[Server-devel] XS 0.6 on XO

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 05:54:19 EST 2009

On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 1:17 AM, Philipp Kocher <philipp.kocher at gmx.net> wrote:
> Really nice to have an XS on the XO for testing and showing people what
> they can do with an XS.
> The easy setup which doesn't even need an access point is really cool.

Thanks for this - good to hear it's getting some use!

If you add a usb wired or wireless card, it's easy to get it
routing/NAT'ing for your XOs...

> There are 3 points about XS 0.6 on XO I want to bring up:
> 1. How to shutdown the XS.

Just like the XO, it's designed so it can handle "hard shutdowns".

In fact, if you are testing it, demoing it, give it many many hard
shutdowns (battery out, unplug!) and if it ever has a problem coming
up again... I want to hear about it.

> I couldn't find the information what is the easiest way to do it. I see
> to easy options:
> - Switching off power means the XS shuts down (I have attached an acmon
> script a workmate wrote some time ago for a webserver on an XO which
> does that using crontab)

That's a cool script, and something I wanted to do for a while. Main thing is

 - Can it trigger on an event, instead of cron? Is there a udev event...?

 - We actually want the trigger to be on _low battery_ event. Imagine
a school with unreliable power. It comes and goes, but the network
stays up as long as the XS has battery.

> - <ctrl>+<alt>+<delete> (on the XO <delete> is <fn>+<erase>) does a
> reboot at the moment, but I think it could be easily changed to a more
> useful shutdown.

I think we should wire up the power button for off, rather than an
complex key combo.

> 2. How to change the timezone is missing in the documentation, but
> probably necessary in most places.

Good point. Bonus point for adding it to the wiki a section on getting
the clock right and on UTC (with ntpdate if possible) and setting the
tz ;-)

Most important thing is that the clock must be right and on UTC.

> 3. Non XO computers can not connect to the school-mesh-0 of the XS on

True. I am very surprised you managed to make it work "abusing"
ad-hoc. How many laptops did you connect there?

In general, your options are

 - Run the XO wifi as an AP: Get the 'softmac' driver working on that
kernel (needs kernel skillz) see

 - Get a USB-Ethernet device, configure it as eth1 (xs-swapnics will
help), and a conventional AP.

For small groups, I am intrigued by the ad hoc trick. If you can test
it a bit, and maybe turn it into an optional init script, we could
ship it too (as experimental / for testing).


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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