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Cubietruck (Allwinner A20) + Gentoo: My first steps ^^
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sappel23
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:28 pm    Post subject: Cubietruck (Allwinner A20) + Gentoo: My first steps ^^ Reply with quote

Hello everyone,
since I'm sick since a few days (dough!), I got some time to play around with my cubietruck (cubieboard.org for more informations).
It's pretty sweet hardware for such a small device, I want to use it as a XBMC / TV system later on (although the Mali 400 graphics seem to be a pita...)

I played around with arch linux on it, but it didn't feel to comfortable. I only tried ubuntu for a short moment, then I came back to good old gentoo (I'm using sabayon on my notebook these days, used gentoo before on my desktop pc).

So for anyone interested, here is the plan (+ some probably some questions following). It's not a complete tutorial yet, but to line out the steps:

** updated 2014-05-26 **


  • format sd card; using a seperate /boot partition is recommended (it's easier for moving everything to a hdd/sdd later on) (see http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php?topic=788.0 )
  • Put a stage3 tarball on sd card (see http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php?topic=788.0 )
  • put portage-latest in /usr/ on sd card (see http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php?topic=788.0 )
  • set up crossdev on your gentoo x86 (emerge -av crossdev && crossdev -S -v -t armv7a-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi) (see http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php?topic=788.0 + http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/embedded/handbook/?part=1&chap=3 )

  • create your own kernel (based on patrickhwoods sources @github; a good way is to use the def config for cubietruck; when kernel+modules is done, you can already put it on the sd card)
  • alternativly just use patwoods kernel image + firmware/modules

  • u-boot-sunxi (to create the bootloader; available @github; dd to sd card after successfull compilation)
  • sunxi-tools (for fex2bin + bin2fex; to be able to create the script.bin used in /boot)
  • sunxi-boards (with default fex files for different boards, including cubietruck)
  • put script.bin in /boot on sd card -> actually I went for the manual build howto @linux-sunxi.org using boot.cmd + boot.scr -> see http://linux-sunxi.org/Manual_build_howto#boot.cmd
  • empty the root password in /etc/shadow of the sd card

  • boot up

  • set network informations + sshd (auto)start
  • emerge --sync + some basic tools I found helpful (eix, genlop, gentoolkit, usbutils, pciutils, rdate, wpa_supplicant etc)
  • moving everything to SSD (I just used rsync --exclude="/dev" --exclude="/tmp" --exclude="/proc" --exclude="/sys" --exclude="/mnt" -av --delete / /mnt/tmp/ while having my sdd mounted to /mnt/tmp ; after rsync you have to adjust boot.cmd/boot.scr to use /dev/sda1 as root; see http://linux-sunxi.org/Manual_build_howto#boot.cmd )

  • adding cubietruck overlay
  • trying xorg with mali
  • trying xorg with lima

  • trying XBMC (this is what I'm actually looking for...)

  • upgrade to systemd?
  • setting up wifi



The general boot process works fine, eth0 is working as well. I just recompiled my kernel (cross compiling from notebook) to optimize the kernel a little bit and prepare it for systemd.
Current step: Trying to get xbmc installed :)


Last edited by sappel23 on Mon May 26, 2014 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mrkamikaze
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be watching this thread. I run gentoo on my Pi currently for all the houshold server duties but i am wanting to upgrade to a cubietruck as soon as i can afford to. Any gotcha or hangups you can post here would be appreciated. Did you use the cubietruck instructions from their wiki to do the initial install/config?
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KoofyKoof
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi sappel23

I also got a cubietruck and got gentoo running on it. i followed roughly the same steps as you and got it working, but im still struggling on getting the wifi working (mind you i could just use patwoods bcmdhd module, but Im trying to figure out why mine isnt working first)

I'll be following this post too.
If anyone got any question or input to make, well don't hesitate.

I'm using my own kernel by the way, and I've also got a mainline kernel working on it too.
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sappel23
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys/girls,

I'm still trying to get XBMC installed. Since xbmx tries to pull in java stuff, it also pulls in icedtea-bin. But this binary is only precompiled for x86, not arm. So that's the current issue I'm working on.

I haven't looked into WiFi any further, since I'm testing with ethernet right now. The module I compiled with patrickhwoods sources didn't work for me, see this here: http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php/topic,1413.msg16549.html#msg16549

There is no single instruction I followed, it's a mixture of several posts and howtos. But the gentoo howto on linux-sunxi.org is a good start, combined with patrickhwood kernel and some information from http://www.cubieforums.com/index.php?topic=788.0

I'll modify the first post and add some links/infos...
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Tinitus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

is xbmc now working on your cubietruck?

Where can I get a Image for the SD Card? Or can I use a chroot on a running debian System(running on Cubietruck)?
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Chris.B.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What driver is used for the ethernet module? I use their default sunxi kernel, but I have no ethernet devices visible. I suppose it might not be compiled by default...
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