My Experience installing Linux on a Compaq EVO T20

Note: this guide is INCOMPLETE and a work in progress, I will add more to it as I progress.

Having recently unslung a Linksys NSLU2, I pondered about other low power linux solutions. After some googling I found the Compaq Evo T20, and promply bought two on eBay for £20.

The Compaq EVO is a thin client machine weth expandable RAM and four USB sockets. It may not be the easiest or best system for this exercise, but it was cheap. I found the following guides (along with some others) and went for it.

My boxes are both Evo T20 64/96 models. (64Mb ROM, 96Mb RAM?)

I used Debian Lenny running under VMWare on Windows XP, which may not have helped with some issues, but worked out in the end.

the firmware I downloaded from HP is called: Evo T20 64/96 NTe Binary Firmware (ICA, RDP, IE, Wfilter) and then I used Grzegorz Świt's modified to create my own firmware to flash to the evo20.

You can download my firmware for flashing with here [1.53Mb, 909K packed].

Basically, I followed Grzegorz Świt's HowTo, The following in Grzegorz Świt's guide didn't work for me:

6) Install base Debian system

sudo debootstrap --arch i386 sarge /mnt/buildroot

you need to change to for the sarge distribution, which i now getting a bit old.

9) Make sure that debootstrap created tty1,tty2, ... files

cd /dev ls cd ..
If you don't see files like tty1, tty2 do as follows:
mknod dev/tty1 c 4 1
mknod dev/tty2 c 4 2
mknod dev/tty3 c 4 3
mknod dev/tty4 c 4 4
mknod dev/tty5 c 4 5
mknod dev/tty6 c 4 6
mknod dev/tty7 c 4 7


If this is the case, when the boot enters initlevel 2 you will get the following error.

"init: Id "x" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes."

The problem is, getty is looking for TTY1 but can't find it, so exits, but INIT keep retrying, the OS takes over and suspends the loop.
So, we need to create the /dev/tty# devices manually, even though they were visible when we chrooted originally. Remove the pendrive from the evo, mount the FS on a working box and modify /etc/inittab

# nano /etc/inittab

find the line:

1:2345:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1

and change it to:

1:2:/sbin/getty 38400 console

comment out the other lines thus:

#2:23:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
#3:23:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
#4:23:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
#5:23:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
#6:23:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6

umount and re-insert the pendrive into the evo, now the system should boot to a login prompt, login as root now you need to create the TTY devices.

cd /dev
./MAKEDEV tty1
./MAKEDEV tty2
./MAKEDEV tty3
./MAKEDEV tty4
./MAKEDEV tty5
./MAKEDEV tty6
./MAKEDEV tty7

edit the inittab again and re-instate the lines as they were

1:2345:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
2:23:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2

Help, my Ethernet doesn't work!

I then found the ethernet adaptor wasnt properly configured.

ifconfig eth0 entmask