Rob Clark edited this page Feb 28, 2014 · 8 revisions
Table of Contents

Root password

I'm not actually sure, it seems to have changed since earlier fedora arm filesystems. (If someone knows, please edit this ;-))

What I do after creating a new filesystem is just to mount the disk on my laptop, and edit $mountpoint/etc/shadow and change root to:


(ie. remove what is between the first and second :)

There may of course be other better ways, but that is pretty simple and works for me.

Getting Kernel Traces

If you don't have a debug UART (for example on a form factor device like phone or tablet), you have a couple options. If the device does not reboot before you have a chance to dump traces:

  dmesg > dmesg.txt

I frequently configure the kernel for CONFIG_LOG_BUF_SHIFT=21 to increase the kernel trace buffer size, to avoid loosing traces.

If the device does reboot before you have a chance to collect traces, then the android ram console (CONFIG_ANDROID_RAM_CONSOLE=y) is useful. After reboot, you can get previous boot's traces by:

  cat /proc/last_kmsg > dmesg.txt

(If needed, switch back to a known good kernel to collect traces)

err: request_firmware for vidc_1080p.fw error -2

The vidc driver (hw accel video encode/decode... nothing to do w/ 2d/3d/freedreno) in msm android kernel is particularly badly behaved when it can't load it's firmware. If the driver is compiled into the kernel (not built as a module), it needs it's firmware before the root filesystem is mounted. You either need to put vidc_1080p.fw in the initrd, or disable vidc if you don't need it (CONFIG_MSM_VIDC=n) or build vidc as a module (CONFIG_MSM_VIDC=m) and load it after the root filesystem is mounted.

Making NetworkManager behave

If NetworkManager is eating a lot of CPU, it is probably being confused by the rmnet devices. Ask it to ignore them in /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf :


Getting Busybox (tar, etc)

If you do not have tar on the board/phone/tablet running android, download it from http://busybox.net/downloads/binaries/latest/busybox-armv7l. Use:

adb push busybox-armv7l /system/bin/busybox
adb shell chmod 0777 /system/bin/busybox

Then either use busybox tar ... or create a symbolic link named tar to busybox to use it

Kernel Debugging Options

Useful debug kernel options to enable when debugging kernel problems:


Prebuilt userspace vs system updates

If you are using a prebuilt userspace tarball, and system upgrade (yum/dnf/apt-get upgrade, etc) overwrites mesa/libdrm/xf86-video-freedreno, just re-extract latest prebuilt tarball on top. The most recent prebuilt should be newer version than what is in distro packages.