One of the things that I have wanted to be able to do with my pcDuino is boot from an SD Card. I have found this useful in my work with the Raspberry PI as it makes it easy to setup environments to support different uses of the system.
After poking around the pcDuino site I didn't find a bootable image that can be downloaded and written to an SD Card.Update (3/16/2013): It appears that on 3/12/2013 an SD Card Bootable Image was added to the downloads page at https://s3.amazonaws.com/pcduino/Images/pcDuino_xbmc_mmc_20130312.7z.Update (3/17/2013): When I loaded the SD Card Bootable Image above while the pcDuino booted and appeared to be functional there were errors during the boot. As a result I continued forward to see if I could come up with an error free boot. See the reply below for the procedure I came up withUpdate (3/18/2013): Added instructions on how to load the latest copy of u-boot for the A10
Searching the Internet I came across a lot of good work done by Jeff Doozan and others to create a bootable sd card image for the A10. Following his instructions I was able to build a bootable sd card for Debian 7.0.
Below are my notes posted in the hopes that they will help others. I haven’t had a chance to do much testing with the resulting image but that will come with time.
Please note that the process below has the possibility of damaging your pcDuino if not done correctly.
I am interested in any feedback you might have.
digitalhackCreating a Bootable SD Card for the pcDuinoStep 1 - Setting up the System
To use this process you will need a logic level (3.3V) to RS-232 converter or you can use a one of the 3.3V serial to USB converters. This will be connected to the Debug Port. The setup for the Debug Port is 115200 8N1. I used the Sparkfun FTDI V3.3 Basic.
The debug port is labeled J5 and the pinout, with the board oriented so the debug port is at the top and the Ethernet connection is to the right, are RX, GND, TX.
There is a picture in the user manual on page 5 that shows the debut port and a diagram on page 9 that shows the pinout.
You will also need to have the system connected to the Internet using an Ethernet cable plugged into the RJ45 jack.Step 2 – Download and Initial Boot
Download Rescue System 1.2 image from http://forum.doozan.com/read.php?6,9115,9115
Unzip the image and copy it to an sd card using the instructions at the site. There are instructions for both Linux and Windows.
I used the Windows instructions and copied the image to a 2Gb sd card using Win32DiskImager.
Insert the sd card into the pcDuino.
Ensure that you booted from the sd card. Sometimes from a power on boot the sd card doesn’t respond quick enough and the image in nand gets booted. If this happens press the reset button and boot again.
If you booted the image on the sd card you will get the following message “A10 Rescue System” followed by a prompt “rescue login:”. Login to root with password root.Step 3 – Setup the remainder of the SD Card
Download the init-partition-mmc.sh from https://github.com/doozan/a10-rescue-scripts
, load it on to the pcDuino. I did this using the following steps:
- Using my mouse copy the raw text from github in the browser window.
- In your pcDuino console window enter: “cat > init-partition-mmc.sh” .
- Then paste to enter the script.
- Once the paste finished enter “ctrl-d” to get back to the command line.
- Make the script file executable: “chmod 744 init-partition-mmc.sh”.
- Execute the script: “./init-partition-mmc.sh”
This will execute the script. I have gotten warnings during the partition but these don’t appear to keep the process from working.Warning: The resulting partition is not properly aligned for best performance.
Once the partition is complete you will get the following message:Successfully partitioned mmcblk0Step 4 – Install Debian onto the sd card
Download the autorun-install-debian.sh from https://github.com/doozan/a10-rescue-scripts
, load it on to the pcDuino using the same steps as above with the new filename.
Execute the script and find something to do as it takes about 90 minutes to build the system.
When the script completes it will reboot the pcDuino.Step 5 – Base System
You should now have a base system that you can build on top of. Login in with root and a password of root to access the system.