Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Lafuente » 2020-03-21 09:12

Hello,

I face a problem that I can't solve by myself. I own a little "sound player" box from SOtM. This box use an Fedora linux embedded on a SD-card but I don't have the root password.
I like to tweak/test things and I can't. I'm familiar with Debian.

So I'd like to install debian armhf on this "black box". The problem is that I don't know how to proceed. There is no keyboard/mouse/screen output on this box. It only have 3xUSB ports and one LAN + a SD-card tray.

I know the hardware in this box :
  • lan is RTL8812au
  • processor is ARM v7 rev 4 (v7l) with 2 cores
  • A friend of mine told me that hardware is " Allwinner sun7i (A20) Family".

I saw some "SDcard install based" isos, but I'm unsure if this is the good way to go because I think that these images need at least a keyboard and a screen.

http://ftp.debian.org/debian/dists/stab ... rd-images/

Can someone point me to the right direction ?

This link : https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Allwinner
seem to say that I need a screnn/keyboard or a console, witch I haven't.

Thank you.
Last edited by Lafuente on 2020-03-21 09:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby reinob » 2020-03-21 09:23

If you can take the SD card out, you can plug it on your computer and use debootstrap to install debian on it.
You'll need to find a suitable kernel for it though.

If you just want root, you could edit /etc/password and /etc/shadow as required and plug the card back in.
What sound player is that?
It's highly uncommon (but great) that it comes with a standard Linux (and not some embedded half-broken Linux) installed on a removable card.
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Lafuente » 2020-03-21 09:32

reinob wrote:If you can take the SD card out, you can plug it on your computer and use debootstrap to install debian on it.

I don't know what is debootstrap but I'll have a look on it. Yes I can take the SD card out easily.

reinob wrote:You'll need to find a suitable kernel for it though.

I think that any AllWinner A20 kernel will fit. But I can also build a specific kernel if needed.

reinob wrote:If you just want root, you could edit /etc/password and /etc/shadow as required and plug the card back in.

I prefer go with Debian because Fedora is based on RedHat, which I'm not comfortable with... But I'll do this to have a deep look at the current running system to mirror it under Debian ;-)

reinob wrote:What sound player is that?
It's highly uncommon (but great) that it comes with a standard Linux (and not some embedded half-broken Linux) installed on a removable card.

SOtM sMS-200

Thank you
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Lafuente » 2020-03-21 19:28

Thank you all.

I try to use debootstrap and I face a problem with the "MAKEDEV" command. it's look like it don't create the /dev/mmcblk0, /dev/mmcblk0p1, /dev/mmcblk0p2.
In fact it create nothing.

What is the matter here ?

Thank
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-03-21 19:47

Lafuente wrote:I face a problem with the "MAKEDEV" command

What was the actual command(s) that you used?

FWIW I prefer to bind mount the hosts' /proc, /sys & /dev{,/pts} using the arch-chroot(1) command (from the arch-install-scripts package). But I've never tried to install an armhf system.
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Lafuente » 2020-03-21 20:01

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
Lafuente wrote:I face a problem with the "MAKEDEV" command

What was the actual command(s) that you used?


MAKEDEV generic

And I get this :

/usr/sbin/MAKEDEV: no support for generic on this arch
Last edited by Lafuente on 2020-03-21 20:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-03-21 20:13

Perhaps try
Code: Select all
MAKEDEV update

instead.
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Lafuente » 2020-03-21 20:16

I used

Code: Select all
mknod /dev/mmcblk0 b 179 0
mknod /dev/mmcblk0p1 b 179 1
mknod /dev/mmcblk0p2 b 179 2


I'll see what happen.

Code: Select all
:/dev# MAKEDEV update
/usr/sbin/MAKEDEV: don't know how to make device "ppdev"
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Re: Install Debian armhf headless SD-Card

Postby Lafuente » 2020-03-22 07:10

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:FWIW I prefer to bind mount the hosts' /proc, /sys & /dev{,/pts} using the arch-chroot(1) command (from the arch-install-scripts package). But I've never tried to install an armhf system.


This seem to be usefull if you want to replicate your hardware, but I'm unsure this is something to do when you change ARCH.

I also saw that arm SoC use U-boot for boot. Have to have a look at this.
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