Joined: 21 May 2014
|Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:47 pm Post subject: Gentoo live USB for Excito B3 (with weekly binhost) released
Do you own an Excito B3 (an arm5/kirkwood miniserver)?
If so, you may be interested to know that I've just released a new (v2.0.0) live-USB image of Gentoo Linux for the B3, on GitHub.
The live-USB now has weekly-autobuild binary kernel and userspace package updates available (from binhost https://isshoni.org/b3) so keeping your system up to date should be much less painful (anything not on the pre-installed list, you still have to build from source, however).
The binhost also hosts an rsync mirror for the main gentoo repo (with signed porthash authentication), used to keep the B3's ebuild tree in lockstep.
A custom Gentoo profile, gentoo-b3:default/linux/arm/13.0/armv5te/b3, is provided too, which supplies many of the default build settings, USE flags etc., required for Gentoo on the B3, keeping these also in lockstep with the binhost. You can view this profile (provided via the gentoo-b3 overlay) here.
Neither the userspace package binhost nor binary kernel package use is mandatory of course; you can easily turn both off for the fully-authentic source-based Gentoo experience ^-^
Although I make no guarantees about the future availability of these autobuilds, we currently use this infrastructure on our own production B3s, so it should be around for a while. Use the supplied binary packages (and kernels) at your own risk. Also, please be aware that, even with binhost backing, a full genup run will take around an hour to complete on your B3 (due to time taken by rsync, Portage's dependency tree processing etc.). Nevertheless, upgrade of major packages like gcc will take only a few minutes using the binhost, rather than many hours when building from source; plus, you can keep your kernel fully up-to-date easily (something that was rather awkward on Gentoo previously).
Installation and Use
You can burn the supplied image to a USB key (>=8Gb), then boot your B3 from it, without affecting any installed system on your B3's hard drive. You can even boot a diskless B3! No soldering, compilation or U-Boot flashing is required.
It's a full (persistent) armv5tel Gentoo system, not simply a 'minimal install' or 'stage3', so you can run emerge operations etc. immediately.
Full instructions are provided on the GitHub page (including how to ssh in once booted).
If you get a chance to try it, please let me know how you get on ^-^