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Thread: HOWTO: install and boot Debian with original kernel and modules from a USB stick

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Default HOWTO: install and boot Debian with original kernel and modules from a USB stick

    Here's a detailed guide for installing Debian with either the original kernel and module binaries that came with the device or a custom built kernel of the same version from the official GPLed release, and booting it from a USB stick. In either case, AHCI SATA driver module is built from the GPLed kernel source release.

    https://github.com/alexeicolin/javelin

    UPDATE: added notes on customizing and building a kernel from source
    Last edited by alexei; 09-13-2015 at 06:00 AM. Reason: Clarified that AHCI is used for SATA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default

    Man... you made my day.

    Thank you. Thank you very much!

    I wonder if we could get webmin working on this thing... btw have you stumbled uppon some internal storage in this unit? Any chance we could use it instead of a USB drive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Default

    Glad it might turn out to be useful!

    Quote Originally Posted by thecrazy View Post
    I wonder if we could get webmin working on this thing... btw have you stumbled uppon some internal storage in this unit? Any chance we could use it instead of a USB drive?
    I wasn't familiar with webmin. They list Debian as supported: it might be as easy as downloading their deb package from their website and 'dpkg -i webmin.deb', but it is not in the official Debian repositories (except for very old version) which is not a good sign. If installing .deb does not work out of the box, I would bet it would be a big hassle to get it working since it's a very system specific piece of software. In that case, better off just configuring whatever is needed from the shell.

    There's a 128Mb NAND flash memory chip on the board. It's usable, but Debian (even the core) won't fit into 128Mb. You would need to go for another distro like optware or something. You could place the ramdisk and kernel into this NAND, and boot from there, but the (big) root file system will need to be either on USB or on the HD (the HD option is really bad -- HD failure will take down the NAS), so doesn't seem like much use doing that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    3

    Default Plex on it?

    Wow this sounds so awesome,
    I guess in theory if i do this, i could install plex on it.
    However I'm not sure how good it would be as the CPU might be too slow to support it.
    Any thoughts?

  5. #5

    Default Can you use Debian from RN104 NAS?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexei View Post
    There's a 128Mb NAND flash memory chip on the board. It's usable, but Debian (even the core) won't fit into 128Mb. You would need to go for another distro like optware or something. You could place the ramdisk and kernel into this NAND, and boot from there, but the (big) root file system will need to be either on USB or on the HD (the HD option is really bad -- HD failure will take down the NAS), so doesn't seem like much use doing that.
    I have a JavS4 that I've been using for a couple years. I recently bought an RN104 to backup the JavS4. When looking at the RN104 firmware, it is based on Debian and it is in 128Mb flash. Would that help you fit Debian into the JavS4 flash?

  6. #6
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    Dec 2014
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    It's probably possible to strip the system to 128mb (embedian which is deprecated is one option - might be easier than trying to adapt RN104 firmware). In the end my main purpose of installing Debian is to easily install applications, which likely won't all fit into the remaining flash.

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