
Thanks for the fast reply, I’ve actually had a little bit of luck having read some of the archive posts I saw that I had missed a step. I had not previously plugged in the device when trying to use the sd card to run the restore. It appeared all along I had everything I needed. Except initially for an 11v plug which I found a suitable one on Amazon thankfully.
I tried the sd card that came with my device which I thought had the restore files on it and luck has it it worked. I even translated it to English connected to the web and visited a few web pages. I’m wondering if I should image this disk or if it’s the same as those that have been provided.

Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Varti on April 08, 2021, 10:26:31 am
Glad to hear you have managed to restore your Netwalker. In the meanwhile I have contacted the Wayback Machine admins about the not working link, they have now fixed it, I have compressed and mirrored the archive here:


Thanks for the offer for the disk image. I cannot test the above archive since I don't own a Netwalker, so I would be grateful if you could share an image of your recovery disk. I'll check the contents of the image, if it will appear to be different than the others I'd mirror it here as well, just in case it might be useful in future to other users.

Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Mike1978 on April 08, 2021, 04:10:33 pm
I’ll do so, will message when I’ve imaged it
Title: Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
Post by: Mike1978 on April 14, 2021, 04:46:45 am

Sorry for the delay - life and other projects delayed me..

I've uploaded it to my google drive and made a public link.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B3PD2iWOj_8-0Hat7IW9gI4y-MowBPAN/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B3PD2iWOj_8-0Hat7IW9gI4y-MowBPAN/view?usp=sharing)

Let me know if you can get to it..

It's in a rar file and the underlying file is imaginatively called Netwalker.img no passwords / hashes.