It's almost been a week since the GSoC started!

Before describing what I've been doing this week I would like to write a word on the project and thank the ones I'm thankful to.

The project

Currently, Debian can be installed on the Neo Freerunner (FR) by running a shell script called on an already running Linux installation on the device (more information here). This works. However, it doesn't make use of the Debian Installer, and it is specific to the FR. The plan is to port Debian Installer to the FR and other similar devices. In order to succeed in this project, I'm mentored by Gaudenz Steinlin and Per Andersson, who I want to thank for their guidance (and the patience they'll probably need to have :p). I have to thank Obey Arhur Liu for all his organizing work, especially for the DebConf 10 sponsoring. While I'm at thanking, I want to thank Google, whithout which this program wouldn't exist at all, and especially Carol Smith, who makes an amazing job at organizing every aspect of the GSoC!

What I've been doing

Now, what have I been doing this week?

  • I've set up a Virtual Machine to build the d-i image (as it have to be done on an ARM machine)
  • I've set up a cross-compilation toolchain, following lindi's instructions
  • I've created a new flavour for the linux-2.6 package
  • I've built a d-i image using that kernel flavour
  • As Gaudenz suggested, I've started identifying and including the missing drivers needed for a normal use of the Debian Installer on the FreeRunner

As we did not set up git repositories yet, I'll not share the full patches, but only a few files for now:

If you want to try the uImage, here is how to boot it.

What's coming next

First, I hope everything will be in place to share the full sources by then. The first thing I'll do next week is finishing identifying and including the needed drivers. Then, depending on how good goes the installation process, I may:

  • wonder how we can build and run d-i for an Android Phone
  • start hacking a user-friendly interface to upload the d-i image to the FreeRunner and boot it
  • think about how we should handle the different bootloaders
  • see wether/how Debian can be installed on the FR's MTD