I've just released version 1.3.0 of the live-USB image of Gentoo Linux for the B3 on GitHub (here). The kernel has been upgraded to version 3.18.6, and the image now includes (following Gordon's very helpful input) an enhanced set of userspace packages (full list here), precompiled for convenience. All included packages are up-to-date against the Gentoo tree, as of 10 Feb 2015 (and so, of course, shellshock, heartbleed and Ghost fixes have been applied).
As before, you can burn the supplied image to a USB key (>=8GB now, Lexar and SanDisk keys seem the most reliable), then boot your B3 from it, without affecting any installed (Excito) system on your B3's hard drive. (The compressed image is 349MiB; writing takes between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on your system.) You can even boot a diskless B3! No soldering, compilation or U-Boot flashing is required.
The live-USB may then be used as a rescue disk, to play with Gentoo Linux, or as the starting point to install Gentoo Linux on your B3's main hard drive. Any packages you install, or other changes you make, while running the live-USB are saved on the USB key, but do not affect your existing Excito system, so you can run Gentoo for a while, then reboot back into your Excito system and continue to use it as normal, then boot back into the USB at a later date - any changes you made will still be there when you do.
Full instructions are provided on the project's GitHub page (including how to specify initial network settings, so you can ssh in once booted, and how to install Gentoo on your B3's internal hard drive too, in case you want to do that).
Some other changes in this release:
- The same image may now be used to boot both standard and diskless B3s (shifted to UUID-based naming).
- Utilities for (re)building the kernel (buildkernel-b3: source, manpage), and keeping your system up to date easily (genup-lite: source, manpage), are provided.
- You can now use the rear power button to turn off your B3, if you like (thanks to Gordon's ebuild for Tor's bubba-buttond, installed on the image).
- The workaround for the Marvell tso issue has been implemented.
- The supplied system is subscribed to my sakaki-tools-lite and gentoo-b3 overlays, and (Gordon's) bubba overlay.
- The image now includes a 1GiB swap partition (and has more free space on its root); this means you can build even large packages (like boost for example) when running from the USB, should you wish to do so.
- The front LED now shows purple during early boot, rather than turning off, via a slightly modified DTS (provided here). (As before, it turns solid green once Gentoo is running.)
Have fun ^-^