Generic kernel from source on the XO-1?

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Generic kernel from source on the XO-1?

Postby energyisanumber » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:58 pm


I am a student, and in order to learn a bit more about Linux, I've been trying to build a Cross Linux from Scratch (CLFS, system which uses a generic kernel (version, ... .5.tar.bz2). The generic kernel freezes as soon as Open Firmware tries to load it. I have tried to use the initrd that was already on my XO's standard install, but that didn't work either (not that I really expected it too). As a quick fix, I downloaded an rpm-ed kernel source (version 2.6.22) from the official OLPC kernel sources, and it started fine. It might be a problem with the initrd file, but the temporary system in the CLFS book doesn't make any mention of such a file, and I didn't think it was necessary to have one if all of the needed modules are compiled into the kernel directly...

After doing a bit of reading, it seems as though I need an extra key/signature file, but for the life of me, I haven't been able to find anything which tells me how/where to obtain any such thing; I'm also not sure if something needs to be patched directly into the kernel or not.

Does anybody know how to boot a generic kernel on the XO? I could go ahead using the OLPC approved kernel, but I would like to learn how to use the software in the book, both to prevent possible inconsistencies later on, and to learn how to really hack into this thing.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
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Re: Generic kernel from source on the XO-1?

Postby ektoric » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:26 pm

Check out which advises you to get a developer key for doing a custom kernel. also note that the XO has specialized hardware that, since I'm not an active contributor, I have no idea what the state is of merging the olpc git tree back to the tree. Therefore, if you pull a stock kernel from, it may not have the latest drivers for the XO hardware. I would highly suggest starting from the modified kernel source from the OLPC git repositories.

As for being able to following along your references, I doubt they will differ much. Most of those references are pretty generic. They know if your building a kernel, you're probably not doing it for a stock x86 desktop PC. (Or, their examples may use that as a reference, but they know that your objective is to do something different.) Keeping that in mind will allow you to spot the differences between your text and the OLPC modifications. (Which for your purposes probably won't be anything more than some of the flags to set or not set.)
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