Talk:Installing Debian as an upgrade

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How much space does this Debian + gnome take on the XO?

Also, it'd be great if the Debian upgrade could be located on usb or sd instead of the XO's own limited space. Could I just follow the instructions, but put it all on a usb? (I have this 8GB thumbdrive *and* an 8GB SD lying around....) Or would something crucial break?

Obviously, I'd need to change setenv a bit to something like (?):

#setenv boot-device u:\boot\vmlinuz  /*or whatever the right dir would be*/


#setenv ramdisk u:\boot\olpcrd.img

Can't wait to try this out, but don't want to break anything!

Does debian support the camera, soundcard, etc? I am impressed with the laptop but would like to install something more intuitive on it.

debian upgrade issues and solutions (?)

At Step 3, Boot into Debian, you get a console and login prompt:

   skiffserv login:

typing "root" with no password gets you in. (At least on my system, "skiffserve" was the name it gave itself.)

1) Before booting into the graphical debian at the end of Step 5: SET A ROOT PASSWORD. ("skiffserv# passwd root" (without quotes) and then follow the prompts.) There was a permissions problem (see 3 below), so I couldn't log in as the "olpc" user, but the system wouldn't let me change the default session (which was now the graphical one) without a root password. I had to reinstall the whole thing....

2)on boot up there's an error message about being unable to mount filesystems because /ofw does not exist. This doesn't seem to cause problems, but making a /ofw directory does get rid of the message. Don't know if that's a good idea or not.

3) users other than root are not allowed to log into the graphical session. This is the error message: "...failed to create file '/tmp/gconf...and so on', permission denied." /tmp has permissions drwxrwxr-t when installed. Judging by my other (ubuntu) computer, world needs to have full permissions as well. The following command as root worked for me: "skiffserv# chmod 7777 /tmp" (without quotes). (The extra "7" keeps the sticky bit "t"). Now "olpc" user could log in too. Joy!

4) I have wpa wireless and connecting without taking wpa down was way over my head (and too many Windows machines to risk taking it down). I bought an Airlink 101 usb-ethernet connector. For that to work, I had to add the following, as root, to /etc/network/interfaces:

   auto lo eth0
   allow-hotplug eth1
   iface lo inet loopback
   iface eth0 inet dhcp
   iface eth1 inet dhcp

this has the disadvantage of making the system look for my non-existent wireless (eth0) at each bootup, but I figure once it's working, I'll want that. (Getting wpa-supplicant, btw, is not as easy as cscott implies!) The parameters for a given interface will depend on your connection, such as whether your router uses dhcp, has static addresses, etc. The "interfaces" file has a commented line at the top saying where to find specifics.

Once that was done, "skiffserve# ifup eth1" brought up the ethernet connection.

5) My original plan was to put all this on an SD card. Naturally, I bought one of the 8GB high capacity ones. After three days of trying, all I can say is "don't bother." The XO seems to have real trouble accessing those cards (or at least my cheapo one made by PQI). It would randomly be unable to read directories, write to them, and even when it could, the card I bought was severely slow. One sad consequence was that the partition table on the card was damaged, and now my 8GB card is a 5.3GB card -- and I gather from what I see on the web about troubleshooting that I'm lucky it didn't lose more. Buy a lower capacity card with faster access would be my advice.

Missing Command

In step 2, after untaring and moving some files around, you have one set of commands that creates, but every time I tried to type
mount -t sysfs /sys /sys
my system replied

mount: /sys already mounted or /sys busy
mount: according to mtab, sysfs is already mounted on /sys

I had first tried to do this in XFCE, so I rebooted, only to get the same result. If I ignored that message and tried to complete the commands and did an ls in the directory, my script wasnt there. I checked your script, and it has this version

cat <<END > /versions/pristine/debian/etc/rcS.d/
#! /bin/sh
mount -t sysfs /sys /sys
echo 0 > /sys/devices/platform/dcon/freeze
umount /sys

When I tried that, it actually created my file. Perhaps I should have known that this is how to create a script (CAT and END) but I just don't hack enough (yet). I'll leave it to someone more 1337 to change the instructions, assuming my observation is not bogus, which it might be.

Sunglint 10:15, 21 March 2008 (EDT)

apt-get problem

I connected to my wifi spot. But after that the apt-get stuff always errors out no matter what I do.

What error messages, exactly, do you get?

General notes

If you have problem booting, you can hold the (check) game pad key, it's helpfull for debugging. Also, in symbolic link do not put a trailling / when the instruction don't have one or it's gona fail. -- PatrickHetu 12:17, 19 April 2008 (EDT)

Also, be sure that the /tmp file have the good permission with this command:

chmod -vR 01777 /tmp

Probable newbie question

March 16, 2009.

I'm running build 767, firmware Q2E21 (I upgraded from the firmware version that came with the 767 release). I wanted to install Debian as upgrade, as per the instructions on, but keep running into problems. Will supply details later.

Question: if I run /usr/sbin/olpc-update debian, I get three items downloaded into /versions/updates: a dir "d152b9a3fcda16d447726fb67b3c92fb", and two files: "d152b9a3fcda16d447726fb67b3c92fb.contents" and "d152b9a3fcda16d447726fb67b3c92fb.pristine". The dir contains what I'm assuming are the Debian files that make up the OS. How do I boot to this OS?