Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moblin2-alpha on the EeePC 901

Some time ago I reported that I had installed an earlier version of Moblin on my netbook.
Well, now an updated version is available and I finally managed to get it working.
First, there's no ISO available but rather a IMG image. To get this installed, however, you just have to follow the instructions here. Basically, this involves:
1. Download Moblin.img
2. Unmount the usb drive that you will use as the Live USB
3. Download ImageWriter from the same link
4. Then
# cd
# chmod a+x ./image-writer
# ./image-writer {image file}
5. # dd bs=4096 if={image file} of={usb drive}
Now boot to the Live USB.
Next install Moblin2 from the Live USB. This takes about 15 minutes.
Now you can try to boot to Moblin2 (after, in my case, setting up Moblin2 to work in my multiboot system which means copying the vmlinuz file to /media/sda1/boot/moblin and making the appropriate adjustments to /media/sda1/boot/grub/menu.lst).
Unfortunately, it won't boot and gives this error:

fsck.ext3: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sdb9
The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2
filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2
filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock is
corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:
ef2fsck -b 8193

However, all this stuff about corrupt superblocks turns out to be rubbish. The correct explanation is given here and says:
The fsck failure occurred because udev does not finish creating the device node for /dev/sda5 when fsck ran. We have added more /dev nodes, sda1-10, sdb1-4 in /etc/udev/makedev.d/00-base.files to pre-create these nodes at the beginning in latest image to solve this issue.
Then to have a quick fix in your image, you should add
"b /dev/sda5 0660 root root 8 5
b /dev/sda6 0660 root root 8 6
b /dev/sda7 0660 root root 8 7" to /etc/udev/makedev.d/00-base.files

So, I booted to the Live USB, added /dev/sdb9 to /etc/fstab, then after mounting this drive, I opened (using MousePad) /etc/udev/makedev.d/00-base.files.
Then I added
b /dev/sdb5 0660 root root 8 21
b /dev/sdb6 0660 root root 8 22
b /dev/sdb7 0660 root root 8 23
b /dev/sdb8 0660 root root 8 24
b /dev/sdb9 0660 root root 8 25
b /dev/sdb10 0660 root root 8 26

saved the file and rebboted to the installed version of Moblin2 and this time it booted without problem.
Moblin2, with a /home set up, boots a little slower at about 15 seconds. However, a major advantage is that wireless works fine with the rt2860 driver.

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