Installing Linux on unknown hardware

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Ive got a little project that I could use some advice on...

Ive inherited some custom hardware, that has an onboard Disk-On-Module,
2 usb ports, RAM, CPU, VGA output, ethernet (Realtek chip) and audio
out. Some of the chips have a heat-sink on them so I cant tell exactly
what on it.

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with a 'sigma-design' audio/video co-processor. I have no idea, how big
the flash disk is, nor, how much ram on board.

When I power it on, it says Non System Boot Disk, which suggest the DOM
is blank and I should be able to install linux on it.

I dont have much experience in building toolchains or kernals, so what
would be some suggestions on a (tiny) distro that might work without
much modification that could detect some of the basic hardware (usb,
ethernet)?

TIA,
Ben


Re: Installing Linux on unknown hardware
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If the board is anything close to a PC architecture and supports booting
from Ethernet, then set up a bootp server to have the board load a basic
kernel and a ramdisk image with a simple root filesystem and a shell, all
from the network. You can then investigate what hardware is identified by
Linux. Try the information at this link:
http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Diskless-HOWTO.html

Rob



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