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Old 03-28-2006, 08:00 PM   #1
seelk
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Question Linux installation on mp3 player


I've been contemplating buying a Flash Drive so that I can test linux distros. Then an idea came to mind: what about installing linux on my mp3 player (Zen Sleek 20GB). I mean, it is a storage device... So I ask you experts, is this possible? This would definitely prevent me from buying a flash drive. Please shed some light.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
nguyennh
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Your mp3 player Zen Sleek 20GB does not support any existing Linux OSes . It's not really a computer because the MCU (Micro Controller Unit - like CPU concept) can not do anything except playing music .
 
Old 03-28-2006, 08:12 PM   #3
seelk
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What I meant was using the mp3 player as a USB Storage Device, ala Flash Drive. Since you can install linux OSes in flash drives I thought I would be able to do the same thing on the mp3 player.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 08:25 PM   #4
weimeng4359
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I think it's corresponding to your mp3 player's CPU , if a general CPU architecture , for example , m68k, x86,or arm, just port linux to your system.
But if it is the 8 bit MCU, then I think you should give up your idea.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 08:25 PM   #5
ultramancool
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I think it really matters what you're bios supports and how much you like repartitioning storage devices. If you're bios can boot off of it and you can repartition it, you're good to go.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 08:27 PM   #6
ultramancool
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weimeng4359
I think it's corresponding to your mp3 player's CPU , if a general CPU architecture , for example , m68k, x86,or arm, just port linux to your system.
But if it is the 8 bit MCU, then I think you should give up your idea.
He is talking about booting linux on his box from his MP3 player. Not running linux on his MP3 player, people read before you post.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 09:21 PM   #7
seelk
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ultramancool, you're the only one that has understood what I mean. My bios does support booting from USB devices... I'll see if it's possible to repartition the player.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 09:31 PM   #8
DeusExLinux
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theoritically, it would be possible.. but what you would probably end up doing is losing the firmware on your flash-drive, which could end up brickifying your mp3 player.
 
Old 03-28-2006, 10:00 PM   #9
cs-cam
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I've done that on my iPod but a couple of things to think about before you dive in.

1. As DeusExLinux said, you'll probably lose your firmware. You have a couple of options here, do some research, find out where the firmware lives on the device and use dd to create a backup, it should be at most around 30MB. Another option is to just 'cat /dev/sdx > ~/zen_backup' to create an image of the entire device. It'll work but it'll be 20GB...

2. What kind of storage in used in this device? If it's a spinning disk then running an OS off it will result in considerably more wear and tear than playing music and this will reduce the life of the device big time. If it's solid state (like flash ROM etc) it shouldn't be an issue but it's something you should know about before starting.

Other than that, I installed FreeBSD on my iPod a while ago and it was a fun experiement, but if you want to have this for more than very occasional use, I'd get a USB drive of some description.
 
Old 07-05-2006, 10:42 PM   #10
worldgnat
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Ok, I think some of us are going around the back of our heads to scratch our noses here. Here's what you do to partition it. Turn it on, Go to the main Menu, then Extras, then Removable disk. Press the Menu button (bottom right, whatever it's called), and then set the size you want. Simple enough.

-Peter
 
  


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