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Pogoplug Pro All-nighter Brainstorm

Posted by JoeyPogoPlugE02 
Pogoplug Pro All-nighter Brainstorm
April 16, 2015 02:02AM
If I understand it right, the company that makes Pogoplug, discontinued that fine piece of character-building sunshine. Since I'm a newb with little sense of limitations, there are three general configurations members seem to be leaning toward...

1. Improved stock: after all, the wireless works, the GUI has categories, and the people you're sharing with appreciate simplicity. This could involve changing some read-only features or even getting it to boot from USB or hard drive. I'm not sure how much of a EULA pertaining to whacking their code applies if the model is discontinued, or other factors.

2. Debian: But of course... should be a match made in heaven if my E02 is any indication. Just runs smooth as all getout.

3. OpenWRT: Still trying to wrap my head around this, as the apps contained are tiny and ought to be resource friendly. But a router with one Ethernet and one wireless? This ought to be interesting.

As habibie and bohdi were talking about creating a cedebug variable using blparam, I thought maybe is a good time to ask about which modifications allow/disallow changes down the road?

In other words, it's been said the best experts can explain things in simple terms.

bodhi Wrote:
> If you guys post this off-topic issue in a new
> thread, I will show you how to do that.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2015 02:05AM by JoeyPogoPlugE02.
Re: Pogoplug Pro All-nighter Brainstorm
April 16, 2015 03:24AM
In stock Pogo OS, u-boot envs are listed or set by blparam. So after logged in the Pogo OS, at the shell prompt:

To check if the command is available in the path (ususally is):
which blparam
to list all u-boot envs:

To set a certain u-boot variable (this example sets the serverip to
blparam serverip='' > /dev/null
The reason the output is redirected to /dev/null is because blparam always relists every u-boot envs, and it looks kind of scary (you'd think you did something wrong to see a gazillions characters rolling off the screen!).

Note the syntax is a little bit different from fw_setenv. It looks like that, always with the = sign (not the space).

Stock u-boot uses a different NAND location to store it's envs. So it is OK to set them, and it won't effect the new u-boot envs, and vice versa.

habibie has the idea to set a specific env for stock u-boot, so I'll let habibie show it.

Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Pogoplug Pro All-nighter Brainstorm
April 17, 2015 04:05PM
Improved Stock - you can install Optware and add SAMBA along with some out packages. http://blog.qnology.com/2013/11/how-to-install-optware-and-samba-on.html

Optware is a little dated, but its possible to compile more packages for it. However at this point, Entware might be a better option since now its supported under ARM and is more active and has more up to date packages.

Cloud Engine, the company that makes the Pogoplug is using a lot of opensource code, so you should be able to modify it as you see fit - https://pogoplug.com/opensource.

OpenWRT - don't make the mistake of thinking that OpenWRT is for routers or routing only. Think of it as a super tiny linux distro that can run completely off the internal flash/NAND. You can use OpenWRT for SAMBA/NAS, OpenVPN, Webcam/motion, Torrent box, etc. similar to Debian. Another great thing about OpenWRT is by default everything is written to /tmp (RAM), allowing it to be unplugged without a "sync, shutdown" command (no corrupt disk). This makes it an ideal OS for a car-puter or other scenarios where you want to plug and unplug (power off/on) the Pogoplug without having to have to properly shut it down via a ssh console.

You forgot to mention ArchLinuxARM (ALARM) which is also great as it's always up to date with the latest and greatest. However, I sometime dislike ALARM for the same reason I like it, because it's always the latest and greatest, things keep changing and it's a little bit for me to keep up with (especially with some of the tutorials I provide).

Pogoplug V2 and V3 Serial Connection
Tutorial - Pogoplug v4 (Series 4 and Mobile) with Linux (Debian or Arch)

OpenWRT on Pogoplug Mobile
Tutorial - Pogoplug E02/V4 with Arch Linux ARM
Hacking the Pogoplug v3/Oxnas (Pro/Classic) with Debian

OpenWRT on Pogoplug v3/Oxnas (Pro/Classic)
April 18, 2015 12:21AM
Oh yeah Grey your Arch tutorial for E02 is amazing - the big maneuvers that get it all up and running are in place and it's the only OS I've backed-up to a hard drive, in this case an IDE with adapter. The finer details, there's plenty of little things to work out next rainy day, fun stuff when i know there's a backup safety net.

I'm blown away by the idea of an un-corruptible shutdown openWRT possibility. There have been late nights where I'd shutdown the main computer and remembered I should properly turn off E02 (stormy weather). Whatever boot is in that has been real durable when I hit reset button and then unplugged it. But that's just luck and of course it's not known to be safe.

Having said that,I could probably arrange something in my Windows computer (uber-low power thin client with Windows CE) when it's being shut off, to ask "do yo want Pogo shut off too?" and if so maybe an SSH command "shutdown -h" signal could be sent to that IP. Something like that.

Okay, soon I'll get Debian on mine and then OpenWRT if that order seems good. Man you guys are amazing for sharing what must have went into this.

