I've just released version 1.2.0 of the live-USB image of Arch Linux for the B3 on GitHub (here). All included packages are up-to-date against the Arch tree, as of 10 November 2015 (and so, of course, shellshock, heartbleed and Ghost fixes have been applied). As before, the kernel used is (via some kexec trickery) that supplied by Arch Linux ARM, so can be kept up-to-date (along with the rest of your packages) with a simple pacman -Syu.
You can burn the supplied image to a USB key (>=4GB, 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 155MiB; writing takes between 5 and 15 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 Arch Linux, or as the starting point to install Arch 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 Arch 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.
Arch Linux, like Debian, is a binary distribution, so you can install new packages and update your B3 very quickly (using the command "pacman -Syu", see below). This new release of the live USB has some significant new features:
- Networking / initial login now simplified: on first boot, the eth1 (lan) interface has a DHCP (dnsmasq) server running, the eth0 (wan) interface is set up as a DHCP client, and shorewall is configured to provide forwarding etc. (the basic setup follows that outlined in my wiki page here). The WiFi interface (where available) is also enabled by default (SSID b3, password changeme), using hostapd, and is bridged with eth1 on br0. As a result, new users can simply hook their PC up to the B3 by Ethernet cable (to the LAN port), or connect via WiFi, without having to specify initial detailed network settings. For external internet access, the B3 may be connected to an ADSL/cable router etc. via the WAN port. (Of course, once logged in, users can configure whatever network setting is desired). As a result, the copynetsetup service is no longer enabled. Also, because forwarding is enabled by default, connected clients should be able to browse the web etc (assuming the WAN port is hooked up). The (new) initial networking setup of the B3 when started from the live-USB is shown below:Login via eth1/WiFi is still possible, even if the eth0 (wan) interface is disconnected, or the wan network does not support DHCP.
- The WiFi interface is now renamed wlan0, via a udev rule.
- Migrated from netctl to native systemd network interface management (as recent changes in systemd appear to have been causing some issues).
- Fixed install_on_sda.sh and install_on_sda_gpt.sh scripts (they were not copying the /opt directory).
- Explicitly specified PermitRootLogin yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config (as not allowed by default in openssh v7), which has caused some people to get locked out when they upgraded.
Once logged in, you can then play around with Arch. For example, install the apache web server:
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[root@archb3 ~]# pacman -Sy (confirm if prompted, this is equivalent to apt-get-update on Debian) [root@archb3 ~]# pacman -S apache (confirm if prompted, this is equivalent to apt-get-upgrade ... on Debian)
Bring all packages (userspace and kernel) bang up to date:
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[root@archb3 ~]# pacman -Syu (confirm if prompted; like apt-get update && apt-get upgrade on Debian)