Modification of Public OLPC Software

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Modification of Public OLPC Software

big one
I often use Linux without any X-Windows, but only svgalib: mplayer, links 2.0 browser, mp3blaster, etc. On FreeDOS (Free Disk Operating System), I can use display, arachne, pppd etc.

Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1, is it possible to customize OLPC:
1. Disable internal Flash Drive, and boot from external USB hard disk / external CD-ROM drive.
2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).
3. Install Fedora, Mandriva or other Linux/BSD distro, FreeDOS. Use TWM / IceWM windows manager.
Is the above ideas possible?
Thank you.

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Modification of Public OLPC Software

Mitch Bradley-2
OLPC does not have a conventional BIOS, so any software that depends on
one will not work.

big one wrote:

> I often use Linux without any X-Windows, but only svgalib: mplayer, links 2.0 browser, mp3blaster, etc. On FreeDOS (Free Disk Operating System), I can use display, arachne, pppd etc.
>
> Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1, is it possible to customize OLPC:
> 1. Disable internal Flash Drive, and boot from external USB hard disk / external CD-ROM drive.
> 2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).
> 3. Install Fedora, Mandriva or other Linux/BSD distro, FreeDOS. Use TWM / IceWM windows manager.
> Is the above ideas possible?
> Thank you.
>
> _____________________________________________________________
> = You want FREE web-based email ?
> = You want your own @qon.lao.net address??
> = Then you want LaoNet's WebMail !
> = Get it at http://webmail.lao.net !!
> _______________________________________________
> Devel mailing list
> Devel at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel
>  


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Modification of Public OLPC Software

bernie
In reply to this post by big one
big one wrote:

> I often use Linux without any X-Windows, but only svgalib: mplayer, links 2.0 browser, mp3blaster, etc. On FreeDOS (Free Disk Operating System), I can use display, arachne, pppd etc.
>
> Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1, is it possible to customize OLPC:
> 1. Disable internal Flash Drive, and boot from external USB hard disk / external CD-ROM drive.
> 2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).
> 3. Install Fedora, Mandriva or other Linux/BSD distro, FreeDOS. Use TWM / IceWM windows manager.
> Is the above ideas possible?

3 is possible provided you replace the standard Linux kernel with one including
the OLPC patch set.  I've also been told that Minix works.

I doubt the BSDs already support our hardware, but wouldn't be hard. FreeDOS would
be problematic because the OFW does not emulate BIOS services and does not provide
16bit support.  But maybe you can get LinuxBIOS to boot from OFW and then you're
done!

Several people booted regular Fedora 7 and Ubuntu Feisty off USB drives.  I think
the only change needed was installing the kernel package.  The RPM is available
from us, a dpkg should be easy to produce with the Debian kernel development tools.

When enough of our patches will be merged upstream, and the OLPC hardware gets more
widely available, I'd expect the mainstream distros to offer out of the box OLPC
support.

--
 \___/
 |___|  Bernardo Innocenti - http://www.codewiz.org/
  \___\ One Laptop Per Child - http://www.laptop.org/

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Modification of Public OLPC Software

James Cameron-2
In reply to this post by big one
On Mon, Sep 24, 2007 at 10:19:01PM -0700, big one wrote:
> Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1,

The answers below are unrelated to the fact that it is being sold.

> is it possible to customize OLPC:

XO-1 is the identifier for the hardware, OLPC is the identifier for the
project.

> 1. Disable internal Flash Drive,

No.  But if it did not contain the essential boot components (such as
/boot/olpc.fth) it would be ignored, and so you would have the same net
effect.

> and boot from external USB hard disk

Yes.  The external USB storage would need to have the essential boot
components (such as /boot/olpc.fth).  This is how we load new versions
at the moment.

> / external CD-ROM drive.

Don't know.  A PC boot structure would not work, only the XO specific
boot structure would work.  I've not tested it, and I don't know if
anyone has.

> 2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).

Not sure.  I think not.  Let us know how it goes, we're curious.  The XO
kernel has framebuffer support for the LCD.  Suggest you use that
instead.  Try it in emulation now.

