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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.
- 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:
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
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.
sg3-utils package if you haven't already it (on Debian:
apt-get install sg3-utils). To check your SCSI devices, run the command:
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:
You'll see output like this:
That's it, your card reader is
/dev/sdb. The first (and almost certainly only) partition is
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
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".