From C4 Wiki
Revision as of 17:37, 24 November 2010 by Tobias (talk | contribs) (Reverted edits by Oxudocopaj (talk) to last revision by Tobias)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

The EFIKA is an embedded PowerPC board with a 400MHz 32-bit freescale MPC5200 (603e/e300), 128MB RAM, 100MBit/s NIC, 2xUSB 1.1, Soundchip, 2.5" harddisk connector, PCI and AGP (with riser-card) and serial out.

Pylon received a board for development work on it. I will leave it in the C4, so that we can attach additional hardware on it.

Ideas for development tasks

  1. mpd-server as in-replacement for the already existing one
  2. connection to the Fnordlicht (built at C4's U23 2005)
  3. using JACK for disco-lights



Currently I don't have any harddisk available, so this could not be tested. But it would be nice to create a complete stand-alone machine out of it.


It's also possible to boot via USB. But it's only USB 1.1, so very slow.


I will use Gentoo/Linux on that machine. Yes, it might be slow, but it can be changed to your needs. Also it's possible to build on another PowerPC or with cross-dev.




  1. Download a stage3-tar-ball and unpack it to e.g. /nfsroot.
  2. Change /nfsroot//etc/fstab, so that the root-filesystem will be mounted via NFS: / nfs noatime 0 1
  3. Change /nfsroot/etc/securetty and add a line for logging in later via serial-line: echo ttyPSC0 >> /nfsroot/etc/securetty
  4. Also add that serial-line to /nfsroot/etc/inittab: echo "s0:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 115200 ttyPSC0 vt100" >> /nfsroot/etc/inittab (you can use linux instead of vt100 for a coloured term, but then you should have a good serial communicotian program)
  5. Add a password-hash for the root-password into /nfsroot/etc/shadow. I used htpasswd2 from apache for it. Call it with htpasswd -nb root secret. This will create the hash for the root-user with the password secret. Replace the * after root: in the shadow-file with that hash.
  6. Give your system a hostname in /nfsroot/etc/hostname and add that hostname after the localhost-entry in /nfsroot/etc/hosts
  7. Unfortunately mounting another nfs-share for the portage-tree later will not work, as nfs-utils are not installed yet (I'm working on a special nfsroot-efika-stage4). Bind-mounting a portage-tree on a Gentoo-system will not work either (nfs just ignores that). So we have to download and unpack a current portage-snapshot into /nfsroot/usr/portage. Alternatively you can rsync your local portage-tree into /nfsroot: rsync --archive --progress --exclude=packages/ --exclude=distfiles/ /usr/portage/ /nfsroot/usr/portage/.
  8. Finally unpack the precompiled modules into /nfsroot (tar xvzf modules_efika.tgz -C /nfsroot/.

The nfsroot is now prepared for a first and simple boot. Let us now set up the dhcp-/tftp-/nfs-server-voodoo.


I use dnsmasq for the dhcp-server, as it provides the possibilty to add tftp-dhcp-boot-options. Basically you only need to set two lines in your dnsmasq.conf:

<MAC-address>,<IP-address> (the MAC-address is printed on the sticker above the Ethernet-port)

Probably you might also want to set some more settings for the interface on the server, routing etc. After that start the daemon.


This time I use atftp as TFTP-Server. This server expects /tftproot as the path for tftp-files. But it's possible to change it in the config.

Now place the kernel into /tftproot and start the daemon.


Add /nfsroot,sync,no_root_squash) to your /etc/exports and start the daemon. Make sure, that a firewall is not blocking nfs-requests. Also make sure, that /etc/hosts.{allow,deny} are set properly.

Serial console

Attach a null modem serial cable between the EFIKA and a PC with serial port. I use screen as serial terminal program: screen -m -c /dev/null /dev/ttyS0 115200 8n1.


Now, let's boot! Switch on the EFIKA. You should see some lines with RAM-checking etc. After that you see a prompt:

ok #

On that prompt type in boot eth kernel_efika linux console=ttyPSC0 ip=dhcp panic=10 root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=

The EFIKA should download the kernel, boot up and will provide a login-prompt. Log in with your root-password you set previously. Welcome to your EFIKA!


  • Check your serial and network cable
  • Check your daemon-log-files
  • Check your firewall if it allows DHCP, TFTP and NFS
  • Check the permissions of /tftproot and /nfsroot