Thinking about Debian


Jan 11, 2010
I've been playing with my Pandora, and since there are a couple of issues I have, including the WiFi isn't working, I'm contemplating installing Debian onto it: wiping the NAND, putting / on it, with /usr and /home on an SD card. I just have a couple of queries, though, before I seriously entertain the idea:

  1. Does WiFi work?
  2. Does the Pandora's custom keymap/other hardware work?
  3. Will Pandora software (taken from PNDs or whatever) work?

The issues I've got with Angstrom are mainly in the way the distribution seems to work: the binutils, the lack of compilers, and the lack of virtual typewriters being my main problems. If Debian will work 'properly' on the Pandora, that is, in my mind the way forward.

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I don't think you're going to have an easy ride if you wipe angstrom and put debian onto the pandora in the hope of getting wifi to work, especially as angstrom linux is the default os for the pandora so I would imagine wifi should be an easy thing to setup / get going, I haven't got my pandora yet so I wouldn't know, but I do run debian 6 "squeeze" on both of my desktop's and love it to bits, but it wont play with my laptop at all, (wifi or keyboard mapping), even though I've got the correct wifi driver for my laptop it just wont install, so think carefully before you go down that route, I don't even know if there's a stable port to arm yet, check this out:-, but I may be wrong, anyway good luck with your plans.
I have squeeze on all my machines. Including my NanoNote, which took about two months to get working. I built the thing almost from scratch, from a 100M rootfs that didn't even include VI. I love it.

you should take a look at this
Yeah, I did. I was just being specific about what I was thinking.
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You can fit it on the NAND, but you're best going through the multistrap process with Emdebian and building your own rootfs rather than taking one of mine ( for instance. )

It also seems a tad flaky on the NAND, but that's probably more something I buggered up than anything else.

Emdebian Grip shrink down a lot of the stock Debian packages, hence why I suggest that as you only really get about 450Mb on the root partition ... though be warned that they've been having some package conflicts recently.

I'd be very wary about going much over that 450mb limit, but you probably can get away with it slightly. Of course, you won't know if you've reached that limit till you build your rootfs and then run the ubifs tools on it to create the image, so it's all a rather fiddly process, not to mention that currently I've just been heavy handedly ripping stuff from a running Angstrom image and wedging it in to Debian to get it running.

As I've posted on the other thread, and on the other board, I'm working on my 1.1 set now which will be doing things properly and use an installer to pull things down, rather than providing pre-baked images. This'll stop the LXDE vs XFCE war I seemed to stumble into! That may help you in getting things shrunk down enough for installing on NAND, but I wouldn't expect it soon.. I'm looking towards the end of the month to even start testing the installer in just pulling down stock Debian, never mind rebuilding and packaging the Pandora specific patches from our OE overlay as stock Squeeze doesn't provide driver support for all of the hardware, sadly - Wifi being the key thing in your list ( or at least, I couldn't find it and make it work without the one we have. )

Also ( just to keep things all neatly answered here as well, ) PND support will work, but beware of library inconsistencies. You can partially fix this by pulling over libraries from Angstrom and forcing an LD_LIBRARY_PATH to point there instead, but it's still not quite 100%

The keymap doesn't fully work out the box, you'll need to take it from Angstrom and add it in yourself, and as stated, other driver support is iffy and you're generally going to have to take it from Angstrom.
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there is pandebian, also. I installed it, and it mostly works.

I think that the biggest problem will be compiling pandora-specific kernel into a debain package. All other stuff is just copying config files.