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Dobrica Pavlinušić's random unstructured stuff
Eee PC

Here are my notes about setup of various stuff on Eee PC to make it work better for me.



Startup

Edit /usr/bin/startsimple.sh and insert something along following lines before exec icewm

 sudo rm /tmp/nologin

 xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources
 setxkbmap hr us
 xterm &

 exec icewm

Compressed root filesystem

I don't really care much about Xandos on my Eee PC. However, I really do like idea about having read-only system filesystem (especially if your startup scripts are breakable as easy as ones on eee are). So, to improve this idea, I started to think how to compress read-only partition so I can at least save space.

As a first experiment, I copied whole flash from eee (about 3.6Gb used) and compressed it using gzip -1 (lowest possible compression level). I was quite amazed to see that resulting archive was only 1.3Gb. So, I was up to something (and additional 2Gb of free space on 4Gb eee is also nice :-)

Update 2008-01-22

squashfs 3.3 can't compress comtent of eee's /usr without hanging on flock after about ~47000 files. This is quite annoying, but 3.2 works. Since it's compiled from upstream source it doesn't include lzma compression, but is saves 1.6Gb of disk space. More details is available, but in Croatian only.

Here is collection of references about this issue:

fetchrss: http://del.icio.us/rss/dpavlin/debian+usb
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Disk images

Backup image from Eee using external USB disk

dd if=/dev/sda of=/media/A/Partition1/flash4Gb.img

Path in of may be different depending on partition on your disk.

Backup flash image from Eee PC using network

Transfer somehow whole disk image to other computer. Good way might be to use netcat with something like this:

  • on Eee
sudo nc -l -p 8888 < /dev/sda

  • on other computer
nc name.of.eee.pc 8888 > hda

You might want to insert compression if your network connection is slower than flash read speed (which is according to hdparm -tT /dev/hda around 21MB/sec).

Alternative is to take P701L.gz from DVD which came with machine, but it has only one partition which is factory default one.

Backup just part of image

You can also copy just parts of flash filesystem if you want (this copies just disk after partition 2):

  • on eee
dd if=/dev/sda bs=512 skip=4819500 | gzip | nc -w 3 other.computer
88882995524+0 records in
2995524+0 records out
1533708288 bytes (1.5 GB) copied, 279.348 seconds, 5.5 MB/s

  • on other computer
nc -l -p 8888 | gzip -cd | > /rest/tmp/hda2-4

  • now, ectract beginning of disk and first partition from P701L
dd if=P701L of=hda1 bs=512 count=4819500

  • and merge partition together to create full disk image
cat hda1 hda2-4 > hda

Emulation

How to create virtual Eee PC?

Example flash image

# fdisk -l hda 

Disk /backup/eee/hda: 3 GB, 3997486080 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 486 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

          Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System 
/backup/eee/hda1               1         300     2409718   83  Linux
/backup/eee/hda2             301         484     1469947   83  Linux
/backup/eee/hda3             485         485           0    c  FAT32 LBA
/backup/eee/hda4             486         486           0   ef  EFI FAT

Mount file-system

We need first file system (factory defaults) to get access to kernel and initrd image

# fdisk -u -l hda 

Disk /backup/eee/hda: 3 GB, 3997486080 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 486 cylinders, total 7807590 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

          Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System 
/backup/eee/hda1              63     4803435     2409718   83  Linux
/backup/eee/hda2         4819563     7759395     1469947   83  Linux
/backup/eee/hda3         7775523     7775460           0    c  FAT32 LBA
/backup/eee/hda4         7791588     7791525           0   ef  EFI FAT
# mkdir 1
# mount hda 1 -o loop,offset=`expr 63 \* 512`

Start emulation

qemu -m 512 -hda hda -kernel boot/vmlinuz-2.6.21.4-eeepc -initrd boot/initramfs-eeepc.img -append "rw root=/dev/sda1"

Links

fetchrss: http://del.icio.us/rss/dpavlin/eeepc
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