Jun 302012
 

As most of you know, I have 2 Raspberry Pi.  One has tons of storage, that I do a lot of my hacking on, and development. The other has less storage, I usually keep clean, and don’t do anything funky on it. I like the second to have a clean usable image (even though this doesn’t make sense, and I don’t use it in production, I call the second my “Production Pi”, the first is my “devpi”).

For my development Raspberry Pi, I maintain two installs. One install is a Fedora 17 ARM install with my own kernel that all fits on a 16GB SD card, but my second install (the crazy packed install) actually boots it’s kernel off a small 2GB SD card, and loads it’s rootfs off of a external 500GB USB drive. The SD card install was easy, however the rootfs on USB took a bit of work, I’m going to share with you how I did this.

To have your Raspberry Pi use a rootfs off a USB drive you will need to know what modules your USB drive currently uses on a un-modified Raspberry Pi kernel, and you will need a seperate linux box, and SD card reader/writer to prepare the rootfs and perform these instructions. In my case, I used my 16GB install as a template and cloned it to my 500GB USB drive.

DISCLAIMER: These instructions are what I did to setup a rootfs on a USB device. I am in no way telling you to follow these instructions, and if you do, and any damage occurs I am not liable or responsable. These instructions if not followed properly can cause damage to your existing linux install on your computer and your Raspberry Pi. Only follow these if you understand them.

 

Let’s get started, first let’s prepare the new bootable SD card which loads our kernel:

1) First we want to take a image of the partition table, and boot partition we already boot from on our existing working Raspberry Pi Fedora 17 ARM install. We only want to image the partition table and boot partition. First we use fdisk to find out how big the boot partition is:

fdisk /dev/sdb

Press “p” and hit enter to print the partition table. In my case it outputted:

Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.21.2).

Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdb: 16.0 GB, 16009658368 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 15268 cylinders, total 31268864 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *          63     1044224      522081    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sdb2         1044225    27074558    13015167   83  Linux
/dev/sdb3        27074559    31268863     2097152+  83  Linux

This shows that my boot partition starts at sector 63 and goes till 1044224. Each sector is 512 bytes, for a total boot partition that is 534642688 bytes, or ~509 megabytes. The reason that the partition starts at sector 63, is because everything prior to that on the SD card contains partition information, etc… When we image, we will start from the beginning to grab that partition information. After you record the End sector for your boot partition, hit “q” and enter to exit fdisk.

Let’s create the image. In order to do this, you need to find out what sd* device your SD card is on your current system. If you do a dmesg after connecting the sd card, you should see it. Make sure you choose the correct sd* or you could damage your current linux system. In my case, after I connected the SD card to my linux workstation, it became /dev/sdb.

Let’s make the image:

dd if=/dev/sdb of=image.img bs=512 count=1044224

This will create an image called image.img of the boot partition and partition table. Notice how we use a bs=512 (this is because each sector is 512 bytes), and a count=1044224 (this is the end of the boot partition).

 

2) Let’s copy the SD Card’s rootfs to a external drive! Hook up your empty external hard drive. On this drive we will do a few things. First, partition the drive so we have two partitions (one for the rootfs, and one for swap), then we will make the filesystems, and finally copy over the rootfs to the new drive.

In my case, when I hooked up my external drive to my computer, it was assigned as /dev/sdc, the SD card is still /dev/sdb. Keep in mind this may be different on your computer, if you use the incorrect values, you may actually damage your current linux workstation. You can always use dmesg after hooking up a usb device to find out what sd* it was assigned.

First let’s create a patition table on the usb drive. Again, on my computer the usb drive is sdc, your’s may be different.

fdisk /dev/sdc

In fdisk, we will create a partition for an ext4 filesystem. Press “n” for new partitions, follow the instructions, create a primary partition, and let fdisk choose the start and ending. This will use all the space on the hard drive. When done creating, press “w” and enter to write the partition table. This created the /dev/sdc1 partition. Now we need to create the filesytem and label it.

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc1 -L rootfs

This creates a ext4 filesystem and labels it “rootfs”.

