debxo 0.3 release

Andres Salomon dilinger at
Tue Oct 28 23:21:00 EDT 2008


Here's a (mostly) bugfix release of DebXO.  There was a nasty bug
related to JFFS2 and kernel upgrades in 0.2; this release fixes it.

Note that there's a known bug on first boot with the gnome install on
JFFS2. A warning will pop up due to dbus not starting quickly enough.
This can safely be ignored, and shouldn't adversely affect anything.


 - Disable LZO compression in the JFFS2 driver.  This was causing
machines to fail to boot after upgrading the kernel.  If you're still
running DebXO 0.2 on the nand, do not upgrade the kernel.  Instead,
reflashing is recommended.

 - A new 'base' desktop has been added.  This is a minimal install,
with no graphics or X at all.  It's good for rescue situations, or
where you have a local package mirror and don't want to waste bandwidth
downloading a graphical desktop image.

 - Some programs (including kde and gnome's logout/reboot functions)
had problems in previous releases due to lack of loopback interface
(oops).  Thanks to James Cameron for spotting this.  0.3 sets up 'lo'

 - Custom DebXO packages are put on hold; this means you can safely
'apt-get dist-upgrade' without having to fear things like
initramfs-tools being upgraded.

 - JFFS2 images uses DOS 8.3 filenames.  This is primarily to ensure
that when running "update-nand disk:\gnome.img" using a USB stick
that's been formatted using vfat, OFW won't complain about not being
able to find the gnome.dat file.   As such, the JFFS2 images are named
with their desktop names - awesome.img, kde.img, etc.  EXT3 images
still retain the old naming scheme.

 - James Cameron added a script that is capable of
creating an auto-install USB key (onto nand). 

 - A debxo-latest symlink now points to the latest release.  Please use
that in wiki/doc pages for download links.

Other changes can be seen at:;a=summary


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

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

update-nand disk:\$DESKTOP.img


update-nand sd:\$DESKTOP.img

(depending upon whether you downloaded to an SD or USB 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
ext3/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.. 


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