This post is about a Virtual Appliance with Debian Squeeze and OpenWRT-XBurst Development Tools installed, which would allow immediately compiling OpenWRT packages for the Nanonote without going through the painful process of setting up the development environment yourself.
As a non-developer, I found a working development environment to be the single most confusing part of porting to the Nanonote, even more confusing than OpenWRT’s Makefiles. Granted, this could be my personal lack of talent or skill, but it left me thinking removing this “steppingstone” for some of the less experienced users might open more doors, faster, for beginning Nanonote enthusiasts. The instructions at http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Building_OpenWRT_on_Debian_6 are great, but might slightly intimidate less experienced Linux users. They are also slightly daunting to follow if the need arises frequently (if reinstalling OS, royally screwed something up, or other scenarios I’m sure you ran into).
The easiest way to get around this I could come up with was creating a Virtual Appliance which contains the basics for compiling for the Nanonote, using the wiki instructions for Debian Squeeze. Such an appliance can be run in VirtualBox (free and open source) or VMWare Player (free as in beer), even on Windows hosts. The result is a single 2.4 GB file with a ready toolchain which is ready to “accept” package Makefiles and compile them. Debian was installed, the toolchain was compiled, the locales and paths were set. I gave it a quick test compiling Pem (and a load of Perl dependencies) and it seemed to work.
The Virtual Appliance is currently unimaginatively called “Debian Squeeze with OpenWRT-XBurst Development Tools 2011-08-27″ and comes as a single .OVA file. See details below:
1. Install VirtualBox.
2. Download Virtual Appliance .OVA file (links below)
3. In VirtualBox click on “Machine” > “Import” and select the .OVA file.
I’ve added a brief section under the Building on … Debian Squeeze wiki page.
Hope someone finds this helpful.
Virtual Appliance Download Page on 1fichier.com: http://4pp1qh.1fichier.com/en/
.OVA file MD5 sum: 3ad6e2aa9379336c10746a3062538d32
root password: gongshow
Virtual Appliance Download Page on 1fichier.com: http://0tqstz.1fichier.com/en/
.OVA file MD5 sum: f9ebe1b0cfe63ae1aa584ddff7b222ed
root password: gongshow
— Ernest Kugel