> 3. Install Fedora, Mandriva or other Linux/BSD distro, FreeDOS.

Only if those distributions add support for XO, or if you add the
support yourself.  For example we have a way to install Debian
documented on the Wiki.  As Bernardo has said, minimum capability would
be the Linux kernel patched and built for XO.  The kernel built for
ordinary PC is not appropriate.  Many services provided by a PC BIOS are
not provided by the XO firmware.

> Use TWM / IceWM windows manager.

Yes, that works fine, once the barriers above are overcome.

> Is the above ideas possible?

Yes, with work.  Let us know how you go.  It isn't part of OLPC mission
though, and now is not the time for us to concentrate on it.

--
James Cameron    mailto:quozl at us.netrek.org     http://quozl.netrek.org/

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Modification of Public OLPC Software

Jim Gettys-3
In reply to this post by big one
On Mon, 2007-09-24 at 22:19 -0700, big one wrote:
> I often use Linux without any X-Windows, but only svgalib: mplayer, links 2.0 browser, mp3blaster, etc. On FreeDOS (Free Disk Operating System), I can use display, arachne, pppd etc.
>
> Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1, is it possible to customize OLPC:
> 1. Disable internal Flash Drive, and boot from external USB hard disk / external CD-ROM drive.

Yes.  given a correct kernel on the external drive (see below).

> 2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).

Yes.

> 3. Install Fedora, Mandriva or other Linux/BSD distro, FreeDOS. Use TWM / IceWM windows manager.

Yes, but not all our Linux changes are upstream in the kernel.org linux
yet: you'll need to run a kernel configured from our source pool until
it is, which is likely quite a while before we're all done.

Directions are in the wiki for doing Fedora/Debian installs using our
kernel.

BSD have not done a port.

FreeDOS requires support in the firmware we no longer have; the support
was closed source, and unmaintainable for us.

You can use whatever window manager you want; I've run a full Gnome
environment.

                                     - Jim


> Is the above ideas possible?
> Thank you.
>
> _____________________________________________________________
> = You want FREE web-based email ?
> = You want your own @qon.lao.net address??
> = Then you want LaoNet's WebMail !
> = Get it at http://webmail.lao.net !!
> _______________________________________________
> Devel mailing list
> Devel at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel
--
Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child



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Modification of Public OLPC Software

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger-2
On 25.09.2007 17:36, Jim Gettys wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-09-24 at 22:19 -0700, big one wrote:
>> I often use Linux without any X-Windows, but only svgalib: mplayer, links 2.0 browser, mp3blaster, etc. On FreeDOS (Free Disk Operating System), I can use display, arachne, pppd etc.
>>
>> Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1, is it possible to customize OLPC:
>
>> 2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).
>
> Yes.

No. We have neither VGA nor SVGA support because we are missing the
required VSA module.

Carl-Daniel

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Modification of Public OLPC Software

Jordan Crouse
On 26/09/07 16:43 +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:

> On 25.09.2007 17:36, Jim Gettys wrote:
> > On Mon, 2007-09-24 at 22:19 -0700, big one wrote:
> >> I often use Linux without any X-Windows, but only svgalib: mplayer, links 2.0 browser, mp3blaster, etc. On FreeDOS (Free Disk Operating System), I can use display, arachne, pppd etc.
> >>
> >> Because OLPC is sold to general public using "Buy 2 Get 1" G1G1, is it possible to customize OLPC:
> >
> >> 2. Boot to console mode (svgalib).
> >
> > Yes.
>
> No. We have neither VGA nor SVGA support because we are missing the
> required VSA module.

(obligatory response for any future Googlers of this thread - not at all
interesting to OLPC itself)

Even with VSA, you wouldn't have VGA, which is another blob all together,
and not distributed.

Jordan

> Carl-Daniel
> _______________________________________________
> Devel mailing list
> Devel at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel
>
>

--
Jordan Crouse
Systems Software Development Engineer
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.