debxo 0.2 release

Andres Salomon dilinger at
Fri Oct 24 23:55:30 EDT 2008


I've prepared a new release of DebXO.  This has a number of new
features and desktops.


 - The JFFS2 images now have partition support.  While this shaves a
number of seconds off of the boot time, we can take better advantage of
it in the future (doing things like using UBIFS).  JFFS2 is well past
its prime; moving away from it will help performance a lot.

 - EXT3 images have been added.  This allows for booting off of USB
and/or SD.  Note that the image size I chose is 2GB, so you'll need a
USB stick or SD card of at least that size.

 - The kernel is now almost completely modular, and includes every
module under the sun.  For those of you with random USB hardware that
wanted to use it with DebXO.. if it's in 2.6.25, it should work with

 - New desktops!  DebXO 0.1 only had a Gnome desktop; this release
includes KDE, LXDE, Sugar, Awesome and Gnome desktops.  I personally
run (and work on) the Gnome desktop.  Holger Levsen is to thank for the
Sugar and Awesome desktops.  James Cameron did the work for the KDE and
LXDE desktops.  A huge thanks to both of them!

As far as bootup times, nand is still pretty absymal (due to jffs2);
however, SD booting takes 75 seconds from OFW to fully usable X.


The release can be found here (note that the URL has changed):

To install onto the XO's flash, download the debxo-$DESKTOP.jffs2.dat
and debxo-$DESKTOP.jffs2.img to a USB or SD stick (where $DESKTOP is
one of the various desktops - gnome, kde, lxde, sugar, or awesome).
Boot into OFW (make sure your XO is unlocked!), and run

update-nand disk:\debxo-$DESKTOP.jffs2.img


update-nand sd:\debxo-$DESKTOP.jffs2.img

(depending upon whether you downloaded to an SD or USB disk).  If your
SD or USB device is using a windows filesystem, you can figure out the
name of the image by running

dir disk:\

If update-nand spits out any errors, make sure you're running an
appropriately up-to-date version of OFW.  The q2d* series do not
support update-nand, and versions q2e18 and q2e19 are known to be buggy
with partitions.  Firmware and instructions for upgrading
can be found here:


To install onto an SD or USB device, download the
debxo-$DESKTOP.ext3.img.gz file, and run

zcat debxo-$DESKTOP.ext3.img.gz > /dev/mmcblk0


zcat debxo-$DESKTOP.ext3.img.gz > /dev/sdX

(depending upon whether you're writing to an SD or USB disk).  Note
that this will overwrite any data that is on the SD or USB disk.


By default, a user 'olpc' is created (with no password, and sudo
access).  Some desktops automatically start a display manager and log
you in; some do not.  The root password is disabled by default.  This
is a stock Debian Lenny system with only a few modifications, so it can
obviously be tailored.


xodist is the name of the collection of scripts that are used to
produce DebXO.  The git repository can be downloaded via:

git clone git://

There's also a web interface to that:;a=summary

There's a TODO file in the repository, but really... just scratch
whatever itch you happen to have.  Patches are much appreciated.
Additional desktops (XFCE, for example?), better handling of the
default user/password, boot/runtime optimizations, suggestions for
missing packages, etc.. 


Thanks to James Cameron and Holger Levsen for various
patches/tweaks/fixes, and to the various people who tested and provided

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