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Debian on Dell Kace M300

Posted by JDS420 
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
April 13, 2020 04:04PM
//note, I posted twice in a row, see my last post post on the previous page for the fail I had testing M300 #5.

I need to fix the uImage for the bodhi kernel I'm using, apparently I made it with the 0x10008000 value I noted above:

## Booting image at 00100000 ...
   Image Name:   Linux-5.5.1-kirkwood-tld-1
   Created:      2020-04-10  15:36:18 UTC
   Image Type:   ARM Linux Kernel Image (uncompressed)
   Data Size:    5213369 Bytes =  5 MB
   Load Address: 10008000
   Entry Point:  10008000
   Verifying Checksum ... OK
OK
## Loading Ramdisk Image at 01100000 ...
   Image Name:   uInitrd
   Created:      2020-02-06  22:11:51 UTC
   Image Type:   ARM Linux RAMDisk Image (uncompressed)
   Data Size:    100 Bytes =  0.1 kB
   Load Address: 00000000
   Entry Point:  00000000
   Verifying Checksum ... OK

Starting kernel ...

Uncompressing Linux... done, booting the kernel.
[    0.000000][    T0] Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0
[    0.000000][    T0] Linux version 5.5.1-kirkwood-tld-1 (root@tldDebian) (gcc version 8.3.0 (Debian 8.3.0-6)) #1.0 PREEMPT Sat Feb 1 22:28:36 PST 2020
[    0.000000][    T0] CPU: Feroceon 88FR131 [56251311] revision 1 (ARMv5TE), cr=0005397f
[    0.000000][    T0] CPU: VIVT data cache, VIVT instruction cache
[    0.000000][    T0] OF: fdt: Machine model: Dell KACE M300
[    0.000000][    T0] OF: fdt: Ignoring memory range 0x0 - 0x10000000
[    0.000000][    T0] printk: bootconsole [earlycon0] enabled
[    0.000000][    T0] Memory policy: Data cache writeback
[    0.000000][    T0] INITRD: 0x01100000+0x00001000 is not a memory region - disabling initrd
[    0.000000][    T0] Built 1 zonelists, mobility grouping on.  Total pages: 455168
[    0.000000][    T0] Kernel command line: console=ttyS0,115200 mtdparts=spi_flash:0x7f000@0(uboot),0x1000@0x7f000(u-boot-env) earlyprintk root=/dev/sda2
[    0.000000][    T0] Dentry cache hash table entries: 262144 (order: 8, 1048576 bytes, linear)
[    0.000000][    T0] Inode-cache hash table entries: 131072 (order: 7, 524288 bytes, linear)
[    0.000000][    T0] mem auto-init: stack:off, heap alloc:on, heap free:off
[    0.000000][    T0] Memory: 1802436K/1835008K available (9216K kernel code, 926K rwdata, 3860K rodata, 1024K init, 296K bss, 32572K reserved, 0K cma-reserved)

Note that the line that says "Ignoring memory range 0x0 - 0x10000000" I think that goes away when I make the uImage for 0x00008000, again, not sure if this is really a big deal??



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2020 04:05PM by sodface.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
April 13, 2020 05:07PM
sodface,

> Note that the line that says "Ignoring memory
> range 0x0 - 0x10000000" I think that goes away
> when I make the uImage for 0x00008000, again, not
> sure if this is really a big deal??

You do need to redo uImage, or copy a good one over.

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
April 14, 2020 12:24PM
I'll fix the uImage bodhi.

I've been running off the internal sata using the factory load since yesterday and have run the transfer test script multiple times without a problem so far.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
April 14, 2020 05:54PM
sodface,

> I've been running off the internal sata using the
> factory load since yesterday and have run the
> transfer test script multiple times without a
> problem so far.

Exactly my experience, too. I run one of my M300 boxes using internal SATA with the latest Debian rootfs.

The reason I suspect this is a power problem is: The internal SATA is just like an SD card, which needs to draw even less juice than USB.

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2020 05:55PM by bodhi.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
May 28, 2020 09:15AM
bodhi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> sodface,
>
> > I've been running off the internal sata using
> the
> > factory load since yesterday and have run the
> > transfer test script multiple times without a
> > problem so far.
>
> Exactly my experience, too. I run one of my M300
> boxes using internal SATA with the latest Debian
> rootfs.
>
> The reason I suspect this is a power problem is:
> The internal SATA is just like an SD card, which
> needs to draw even less juice than USB.

