[Gta04-owner] Hints for installing QtMoko on recently delivered GTA04 boards

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Sat Oct 27 21:40:30 CEST 2012

Hi Mark,

Am 27.10.2012 um 14:07 schrieb Mark Müller:

> Hi Nikolaus,
> since some weeks I'm the proud owner of a GTA04 and yesterday my new microSD card arrived as well. So I tried to install QtMoko -


> I should have read this post before starting to install it yesterday. This would have saved me some time as I ended up restoring u-boot in NAND from SD card with a "flash_eraseall /dev/mtd2".
> Here's a short description of what happened (with my interpretations - don't know if they are accurate):
> I followed the instructions at
>             http://sourceforge.net/projects/qtmoko/files/GTA04/
> Trying to boot from SD card after that, I ended up in a reboot loop (u-boot menu, then splash screen, no kernel output, reboot) and trying to boot from NAND didn't work either (ending up in showing the kernel tux, then freezing). As I haven't got a RS232 adapter cable, I couldn't debug the boot sequence any further.
> After that, I made an SD card with Debian/LXDE root file system from unstable and forced a NAND reflash from SD card (and installed the system in NAND with the flash-nand script). After that, I could boot from SD again. But I could not get QtMoko to boot until now.
> The qtmoko-fat-v48.tar.gz has vanished from the download section of QtMoko - which is a good thing to prevent problems for new users (as me). And the README has been updated. Following the new instruction while keeping the actually installed boot files from the debian root file system I end up in a reboot loop again (as described above).
> Am I doing something wrong? Are there instructions for how to install QtMoko from scratch that are known to work with the currently delivered batch of GTA04?

I think nothing wrong. Besides "unstable" is exactly what is says...

We are currently in the middle of improving, fixing and testing the boot system (x-loader, u-boot, boot.scr) and a new release of the hw-validation Debian/LXDE system is planned soon. So if you did take the "unstable" one, you may have just been unlucky. The new one (after being stable) should be more robust to really bring the device into a defined state.

Radek has upgraded the qtmoko installation instructions right after my comments.


> - Mark
> On 25.10.2012 15:14, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
>> Hi,
>> it appears we have found a potential source of issues when
>> you get a recently new GTA04 with preinstalled Debian/LXDE
>> image and then install QtMoko following these instructions:
>> 	http://sourceforge.net/projects/qtmoko/files/GTA04/
>> The problem is that qtmoko-fat-v48.tar.gz contains some
>> older variant of u-boot and boot.scr and this may be executed
>> when starting QtMoko from SD. This may result in a downgrade
>> of the boot system in NAND and may change some internal
>> parameters in an incompatible way.
>> It is potentially possible that u-boot can't start afterwards at all
>> and there are no signs of GTA04 activities (except on RS232),
>> even with fully charged battery. Since the charger is not yet fully
>> enabled the battery will drain and after a while the device is
>> really dead (but can be reanimated).
>> We have not yet worked out a complete cure, but for a first
>> step to avoid problems:
>> after downloading and unpacking of
>> 	qtmoko-fat-v48.tar.gz
>> you should delete these files from the FAT partition:
>> 	boot/boot.scr
>> 	boot/x-load.flash
>> 	boot/u-boot.bin
>> And, you can ignore the hints about special formatting almost
>> completely. Just make sure the first partition is FAT formatted
>> and QtMoko is installed on the second EXT formatted partition.
>> The special formatting is nowadays only needed in one case:
>> if the NAND flash is completely erased (i.e. no x-load.flash)
>> and everything must boot from SD.
>> The recommended way to flash an empty (erased) NAND is to
>> use the latest stable hw-validation image.
>> After the first sucessful flashing of the NAND (done now in the
>> factory together with the hardware test), only the bootargs.scr,
>> kernel and root file system need to come from SD card.
>> Nikolaus
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