I'll get some sleep and ponder if i should register Pogo for SSH or wait for my TTL thing. It's hard to wait.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2015 01:04AM by JoeyPogoPlugE02.
Re: Universal fw_bootenv to uboot all USB and NAND systems
April 18, 2015 01:19AM
JoeyPogoPlugE02 Wrote:

I really like the OpenWRT, so is it possible to have that on NAND and when you plug in a Debian it'll launch that at boot instead?
uboot parameters can be extended into a cascade that attempts (within seconds) to boot a variety of USB formats, then falls back to fsload stock from NAND, and failing that, Arch or Debian Rescue from NAND, or could also integrate OpenWRT on NAND for that matter - see the last 2 boxes of my approach at http://archlinuxarm.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&p=46069#p46069 (not yet covering every imaginable variant).

Once fully built out to all formats known to (bodhi, moon- and gray)man ;-) which I best leave to their proven l33t sk1llz, the advantage is that you'll need to write uboot and even fw_env only once to the sensitive start of NAND that must never develop badblocks from wear.

At the same time you can try e.g. Archs while avoiding their installer's almost Microsoftesque no-backup layout-overriding no-questions-asked philosophy of "Thou shalt have no other OSs beside it." ;-}

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2015 01:35AM by TEN.
Re: Universal fw_bootenv to uboot all USB and NAND systems
April 18, 2015 02:04AM
With Ext3 or Ext4 rootfs, from a power outage (accidentally or intentionally) it would boot right up (recovering journal is even better than Windows chkdisk). It's not a problem. When I feel lazy, not wanting to login and shutdown a testbed, I just turn power off if I know the box is sitting there idling.

There are a lot of personal computers running in some developing countries where power outage is quite common.

Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
eventually i'll "get it"
April 18, 2015 11:35PM
The Pogo E02, all i know is, the rescue system is the last thing I needed to install, and it boots reliably, dosne't fail when unplugged. It's something I may not ever get around to tampering/ruining.

But the Pro is a different animal, and in my case if you don't mind, i'll list a few things that confuse me right now.

1. Does the Pro always have bad stock wireless in the case of Debian and openWRT?
2. Do any 3rd-party USB plugin wireless units work?

Then the booting and disk formatting. I have a spare brand new 8-gig USB stick. unless advised otherwise I was going to register Pogoplug and start with Qui's Debian tutorial.

If so and if this works, will it install to USB drive and still work if i copy it to a SATA drive in the near future or is it imperative I use a SATA drive from the get-go? I can arrange a 3.5" older SATA for use but it dogs me i haven't worked out a power supply that's not drawing 10-watts. I don't know what powers 3.5" drives but i do have a SATA power jack to sacrifice if there's a common way to solder one on for the time being. I used to hope I could use some common phone charger/switching power supply for efficiency but admittedly I'm naive.

Haven't even gotten to the OpenWRT part and I have a feeling that's going to be the funnest part yet, because of the DHCP server... this could possibly be the power consumption breakthrough i was hoping for, because I could leave it on with less need for a separate router. Add energy efficient hard drives or temp USB sticks, and the heartbeat of my network could run 24/7, like a great stove - tiny pilot light keeps it ready and when you need it to get cooking, it's overtly powerful.

-= Cloud 9 =-

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2015 11:55PM by JoeyPogoPlugE02.
Re: eventually i'll "get it"
April 19, 2015 02:15AM
> 1. Does the Pro always have bad stock wireless in
> the case of Debian and openWRT?
> 2. Do any 3rd-party USB plugin wireless units
> work?

No, it does not. It will work just fine. But a lot of people want a better wireless card, and Atheros wireless card is cheap enough to just buy one and swap out the stock.

> If so and if this works, will it install to USB
> drive and still work if i copy it to a SATA drive
> in the near future

This is what I always do, because copying a few GB rootfs on a thumb drive to a new rootfs HDD is pretty painless and straight forward. It is more convenient to install any plug using USB thumb drive.

Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Universal fw_bootenv to uboot all USB and NAND systems
April 19, 2015 02:44AM
> "Thou shalt have no other OSs beside
> it." ;-}


Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner
Re: Universal fw_bootenv to uboot all USB and NAND systems
April 19, 2015 07:54PM
bodhi Wrote:
> > "Thou shalt have no other OSs beside it." ;-}

Today's Qui Debian install on Pogoplug Pro went real smooth, the only glitch was at the point of
#Sync and reboot, cross your fingers
It wouldn't reboot but after a few tries just unplugged the power cord, booted-up fine. Webmin is installed with support files. I can see wireless (though off) in Webmin but am not overly worried - only a matter of time to get a more specified one.

I'm still digesting a lot of what you guys just said, but thanks ALL of you.
If there's a page i ought to print it's this one. Also it's time i make a cheat sheet table with Pogoplugs listed and which install has which features. Lots of fine tuning to go but next step will be to do with getting my IP management straight here, configuring today's install to probably a better IP and then see about OpenWRT.

Fact as soon as i get the understanding to get OpenWRT on the flash - overriden when plugging the Debian USB stick for now (a hard drive boot entry could be written in later like TEN was saying) I'll do it! Before bedtime even LOL

-= Cloud 9 =-

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2015 09:02PM by JoeyPogoPlugE02.

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