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If your OpenMoko fails to download packages or package information, there is likely a problem connecting to the network.
Assuming that you have successfully made a usb connection to your OpenMoko, the problem probably lies in your /etc/resolv.conf file or in the host computer's failure to act as a gateway.
If resolv.conf is not set correctly, then your Openmoko won't be able to look up internet host names.
Type ping openmoko.org on your OpenMoko. If the response is something like PING openmoko.org (22.214.171.124): 56 data bytes, then your resolv.conf file is fine. If the result is something like ping: bad address 'openmoko.org', then the problem lies here.
Take a quick look at /etc/resolv.conf. The default contents are
which means that OpenMoko will look to your host computer for name lookups. If your host computer is not configured to act as a DNS server, that will be your problem.
To fix: Examine the /etc/resolv.conf on your own host system. You might typically see
which will either point to the name server provided by your ISP, or (as in this example) another system on your local network, such as your NAT router.
On your OpenMoko, give the command (e.g.) ping 192.168.1.1. If this command succeeds, then it's a simple matter of adding nameserver 192.168.1.1 to the resolv.conf on your OpenMoko device. (Being certain, of course, to use the actual IP address you found on the host system.)
nameserver 192.168.1.1 nameserver 192.168.0.200
If the ping command failed, then it is likely that your host system is not acting as a gateway.
If your OpenMoko is connected to a host computer via USB, then the host computer will need to provide internet connectivity to the OpenMoko. This is known as acting as a gateway.
See Allow FreeRunner to Connect to Internet via USB on the Getting Started page for instructions on configuring this.