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Dockstar

(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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It’s been one year since I published a compiled kernel for our devices. Now I decided to build a new one and share it!

Some facts about it:

  • As all of my other kernels this one uses heartbeat during boot.
  • It supports the dockstar, goflex net and home.
  • Some of you asked for I2C support, it’s now working on the dockstar and goflex net. i2cdetect -l has the desired output!

If you encounter any missing modules for certain devices, try to compile them yourself with the given headers and give me a hint so I can include them in feature releases.

(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Did you want to reboot your Dockstar or Golfex with multiple drives attached? Well, that’s not the problem if uboot lists the devices in the correct order.
But what if your Golfex has SATA drives attached and you want to boot from an usb-drive?

The answer my Goflex gives me all the time: Loading kernel from usb works. Starting the kernel also works. But mounting the filesystem fails, because the device names are remapped when the SATA drives are initialized. The usb-drive ain’t /dev/sda anymore…

I (have) had one rule since I had to drive more than 100 kilometers to fix that: never reboot remotely with SATA attached.

The solution is quite simple:
We have to tell the kernel properly where to get the rootfs from to mount it. To be versatile, uboot is configured to boot the kernel with device names as parameter, such as /dev/sda1. But I know what I am doing and want to boot from one single device, no matter if other drives are attached or not, which could mess the device names. So the disk LABEL or the Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) is what we need.
You might say: Ha! I adapt fstab. But this doesn’t do the trick.

We need to alter the uboot bootargs. You have to decide which method is more suitable for your environment.

(4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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As you may have noticed, we were discussing things about newer kernels and drivers in the comments of Dockstar/Goflex: new Kernel 3.1.10 ready to use. With that in mind I started up my VM and looked at what I’ve got there in /usr/src – there was a compiled 3.2.1 that initially wouldn’t boot. But following davy’s guide to upgrade U-Boot makes that one boot.

Taking a look at kernel.org made me jealous… Here it is – a fully working 3.3.3:

(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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It’s now been a while since I installed the 3.1.0-1 kernel from sid and made some testing. But I don’t like the LED beeing solid green during boot, I want to see whats going on. Thats why I decided to compile 3.1.10 with heartbeat from this erlier article: Dockstar: new Kernel 2.6.38 ready to use. The config is based on sid’s 3.1.0-1, if you want to take a look at it, you will find it here: config-3.1.10-dockstar-shyd_1.2
It supports several devices like wifi, webcam, audio or dvb.

Some of you might ask why I didn’t build 3.2.1. I did, but it wouldn’t boot.

(8 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
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Have you ever heard of google cloud print? It allows you to add your printers to the cloud and share them. You can print on them from any device supporting this service, even if you are on another network. This sounds pretty cool, I gave it a try and I am really amazed.

None of my printers doesn’t support cloud print directly, so I need a google chrome installation to share the printer. But I don’t want to have my computer to run when printing remotely. There is a project called Google CloudPrint on Linux which allows you to use this nice service from the command line. At this point the dockstar or the linkstation joines the game.

(2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Recently some friends and me were talking about streaming music from iTunes to my dockstar with an usb sound device connected.
I knew there is a solution, so I started some research an found shairport at mafipulation.org. The project looks quite interesting and I tried to set everything up that I am able to play my music remotely.

First there are some dependencies you need to install:

Now all you need to do is download the sources, make and install them:
Get the sources at github.com/albertz/shairport/downloads.

[ratings] Today I noticed there is a new version of miniDLNA available. When the build process was running I decided to make a deb-file that you guys don't have to compile the sources yourself. Some people don't want to install the build-environment or sources of dependencies, that's two of the reasons why I put the files together into an installable deb-file, there you go: (Look at the updates below for feature versions!) [crayon-5910cc3e45b23108789267/] Now edit the config in /etc/minidlna.conf and...

(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Normally you should be able to manage the dockstar over the ethernet, but what if you can’t establish no connection because you did something wrong? There is a serial connector inside the device we can use for debugging and other things.

1. Required: USB to TTL bridge

Some weeks ago I ordered an USB to TTL UART bridge on eBay, just to have it if I will need it. You also can buy it on amazon: USB2.0 an TTL UART 6pin Konverter seriell CP2102 ID9372 PAUB022
Here are some technical specifications of the one I bought:

All handshaking and modem interface signals
Data formats supported: 8-bit; 1 Stop bit
Parity: Odd, Even, No Parity
Baud rates: 300 bps to 921.6 kbps
512 byte receive buffer; 512 byte transmit buffer
Hardware X-On/X-Off handshaking
Event character support
6 Pins: 3.3V, RST, TxD, RxD, GND, 5V

(4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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When I was trying to find proper kernel configs for the dockstar, I had to try several builds. Everytime my kernel didn’t boot I had to revert the arcNumber and install a working kernel again.

There are two ways to test a kernel:

  1. Grab another USB stick, make a backup and try the kernel on this backup. If you always do a new backup before testing another build, it will take a long time.
  2. Test the kernel on the running system (or a backup-stick) and reinstall another kernel in case yours wont boot. In difference to 1. you do this in a chrooted jail.

I want to explain how you do the chroot thing with some lines.

(4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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During the last days I was playing around with several kernel-configs and different release versions. Today a new version came out and I built it with the last config I used. In my build I additionally enabled XFS filesystem support and USB sound. If you install my kernel, you don’t have to change anything except the device ID concerning the LED if you come from gorgone’s heavykernel.

If anybody knows how to build a kernel with gspca drivers for webcam support I would appreciate a short mail!