Author Topic: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?  (Read 514 times)


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Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
« 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:
The latest source I can find is 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bit of research but there was so little info about running linux on this machine, and all the information looks rather outdated.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:

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.


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Re: Updating Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1: Where to start?
« Reply #1 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:

For reference, here's the archived NetWalker board on OESF, you might find some valuable info there:
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.

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