[Tinkerphones] Testers needed for upgrading your GTA04 to U-Boot 2016.11 + Letux-4.10.4 + Debian/LXDE 8.7

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu Mar 23 08:12:38 CET 2017

Hi Andreas,

> Am 23.03.2017 um 07:40 schrieb Andreas Kemnade <andreas at kemnade.info>:
> Hi,
> On Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:42:44 +0100
> "H. Nikolaus Schaller" <hns at goldelico.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> in parallel to trying to handle all the other GTA04 tasks, I have fixed
>> some minor issues in kernel, u-boot and rootfs so that we have first release
>> candidate for a new production SD image.
>> A production SD image is used for flashing (unbricking) a GTA04 device.
>> The last one [1] was based on kernel 3.12 and Debian Wheezy which wasn't
>> bad at all, but did not support the OneNAND of the GTA04A5.
>> The biggest visual change is that there are some LXDE desktop icons for
>> starting Simple-Gsmgui [2] (developed by our commmunity member akemnade),
>> Camera Demo (camera driver is not working) and GPS demo (well this is
>> not even a demo but full FoxtrotGPS). So it should become possible to
>> operate the most basic functions from NAND only.
>> If you have a little time and want to test/upgrade, please follow
>> these instructions and report issues and observations.
>> Please note that if anything fails you might need the RS232 cable
>> and the original production image [1].
> well, if anything fails (besides uboot) I will try to boot from another
> partition. and fix things over ssh.
> To me, having multiboot is one of the most important features of the
> gta04.
> I do not see any instructions here to have some multiboot system or
> replace a single one of the installed systems. I have a partition
> specially reserved for some testing systems.

Hm. I do not exactly understand what the problem is for you. You can simply
use your multipartition SD card after doing these tests and upgrades and it
should still boot fine.

The only risk I have experienced is that the old U-Boot environment in NAND
may be incompatible with the new one and then U-Boot stops before flashing
anything new.

Then, one must do the nand-erase procedure I have mentioned. And that one
can only be commanded easily through the RS232 console.

In theory one could boot back to Linux with a working SD card, log in through
ssh and overwrite /dev/mtd2 but I have never tried that. And it has the risk
that after doing this, you can't boot the working SD card any more. And if you
try the production card and it still fails you have no access any more.

> Of course *I* now how to do it but it should be a really well documented
> and prepared path.

I assume all those who want to be testers of new base software like this know
what they do...

The typical user should only need this procedure to upgrade the boot
system after we have tested it. Then it should be fail-safe.

After doing this upgrade, the "production SD card" used for the upgrade can
be reformatted to have up to 4 partitions.


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