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#1 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:59 AM

I hacked together a system for making Pandora's Angstrom and Debian play together. PanDebian will install a debootstrap-generated chroot of Debian to a loopback file or ext{2,3}-formatted SD card and give you simple access to it (no additional X11, no separate window manager).

Download URL: http://repo.openpand...l&app=PanDebian

Project URL: http://bitbucket.org/GregorR/pandebian

If you're interested in getting Debian on your Pandora, give it a shot. Please note that since this isn't a prebuilt image, it will take a LONG time to install, on the order of four to five hours.

Videos of PanDebian:
  • ,

I occasionally make bugfixes (of course), and as of version 0.3.0 the PanDebian installer is capable of updating an existing PanDebian installation to the latest one, integrating all bugfixes. Just run the installer and provide the same options you would to do a fresh install, then it will detect that an update is occurring (and tell you so), and only perform update actions.

The only packages the install comes with besides the base ones are lxpanel, lxterminal and the synaptic graphical package manager. Of course, with that last one you can easily install virtually anything else you can imagine. It links in your very-important resolv.conf and .Xauthority files so that you can always access networks and X from within Debian. It also comes with a tool to allow you to share host SD cards into the Debian image, which isn't done automatically.

I am not liable if your Pandora blows up :)


EDIT: Just noting what it comes with
EDIT 2: Some additional features it has
EDIT 3: New features (0.2)
EDIT 4: Update mode, 0.3.0
EDIT 5: Narcissistically adding video links.
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#2 OFFLINE   mhungerford

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:09 AM

Wow, cool idea.

Can you suggest any favorite Debian apps we might apt-get install?
Since debian has so many packages (and so many of them games).

#3 OFFLINE   ~Shay~

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:24 AM

Great! I've been waiting for a 'plug and play' OS swap tool for the Pandora, just to play with. Will try this when I get home
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#4 OFFLINE   Alerino

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:08 AM

i already use stuckie's extend, hope yours bring something fresh and new, maybe you guys should join forces
i'll give it a try, certainly

#5 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:33 AM

i already use stuckie's extend, hope yours bring something fresh and new, maybe you guys should join forces
i'll give it a try, certainly


Yeah, I'm aware of it, I hoped to position myself as an alternative. The concepts are broadly similar. PanDebian is just simpler, which means it has slightly worse integration (e.g. for the time being there's no direct access from Debian to the Pandora's other mounted cards), but easier maintainability. Beyond that as far as I know (disclaimer: I haven't used the Debian extend, so this may be a lie), the only major benefits I provide are slightly simpler invocation (ultimately PanDebian generates and installs a PND file which will automatically launch a given Debian installation, so it's one-click) and less interference (I just stick a menu in the corner, use it or not as you please). Neither of these are particularly fundamental.

However, to be honest, this was basically me packaging up what I'd already done before I learned about the Extends system :P
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#6 OFFLINE   stuckie

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 11:32 AM

i already use stuckie's extend, hope yours bring something fresh and new, maybe you guys should join forces
i'll give it a try, certainly


That would be good.. my stuff has kinda stagnated for quite a while as I've not really had a great deal of time to work on it.
However, no-one's really complained to me much about anything breaking, so it seems fine to me! And a few people use it, so it's all good :)

Yeah, I'm aware of it, I hoped to position myself as an alternative. The concepts are broadly similar. PanDebian is just simpler, which means it has slightly worse integration (e.g. for the time being there's no direct access from Debian to the Pandora's other mounted cards), but easier maintainability. Beyond that as far as I know (disclaimer: I haven't used the Debian extend, so this may be a lie), the only major benefits I provide are slightly simpler invocation (ultimately PanDebian generates and installs a PND file which will automatically launch a given Debian installation, so it's one-click) and less interference (I just stick a menu in the corner, use it or not as you please). Neither of these are particularly fundamental.

However, to be honest, this was basically me packaging up what I'd already done before I learned about the Extends system :P


I haven't had a look at yours yet ( my Pandora is in for repair just now ) but the only "integration" I do is some careful binding of host folders into the chroot jail. That's really all that needs done for the most part.
Only other difference I can see, again from not using it just from what's written here, is that mine is just a generic "open a loop-back file" system without much hand-holding in setting anything up ( though there is a gigantic wiki page on it that I wrote for the newer Extend Utils that everyone seems to hate! go figure, hehe ) The stock version of my Extend just opens up a shell and lets you get on with it, it doesn't actually run anything by default - I left that up to whoever was using it to fiddle with, for instance.

Just be wary of people asking for Ubuntu now ;)
That path leads to madness, I tell you! MADNESS!! MWHAHAHAHAAHAHA *choke* *cough* *keels over*

#7 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:50 PM


i already use stuckie's extend, hope yours bring something fresh and new, maybe you guys should join forces
i'll give it a try, certainly


That would be good.. my stuff has kinda stagnated for quite a while as I've not really had a great deal of time to work on it.
However, no-one's really complained to me much about anything breaking, so it seems fine to me! And a few people use it, so it's all good :)

Yeah, I'm aware of it, I hoped to position myself as an alternative. The concepts are broadly similar. PanDebian is just simpler, which means it has slightly worse integration (e.g. for the time being there's no direct access from Debian to the Pandora's other mounted cards), but easier maintainability. Beyond that as far as I know (disclaimer: I haven't used the Debian extend, so this may be a lie), the only major benefits I provide are slightly simpler invocation (ultimately PanDebian generates and installs a PND file which will automatically launch a given Debian installation, so it's one-click) and less interference (I just stick a menu in the corner, use it or not as you please). Neither of these are particularly fundamental.

