Puppy Linux for Mele A1000, may 9, 2012

The Mele A1000 is an Internet Set Top Box, with ARM CPU, running Android 2.3.

This release is Puppy Linux built from Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04) armel binary packages, plus some custom compiled applications.

This file: mele-sd-4gb-lui-5.2.90.img.xz

Is a SD-card image, for a 4GB card. Unfortunately, "4GB" means whatever the manufacturer can get away with in case of the cheaper cards.
This image file expands to 3,956,359,168 bytes (3773.078MB, 3.684646GB), and the SD card must be at least that.

In Linux, you can find out the size by typing this in a terminal window:
> fdisk -l
Or, if you have the 'disktype' utility, and for the example of the SD card being /dev/sdb:
> disktype /dev/sdb
Please be sure card is unmounted beforehand! Then write the image to the card.
> unxz --stdout mele-sd-4gb-lui-5.2.90.img.xz | dd of=/dev/sdb
> sync
...be patient, writing to Flash memory is very slow.

Please always type "sync" command after dd has completed, to flush the filesystem buffers before you unplug the card -- otherwise the card may be corrupted.

After writing the image to the SD card, insert the card into the Mele and power-on. It will be slightly slower at bootup the first time, but subsequent bootups take about 17 seconds, from pressing the power-on button to the graphical desktop fully loaded.

Having released this 'alpha', I am stopping work on the port of Puppy to the Mele, as there are various unresolved issues that greater minds than me will need to solve:
  1. SATA hard drive not recognised
  2. Framebuffer console not working (you cannot exit from X to console)
  3. gtkdialog renders widgets in reverse (ref: http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=02809)
  4. No GPU acceleration for X
  5. SeaMonkey crashes with 'illegal instruction' (ref: http://bkhome.org/blog/?viewDetailed=02820)
My Puppy developer blog has logged progress with the ARM port of Puppy, see there for future developments:


The 'arm-netbook' mail list has a group of guys working on getting Linux to run on the Mele and other ARM boxes:


C/C++/BaCon compiling

Puppy Linux has the SFS system, for loading of mega-packages. devx-*.sfs is a mega-package with everything needed to compile in Puppy.

Normally, they can be chosen to load at bootup by the BootManager, however, this installation on the SD card does not support that mechanism, you have to do it manually (and it is irreversible):

Click on the devx-*.sfs file, which will mount it. Open a terminal in the mounted directory (press back-tick character) and copy the contents to the root filesystem:

> cp -a -f --remove-destination * /
> sync

Then click on the .sfs icon again to unmount it.

Barry Kauler