FreeLink for the Kurobox Pro - Manual install

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This document is close to being deprecated, please look towards the armel article:

Armel Debian for the Kurobox Pro - Manual install


FreeLink (Debian) on the KuroPro

Rather than using the automatic install method [1] you can partition the hard drive yourself (foregoing Buffalo's partition scheme) and use a custom kernel too[2]. You will need Serial port[3] access to have control over the Uboot settings [4].


  1. KuroboxPro (of course)
  2. SATA Hard Drive (bigger is better) installed[5]
  3. Serial port access
    1. Use bottom Slot
    2. Use daughterboard
  4. FreeLink ARM[6]:
  5. Custom Kernel:

Get it

  1. Download the FreeLink zip archive:
  2. Unzip it and find the hddrootfs.img file
  3. Rename it to have the .zip extension
  4. Unzip this file with the following password:
  5. Rename the resultant file to hddrootfs.tar.gz and copy it over to the Samba Share[7].

Partition Hard Drive

XFS support is still poor (especially in a custom kernel). So we'll use EXT3, and use a sane partition scheme.

Nuvola apps important.png 

This is not the partition scheme used in FreeLink for the Kurobox Pro - Automatic Install which uses a total of 6 partitions. This scheme uses only 3 partitions and thus very different uboot settings then those that the automatic "installer" generates.

For more information look at this forum thread: Freelink Manual install issues

Partition scheme

Partition Path Size Filesystem
p1 / 10GB EXT3
p2 swap 512MB SWAP
p3 /mnt/disk1 Remaining Space EXT3

There are detailed instructions on partitioning in EM Mode[8][9] or using Parted on an external workstation[10]. But here are the Fdisk commands to get you to this partition scheme.

Use Fdisk

Device Partition Type Size fdisk Command
/dev/sda1 Linux [83] 10 GB n -> p -> 1 -> <enter> -> +10000M
/dev/sda2 Linux Swap [82] 512 MB n -> p -> <enter> -> +512M -> t -> 5 -> 82
/dev/sda3 Linux [83] Remainder n -> p -> <enter> -> <enter>

Format all the Partitons

mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
mkswap /dev/sda2
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda3

Get a newer Kernel and modules

I used this kernel image, big thanks to Colchaodemola

rename it to the following:

  • uImage-

Get the Modules:

Copy these over to the samba share too.

Extract everything over to the Hard Drive

Log into the Kurobox using the default settings[11] and go to the directory that you transferred your files over to (likely /mnt/mtd)

cd /mnt/mtd

Mount Hard Drive

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/drive1

Move everything over

mv hddrootfs.tar.gz /mnt/drive1
mv uImage- /mnt/drive1
mv /mnt/drive1

Untar the rootfs

cd /mnt/drive1 
tar -xvzf hddrootfs.tar.gz

Untar the kernel Modules

cd /mnt/drive1 
tar -xvzf

Move and link the kernel uimage

mkdir /mnt/drive1/boot
mv uImage- /mnt/drive1/boot/
cd /mnt/drive1/boot
ln -s uImage- uImage

Reboot and Change uboot settings


The final step is to modify your uboot environment to boot into the rootfs (freelink). Interrupt uboot over the serial console[12] and type the following to configure your Kurobox Pro to boot from the hard disk with the new kernel:

setenv bootcmd 'ide reset;ext2load ide 0:1 0x00100000 /boot/uImage;setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/sda1 rw; bootm 0x00100000'

By the way, the command set to get it to boot from the flash (like it was originally) should you ever want to is:

setenv default_kernel_addr 0x00100000 
setenv bootargs_base console=ttyS0,115200 
setenv bootargs_root root=/dev/mtdblock2 rw 
setenv bootargs $(bootargs_base) $(bootargs_root) $(buffalo_ver) 
setenv uImage_block 0 
setenv uImage_offset 0x00020000 
setenv bootcmd 'nboot $(default_kernel_addr) $(uImage_block) $(uImage_offset); bootm $(default_kernel_addr)'

Should you be doing this from foonas EM (and have fw_setenv installed):

To get to foonas-em from debian:

fw_setenv bootcmd ide reset \;  ext2load ide 0:1 0x00100000 /boot/uImage \; setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 \;nboot 0x00100000 0 0x01000000 \; bootm 0x00100000;

To get to debian from foonas:

fw_setenv  bootcmd ide reset \;  ext2load ide 0:1 0x00100000 /boot/uImage \;setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 root=/dev/sda1 rw \; bootm 0x00100000

Post install


Reboot and use ssh to login to your newly FreeLinked KuroBox Pro with an SSH session. In windows PuTTY is a good client

  • login:root
  • password: lspro


  • login:admin
  • password: admin

Change kernelmon script

  • You will now need to change a line in the the /usr/local/sbin/kernelmon script:
cat /proc/driver/kernevnt 


cat /proc/buffalo/kernevnt

Enable root login on serial console

  • If you use the console on the serial port, you need to change the permissions on /etc/securetty so it is not world-writable
chmod 0744 /etc/securetty
  • until you do this, root logins on the serial console will not be permitted.

Fix fstab

Remember to change the /etc/fstab to reflect the location of linux swap and the share. Also remove the ,acl from the xfs declaration. My /etc/fstab looks like this after update:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>               <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc      proc    defaults                            0 0
none            /dev/pts   devpts  gid=5,mode=20                       0 0
tmpfs           /tmp       tmpfs   size=10M,mode=1777                  0 0
/dev/sda2       swap       swap    defaults                            0 0
/dev/sda3       /mnt/disk1 ext3    defaults,noatime,nodiratime         0 0


Format the swap partition

mkswap /dev/sda2


  1. FreeLink for the Kurobox Pro - Automatic Install
  2. GPL kernel recompilation progress - &
  3. Serial Port Use daughterboard or Use bottom Slot
  4. Kurobox Pro u-boot environment variable settings
  5. KuroboxPro User's Guide in English
  6. FreeLink v1.0 (arm9) rev2 released!!! (Permission Issues Fix)
  7. KuroBoxPro: Accessing Partions from Samba
  8. Custom Partitions on the LS Pro
  9. Linux Partition HOWTO - Partitioning with fdisk
  10. Resizing the system partition with parted magic live cd
  11. KuroBoxPro: Default Settings
  12. Kurobox Pro UBoot/Linux Console Message - bootup