OLPC Firmware q3a59

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OLPC Firmware Release q3a59 2010-11-03

New support for dual boot from one SD card.

Works on XO-1.5 A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, C1 ,C2 and C3 systems, but does not work on any XO-1 machines.

Download: q3a59.rom

Changes since q3a58

  • OLPC Trac 10374 - fixed "off by 1" bug in the SD card size calculation for the CSD Version 2.0 case. This problem was causing spurious warnings about the OS size exceeding the card size.
  • OLPC - Integrated Windows booting into the normal "disk-label" mechanism, thus avoiding the need for a separate "/xp" device node and making it possible to boot Windows from either internal or external SD devices (or even from USB).
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - Added menu for dual-booting, including changes in the menu code to support per-menu icon size and layout grid.
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - Added LICENSE file to document Creative Commons license for settings icon.
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - Added choose-os for switching MBRs for different OSs on the same SD.
  • Added new feature to the dropin manager whereby you can declare a reserved area that will be skipped (covered by a dummy dropin module), and used it in the OLPC XO-1.5 build to allow the dropin modules to extend into the fxxxx bank. Thanks to James Cameron for writing the code.
  • Added some variants of t( to prepare for timers with narrow width and different granularity.
  • FAT filesystem reader - handle files larger than 2 GiB (but files larger than 4 GiB will still fail). Is it even possible to have files that large with FAT?
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - dual boot, use rocker down key for menu, restore pretty boot.
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - dual boot, enable third SD slot for Windows sometimes. During Windows boot preparation, determine which SD slot is being used for the boot, and disable the internal slot only if the external is being used.
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - fix fs-update for small files svn 1994 broke fs-update for files smaller than 2 GIB, detected by Luna, debugged by James, code by Mitch.
  • OLPC XO-1.5 - Added internal microSD card to secure XP boot list.

Open Firmware svn 2005 Built 2010-11-03 23:34:30

EC code is version 1.9.37

  • no change

WLAN firmware is Libertas thinfirm 9.0.7.p2

  • no change


Which Firmware Do You Have?

The best method for finding out what firmware version you have on a laptop depends on whether the laptop is secured or not, and what operating state it is in.

Unsecured Laptop

Obtain the Ok prompt, the firmware version is displayed in the startup banner, thus:

 OLPC ..., ... memory installed, ..., S/N SHF7250024D
 OpenFirmware  q3a59 ...   EC Firmware Ver:...
               ^^^^^

You can also obtain the built date:

 ok .built

This is the date and time that this image of the firmware was built by the release engineer.

Secured Laptop

Power up the laptop with the "check" game button held down. You will be asked to Release the game keys to continue. Release the "check" game button and watch carefully. For a short time the startup banner will be displayed, like this:

 OLPC ..., ... memory installed, ..., S/N SHF7250024D
 OpenFirmware  q3a59 ...   EC Firmware Ver:...
               ^^^^^

Alternatively, if the laptop is already booted, go to the Sugar home view, click on the icon at the centre of the screen and select "My Settings" then "About my Computer." The firmware version is displayed there.

Alternatively, in the Terminal activity or a text console, type:

 cat /proc/device-tree/openprom/model

or

 cat /ofw/openprom/model

With certain older firmware versions, if the operating system will not start, and the laptop is secured, you will not be able to obtain the firmware version using the above methods, so our recommendation is to go ahead and upgrade anyway. The procedure is safe and will not do anything if you already have up-to-date firmware.


Installation

When installing new firmware, you must have a well-charged battery and the AC adapter plugged in. The firmware update code will not proceed otherwise. Possible error messages are:

error message how to fix
AC not present plug in the power cord, check the battery LED is on, then try again.
No external power plug in the power cord, check the battery LED is on, then try again,
No battery plug in the battery, check the latches, then try again, or try another battery,
Battery low allow more time for the battery to charge, then try again, or try another battery.

Unsecured Laptop

This section is for unsecured laptops. Most XO-1.5 and XO-1.75 laptops are unsecured. Most developer XO laptops are unsecured. To unsecure your laptop, follow the instructions at Activation and Developer Keys.

You may install using either:

  • a USB drive or SD card,
  • the laptop's internal drive,
  • a network.

Choose one.

Using a USB drive or SD card

  • check the battery is inserted and locked,
  • check that the power cord is in place and the battery indicator is green,
  • insert the USB drive or SD card,
  • turn on the laptop, and get to the 'ok' prompt. See Ok for more detail. You should see:
ok
  • if the downloaded file is on a USB drive, type:
 flash u:\q3a59.rom
  • if the downloaded file is on an external SD card:
 flash sd:\boot\q3a59.rom
  • wait for the laptop to reboot itself,
  • remove the USB drive or SD card.

(Expert users may remove the USB drive after the message "Got firmware" ... at this stage the file has been read and closed.)

Using the laptop internal drive

An alternate method is to download the firmware file to the laptop internal drive and then install from the internal drive.

  • start the laptop,
  • connect to a wireless or wired network,
su
cd /versions/boot/current/boot/
wget http://dev.laptop.org/pub/firmware/q3a59/q3a59.rom
  • check the battery is inserted and locked,
  • check that the power cord is in place and the battery indicator is green,
  • turn on the laptop, and get to the 'ok' prompt. See Ok for more detail. You should see:
ok
  • if the downloaded file is on an XO-1, type:
flash n:\boot\q3a59.rom
  • if the file is on the internal SD card of an XO-1.5 or XO-1.75:
flash int:\boot\q3a59.rom

Using a network

You will need a compatible USB to ethernet adapter, or an open or WEP wireless access point, connected to the internet.

  • check the battery is inserted and locked,
  • check that the power cord is in place and the battery indicator is green,
  • turn on the laptop, and get to the 'ok' prompt. See Ok for more detail. You should see:
ok
  • if using wireless, type the essid of the wireless network:
essid mynetwork
  • if using a WPA wireless access point, type the WPA key for the network:
wpa passphrase
  • type the flash command using the download link above, but change all slash characters so they are backwards, for example:
flash http:\\dev.laptop.org\pub\firmware\q3a59\q3a59.rom

Secured Laptop

Secured laptops can only use flash firmware that has been signed. All mass-production machines had the latest firmware at the time of manufacture.

Upgrading firmware describes how to upgrade to a newer signed firmware release.

See also

  • Cheat codes for information about how game buttons control startup options.
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