[Dev] [Daniel Clark] [loongson-dev] Selecting an operating system for your new Lemote Yeeloong
fauno at kiwwwi.com.ar
Thu Jan 5 02:39:55 GMT 2012
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Just wrote this up as a draft of the main options for operating systems on
the Yeeloong. Would be interested in feedback, also thought it might be
useful to others. (Note that this list purposefully only includes
distributions that are easy for English-only speakers to install/use.)
Also, anyone know if there is documentation for the yeeloong "tab rescue"
*Selecting an operating system for your new Lemote Yeeloong*
In most cases your laptop is shipped as-is from the factory in China. You
may not want to use the pre-installed operating system. This document goes
over most of the options that are relatively easy for non-developers to
install and use.
Unless otherwise noted, all of the below instructions require a USB key
formatted with the ext2 file system.
1. *Rescue Media*
It is useful to have a USB key you can boot from if something goes wrong.
put that file on the base directory of a USB key.
Insert the USB key in your Yeeloong.
Turn on the Yeeloong and press the “Del” key to get to the PMON 2000 (BSD
licensed boot firmware, called BIOS on x86 systems) command line.
Load it via usb from the PMON command line:
load /dev/fs/ext2 at usb0/rescue-yl
g console=tty root=/dev/sda1 rootdelay=8
You have now a working rescue system with Busybox.
2. *Parabola GNU/Linux*
Due to being on the GNU free distributions list -
http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html - this is the operating system
currently recommended for use on the Lemote Yeeloong by Freedom Included.
Install instructions are available from
You will need to have another operating system running before installing
Parabola. Due to the gNewSense installer being broken, it is probably
easiest to do the install with Rescue Media (see above) or the Chinese
variant of Debian GNU/Linux (see below).
Freedom Included, Inc. donated Yeeloongs to some Parabolla developers to
help make this port possible.
3. *Gentoo GNU/Linux*
Gentoo is probably the fastest current distribution. Freedom Included also
helped this project; we hope the work will eventually be ported over to the
fully free Ututo variant of Gentoo.
The Gentoo handbooks - http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/ - explain
how to do the install. All stages are available in the
experimental/mips/stages/ directory of Gentoo mirrors, for example
You can track up-to-the-minute work at the git repository -
4. *Debian GNU/Linux* (BJLX / Chinese variant)
This section describes how to install Debian modified for the Yeeloong by
the Beijing Loongson & Debian Users Club.
Note that mainline Debian is working on supporting the Yeeloong / Loongson
at this point, but as of January 2012 this Chinese distribution seems to be
much easier to install and to work better.
The (slight) Debian variant at
http://www.anheng.com.cn/loongson/install/uses the Yeeloong's built-in
tab recovery mode to install - so you just put
a USB key in your Yeeloong with the latest vmlinux and .lzma files and
press tab at bootup when prompted, and then answer some questions.
Note that after the install you'll need to take a few minutes to change
the default language from Chinese to your native language. :-)
Here is an example of the full install process; you'll want to visit the
web site to make sure that the 2011-10-10 image is still the most recent
install image before you do your install. We recommend the LXDE image as it
uses substantially fewer computing resources than Gnome.
Format a USB stick with the ext2 file system and copy the vmlinux and
.lzma file(s) over to it, and then safely remove it from the computer.
Insert the USB stick into the Yeeloong and turn on the Yeeloong. In reply
to prompts do:
“Press Tab to recover” -> press Tab
“Press U to USB recover” -> press U
“Press C to continue” -> press C
“Press Y to recover” -> press Y
And then answer the questions you are asked.
After the install is done press “Enter”, machine should power off. After
that, power the machine back on.
After a short wait you'll be on the LXDE main screen, but most things will
be in Chinese.
To change to English,
a. Open the LXDE main menu by clicking on the icon on the lower left-hand
side of the screen
b. Select the 4th item from the bottom with the right angle and scissors
c. Select the option second from the top named “LX” with the icon of a
computer monitor next to it.
A terminal window should open.
Type “sudo -i” to become root; now would be a good time to do “passwd” to
change your root password, so you can recover more easily should anything
Do “dpkg-reonfigure locales” and deselect all of the options starting with
“zh_” and choose “Ok”. When prompted to choose a default locale on the next
screen, choose “en_US.UTF-8”.
Now do “shutdown -r now” - after your system reboots, everything should be
Note you may need to press Fn-F5 in order to turn on wifi and then wait a
few seconds before wifi / the network-manager tray icon will work.
If you prefer *BSD operating systems, take a look at
6. *NixOS GNU/Linux*
There is a version of the NixOS - http://nixos.org/nixos/ - that works on
the Lemote Fuloong mini-pc, a computer that uses the same processor as the
Lemote Yeeloong netbook.
(Freedom Included donated Fuloongs to the NixOS development team when it
looked like we'd be able to sell them in bulk in the US, which turned out
not to be the case.)
If you want a project and are an experienced GNU/Linux developer, you
could get it running on the Yeeloong if you'd like to spend some time. See
http://nixos.org/wiki/Multiplatform_NixOS and the NixOS mailing list
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