Saturday, June 27, 2009


It's been a busy weekend, I skipped riding (I love to ride my bicycle) to get some house work done. In between I managed to get IPV6 working again and figure out a good portion of getting GRUB and a cross compiled Linux distribution install on a compact flash card. First let me explain that LORHA is my cute little acronym for my Linux OpenRemote Home Automation distribution. So far it's really nothing more than BuildRoot and the latest Java JDK installed on the compact flash. I intend to use BuildRoot as the basis for my embedded systems (I have several). I'm using BuildRoot to build the x86 cross compiler enviroment (I have an ALIX/Geode board), kernel and utilities. So far it has gone well. I've managed to work around a few bugs in BuildRoot (I managed to get Perl to compile). I put the whole thing, including GRUB, on a 2G compact flash card and I'm able to get it to boot up. Unfortunately the kernel panics when it comes to mounting the file system. This may be caused by a a few drivers being compiled as modules instead of being built into the kernel. For desktop systems one would normally just use initrd load the appropriate modules but embedded systems shouldn't use initrd. Instead just build the important drivers (like the file system and IDE drivers) into the kernel then do a insmod/modprobe on the remainder of the drivers like the Ethernet and Wireless ports. When I get the steps down I'll post exactly what I did to my LORHA page.

I've also spent some time setting up my home network adding IPV6 to the network. It's actually solved a few problems with an old bridge I have. I also figured out why I was getting this odd message about 48 bytes associate with IPV6. Turns out I was using the wrong subnet mask (another thing deprecated in IPV6). I have since switched to a /64 mask and IPV6 is happier. Unfortunately some of the network addresses stopped working and I'm not sure why (though I know it has to do with more deprecated RFCs). I've manually configured tinydns for IPV6 using AAAA records. So if you use Firefox the preferred IP address is the IPV6 address.

As I said previously, the intent of all this is to build a new Firewall gateway router that can handle IPV6, IPV4, bandwidth accounting, and what-ever else might come it's way. I'm hoping to make it as flexible as something like OpenWRT. I expect that I will be able to do this. In addition I get to learn all sorts of new things and that's always exciting. :-)


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