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Customizing the HP t5325 without opening the box

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There is alot you can do with the box without the need to open the case to gain serial access. Since the box runs on Debian Lenny, you can modify it easily and luckily HP has put no effort in putting limits on the system.

So, what should be installed on the box and should fit within the 512 Mb flash disk, to me that is:
– Iceweasel (already installed)
– Lightweight email client such as Claws
– LXDE as window manager, lightweight, small footprint and fast

First you need to make the filesystem writeable, since this is not the case with the default setting. Note that you have to gain root access to the box for accessing the terminal, that is possible via the launcher menu. Enter the root password (default is “root”), go to the Control Panel, navigate to the last tab and there is your terminal!
vim /etc/fstab
Replace all the ro instances with rw and save your changes.
Now open up the mtab file:
vim /etc/mtab
Again, replace all the ro instances with rw and save your changes.

Now reboot the device by entering:
reboot

When it’s rebooted, regain access to the terminal and modify the APT sources:
vim /etc/apt/sources.list
There are 3 lines, the 3rd one can be deleted, this is the HP repo. Uncomment the remaining lines and save your changes.

Now update your APT packagetree:
apt-get update

When done, start removing some software to create some free space:
Since I don’t have a HP printer, all HP printersoftware can be removed in my case
apt-get purge hplip hpijs
There will remain some junk and we will delete it as well, freeing up 10 Mb:
rm -rf /usr/share/hplip

If you wish to completely remove the printerdrivers on the system, remove foomatic as well:
apt-get purge foomatic-db

Since I want to install LXDE, XFCE4 can be removed in my case:
apt-get purge xfce4

There are other packages that can be deleted, but that’s up to you, if you want to know what’s installed on the machine, issue:
dpkg -l
With grep you can filter out based on your given criteria.
Also a good start when removing the HP software is:
dpkg -l | grep hptc
This will not clear alot of space, but cleans out your packagelist and HP dependencies :).

Now install the software we want, starting with LXDE:
apt-get install lxde
This will install GDM as well, on reboot GDM will be launched, however, produces an error, if you click it away, GDM starts anyway! Next time on boot, the error is gone.

As mailclient, I want to use Claws Mail, but there is one major drawback, it does not support HTML email. There is a plugin that will render HTML for you:
apt-get install claws-mail claws-mail-html2-viewer
Once installed, activate the plugin in the Plugins section in Claws.

Additionally I wanted to use it for music listening, I have my music on a NAS / Usb drives, so a simple yet powerful mediaplayer would be nice, for this example I used smplayer, an extension on mplayer:
apt-get install smplayer
You can use it to listen to your music, internet radio and watch video’s on them, however, the CPU will be your bottleneck in this. When playing a simple MP3 file, the CPU usage went up to 20%, making working on the device still at an acceptable level.

If you make any mistakes during this process and the device won’t boot properly anymore, see my Downloads section for a rescue image, which can be extracted to a FAT32 formatted USB drive. When the device is off, press the powerbutton twice within 2 seconds and you can restore the factory image!

Author:langerak

One response to “Customizing the HP t5325 without opening the box”

  • Victor 26-04-2014 at 03:47 Reply 

    It sounds like a joke but I spent 2 days trying to recover the original image and finally it didn’t work because of usb stick. It should be partititioned and formatted under a windows system. any linux fdisk etc. won’t work… even if you change things like filesystem type etc.


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