I was contacted recently about the Ubuntu for ARM initiative from Canonical. I always thought that this was targeted at the armv7+ family of CPU's, but to my astonishment this seems not to be true! This means that the latest (unstable) Ubuntu should technically spoken work on our beloved Zaurus.
So that's why I started another 'proof of concept' just to see if it is possible to get Ubuntu version 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) running on the Zaurus.
The images speak for them self I guess. I've got it all set up now, using most of the applications from the Zubuntu 1.0 RC1.
The system is running a stock Ubuntu 2.6.28 kernel with most of the packages 'as is' from the official Ubuntu repository.
This is just a first impression. Pretty cool so far!
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The following procedure copies most part of Zubuntu into internal memory. Unfortunately the complete distribution is too large to fit completely into the little memory available, so a part has to be made available on SD, CF or Microdrive (see the Postinstall for more info).
It is important to now that the only drawback currently is that you have to keep your SD card inserted during use of Zubuntu, since (on default) the /usr and /var directories are located there. If your model has a Microdrive, you'd better install these two directories there, in order to make this disadvantage disappear.
Disclaimer: First of all, be aware that, if you've previously had the original Sharp ROM, Cacko, pdaXrom or any other distro running from internal memory, you will lose it permanently after following these instructions. If you're not sure, be sure to make a NAND backup before continuing. How to make a NAND backup is described here (kind of).
1. Making preparations
These instructions assume you have a Zubuntu installed as described here. There are plenty of other possible installations, but I'll only cover the default here.
Download the following two files:
mtd-utils_1.1.0+git-r1_arm.deb MD5: 01a45a3a6aa71dde9611160e943bcd1e zubuntu-flash-install.sh MD5: 45a629b112088394efad3aeba61dc861
2. Start Zubuntu
After setting up Zubuntu, you should be able to select it from the bootmenu. Select it there so Zubuntu boots and login with the root user account. Copy the downloaded files from step 1 onto the Zaurus.
3. Installing required packages
Install the mtd-utils package downloaded in step 1 by executing the following command:
dpkg -i mtd-utils_1.1.0+git-r1_arm.deb
4. Copying Zubuntu
The rest is just a matter of copying over the base system. Since this can be tricky, I've created a small script to do the dirty work. Run the script by entering ./zubuntu-flash-install.sh.
You'll be asked on which memory partition you want to install Zubuntu. Possible options are the second and third memory partition, being the Root and Home partitions of the original Sharp ROM. Default choice is the third partition since this is the largest one (about 90Mb on Spitz/Akita). After that the partition is erased (permanently!) and most of the Zubuntu system is copied from your currently running system. This also means that all adjustments, settings and configurations are preserved.
You can safely ignore the messages 'ignored sockets' and 'implausible old time stamps'.
5. Post install stuff
After running the installation script there are still a couple of things to do.
** /etc/fstab adjustment
Remove the mount point to the Zubuntu default installation (/dev/mmcblk0p1 on default) from the /etc/fstab file.
** Adjust the symbolic link to /usr and /var
Since the complete Zubuntu distribution is too large to fit completely into internal memory, both /usr and /var have to be made available on SD, CF or Microdrive. The installation script creates two symbolic links for this purpose, pointing to /dev/mmcblk0p1, being the first partition on your SD memory card. You need to adjust it only if you've installed Zubuntu on a partition other than the first one on your SD memory card.
** Adjust /etc/rc.S/00mount-zubuntu.sh
This file mounts the Zubuntu default installation early in the boot process, since files in /usr and /var are needed during boot-time. The mountpoint used in /etc/rc.S/00mount-zubuntu.sh is /dev/mmcblk0p1 on default. You need to adjust it only if you've installed Zubuntu on a partition other than the first one on your SD memory card.
6. Reboot from internal flash memory!
Now reboot your Zaurus (run reboot). You'll notice that there's a new option in the bootmenu with a litte memory icon in front. Select that option, and Zubuntu boots from internal flash memory!
Please give me your feedback, report problems, share fixes, enhancements etc.
Last but not least I want to stress the fact that visiting the advertisements on the left or (even better) use of the Donate button is much appreciated!
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I've tested this on my Zaurus SL-C1000 and SL-C3100 devices. I also succeeded in running Zubuntu from internal flash on the SL-C1000, which is pretty darn fast!
I still have to document how to get Zubuntu running from internal flash. I'll post it here when ready.
Use xbindkeys-config to add new keyboard shortcuts. This is how the brightness keys are controlled currently. It's possible to use xautomation (xte), so Fn-Up, Fn-Down, Fn-Left and Fn-Right now moves the mouse cursor. Quite cool!
I'm rebuilding the kernels for all models with build-in support for sound, bluetooth, pcmcia and infrared. I'll also include modules for more (wireless) network adapters. I'll report here when they're ready!
Important update for Spitz owners:Please re-download and install the bootmenu-kernel and the root-addition archive. This should solve some of the problems reported.
Keep those advertisement clicks coming, but only if they're sincere of course. Or you can use the Donate button on the left, Feel free to do so!
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There will be two versions, Zubuntu-Base and Zubuntu-Desktop.
The Zubuntu-Base contains "just" the kernel, a working X Server and some basic applications. I leave it up to you to decide what additional packages to install. A lot of the applications can be installed directly from the Mojo repository.
The Zubuntu-Desktop contains, apart from all the packages in Zubuntu-Base, a more complete set of standard applications. Only packages missing currently are PIM applications (Calendar & Contact).
