You need to install ARLO (the boot loader - equivalent to LILO)
onto your psion. To do this, visit the
for ARLO. The procedure has become fairly straightforward, so only a
brief description of ARLO installation will be given here. The latest version of ARLO
can be found HERE, or more locally (and preferably)
The latest ARLO is a GUI that one can start up from the applications panel of
EPOC. It allows the configuration to be adjusted in a user-friendly manner.
ARLO can be installed to either the C: or D: drives as you select - it will work fine from either. However, if you install it on the C: drive, you will need to reinstall it each time you boot Linux.
You may need to set up a configuration file for ARLO if you use an older version of ARLO - see the documentation.
You will need to get a binary linux kernel; making sure you have
the latest kernel is probably a good idea anyways. Obtaining an precompiled
kernel is easiest. I would recommend obtaining one from the
Kernels site at
PsiLinux. Go to the "kernels_must_be_uncompressed" directory and
see the README file there. You will likely need the kernel type that
goes with your model of 5MX (DE, UK, or US). Per the title of that
directory, you have to uncompress the kernel.
uncompressed kernel image and
to the drive on the Psion that you installed ARLO as, e.g.,
At this stage you are ready to startup ARLO, set a few configurations,
and boot into Linux. Double check you have good backups of you Psion and
then start up ARLO. From ARLO you should be able to
use various ARLO configurations to set the
initrd.gz (if you use an initrd.gz), and any options you want to
pass to the kernel (e.g.,
root=/dev/hda2)- follow your nose or see the
ARLO documentation. ARLO can be set to boot from any number of
files or linux systems on disk.
You can easily load a ramdisk (the initrd.gz file) by setting this image in the ARLO configuration.
You may need to pass any other parameters into the kernel you need to type:
/dev/hda2as the root filesystem. If you are using an initrd, you should not use this option.
A full description of kernel parameters can be found in /usr/src/linux/Documentation/kernel-parameters.txt.
In ARLO, highlight the system type you want to boot and hit return; your psion should now boot into Linux! You should see a penguin that goes with the framebuffer. If the system appears faded, set the framebuffer depth to be 2bpp, rather than 4bpp; you can also try "Fn ." to increase the contrast some.
If it does a double bleep and then puts up the EPOC logo, something has
gone wrong. Try double checking the
linux.image file or your
linux configuration. In desparation, try reinstalling ARLO.
If you want to set up your psion to automatically boot into ARLO after a reset/reboot you must create a 'D:\system\data\wsini.ini' file on your CF Fat partition; the ARLO GUI may now be able to set up this procedure for you. The wsini.ini file must be a text file, and it should contain the following line:
This presumes you have the ARLO executable on the d: drive (compactflash)
and the associated ARLO files. You
can see the Psion's default \system\data\wsini.ini file by going to that
directory on the Z: disk (ROM). To see the Z: disk, in EPOC hit "Ctrl, Shift,
Tab". You will have to copy the wsini.ini file to either C: or D: disks, and
then import the text file into Word.
These days you should be able to just execute "shutdown -r now" to get the psion to reboot. If you did not implement a "wsini.ini" file to start up ARLO by default [see above], the machine will boot into EPOC. Alternatively, you can hit the equivalent of "control, alt, delete" by hitting "function, menu, delete" to cause a reboot.
If you are worried, type:
sync three times before starting the
reboot, to be sure that stuff in memory is written to disk.
If your machine is hung for some reason and you need to reset it manually, then:
Open the backup battery door and locate the small copper coloured circle near the battery, using a partly unfolded paperclip or similar, gently press in the copper coloured circle. Now close the backup battery door, and hit the Esc/on key. The machine should beep twice and then display the Psion 5MX splash screen. After a delay while EPOC reads its system out of ROM and reloads it into RAM, you will be back in the EPOC system. [While pressing the Esc/on key you may need to holding down both shift keys press to encourage EPOC to clear all memory, but this is probably not needed any more.]
More hints on reseting the machine can be found on the FAQ/reset page.
Sometimes the reboot will fail because of an erroneous configuration on the compactflash disk - just remove the disk to get it to start EPOC, and then fix what's wrong on the disk (of course).