Arch Linux on B3

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Cilyan
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 10:55

Arch Linux on B3

Post by Cilyan » 13 Oct 2014, 15:42

Hi there,

since a little more than a year, I run Arch successfully on my Bubba, and I wanted to share how I brought my device from a basic Arch install to a functional home router. I updated the wiki page, but I would need proof-reading, it's been a rather long time since I configured mine.

URL looks too spamy, so please go to the wiki and find the tutorial "Running Arch Linux", section "I have Arch, now what?"...

Any suggestion is also welcomed.

Cilyan

Ubi
Posts: 1547
Joined: 17 Jul 2007, 09:01

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Ubi » 14 Oct 2014, 00:57


Henri
Posts: 62
Joined: 14 Jul 2009, 07:56

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Henri » 14 Oct 2014, 14:56

Thank you Cilyan.

I read through your thorough Arch Linux guide. I have not yet tried to install Arch but maybe later.
I had Arch in one of my desktops few years ago and loved how pure the installation was, without nothing useless like other Distro's have.

Couple things come to mind, which might be helpful for a new Arch Linux user to get started.

Updating Arch in Bubba is probably similar as with desktop.
# pacman -Syy (update repository database)
and then
# pacman -Su (do the update)

How about file sharing with Samba or NFS?
Quick guide for setting up Samba or NFS could be nice.

Gordon
Posts: 1367
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Gordon » 14 Oct 2014, 15:38

Although I like the initiatives to get the software on our B3's up to date, flooding the wiki with howto's that essentially start with 'buy a soldering iron' isn't really the way to go. I also don't really like the start with mint something and work your way from there instructions. In that aspect the B3 Gentoo project is a breeze, being a turn key solution that will run on a stock B3. I'd like to see more of those, because I have a life, and a wife, and kids, and not enough B3's to not worry about needing a month to get one running.

bIO
Posts: 12
Joined: 26 Sep 2013, 12:53

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by bIO » 14 Oct 2014, 18:42

Gordon wrote:Although I like the initiatives to get the software on our B3's up to date, flooding the wiki with howto's that essentially start with 'buy a soldering iron' isn't really the way to go. I also don't really like the start with mint something and work your way from there instructions. In that aspect the B3 Gentoo project is a breeze, being a turn key solution that will run on a stock B3. I'd like to see more of those, because I have a life, and a wife, and kids, and not enough B3's to not worry about needing a month to get one running.
Just wanted to chime in on this one. Gordon, I fully understand you, but the Wiki entry conatining the Serial console prerequisite was there long ago.

Cilyan fixed the "internal" links which were wrong in the first place and added information to setup Arch in a way that resembles Excito's style - correct me if I'm wrong.

So thank you for your contribution, Cilyan. :)

Gordon
Posts: 1367
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Gordon » 15 Oct 2014, 04:08

I get that, and if I were to brick my B3 somehow I would not hesitate to grab that soldering iron. If that means bricking it completely because I made a mistake somewhere, than it will be no loss. From the point of having a working B3 though, the serial access manual will probably only target maybe 20 owners, with one going Arch, one going Wheezy, etcetera, etcetera.

Check THIS topic. There are many other users that don't like the build your own hardware approach. And there will probably be about as many people that don't like to build their own OS from scratch, but will have less to no issues expanding and customizing any turn key solution that may be offered here. After all, that's why most of them got a B3 in the first place even though it was twice the price of a QNAP (or thereabout).

Cilyan
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 10:55

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Cilyan » 16 Oct 2014, 09:13

Hi all !

@Henri: I won't be able to write a better howto than the official one: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Samba Follow the section "Server Configuration", it will do very well on the Bubba once you have your basic system running.

A soldering iron is not required to setup Arch on your Bubba, despite what could be understood from what Niels wrote on the wiki page. Updating the U-Boot can be done from a previous system or a rescue USB, Arch can be installed using the same procedure as a rescue install (just replacing the tarball). From there, you should get an SSH access to your Bubba on the wan interface. If you are careful with your setup steps, you always manage to get an access back between reboots. If you loose the access, you can boot from a rescue (without installing) and try to fixup things. Now with systemd's journal, you should be able to get a better view of what is going wrong during startup, unless it's the kernel that's not booting.

However, anyone who wants to play with a non official disk image, or a custom U-Boot should be ready to grab a soldering iron and a TTL. And IMHO, it's extremely exciting and part of the fun! If they are not, they should not go for Arch in the first place...

Finally, my main Bubba is both my router and the git server of my coding team, so I can't really put it down just for fun. But if someone is willing to create an Arch-based ready to go tarball (or rather a tarball creation script), I'm in. :)

past_51
Posts: 22
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 06:27

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by past_51 » 23 Oct 2014, 12:38

Hi,

I'm checking to do the same, but just thinking about the partition alignment (I have a WD RED of 4TB).
Did someone take care of that ?

I thought to plug my disk to a desktop Linux, create partitions and LVM volumes, then use the recovery process without erasing data.

What do you think about that ? Someone has a better way to achieve that ?

Thanks,
past_51

Gordon
Posts: 1367
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Gordon » 23 Oct 2014, 14:51

If you're building something completely new, I'd move swap forward on the disk. The way the Excito installer partitions the disk, with swap on the slowest part, is really not the best example. Moving on to a 3.xx kernel I'd also opt to use btrfs, which seems a lot more transparent than LVM when it comes to configuring multi-disk operation and recovery. But your mileage may vary.

past_51
Posts: 22
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 06:27

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by past_51 » 24 Oct 2014, 07:31

Thanks Gordon,

I will do the same (brtfs+swap).
As understood from the wiki, I have to boot on the rescue system, then I can re-partition my internal disk (for partition alignment), format partitions, download Arch and unpack it.
And for any problem, we have the rescue system...
Sounds good :)

Cilyan
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 10:55

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Cilyan » 24 Oct 2014, 15:36

If you can take out your HDD, you can also install directly on it. That's how I did when the original SSD died. :)

past_51
Posts: 22
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 06:27

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by past_51 » 26 Oct 2014, 06:06

Hi Cilyan,

Ok, but do you have to load a bootloader on the HDD first ? And for that do you have - for the 1st time - to install the original B3 image ?
I mean, could you install directly a new HDD like that ?

Cilyan
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 10:55

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by Cilyan » 26 Oct 2014, 07:21

The bootloader resids on the flash memory, on the motherboard. It will load any uImage it finds on the first partition of the first sata disk[1]. You need nothing in the disk's MBR like you do for a desktop computer.

That said, (in case it is not clear) to boot the latest kernel from ArchlinuxARM you will need an updated UBoot. For this there are several techniques (search the forum for "u-boot", if you need help I can explain further).

[1] https://github.com/Excito/community-b3- ... ba3.h#L212

sakaki
Posts: 172
Joined: 15 Aug 2014, 11:20

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by sakaki » 26 Oct 2014, 14:25

If you'd like to try Arch Linux without reflashing U-Boot, I've put together a live-USB that should run on any standard B3 (see this thread).

If any of you experienced Arch users get a chance to try it, and find something wrong in there, please let me know! (I use Gentoo mostly, so it's quite possible!) ><

best,
sakaki
PS - obviously, the downside of the my approach is that it requires a custom kernel, rather than the standard one, so although you can use absolutely use pacman to update all userland stuff, the kernel must be rebuilt if you want to upgrade it. The version in the live USB image is 3.17.1.

past_51
Posts: 22
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 06:27

Re: Arch Linux on B3

Post by past_51 » 27 Oct 2014, 18:48

Hi Cilyan,

Thanks for this info. Yes, I already updated my uboot.

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