OK! So where do I start.. I got OpenWRT working, thanks to Mozzwald and #Zipit on irc.freenode, and once that was done, and I got my feet wet, I went ahead and downloaded Z2sid.
Z2sid is a ARMv5 port of Debian Sid done by “Wicknix”. Debian Sid is not the stable version of Debian, but it is not ‘unstable’ if that makes sense.
Anyway, so first I had to format my SD card in ext2. I was informed on IRC that this is because ext3/4 would include journaling, which is not compatible with SD. The next thing I did was run the command to untar the bz2 archive onto the properly formatted SD with a command that looks kind of like this, but may or may not be exactly this.
tar -pjxvzf /path/to/z2sid.tar.bz2 /media/zipitSD
and then it ran a bunch of stuff down the screen and the light on the SD started blinking, and when it was done, I ran these two commands, as suggested on Mozzwald.com:
(you must do it both times, they said)
Sync took a second, but it is really essential because it ensures that all of the stuff you just untarred is actually transferred, because my Debian Squeeze install apparently was one of the ones with this issue that although the terminal shows you are done with the untar process, for some reason the little light keeps blinking, and things are still being written to disk. I am sure you know where I am going with this, and it could be disastrous to yank the drive while it was working.
So I yanked the drive.. the first time.
I had an issue at this point unmounting the drive which is why I yanked it. The terminal kept telling me that I was using the disk somehow, and I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out why. Wej from #zipit said I was being stupid or something, and I was getting a bit tired of it all, and he suggested I try:
lsof | grep 'devicename' <--- i think it was like b4* something.
anyway, this led to a list of processes that were using the disk, so i went ahead and got the PID's and killed them in the terminal like this:
When I killed the processes the drive appeared to unmount, indicated by the icons disappearing from nautilus's sidebar. I tried the 'mount' again and somehow the damn thing was still unmounted. Wej called me stupid again and said something like trying it in a new root session or something, and so I closed the terminal, opened a new one, and lo and behold I was able to unmount just fine without using this:
umount -f /dev/sdb
This would have been the same as yanking the drive.
Anyway, I ended up making a 2gb partition and ext2 filesystem on the disk with makefs and cfdisk, and repeated the untarring process which took about 15 minutes, and I had the same unmounting problem again and I seriously forgot what it was that I did that got the terminal working again, but this time it was someone else in the IRC helping me out who was also inferring I was not the brightest, which was too much coincidence for me, and at this point, I was actually starting to believe that apparently I am just one step above a vegetable when it comes to computers and I should be ashamed.
I popped the SD back into the slot on the zipit, and wow, it actually started booting Debian. I got all of the same i/o errors as before, and somehow it booted. I went through the one time setup, set a MAC, a password, my pandora account info, and a few other things like writing down the list of key shortcuts.
I got to a shell prompt and tried this:
that didn't do a damn thing, so no dice.. I figured, hey no problem, I'll just connect to my wifi via terminal and then do this:
apt-get install xinit lxpanel
so I tried to start by looking for my wireless interface like this:
and so this command didn't make it into z2sid either, so I'm thinking to myself, not a problem, I'll just try something else:
nothing. at this point I'm getting a bit testy, so I just start firing off commands to see what, if anything, panned out.
iwlist scan <--nothing
So now I am confounded, and wondering how much of a pain in the ass wpasupplicant is going to be down the line if this is any indicator for what I am in for, and dreading the day I bought this infernal little machine.
I said hey, fuck it, lets just jump in the terminal and see what i CAN do with this little thing. I cruise around a few directories and see what goes where, and at some point wanted to show it to someone, and I decided to reboot it just to start from the beginning because it was a bunch more impressive looking than a blank terminal and no internet..
This was a terrible idea.
When I restarted, z2sid asked me for a password, which I supplied, and it promptly rejected. Now, I wrote this password down even, so I know I didn't put the wrong password in two times, or forget it after I set it. I read about this issue a litte bit and found the defaults to be user:user root:root, which also my zipit rejected.
At this point I was ready to give up.
Let's hope on IRC again, and turn this thing off for a while. I got on IRC and talked a little bit, and for some reason felt I should turn the zipit back on, or actually now that I think of it, I looked over and it was on (the lid hits the on button sometimes) and it was booted into openWRT.
I thought, oh that's cute, it must have booted into openWRT as a recovery because I got the wrong password on debian so many times, great!
This was not the case. No matter how many times I restarted, or how many ways I restarted, I was unable to boot into anything else other than openWRT.
My impression right now is that my brain is shot and I just need to get some new eyes on it, so in the meantime, I am downloading z2sid RC 1 from mozzwald.com and hoping that whatever updates it contains will fix my issue.
I should probably also try a different SD card just for shits and giggles.
Anyway, that's the state of the union address for right now. I am completely brain-drained right now, feel like a complete failure and I just want to have a few and watch Louie CK bitch about things on YouTube; at least we can commiserate.