Difference between revisions of "Debian Lenny on LS-CHLv2"

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m (Prepare the rootfs archive)
m (Installing the Debian rootfs)
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The following instructions will copy the lenny-rootfs.tgz file created on the LS on the local system, will FORMAT the second HDD partition and will create the Lenny rootfs there:
The following instructions will copy the lenny-rootfs.tgz file created on the LS on the local system, will FORMAT the second HDD partition and will create the Lenny rootfs there:
  sudo -i
sudo -i
  mkdir /mnt/sdg1
mkdir /mnt/sdg1
  mkdir /mnt/sdg2
mkdir /mnt/sdg2
  mount /dev/sdg1 /mnt/sdg1
mount /dev/sdg1 /mnt/sdg1
  mount /dev/sdg2 /mnt/sdg2
mount /dev/sdg2 /mnt/sdg2
  cp /mnt/sdg2/root/lenny-rootfs.tgz .
cp /mnt/sdg2/root/lenny-rootfs.tgz .
  umount /mnt/sdg2
umount /mnt/sdg2
  mkfs.xfs -f /dev/sdg2
mkfs.xfs -f /dev/sdg2
  mount /dev/sdg2 /mnt/sdg2
mount /dev/sdg2 /mnt/sdg2
  cp lenny-rootfs.tgz /mnt/sdg2/
cp lenny-rootfs.tgz /mnt/sdg2/
  cd /mnt/sdg2/
cd /mnt/sdg2/
  tar zxvf lenny-rootfs.tgz
tar zxvf lenny-rootfs.tgz
  rm lenny-rootfs.tgz
rm lenny-rootfs.tgz
==Installing an empty initrd==
==Installing an empty initrd==

Revision as of 17:48, 13 May 2010

This guide will explain how to install Debian GNU/Linux "Lenny" on the Linkstation Live LS-CHL (=LS) using the Debian "debootstrap" procedure. The original kernel will be preserved, as well as the original bootloader (U-Boot).

Basic idea:

  • create a Debian system with debootstrap
  • replace the old filesystem with the new one

This guide will ask to open up the device case, reformat partitions, delete existing data, etc. All of these actions may void your warranty, destroy your data, etc. In general you can receive help from the community of from the Buffalo forums but bear in mind that every problem you may encounter is ultimately up to you to solve. You do it at your own risk.

This guide worked on LS-CHLv2 and LS-XHL.

Note also that in the plain Lenny system:

  • USB support will be missing // solved as 12.Nov.09 , see Posting of Xarks: [1]
  • power led will keep flashing // provided a method to stop led flashing
  • system power down will not work

I'm still working on this. Note that micro_evtd will NOT work on the LinkStation.

Preliminary steps

Don't update the firmware

If possible don't upgrade firmware to version 1.21 as you will not be able to easily get console access to the LS. Kernel

Obtain root access to the linkstation

You are supposed to start from an "open" Stock Firmware, that is stock software that you can telnet to,

Follow this guide to get telnet root console access to the LS.

Backup the LS

If you have any important data on the LS you definitely need to make a backup.

Even if you don't, you'd better take a snapshot of the vital disk partitions (first and second partition). So you will be able to easily revert to the original stock distribution. [forum post] explains how to do it.

Prepare a Debian Lenny root filesystem


This is derived from original debootstrap docs.

From the linkstation console download the Debian debootstrap utility and install it with dpkg:

   wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/26071255/debootstrap_1.0.13%7Ejaunty1_all.deb
   dpkg -i debootstrap_1.0.13~jaunty1_all.deb

dpkg will complain of missing dependencies. Ignore it.

   mkdir debian-armel-rootfs
   debootstrap --verbose --arch armel lenny debian-armel-rootfs http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian

This step WILL take time. At the end you should get the following message:

   I: Base system installed successfully.

Completing the debootstrap and preparing the rootfs

Most commands will be run in the chrooted environment of the newly created Debian Lenny install. In order to enter the chroot type

LANG=C chroot debian-armel-rootfs/ /bin/bash

to leave type exit.

Copy utilities to control led

Some utilities in stock firmware are useful to control led, fan...

  cp /usr/local/sbin/miconapl debian-armel-rootfs/usr/local/sbin/
  cp /usr/local/lib/libbuffalo_bin.so debian-armel-rootfs/usr/local/sbin/

Copy kernel modules from stock kernel

Kernel modules reside in /lib/modules/<kernel version>. Here we are using the stock kernel so we must copy them from the stock initrd to the new rootfs. This must be done from within a chrooted environment in the new system - won't work with stock software.

cp /boot/initrd.buffalo debian-armel-rootfs/tmp/
LANG=C chroot debian-armel-rootfs/ /bin/bash
cd /tmp
dd if=initrd.buffalo of=initrd.gz ibs=64 skip=1
gunzip initrd.gz
mkdir INITRD
mount -t ext2 -o loop initrd INITRD 
cp -R INITRD/lib/modules/ /lib/modules/
umount INITRD
rmdir INITRD
rm initrd*

TODO: understand if /etc/modules.conf and/or /etc/modprobe.d/* are necessary

Adding missing devices

Still in the chrooted environment.