 

3) Let’s copy the old rootfs to the new one. First we need to mount both of them, and copy everything over.

To do this, we are going to create two folders which we will mount both of the rootfs too.

mkdir rootsource

mkdir rootdest

Then we will mount them:

mount /dev/sdb2 rootsource/

mount /dev/sdc1 rootdest/

And finally, we will copy over the rootfs and then unmount the mounts

cp -afv rootsource/* rootdest/

umount rootsource/

umount rootdest/

You have now copied over the root filesystem from your SD card, to the external USB drive.

 

4) Now we are done with the original SD card, you can remove it, and put in your new SD card which will be used to boot the kernel.

First we need to write the image that contains the partition table, and boot partition. We do this by writing the image file you created above to the NEW SD card. Again, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT /dev/sd* device the new card is being recognized as.

dd if=image.img of=/dev/sdb

This will write the image to your new SD card. After this, even though we only took the partition table, and the boot partition, the partition table still contains information of the old rootfs. Let’s clean this up (even though we don’t have to).

fdisk /dev/sdb

Inside of fdisk, we will hit “D” to delete all bogus partitions EXCEPT for the boot partition. In my case I had 2 I had to remove, partition 2 and 3. You will probably only have one, which will be partition 2. After you’re done deleting, hit “w” and enter to save.

 

4) Now we have to go to the boot partition and prepare it to boot off the USB drive.

Let’s create a directory to mount and work inside of, then we will update the cmdline.txt file which the Raspberry Pi uses for information to boot from.

mkdir bootmount

mount /dev/sdb1 bootmount

nano bootmount/cmdline.txt

We are now looking at the cmdline.txt file. We need to update it to boot from the USB drive rootfs partition which we created above. Keep in mind, when you hook the USB drive up to your Raspberry Pi, it will be the only /dev/sd* device, so it will probably appear as /dev/sda if you have no other USB drives connected to it. Update yours, here’s an example of mine:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/sda1 rootfstype=ext4 rootwait text

Save and close the cmdline.txt and then unmount.

umount bootmount

 

So here is where we sit (in order):

-We imaged the old boot partition

-We prepared the new USB drive

-We copied the rootfs to the new USB drive from the SD card

-We wrote the boot image to the new SD card

-We configured the new SD card to boot using the external drive as a root fs.

 

All we have left to do is to is connect the USB drive to your Raspberry Pi, and insert the new boot SD card in to the Pi as well. Boot your Raspberry Pi, if all is well, it should boot off your new rootfs (on the USB drive). This will improve speed since the USB drive is WAY faster than the SD card, and now you’re SD card will only be used to boot the kernel.

Important Notes:

-If these instructions don’t work, chances are your USB device may require a driver that is not built in your current Raspberry Pi linux kernel, you will need to identify what module your USB device uses by issuing a “lsmod” when you have booted off your old SD card, then re-compiling the kernel with this built in to the kernel and NOT as a module. Instructions on compiling a kernel can be found here: http://www.stephenwagner.com/?p=616

-If you really feel comfortable with Linux, after you do this, you could re-size the partitions, and create a SWAP partition for your Raspberry Pi. ONLY setup a Swap partition if you are using an external USB drive, as SD Card’s are NOT fast enough, and swap’ing can actually limit the life of a SD card due to the I/Os.

Jun 302012
 

A number of projects I’m currently working on and some that I haven’t even started yet, require me to compile my own kernel. The reason I need to do this is to be able to build various code in to a live running kernel, or make various modules available for hardware/applications I need or will need in the future.

 

A few reasons why you may require a custom built kernel:

-Hardware support for particular hardware you are using

-Support for USB drives, USB devices, Wifi, etc…

-Support for kernel features (special networking features, software features, etc…)

-Built support for booting off different rootfs devices (NFS, iSCSI, USB devices)

The list goes on and on, but you have the idea. And chances are if you came to this page, you already have your reason, you’re just trying to figure out how. Well it’s pretty easy on Fedora 17 ARM on your Raspberry Pi. Keep in mind you can use a cross-compiler and build the kernel on your desktop x86 machine and move it over, but I preferred to actually build the kernel on my Raspberry Pi.

