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Funtoo for an old device Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1 i.mx515


mike1978
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I'm new to Funtoo in that I fell across it by accident when looking for a Linux distribution that might fit a particular requirement I have. I've recently acquired a rather dated Ubuntu 9.04 device that has a i.MX515 A8 cortex processor and i've been scouring the web to find a modern Linux distro that I could possibly update it with. I've seen there is support for the processor in some Arm v7 builds and that there are users of Funtoo - though granted this may well be also an older version ?

I've come across the following: https://www.funtoo.org/Funtoo_Linux_Installation_on_ARM and this lists compatible hardware (or at least in my eyes it does) also sporting the i.mx515: Freescale i.MX515-based devices(Efika MX, Babbage Board, Lange Board…)

I've looked at the install instructions and i'm a reasonably newbie to the scene after previously experimenting with Gentoo builds and AOSC (Retro) for some other outdated hardware.

I'm a fairly novice user when it comes to install and setup but have found a number of resources around installation specific to the Netwalker but still i'm scratching my head where to begin - is there a newbie holding hand place i could refer to with my particular hardware in mind?

The most recent Kernel i can find is 2.6 but i'm hoping i could perhaps utilise something a bit more up to date maybe as being used by the above mentioned hardware with the same CPU the Netwalker uses a propriety script that was something Sharp put together but thankfully when i bought the device it came with a recovery disk which so far i've used about 5-6 times due to failed attempts to update Ubuntu.. 

I see it has the kernel saved as zImage and i assume the OS in the firmware path

Some resources i've found to date - but i'm still a little sure where to start or if Funtoo is the OS i've been looking for - i'm hoping so.

Unofficial Kernel:

https://github.com/darion76/linux-sharp-netwalker-2.6.31

How to update the Kernel - though so far i've not been able to follow this for the above

http://www.lesfleursdunormal.fr/static/informatique/old/zaurus/2009_10_18_how_to_update_and_flash_the_kernel_on_the_netwalker_sharp_pc_z1_fr.html

This has details about the recovery disk and what is on it - i was considering debian but honestly it didn't direct me so well in terms of install.. 

https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Sharp/PC-Z1NetWalker

This is a link to a forum where i first started with someone else also posing the question about a possible update

https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?topic=36361.0

The image of my recovery disk can be located here in a rar format with img inside it. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B3PD2iWOj_8-0Hat7IW9gI4y-MowBPAN/view?usp=sharing

I'm struggling a little to do much in terms of updating the current kernel from the device as it's internet access is somewhat limited due to the change of protocols from ssl to TLS etc.. and whilst i can navigate the Sd card on a raspberry pi i've not really understood how to then get the kernel i found linked above into the recovery disk in to a zImage format as apposed to being able to clone it in from git as it can't connect. 

I've attempted to update from Jaunty ubuntu to Karmic and some elements of Maverick but it just seems to break it.. so i'm back at a stock 9.04 build of Jaunty as it stands which works ok but it's limited.. 

I maybe expecting to much of an ancient device or flogging a dead horse or maybe even getting steps wrong or mixed up and some may say why bother with such old hardware but I have a soft spot for older / retro kit but would like it to be at least usable in a reasonable way though i'm sure my iphone could outperform it in every way.. 

So I know it's a bit of a plea but if anyone could spare the time to direct me i'd appreciate a few pointers in the right direction. 

Thanks in advance. 

Mike

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