[Gta04-owner] Debian/SD card installation instructions

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Sun Dec 23 21:33:40 CET 2012

Am 23.12.2012 um 01:34 schrieb arne anka:

> so, to put it simply:
> - create a single ext3 partition on teh sd card
> - expand squeeze-lxde.tbz to that partition
> - copy uImage to said partition's boot/
> - remove /lib/modules/ and expand modules.tgz
> - put sd card into GTA04
> - power on

Yes, that should suffice. If not it is a bug :)

> question: is ext3 required or will ext4 do, too?

Not yet. A patch that is already sitting on my machine 
must be applied to U-Boot to add the lsext4, readext4
commands etc. This is required so that U-Boot can
scan the SD card for partitions and watch out for /boot/uImage.

> since i possibly had something damaged while doing trial&error i created a hw-validation sd (w/ makesd) and flashed again.

Do you have the RS232 cable? It could be helpful for debugging
boot issues because either U-Boot or the kernel may have some
hints to tell.

> then created on a 8g sd card as described and w/ ext3, and it booted.
> "even simpler" did not work, at least not with an old installation (not makesd) with vfat as p1 and ext4 as p2 -- GTA04 always booted into flash, pressing AUX showed menu, but all sd related options also booted flash.
> did recreate the sd card like above and now it boots.


>> Generally:
>> * makesd and boot.scr are not obsolete
>> * boot.scr is stored in NAND flash by means of the hw-validation image
>> * if the NAND boot system is broken, you need them to reflash (unbrick) the boot system
>> * for installing the hw-validation image on a SD card the makesd script is useful
>> * this bootstrapping still needs the special formatting if the X-Loader in NAND is broken (which rarely is)
>> For running (not flashing):
>> * you need a kernel, kernel modules and a rootfs
>> * you can expand the Debian rootfs from the hw-validation kernel on a single (or any) ext3 partition on the SD card
>> * and copy the kernel to /boot/uImage
>> * and expand the correct kernel modules
>> * and apply depmod -a (if the kernel boots fine, you can already do that on the GTA04)
>> * then you can update/modify/debootstrap what you like
>> Or even simpler:
>> * makesd a hw-validation image
>> * copy the kernel from the FAT boot partition to /boot
>> * delete the FAT partition
>> This should result in a SD card with Debian using the boot loader from NAND.
>> Hope this helps - if not, please let me know so that the instructions mentioned
>> above can be improved in the right direction.
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