Ubuntu Frisky Firedrake on Zaurus, the challenge  
Wow, just read this presentation about the successful build of a full Ubuntu distribution for ARM architectures. The Mojo project did a marvelous job by building a lot of packages, really impressive.

Now lets see how difficult it is to get this up and running. How cool would it be to have a full-blown Ubuntu on my Zaurus. Talking about a challenge!!

So, let the party begin, and start building!

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Android patches 
I already promised a few of you a while back to upload the patches used in the Android image.

For those of you using the OpenEmbedded build system I made it extra easy. Just download and extract the archive with patches into the OpenEmbedded directory structure, setup your system to use the linux-rp-2.6.23-r32 kernel and (re)build the kernel by issuing the bitbake -c rebuild linux-rp command.

If you haven't setup your OpenEmbedded build system yet, but would like to, you can checkout the Poky development system by running svn co http://svn.o-hand.com/repos/poky/trunk poky. Setup the system by following the README file. After that, extract the archive with patches into the OpenEmbedded directory structure, and build the kernel.

I included the kernel configurations I used for both the Zaurus Spitz and Akita devices.

For those of you adventurers using a different build system (why would you) or for those of you who just need the code for the panning support in the pxa2xx framebuffer code, replace the pxafb.c file from the vanilla kernel with the file here and build your kernel.

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Zaurus meets Werewolf 
Browsing the Net I recently came across the fedora arm wiki. Googling a bit further, I couldn't find anyone running fedora on the Zaurus. So I investigated the project a bit, and started some experiments in qemu.

This was a few days ago, and now I have fedora 8 (Werewolf) running on my Zaurus SL-C3100 natively. Quite nice actually. I'm using my Poky 2.6.23 kernel and the base root file system with some extras from the huge repository.

So with fedora 8 another choice can be added to the long list of possible Operating Systems that can be used by the Zaurus community.

Not bad at all!

UPDATE: Some of you asked me if I would be willing to share the image so it can be downloaded here. Since I'm running out of hosting space, that's currently not possible. I'm trying to find someone who's willing to donate some space

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Android image for Zaurus SL-C1000 (Akita) uploaded 
I finally uploaded the Akita image for the latest version of Android. For installation instructions see the link in the menu on the left. Unfortunately I had to replace the previous M3-RC37 release because of lack of disk space.

Please report any problems, and of course any reports on successful installation are welcome as well ;-)


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Android image for Zaurus SL-C1000 (Akita)... 
I finally took some time today to build an Android image for the Zaurus SL-C1000 (Akita). But, I hate to bring the news to you, when I was ready to test it, I found out I lost my SD card. I don't know where I left it, but it's gone. Bummer!!

It's too late now, I have to leave it for later. Sorry to keep you all waiting so long. I'll get me a new card tomorrow, do the testing, and hope to get the image up as soon as possible.

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New Android image uploaded 
New Android image is uploaded (android-root.tar.gz). Same installation instructions apply, so please see the instructions in the previous post. Strange thing for me when testing the image was after startup the screen stays black. When pressing any key the boot process continues. I don't know why this is. When time permits I'll try to fix this.

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New Android image is coming up 
As mentioned in my previous post, some of you reported having problems using my Android M5-RC14 image. I've looked into it, and although I still don't know what the problem was, I have a working version again.

I'm currently unable to upload a new version, so it will have to wait until tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience!

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Android SDK update (M5-RC15) 
Just after I released the M5-RC14 images for the Zaurus SL-C3x00 Google updates their SDK... I guess that means back to work creating a new image as well
:-(

UPDATE: There are problems reported using the M5-RC14 release. I'm currently investigating the issues. More on this later.

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Latest Android m5-rc14 Installation Image for Zaurus SL-C3x00 
Tested on my SL-C3100, this is a small bootable Poky 2.6.23 kernel with a copy of the Android OS from the SDK (qemu) emulator.

Installation on the Zaurus is done in the usual way:

1. Download the following files and copy them to a SD card.
  • zImage.bin
  • updater.sh
  • gnu-tar
  • android-root.tar.gz

  • 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. Login with root and type /start to start Android.
    Have fun, and let me know if you like it ;-)

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    Android m5-rc14 working on Zaurus SL-C3100! 
    I finally did it, the latest Android SDK emulator image (m5-rc14) is finally ported to my Zaurus SL-C3100!

    After hours of spitting through traces trying to resolve all errors and searching for differences between the emulator and the Zaurus my conclusion was that the main difference was the way the framebuffer was used. Android uses a panning mechanism (page flipping) for screen updates, and this is currently unsupported in the default pxa2xx framebuffer code of the linux 2.6.23 kernel.

    So I tried to add panning support to the framebuffer code, and with success! It needs some debugging though, because there are still some minor problems with the screen updates, but hey, the saga continues, Android on the Zaurus still seems to be a perfect match!

    A few quick shots taken with my camera:
  • Android booting
  • The Android desktop
  • The great map program (Still don't know how it located me)
  • The web browser




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