[ARMedslack] Installing Slackware 14.0 on Sheevaplug (with ESATA)
slackware at langfinger.org
Mon Oct 1 15:32:41 UTC 2012
i am currently installing the new Slackware for ARM on my Sheevaplug
(with ESATA) following the guide (INSTALL_KIRKWOOD.TXT). During the
installation process i stumbled upon some problems/deprecated
information regarding U-Boot and creating the partitions on the sd card.
Maybe the following information helps someone else who encounters the
same kind of problems. :-)
It seems like you can't boot the new kernel that is delivered with
Slackware 14.0 (3.4.11) with an older U-Boot version (mine was from mid
2011, iirc). The bootup process will hang after "Uncompressing linux
kernel...". My first guess was a wrong machine id set in u-boot, but the
kernel and the init ramdisk from Slackware 13.37 work fine.
Nevertheless, upgrading u-boot to a current version (i used one from
March 2012) solves the problem. You can find instructions on how to do
this and links to current versions here:
WARNING: Do not use the version that is located under "2012.04.01-2"!
You will be able to boot the slackware installer with this version, but
booting the system from sd card will fail because verifying the checksum
of the kernel image fails. This seems to be a bug, you can find a
discussion about the matter under the following link if you're
The version located under 2011.12-3 works fine, so just use this one.
I wasn't able to create the partitions (/boot, swap, root) with fdisk.
Opening /dev/mmcblk0 with fdisk works, but as soon as you try to write
the changes to the sd card you get the error message "unable to write
/dev/mmcbklk0p: bad file descriptor". I haven't found out what causes
this problem yet. As a workaround you have to partition the card on some
other computer (i used my desktop computer). Creating the file system
with the slackware installer works.
The guide says that you have to set the variable "arcNumber" to
2678/0xa76 in u-boot, but in fact you have to set the variable "machid"
to 0xa76 (on the Sheevaplug with ESATA). Setting the variable arcNumber
has no effect. I think that this also applies to the other mentied
devices (at least the Guruplug), but i am not 100% sure about that.
Maybe someone who owns a Guruplug is able to verify this. I am also not
sure if you really need to set the variable mainlineLinux, i will test
Nevertheless: Thanks a lot Stuart for all the time and the effort that
you put into Slackware for ARM! I have been using Slackware on my
Sheevaplug and on a Dreamplug for several months now and i am looking
forward to install it on my new Raspberry PI. It's a great distribution!
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