Booting OLPC OS 12.1 from USB sticks and SD cards

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at
Tue May 22 08:01:48 EDT 2012

On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 5:39 PM, Sascha Silbe <silbe at> wrote:
> If there's interest in diagnosing one or more of the failure modes I can
> give details and maybe assist a bit in debugging (or preferably send you
> the hardware), but it looks like a lot of work

If an OFW hacker shows some interest, they'd say what to try. We've
tweaked OFW USB and SD timings before to handle marginal or out of
spec devices before :-/

>. If reliably identifying
> flash media (and consumer hardware in general) were possible for end
> users a list of known-working hardware would be a better approach.

Retail products change the internals all the time, without bothering
to change model name, and sometimes without changing model number.

>> Jokes aside, I don't think that booting from USB stick is actually
>> safe in the face of suspend/resume.
> I would have expected the same, but in practice it seems to work at
> least for a few suspend/resume cycles. Contrast that with a)
> suspend/resume not working at all for external SD cards on XO-1 and
> XO-1.75 and b) me having disabled aggressive suspend/resume on XO-1.5
> because the SD card wasn't entirely reliable across suspend/resume
> either.

Right. Though what I am trying to say is that SD card reliability
(across s/r cycles) is achievable, USB not so much.


 martin.langhoff at
 martin at -- Software Architect - OLPC
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first

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