Most recent image for B3

Got problems with your B2 or B3? Share and get helped!
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: 02 Dec 2016, 10:53

Most recent image for B3

Post by seron » 02 Dec 2016, 11:02

I recently acquired a new B3 and would like to know what the most recent image for it is, where it can be downloaded and what the best practice is for configuring this thing for maximum versatility. I'm a long time linux user and can find my way around.

My intention is to use it as a surveillance camera server, e.g. with ZoneMinder. Would it meet requirements for such a setup?

Posts: 388
Joined: 10 Jul 2008, 02:26

Re: Most recent image for B3

Post by Binkem » 02 Dec 2016, 17:02


The last official image is an outdated debian version. There are some (community) alternatives though that may suit your needs (you can look in the development subforum). There is the Bubbagen Live, which is based on Gentoo and which features the normal Web interface. The gentoo linux variant is a bit too involved for me though.
Alternatively there's Mouette's Jessie image which does not include many working packages or a web interface, but does make use of the (to me) familiar Debian setup.
Just have a look and try whichever you prefer. Most of the time there's someone on the forum who can help you out if you run into problems.

Posts: 158
Joined: 15 Aug 2014, 11:20

Re: Most recent image for B3

Post by sakaki » 03 Dec 2016, 08:29

Hi seron,

for convenience, and following on from what Binkem has just said, here is a list of currently available images for the B3, together with some pros and cons (as I see it) for each (I have excluded the last 'official' Debian version, as that is now so old that running it constitutes a significant security risk, particularly if you are hosting an externally visible service on your B3):
  • MouettE's Debian Jessie image.
    • Familiar O/S for B3 users, stable upstream (Debian arm).
    • Probably has the most users of any of these 'alternatives' on the B3.
    • Supported by Mouette who is very competent, a forum admin and works with Rodeus Technologies; if you have problems with this image, you'll be able to get support
    • No admin GUI (if that matters to you), minimal initial package set (but, apt-get!) and networking setup
    • Not a 'live USB' as such, so limited ability to 'try before you buy' (there is a rescue mode)
  • Gordon's BubbaGen Live USB image.
    • A full port of the nice Excito GUI, with modern internals (4.3.0 kernel etc).
    • Live-USB - you can run it without damaging your existing Excito system; install to HDD is optional.
    • Userspace packages can be updated from upstream.
    • Flexibility and currency of Gentoo, a (primarily) source-based, rolling distro.
    • Gordon is a frequent forum contributor and very competent / responsive. If you have issues, I'd be pretty sure he'd get back to you and resolve them.
    • Source-based package update can be very slow (build on B3 required unless you have distcc and/or a trusted & available binhost).
    • Gentoo is a complex distro, should anything go wrong (e.g. during a package upgrade).
    • Kernel update not straightforward (but possible).
    • Uses OpenRC, not systemd (pro or con, you decide ^-^)
  • My Gentoo Live USB image. The same pros and cons as for Gordon's BubbaGen (which used this live-USB as a starting point, originally), but without the nice GUI.
  • My Arch Linux Live USB image.
    • Active, well supported upstream (
    • Live-USB - you can run it without damaging your existing Excito system; install to HDD is optional.
    • Arch Linux is a binary, rolling distro with many packages available, and good docs.
    • You can easily and quickly update your userspace and kernel to latest upstream version (using pacman -Syu) at any time.
    • No admin GUI (although you could install webmin or similar).
    • Uses the (somewhat involved) shorewall firewall front end.
  • My RedSleeve v7 Live USB image.
    • RHEL-like system (although not associated with RedHat), so a familiar O/S for many.
    • Given the heritage, excellent documentation available.
    • Live-USB - you can run it without damaging your existing Excito system; install to HDD is optional.
    • Easily update your userspace applications (using yum).
    • No admin GUI.
    • Uses a custom kernel (the existing RedSleeve version being too old).
    • Upstream development (of RedSleeve) appears not very active.
hth, sakaki

PS I have run a ZoneMinder server on a B3 in the past, and it worked OK for basic usage (simple streaming, periodic snapshots etc.) but didn't have sufficient CPU to do motion detection properly, and I didn't want to use an Intel NUC or similar, so I ended up migrating the app to a Novena SBC instead. Which forced me to port Gentoo onto it ^-^

Posts: 2
Joined: 02 Dec 2016, 10:53

Re: Most recent image for B3

Post by seron » 03 Dec 2016, 10:51

Thank you both very much for your replies. It was exactly what I needed. I like rolling releases and will try the Live-USB dists first. It is somewhat disappointing to learn that it is underpowered for some aspects of ZoneMinder.

Posts: 1287
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Most recent image for B3

Post by Gordon » 04 Dec 2016, 03:46

Jumping in with an addition to sakaki's post:

There are two versions of Bubbagen currently maintained:
  • Version 1.8.2 features the original sakaki kernel version 4.3.0 and uses the "old" OpenRC init system which apart for some renamed commands and conf file locations is very much the same as the original Squeeze based Bubba OS used. Gentoo netconf offers quite a lot of options and I have vlan's and a PPPoE connection configured through it next to the base configuration managed by the web frontend.

    A disadvantage with this version is that networking can become confused when changing a lot of settings through the web frontend, in particular switching Wifi on and off, and you will need to restart the B3 using the button on the back of the device if that happens. Applying changed network settings also takes longer than your web browser will regard as a timeout and reloading the page in such a case is a bad idea because this will usually mean submitting the change to the network configuration again.
  • Version 1.8.5 has a modified kernel. Still 4.3.0, but it uses systemd for starting services. The network configuration backend is Gnome NetworkManager which is a lot quicker in applying changes. An additional advantage is that this release actively monitors network connections and you can reset a DHCP lease (or switch to fallback) by simply unplugging the network cable and back again.

    A disadvantage is that Gnome NetworkManager does not support all methods from netconf and implementations such as PPPoE can be troublesome. It also does not allow setting multiple SSIDs for a Wifi AP, so this is still managed by hostapd (so you can create a guest SSID).
I'm currently involved in another project, but I'm considering pushing a 1.9.0 and 1.9.5 release featuring a newer kernel that addresses Dirty Cow. Most likely 4.4.26 stable, although still not marked as such for arm. Possibly around New Year.

Post Reply