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.

For example, here's a working multistrap.conf to install EmDebian Grip Stable.

bootstrap=Grip Debian Security
aptsources=Grip Debian Security

packages=busybox-static dropbear htop ifupdown iproute iputils-ping mc mtd-utils procps tmux triggerhappy u-boot-tools udev vim-tiny



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: http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Ubifs

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.

On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM, R Paxton <mrrhq1@gmail.com> wrote:

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. :)

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.

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....

I missed the Ben Nanonote VM E-Mail. I shamefully deleted it. I was thinking it would have been really great if I had set up a VM first to test everything out so I wouldn't have to spend so much time getting things to work on the real hardware. I think that's why I started moving to the SD card. Less hassle to set up swap, and I don't have to kill off the NAND with so many writes!

Maybe I'll keep any of you informed of any success stories I have with this thing. The number one thing people complained about the Ben was lack of network connectivity. But why even have it when wired USB is more reliable, and you're outside where there's no coffee shop with free Wi-Fi? It would make more sense to just have mobile broadband then. Haha.