Sources on the web don’t seem to start at a low enough level, for me. I’ve learned a lot today, but it’s been by bumping my nose a lot.
The Dreamplug, by Compulabs, uses uboot loader. Uboot can only read FAT formatted USB partitions. Uboot, when it reads a kernel, looks for a file “boot.scr” in “/” or “/boot” that has been formatted with “mkimage” — a tool provided by uboot-tools. And the kernel image and initrd need to be packaged by mkimage also.
To be loaded onto an XO, “open firmware” looks for a kernel image which needs to be referenced by a text file called “olpc.fth” in the “/boot” directory. It seems that I may be able to create a FC17 image that fulfills the requirements for both “uboot” and “open firmware”. It would be nice if the install instructions could be as simple as “sudo dd if=<server arm image> of=<device specifier> bs=1M” for both types of machines.
I’ll need to try creating a USB stick with a small FAT partition, and a larger ext3 one for the rootfs (only linux partitions have permissions, and soft and hard links). Of course it may not work the way I picture it.