learning embedded linux

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I have many years setting up, configuring, managing, etc. sun solaris
unix systems.  I've started supporting some linux servers, but it's
red hat so it's pretty brainless, just stick in the disc and click,
click, click.

I have an unused pc that I'm playing around with with gentoo linux
since it's oriented to people who prefer to configure everything.  One
of my goals is to be able to make a bootable system on a compact flash
card.

But I can't get to first base; I can make a kernel that boots and
everything runs by using genkernel, but it's doing everything for me
for the kernel configuration.  When I use menuconfig, to manually
configure the system, the resulting kernel doesn't boot; it starts
booting and the kernel boot messages start zipping by but at the same
point during the boot process the screen goes black and it freezes.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to debug this.

Re: learning embedded linux

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Video cards sometimes cause problems like this.  If you've got something
like an Nvidia, you might try swapping in a simple PCI based card.  Other
than that, experimenting with build options is about the only way to get going.

A couple of other good learning tools that might be of interest:

http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT6143283999.html
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org

These show you how to build linux from the bottom up, rather than starting
with a distribution that is prepackaged.  More work, but more instructive
also.

-Dave






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