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Angstrom on NSLU2

I believe that Angstrom is a fairly new distribution for the NSLU2 platform, and I had a few issues getting a nice usable system up and running. Having said that, it wasn't that difficult once I had managed to hunt down a few bits of information from various sources, and for that reason I am recording my experiences here in the hope they may help others.


The images I refer to are the big endian images for unmodified slugs (8MB). I installed Angstrom from images hosted at http://www.angstrom-distribution.org using upslug2 which is well documented.

Logging In

I was unable to log in to the current image using a null password (Angstrom-base-image-glibc-ipk-2007.12-ixp4xxbe-nslu2.bin) but another user discovered that the previous version allowed a root login with null password. (Angstrom-base-image-glibc-ipk-2007.11RC3-ixp4xxbe-nslu2.bin from http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/unstable/images/ixp4xxbe/RC3/)

(Is the newer version at http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/releases/2007.12/images/ixp4xxbe/ ?)

For some reason the root user has a dollar prompt rather than the hash, but that can be fixed up with a quick edit to /root/.profile.

The image has built in usb drivers and filesystem drivers for ext2 (probably ext3 and FAT too but I've not confirmed this) so usb drives are automatically detected.

Installing apex-env

My next step was to install apex-env. I tried this several times and each attempt ended with the device running out of space which required a reflash. Eventually I tried "ipkg -nodeps install apex-env" and it installed cleanly.

I used an old 64MB usb memory stick as a root device, and downloaded the root filesystem in tar form from the same location that the image had come from, and extracted it to the memory stick.

Having done a little research I expected to see a "cmdline-alt" field in my apex environment, because this is referred to in most of the docs I found about apex-env which mainly relate to installing Debian NSLU2. Apparently the version of Apex on my slug doesn't support that field, so I edited the cmdline variable. This just means that if my memory stick dies, I will have to extract another root filesystem to another device, or re-flash the slug to replace apex.

I then edited the "cmdline" variable using "apex-env setenv <new command line in quotes>". I changed the root device to /dev/sda1, the filesystem type to ext2, and finally added "rootdelay=10" to the end of the line.

I was then able to reboot the slug, which then used the memory stick as a root device giving me a lot more space. Finally I added "/dev/sda1" to /etc/udev/mount.blacklist and rebooted one last time.

view · edit · print · history · Last edited by random walker.
Based on work by HRH_H_Crab.
Originally by rwhitby.
Page last modified on October 15, 2008, at 06:14 PM