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Ubuntu on the OLPC XO

Between last night and early this morning, I got Ubuntu Intrepid running on my XO using a SanDisk Extreme III 4GB SD card. There's lots of instruction available on the subject, but it took the combination of several sources of information to get it working for me. My findings and suggestions are below.

To do this trick, you'll need a USB stick with at least 1GB of space and an SD card with at least 2GB of space (you'll erase both of them completely later). Start off by reading teapot's instructions for installing Intrepid. Start downloading the bzip archive (don't put it on your USB stick yet). Check to make sure you have a developer key and that your XO build and firmware are up-to-date.

Now that you think you're up to date, you need to update your firmware to version Q2E24. Download this Joyride build and follow these directions to write it to your USB stick. Connect the USB stick and reboot your XO. After it reboots, it will start updating your firmware before rebooting itself again. Once it shuts down to reboot, remove the USB stick before it powers back on again. (If you don't manage in time, it's not a big deal. Just shutdown, and remove the USB stick before turning it on again.)

Now, follow teacup's directions up through erasing the MBR and partition table on the SD card. Instead of using his fancy echo command and sfdisk, I'd recommend using fdisk as per his instructions for Hardy. There are reports of people having trouble with sfdisk. All I can say is, fdisk worked for me.

Continue to follow his instructions for Intrepid until you're ready to reboot. Now, edit /mnt/boot/olpc.fth and delete the "\" from the line that reads \ unfreeze so that it just reads unfreeze. (You can read more about unfreeze here.)

Finally, pick up where you left off with teapot's instructions.


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