NetWinder DM Disk Image #12

This page will describe new features and known bugs with build #12 of the DM disk image (the master for all other disk images). This build is a minor improvement over the previous build11 so please see that page for additional issues.

Build #12 was delivered to the NetWinder factory in Cornwall, Ontario on Jan 12, 1999. This means the future machines shipped will have this build installed on them. Of course there is still some inventory of machines with previous builds on them (no idea how many).


This section lists what has been changed, fixed, added, or removed (in no particular order).

  1. Disabled sendmail in all runlevels by default, since it can cause lengthy delays while booting when it isn't configured right. The feature can be re-enabled with the command chkconfig sendmail on followed by either a reboot or /etc/rc.d/init.d/sendmail start.

  2. Minor update to firmware and kernel to remove the "Corp" in Corel Computer (to make the suits happy...) There is no change to the functionality, so version number not incremented - just added an a suffix and moved the symlinks in /boot accordingly.

  3. Removed bogus references to /usr/lib/arm-linuxelf from /etc/ (the directory was removed in build #10 since it is no longer needed with the new compiler, which uses "netwinder" as the target name).

  4. The watchdog timer module is not loaded by default from rc.modules. Note that this doesn't activate the watchdog, for that you need to run a program like start_wdog. See the man page for start_wdog for more details about the watchdog timer in general.

  5. Kernel header files for 981211 were correctly installed, but the name of the directory was still linux-2.0.31. Fixed this so it's now correctly called linux-2.0.35.

  6. Removed the old flash.o driver from the /lib/modules area, changed /dev/flash to be a symbolic link to the newer /dev/nwflash. This way, older versions of the flashwrite program should still function with the new device driver.

  7. Updated the ippfvsadm utility for administering ip forwarding. The old version was not compatible with the 2.0.35 kernel.

  8. Updated nwconfig program (for configuring network parameters) to version 2.3, which fixes DHCP support. Note that if you want to do IP forwarding between the two interfaces, you will have to manually edit the /etc/sysconfig/network script and enable forwarding there (and you need to have support compiled into the kernel).

  9. Added msdos and related kernel modules to /lib/modules directory. Now you can read and write msdos disks and paritions. Oh boy.

Known bugs

Yes indeed there are known issues here. Then tend to surface after we build the disk image... rats.

  1. The pesky problem with tmp directories has resurfaced again. This time the trouble maker is that /usr/tmp is a symlink that points off to nowhere. Fix it with:

    	rm /usr/tmp
    	ln -s ../var/tmp /usr/tmp

  2. While the include files have HUGE_VAL set correctly, libc and other libraries still have the old value compiled into them. So applications like the KDE calculator don't handle HUGE_VAL properly. Solution is to recompile the libraries (next build).

  3. Under some conditions, parameters set in the firmware are not correctly passed to the main kernel unless a "save-all" command is given. Since the kernel parameter passing mechanism is going to change drastically in the next release, put this problem aside for now. If in doubt, just use "save-all".

  4. Swap files do not work. Swap partitions are fine, but using a swap file will cause a nasty kernel panic as soon as the system starts using the memory in the swap file. Reason is not really know, but it's probably always been like this.

  5. The entries under /dev are incomplete. In particular we are missing the loop devices, needed if you want to mount via the loopback device. I've also been advised that our MAKEDEV script is "positively prehistoric" so it will need some reviewing too.

  6. There are two copies of mount, the one in /sbin is old and won't support loopback, for example. Solution: delete the one in /sbin and continue merrily.

  7. The dig program dumps core upon startup. Newer versions of bind, bind-utils, and bind-devel packages are available from the FTP site that appear to fix this problem.

Ralph Siemsen /