Debian Lenny on LS-CHLv2
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).
- 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.
Although this guide worked on my device (LS-CHLv2) it may also be applicable to other Buffalo or non-buffalo devices.
Note also that in the plain Lenny system:
- USB support will be missing // solved as 12.Nov.09 , see Posting of Xarks: 
- power led will keep flashing
- system power down will not work
I'm still working on this. Note that micro_evtd will NOT work on the LinkStation.
- 1 Preliminary steps
- 2 Prepare a Debian Lenny root filesystem
- 3 Installation
- 4 References
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
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/126.96.36.199 /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.
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
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 192.168.0.42 # network 192.168.0.0 # netmask 255.255.255.0 # broadcast 192.168.0.255 # gateway 192.168.0.1
Choose a hostname and write it /etc/hostname (must be created).
Edit /etc/hosts as follows:
127.0.0.1 localhost.localdomain localhost
apt-get install openssh-server passwd root
Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and make sure that the following line is present and uncommented:
Prepare the rootfs archive
Clean up the installation, leave the chrooted environment and tar it up:
aptitude clean exit 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.
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.
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