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tsuraan2
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:22 am    Post subject: Installing on ARM Reply with quote

I have an ARM device that currently runs some unknown RPM based distro, and I'd like to put Gentoo on it. I was paging through the install docs, until I got to http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-arm.xml?part=1&chap=10, where it talks about how to install a boot loader. I know the device I have is using RedBoot, since it talks about that as it's booting, but gentoo's instructions on how to use RedBoot are, um, a bit light on the details... I've used uboot before (a really long time ago, though), and not had problems with it, but I don't know if it will work with the hardware I have. Either way, gentoo's packages don't appear to have RedBoot or uboot. How does one normally install a boot loader on ARM under gentoo?
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poly_poly-man
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

usually, one keeps the existing bootloader, and just changes the boot commands to fit the os.

which device is this? perhaps there are directions specific to it?
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tsuraan2
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really not sure what the device is. It's something like the Thecus N2100, but it has 4 SATA ports. It could be an Intel SS4000-e, but it doesn't look exactly like the machine pictured on their site either. The thing has no branding on it; it's just a black box with four SATA drives (which it actually boots off of), 256MB RAM, and a 600MHz IOP8032x processor. cpuinfo does say the hardware is Sanmina, but that doesn't lead to any obvious products either.

How do you change the boot options? There's nothing like a /boot/grub/grub.conf on the machine. Is it something like the old lilo, where you run a program that writes some stuff to the system MBR?
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poly_poly-man
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, if the device is nice, then you may be able to write grub into the mbr and have it boot it...

however, more likely, you boot into the bootloader (pause the console before it boots all the way), then change some variables (like boot_cmd and such - should be pretty well documented with a search for redboot), and commit them to nvram.

If you can get it to boot the mbr, you've got it easy ;)
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armin76
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check http://www.cyrius.com/debian/iop/n2100/install.html

However that means that for running Gentoo on it you would need to have that kind of image for installing it...like i did with the qnap TS409: http://armin762.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/qnap-ts409/

However not having the hardware to do it is a bit crazy... Another option would be if you had a serial port to access the board in case something breaks...that way you could modify the bootloader options so you could boot Gentoo directly...


poly_poly-man wrote:
well, if the device is nice, then you may be able to write grub into the mbr and have it boot it...


Grub on ARM? Ugh...embedded devices don't have MBR...they simply boot from flash.
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