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These instructions explain how to install gNewSense Parkes on the Lemote Yeeloong.

Please do NOT add any sort of information about Lemote, the Yeeloong netbook or other distributions here. Such information is available in Lemote. For information about gNewSense for the "3A laptop", refer to GNewSenseToMIPS-3A


To install, see the following steps. Alternatively you might install with debootstrap from a previously installed system.

  1. Obtain a netboot image: download initrd.gz and vmlinux-3.5.3-gnu.

  2. Boot the image
    • For USB boot:
      1. Copy vmlinux-3.5.3-gnu and initrd.gz to a USB disk. USB disk must be well formatted in ext2 (a sudo fdisk -l should give no error on /dev/sda), FAT32 doesn't work.

      2. Power up the machine and press the <DEL> key to get to the PMON2000 prompt.

      3. Type:
          load (usb0,0)/vmlinux-3.5.3-gnu
          initrd (usb0,0)/initrd.gz
    • For TFTP boot (faster than USB):
      1. Copy vmlinux and initrd.gz to your TFTP server.

      2. Power up the machine and press the <DEL> key to get to PMON2000 prompt and type:

          # to set the ip address of your Yeeloong, e.g.  
          ifaddr rtl0 <addr.of.your.laptop>
          # to load the linux image on your tftp server, e.g.
          load tftp://<addr.of.your.tftp-server>/vmlinux
          # to load the initial ram disk image
          initrd tftp://<addr.of.your.tftp-server>/initrd.gz 
          # to boot

        Note: You may have to type the load command twice. The initrd command takes around 3 minutes on Lemote Yeeloong. If there is no valid network connection, the system will try and boot its hard disk.

  3. Follow the installer process. Note that if you get errors after partitioning along the lines of "couldn't write partition table to disk because it is busy", you will need to reboot and restart the installation, at which time the install will work (sometimes a reboot is required for the installer to see the partition table changes).
  4. If you get the warning This partitioner doesn't have information about the default type of partition tables, just continue with partitioning.

  5. If you get the warning The repository on couldn't be accessed, so its updates will not be made available to you at this time, just continue. This will be fixed later (for new installations).

  6. If you get the warning No boot loader has been installed, either because you chose not to or because your specific architecture doesn't support a boot loader yet, just continue. See instructions below on how to configure a boot loader.

  7. Once finished, you can check which disks are available and which kernel is installed with:

     dir (wd0,0)/boot
  8. If you installed your system at the first partition of the first hard drive, it can be booted with:

     load (wd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz-3.5.3-gnu
     #initrd (wd0,0)/boot/initrd.img-3.5.3-gnu
     g machtype=8.9 root=/dev/sda1 resume=/dev/sda2 libata.force=80c
    • The second partition (sda2) is the swap partition, which is needed if for hibernation. The libata parameter makes the disk faster. If, for instance, you installed gNewSense to the third partition of the internal disk, you'll have to change (wd0,0) to (wd0,2) and sda1 to sda3. Note: if the dir (wd0,0)/boot command gives you only one delo.2nd file, you have to boot your installed system from USB key (or TFTP):

    •  load (usb0,0)/vmlinuz-3.5.3-gnu
       g machtype=8.9 root=/dev/sda1
  9. The default load and the g parameters are saved respectively in the "al" and "karg" variables. To make your system boot gNewSense it is sufficient to set the al variable:

     set al (wd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz-3.5.3-gnu

    Note that loading a symlink from the BIOS, like /boot/vmlinux which points to the right kernel, does not work. The actual kernel is expected. This means that you need to upgrade this variable each time when you install a new kernel. An alternative would be a hard link or a copy of the file to a static name. On the other hand, loading initrd through a symlink does work.


See :

GRUB is the preferred way of booting gNewSense. You can install it as follows (adjust disk to your situation):

aptitude update
aptitude install grub-yeeloong
grub-install /dev/sda1

Then add the following menu entry to your /boot/boot.cfg file (on /dev/sda1):

default 0
timeout 0
showmenu 0
title Boot with GRUB
        kernel (wd0,0)/boot/grub.elf
        args some-dummy-string 

Note: some-dummy-string is required to work around a bug which causes grub to fail loading. Also make sure that /etc/default/grub has these lines (run sudo update-grub for changes to take effect):

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="machtype=8.9 libata.force=80c"

For additional parameters, see above.

PMON2000 Boot file (boot.cfg)

If you would rather avoid grub, you can try booting directly using PMON2000. Assuming you have installed your system on /dev/sda1, your boot file (/boot.cfg or /boot/boot.cfg) should have the following parameters (adjust kernel and partition numbers to your own setup; for additional parameters, see above):

default 0
timeout 3
showmenu 1
title gNewSense Parkes - sda1
        kernel (wd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz-3.5.3-gnu
        #initrd (wd0,0)/boot/initrd.img-3.5.3-gnu
        args root=/dev/sda1 libata.force=80c

title gNewSense Parkes - rescue via USB
        kernel (usb0,0)/boot/rescue
        args root=/dev/sda1 libata.force=80c
        #initrd (usb0,0)/boot/initrd.img

title gNewSense Parkes - reinstall via USB
        kernel (usb0,0)/gns/vmlinux
        initrd (usb0,0)/gns/initrd.gz
        args libata.force=80c

Correct gNewSense parkes sources.list

The next target for a gNewSense release is codenamed "Parkes", these sources entries will work for that release:

deb parkes main
deb-src parkes main

deb parkes-updates main
deb-src parkes-updates main

deb parkes-security main
deb-src parkes-security main

Where XX is your two-letter country code. This will find the closest mirror to you.


If your network connections are managed by NetworkManager (default in a regular desktop setup) then make sure that only the "lo" interface is configured in /etc/network/interfaces: comment or remove all lines referring to other interface (e.g. eth0, wlan0). After rebooting it could be that you can't connect properly. If that's the case then re-try a few times by clicking on the NetworkManager icon and then your network interface.

Wireless may not be working, you have to activate wlan0 interface first (see Documentation/Wireless). A bug has also been reported.


File your bug reports at Savannah, under Category "gNewSense 3" and Item Group "mipsel". Check if your problem hasn't been reported already first.

Xserver "(EE) Silicon MotionCannot read V_BIOS (5)" error

If the graphical interface fails to start, then put the following in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Card0"
        Driver          "siliconmotion"
        Option          "pci_burst" "true"
        Option          "HWCursor" "true"
        Option          "VideoKey" "45000"
        Option          "UseBIOS" "false"
        Option          "PanelSize" "1024x600"
        Option          "CSCVideo" "false"
        Option          "DPMS" "true"
        Option          "BlankTime" "120"
        Option          "OffTime" "120"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Screen0"
        Device          "Card0"
        Monitor         "Monitor0"
        DefaultDepth    16
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes "1024x768"
                Depth 24

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Keyboard0"
        Driver          "kbd"
        Option          "XkbLayout" "us_intl"

Then run /etc/init.d/gdm3 restart or reboot.

External resources

Projects/GNewSenseToMIPS (last edited 2014-02-23 17:49:18 by skreutzer)