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Installation of Debian (Squeeze) on the TAM3517 "Twister" Board


This document was written by Wolfgang Denk (wd {at} denx {dot} de).


This application note describes how to install the Debian "squeeze" Linux distribution on a SDCard for using it as operating system for the TAM3517 "Twister" board.

For development (building the Linux kernel image) and bootstrapping (initial installation of Debian on that platform) we will use the DENX Embedded Linux Development Kit (ELDK) Release 5.0 for armv7a systems.

This document describes the whole procedure how to perform the installation from scratch. If you are just interested in getting Debian running on your "Twister" board, you probably want to skip to section "Installation from a Snapshot" and start from existing tarballs from our FTP server.

Prepare a SDCard

In this example we use a Micro-SDCard of 2 GB size (3862528 512-byte logical blocks) which we organize as 3 partitions:

  1. Mount point "/boot", formatted as VFAT file system:
    used to store the Linux kernel image.
  2. Mount point "/", formatted as ext4 file system:
    used to store the root file system.
  3. Swap space, formatted as swap

Note: you can of course use bigger SDCards as well. Please adjust the partition sizes accordingly. Usually you will add the additional space to the root file system.

Download source files

Configure and Build a Linux Kernel Image

Boot "Twister" Board with Roof File System over NFS

Bootstrap Debian

Finalize Debian Setup

Make Debian default OS

Enter the following commands in U-Boot to make Debian boot as default OS whenever you power on the "Twister" board:
TAM3517 # setenv old_bootcmd $bootcmd
TAM3517 # setenv bootcmd run debian
TAM3517 # saveenv
Reset the board to test this.

Customizing Debian Environment

Take a Snapshot

At this point it makes sense to take a snapshot of the installed system, so you don't have to go through all these steps again:
root@twister:~# cd /
root@twister:/# tar --one-file-system -cf - . | ssh wd@pollux 'gzip >/work/wd/Twister/twister-snapshot-1.tar.gz'
A copy of the resulting tarball can be found here.

Install a GUI

Debian comes with a plethora of software you can pick from. For example, to install a graphical desktop environment, proceed as follows:

Installation from a Snapshot

If you are just interested in getting Debian running on your "Twister" board, the fastest way to get there is installation from the snapshot tarballs on our FTP server. Please proceed as follows:

Note: the root password used in the snapshot images is "root"; in the XFCE environment you can login as normal user "denx" with password "denx". Please make sure to change these psswords before putting the system into actual use. You should also make sure to generate new, unique SSH host keys for "/etc/ssh/ssh_host_*".