so finally I got the debootstrap working. I bothered long enough to get rtorrent compiled when I tried this. With this installed, you have the full advantages of a Debian Linux. And this means getting all the applications like pure-ftpd, rtorrent, apache and a lot more on your WD TV Live. No optware required at all. However, like always, I'm not responsible for anything ;-) Here are the installation instructions:
Installing a small Debian
It's a bootstraped Debian lenny system and was created with debootstrap.
Edit: If you're familiar with debootstrap, there's absolutely no need to download the file. It's just provided for convenience and for people not having a running Linux system at hand.
Copy it over to your WD TV Live to your external storage media (rsync or ftp). It has to be formatted with ext3/ext2. FAT or NTFS will not work. Log in via ssh to your WD TV Live and change into the folder where the tar.bz2 is located. Something like
$ cd /tmp/mnt/<alongstring>/
$ tar xvf wdtvlive-mipsel-debian-lenny.tar.bz2
Now you have a folder called debian-lenny. That's actually a very small Debian system with a minimal package selection.
$ mv debian-lenny .debian-lenny
This just renames the directory so that the mt-daapd service will not scan it. (causes the mt-daapd to run wild).
This is required to setup networking for the debian system (this has to be done everytime you reboot your WD TV Live):
$ mount proc .debian-lenny/proc -t proc
$ cp /etc/resolv.conf .debian-lenny/etc/
$ cp /etc/hosts .debian-lenny/
Now we're nearly finished. Change root into the new Debian (this has to be done everytime you reboot your WD TV Live):
$ chroot .debian-lenny
Now you only see your Debian system when issuing a 'ls /'.
The wdtvlive-mipsel-debian-lenny.tar.bz2 only contained a half-ready system, so we have to finish the bootstrapping process:
$ ./debootstrap/debootstrap --second-stage
Now the debootstrap program will set up the remaining bits of your Debian installation.
$ echo "deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian
lenny main" > /etc/apt/sources.list
This will setup the main lenny repository for mipsel.
Now you're ready to install applications:
$ apt-get update
(and e.g.: $ apt-get install rtorrent)
But finally: Kudos to all the Debian developers!
Setting up a convenient working environment with screen
It's annoying to loose your current status when logging out of the WD TV Live. So screen comes very handy. Download http://rapidshare.com/files/311656483/screen-0.1.app.bin
and put it on the root filesystem of your /dev/sda1. On the next reboot of the WD TV Live, you should have an /apps/screen-0.1/bin/screen to execute. Refer to the /apps/screen/README on how to run it. For further information, please have a look at the screen documentation (it's worth it, really).
Now you can start one single screen on your WD TV Live box. Inside your screen. You can be chrooted into the debian lenny system (see above). From now on, whenever you log into your WD TV Live, you just issue /apps/screen/bin/screen -r and you're there where you left last time. Inside the Debian. And you never ever have to leave again :-)
I actually wrote this down a lot too fast to be able to play around with my new accomplishment, so drop any questions.