Interest in alternative OSes for A10 Lime

Started by lubod, April 09, 2014, 04:58:09 am

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Anyone running something besides Android, Debian, Ubuntu on a Lime?

Another Linux distribution perhaps? I see links to Tiny Core among others.

BSD anyone? Both FreeBSD and OpenBSD armhf (or as they call it armV7) are under heavy development. Not sure about NetBSD, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are doing the same. One of their mottoes is "of course it runs NetBSD". I read once they've run it on the embedded electronics of a toaster. I'm interested most in OpenBSD (pf is supposed to be a kick ass packet filter), then FreeBSD (for ZFS).

OpenBSD has a file to copy to an SD card to kick off installation. But there is no video during the install, you must have a serial console first, then maybe video after it installs. I'm also trying to get some of this working in qemu-system-arm (on x86 Ubuntu PC host). I found instructions how to do it with Debian, but trying to adapt them to boot other Linux distros (not so bad) and other OSes like BSD (much tougher).

Debian (and it's derivatives I think) don't need much to boot. A valid arm (or armhf) uImage and script.bin on the FAT partition, a valid rootfs on the ext3 partition, and uboot with spl written with dd, and it boots, with network access and ssh server, if configured. Other Linux flavors should be similar. BSD or other OSes, needs more mysteries solved it seems.


I'm running openSUSE Factory on an A10 Lime without any problems, both u-boot as well as Kernel (mostly standard sunxi 3.4.79, enabled modules similar to standard openSUSE kernel) compiled myself. I'm currently creating openSUSE rpms for u-boot, sunxi-tools, sunxi-boards and sunxi-kernel and will make them available after successful testing.

I use my A10 Lime as backup router and server to provide essential network services (high availability through corosync / pacemaker, firewall setup, failover dhcp, dns and radius server)...

Arnd (DJ9PZ / AB2QP)


Nice Arnd. I take it that's something like a HAM radio handle next to your name?

I wouldn't mind running OpenSuse, and am glad it works with Linux distributions other than those based on Debian, but my main interest is non-Linux OSes like BSD, not for any political/licensing reasons, but the technology itself, features which BSD has and are either lacking, or less developed in Linux like the PF packet filter, kernel mode ZFS, Dtrace, etc.

P.S. You may have an even easier process for preparing SD cards for the Lime, like writing an image with DD, but if your process is at all like the one described in the Olimex blog, I put together a bash shell script to automate the formatting of the SD card (step 4 in their instructions). It's posted in this forum.