Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

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Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by MouettE » 12 Jul 2019, 23:35

Hello everyone,

I've just release the debian buster image for the B3. As for the stretch image, this image is constructed from 3 different projects : the buster OS image itself, an install/rescue system and an installer script. More details on these further in this post.

Current users of the stretch image can also directly upgrade their system using standard system tools. More details below.

First the link and quick howtos for install and upgrade:
Quick install howto

This works the same way as the stretch image:
  • Unzip the downloaded file on a fat-formatted usb key with a partition table
  • By default the installer will wipe the entire disk. If you wish to keep the existing data of your device, edit the install.ini file inside the install directory and set wipe to false at the bottom of the file. The installer will then only format the first partition of the drive.
  • plug the usb key on the B3 and apply power while pushing the rear button.
  • The rescue/install system will start, format the drive, extract the buster image and reboot the server.
  • By default the network is configured for dhcp on both network interface. It can be changed in the install.ini file (the installer will now copy the network settings from install.ini to the buster system by default. This can be changed in the install.ini file).
  • If the LED turns red, something went wrong. Turn off the server and post the install.log file which is created in the install directory of the key so I can help you out.
  • When the LED is solid blue you can ssh into the box with user 'excito' (no quotes) and password 'excito' (no quotes). Then you can 'su' ; the root password is 'excito' (no quotes).
  • Once you're logged in I strongly recommend to set the locale and timezone of your server (its defaults are POSIX and UTC). Run the following commands :

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    dpkg-reconfigure locales
    dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
Quick upgrade howto

I recommend you go through the busterrelease notes which include upgrade instructions. The only b3 specific task you need to do is to update the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/excito.list and change stretch to buster inside when preparing apt sources (step 4.3 of the upgrade guide)

That being said if you want to go fast and don't mind fixing broken stuff after the upgrade here is a very quick-and-dirty how-to :
  • update packages to the latest version with apt-get update and apt-get upgrade
  • replace stretch with buster in /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/excito.list
  • run

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    apt-get update

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    apt-get dist-upgrade
  • reboot the b3, check the running kernel with uname -a (should be a 4.19.x kernel) and check services with systemctl status
  • Fix whatever needs to be fixed :)
  • run

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    apt-get autoremove --purge
    to cleanup old packages.
OS image contents

The buster OS is a very minimal debian install with only the core packages needed to start and ssh into the server. The image was bootstraped directly from standard debian utils (not built from upgrade of a previous version). There is a github repository which describes all the steps taken to build it.
  • The kernel used is Linux LTS 4.19.x series with Excito patches. This is actually the series used in debian and it's LTS upstream. Sources are available on github
  • Excito-specific packages (kernel, button and led management) are available in a repository I maintain on the Excito servers. The image is pre-configured to use it so further upgrades can be installed with apt tools. Everything is on github too.
  • U-Boot tools are installed and configured so you can play with u-boot if you dare. WARNING this is risky business, use it at your own risk.
  • The root password is 'excito' (without quotes) and I've also created an excito user with the same password. Note that by default in stretch you can not ssh directly as root with a password.
  • SSH host keys are generated on the first boot and it takes a few seconds.
  • The default network configuration is DHCP for both interfaces. It may be overridden by the install.ini configuration.
The install/rescue system

Full sources and rudimentary compilation instructions are available on github.

The installer script

I've also updated the installer script with a couple of fixes and the most-requested option of copying the network settings from the install/rescue system to the installed stretch system. Everything else work the same way and is still configured through the install.ini file on the USB install key. It's heavily commented so all the options can be understood and changed accordingly.

Also in rescue-only or if reboot is disabled, the install script on exit will also still animate the LED to dictate the first IP address of the box. It's bonus 8) and will hopefully make it easier to know the DHCP-attributed address of the server.


As always ask as many questions as you want I will be more than happy to answer them.


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Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by guyran » 26 Nov 2019, 11:07

Having managed to install your excellent package for the recent Buster version of Debian and starting to just harden it with a firewall I discovered a warning that said the root, /usr & /etc are owned by UID 1000 which I discover is the excito user, is there any reason for this other than allowing 'excito' to access these directories on first login?
As I have no further use for this user and have configured ssh access for myself, wouldn't it be more normal to revert to 'root' ownership in this case?
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Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by MouettE » 27 Nov 2019, 15:24


UID 1000 should only own /home/excito. /root, /usr et /etc should be own by root. The installer takes care of that. How did you install the system ?

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Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by guyran » 28 Nov 2019, 07:05

Thanks for the reply. I agree that this is a strange situation because I noticed I was getting "canonicalisation" error messages when using apt and found the reason was the root directory not owned by root. I have modified this and all works well.
In answer to your question, I installed using your "Quick install howto" on the Development section of this forum. I simply modified the install.ini file to specify my LAN's IP configuration. I had to modify the dhcp.conf file after installation to get it to connect to my provider's DNS server, but after that the updating of the locales and time zone went fine.

At the moment I'm copying across the old configuration files from my the old B3 disk, as I've installed your Buster on a larger disk. As I didn't use the bubba web setup a great deal, I've decided that I just want to use the B3 as a file server. I have had to install lvm2 as I noticed on mounting the old partitions that the data partition was a logical volume. I'm not sure that I'll use that structure on my new disk as I'm the only user so I'm not worried about having to possibly expand disk space at a later date.

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Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by OldB3User » 06 Dec 2019, 06:07

Hello. appears to be down for me. Is it for anyone else?

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Joined: 09 Dec 2019, 07:54

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by jcilund » 09 Dec 2019, 08:17

Thanks MouettE for the image, that was a god-send... I've not flashed my B3 in 6 years and initially thought it was its end of life, now I see there's still plenty in it!

OldB3User, looks up for me, but I have not installed the Web UI on my b3 as I'm now running a different solution only to serve photo albums from the server.

For further reference, I had a couple issues during the upgrade and I thought I might document them here
- Power supply failed in the middle of the update and mis-lead me in thinking it was a problem with the server itself, until I tried my router's supply and found out B3 would start... Fixed
- lvm2 issue as guyran described. Here was my fix:

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apt-get -y update;
apt-get -y upgrade;
apt-get -y install util-linux lvm2 sudo
vgscan # returns lvm bubba
vgchange -ay bubba # activate lvm
mkdir -vp /mnt/storage
mount /dev/bubba/storage /mnt/storage
echo "/dev/bubba/storage /mnt/storage ext4 defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

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