Updating Ben NanoNote software

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There are a few different ways to update the software on the Ben NanoNote or to change the software that the device runs when switched on. Some of these methods actually change the internal storage of the device, whereas others just provide additional software that resides on a separate medium.

[edit] Running Software from microSD

If you just want to run an updated distribution without changing the internal NAND storage on the NanoNote, you can install a software image onto a microSD card and then boot from that card using the [POWER] + [M] key combination. This leaves the existing software image intact on the device and therefore lets you go back to that image by just removing the card before switching on again.

To install a software image onto a microSD card...

  1. Make a suitable partition on the card. See the Emdebian documentation for details.
  2. Make a filesystem on the card.
  3. Copy the software image into this new filesystem. This should provide a kernel image and a root filesystem.

The latter two steps are described in the installation section of the guide to updating the NanoNote using a microSD card.

If it becomes desirable to update the internal storage with the software from the microSD card, this process is described in the re-flashing section of the guide to updating the NanoNote using a microSD card.

[edit] Installing Software to the Internal Storage

Choose one of the three methods below to re-flash the NAND internal storage:

  • reflash_ben.sh is the easiest and recommended way.
  • Updating Ben with usbboot involves more manual steps than the first approach but can be more reliable.
  • Updating Ben with an SD involves more steps than the other approaches and requires a microSD card, but is arguably safer and lets you experiment more easily with the software image: you can run the software from the card as described above, and then decide to flash the device.

Regardless of the method you use:

DO NOT USE A USB HUB. Make sure your NanoNote is directly connected to a GNU/Linux PC


[edit] Technical Notes

The NAND in the Ben NanoNote describes the nature of the internal storage, particularly the concept of pages and blocks.

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