However, to be honest, this was basically me packaging up what I'd already done before I learned about the Extends system :P


I haven't had a look at yours yet ( my Pandora is in for repair just now ) but the only "integration" I do is some careful binding of host folders into the chroot jail. That's really all that needs done for the most part.
Only other difference I can see, again from not using it just from what's written here, is that mine is just a generic "open a loop-back file" system without much hand-holding in setting anything up ( though there is a gigantic wiki page on it that I wrote for the newer Extend Utils that everyone seems to hate! go figure, hehe ) The stock version of my Extend just opens up a shell and lets you get on with it, it doesn't actually run anything by default - I left that up to whoever was using it to fiddle with, for instance.

Just be wary of people asking for Ubuntu now ;)
That path leads to madness, I tell you! MADNESS!! MWHAHAHAHAAHAHA *choke* *cough* *keels over*


Ah, from the giant wiki page I sort of skimmed I thought it did a lot more :P ... and from IRC I had the (totally-wrong) impression that it actually unionfs'd some kind of abominable Angstrom-Debian hybrid, which would make maintainability grotty. If not, then yeah, we're pretty identical, the only exceptions being that I use debootstrap, which takes an enormous amount of the burden off of me, and have a slightly different default configuration, which was just for my own convenience. Bizarrely, although on a desktop I am very much a console-jocky, and a web browser is the most graphical application I use (screw IDEs!), on a device with a touchscreen I really want a nice graphical menu...

Here's a trick: debootstrap supports Ubuntu. Mind you, I haven't tried selecting one of the Ubuntu versions. If it doesn't support it well enough ... well, when all you've got is a chroot, the distinction is almost purely political, so who cares, just install sid :P
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#8 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 04:52 PM

Just caught a bug ... if your install is caught in a loop trying to install packages, redownload pandebian.pnd and use the new one. Sorry!
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#9 OFFLINE   debernardis

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:38 PM

Just caught a bug ... if your install is caught in a loop trying to install packages, redownload pandebian.pnd and use the new one. Sorry!


Is there a way I can correct the old package and restart just before it starts looping? It's looping now :(

EDIT: OK, don't mind, I'm starting over

#10 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 05:40 PM


Just caught a bug ... if your install is caught in a loop trying to install packages, redownload pandebian.pnd and use the new one. Sorry!


Is there a way I can correct the old package and restart just before it starts looping? It's looping now :(


The bug was that it was detecting whether the packages were installed incorrectly, looking for usr/bin/synaptic instead of usr/sbin/synaptic. To make it stop looping (if you've still got it going) and let it finish, just sudo touch <whatever>/usr/bin/synaptic, it'll detect the existence of that file, and continue.

EDIT: OK, don't mind, I'm starting over


loltiming

Sorry 'bout that bug :P
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#11 OFFLINE   stuckie

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:02 PM

[Here's a trick: debootstrap supports Ubuntu. Mind you, I haven't tried selecting one of the Ubuntu versions. If it doesn't support it well enough ... well, when all you've got is a chroot, the distinction is almost purely political, so who cares, just install sid :P


It's Ubuntu's use of Upstart rather than the normal SystemV init scripts that buggers it up ;) It plain doesn't work in chroot jails.. there's a huge bug report about it, but they don't seem arsed to fix it for some reason.
Also, Ubuntu's debootstrap varient is rootstock ( well, for creating ARM specific builds anyway ) - though it it's been buggy for a while now ( anything but a minimal setup buggers up quite badly. )
Oh yes, I know.. I've already wandered that route many times ;)

As for the UnionFS stuff (well, AUFS, but they're pretty much identical), that's for other types of Extends - Root Extends, Home Extends, etc.. I just lumped them all together as they're all exactly the same kind of thing, a filesystem hiding in an ext2 loopback file, hence the giant wiki documentation of doom.

I also used debootstrap to set the system up.. but from what I gather, you do it on the Pandora itself when your installer is run, and the installer creates the PND, where as I've "prebuilt" the loopback file, so to speak.

Curse you making me want to get back to hacking away at my Extend System! Not quite sure what else to do with it, short of adding a proper GUI system to it so it's not a pain in the arse to use.

#12 OFFLINE   Alerino

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:18 PM

Curse you making me want to get back to hacking away at my Extend System! Not quite sure what else to do with it, short of adding a proper GUI system to it so it's not a pain in the arse to use.


Bless both! :D
Extends with GUI would be awesome!

