Official Debian port with FSO

Russell Sears sears at
Mon Aug 18 19:56:31 CEST 2008

Aaron Sowry wrote:
>> Well I have no SD-Reader so I try to do it by ssh with:
>>  ssh root at 'cd ; tar czvf - *' | cat > debian_image.tar.gz
>> I dunno if this works they way you want it but I'll upload it if it's ready and you can test it.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong, can't say I've used tar like 
> that before) that will give you a true image, i.e. including partition 
> tables and such. You could use 'dd' along the following lines in your 
> SSH command:
> dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=debian_image.iso bs=512

That'll include residual information you had on the card before 
installing debian.  "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcblk0", then reinstalling 
debian, and doing this would zero out the card and yield a better 
compression ratio.

I've done the tar trick in the past to upgrade desktop hard drives.  It 
works fine if you're careful.  Also, the resulting image is compatible 
with anything that's large enough to hold it.

Note that FR's "cd" sometimes goes to /root or /home/root.  This is 
better (and untested):

'tar --exclude=/wherever/internal/flash/is/mounted --exclude=/proc 
--exclude=... -C / czvf - .'

(add an --exclude for each mounted filesystem...)

To install the tarball, you have repartition, reformat and untar the 
image.  Then recreate any mount points that you --excluded (/proc, etc...)

Also, you might have to muck with u-boot, depending on how u-boot works. 
  (You have to muck with u-boot either way the first time you install 
debian, so this isn't a big deal...)


> The resulting ISO should compress down a reasonable amount (especially 
> if the Debian install doesn't consume all of the SD card, not sure how 
> much it takes up as I haven't tried it) for downloading over the 
> internet, the only problem is that you'd need to use an image taken from 
> the same sized card as the one you're flashing it to.
> Aaron
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