manual SD OS install not working / hal crashing on boot

Daniel Drake dsd at
Wed Nov 11 10:13:57 EST 2009

Hi Richard,

I think I remember you talking about this exact problem on IRC a while
back. Or maybe it was someone else. Either way, for the record:

I installed os39 on a SD card by creating 2 partitions (ext2 32mb, ext3
~3.5gb). I extracted the os39 tree tarball onto the big partition then
manually copied over the files from /versions/pristine/39/boot to the
ext2 partition, creating the layout described here

The commands I used for extracting the tarball were:

	cd mountpoint
	lzcat ../os39.tree.tar.lzma | tar -xp

I then modified olpc.fth to use mmcblk1p2 to boot (#9457)

I booted, and keyboard/mouse did not work in X. Not even with a USB
keyboard. Serial console was OK.

This was because HAL was failing to start on boot, so X couldn't figure
out any information about input devices.

HAL was failing to start due to bad permissions on /var/cache/hald (hal
runs as the haldaemon user, not root).

Why were these permissions bad? Simply because on my main linux system
where I extracted the tarball, the haldaemon user has a different ID.
So, on the XO-1.5, a non-existent user was the owner of this directory.

The solution? Should have used this command to extract:
	lzcat ../os39.tree.tar.lzma | tar -xp --numeric-owner

solution untested, but this explains it.


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