Pup "432" nows shuts down on Gecko

I built Puppy "432" with the kernel from the Puppy 421 provided by DMP. Yep, powers-off.

But this DMP pup is designed for the Vortex86mx chip, not specifically for the Gecko Edubook being shipped by Norhtec. That has a USB wifi unit with rtl8188 chip, and I need to compile a driver for it.

Would you believe it, I'm recompiling the kernel and the wifi driver on the Gecko! I created 'devx' and a kernel source SFS files. I didn't really want to hammer the SD card with lots of writes, so I have plugged in a USB hard drive, and I made /usr/src a symlink into the hard drive.

It's working, the kernel has compiled and it's now onto the modules. Then I'll compile the wifi driver. Then build another pup 432 that includes the wifi driver.

Posted on 10 Feb 2010, 18:31


Posted on 10 Feb 2010, 18:41 by pakt
Progress - Yesss!
Way to go Barry!

Posted on 10 Feb 2010, 22:47 by BarryK
Running out of steam
I got into a mess.

Firstly, the kernel and modules used in the pup 421 from DMP, appear to have been compiled elsewhere, maybe in Ubuntu. When I compiled the wifi module, it loaded but didn't work.

Some kind of mismatch, so I recompiled the kernel and modules in pup 432, using the .config file provided by DMP. Now it won't boot. It seems that the DMP version has some extra modules.

I don't know, I'm somewhat burnt out right now. It's late and my mind isn't focusing too well. Tomorrow I'm going to Perth for a couple of days, will look at it again when I get back.

I might just take the easy way out, just replace the USB wifi unit with one for which there is already a driver provided by DMP.

Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 8:31 by Anonymous Coward
wifi cards
Heads up, there may be two possible wifi cards that get fitted into the Edubook - mine in particular is a Ralink 802.11n USB unit. I know that pskin's distro already had the driver on hand..

Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 8:05 by Kevin Bowers
Wi-Fi cards
Barry, you report yours as having an rtl8188 chip. Both mine and pskin's, and now Anonymous Coward's, have Ralink 3070 chips that use a specially-configured rt2870 module. pskin posted the details awhile back, and yes, the module build is in pskin's puppy-431-edubook.

Apparently Norhtec plugs in the cheapest wi-fi dongle that will fit. In one of their writeups, it might even be the user's manual, they even instruct you to remove the case from one if necessary to make it fit!

Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 15:44 by pakt
Q-bit WiFi card
My Edubook from Q-bit also has the Realtek 8188S (0bda:8171) USB WiFi dongle.

The first six hex digits of the MAC ID (aka MAC address) show the manufacturer of the device.

In my case, the USB WiFi dongle's MAC ID starts with '00 1B EB' which is registered to 'DMP Electronics Inc', i.e. the same company that makes the Edubook.

Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 15:58 by pakt
DMP's Puppy421_APM
Btw, if anyone wants to test DMP's Puppy421_APM puplet on their Edubook, I can upload it.

I'm a bit rusty on this - does anyone have a suggestion for a site I can upload too?

Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 16:50 by cthisbear
2 shared

mikeb uses


" 2 shared delete after a month of inactivity
or the poster can do it. "


Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 17:47 by pakt
Puppy421_APM for download
Thanks, Chris

DMP's Puppy421_APM.zip (91MB) can now be downloaded from here:


md5sum: a7852bf9f529821480360ecfdec2199d

If you don't want to mess with the SD card, just copy the extracted files to a bootable USB stick then use the USB stick to boot the Edubook (after changing the boot order in the BIOS).

Posted on 11 Feb 2010, 18:01 by pakt
Thread for Puppy421_APM
I've started a thread for comments, etc on Puppy421_APM here:


Posted on 12 Feb 2010, 23:01 by BarryK
Puppy 432
I changed to a different USB wifi unit, that uses the 'rt73usb' kernel module, that is provided by the DMP kernel.

Yeah, it works, sometimes. Sometimes at bootup the rt73usb module crashes, sometimes it doesn't.

Anyway, I'm going to upload Puppy "432" and will announce it when done. It uses the same kernel and modules as the Puppy 421 from DMP that pakt has mentioned.

The problem is I don't have a driver for the USB wifi module that comes with the unit from Norhtec.

I put one in, and had to strip off the case to make it fit.

I also found that the metal back plate cuts down its sensitivity and you need to be closer to the wireless router.

I bought a cheap USB wireless adapter yesterday for 19 AUD, that uses the rt73usb module. But, I happened to have another with a broken casing that I used in the Gecko.

Posted on 12 Feb 2010, 23:56 by x
murga-linux also shuts down
Network Error (tcp_error) 

A communication error occurred: "Connection refused"
The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.

For assistance, contact your network support team.

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 2:02 by judland
Puppy on the Edubook
Hey Barry. Just wondering if you've tried plugging in an external monitor into the Gecko yet and got it to work.

I haven't been able to figure out how to get an external monitor to work on it as of yet.

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 3:14 by bla
Edubook + Ubuntu

Ubuntu 9.10 and XUbuntu 9.10 distros are smoothly installable from live CD with external USB DVD drive onto Edubook. After I compiled a new patched (with 3 PCI patch) kernel from Ubuntu's source, my TP-LINK TL-WN321G (rt73usb) USB Adapter is working without any problem.
XUbuntu is little faster (about 60sec boot time).

Now I'm experimenting with OpenEmbedded. ;)

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 3:19 by bla
Puppy on the Edubook

Did You try the "blue Fn+F5" button?

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 3:35 by bla
Edubook + Ubuntu
On the installation screen I checked all options.
Then start live CD (it takes a long time) and do install. The installation is about 1 hour with fast CF card.

Sorry, I'm wrong. The TP-LINK USB stick works with installation CD without kernel comilation!!!
Before installation have to log into internet.

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 8:28 by Raffy
rt73usb problem in 4.3.1
Barry, rt73usb does not work in 4.3.1. It works initially then dies. I have to unplug it then replug so I can use it in another Puppy version.

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 8:12 by BarryK
It works fine in 431 (and 432) for me. On my main Acer laptop anyway. The problem I have with the gecko is an actual crash at bootup that hangs the bootup totally. I haven't examined the error messages in detail, have just noted that there is a stack trace on the screen then hangs.

Posted on 13 Feb 2010, 8:46 by BarryK
Xubuntu, etc
Good that you're looking into this too. If you can create a Xubuntu (or whatever) that supports wifi and shuts down, it would be great if you could upload it somewhere for us to play with.

One of my units has WattOS, an Ubuntu derivative, but it is very sluggish (and does not power-off). If you could tweak things to get better speed, that would be great. Maybe get rid of some unnecessary services, also I noticed the WattOS kernel is configured for 1000Hz tick (interrupt rate), which I think is bad for a slow CPU -- it should be no more than 250Hz.