Harddisk in the MyBook Live won’t live forever. Here I describe how to install Debian on a new harddisk.


Read through the original guide. You need to be able to swap the harddisk and therefore open the Mybook Live case. There’s a nice video on youtube how to do this:

It is also very helpful, if you can attach a serial converter to debug the boot process. Otherwise one can just guess problems during boot process in case the system does not come up. Also you will need a running linux system where you can attach the harddisk to.

Partition the harddisk

Partition your harddisk with a gpt partition table e.g. using parted. Create a 8G disk for system as first partition and the rest for data as second partition and third a swap partition (with a couple of GB one should be safe).

Format the first one with ext3, the second one can be any filesystem that your kernel supports (I use ext4). You can format the swap partition after booting.


Debootstrap the system partition according to my original guide. The second stage of debootstrap runs chrooted in target. Since you’re probably running on x86_64 and not powerpc follow the steps in Section QEMU/debootstrap approach of the Cross Debootstrap Guide.

Prepare /boot and compile a kernel

Compile a kernel according to the guide update using a cross compiler (one doesn’t need to build the modules, uImage is fine). Place the resulting uBoot image in /boot and the apollo3g.dtb from the original harddisk as well.

Create a boot.scr with the uboot-tools package as described in the original guide. Since the bootloader is on a separate flash, one doesn’t need to install it as on several other arm boards. Just as a warning - the default kernel config does not support booting using UUIDs as root parameter for the kernel.


Put the hardrive back and see what happens :-)


Many hints in this guide were provided by Lucas Vinicius, thx for that!