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The Gumstix Overo COM is supported by the Linaro Project. Linaro is not a distribution but really an effort to make a common framework for unleashing open-source software on embedded systems. The Linaro project is backed by Canonical (the people behind Ubuntu) among others which means this is a great place to start if you want to run Ubuntu on your Overo COM.

Getting the Images

Gumstix is scheduled for inclusion in the next Linaro release due in May 2011. As of Feb 2011, an Alpha 2 release is available here. You'll need two components:

Download these two components and while you are waiting, grab a few important tools...

Getting the Tools

linaro-media-create is a tool to automagically create a bootable microSD for your Overo (or Beagle or Panda or...). For those running, Ubuntu Natty, apparently just this will do the trick:

sudo apt-get install linaro-image-tools

For those of use sporting Maverick (10.10):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linaro-maintainers/tools
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install linaro-image-tools
sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static

More details are available here:

Making a Card

The final step is actually creating the microSD card. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded the image and the hardware pack, slip a microSD card into your machine (apparently SDHC cards don't work so well i.e. 2GB or less), and issue a command like this:

sudo linaro-media-create --rootfs ext3 --mmc /dev/mmcblk0 --binary linaro-natty-efl-tar-20110203-1.tar.gz --hwpack hwpack_linaro-overo_20110203-0_armel_supported.tar.gz --dev overo


* use dmesg to check that your SD card is actually /dev/mmcblk0 before doing this
* the --binary argument will depend on which image you chose to download
* I needed sudo access to do this---I'm not 100% sure the cause.

This command will take a little while to download any extra bits it needs and format your card. For me, this was about 20 minutes total and I waited a long time on the 'Populating rootfs partition' step. Once it is done, unmount the card and slide it into your Overo COM and power on as normal.


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