Here’s how:

1) First let’s grab all the packages we need. We will issue a yum command to make sure we have the compilers, libraries, and other stuff we will need. We will also install “screen” so that we can hide the terminal session where we are compiling so you don’t need to leave your ssh session open.

yum install gcc gcc-c++ gcc-gfortran glib libtool gtk+ gtk+extra gtk2 git ncurses-devel kernel-headers screen

This will install everything and any dependencies that are required.

 

2) Let’s start a screen session. A screen session is a terminal session you can attach/detach on demand. Think of it as a terminal that you can keep open even in the back ground. You can start it in a ssh session, close your ssh session, and then connect back to the screen session later when you ssh back in.

screen -S kernelcompile

This starts a session called kernelcompile. At any time you can detach the session by pressing Ctrl+A then pressing the “D” button. To re-attach, simply issue “screen -r”.

 

3) Download the kernel sources (with the Raspberry Pi patches built in). You can grab a copy off of the snapshot off the github Raspberry Pi kernel repo.

wget https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/tarball/rpi-patches
mv rpi-patches kernel.tar.gz

tar zxvf kernel.tar.gz

This will download the sources as a file called rpi-patches, and we just rename it then untar it.

 

4) In my case, it resulted in a folder called “raspberrypi-linux-f679f05″. Here we change directory in to the kernel source, and setup the default kernel config options. And then run “make menuconfig” to bring up the script to allow us to configure our kernel. This is where you choose your options as to what you want to build in to the kernel, and what you want to build as kernel modules that can be loaded after the kernel is booted.

cd raspberrypi-linux-f679f05

cp arch/arm/configs/bcmrpi_defconfig .config

make menuconfig

IMPORTANT: You need to append a version on to the kernel version number, so that you don’t screw your current existing modules up (since there’s a chance if you didn’t edit this, they would be overwritten, or your build would fail when building your modules. You can do this in “make menuconfig” under General Setup. Or you can edit your .config file:

nano .config

Look for “CONFIG_LOCALVERSION”. In my case, mine is set to: CONFIG_LOCALVERSION=”.001″ this will put a .001 at the end of the kernels versions tring, and also after the module version number. Example: /lib/modules/3.1.9.001

After you are done with menuconfig, simply exit out of “make menuconfig” and save your config.

 

5) Now it’s time to start the compiling process. Typing “make” will compile the kernel, and typing “make modules_install” will build the modules and install them to the “/lib/modules” directory.

make

make modules_install

cd..

If the building completed then you have successfully built a linux kernel for the Raspberry Pi and also built/installed the modules that come along with it… We aren’t done yet though. We issue a cd.. to get out of the kernel source directory and back in to the directory that holds it.

 

6) Next we need to download the Raspberry Pi tools which will contain a python application called “imagetool-uncompressed.py”.

wget https://github.com/raspberrypi/tools/zipball/master

mv master tools.zip

unzip tools.zip

We have downloaded the tools, and unzipped them. It might be an idea to issue a “ls” to note the name of the directory it created.

 

7) No we need to enter the tools directory. In my case the directory was called “raspberrypi-tools-772201f” but it will be different for you. After we will build the image.

cd raspberrypi-tools-772201f/

cd mkimage/

python2 imagetool-uncompressed.py /path/to/kernel/source/raspberrypi-linux-f679f05/arch/arm/boot/Image

Note, you will have to also change the directory after the imagetool command to directory where you built your kernel. Once this runs, you will be left with a kernel.img file inside of the directory you are currently in. First we will back up the existing kernel, then copy the new kernel to your /boot/ directory.

IMPORTANT: Once you overwrite your existing kernel, if your kernel build was bad, or you don’t have what’s needed to boot, your kernel MAY not boot. This will cause you to restore your old kernel which I am NOT going in to in this blog post!

mv /boot/kernel.img /boot/kernel.img.bak

cp kernel.img /boot/

Above, we have changed the name of your current kernel and added a .bak to the end. Then we copied the new kernel made to the boot directory.

