Two distributions of Linux for the Zipit

There are currently two Linux distributions that will run on the Zipit. There is the one that fits into the Flash memory and will use the MMC card (if available) to store just files.

The other distribution is one that boots from the MMC card itself. This page here has the download for the buildroot version, which stores its entire file system in the Flash. Unfortunately, the Flash memory is very tiny and, as such, cannot hold very much.

If you take the link to the OpenZipit distribution , you can have a much larger Linux system on your Zipit. You do need, however, the 5 wire mod for the RS232, and an MMC card mod to use the OpenEmbedded. The 5 wire mod is to load the kernel and bootloader into the Flash, the MMC card will be where the kernel looks for the boot files and the runtime system. Essentially, you need something like the Addon Board installed in your Zipit.

TopCurrent Release of buildroot-zipit

This is the first release of the buildroot-zipit. It combines the build of the linux kernel and file system packages under one compiler version. It is no longer necessary to use two compilers to build the code.

This is a complete build system for the images that will go into the Zipit Flash memory, as well as the necessary loader utils to do that (e.g. 5wire_loader, loader.bin, zpm.bin, etc.).

Please try this release out and submit any comments, or offers to help! The current software system is in the process of being moved onto OpenEmbedded ( ). The strategy is to produce a bootloader and kernel which will boot the root filesystem from the MMC card.

OpenEmbedded contains a lot of packages, many of which Zipit owners seem to want: MP3 players, pine email client, dropbear and ssh to name a few. The resulting filesystem is about 13Meg in size, too large to keep in the Flash. A pivot_root type of system doesn't make much sense if the MMC can be mounted as the root device...
This is the Buildroot-Zipit package and the md5sum for the tarball.

WARNING! Buildroot-zipit is deceptively small! During the build process, it will download about 76 megabytes of files. A build on my Athon 3.3GHz, 1Meg SDRAM system takes about 24 minutes while using a 7Mb/s cable modem to download the files. On a Pentium-III system, expect it to take several hours (depending on your RAM, CPU and the speed of your Internet connection).
    The total size of the completed build is 933 megabytes.

TopIn a hurry?

For those that cannot build the buildroot-zipit binaries, or don't have the time to do so, the executable binaries are available . These will run on linux, but may also run under cyqwin (I haven't tried this...).