[Gta04-owner] QtMoko v49 - Look and feel

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Nov 27 15:29:56 CET 2012


Am 27.11.2012 um 14:36 schrieb Sven Dyroff:

> > - Bootloader starts with dark red and empty screen -> Shock! What's wrong? 
> > 
> > That is a warning that you are just installing the new u-boot on the 
> > SD card to NAND. It comes only on the first boot with this SD card. 
> > 
> > So it is a feature of the bootloader and not to blaim any version of 
> > QtMoko for. 
> 
> That means only because I just wanted to try out the new bootloader I already got it flashed into my NAND without having been asked if I really want this????? 

Yes,
because it solves more troubles than it creates and there is no happy medium
solution.

The technical reason is that the new boot system may require to modify the u-boot
environment in NAND. If you still have the old one in NAND, it may brick the device
on next boot. Or if you don't modify the environment, the new one would not work
well. So since there is only one environment in NAND (and none on SD), this
"unbrickable" behaviour needs to flash the boot loader completely.

And you can find any older bootloader on http://download.goldelico.com/gta04/
(going back to 2010 - an u-boot that I would not recommend to try out!). We have
enough disk space on the server to keep this archived for several decades.

If you really just want to test the U-Boot from SD, don't copy boot.scr to the SD
and rename u-boot.flash to u-boot.bin (the original u-boot.bin erases the environment
to get this unbricking behaviour). The boot.scr is doing the auto-flashing when it
detects a new version of itself. And it loads the penguin + boot menu splash bitmaps
to the lcd framebuffer. So there isn't much room for the u-boot GUI to ask the user
for questions (BTW: Linux can't flash the boot system because the error correction
support is not compatible).

And, please consider that not everyone has a RS232 cable to go to the U-Boot
console for debugging or manually reparing if anything did go wrong. So this
way it is quite fail-safe.

A final point worth making known is how production works: during production
of a GTA04 board the production image is on a SD that is inserted in a quite
early stage. This flashes the bootloader automatically, blinks some LEDs and
so on. This makes it easier to test a board very early in production.

But it may not be the final bootloader that is shipped. This is done after running the
hw-test and this may be sitting on a SD card with newer u-boot. So it overwrites
the first bootloader. All these steps must be operated by persons who don't know
what they are doing, i.e. they can't connect a RS232 cable and issue u-boot
commands.

If that all does not fit your needs - we an open system.

You can and are encouraged to provide/develop your own distro that does it
better :)

BR,
Nikolaus


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