Cloudy Alix

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Alix is a SBC with an AMD (x86) processor and several input-output interfaces (serial, miniPCI, Ethernet, etc.). For that reason is needed an operative system prepared to run with the corresponding drivers to make these interfaces work.

Note: this guide has been done with Debian specially prepared to work on Alix, but it is possible that with similar steps it work with another Debian based distribution.


Get Debian for Alix

You can download at this website a special Debian images just ready to work in Alix boards after flashing them in a CF card.

Features/services included

  • Read only file system, it protects against power failures and substantially increases compact flash life time.
  • Common services available on first boot:
    • serial terminal ( 38400n8 )
    • dnsmasq ( DNS and DHCP servers )
    • iptables ( basic firewall rules and internet sharing )
    • samba ( Microsoft Windows file share )
    • cups ( print server )
    • vsftpd ( FTP server )
    • nginx with fastcgi ( HTTP server )
    • minidlna ( media server )
    • openssh ( terminal and SFTP )
    • stunnel ( SSL engine, HTTPS support pre-configured for nginx and transmission )
    • tinyproxy ( HTTP/HTTPS proxy server )
    • pptpd ( VPN server, MS Windows has builtin client support )
    • snmpd ( SNMP server )
    • openvpn ( VPN server and client )
    • openconnect ( VPN client, Cisco compatible )
    • external storage automount and sharing basic web admin panel performance monitor ( on web panel )
  • Additional services available:
    • just turned on transmission ( torrent p2p )
    • hostapd ( wireless access point / it needs a miniPCI card or wifi usb dongle )
  • Regular system maintenance through apt-get, use it to update, install and remove applications and patches.
  • Keep in mind that it's a Debian i386, so any available software for that platform can be installed, regards hardware power limitations.
  • Image files are available for download at GoogleDrive:
    • debian-for-alix-v1.img.bz2 (debian 6 based) version 1 wiki page
    • debian-for-alix-v2.img.bz2 (debian 6 based) version 2 wiki page
    • debian-for-alix-v3.img.bz2 (debian 7 based) Debian basic setup, only SSH server and basic utilities, also serial terminal was prepared, but no readonly file system and other features.
  • Default configuration is:

eth0: DHCP

eth1: static 172.16.210.254

eth2: no configuration

user: alix (root has locked password)


Install Debian image on CF

Identify the CF

The CF card need to be formatted with ext2. Be sure what device your CF card is, otherwise you could erase your host OS. In this example the CF card was on /dev/sdb.

You can check it out having a look through the /proc/bus/usb/devices. You should see a section with an S: line and the name of your reader, and an I: line with Driver=usb-storage. If you see that, the kernel is recognizing the device.

Install the sg3-utils package if you haven't already it (on Debian: apt-get install sg3-utils). To check your SCSI devices, run the command:

sg_scan -i

You should see something like this:

/dev/sg0: scsi0 channel=0 id=0 lun=0 [em]  type=0
eUSB      Compact Flash     5.09 [wide=0 sync=0 cmdq=0 sftre=0 pq=0x0]    

It indicates that the “raw” SCSI device associated with your reader is /dev/sg0. You can also confirm that the driver is working by looking at the file /proc/scsi/scsi. Now, to determine the real SCSI device associated with your reader run the command:

sg_map

You'll see output like this:

/dev/sg0  /dev/sdb

That's it, your card reader is /dev/sdb. The first (and almost certainly only) partition is /dev/sdb1.


Copy image to CF

To install Debian on the CF card you can do it with the following command:

bzcat debian-for-alix-v3.img.bz2 | dd of=/dev/sdb bs=16k


Install Cloudy

To install Cloudy you can follow the instructions to convert a plain Debian installation in Cloudy by adding the system the specific files and tools of the distribution.

We call it "cloudynize".

We recommend to use a script to automate the process. You can know how to in the wiki page that explains how to "cloudynize".

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