 

Now you can simply reboot your Raspberry Pi, and BAM, with luck you’ll be running your own kernel.

 

PS. If you ever want to back this kernel up, all you need to do is copy kernel.img (in /boot/) to a safe place, and make a copy of your /lib/modules/kernelversion (in my case /lib/modules/3.1.9.001) directory. If you ever re-image your Pi and want to use the kernel you just built, you can copy the kernel.img and the modules directory to the new image and you are good to go! Might also be worth while to make a backup of your kernel sources and imagetool if you need it again!

Jun 292012
 

As most of you have read, I received 2 X Raspberry Pi the other day. I’ve been actively hacking and working away on these lovely little devices.

One of the projects I wanted to do, was get Lio-Target (iSCSI Target) running on the Pi. I know that the Pi doesn’t have gigabit networking, but I thought this would still be an interesting proof of concept. Anyways, I got it running, and I have succesfully connected to a USB storage device which was configured as a iSCSI target on my Pi, from my Windows 7 workstation.

This is a brief overview, I will be providing instructions in detail at a later date. Here’s how I did it:

1) Download Fedora 17 for ARM (build for Raspberry Pi).

2) Put latest Firmware and Kernel from Raspberry Pi github repo on to the boot partition. Resize my 16GB card so I have boot, root, and a 2 GB swap.

3) Download snapshot of Raspberry Pi kernel sources. I built the iSCSI Target as modules (I also threw in some other stuff for future projects but it’s not important right now).

3) Install compilers, libraries, etc for kernel build process.

4) Compile kernel

5) Build Raspberry Pi kernel image using Raspberry Pi image tools on github repo, copy to boot.

6) Boot off new kernel

7) Install Target CLI from yum (this was a nice change from compiling on my own), and then build Lio-Utils (this isn’t mandatory, but I like Lio-utils).

8) Configure target, connect, test.

Here’s a copy/paste of proof I have it running!

[root@fedora-arm lio-utils.git]# uname -a
Linux fedora-arm 3.1.9.001 #1 PREEMPT Thu Jun 28 16:40:46 MDT 2012 armv6l armv6l armv6l GNU/Linux
[root@fedora-arm lio-utils.git]# w
09:12:10 up 34 min,  5 users,  load average: 0.99, 1.51, 1.10
USER     TTY      FROM              LOGIN@   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
root     pts/0    host.digitall 31Dec69 22:38   2.27s  0.02s tail -f /var/log/messages
root     pts/1    host.digitall 31Dec69  0.00s  1.19s  0.05s w
root     pts/2    host.digitall 08:58   13:24  13.89s 13.04s top
root     pts/3    host.digitall 31Dec69  0.00s  0.00s   ?    –
[root@fedora-arm lio-utils.git]# /etc/init.d/target status
[---------------------------] TCM/ConfigFS Status [----------------------------]
\——> iblock_0
HBA Index: 1 plugin: iblock version: v4.1.0-rc1-ml
\——-> array0
Status: ACTIVATED  Execute/Left/Max Queue Depth: 0/128/128  SectorSize: 512  MaxSectors: 240
iBlock device: sdb  UDEV PATH: /dev/sdb
Major: 8 Minor: 16  CLAIMED: IBLOCK
udev_path: /dev/sdb

[---------------------------] LIO-Target Status [----------------------------]
\——> iqn.2003-01.org.linux-iscsi.fedora-arm.armv6l:sn.4682cf8cdeec
\——-> tpgt_1  TargetAlias: LIO Target
TPG Status: ENABLED
TPG Network Portals:
\——-> IP-hidden:3260
TPG Logical Units:
\——-> lun_0/30b42bf9f5 -> target/core/iblock_0/array0