Both Zubuntu distro's will be targeted at the Zaurus Spitz (SL-C3x00) and Akita (SL-C1000) models first. I'm still in the process of getting an alternative boot kernel (kexecboot) working for at least the SL-C7x0 and SL-C860 models, but this will take some more time I'm afraid. I recently acquired a Tosa (SL-C6000L), but I still have to check what is needed to get Zubuntu working on this specific model.
Linux Kernel 2.6.26, EABI only, patched for use with Android 1.0 Sound: Tested and working, including volume control on the back of the device Touchscreen: Tested and working Network: Tested and working (tested with Linksys WCF12, Buffalo WL12-CF-S11, Billionton CFLT2-10B) Rotation: Automatic rotation in X Server once the display is flipped. Brightness control (Fn-3 and Fn-4): Tested and working Bluetooth support: Added, but untested USB Host: Added, but untested
Installed applications in Zubuntu-Desktop
Desktop: LXDE Launcher: LXLauncher (installed, but disabled on default) File manager: PCManFM Multimedia player: Audacious Web browser: Firefox 3. Thinking about replacing it by Midori. Network manager: WICD Text editor: Leafpad Word processor: Abiword Spreatsheet: Gnumeric Email: Sylpheed PDF: xPDF Instant Messenger: Pidgin Games: xMahjongg
Android 1.0. Will become available later as a seperate download
Help wantedSome of you offered help already. Thanks a lot! If you're able and willing to help in any way, please drop me a line using the "Contact Me" form, and we'll see what we can work out.
Also, if you think I'm forgetting something important, or if you have any suggestions or improvements, let me know.
Shameless footnoteOnce more, if you like what I'm doing here, and/or it is of any help to you, please keep pressing those advertisements. The more you press, the more it keeps me motivated.
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Based on Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" I used the Mojo "Hasty Hippogriff" repositories. Bravo to the guys from the Mojo project. A job well done!
I'm currently using the Xfce desktop environment. A lot of standard applications have to be added, but the hardware support like sound, touchscreen, auto rotation, network etc. seems to work.
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Now, plans were to combine two ongoing projects of mine, Android and Zubuntu, and make it into one distro. But I'm still having too much problems with Zubuntu (I'm working on the 8.04 release) so I switched, for the time being, to Poky. I read that OpenenedHand was recently acquired by Intel, so we might see some (more) of Poky back in Moblin in one of the next releases.
So what you download and install here is mainly a Poky distro in the first place. It's very stable and pretty complete. Give it a try, I like it better each time I see and use it. It's based on a 2.6.26 kernel patched for Android. Although the Android SDK was based on a 2.6.25, I ported the patches needed to get it working in 2.6.26.
Android is pretty basic I guess. I didn't test all features, and I'm sure that a some things don't work yet. Like the touchscreen for instance.
Installing Poky & AndroidInstallation on the Zaurus is done in the usual way:
1. Download the following files and copy them to a SD card.
2. Remove battery and power adapter cable
3. Wait for 5 seconds
4. Replace battery, close and lock battery cover
5. Attach power adapter cable
6. Keep OK button pressed while pressing on/off switch
7. From the Japanese menu, choose option 4 (Update), then 2 (SD) and finally Y
Flashing starts, and you are asked if you want to flash the kernel, if you want the microdrive to be formatted and if you want the root filesystem to be installed. Accept all questions answering them with y
After flashing is complete, the machine is rebooted and Poky starts. First boot takes some time because of initial configuration taking place.
Now, before getting on to Android, play around in Poky and see if you like it. It's really worth a try!
Starting AndroidYou have to exit the Poky interface by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Backspace simultaneously. On the prompt, press Enter and login with user root. No password is needed. Now type:
chroot /home/android /init
Android should boot now.
Exit AndroidI haven't found a better way, so let me know if there is one. Press Fn-Right to see the Android console, and type "reboot" to reboot the machine. Poky will be (re)started.
Enjoy Android, and hopefully Poky. Thanks again for Speculatrix for sharing some hosting space. Much appreciated!
By the way, if you like what I'm doing, be so kind to click on as much advertisements (on the left) as you can.
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Anyway, since Google released a Beta of Android for us to play with two days ago, I was just thinking if this would be of any interest.
See for yourself here. The user interface has been revamped pretty extensively. It looks great!
So, anyone in for another Android experiment then?
SDK download can be found here. I dusted off my developer tools already to see if I can make this work on my Zaurus again
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I tried a lot of different Window Managers and setups, but in my opinion none of them fitted the Zaurus very well. That's why I only uploaded a minimal version so far.
After reading Mark Shuttleworth's blog about the Netbook Remix AppLaucher I thought I'd give it a try, just to see if I could get it working on my Zaurus. Another proof of concept so to say.
Unfortunately, this isn't currently possible using frisky or grumpy. The repositories simply don't contain all the right packages or package versions. So I had to make a small sidestep by creating a Debian-Lenny distribution. The Debian Lenny repositories have a huge amount of packages, and they're much more up-to-date than I thought!
After having Lenny ready and working, I compiled the Netbook Remix packages. Using the XFCE Window Manager I set up the top panel and started the launcher. Although the launcher doesn't work (yet), I think this will become my favorite Zaurus setup. The idea behind maximus and the go-home button are great, and the launcher should fit the Zaurus very well.
The launcher exits with an error saying that the "XServer appears to lack required GLX support". Too bad, maybe I'll try to use the xserver-xorg to see if that helps.
Anyway, a lot has to be done. My quest for the perfect Zaurus setup hasn't finished yet. My next proof of concept could well be the mobile Firefox, Mozilla Fennec. We'll see.
Good news by the way. I understand that work on the Ubuntu 8.04 for ARM has started. The Mojo guys hope to have a working (minimal) version within a few weeks time. Great work!
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The struggle for a decent installer continues. More on this later.
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