Debian Adding Low-Power NAS Devices
Former Debian project leader Martin Michlmayr has released a "debian-installer" package for devices based on Marvell's Feroceon architecture.Former Debian project leader Martin Michlmayr has released a "debian-installer" package for devices based on Marvell's Feroceon architecture. Initially supporting the Qnap Systems TS-109 (pictured at left) and TS-209 network-attached storage (NAS) devices, the "developer's release" installs a 2.6.25 kernel and Debian unstable, Michlmayr said. The port to the TS-1090/TS-209, which Michlmayer says was done with the support of Qnap and Marvell, comes with several disclaimers. "When I mean 'developer release,' I mean it," Michlmayer warns in his release notes. "This is not for end-users but for people who know what they are doing. Also, it's quite experimental and had little testing." He goes on to note that the release "installs Debian unstable (sid) rather than testing (lenny) because the 2.6.25 kernel is not in testing yet."
The 2.6.25 Linux kernel was the first to support Marvell's Feroceon architecture, a micro-architecture implementation of the ARM Ltd.'s ARMv5 architecture. Commonly used in dozens of NAS devices, the architecture also recently debuted in Marvell's Discovery Innovation series of network processors, featuring a dual-core model clocking to 1.2GHz. Future Discovery-series Feroceon chips will clock to "2GHz and beyond," Marvell has indicated.
To use Michlmayr's installer, users will need a tftp server, and a serial console cable. He recommends copying the MTD flash from the Qnap firmware and backing up one's hard drive "because debian-installer will wipe the whole disk." The port comes in the form of two files (initrd.gz and kernel) that are downloaded and stored on the TFTP server. Michlmayr then supplies the commands to enter via the serial console, which boots the installer. After selecting the mirror, the next step is to partition the disk and install. Voila!