Finally got the chance to remove the factory SATA drive from my problem M300 and boot from USB running 5.6.5 with no hard drive installed. Ran stress-ng all night and even compiled some drivers and I experienced no issues or kernel panics. Looks like in my case it's the hard drive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 09:17AM by LeggoMyEggo.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
May 28, 2020 02:45PM
LeggoMyEggo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Finally got the chance to remove the factory SATA
> drive from my problem M300 and boot from USB
> running 5.6.5 with no hard drive installed. Ran
> stress-ng all night and even compiled some drivers
> and I experienced no issues or kernel panics.
> Looks like in my case it's the hard drive.


I'm confused. When you say the "factory SATA", are you referring to the SSD? You think that's the culprit or did you have a mechanical hard drive? I don't understand how a SSD could cause a power problem, but I do understand how one could be bad.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
May 28, 2020 05:03PM
renojim Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> LeggoMyEggo Wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------------
> > Finally got the chance to remove the factory
> SATA
> > drive from my problem M300 and boot from USB
> > running 5.6.5 with no hard drive installed.
> Ran
> > stress-ng all night and even compiled some
> drivers
> > and I experienced no issues or kernel panics.
> > Looks like in my case it's the hard drive.
>
>
> I'm confused. When you say the "factory SATA",
> are you referring to the SSD? You think that's
> the culprit or did you have a mechanical hard
> drive? I don't understand how a SSD could cause a
> power problem, but I do understand how one could
> be bad.

I should have been more exact, I meant the factory SSD module. As soon as I booted without the factory SSD module, my problems went away.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
May 29, 2020 05:38AM
LeggoMyEggo,

> I should have been more exact, I meant the factory
> SSD module. As soon as I booted without the
> factory SSD module, my problems went away.

That's a little worse than I thought. I think this stock u-boot has wome weird bug that the stock kernel works around it.

Because the internal SSD is really like an SD card. There is not much power used by it. The USB seems to draw more power (from info I get at stock u-boot prompt). And usually, SD cards use very little power.

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
May 29, 2020 09:05PM
bodhi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is not much power used by it. The USB
> seems to draw more power (from info I get at stock
> u-boot prompt). And usually, SD cards use very
> little power.

You may be on to something about the power supply. The power connector on the motherboard is really loose on this unit and a couple of the others I own. Even when fully inserted, it's loose. I just shut down the M300 to move it and when I reconnected power, it failed to show up on my IP checker. Turns out fiddling with the connection to the unit made it start booting. Wonder if this is causing issues. I trust the power supply itself as it is of good build quality, not a typical wall wart. But that barrel connector on the motherboard, it doesn't inspire confidence.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 22, 2020 10:08PM
Wanted to post some pictures of the 128GB Microcenter SSD I mounted in the M300. I used a 12 inch 22 pin combo SATA / power extension cable to allow mounting with Velcro to the bottom cover of the case. Works great and puts the SSD at the bottom of the case further away from the heat of the SOC. Nice mod to try that doesn't require cutting or other risky activities.
Attachments:
open | download - 20200922_225134.jpg (663.5 KB)
open | download - 20200922_225317.jpg (852.5 KB)
open | download - 20200922_225333.jpg (862.7 KB)
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 22, 2020 10:59PM
Leggo,

Very nice mods! You always have a really architectural-driven mods :)

This box is a nice NAS, and could be a basic 2G/2G desktop with a USB VGA adapter too. A VESA mounted desktop. Or a portable NAS.

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 22, 2020 11:26PM
> Wanted to post some pictures of the 128GB
> Microcenter SSD I mounted in the M300. I used a
> 12 inch 22 pin combo SATA / power extension cable
> to allow mounting with Velcro to the bottom cover
> of the case. Works great and puts the SSD at the
> bottom of the case further away from the heat of
> the SOC. Nice mod to try that doesn't require
> cutting or other risky activities.

