[Arm-netbook] Original ChiTech kernel available as Debian package

Frans Pop elendil at planet.nl
Thu Apr 22 17:23:04 BST 2010

A few days ago I've uploaded the original ChiTech kernel as a Debian 
package so it can more easily be used with a Debian Lenny install.
See below for some important notes about this package.

The reason I decided to try the original kernel was that I have one 
extremely bad issue. When I play music the mouse pointer goes crazy. It 
will move randomly and create random clicks.
Unfortunately the original kernel does not solve that issue: I see it both 
with "our" kernel and the ChiTech kernel. Does anybody 
else see this issue as well?

IIUC the input devices and sound are provided by the same Wolfson Micro 
chip. My guess is that this chip is not properly supported, but if nobody 
else sees this issue it may also be a hardware problem.

In general the ChiTech kernel should probably support the hardware a bit 
better than "our" kernel and it will not have some issues "our" kernel 
has, so using it my still be worthwhile. But you will lose the use of 

The name of the kernel package is linux-image- 
and is available from the repository on alioth.
The ChiTech kernel cannot be selected during a new installation using 
Debian Installer, but only installed afterwards.

* When the ChiTech kernel package is installed it will automatically be
  flashed! (The same as our kernel.)

* The root file system needs to be converted to ext3.
  It turns out that the original ChiTech system does *not* use ext4 at all,
  but instead uses the (experimental) ext4dev driver to access a plain old
  ext3 file system. Yes, this is unbelievably stupid.
  But because the ChiTech kernel does not have ext2 support, the root fs
  must be converted to ext3 before installing this kernel. Doing so is
  trivial: tune2fs -j /dev/mmcblk0p2.

  Note that I'm seeing a problem with symlinks. They are created with some
  attribute that fsck later does not like. I've not investigated this.

* The Chitech kernel does *not* support VT1-VT6 so having a working X.Org
  is required. If the boot process gets stuck (e.g. during fsck it) will
  appear as if the whole system is hanging. It is not. It's simply waiting
  for input. Boot with "our" kernel (see below) to solve the problem.

* You will probably want to load some modules.
  I'd suggest adding s3c_mfc and s3c_pp to /etc/modules.

* You will probably want to exclude some messages to avoid spamming
  the log files.
  Add the following to /etc/rsyslog.conf (below #### RULES ####):
     :msg,contains,"evbug.c:"        ~
     :msg,contains,"====>read time"  ~

Switching between "our" kernel and the ChiTech kernel
One way to do this is to flash the other kernel using:
   /etc/kernel/postinst.d/20flash-kernel <abi-name>
For example, to flash "our" kernel use:

An easier method for a one-time switch and for "rescue" is to use the
"firmware upgrade" procedure. Copy the desired kernel image to 
zImage_dt_update on your external SD card and make sure you have a dummy 
datang-epc.tar.gz there. Then boot with touchpad buttons pressed.


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