[SATLUG] Cobalt RAQ3 Debian install issues

Sean Davis sdavisfoo at sbcglobal.net
Sun Apr 25 16:49:52 CDT 2010

Henry Pugsley wrote:
> Oi .. you like pain don't you? :)

If I take old hardware off someones hands, I feel bad if I don't at 
least try to get it working :)

> There are quite a few gotchas with the RaQ platform:
> 1) The kernel has to be smaller than 1,000,000 bytes compressed and
> 2,500,000 bytes uncompressed.  My standard 2.6.26 kernel from Debian
> is 1.5 MB compressed, and that's with bzip2.  You're going to have to
> do a very stripped down kernel build for this.

Okay, that explains the problem I'm having now. Kernel is (way) too big.

> 2) The kernel must be compressed with gzip, not bzip2.  Use make
> vmlinux instead of make bzImage.

Hmm, I think this may be solved by the ROM upgrade - it looks for 
vmlinux.bz2 first.

> 3) / and /boot must be on the first primary partition.

Already have this part done, my main problem is the kernel at this 
point. I've got a lenny install on it that is nearly ready to boot, just 
needs a working kernel. Currently using an etch nfsroot for most of my 

> 4) aaand you probably dont wan't to hear this, but the ROM version can
> affect which kernel version you can boot.  If you don't have the
> latest ROM, it is likely that a 2.6 kernel will not boot no matter
> what you do.

This was the fun part. I grabbed two of these things, and on the first 
one, followed the wrong rom update instructions - the ones that begin by 
erasing it rather than by downloading the new one. Doorstop #1 
successfully provisioned. The second one took the new ROM just fine, 
seeing as I read the right instructions that time.

Time to start tweaking kernels :)

> Here are a couple links with the technical detals:
> http://www.osoffice.co.uk/romupdate.html
> http://www.hitechsavvy.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=121&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
> Good luck!
> -Henry
> P.S. If it doesn't work out, the RaQ makes for a sturdy doorstop.

Yeah, and it isn't hard to turn it into one either if you're not paying 
attention. I almost wish I weren't so determined to get it working, 
since they certainly didn't intend for it to be easy to load alternate 
operating systems on the RaQs.


<snipping to save on spam>

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