Although Sheevaplug has appeared to be not particularly reliable piece of hardware (this claim is based on personal experience and numerous reports of other users), it is a great fun as well, so I gave it next (the last one) chance and have bought another new plug to replace the broken one.
I planned to use SDHC card with Debian which worked seamessly with my previous plug computer, so I follow the procedure described below.
Connect PC to Sheevaplug with USB-miniUSB cable
Turn on the plug computer.
cu -s 115200 -l /dev/ttyUSB0
press any key. In response to boot loader prompt type:
Marvel>> version U-Boot 1.1.4 (Dec 27 2009 - 22:03:21) Marvell version: 3.4.27
The u-boot boot loader have to be upgraded before installing Debian
Copy the U-Boot binary
u-boot.kwb to a USB stick formated with the FAT filesystem.
Plug the USB stick into a plug computer, connect the serial console and type the following commands:
usb start fatload usb 0:1 0x0800000 u-boot.kwb nand erase 0x0 0x60000 nand write 0x0800000 0x0 0x60000
Regardless of how U-Boot was installed, one have to restart the machine to load the new version of U-Boot:
Boot the system (cf.
Configure the boot loader now. First of all, one has to change a setting so the device will boot the kernel which is used by Debian:
setenv mainlineLinux yes setenv arcNumber 2097 saveenv reset
Restart the device so the changes will take effect. Now configure the machine to boot:
setenv bootargs_console console=ttyS0,115200 setenv bootargs_root 'root=/dev/mmcblk0p2' setenv bootcmd_mmc 'mmc init; ext2load mmc 0:1 0x00800000 /uImage; ext2load mmc 0:1 0x01100000 /uInitrd' setenv bootcmd 'setenv bootargs $(bootargs_console) $(bootargs_root); run bootcmd_mmc; bootm 0x00800000 0x01100000' saveenv
At this point SheevaPlug is ready to boot Debian automatically from SD card.
So, I inserted
my SDHC card with Debian 5.0 installed some 2 years ago and tried to connect via
ssh -l <user> 192.168.1.88 Linux neptune.pinkaccordions.org 2.6.30-5-kirkwood #1 Wed Jan 12 15:27:07 UTC 2011 armv5tel
System is up and running so it seems reusing SDHC card with old Debian installation was sucessfull, but shortly I discovered there were problems...
System clock is terribly fast and
there are problems communicating with USB port. Upon consulting google I have discovered
kernel upgrade is recommended (cf.
apt-get update apt-get dist-upgrade flash-kernel
First command generated lots of 404 errors because Lenny is not supported anymore (I was not aware of that).
I decided not to upgrade
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ lenny main non-free contrib deb-src http://archive.debian.org/debian/ lenny main non-free contrib # Volatile: deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-volatile lenny/volatile main contrib non-free deb-src http://archive.debian.org/debian-volatile lenny/volatile main contrib non-free # Backports: deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-backports lenny-backports main contrib non-free # Previously announced security updates: deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-security lenny/updates main
apt-get dist-upgrade and
flash-kernel was completed
After reboot, system works fine. I plan to upgrade it to Squeeze in the nearest future.
The moral from the story is: with God's and Google help one has not to be an expert to cope with running Linux.