Transferring Debian to an SD Card

A project log for Hacking an Iris 3000 Videophone

This project is centered around repurposing the ACN Iris 3000 videophone, with an aim to unlock its full capabilities.

the-sycoraxThe Sycorax 12/31/2020 at 03:390 Comments

[Continued from previous log entry]

To facilitate the transfer of the data within the QCOW2 image to the SD card, I revisited lovelaced's blog post. The blog post suggested converting a QCOW image to a raw image format, then utilizing 'kpartx' to make the data within this raw image accessible on the computer. Following this, 'rsync' would be used to move the accessible data to a USB stick. While this procedure was possible, I found it to be rather time-consuming and not particularly efficient. Consequently, I sought alternative methods.

Upon additional research, I discovered a 2011 Stack Exchange discussion related to transferring a QCOW2 image to a physical disk. The solution proposed in this thread provided sufficient information for me to carry out my task successfully. The suggested command was as follows:

qemu-img convert -f qcow2 -O raw my-qcow2.img /dev/sdb

*This command should not be executed.

This command, like the one proposed in lovelaced's blog post, used the 'qemu-img' utility, but with different set of arguments that alowed for transfer of the conversion and transfer of the QCOW2 image directly to a physical device. I adapted this command to include the Debian Squeeze QCOW2 image and the intended device for the data transfer, in this case the 32 GB SD card. I also appended the '-p' argument to the command which provides a indicator to monitor the transfer progress. The final version of the command was as follows:

sudo qemu-img convert -p -f qcow2 -O raw debian_squeeze_armel_standard.qcow2 /dev/sdb 

*Very Important: Please ensure that the storage device targeted for the transfer is indeed the SD card and not any other drive! This command will completely erase the designated device, so it is absolutely crucial to make sure that the device specified in the last argument of the command corresponds to the /dev/ node of your SD card. You can verify this using the 'fdisk -l' command. I bear no responsibility for any potential damages inflicted on your device(s) as a consequence of following the procedures outlined in this project.

After executing the command, the QCOW2 image transfer began, taking roughly thirty minutes to complete. Upon completion, the SD card was correctly mounted, and housed the entire root filesystem of Debian Squeeze. This marked a successful milestone, as I now had Debian Squeeze loaded onto an SD card. With the SD card prepared, I could now insert it into the ACN Iris 3000 and execute a specific set of commands to switch from the phones internal root filesystem to the one loaded on the SD card.

It's worth noting that utilizing an SD Card, is not a mandatory requirement for the processes I've detailed. Given that the ACN Iris 3000 videophone is equipped with a USB port, a USB flash drive can also serve as a viable alternative for hosting the root filesystem of Debian Squeeze, thereby facilitating its use with the videophone.

[To be continued...]