Updating OM2008 over mingw/ssh

Jared Maddox absinthdraco at gmail.com
Mon Nov 29 11:20:59 CET 2010

> On Mon Nov 29 01:00:00 CET 2010
> Brian bneil at rochester.rr.com wrote:

>> On 11/28/2010 01:07 PM, Jared Maddox wrote:
>> > After giving up on it for a while, I'm ready to try getting a new
>> > distro onto my freerunner (got a cheapo phone for free when AT&T
>> > did a network migration).
> Gave up for how long,
Gave up for perhaps a half a year? Om2008 was already listed as
'dead', as I best recall, which is part of why I was trying to update
the OS in the first place. I was originally planning to go for the
last Om release, so that I could bootstrap to something active, but I
couldn't ever get the networking to work (to the phone from my
computer works, to the internet from my computer works, routing
between the two never did).

> and is the assumption you were using the Neo as a
> primary cell phone until you got the alternate the reason for not
> changing sooner?
Yes. I'm not going to say that it worked well (badly enough that I've
wished often they'd aimed at making the initial distro a PDA distro
instead of a phone distro, in fact, since minimal functionality is
more likely to wind up full-featured), but it was what I had, and I
could do texts (which is all I was, or am, interested in).

> The reason I ask is that OM2008 is deprecated and no
> longer developed hence updates probably won't work[1]. It did work for
> me as a distro but I didn't keep it installed for very long. You also
> you mention trying a new distro yet the subject is "Updating OM2008 over
> mingw/ssh".
I suppose I should have said 'Replace', but I'm currently working
under the assumption that I'll have to load some stuff onto the phone
to bootstrap from.

>> > I've tried the SD card method (haven't
>> > managed to figure that out), the flashing method (ditto),
> Where are you getting stuck? It would help if you could provide more
> information regarding this.
As far as I could tell, the actual reading wasn't working at all, and
without a working duplicate I'm not willing to actually flash the
phone. I can read over ssh (I think with scp?), which I used to
customize the network connection (futile effort), but I'm on a Windows
box, and don't have the utilities to pack all of that into a jffs2

As for SD, until recently I didn't have an SD card reader/writer, so
SD took me back to dfu-util. Even now, I don't have a Windows program
capable of dealing with non-Windows partitions. Also, when I went to
buy a larger SD card I didn't take enough notes along, and wound up
with one of the ones that require a kernel/bootloader switch (and I
don't even know where those are, so changing them for the next boot is
pretty much impossible).

I also wasn't ever clear on where to flash to/from, due to the fact
that I don't know the naming convention of the various partitions of
NAND and SD that everything's stored on, which is a big part of why I
don't want to flash.

A few times I've started to load the SD card from within the
Freerunner itself (Windows might not be able to deal with Ext
partitions, but surely Om2008 can, right?), but ignoring the SD card
compatibility issue, I don't know which partitions to load with what,
what to mount first, and how to confirm that I actually succeeded in
the initial mounting. Any info on that ( and the partition naming
scheme ) that you can provide is much appreciated.

> Which phone do you have (1973/FreeRunner)
Freerunner, otherwise I probably would have bought a debug board, and
I likely would have just force-fed something down the phone's throat
by now.

> which distro are you trying where are you getting stuck?
I initially got stuck on the update/upgrade scripts that I understand
shipped with the Freerunner (I recall that the scripts actually did
TRY to work). As far as I can tell, it was a networking problem, but I
was never able to determine WHERE said problem exists.

> Is the machine
> you're using to do the install a Windows PC[3]?
Yes, hence Mingw (note: the text-prompt, not the X client (whoever
first used the terminology like that should be taken out and shot) ).

>> > and the
>> > download method (difficult when you can't get to the net at all on
>> > the phone).
> Sorry, don't know of any download method used other than updating a
> preexisting install so I can't help you there.
That was the initial one that I tried, but if that hadn't worked but
the network did then I would have just started grabbing things from
online to jury-rig however much functionality it took to install new
distros the normal way.

>> > But I know that I can at least READ FROM the phone with
>> > SSH, because I've done that successfully before (and I seem to have
>> > accidentally replacedt some stuff too... oops). So, what do I need
>> > to do to accomplish an 'in place' upgrade, and which distro would
>> > you recommend?
> In place as in while the phone is running using it to install another
> OS?
Yes, or more specifically, installing enough to bootstrap from. I
particular, I'm wanting enough of a keyboard to properly interface
with the terminal (the current on-screen keyboard is lacking in
characters), and if I resort to compiling-in-place, a compiler. I
believe that copying files over manually and updating the file
permissions should work. As I best recall, you can even do this to
update the kernel on Linux (though the new one won't boot until you

> It's likely possible to accomplish doing so on the SD card or NAND
> if you've booted to a working distro that isn't on the target medium and
> doesn't require the target mounted to run. It's a far more complex task
> than using dfu-util[4] to install and I've never tried it.
I'm aware, fortunately(?) I have the bad habit of trying to figure out
low-level cruft, such as how to implement proper continuations in PURE
C code, so sanity isn't enough of a barrier to stop me. And, as I
mentioned above, I don't know the partition naming scheme, so I'm
leery of changing whole partitions at once, especially since I can
change individual files instead.

> Gentoo
> anyone?
Ah, but the Freerunner didn't ship with a compiler!

> As for recommendations Android on Freerunner is probably the easiest
> method for and will likely require an SD card >512MB. I've used it in
> the past and found the 1.5 version to be pretty good. You should be
> able to accomplish setting up an SD card with AoF fairly easily on a
> Windows PC. It will wipe the NAND, install a new bootloader and take a
> while on first boot.
I do have an SD card reader now, so I'll see if I can find a Linux
LiveCD that can both boot on my machine (2002-2003 era celeron) and
supports USB networking. And even if it doesn't support USB
networking, maybe I'll be able to manage something.

> Backup your contacts by hand if necessary because
> they'll all be gone for good.
They're already elsewhere, along with the SIM.

> If you do manage to figure out dfu-util then that opens up other
> options like SHR or Qtmoko. Both of these are good distros that are
> actively maintained.
I might try a newer release of dfu-util, I do know that they started
dev work on it again.

>> > Nothing involving writing to SD card, or flashing, or bridging/etc.
>> > network connections, please; I want to figure that out AFTER I
>> > update the OS, NOT before.
>> >
> As far as I know this is not possible without substantial effort and
> skill. If anyone else thinks I'm wrong please correct me. Jared, it
> sounds like you're in over your head on this one if you haven't been
> successful using dfu-util.
It was an old dfu-util release, so I'll at least try a new one if I
can't get anything else to work.

> I'd honestly recommend looking for a LUG
> locally[5] for some hands on help. I'm pretty sure using the subject
> line "help me with my neo 1973/freerunner" should garner responses from
> interested parties.
> Good Luck,
> Brian
Thanks for the suggestions.

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