Martin Michlmayr

Using U-Boot on the QNAP TS-209

If you have a serial console for your QNAP TS-209, you can use U-Boot, the boot loader used on the TS-209, to restore the original QNAP firmware or load images via the network.

Loading the installer image

You can load the Debian installer image (or other images) via TFTP. First of all, configure the IP address of the TFTP server and of your QNAP:

setenv serverip 192.168.1.2
setenv ipaddr 192.168.1.139

Then specify the command line that should be passed to the kernel. This tells the kernel that the serial console should be activated and that there's a ramdisk that is 4 MB in size.

setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200n8 root=/dev/ram rw initrd=0x800000,0x3fffff

Finally, load the image via the network with TFTP and start it:

tftpboot 0x0800000 initrd
tftpboot 0x400000 kernel
bootm 0x400000

If you'd like to load a kernel image you saved from /boot, please see the instructions on how to prepare the image.

Preparing Debian images from /boot to load

You can copy the Debian kernel and ramdisk from your system to another machine for backup. This way, you can load them via TFTP as described above. However, the files from /boot cannot be used directly but require some modifications before you can use them. You don't have to make these modifications manually since flash-kernel already performs these steps as part of the kernel upgrade process. You can obtain a copy of what's actually written to flash from /var/backups/flash-kernel. You can therefore take the files from that location and use them to boot via TFTP.

mtd1 corresponds to the kernel while mtd2 is the initrd. Therefore, the correct TFTP commands are:

tftpboot 0x0800000 mtd2
tftpboot 0x400000 mtd1
bootm 0x400000