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NATIVE Debian (Linux) on the Droid!

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DrGit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2010
151
210
I got myself a Motorola Droid and I've been playing with the kernel quite a bit - it didn't take long to get Debian to boot from the SD card!

Necessary kernel modifications:
CONFIG_CMDLINE_FORCE=y
Motorola must have stealthily removed this from the kernel :p To re-enable it, add an #ifdef in arch/arm/kernel/setup.c as per http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/linux-kernel/2010/1/28/4533180.
CONFIG_CMDLINE="[email protected] mtdparts=omap2-nand.0:[email protected](mbm),[email protected](cdt),[email protected](lbl),[email protected](misc),3584k(boot),4608k(recovery),143744k(system),94848k(cache),268032k(userdata),2m(kpanic) root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 omapfb.rotate=1 noinitrd quiet".

That's about it! Just compile it, use Koush's AnyKernel update.zip generator, and flash away! I tried Ubuntu, but Thumb-2 support is broken in the kernel - it can't execute /sbin/init, so it panics. In theory, Gentoo, Slackware, Arch, Angstrom, MeeGo, and many other Linux distros for ARM should work with little modification. The sky's the limit! (JK, Windows 8000 won't work :p)
 
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DrGit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2010
151
210
Screenshots, video, anything?

I don't see the point - unless you want a screenshot of Debian's console login prompt, which you can find almost anywhere. I'm running X with E17 (Illume) now, but without proper touchscreen calibration it's not very useful... I might do a video or something once I have it calibrated.
 

quicktek

Member
Oct 14, 2010
16
2
I got myself a Motorola Droid and I've been playing with the kernel quite a bit - it didn't take long to get Debian to boot from the SD card!

I'm trying to get this set up on my droid. Would you be willing to provide a little more details for a novice like me? Were you modifying the stock kernel or 3rd party? Does wifi work in native debian?

EDIT: I found this other thread which has more details, so I'll start there. Thanks! http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1318330
 
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DrGit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2010
151
210
The end of the beginning

I've been tempting fate a lot lately. Despite my attempts to keep this platform alive, my Droid bit the dust yesterday.
Its digital contents live on, but the hardware wasn't so lucky.

It always had a way of inconveniencing me, so I'm somewhat relieved about it.
Unfortunately, finding a replacement is going to be a pain.
Mostly due to a lack of money (WiFi+Google Voice+plentiful open source software = less spending/work incentive)
and the length of my uncompromising list of requirements,
I am beginning to realize that my dream phone might never exist.

Somewhat refreshingly, I'm around "weird" people a lot, and they remind me (without using words!) that there are better things in life than shopping for a smartphone.
This isn't exactly goodbye, but I may be away from the XDA scene for a while.

Apologies to any users of my coding experiments... Hopefully, if nothing else, they inspire something more useful.

Thanks y'all for the fun time and for reading this long post :p
Don't stop inventing!
 
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edw00rd

Member
Apr 16, 2010
16
5
I got myself a Motorola Droid and I've been playing with the kernel quite a bit - it didn't take long to get Debian to boot from the SD card!

Necessary kernel modifications:
CONFIG_CMDLINE_FORCE=y
Motorola must have stealthily removed this from the kernel :p To re-enable it, add an #ifdef in arch/arm/kernel/setup.c as per http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/linux-kernel/2010/1/28/4533180.
CONFIG_CMDLINE="[email protected] mtdparts=omap2-nand.0:[email protected](mbm),[email protected](cdt),[email protected](lbl),[email protected](misc),3584k(boot),4608k(recovery),143744k(system),94848k(cache),268032k(userdata),2m(kpanic) root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 omapfb.rotate=1 noinitrd quiet".

That's about it! Just compile it, use Koush's AnyKernel update.zip generator, and flash away! I tried Ubuntu, but Thumb-2 support is broken in the kernel - it can't execute /sbin/init, so it panics. In theory, Gentoo, Slackware, Arch, Angstrom, MeeGo, and many other Linux distros for ARM should work with little modification. The sky's the limit! (JK, Windows 8000 won't work :p)

Hmmm.... how would I go about checking into this for the transformer prime?

Sent from my Transformer Prime using XDA
 

DrGit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2010
151
210
Hmmm.... how would I go about checking into this for the transformer prime?

Sent from my Transformer Prime using XDA

1.) Figure out how to run an unsigned kernel image. Kexec, fastboot, USB kernel flasher, etc...
2.) Replace the Android initramfs and/or tell the kernel where to boot from (depending on which method you pick above, you may need to compile a custom kernel);
3.) Install a root filesystem image on an SD card (internal storage may work, but it's less risky to dual boot) and point the kernel to it.

I got Ubuntu running even better on my "new" Epic 4G! Other devices should work with this method, but I'm not too enthusiastic about porting for devices I don't own :p
 

ReCreate

Senior Member
Oct 7, 2010
70
20
I know this is a very old thread, but the OP has disabled his PM messaging system, so I have no other choice.

I'm interested in repeating what this guy did here, as I too have a moto droid (a855) and i'd like to get at least a little use out of it.

I have some questions.

Where did you get the kernel sources? (i see you're saying to modify something in arch/arm/kernel/setup.c)

How did you get debian to boot from the SD Card? You mention kernel modification but you never mentioned anything about the setup process.

Will the process here https://wiki.debian.org/HowtoDebianInAndroid work for this? Everything mentioned there except the kernel seems to not be device specific.
 

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    I got myself a Motorola Droid and I've been playing with the kernel quite a bit - it didn't take long to get Debian to boot from the SD card!

    Necessary kernel modifications:
    CONFIG_CMDLINE_FORCE=y
    Motorola must have stealthily removed this from the kernel :p To re-enable it, add an #ifdef in arch/arm/kernel/setup.c as per http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/linux-kernel/2010/1/28/4533180.
    CONFIG_CMDLINE="[email protected] mtdparts=omap2-nand.0:[email protected](mbm),[email protected](cdt),[email protected](lbl),[email protected](misc),3584k(boot),4608k(recovery),143744k(system),94848k(cache),268032k(userdata),2m(kpanic) root=/dev/mmcblk0p1 omapfb.rotate=1 noinitrd quiet".

    That's about it! Just compile it, use Koush's AnyKernel update.zip generator, and flash away! I tried Ubuntu, but Thumb-2 support is broken in the kernel - it can't execute /sbin/init, so it panics. In theory, Gentoo, Slackware, Arch, Angstrom, MeeGo, and many other Linux distros for ARM should work with little modification. The sky's the limit! (JK, Windows 8000 won't work :p)
    1
    The end of the beginning

    I've been tempting fate a lot lately. Despite my attempts to keep this platform alive, my Droid bit the dust yesterday.
    Its digital contents live on, but the hardware wasn't so lucky.

    It always had a way of inconveniencing me, so I'm somewhat relieved about it.
    Unfortunately, finding a replacement is going to be a pain.
    Mostly due to a lack of money (WiFi+Google Voice+plentiful open source software = less spending/work incentive)
    and the length of my uncompromising list of requirements,
    I am beginning to realize that my dream phone might never exist.

    Somewhat refreshingly, I'm around "weird" people a lot, and they remind me (without using words!) that there are better things in life than shopping for a smartphone.
    This isn't exactly goodbye, but I may be away from the XDA scene for a while.

    Apologies to any users of my coding experiments... Hopefully, if nothing else, they inspire something more useful.

    Thanks y'all for the fun time and for reading this long post :p
    Don't stop inventing!