OpenSlug is very nearly Beta ready. Beta for OpenSlug marks the release of OpenSlug in a binary form. This will significantly expand the user base. Up until now, all the Alpha users are building from source. The Beta greatly simplifies access to this firmware and allows non-developers the ability to use the firmware. This document will serve as a starting point to get expectations clear between OpenSlug developers and OpenSlug End-Users.
OpenSlug Target Audience
OpenSlug users and developers are a breed apart: they are adventurers!
A key difference between OpenSlug and Unslung is that Unslung is
basically the Linksys platform on steroids (compatible but enhanced),
OpenSlug is basically a generic Network appliance with no Linksys
compatibility or applications (a fresh piece of paper or canvas).
There are only some historical ties to the boot loader used by
Linksys. These ties bind the initial partitioning layout and build mechanism.
OpenSlug users are separated into 3 main categories. I'll use a hiking metaphor for the different types of users:
- Day-trippers -- These users will flash the binary release and install ipkg releases from the repository. They may tweak the ipkg installation configuration scripts post install, but this class is primarily users. They have a job to get done or something that want to play with and someone already started bundling it up for them. It's like a day trip. A little planning is necessary, but not a whole lot or a huge commitment. These users are advanced and need a little help in understanding how things work.
- Happy-campers -- These users are often the creators of the packages that the Day-trippers use. These are the nslu2-linux camp #4 ppl. They love to make things work and to find out what is possible. They'll often build custom one-of-a-kind systems for their own personal enjoyment. However, all of these tweaks don't involve the boot loader. It's all kernel and applications tweaking. These are advanced power users and are more often providing help than requesting it. They write a lot of the documentation and help others out.
- Adventurers and Guides -- These users are driven to push the limits of what is possibile. Entry into this realm requires changing Redboot the boot loader or replacing it with another boot loader. These users are often the ones that make the first tracks and many share the recipe with the world so others may follow.
Beta release is going to target the Day-trippers. The default beta install will have a recipe and recommends that users install the OpenSlug beta and have a flash or hard drive which will be the primary booting target. This means that after flash upgrade and Opensling (setting up the hd/flash stick) users will boot the the hard drive/flash stick. By backing up that device, the entire user environment will be backed up. If that environment is hosed, the user can just unplug the devices and reboot to the JFFS2 partition and either repair or Opensling again.
Happy-campers and Adventurers/Guides already know how to fend for themselves. As the package migration significantly expands to match Unslung's capabilities, there will be more focus on that group. If your interested in boot loader replacement, please visit #openjtag where the APEX boot loader is under active development and testing. APEX already boots Unslung and Openslug.
Punch List items
The e-mail I sent to the mailing list had such a wonderful response that all the items on the list were worked of within a day or two. Well everyone know what happens when you remove the #1 item off your todo list. #2 becomes #1. In our case, it's bonus time. So I'll start keeping my punchlist here and update it often.
Critical Items -- These are Beta Stoppers
- Sort out licensing (Intel NPE binary issue)
- DONE 05 Mar 2005 20 Alpha Users
- DONE (kergoth) Fix gcc-packages.inc issue that causes flashing of OpenSlug to fail
Major -- Important but necessarily Beta Stoppers
- Under heavy disk load there are NobodyCaredIrqErrs
- Add code to power-off on shutdown -h and pull the power off via the GPIO
- Update the Wiki for OE/BB build of OpenSlug (things have changed, time has passed, make it current)
- dhcp support
- Started Write OpenSlugTurnUp proceedure for setting up the external disk ([g2] has notes and has setup both HD and Flashstick (need noatime)). Notes from glc on how to setup NFS root.
- Beta-1.5 tagged Snapshot/Manifest BB/OE/Sources
- DONE add resolv.conf from Sysconf, and route add default gw from Sysconf
- DONE Enable LED feed back during boot
- DONE 4 Mar 2005 Fix date being off by 1 month
- Add vfat support as a module
- DONE Bluetooth module support and device to the device table
- DONE 5 MAR 2005 Minor alignment patch in ixp4xx
- DONE 5 MAR 2005 Minor fix don't need gateway defined for point-to-point or local network static setups
- [Beewoolie] I believe we will want tune2fs.
Future Issues improvements -- Don't lose track of these may roll in to Beta or future releases
- DONE 3 MAR 2005 Move to 2.6.11 Kernel
- Push NSLU2 2.6 kernel changes upstream
- Move to udev support by actually using it
- NTP time fix
- DONE 5 Mar 2005 IXP interrupt driver handler -- Maybe support random with this because entrophy is 0 on OpenSlug without USB disk.
- Net console support (add code change from EnableNetconsole)
- APEX boot loader support (possible alternate partition layout)
- Kernel upgrade (after Beta release)
- Packages, Packages, Packages .....