Friday, August 9, 2013

MK802+ as a home server (Part 3) : Installing a debian distro , a different apporach

Well , my last setup crashed , apparently the SD card from which i did the booting was poorly manufactured. I had error blocks everywhere at the start of the SD from which i booted my MK802+ . In this post i'll attempt to re-install a debian distro with no gnome (the graphical window manager)  just to try a different  method with a new SD card.

So , I downloaded the respective distro from here : and i followed the instructions for this tutorial, and these are the steps that worked for me:

Since i had to use a live linux (ubuntu) to prepare the SD card, I wanted to gain root access to be able to run the commands in the tutorial (bzip2, dd , etc.. ).

To gain root access on live linux, use the following command

sudo su

The rest of the steps are straight forward:

bzip2 -dc a10-debian-server-2gb*.bz2 /dev/devicefile

Replace /dev/devicefile by your device's file name , usually it's sda. Or it can be listed with mmc prefix.It is important that you select the correct drive otherwise you can format your main drive and loose your files

For the MK802+ , i used the file a10_mid_1gb_hwpack.tar.xz I got from
dd if=bootloader/sunxi-spl.bin of=/dev/devicefile bs=1024 seek=8
dd if=bootloader/u-boot.bin of=/dev/devicefile bs=1024 seek=32
I rebooted the device and then i could successfully log in to it using SSH via Putty
username: root  , password : passsword

Additional steps for installing the script.bin are further described from step 7 here (the source for this part of the post)

Installing an administrative interface:
Since i have a little bit of experience with Webmin . I think  a web UI will make my life easier (especially with SMB and Apache later-on). Its installation is well described here :
If you're using Wget to download the package.. If the installation of the dependencies complain about other dependencies , run the following command at the end.

apt-get -f install

It should give you something like
Webmin install complete. You can now login to https://debian:10000/

Of course you'll change debian with your server IP Address

Now , Webmin will work and here is a screenshot from my current system's webmin:

Backup , Backup , Backup:

Learning from my mistake , and before i go anywhere further , i will seek a backup solution. For now , an SD clone will do. However , later on , i will seek better ways of backup especially that i don't want to turn the server off. 
First , Shut the device off , use the   shutdown now   command . 
Second , power off the device and take the SD out and insert it in another PC to be backed up.

For the imaging I use the amazing tool DiskImage ( get it here)

Have you mooed today ?!!!