Tag Archives: hardware

First steps with arm64

As it was Christmas time recently, I wanted to allow oneself something special. So I ordered a Macchiatobin from SolidRun. Unfortunately they don’t exaggerate with their delivery times and I had to wait about two months for my device. I couldn’t celebrate Christmas time with it, but fortunately New Year.

Anyway, first I tried to use the included U-Boot to start the Debian installer on an USB stick. Oh boy, that was a bad idea and in retrospect just a waste of time. But there is debian-arm@l.d.o and Steve McIntyre was so kind to help me out of my vale of tears.

First I put the EDK2 flash image from Leif on an SD card, set the jumper on the board to boot from it (for the SD card boot, the right most jumper has to be set!) and off we go. Afterwards I put the debian-testing-arm64-netinst.iso on an USB stick and tried to start this. Unfortunately I was hit by #887110 and had to use a mini installer from here. Installation went smooth and as a last step I had to start the rescue mode and install grub to the removable media path. It is an extra point in the installer, so no need to enter cryptic commands :-).

Voila, rebooted and my Macchiatobin is up and running.

Wireless Shower Speaker

This is the time of the year, where more or less useful items change their owner. Though I don’t think that my singing in the shower sounds that terrible, I got a Wireless Shower Speaker. The model is SP0052W from LogiLink.

As I had some time between meals I read the user manual. It consists of one page with instructions in four languages. Half of the space is occupied by safety instructions. So I got my magnifying glass and read them carefully. Please note, it is for a Wireless Shower Speaker! Most of the instructions are about what I should not do with the device, among others:

  • Dont’t expose the device to water, moisture or high humidity.
  • Avoid direct contact with water.

I don’t know anybody from LogiLink but those guys must be real tough. At least the people from their product management are far from being wimps. But can they really enjoy their own devices under cold showers? Or maybe they already invented sonic showers for home use!?

APU and Debian

I just got an APU1D4 made by PC Engines. I bought it from a German retailer called VARIA System GmbH. They are also located in Chemnitz, so at least I could support the local economy. I purchased a bundle consisting of mainboard, case, power supply and 16GB SSD. The board has 4GB RAM and three network adapters and shall replace my old PC that I use as router to the internet.

As there is no VGA/HDMI output, the first hurdle was organizing a null-modem cable. Of course I could have prepared the SSD on another PC, but I wanted to try PXE. After finding the cable on the ground of a box, deeply buried under other boxes, I could start.

The DHCP server got an entry

host apu1d4 {
  hardware ethernet 00:0d:b9:42:a0:e8;
  fixed-address apu1d4;
  option broadcast-address;
  option routers;
  filename "pxelinux.0";

and the TFTP server got a file …/tftp/pxelinux.cfg/01-00-0d-b9-42-a0-e8

default install
label install
        menu label ^Install
        menu default
        kernel debian-installer/amd64/linux
        append initrd=debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz --- vga=off console=ttyS0,115200n8

The files debian-installer/amd64/linux and debian-installer/amd64/initrd.gz are the normal debian installer files obtained from the official Debian servers.

That’s it, the installer starts, spits its output over the serial line and I can install the system. Great! Thanks DebianInstaller team. Why couldn’t everything be always so easy?

USB 3.0 hub and Gigabit LAN adapter

Recently I bought an USB 3.0 Hub with three USB 3.0 ports and one Gigabit LAN port. It is manufactured by Delock and I purchased it from Reichelt (Delock 62440).

Under Wheezy the USB part is recognized without problems but the kernel (3.2.0-4) does not have a driver for the ethernet part.
The USB Id is idVendor=0b95 and idProduct=1790, the manufacturer is ASIX Elec. Corp. and the product is: AX88179. So Google led me to a product page at Asix, where I could download the driver for kernel 2.6.x and 3.x.

mkdir -p /usr/local/src/asix/ax88179
cd /usr/local/src/asix/ax88179
wget www.asix.com.tw/FrootAttach/driver/AX88179_178A_LINUX_DRIVER_v1.13.0_SOURCE.tar.bz2
tar -jxf AX88179_178A_LINUX_DRIVER_v1.13.0_SOURCE.tar.bz2
cd AX88179_178A_LINUX_DRIVER_v1.13.0_SOURCE
apt-get install module-assistant
module-assistant prepare
make install
modprobe ax88179_178a.ko

After editing /etc/network/interfaces and doing an ifup eth1, voila, I have a new network link. I hope the hardware is as good as the installation has been easy.