Firmware update

Daniel Drake dsd at
Wed Nov 24 17:49:52 EST 2010

On 24 November 2010 22:40, Kevin Gordon <kgordon420 at> wrote:
> Is this recommendation against yum and rpm for all software, or just the
> oplc repo packages, the kernel and the firmware?  I'm certainly happy doing
> just safe builds for the core.

To avoid all corner cases it the recommendation really needs to be "everything"
In reality, you'll probably get away with it, especially because
you're only really working with added packages in your deployment (not
upgrading ones that are already installed).

Some of the resultant problems will also not affect small deployments
like yours. For example, one side effect is that olpc-update pristine
(efficient) updates stop working as soon as you make any filesystem
modifications like this. Another side effect is that your
custom-installed packages will magically disappear after an
olpc-update upgrade (which in a real deployment would happen without
you even knowing).

But in a small deployment like yours, touching each laptop for updates
is probably more sensible than the knowledge and infrastructure
investment needed for hands-off olpc-update, so you aren't affected.

> However, as part of our 'refresh' stick when we wipe and install a new
> signed build, we generally also include the necessary rpm's for cheese and a
> couple of other utilities that are locally installed from the USB stick
> using a bash script; or, for the Vernier software dependencies, the
> dependent rpm's are installed by means of a python script.  However, they
> are rpm's and they are downloaded onto the stick (the first time) using yum,
> and they are then installed from the stick using --localinstall from the
> stick.

You probably won't see any problem with this collection of changes.
Nevertheless, at the SF summit I started showing Adam the "correct"
way to do this: building a custom OS image with those customizations
already included. We didn't have time to completely finish it, but he
picked it up quickly and could probably finish it with a little effort
(and perhaps a couple of mails to this list).


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