OpenZipIt Linux Install

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Please note: These instructions have been tested on Ubuntu Linux and may not work exactly as prescribed on other distributions. Hints for installing OpenZipIt with other distributions have been included where possible. (These instructions will probably work unmodified on Debian.)

Step 1: Get the necessary OpenZipIt files and zipit_tool_extras files.

Here are the files you will need to put on your NFS sever and where to get them from:

  1. zflash - ARM executable used to flash the zipit 2. loader.bin - bootstrap loader 3. zimage.dat - kernel 4. ramdisk.gz - ramdisk image

Get the zflash and loader.bin files from the zipit_tool_extras package. When you unzip it, they will be in the NFS_REFLASH folder.

Get the zimage.dat and ramdisk.gz files from the zipitwireless Yahoo! Group.

Step 2: Set up an NFS server and place the necessary files on it.

First, install the NFS server. In Ubuntu (and Debian-based distros) this is done by:

sudo apt-get install nfs-common nfs-kernel-server

To test this from another Linux box type rpcinfo -t server_ip_address nfs 3 where server_ip_address is the address of the NFS server.

Now, create a directory to hold our ZipIt files and allow it to be shared by the NFS server:

sudo -s
mkdir /mnt/zipit
chmod a+rw /mnt/zipit
chmod a+x /mnt/zipit/zflash
chmod a+x /mnt/zipit/zz

Now, move the four files from Step 1 into your /mnt/zipit directory. (ie. The directory should contain the following files: zflash, loader.bin, zimage.dat, ramdisk.gz)

Next, allow access to this directory through the NFS server (ie. set up the NFS permissions), and restart it.

sudo echo "/mnt/zipit *(rw)" >> /etc/exports
sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart

Note: It has been reported that on 2.4.x series kernels that NFS only supports UDP, not TCP as we require. The solution was to install a newer 2.6.x series kernel. (This has been tested on Slackware.)

Note: It may be necessary to also run sudo /usr/sbin/exportfs -a to completely propogate the NFS server permissions.

Step 3: Drop your firewall

If you have a firewall running, disable it for now.

If you have Firestarter installed in Ubuntu (5.04), please make sure you run it and press the big red stop button or execute the following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/firestarter --stop

Please note that Firestarter automatically re-enables the firewall after every reboot.

Step 4: Get your ZipIt connected to your WiFi network.

At this point, please make sure you have a functioning WiFi card set up as an ad-hoc node. If you haven't done this or have no idea what we're talking about, don't worry, it's easy - Take a look at Zipit Linux Setup.

To connect your ZipIt to your PC's WiFi network, type the following commands on the ZipIt:

iwconfig eth0 essid zipnet key 0102030405

Your ZipIt should then say something about "Sending discover..." (possibly 3 times), then say something like "Lease of obtained." followed by a bunch of other messages. Don't panic if you see an "Invalid argument" message or two in there, they can be safely ignored. If instead you see:

  exec: 7: /usr/share/udhcpc/
  fail: not found

Then hit Ctrl-C to exit udhcpc, and try typing the following on your ZipIt to see if it can detect your wireless network:

iwlist eth0 scan

If this command outputs information on the avaiable wireless networks, take a look at it, make sure everything looks right for your network. If the command doesn't output any information, then your PC's WiFi card is not acting as an ad-hoc node properly and you should take a look at Zipit Linux Setup again to see if you made any mistakes.

Step 5: Connect your Zipit to your NFS server.

On your Zipit, perform the following commands: (be sure to replace server_ip_address with your PC's IP address in the below)

mkdir /mnt/net1
mount -t nfs -o nolock -o tcp -o intr server_ip_address:/mnt/zipit /mnt/net1

That's about the longest command you'll ever have to type on your ZipIt, fear not. If there's a mount error or it just hangs, make sure you didn't miss the part in Step 2 about setting up the NFS permissions.

Step 6: Use zflash to reflash your ZipIt with OpenZipIt.

Finally, we're ready to use zflash to install OpenZipIt on your ZipIt. Type the following commands on your ZipIt:

cd /mnt/net1
./zflash loader.bin zimage.dat ramdisk.gz

Just follow the on-screen instructions from this point on, and you're done