Target Engine Core ConfigFS Infrastructure v4.1.0-rc1-ml on Linux/armv6l on 3.1.9.001
RisingTide Systems Linux-iSCSI Target v4.1.0-rc1
[root@fedora-arm lio-utils.git]# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor       : ARMv6-compatible processor rev 7 (v6l)
BogoMIPS        : 697.95
Features        : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp java tls
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant     : 0x0
CPU part        : 0xb76
CPU revision    : 7

Hardware        : BCM2708
Revision        : 0002
Serial          : 00000000c1ad6318
[root@fedora-arm lio-utils.git]#

Feb 102012
 

This morning I came across an article on the MSDN blog. I thought I’d share it with all my readers:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/09/building-windows-for-the-arm-processor-architecture.aspx

This article goes in to detail about “Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture” and provides some interesting information. I’m really excited to see this both on development devices, and polished retail devices.

There’s also a few screenshots of a test debug build of windows running on ARM running on some of MS’s development devices, also some pictures of Windows on ARM development systems. Pretty cool stuff!

Jan 262012
 

In this “how to” we will go over installing Ubuntu 10.04 TLS on a Soekris Net4801 SBC (Single board computer).

To accomplish this, we will be network booting the Net4801 since it does not have any installation type storage (no cd-rom, and USB ports are not bootable), also since the Net4801 does not have a video card, or keyboard, we will be performing the installation over a serial console.

You can use this guide to perform the same function on other SBCs or other devices (even a standard server). The methods in the guide to both network boot, and provide a serial console are not mutual specific and can be done on their own (example, you don’t need to network boot to install using a serial console, or vice versa).

In this how to, we are using the Soekris Net4801 since it’s a small, interesting little computer which is designed as a somewhat open platform for router, wireless, and numerous other types of development and production type uses. The Net4801 specifications are available here: http://soekris.com/products/net4801.html.

The instructions I provide are using software and systems I have available to myself. Your environment may be different so remember that Google is your friend. The concepts will be the same.

To get started, we need:

1 X Soekris Net4801

1 X Computer with a serial port

1 X Serial DB-9 Null Modem Cable

1 X Linux or Windows computer running TFTP server and web server

When network booting the Ubuntu installer, you can either install directly off the internet (which requires simply networking booting, and following the installation instructions) or you can provide the installer the installation files which may speed things up if you are on a slow connection. For the purpose of enlightening whoever is reading this, we are going to provide the installer the files.

1) Install a TFTP Server

The first thing we have to do is create the environment necessary to network boot the Net4801. In my case I have a CentOS 6 server. I installed the tftp server by issuing “yum install tftp-server*”. After this is complete we open up /etc/xinetd.d/tftp and change the disable value to no. Go ahead and restart xinetd by typing “/etc/init.d/xinetd restart”.

We now have a TFTP server providing everything inside of /var/lib/tftpboot.

2) Configure the DHCP Server to provide PXE boot info to PXE clients

In my case, I have a Windows Server 2008 R2 box providing DHCP to my network. I simply log on to the server, and open the DHCP Server GUI. I browse to my network scope, and right click on “Scope Options” and hit “Configure Options”. We need to specify two options: First is “066 Boot Server Host Name” which we set to the IP address of the TFTP Server, and second “067 Bootfile Name” which we set to “pxelinux.0″. That’s it! When the PXE client boots it will receive this information.

3) Configure netboot files

If you have the Ubuntu alternative CD, you can copy over everything inside of the install/netboot directory to /var/lib/tftpboot.

If you don’t have the Ubuntu CD, change your working directory to /var/lib/tftpboot, and type “wget ftp://ubuntu.arcticnetwork.ca/pub/ubuntu/ubuntu/dists/lucid/main/installer-i386/current/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz”. After this, type “tar zxvf netboot.tar.gz”. This will extract the netboot components to the directory.

When this is completed, this will provide the network installer for Ubuntu. Since we are using a serial terminal to install Ubuntu on the Net4801, we now have to configure the bootloader, and installer to use the serial console.

Inside of the /var/lib/tftpboot directory, open pxelinux.cfg/default using your favorite editor. Add these two lines to the top of the file:

console 0
serial 0 19200 0

Save and close. We have just instructed the bootloader to use the first serial port on the system to provide console. Next we need to configure the kernel to input/output to the serial port aswell.

