Gentoo live-USB for Bubba|2 updated (Linux 4.9.72 LTS, profile 17.0)

Discuss development on Bubba
Post Reply
Posts: 172
Joined: 15 Aug 2014, 11:20

Gentoo live-USB for Bubba|2 updated (Linux 4.9.72 LTS, profile 17.0)

Post by sakaki » 05 Sep 2018, 07:29


I've just released version 1.5.0 of the live-USB image of Gentoo Linux for the Bubba|2 (B2) on GitHub (here). The kernel has been upgraded to version 4.9.72. All included packages are up-to-date against the Gentoo tree, as of 3 September 2018. A full package list may be viewed here, kernel config here. Gentoo profile 17.0 is used throughout.

As before, you can burn the supplied image to a USB key (>=8GB, Lexar and SanDisk keys seem the most reliable; please see this note for a quick way to check compatibility), then boot your B2 from it, without affecting any installed (Excito) system on your B2's hard drive. (The compressed image is 352MiB; writing takes between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on your system.) You can even boot a diskless B2! 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 B2'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 B2's internal hard drive too, in case you want to do that).

Summary of changes wrt 1.4.0:
  • As noted above, the subscribed Gentoo binhost (automatically updated weekly) has been migrated to profile 17.0 (at (the binhost allows your B2 to perform fast updates via binary packages where possible, only falling back to local source-based compilation where necessary; using this facility is of course optional).
  • The binhost now also provides an rsync mirror for the main gentoo repo, used to keep the B2's ebuild tree in lockstep with the build server, thereby preventing time-consuming local builds being initiated when large packages, such as sys-devel/gcc, update. The Portage tree is validated using Gentoo's recently-introduced gemato digital signature check.
  • A custom Gentoo profile, gentoo-b2:default/linux/powerpc/ppc32/17.0/b2, is used, which supplies many of the default build settings, USE flags etc., required for Gentoo on the B2, keeping them also in lockstep with the binhost. You can view this profile (provided via the gentoo-b2 overlay) here.
  • A weekly cron job (/etc/cron.weekly/genup) has been installed, to automate the process of keeping your B2 up-to-date (this can be deleted if you prefer).
  • The kernel has been upgraded to 4.9.72 LTS (patched with gentoo-b2-kernel-patches). This is the latest stable-branch long term support version of the kernel for the ppc architecture on Gentoo at the time of writing.
  • All packages have been brought up to date against the Gentoo tree, as of 3 September 2018, and fully rebuilt for profile 17.0.
The GitHub project has an associated wiki. I have a few notes there on how to set up your PC as a cross-compilation / distcc server for the B2, to accelerate builds (you don't need to do this just to play with the image, of course). Feel free to add your own material!

If you wish to manually upgrade from an existing 1.4.0 image (rather than using this 1.5.0 image directly), then please see my release notes here.

Have fun ^-^


Posts: 38
Joined: 01 Feb 2009, 15:25

Re: Gentoo live-USB for Bubba|2 updated (Linux 4.9.72 LTS, profile 17.0)

Post by beatgr » 05 Apr 2020, 07:47

Sakaki -

Thank you for this work.
I pulled out my Bubba|2 , retired after I acquired a B3 (and installed Gordon’s image) a few years ago.
Found a spare WD Red 2 TB drive and used a San Disk Cruzer Fit 16 GB (USB 2.0) for your gentoo-b2 image.

Your instructions were helpful. Set the date, after hard drive install.
Setting Time zone to CST6CDT was easy, but ”en.US.utf8” was not a selection.

Now I have to decide what application/function to use on this small server.


Posts: 1390
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Gentoo live-USB for Bubba|2 updated (Linux 4.9.72 LTS, profile 17.0)

Post by Gordon » 06 Apr 2020, 15:59

Hi Greg,

If you like the Bubba front-end, it should install on the B2 as well. The straight forward `old` method to get the packages is to use `layman` to add the overlay. Since you already have a B3 with Bubbagen you can however also rsync the following for the `new` method:
1. /etc/portage/repos.conf/bubba.conf
2. /usr/local/portage/bubba/

You probably want to copy /etc/portage/package.mask/nodejs as well because I don't think new nodejs will run on ppc either. Emerge `bubba` (not `@bubba`) to install the front-end only. Note that the front-end can also run on nginx to save resources, this only disables the upload facility in filetransferdaemon should you wish to install that.

Post Reply