Up in the Wiki thread

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 22, 2020 11:33PM
bodhi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Leggo,
>
> Very nice mods! You always have a really
> architectural-driven mods :)
>
> This box is a nice NAS, and could be a basic
> 2G/2G desktop with a USB VGA adapter too. A VESA
> mounted desktop. Or a portable NAS.

Bodhi,

Still working on my ultimate mod for this device, an internal ESATA port for my external port multiplier 4 bay case. Just havent figured out a way to cut the square hole needed for the SATA passthrough. Don't want to butcher this beautiful case. One of these days :)
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 22, 2020 11:52PM
LeggoMyEggo,

> Still working on my ultimate mod for this device,
> an internal ESATA port for my external port
> multiplier 4 bay case. Just havent figured out a
> way to cut the square hole needed for the SATA
> passthrough. Don't want to butcher this
> beautiful case. One of these days :)

If even a hardware-challenge software modder like me can learn how to drill a hole on the plastic case of the Pogo to thread the serial console wires through :)) you the master modder will figure it out :)

BTW, I did not know there is a drill bit for plastic until I decided on a rainly day to make all my Pogoplugs look somewhat decent :) Better modders like our user syong or you, would make an audio-jack connector for make serial console that looks awesome!

Long ago syong sent me his picture of a vertical stack of 10 HP T5325's (iirc), all with audio-jack connector for serial console. That was from a PM so I could not post here.

-bodhi
===========================
Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2020 12:18AM by bodhi.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 23, 2020 09:37AM
bodhi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Long ago syong sent me his picture of a vertical stack of 10 HP T5325's (iirc), all with audio-jack connector for serial console. That was from a PM so I could not post here.

I remember that mod and at one point was going to implement it in all my plugs. Had the parts list and everything. But as I am fickle, found new plug devices to tinker with so the serial 3.5mm mod went to the back burner. Still, very clever mod and important if you are doing serious experimentation with kernel and u-boot.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
September 24, 2020 09:55PM
LeggoMyEggo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> bodhi Wrote:
> -------------------------------------------------------
>
> I remember that mod and at one point was going to
> implement it in all my plugs. Had the parts list
> and everything. But as I am fickle, found new
> plug devices to tinker with so the serial 3.5mm
> mod went to the back burner. Still, very clever
> mod and important if you are doing serious
> experimentation with kernel and u-boot.

Ha, Ha, I resemble this remark. Recently ran across the bag of 3.5mm audio jacks that were intended for this use. Perhaps I'll get around to it some day!

I am just now ordering some Serial ATA Data Power Combo Extension Cables and velcro as I have a case of M300 to upgrade!
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
October 02, 2020 12:15AM
I just picked up a pair of M300's still in the factory boxes. Is there anything I can do to verify the operation of the devices before trying to replace the OS? I take it that out of the box these things are web page driven. Is it a good idea to not expose it to the internet (and letting it phone home)? I have a spare router so I guess I could make a non-internet-connected LAN and see if the device appears.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
October 02, 2020 08:41AM
dougdeep Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I just picked up a pair of M300's still in the
> factory boxes. Is there anything I can do to
> verify the operation of the devices before trying
> to replace the OS? I take it that out of the box
> these things are web page driven. Is it a good
> idea to not expose it to the internet (and letting
> it phone home)? I have a spare router so I guess
> I could make a non-internet-connected LAN and see
> if the device appears.

Not aware of any issues with the M300's phoning home and somehow preventing loading bodhi's Debian on the box. U-boot is not locked but you really need a serial console adapter to modify the u-boot env's. I use a cheap CP2102 clone to modify the env's. If you are concerned about preserving the factory load, use Win32DiskImager (or similar) to read the entire internal SSD via a USB to 22 pin SATA adapter to a img file on your workstation. That gives you a backup to return to stock although I can't think of any reason you would do this as the service this box was associated with is long deprecated (this device came out in 2011!). Also retain a copy of the stock u-boot env's for completeness.
Re: Debian on Dell Kace M300
October 03, 2020 12:13AM
Thank you for the response. I just wanted to make sure there was no funny business going on like with the Sonos brick debacle. That, plus this has Dell's name plastered all over it and I'm old enough to remember Dell's blacklisting BIOS updates aimed at keeping customers from upgrading thier Optiplexes from Pentium 2 to Pentium 3.
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