[Server-devel] XSCE Sprint

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Thu Jul 11 03:32:33 EDT 2013

On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 11:07:04AM +0200, Tony Anderson wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks again for this!
> What I gather is that we should use Nandblast from an XO for
> reflash. For a time it was not supported for XO-1.5, but my current
> understanding is that it supported for all versions of XO.

Up to 13.1.0 it is supported on XO-1, XO-1.5 and XO-1.75.

It is fast for XO-1, and quite slow for XO-1.5 and XO-1.75.  The
breakeven point, where I would switch from USB drive to NANDblaster,
is about five XO-1, and about twenty for XO-1.5 and XO-1.75.

In 13.2.0 it is broken, and I am working on that in ticket #12726,
hoping to get fixes in before release.  Fixes are available for XO-1
(Q2F19) and XO-1.5 (Q3C16).  XO-1.75 is still a problem.

It was not intended to be supported on XO-4 with the new 802.11n
wireless card, but so far it looks possible.

> In Lesotho, the flash was taking 15min from boot to reboot for
> registration. These laptops (XO-1) date from the first G1G1 and so
> there is no telling about endurance.

That time of 15 minutes is far too long, and should be investigated
... if the internal storage is three times slower than when the
laptops were produced, you will have performance problems.  I have
some old XO-1 units here that have been used by children, and they are
not showing that symptom.

> Naturally, reload of the Journal occurs via the file system after
> the flash. Sadly, this is not a current issue because none of the
> deployments actually use the Journal (e.g. in Lesotho the laptops
> are shared among several students).
> The laptops (XO-1.5s) at Saint Jacobs were sponsored by a group in
> Stuttgart and are not part of the Rwanda purchase. In any case, I
> believe the information needed for the collection stick is available
> (serial number and uuid).

If it is already available, get it to me.

> Yours,
> Tony
> On 07/10/2013 10:55 AM, James Cameron wrote:
> >On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 10:11:14AM +0200, Tony Anderson wrote:
> >>The 'locked' XO problem derives from XOs distributed in the minimum
> >>100 XO purchase - many of these are locked. Also, in Rwanda the
> >>policy is to keep the laptops locked even though they have
> >>indefinite leases.
> >Rwanda probably has a deployment key and should be able to sign builds
> >with it.  My guess is that the laptops would also have the deployment
> >keys injected already.  You will need to work with the people who have
> >the keys.
> >
> >>My current plans are to visit these schools in December and so I may
> >>be able to get them unlocked then.
> >http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Collection_stick is perfect for this,
> >provided the deployment did not remove the OLPC keys.
> >
> >(I don't have records of what deployments have done).
> >
> >>What I would really love is a 'Nandblast' capability in the firmware
> >>that gets it's image from the schoolserver. That probably would work
> >>(how does an XO know an image is coming over wifi from an XO or a
> >>school server?).
> >There is no implementation of NANDblaster for the school server,
> >because it requires special support in the wireless device.  A typical
> >access point will not work.  It requires an XO as the sender.
> >
> >(NANDblaster is implemented in the firmware, not the operating system.
> >An alternate design could be engineered, but that doesn't seem likely
> >to be attempted.)
> >
> >>The normal flash problem is that several XOs need to be reflashed at
> >>one time, so the usb key approach is time-consuming. My experience
> >>is that a reflash from usb key takes 15min. Naturally, one key to
> >>this process is the ability to reload the backed up (hopefully)
> >>Journal.
> >Reloading the backed up journal is costing you 10min?  Reflashing an
> >XO-1 from USB drive 13.2.0-12 costs only 5min.  If the reflash is
> >taking much longer than that, there may be an endurance or end of life
> >problem with the internal storage of the XO.
> >

James Cameron

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