Installing Debian jessie on Loongson notebook(8089_B) with Ubuntu keyboard suits

I got a white yeeloong notebook last year, and it costs me 300RMB which ships with a Loongson 2F CPU, 1GB DDR2 memory bar, and a 160GB HHD.

The netbook has a pre-installed Liunx based operating system, I can't tell its distribution, and it looks quite like a Windows XP. Since then, I put it in my closet and never use it again.

Yesterday the untouched toy crossed my mind, so I took it out and spent a whole night to get Debian Jessie working on my yeeloong notebook. Here are some procedures you may need to note if you want to have your own box running.

At the beginning, I download the vmlinux and initrd.gz file from Debian mirror. I set up a TFTP server on my mac, ensure it's working from local. later I power on the notebook,  enter into the GMON screen, using ifaddr to assign a IP address manually, and it can ping to my mac, this means the networking works now. Problem comes since then, I execute load directive to load the vmlinux file, everytime after several minutes waiting, it shows connection timeout, after some time debuging, nonthing exceptions can be found since the tftp server and the connectivity between my mac and yeeloong both normal.

I give it up and find a USB stick, this time I'm going to put vmlinix and initird file into USB and let the notebook boot from USB. You have to check that the filesystem is formatted as ext2/ext3. Most importantly, the single partition must not be larger than 4GB, say, you have a 8G USB,  you need to format at least 3 partiitons, 3-3-2 is a good choice. If the partition is larger than 4GB, you can't even enter into PMON, and it just stalls here after you power on with USB attached to your notebook with "filesys_type() usb0 don't find" showing on the screen.

After entering into PMON, you should find your USB using devls directive, then type:
> bl -d ide (usb0, 0)/vmlinux
> bl -d ide (usb0, 0)/initird.gz

Don't copy directly, you need to figure out partitions location in your USB, maybe yours is (usb0, 1), and your vmlinux file is called vmlinux-3.14-2-loongson-2f.

Be patient, I waited about 10 minutes before both files loaded into memory successfully, press "g" to let it run. Haaaaam, there're fews steps to get a brand new toy.

The installation process now begins, press Yes/No, answer questions as your normal. at the end, I choose to install LXDE desktop environment. For me, I waited about 2 hours to finish the installation.

Now, reboot, and finally, it enters into LEVEL 3 without X because of some buggy tools.

Download the xserver-xorg-video-siliconmotion package from here, don't upset with the tool's version, you need some modifications to make it work on jessie.

Using dpkg to unpack the deb file, remove xorg-video-abi-12 from its control file in "Depends" section, repack the file, before dpkg -i, using apt-get to install the xserver-xorg-core file.

startx, you will get the final screen. The default network manager for LXDE is Wicd Network Manager which is fine, what if you want to use command line, you need to modify the interface file and some other steps before connected to internet. 

Wow, with Ubuntu keyborad suits, it's definitely a good combo.

How about the performance? No matter what I run, it always ends with CPU bound, and the average load with LXDE is around 1. That does not hurt, since it does not bother me too much, but It takes more than 3 minutes to boot up, probably slower than the majority of Windows users ;-)

Since the dummy box is terribly slooow, Why you buy the box? well, just for fun.

  • Aenon SUN

    我从 Freeflying 那里要了一个这键盘,结果到手发现坏了 >_<

    • Jasey Wang

      我可以把我这个借你玩玩 XD

      • Aenon SUN


  • wych

    第二段 “The *netbook* has a pre-installed …”

    • Jasey Wang

      notebook or netbook, both ok.

      • wych

        oh, all right.

  • Justin Wong 这是 比尔盖子 在清华讲的龙芯折腾血泪史