Ben NanoNote Plans and a Question on U-Boot Ext 3 & 4 Support

Riley Paxton mrrhq1 at
Fri Aug 10 20:45:41 EDT 2012


I am a new member here. I've had my NanoNote laying around for a
month, but I never really gave it much love.

My plan is to use it is mainly as a secure password vault, play free
software Dingoo A320 games, and use it as a Debian Sid PC. This
requires me to set up a Debian system with LUKS encryption (to prevent
easy offline attacks), a password manager, and Dingoo libraries.

I'm having some issues with Debootstrap and I am worried about using
ext2, because, if I use ext2, I will need to fsck it sometimes.
Without a recovery console in Debian I would need to possibly repair
it somehow--or chroot into it?? I have an SD Card reader, but I don't
always want to remove the SD Card from my NanoNote. I mostly just want
it to be there like a permanent harddrive.

I wish I could use a recovery console (not over serial) or  bring up a
rescue terminal, with GRUB. But I don't think EmDebian or Debian
mipsel uses GRUB. . . Maybe I'm wrong about this and there is a way to
open a recovery console, even without GRUB, on Debian.

It's also really dissapointing that there are no official Debian
"distros" for the Ben NanoNote, but it's not to much of a problem.
Anyway, I have attempted to Debootstrap Debian Sid on to my NanoNote's
SD Card. But for some reason the second-stage of the Debootstrap
process has problems unpacking traceroute, so I'm not sure what to do
with that... And, also, it does not support booting from any other
filesytems than ext2. Booting from ext2 wouldn't be a problem for me
if I could run fsck on a recovery terminal on the Ben NanoNote. Does
anyone know if Debian mipsel has a way to get to such a terminal, or
not? I want my NanoNote to be a self sustaining system, with the
recovery tools I need to repair itself without always needing to take
out the SD Card, or hooking it in to USB. A really good idea would be
to have an option to provide a terminal over USB, not just serial,
during boot time. I may plan to get rid of OpenWrt on the NAND. If I
come to that decision, how do I easlity repair my Debian system just
in case I need to?

It'd be nice if there was an options menu to set the default boot to
MicroSD, so I wouldn't have to keep editing qi_lb60.h in the
openwrt-xburst U-Boot source tree. Perhaps have Power+O go to an
options menu, using an ncurses-style BIOS menu, and Power+R to start
up a tty recovery terminal running ash or bash, which can then be used
to mount and chroot into a file system. It might be useful if the OS
doesn't have a recovery feature.

I don't know if I'm just worried over nothing. But I really want this
setup/plan to work. Again My goals are to use the BNN as a password
manager and a quick-and-dirty Debian PC. I will keep OpenWrt on the
NAND, if it's useful for repairs, and I want it to boot to the SD
Card, by default, and boot to the NAND when I press Power+M (so that'd
be switching it around), I want to set up LUKS on both the rootfs
systems of OpenWrt and Debian, and I want it to automatically update
the time with NTP and use ifconfig to set up itself with its own
networking over USB, then I can just use ifconfig usb0 [ipaddress] on
my other machine. More goals will come later...

Can anyone help me figure these problems out? Has anyone made similar
plans with their NanoNote? I think I want to do too much off the bat
that I can't handle right now, but I really, really want to put this
machine to good use, in freedom and everything.

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