A New Hope: Obtaining Debian Squeeze

A project log for Hacking an Iris 3000 Videophone

This project has to do with my attempt of gaining full access to an ACN Iris 3000 videophone.

The SycoraxThe Sycorax 12/23/2020 at 23:490 Comments

[Continued from previous log entry]

As I continued my research, I discovered that the website which explains how to install Debian on an emulated ARM machine (The one that AUTUIN added to his Blogspot article), includes a link to an archive where I could download pre-installed QCOW2 images of Debian Squeeze and run them in QEMU. This was just what I needed and was the only feasible option that I could find for obtaining Debian with a kernel version that was as close to the ACN Iris 3000's as possible. So I decided to go along with it.

The archive includes two versions of Debian Squeeze. The standard version and the desktop version. The standard version is just a basic command line interface, while the desktop version is a fully fledged GUI interface. I decided to download the standard version for performance and compatibility purposes. The files that I downloaded from the archive was the kernel image (vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-versatile), the initrd image (initrd.img-2.6.32-5-versatile), and the RootFS image (debian_squeeze_armel_standard.qcow2).  I had to make sure that everything would run properly in QEMU. Thankfully enough, the page for the archive includes the commands for doing just that. The Linux command to run the aforementioned files in QEMU is as follows:

qemu-system-arm -M versatilepb -kernel vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-versatile -initrd initrd.img-2.6.32-5-versatile -hda debian_squeeze_armel_standard.qcow2 -append "root=/dev/sda1

Upon running the command, a QEMU window appeared and Debian Squeeze began to load up. Within a minute or so I was able to log in by typing "root" as the username and password. Now that I knew that Debian Squeeze could run properly in QEMU, the next step was getting the virtual partition within the QCOW2 image of the RootFS transferred to a physical SD card. At this point I was no longer working with a QCOW image but rather a QCOW2 image which is basically an updated version of the QCOW format. This didn't matter much because both types can be transferred to physical media in the same fashion. 

However, before I did that I needed to know the exact size of the partition within the QCOW2 image so I could determine how much space the SD card should have. This is because QCOW2 images use compression and are read by QEMU in a decompressed manor. The compressed file size of a QCOW2 image dose not equate to the actual size of it's partitions if decompressed, or transferred to physical media. In fact it is multitudes larger. 

So while I was still booted into Debian Squeeze I used the command fdisk -l to determine how big the partition within the QCOW2 image actually is, and found that it is nearly 88 times larger then it's initial compressed size of 305.9 MB. Equating to 26.8 GB if decompressed or transferred to physical media. Now that I knew how big the partition would be when transferred, I decided to use a 32 GB SD card. At this point I no longer had to use QEMU.  

[To be continued in next log entry...]