I've build a kernel for my Huawei G300/U8815 smartphone yesterday. Based on the Huawei v3.0.8 kernel code, I've added overclocking, governers and I/O schedulers and added some minor tweaks here and there. Not a lot of other features yet, but I'm quite surprised with the results so far in battery life and performance. So see for yourself. Tested with stock Huawei B927 ROM, up to 1.3GHz.
Tested for performance with max 1.306GHz and min 480MHz frequency, governor "Performance" and I/O Scheduler "VR" I get a AnTuTu score of 3542. This is with lots of applications installed and active. Not bad at all I think
Tested for battery life with max 1GHz and min 122MHz frequency, governor "SmartassV2" and I/O Scheduler "VR" for 11 hours. Battery dropped 0%(?!) during that time. While not sure if that's really correct and representative I started using the browser intensively, made a 5min telephone call and used whatsapp. Battery dropped from 75% to 68% during that time. Needs more testing I guess, but please post your results here!
Use something like "No-frills CPU control" from the Market to quickly set the CPU frequencies, Governor and I/O Scheduler to use. Try different options to find out which combination works out best for your specific situation(s).
I packaged the kernel as an "update.zip" so it can be easily flashed from CWM. It only updates the kernel, no need to clear caches or wipe data or anything. Just make sure to have a backup in case you want to go back to the stock kernel.
Needless to say maybe, but I'll do it anyway... Be careful with overclocking your device. Overclocking will cause a CPU to have a shorter life expectancy. Apart from that, I take no responsibility whatsoever if you fry your CPU
Last but not least a shameless plug... there is this nice "Donate" button on the left side of this page. Feel free to use it if you like what you see.
More to come...
Download the kernel here (md5: 1a00982486bbff62907624c2507ebbd9)
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Ubuntu Jaunty (v9.04) was the last version that supports armv5te CPUs. The current versions only runs on the newer ARM processors (armv7+). So that meant I had to re-target all armv7 specific packages to make them work on the (older) armv5te CPUs again. Since this is the only way to get the newer Ubuntu versions going on our beloved Zaurus, it had to be done!
What a work! It probably can be done much quicker, but here's what I did. I took a debootstrap of the ARM (armv7+) version of the official Ubuntu Lucid version to begin with, and started rebuilding all packages one by one, re-targetting them for the armv5te CPUs. Some of the packages need special attention, and others can "just" be recompiled. I have to say, the GuruPlug is really a marvellous piece of hardware, and just perfect for doing this kind of stuff. It's just great not having to concentrate on all these cross-compilation problems you have to deal with when building ARM packages on the i586 platform. I can assure you, the GuruPlug saved me quite some headache!
Before you're going to ask me where all the fun stuff can be downloaded, this post is first of all meant as a status update of the project. Currently I only have the minimal Ubuntu distribution working. All compiled from the original Ubuntu sources, with just minimal changes to some of the packages.
So, no, the complete repository isn't available yet. But I just wanted you all to know that the good news is that it is still possible to get the latest and greatest version of Ubuntu working on our Zaurus. Woohoo!
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PlugComputer arrived last friday. The GuruPlug Server Plus to be exact. What a great little gadget that is. I'm still experimenting, but I'm amazed by the speed. Bottleneck now seems to be the harddrive I'm using, which is a cheap USB drive. So I'll have to pick up a eSATA drive I guess.
Oh, and regarding all reported problems on overheating... no problems here!
This means new possibilities for Zubuntu... More on this later!
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we can't help being disappointed by the specs. Pocketability and connectivity are my main worries. I just want to take the device from my jacket (size) and be online all the time (3G). But, apart from that, the keyboard looks great, the CPU speed and internal memory is enough to run most apps comfortably and battery life seems stunning (unchecked, have to see it first). Current mid/netbook trend has done great things in terms of optimizations of the Linux operating system, and since the PC-Z1 (the Z refers to little Zaurus brother of course) runs Linux, the limits of possibilities take a huge step forward compared to our beloved Zaurus.
I say this is a great upgrade from the Zaurus, much better than any of those battery slurping, overpriced and overweight Wintel based things thrown at us for months now.
Time for a group buy. I'll check what Brett can do for us. Anyone in? The more the merrier
PS: The PS-Z1 seems to be based on Ubuntu 9.04... Would be cool to have a Zubuntu 2.0 based on 9.10 for the Zaurus in the meantime. Oh, what the heck, I'll upload one later.
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Buffalo WLI2-CF-S11 compact flash card. Although the card worked nicely for a while, it has always been a troublesome experience setting it up. I guess last time I had it working was before I changed my home networking security from WEP to WPA.
So I figured today was the time to delve into the secrets of chipsets, firmware and flashing, just to see if I could get the Buffalo running again in Zubuntu.
