more ATUSB ?

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue Jun 3 14:02:39 EDT 2014

On Tuesday 3. June 2014 08.17.34 R Paxton wrote:
> Well the Debootstrap Wiki page really helped. Of course I had to add my own
> utilities, especially the networking ones, to make the system more usable
> out of the box. I've also added in more files. Maybe I should start a blog
> or edit the Wiki page to reflect some of the meager changes.

There is usually something that has to be added explicitly to the package 


> I tried using vanilla Debian by changing the bootstrap to Grip and the
> aptsources to Debian and Security, but it wouldn't boot. Maybe I wasn't
> trying hard enough. That's alright, EmDebian is quite good enough. I like
> how small it is. I'll keep the backup rootfs, try out some tips from the
> UBIFS wiki page:

Did you look at this...?

There are some superfluous packages that I wanted to have and which should be 
removed, like python-pygame, but that should be a decent minimal set.

> And then see if I can get the whole root partition "UBIfied".
> I want to thank everyone here for this great little device, I only wish it
> had more loving support.

Installing to NAND is something I haven't done, by the way: it's all running 
from microSD on my Ben.


> On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM, R Paxton <mrrhq1 at> wrote:
> > Paul,
> > 
> > Thanks for letting me know about Multistrap. I just glanced over that
> > keyword once without much thought. I have tired "just about everything"
> > without much success so far. I tried compiling the openwrt-xburst Git
> > repo so I could get the toolchain, but I wasn't having much luck. After
> > going through menuconfig, make just doesn't seem to want to build
> > properly at the end. Of course I can't use Qi-kernel (not OpenWRT's
> > kernel) without a toolchain I know is going to work. I'm uncertain what
> > to do there cause I'm too dumb. :)

The instructions used to work, so perhaps I need to review what actually needs 
to be done, but I think it's "make kernel_menuconfig" or something on OpenWrt: 
I spent ages looking around on the OpenWrt site for concise and complete 
instructions, but the Qi-Hardware Wiki did have appropriate commands listed.

> > As much as I like the idea of EmDebian, they also remove the manpages,
> > which I use a lot. I could make do with Busybox, but I also like the
> > full-fledged GNU utilities. Sue me.

As I noted before, Emdebian's days seem to be numbered as a distribution 
because there is apparently thankless manual work needing doing when making a 
release, and the savings from stripping out man pages and documentation are 
not enough to make it viable for really small devices. Other, more radical, 
Emdebian distribution efforts have been mostly abandoned, again because of the 
amount of work, and also because some of them probably involved getting Debian 
to change its decadent ways.

> > So with Multistrap, it seems to function differently. It sounds like it
> > could it be possible to automate creation of a kernel uImage that can be
> > programmed into the NAND, and to make a root file-system for UBIFS, or
> > just a Tarbell... I'm content with using an SD card for my rootfs
> > though, although I wish I could figure out how to get U-boot to
> > automatically boot from the SD card only without holding down "M", and
> > just mount the remaining 3rd partition on the MTD device as some sort
> > of.... I dunno, temporary FS. Not a RamFS or Loop device because that
> > would work terribly....

From what I was told by the Emdebian guy and others, Debian doesn't really try 
very hard to provide anything other than the standard natively-built kernel 
packages, and everybody will tell you that it is "so easy" to cross-compile a 
kernel for your chosen architecture, anyway. In principle, you could just 
download a "normal" source archive from and configure the kernel 
build process to use cross-compilers, but it's probably quite easy to choose 
the wrong thing and have to stare down some boot failure due to the wrong kind 
of binary being generated (or whatever). Having a working config is, I 
believe, what the openwrt-xburst stuff is meant to provide.

As for U-Boot, I did aim to look at rebuilding it myself, but I never managed 
to commit to doing so. Maybe openwrt-xburst also configures and builds those 
sources as well, though.


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