Open ubuntu-installer/i386/boot-screens/text.cfg in your editor. We are going to remove and add a few things to the “append” line under the “install label”. We are going to remove the word quiet, and replace it with console=ttyS0,19200. After completed it should look like this:

default install
label install
menu label ^Install
menu default
kernel ubuntu-installer/i386/linux
append vga=normal initrd=ubuntu-installer/i386/initrd.gz — console=ttyS0,19200 earlyprint=serial,ttyS0,19200

Now that this is complete, the kernel will now input/output to the serial console.

4) Install sources (you can skip this, but please read)

If you are installing from the internet, you can simply skip this step. If you have the Ubuntu alternative CD, or CD Image, and want to install from those sources, this is what we need to do. In my case, I had the ubuntu .iso file.

On my CentOS server, I have Apache httpd installed. I have the .iso file in /root/. I type “mkdir /var/www/html/mount” to create a directory called mount inside of the web root. I then make sure I’m in /root/ when typing “mount cd-image-name.iso /var/www/html/mount -o loop” which mounts the CD Image to the mount directory.

We have now successfully mounted the CD image to the web server.

5) Network Boot the Soekris Net4801 via PXE

We now have the environment configured, it’s finally time to network boot the Net4801. Keep in mind, with a serial connection, one of the only problems you’ll run into is a) configuring software (ie. Linux, Grub, Bootloders) to use it, and b) speed settings. We’ve addressed the first issue already with configuration files, however we need to setup speed values on both the BIOS for the Net4801, and speed value for the client (in my case PuTTY). While you can use a whole range, I like to use 19200. It’s friendly, and I never have any issues :)

Hook up the Net4801 to your computer’s serial port using your Null Modem Serial cable. Open up PuTTY, and instead of using SSH, use Serial, and set the speed to 19200. I beleive this is the default for a fresh out of the box Net4801, and start the connection. Power on the Net4801 and you should see the startup text.

So right now, the connection is working, but I thought I’d go over a few things. Hit Ctrl + P while the BIOS is posting, and type show.

These are variables you can configure on the Net4801. A few to remember are: a) ConSpeed – Serial port speed, has to match on both sides b) Flash – Either Primary or Secondary, this specifies whether it is Master or Slave on the IDE Channel, just like traditional older IDE based computers. c) BootDrive – This is standard booting order, 80 = IDE Master, 81 = IDE Slave, F0 = PXE Network boot.

Anyways, that’s that. So now we want to network boot. While in the ComBios command console, type in “Boot F0″. This will initiate the network boot. Things might look a bit weird at first, however eventually it will prompt you for something, simply type “install” and hit enter. After the kernel boots, the Ubuntu text installation should start. Now it’s easy and normal.

FINAL NOTES:

-The Soekris Net4801’s processor is a i586 class processor. Ubuntu dropped support for i586 as of 10.10 and later. This is why I chose 10.04 LTS.

-There are issues with the installer on the Net4801. Issue being, after specifying network configuration, once it starts to download the initial installer components, the installer will freeze. Usually the screen goes blank for up to 45 minutes when it is working, however when this issue occurs, it will permanently freeze. 10 Months ago I narrowed down what was causing this, however have forgotten. I think it has something to do with just having a IDE drive connected to the Soekris, I think it started working when switching to Compact Flash for internal storage.

POST-INSTALL CONFIGURATION:

After installing, I noticed a bunch of weird things like ureadahead and plymouth crashing on startup (due to lack of resources). Also, some things were not showing up on the serial console which I wanted to (this is because everyone want’s GUI’s these days).