First I checked for the chipset on the Buffalo card. Where else than on OESF I found that the Buffalo had a Prism 2.5 chipset. Next thing I checked was whether there was a way to update the firmware. I had no idea, never tried actually. I found this great site with lots of interesting information about flashing prism2 firmware.
I noted the information (using the '
dmesg|tail' command) after inserting the card into the Zaurus. It said:
wifi0: NIC: id=0x800c v1.0.0
wifi0: PRI: id=0x15 v1.1.0
wifi0: STA: id=0x1f v1.3.5
wifi0: defaulting to host-based encryption as a workaround for firmware bug in Host AP mode WEP
wifi0: defaulting to bogus WDS frame as a workaround for firmware bug in Host AP mode WDS
wifi0: registered netdevice wlan0
Using this handy reference table, I found that in my case, having a NIC id of 800c, I needed a primary 'K' and secondary 'F' release code of the Prism2 firmware. So I downloaded the firmware, using version 1.1.1 (
pk010101.hex) for the primary firmware and version 1.8.2 (
sf010802.hex) for the station firmware. Version 1.8.2 is not the latest (that is 1.8.4) but reportingly the most stable version, so I went for that one.
I used the Zaurus to do the actual firmware flashing. The
hostap-utilspackage contains the
prism2_srecutility, which is used for the firmware flashing. After doing a testrun using...
# prism2_srec -v wlan0 pk010101.hex sf010802.hex
...I saw no significant errors of any kind, so I then started the actual flashing using...
# prism2_srec -v -f wlan0 pk010101.hex sf010802.hex
This went flawlessly, and '
dmesg|tail' now told me:
wifi0: NIC: id=0x800c v1.0.0
wifi0: PRI: id=0x15 v1.1.1
wifi0: STA: id=0x1f v1.8.2
Firmware upgrade went fine this far, according to the version upgrade, so now it was time to check whether or not the card supported any new features, WPA being the most important for me.
In the current version of Zubuntu I use WICD as network manager. In the properties I saw my home network instantly (it was not shown at all before the flash upgrade) and I could choose WPA as well. After entering my WPA passphrase I was connected to my wireless home network in just a minute.
This was worth the upgrade, I hope this is of any help to any of you. It may be worth upgrading your wireless card as well. Be careful to pick the right firmware versions for you specific situation!
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2.6.31-rc3 kernel MD5: 602d83142fbf3d8692e4adf4dee07b4d 2.6.31-rc3 modules MD5: b154506766ead4018140ca3c8bef9a63
Like previous kernels, the offline charging code still doesn't work, but at least the suspend/resume works again (thanks to Eric Miao for helping out again). This kernel also has all drivers compiled in to get Android going, so hopefully more on that later as well.
Again, please give it a try and give me feedback on your findings!
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Current statusThe 2.6.31-rc3 kernel is booting. Long live the serial cable, which revealed that there currently is a problem with the alsa sound device driver. So after disabling sound support in the kernel for the time being the kernel at least boots. Not that I see anything in the console! Bummer, the lcd (or backlight?) seems to be turned off. But from the serial console I understand that everything boots ok. After logging in as "root" (blindly) and starting "xinit" the Zubuntu desktop is started. Fonts are displayed as boxes, but hey, that should be easily fixed. I almost got excited, but soon found out that the touchscreen doesn't seem to work. But then again, I didn't calibrate the screen... Now, how do I press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace on this ridiculous small keyboard... I don't know, stuck again I guess. Ouch, have to Reset the device again, possibly corrupting the filesystem.
Anyone willing to help from here?
Bare in mind that this is all pretty experimental, so if you want to try it yourself don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and be prepared for some nasty headaches!
Backing up your deviceFirst thing I did was making a NAND backup. If, in the worst case, this doesn't work out, I can always restore to the original state. Let me document here how I did that, because I didn't know that myself for this device. First of all make sure you have a FAT formatted SD or CF card inserted for storing the backup.
Removing AC/Power, keep the 'D' and 'P' keys pressed on the keyboard and then press the Reset button on the back of the device. The Diagnostic menu should show up now. While in the menu plug in the AC/Power adapter, just to make sure there's enough juice for backing up the device. Go Left and Down twice and press "Ok" to select the option "NAND BACKUP". Follow further instructions on screen. Good thing this device has English messages by the way! All the other models I own show Japanese messages, and well, although I know my way around those menus, I really don't understand any of the text shown. Anyway, after the backup has finished press Cancel to get back to the Diagnostic menu.
Press the Reset button again to turn off the device. I don't know if this is the preferred way to do this, but I couldn't find a better method.
Making preparationsUse the instructions for setting up the Zubuntu filesystem from here in the "Making preparations" part. The Tosa specific root-additions can be found here.
