Getting Neo1973 running again.

Lev M lvmtime at
Sat Aug 15 20:56:11 CEST 2009

I do not have all the answers, but I spent a few hoers last night trying
to get the latest SHR unstable running on my Neo 1973 so it will be in
sync with my Freerunner (one is used for development and another as
primary phone).

Here is what I learned from the experience, hope it will be helpful:

1. The 1.2 u-boot which comes standard on 1973 works fine with latest
dfu-util (at least I never had trouble with it and I flash the device
quite often).
2. It is however completely unable to boot from SD neither using FAT nor
EXT2 for kernel partition.
3. Even after updating the u-boot you will still need to tweak it's
environment variables to get it to boot from SD (they are not changed by
the upgrade)

Now, if you want to use SHR on the 1973 you have 2 choices:
A) use the shr-lite image which has a few things missing but is small
enough to fit on the internal memory.
B) put the regular SHR on the microSD as described in the WiKi and fix
the u-boot.

I went with option B after finding option A to be too poor in apps.
(Actually I tried A a long time ago so it might be better now).
For me it was a somewhat hard decision as I do not have a debug board.
Fortunately, it worked out OK.

I used the image from this address:
You have to mind the hardware  version, mine was Bv4. You can see this
on the sticker behind the battery or when you connect with dfu-util.

Speaking of dfu-util, most mainstream distros have it packaged now. For
example I use Ubuntu and just installed it using apt-get.
For more information look here:

Full instruction for flashing the 1973 live here:
But all I had to do was: sudo dfu-util -a u-boot -D -R

Little curiosity: I did not noticed I missed -a at first. dfu-util
seemed to indicate flashing went OK, but when I rebooted the device the
u-boot version has not changed. It was apparently downloaded to RAM and
not written to NAND.
I went through this 4 times with 2 different images before noticing the

To change the environment vars you will need to connect with the cu
utility. Again, it is most likely in you distro's repos.
cu -l /dev/ttyACM0

You can read the vars with printenv (or type help to get the full
command list)
setenv name value
to set a variable. You will need to escape ; and $ with \
Use saveenv to permanently store changes to NAND.

Basically these instructions are listed on the "Booting from SD" page,
but they seem a bit sparse for someone like me who does not know much
about kernel parameters.

So, I used the original value of "Boot from SD" entry with a couple of
small changes rather then writing from scratch.
For some reason, the bootloader console had trouble accepting more then
2 lines of text so I had to split the vars.

setenv sd_bootargs root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootdelay=5
console=ttySAC0,115200 console=tty0 loglevel=8 rootfstype=ext2 ro
setenv menu_4 Boot from MicroSD (ext2): setenv \${sd_bootargs}\;
mmcinit\; ext2load mmc 0 0x32000000 /boot/${sd_image_name}; bootm 0x32000000

note that the second setenv in the second line (after (ext2):) is
actually part of the value of menu_4.
Another thing to note with this setup is that it will look for the
kernel image on the first partition of SD, it should be of type ext2 and
the path is /boot/uImage

You can change it to what ever you want, I just went with what was there.

All this info is of course in the wiki.

Hope this helps, Good luck!

Svetoslav Trochev wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I am owner of Neo1973. For many reasons (some Openmoko, other personal )
> it remainder unused for very long time. I was keeping eye on dev list
> for while and I see some good trends and I would love to help. The first
> step would be to become more familiar with the phone. Yesterday I got my
> self a new working SIM card and made my first call, but the currently
> install version of the OM2007.x distribution is practically unusable.
> Based on my limited understanding I thing I should start with SHR
> distribution. But I would like some check on my assumptions:
> 1. The FSO distribution will be discontinued in order to allow
> developers to concentrate on working on the framework.
> 2. The SHR will become the facto official distribution to use and
> showcase the FSO framework.
> 3. From reading mailing list [1] I should use the u-boot on Neo1973.
> 4. My current version is "U-Boot
> 1.2.0-moko9_r8_70124c2602ae2d4c5d3dba05b482b482d91548242de8_0_2040 (May
> 19 2007 - 06:59:48) I don't remember and can't find the wiki page now
> that it is recommended to upgrade my U-Boot loader in order to support
> newer version dfu-util and NeoTool. I am not sure that NeoTool will work
> with Neo1973 at all. (note: I have debug board so if I brick the phone I
> should able to recover it, Right?! )
> 5. I am having trouble locating recommended versions for:
>     5.1 U-boot loader for Neo1973
>     5.2 dfu-util (version that will work with Neo1973)
>     5.3 NeoTool ( if it works with Neo 1973)
> 6. My current understanding is that each distribution uses own kernel.
> Is this correct?
> 7. Currently SHR is too big to fit on the internal flash memory and
> should be installed on uSD card. Instructions can be found here: [2]
> I would appreciate any help I can get.
> Thank you,
> SAL-e
> [1]
> [2]
> _______________________________________________
> devel mailing list
> devel at

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