Multiple Distro's..

Al Johnson openmoko at
Sat Oct 24 20:12:53 CEST 2009

On Saturday 24 October 2009, Marc Bantle wrote:
> Hi,
> Aditya Gandhi schrieb:
> > Hi guys, I'm expecting my Free Runner in a day or two....
> > I wish to know as to how many distributions can I Run side by side ,
> I think the maximum is seven without extra efforts.
> A possible setup could look like this:
> Device
> Number   Media   /dev       Partition Type     Content
> 31,  6   NAND    mtdblock6                      Dist1
> 179, 0   SD-Card mmcblk0    (raw device)
> 179, 1   SD-Card mmcblk0p1  primary partition   Dist2
> 179, 2   SD-Card mmcblk0p2  primary partition   Dist3
> 179, 3   SD-Card mmcblk0p3  primary partition   Dist4
> 179, 4   SD-Card mmcblk0p4  extended partition  logical partitions
> 179, 5   SD-Card mmcblk0p5  logical partition   Dist5
> 179, 6   SD-Card mmcblk0p6  logical partition   Dist6
> 179, 7   SD-Card mmcblk0p7  logical partition   Dist7
> Off course you can choose a different
> primary/logical ratio.

This is correct for uboot, though there are a few possible complications:
* Android will want to use 2 partitions, by default the first two, plus the 
NAND. Then again it will (by default) install a forked Qi too, which doesn't 
multiboot well anyway.
* Certain ext3 formatting options prevent uboot reading the partition, but I 
haven't checked which ones. My gentoo box makes unreadable ones by default, 
but fedora makes readable ones.

> > Is there a guide to multiple OS on freerunner?
> I just had a look. A lot of the information
> is just wrong or at least outdated. I now
> understand why most users install qi ;-)
> Various efforts have been made to supply a
> bootmenu for qi (e.g. by using kexec).
> I don't know whether they where successful.
> I still stay with u-boot for my multi dist
> setup, cause it has a boot menu. It's only
> constraint is that the kernel need's to be
> within the first 2G of the SD-Card (I just
> prepared a special subdirectory on the first
> partition). Booting  kernels >2M need special
> boot parameters, but has been reported to
> work on this list.

This is itself wrong, as I'm booting kernels from beyond the first 2G, and 
probably beyond 4G.

> > Eg:- an external small GSM antenna to enhance reception.... etc.
> I use one to have a signal on my Desk (antenna
> outside the window).
> Cheers,
> Marc

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