SSD on the Netwinder

Jon Bradbury dr_zee at
Wed Apr 17 14:06:30 PDT 2019

Nice one... got a download?


From: Ralph Siemsen
Sent: 17 April 2019 21:54
To: Jon Bradbury
Cc: netwinder at
Subject: Re: SSD on the Netwinder

On Mon, Apr 01, 2019 at 10:43:26PM -0400, Ralph Siemsen wrote:
>On Mon, Apr 01, 2019 at 09:52:29PM +0100, Jon Bradbury wrote:
>>4. I think what I really need is a later kernel. Or some other boot
>>images / tarballs to try. Does anyone have any? (esp. Debian)
>I looked around in my home directory for later kernels, because I know
>that I did build them maybe 5 years ago. But the only files I can see
>end at 2.4.19. Sorry!

Decided to give a go at building a new kernel. Kind of an ironic version 
jump, from 2.4.19 back in 2003 (!!!), to v4.19 some 16 years later... 
Now to be fair, I did also do a 3.18 build back in 2015.

Anyhow, it worked "out of the box" using netwinder_defconfig from the 4.19 
mainline kernel. I booted it via TFTP, including an initramfs containing 
minimal busybox. Naturally there are some warnings during boot.

In contrast with my attempt in 2015, I did not have to fight with gcc to build 
for armv4 (no need for --fix-v4bx anymore). So either gcc7 got smarter, or the 
buildroot folks may have patched it... I didn't look except to note it works. 
Also I was able to build glibc that seems to work.


Uncompressing Linux... done, booting the kernel.
Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0
Linux version 4.19.25 (ralphs at (gcc version 7.4.0 (Buildroot 2019.02)) #10 Wed Apr 17 15:49:55 EDT 2019
CPU: StrongARM-110 [4401a103] revision 3 (ARMv4), cr=0000517f
CPU: VIVT data cache, VIVT instruction cache
Machine: Rebel-NetWinder
Ignoring unrecognised tag 0x54410004
ATAG_INITRD is deprecated; please update your bootloader.
Console: colour dummy device 80x3
console [tty0] enabled
sched_clock: 32 bits at 100 Hz, resolution 10000000ns, wraps every 21474836475000000ns
Calibrating delay loop... 185.75 BogoMIPS (lpj=928768)
pid_max: default: 32768 minimum: 301
Freeing unused kernel memory: 868K
This architecture does not have kernel memory protection.
Run /init as init process
Starting syslogd: OK
Starting klogd: OK
Initializing random number generator... random: dd: uninitialized urandom read (512 bytes read)
atkbd serio1: keyboard reset failed on isa0060/serio1
Starting network: OK

Welcome to Buildroot
buildroot login: root
# uname -a
Linux buildroot 4.19.25 #10 Wed Apr 17 15:49:55 EDT 2019 armv4l GNU/Linux
# free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        125024       6488     118536       1540          0       1540
-/+ buffers/cache:       4948     120076
Swap:            0          0          0
# udhcpc -i eth0
udhcpc: started, v1.29.3
udhcpc: sending discover
udhcpc: sending select for
udhcpc: lease of obtained, lease time 86400
deleting routers
adding dns
# ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from seq=0 ttl=52 time=92.386 ms
64 bytes from seq=1 ttl=52 time=92.144 ms
64 bytes from seq=2 ttl=52 time=91.979 ms
64 bytes from seq=3 ttl=52 time=92.241 ms
64 bytes from seq=4 ttl=52 time=92.471 ms
--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 91.979/92.244/92.471 ms

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