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Debian on the Efika-Board

I received an efika board at the end of 2006. Now I had some time to investigate on that. I want to use Debian on the board of course to be able to work on grml-ppc.

My setup involves the following hardware:

  • the efika board ;)
  • a 2.5" western digital harddisk
  • an ATX power supply
  • a nullmodem cable
  • an USB to IDE/SATA adapter
  • my laptop with ethernet cable plus USB to serial adapter running grml

First of all I downloaded d-i image from and copied it to the harddisk intended for use in the efika board. Then I connected the efika board with my laptop using the USB to serial adapter and the nullmodem cable. Giving power to the board using the ATX power supply and starting screen on my laptop then:

% screen -S console -m -c /dev/null /dev/ttyUSB0 115200

There we are – the board is booting:

screenshot of booting efika

The ‘ok’ is the bootprompt of the OpenFirmware. Using the command devalias I can figure out that the harddisk is accessible via hd:0 so my commandline looks like:

boot hd:0 di_efika root=/dev/sda1 console=ttyPSC0 rootdelay=20

And then we are booting into d-i:

screenshot of d-i at efika

Using grml-router I can use my laptop as gateway for setting up network stuff within a few seconds. So just stepping through d-i then. If you need further assistance take a look at Efika Install @

Then I downloaded kernel and modules from and installed them. After some more fine-tuning (installing ssh server package, activating network interface,…) I could boot into my Debian system using:

boot hd:1 /boot/kernel_efika root=/dev/sda2 console=ttyPSC0

If you notice any problems with your system the bootoptions ‘rootdelay=20 panic=10 init=/bin/sh’ might be useful for further investigation.

The last step included installing zsh and vim using grml’s configuration files of course. :-)

screenshot of login

Finally JFTR:

root@grmlppc ~ # cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
cpu             : G2_LE
clock           : 396.000000MHz
revision        : 1.4 (pvr 8082 2014)
bogomips        : 65.53
timebase        : 33000000
platform        : Efika
machine         : EFIKA5K2 CHRP PowerPC System
revision        : 2B3
vendor          : bplan
root@grmlppc ~ # lspci
00:1c.0 Bridge: Motorola MPC5200B
root@grmlppc ~ # free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        125080      29736      95344          0       2244      18408
-/+ buffers/cache:       9084     115996
Swap:       979956          0     979956

Useful resources:

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