Few recommendations on cleaning up your install:

1) Disable AppArmor – It’s a waste of resources

Type “sudo update-rc.d -f apparmor remove”

2) Configure GRUB – Get the proper stuff going to the console

Open /etc/default/grub in your favorite editor, remove everything and paste this:

GRUB_DEFAULT=0
GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET=true
GRUB_TIMEOUT=3
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”noplymouth text nosplash”
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”console=ttyS0,19200 earlyprint=serial,ttyS0,19200″
GRUB_TERMINAL=console
GRUB_TERMINAL=serial
GRUB_SERIAL_COMMAND=”serial –unit=0 –speed=19200 –stop=1″

That disables plymouth, configures a text console, and shows GRUB on boot. After this is done, run “update-grub” and “update-initramfs -u”.

3) Set time – I don’t know why but my system lost it’s time, maybe my battery is going, for some reason this wasn’t automatic.

Type “ntpdate time.windows.com”

4) Compiler and Building stuff – If you’re going to compile anything, run this, or skip this

Type “apt-get install fakeroot build-essential libncurses5 libncurses5-dev libelf-dev asciidoc binutils-dev”

Have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Also, sorry about the mess of a post.

Jan 262012
 

Well, did it. I finally got Ubuntu 10.04 LTS installed and running on my Net4801 (via PXE netboot install and serial console), and got Lio-Target running on it:

root@net4801:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : Geode by NSC
cpu family      : 5
model           : 9
model name      : Unknown
stepping        : 1
cpu MHz         : 266.670
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 2
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu tsc msr cx8 cmov mmx cxmmx up
bogomips        : 533.34
clflush size    : 32
cache_alignment : 32
address sizes   : 32 bits physical, 32 bits virtual
power management:

root@net4801:~# /etc/init.d/target status
[---------------------------] TCM/ConfigFS Status [----------------------------]
\——> iblock_0
HBA Index: 1 plugin: iblock version: v3.5.3
\——-> lun0
Status: ACTIVATED  Execute/Left/Max Queue Depth: 0/32/32  SectorSize: 512  MaxSectors: 240
iBlock device: sdc
Major: 8 Minor: 32  CLAIMED: IBLOCK
udev_path: /dev/sdc

[---------------------------] LIO-Target Status [----------------------------]
\——> iqn.2010.com.digitallyaccurate.net4801:lun0
\——-> tpgt_1  TargetAlias: LIO Target
TPG Status: ENABLED
TPG Network Portals:
\——-> xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:3260
TPG Logical Units:
\——-> lun_0/iscsi00 -> target/core/iblock_0/lun0

Target Engine Core ConfigFS Infrastructure v3.5.3 on Linux/i586 on 2.6.32-38-386
Linux-iSCSI.org Target v3.5.3 on Linux/i586 on 2.6.32-38-386
root@net4801:~#

(IP removed from TPG)

Ubuntu is running off the Compact Flash card. There is a hard drive inside the Net4801 which was used as a block device for the iSCSI target, note the net4801 IDE channel only runs UDMA/33. After testing this, I popped in a USB 2.0 PCI card, and attached a 500GB USB drive. Please see a pic below:

Tests:

Writing around 1.6MB/sec (CPU utilization ~40%)

Reading around 2.5MB/sec (CPU utilization ~80%)

Please Note:

The test numbers are not exactly correct due to caching Windows performs.

Oct 202010
 

Well, my Ubuntu Server box running Lio-Target is still running great, and performing perfectly under the continous stress testing I’ve done.

While I’m waiting for a few more days of the stress test to finish, I’m setting up my old Soekris Net4801.

I’m install Ubuntu Server 10.04 TLS on to the Soekris Net4801 via remote PXE netboot. Afterwards I’m going to compile Lio-target 3.4 (kernel 2.6.34) on the device and test out performance of the iSCSI target. It won’t be anything special since the net4801 is so slow, but it’ll be interesting to see for sure.

I’ll also be sticking in a PCI – USB2.0 card inside of the net4801 to get USB2.0 speeds on a removal drive.

After this little experiment I might rip out the cross compiler and build Lio-Target on a Linksys WRT610N if I can to check out the performance on that. I know these little devices have quite a bit of power, gigabit networking, and a single USB 2.0 port built right in!

As promised I’ll be posting more detailed posts in the future once all the fun is done!