Flashing the Multiboot kernelSince I messed up my build tree pretty badly I wasn't able to build a multiboot kernel for the Tosa. Luckily 'Ant' had a copy lying around somewhere (thanks for that Andrea) so off I went flashing the multiboot kernel.
First, plug in the AC/Power adapter. Second, insert your FAT formatted CF or SD card containing the updater.sh and zImage.bin files. Now Reset the Zaurus using the button on the back of the device. To get into the Maintenance menu, press and hold the "OK" button, and press the power button. It should pop up a menu that has four options (nicely in English again), choose the option that says "Update". Select the medium that you are using, either CF or SD. The updater will run and the kernel is flashed. When it is done, the device will automatically reboot.
ExperimentalFrom here it all gets a bit wacky. After reboot, the boot menu is shown, probably saying it couldn't find any bootable kernels (unless you prepared well of course). Pressing the Power button doesn't work, so I had to Reset the device again. Not very nice, but the kernel has no SD/CF cards mounted, so these won't get corrupt (no guarantees).
Booting the device with the Zubuntu SD/CF card inserted shows Zubuntu in the boot menu. Pressing the "OK" button starts Zubuntu, at least until the login prompt. Login using "root" and type "startx" to see the desktop. Be aware that the touchscreen needs calibrating, but ts_calibrate bails out with an error here, so that didn't work for me.
Help is needed from here, so please try this and give me your feedback, report problems, share fixes, enhancements etc.
As you know by now, using the "Donate" button from the menu on the left keeps me motivated big time!
[ 7 comments ] ( 484 views ) | permalink | ( 3 / 12219 )
So, result is that since this afternoon I have the latest 2.6.30 kernel working on my SL-C3100. There are still some things to fix, but most things seem to work... finally!
Some of you already requested a link to download the kernel, so here it is then. The 2.6.30-rc2 SL-C3x00 kernel (MD5: 43b691cc05a3c1aa694a287b34aefc23) and the corresponding SL-C3x00 modules (MD5: bc13ae45d2e79e6987d9ba60f75fa206) are both highly experimental. Bear in mind that, as said, some things need to be fixed.
I've build the latest 2.6.30-rc4, this time with support for CPU frequency scaling and Android and I added various wireless LAN drivers (as modules).
New update using the latest 2.6.30-rc4 kernel. This version fixes the screen flickering and the unexpected (hard!) hangups. I had to disable the CPU Frequency Scaling to get it stable, so I guess that needs more work. Until now this one is very stable. I've added more kernel modules as well. Since the previous version was buggy I've simply overwritten it with the new one. Please re-download!
The kernel should work on the SL-C3x00 (Spitz) as well as the SL-C1000 (Akita).
2.6.30-rc4 kernel: Download (MD5: d92771c86cd7c53cabd1bd216eac5a0f)
Kernel modules: Download (MD5: 377c155df6fd1fc569188ddafa282af6)
Again, please give it a try and give me feedback on your findings!
[ 32 comments ] ( 1081 views ) | permalink | ( 3 / 1291 )
First and most important package would be the kernel, so I've been working on getting a working 2.6.28 in the last couple of weeks, resulting in a more or less working kernel. But I'm having some major issues, power management isn't working for instance.
So this is taking a little longer than I expected. The current 2.6.28 kernel I'm using has support for the ext4 filesystem, build-in support for Android, and I'll try to incorporate CPU Frequency scaling as well, so we can overclock the CPU and try to fry an egg on our Zaurus I guess I have to sit through another series of kernel debugging session before this kernel is ready for release. The CE-170TS serial cable I kindly got donated from Rolf Leggewie is doing overtime currently.
Parallel on this, I'm in the process of extending the kexecboot boot manager. A lot of ideas have been passed on at the #kexecboot IRC channel. Feel free to join us there by the way, although we might bark sometimes, we certainly won't bite. So expect to see autostart functionality, ext4 support, customized logo and icons, (re-)ordering of items and much more in an oncoming release of the boot manager.
So, to cut a long story short, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Plan was to release a Zubuntu Jaunty combined with the 2.6.28 kernel and the new boot manager. But since this could take a while to finish, I might upload a new root filesystem based on Jaunty using the 2.6.26 kernel. Give me a shout and let me know what you think!
Last but not least, Google has cut me off from their Adsense "service" because of alleged misuse. My account "has posed a significant risk to AdWords advertisers". Bullocks of course, they just didn't like paying me. But anyway, this means I have to ask you all to use the "Donate" button if you like what I'm doing and are willing to support me. Thanks in advance!
[ 9 comments ] ( 591 views ) | permalink | ( 3 / 1197 )
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!
[ 10 comments ] ( 7108 views ) | permalink | ( 3 / 1140 )