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Thread: Your CarPC's distro?

  1. #1
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    Question Your CarPC's distro?

    What distro are you using in your Carputer? I'm in the process of building mine and figured this would be a good place to start. There is another thread about 'what distro do you use,' but a lot of people talk about their desktops there (mine is gentoo, btw0). I'm wondering what people do for the Carputer. And any special setups they have. I belive someone on these boards mounts their entire drive read only, so they can just pull the power and not worry about mucking anything up. Others use Software suspend. Here's a few questions / ideas:

    - if using a RO drive, do you have a second partition that is writeable for transfering mp3's to? Do you mount your /var to a ramdrive? Another partition for software suspend?
    - Anyone try Linux From Scratch ?
    - Anyone want to post their .config files for their via board kernel compiles?
    - Any other questions people have?

    For my first go, I'll probably use gentoo (as that's what I'm accustomed to), my second go may be LFS.

    Take care,

  2. #2
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    I'm actually planning to do LFS and may just build up my own distro/frontend for release... Currently reading the LFS documentation to get a better handle on how to do it... it seems pretty straightforward in terms of setting things up, but will obviously be quite time consuming to put together...

    (Not sure on the distro thing as it may be hard to do a generic carputer distro in order to have the greatest level of compatibility and ease of installation while at the same time maintaining stability and speed)...

    Still trying to figure out "What are the bare bones services/modules/programs are needed to accomplish specific funtionality at specific points in the boot process, in order to provide the fastest access to media output and greatest level of overall functionality?"

    - With the RO/R mounting, it seems to be that for the most part, the MP3 drive could be mounted just R, then remounted as RO for transfer/sync/cd ripping operations and remounted as R after that operation is completed (I don't see the need to load nfsd or smbd/nmbd defaultly, possibly have a script which loads/unloads those as well as does the remount...)... Was thinking about having a "Wardriving/Kismet" or "WLan client" type of toggle switch, which i may just associate the network file sharing and RO remount with... (Since I will only be in client mode at my house).

    - I'm thinking I may have a small partition for writing state based information to /var at a specific interval / on shutdown... (Current song, etc), then on resume from suspend to a read-only "firmware" base state image from a flash based media, and reinitialize the player state from that information. (Which would decrease shutdown time, startup time)... May also be worthwhile to use a cheap 128MB USB flash drive to do the state base and mount the entire hard drive as R.

    - Also, may replace my BIOS with a "linux bios", as my current post time is around ~10sec. (Biostar Nforce2)

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate rubicon's Avatar
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    Gentoo (2004.3) w/Linux kernel 2.6.10+various patches, including SWSUSP2, -epia, and others.

    Still tweaking it, too. Also striving valiantly to get my (ex-) shiny new PSOne screen to play w/it.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Debian Sarge, 2.6.8.1 with the epia patch.

    rubicon, what'd you have to do to get -epia to patch against 2.6.10? I tried against 2.6.11 and it failed.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate rubicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Change
    rubicon, what'd you have to do to get -epia to patch against 2.6.10? I tried against 2.6.11 and it failed.
    It's been more than an hour since I did it, so its flown *right* out of my mind.

    I had to make some changes to the kernel source (take THAT, Micro$oft!) for all of the patches I used to apply cleanly. If you like, I can get you a diff of my kernel source against vanilla 2.6.10 (think I started out w/the gentoo-dev-source version tho... not sure ATM.)

    I'll be upgrading (? - well, updating at any rate) to 2.6.11 - most likely the gentoo-dev version - in the near future; I can get you a diff of *that* against vanilla 2.6.11 when I'm done; won't be annotated (i.e. *this* patch does *this*, and *that* patch does *that*), but at least you'll have it.

  6. #6
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    I created my own embedded system using Fedora Core 2 as a development platform. The entire system is read-only while in the car; read/write when mounted using USB CF Reader to transfer GPS data and mp3s. The kernel is 2.4.29 and runs on 233 MHz processor with 64MB of RAM.

  7. #7
    Top Ramen lgbr's Avatar
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    I've done LFS on a couple home machines. It is way too much maintainence to keep going, especially for a car. It will take you a couple days to get it running with X.
    Audio Rockford Fosgate: 900 Watt 4-channel amp, 501bd Mono amp
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  8. #8
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    Yes, but thats where the scratch part comes into play. I think most car player's installations will be frozen once they are fully installed and functional -- so keeping the system maintained and healthy becomes less of an issue after the first month or so of running the system.

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate Altimat's Avatar
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    You guys may as well be speaking a foreign language!
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  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate rubicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altimat
    You guys may as well be speaking a foreign language!
    Microsoft delende est!

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