Clarifications of downloadable file types

Randy Schnedler randypower at
Thu Jul 10 20:15:03 CEST 2008

Hi all. I am an experienced developer, though not so much with Linux development. As I await the arrival of my FR, I have tried to prepare some different things I want to try.

First, I admire and appreciate that a lot of work is represented in openmoko... Both by the company people and contributors around the world. Things appear to be a bit of a mess right now with multiple frameworks (none of which is complete, it seems), and a wiki that has so much good information but seems to be missing a lot of the "middle ground" between Welcome and here's how to develop for openmoko. Thanks to all those who have recently tried to fill that gap (Uncrippling Your Device, making sense of the distributions, etc.).

Would someone please clarify the meanings of the file types that can be downloaded? This is what I have gathered so far:

*.jffs2 - the root filesystem that goes with a release
*.tar.gz - I know what a tarball is, but when the same filename exists with both a jffs2 and a tar.gz extension, do they contain the same thing? Why? Is the tar used with an emulator? Would I ever need it for the real device?

uImage*.bin - kernel

What is considered the "image"? It seems to me that it is the jffs2, not the kernel. However, the kernel files have the word "image", so I am either wrong or very confused.

Lastly, does each image have a corresponding kernel so flashing to a new distribution would always require flashing the kernel as well? If not, how can I know when flashing the kernel is also required?

Is this information on the wiki somewhere and I just missed it?

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