Mount the proc filesystem - it can be mounted a number of times - and run the command to create device nodes in /dev (TODO: investigate dynamic devices with udev?):

mount -t proc proc /proc
cd /dev
MAKEDEV generic
umount /proc

This will also take some time while all device nodes are created.

Configuring locale

Install and configure the locales. Suggestion is to install at least the en_US.UTF-8 and your native language locale (e.g. it_IT.UTF-8, de_DE.UTF-8, etc).

  apt-get install locales
  dpkg-reconfigure locales

Editing /etc/fstab

Edit the static filesystem table file /etc/fstab (e.g. with nano) and make it look like this (TODO: /dev/sda6):

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# file system    mount point   type    options                  dump pass
/dev/sda2        /             xfs     defaults                 0    1
/dev/sda1        /boot         ext3    ro,nosuid,nodev          0    2
/dev/sda5        none          swap    sw                       0    0
proc             /proc         proc    defaults                 0    0
devpts           /dev/pts      devpts  gid=4,mode=620 			0    0

TODO: More: #sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw) #/dev/ram1 on /mnt/ram type tmpfs (rw)


Edit /etc/network/interfaces to match your LAN configuration. My LS gets all information from DHCP:

# Used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8). See the interfaces(5) manpage or
# /usr/share/doc/ifupdown/examples for more information.

# We always want the loopback interface.
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
# DHCP for Ethernet connection 
auto eth1
iface eth1 inet dhcp
# Example static IP setup: (broadcast and gateway are optional)
# auto eth1
# iface eth1 inet static
#     address
#     network
#     netmask
#     broadcast
#     gateway

Choose a hostname and write it /etc/hostname (must be created).

Edit /etc/hosts as follows:  localhost.localdomain localhost

Install SSHD

apt-get install openssh-server
passwd root

Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and make sure that the following line is present and uncommented:

PermitRootLogin yes

Prepare the rootfs archive

Clean up the installation, leave the chrooted environment and tar it up:

aptitude clean
cd debian-armel-rootfs
tar zcvf ../lenny-armel-rootfs.tgz *

Now you have a complete rootfs for Debian Lenny armel.


Removing the HDD

Turn the LS off and open the LS case. Will require patience and carefulness in order not to break the plastic notches. Take this page as a reference on how to open the case.

Remove the HDD from the Linkstation. Connect it to a Linux Desktop PC e.g with a SATA-to-USB adapter.

Installing the Debian rootfs

Let's say that the LS' HDD device will be /dev/sdg and the partitions will be /dev/sdg1, /dev/sdg2 etc. Change sdg to match your environment.

The following instructions will copy the lenny-rootfs.tgz file created on the LS on the local system, will FORMAT the second HDD partition and will create the Lenny rootfs there:

sudo -i
mkdir /mnt/sdg1
mkdir /mnt/sdg2
mount /dev/sdg1 /mnt/sdg1
mount /dev/sdg2 /mnt/sdg2
cp /mnt/sdg2/root/lenny-rootfs.tgz .
umount /mnt/sdg2
mkfs.xfs -f /dev/sdg2
mount /dev/sdg2 /mnt/sdg2
cp lenny-rootfs.tgz /mnt/sdg2/
cd /mnt/sdg2/
tar zxvf lenny-rootfs.tgz
rm lenny-rootfs.tgz

Installing an empty initrd

Must make an empty initrd in LS' boot partition. Otherwise the stock initrd will start and runs scripts to check for a stock setup. Indeed an initrd is not needed in this Lenny installation as everything can be found on the root filesystem.

"empty initrd" means an initrd with no filesystem. It is not an empty file.

For this you need the mkimage command. (in Debian/Ubuntu just install the package uboot-mkimage).

  mkdir x ; cd x
  find . | cpio --quiet -o -H newc > ../x2
  cd ..
  mkimage -A arm -O linux -T ramdisk -C gzip -a 0x0 -e 0x0 -d x2 initrd.buffalo
  rmdir x ; rm -f x2
  mv /mnt/sdg1/initrd.buffalo /mnt/sdg1/initrd.original
  cp initrd.buffalo /mnt/sdg1/

Unmount all partitions:

  cd /
  umount /mnt/sdg*

Turn the HDD off and put it back into the LS.

Post-installation setup

Script to control led

edit /etc/init.d/bootcomplete.sh

  /usr/local/sbin/miconapl -a boot_end
  # booting flag change.
  echo 0 > /proc/buffalo/booting
  if [ -f /proc/buffalo/gpio/switch/sw_control ] ; then
     echo on > /proc/buffalo/gpio/switch/sw_control

And execute the command

  chmod +x /etc/init.d/bootcomplete.sh
  ln -s /etc/init.d/bootcomplete.sh /etc/rc2.d/S20bootcomplete

Configuring timezone

  dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Useful packages

Anyone would need these:

  apt-get install sudo less usbutils bzip2 mc linuxlogo psmisc


Ntpd ensures that your Linkstation clock stays in sync with global time servers.

  apt-get install ntp