#13 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 08:35 PM

adding a proper GUI system


Pffffff. zenity = instant UI, no effort X-P
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#14 OFFLINE   debernardis

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:36 AM

I have installed Pandebian (Squeeze variety), and on top the full Openoffice.org suite.
Starts very quickly! Now I'm looking forward for enhancements, Mr. Gregor :)
First of all, mounting Pandora sd cards. You could get hints from the excellent work made by Qole on the N900 to run Debian in a chroot.

See http://talk.maemo.or...ead.php?t=34550
The packages are: easy-deb-chroot and easy-chroot

Here's a video - OOO Writer starts amazingly quick!
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=2JqniVzhhso


EDIT: it's not difficult to see the sd card:
pandora side
sudo mount --bind /media/mysdcard /mnt/ram/mydebianpartition/media/mysdcard/


#15 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:20 PM

Added two new things (version 0.2):

  • PanDebian installs made by the newest PND have access to ALSA. To fix this in a PanDebian install made before now, just go into a root shell in PanDebian and `adduser <username> audio`, where <username> is of course your username.
  • There is now a second application, "PanDebian Share", which will let you easily share cards to the PanDebian install. This can also be done manually as pointed out above.

Would anybody using this please post here which version of Debian you installed, whether you installed it to a loopback or not, and whether you experienced any problems or odd behavior? I'd like to get this out of the "Beta Testing" forum and uploaded somewhere real, but I'll only do that if I have fair confidence that it's not killing people :P
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#16 OFFLINE   debernardis

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 05:58 AM

Added two new things (version 0.2):

  • PanDebian installs made by the newest PND have access to ALSA. To fix this in a PanDebian install made before now, just go into a root shell in PanDebian and `adduser <username> audio`, where <username> is of course your username.
  • There is now a second application, "PanDebian Share", which will let you easily share cards to the PanDebian install. This can also be done manually as pointed out above.

Would anybody using this please post here which version of Debian you installed, whether you installed it to a loopback or not, and whether you experienced any problems or odd behavior? I'd like to get this out of the "Beta Testing" forum and uploaded somewhere real, but I'll only do that if I have fair confidence that it's not killing people :P


Thank you Gregor for this project: it's fundamental, in my opinion, for an advanced use of the Pandora, and it's quite easy to install and put to work.

I installed Squeeze in a loopback file - the first problem I noted is that, of the 3 menu items concerning synaptic, no one works. I have to invoke synaptic in a root terminal. The second problem is that - inside debian apps - the 'compose' key combo of the Pandora, shift+enter, doesn't work yet, and it's quite a problem for non-English language with abundance of accents and other diacritics (àèéìòóù).

Other things I've installed are Pdfchain (a gui tool to cut/paste/turn and make other things to the pages of pdf files), Tomboy and the Kazehakase browser; I've still to find how to sync Tomboy to my ubuntu one account. Another thing I'd like to do is to turn to LibreOffice; I'll report my results here then.

#17 OFFLINE   Gregor

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:04 AM

the first problem I noted is that, of the 3 menu items concerning synaptic, no one works. I have to invoke synaptic in a root terminal.


Made a Squeeze install, figured out why. The synaptic menu entries depend on a binary from the package `menu', which is "recommended" but not a dependency. Install that and it'll work. I'll add it to the PND's install script tomorrow.

The second problem is that - inside debian apps - the 'compose' key combo of the Pandora, shift+enter, doesn't work yet, and it's quite a problem for non-English language with abundance of accents and other diacritics (àèéìòóù).


Errr ... I don't suppose you have any idea how this works or where it's configured to do so? :)
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#18 OFFLINE   stuckie

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 09:29 AM

Would anybody using this please post here which version of Debian you installed, whether you installed it to a loopback or not, and whether you experienced any problems or odd behavior? I'd like to get this out of the "Beta Testing" forum and uploaded somewhere real, but I'll only do that if I have fair confidence that it's not killing people :P


You're brave ;)
The ExtendUtils stuff has been hiding in the GP32X "Software Hacking" section for quite a while, along with my other hackery - like booting into Debian directly from SD; which with Squeeze now being released, I'd really rather like to have another look at!
Though my Pandora's been sent back for repair, so I'm a bit stuck for testing.

#19 OFFLINE   debernardis

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:27 AM


The second problem is that - inside debian apps - the 'compose' key combo of the Pandora, shift+enter, doesn't work yet, and it's quite a problem for non-English language with abundance of accents and other diacritics (àèéìòóù).


Errr ... I don't suppose you have any idea how this works or where it's configured to do so? :)


I was oh so wrong and my faith in Pandora wasn't enough. Shame. :blink:

The compose key in Pandebian works.
It works in Tomboy, it works in Iceweasel, it works in Kazehakase,
It happens not to work in Openoffice.org, and since this program was the main reason I went Pandebian, I was falsely reporting a bug.

Now in order to expiate my sin I'm going to dig into OOO to see why.

#20 OFFLINE   debernardis

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:14 PM

Now in order to expiate my sin I'm going to dig into OOO to see why.


apt-get install locales (in case it's not installed yet)
dpkg-reconfigure locales

reboot

check that the lang variable is set to your language (for me it_IT.utf8) by checking the output of the locale command

now OOO should get compose key.

Please test if works for you :)


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