2012-04-05

Steps to install Fedora Linux 17 on a Trim Slice Pro

So you have heard of this ARM thing, but can't wait to get a Raspberry pi to plug into your TV. There are various other models on the market.. and for my first one to try, I got a Trim Slice Pro. Here is a shortened, no frills setup instructions.
  1. Buy a Trim Slice Pro
  2. Wait two weeks for delivery.
  3. Get onto freenode IRC and join #fedora-arm. If things don't work this is where you will need to get help from.
  4. Acquire needed extra parts
    1. An external USB keyboard.
    2. An external USB mouse
    3. A serial crossover cable to another system.
    4. A network cable to plug into your local lan. **
    5. A SD card to do an initial install on. I bought a 32 GB. I recommend staying away from Kennsington
  5. Plug in the system and play around with Ubuntu Natty. For extra fun, do an OS upgrade to 11.10 and brick the system.
  6. Download blc (Brenden Conoboy)'s latest image for the OS.
    1. wget http://blc.fedorapeople.org/fedora-arm/f17/fedora-arm-17-latest-armhfp-trimslice-mmcblk0.img.xz
    2. unxz fedora-arm-17-latest-armhfp-trimslice-mmcblk0.img.xz
  7. Set up SD card (I have a 32 GB card so we will go with the following).
    1. insert card into system.
    2. dd if=fedora-arm-17-latest-armhfp-trimslice-mmcblk0.img of=/dev/mmcblk0
    3. sync; sync;
    4. remove card from system
  8. Power off the trimslice if you had it on before.
  9. Insert card into system and reboot trimslice. The card will need to be inserted upside down versus the way you expect :).
  10. Boot the box.. if you have plugged the disk into a monitor.. you can unplug it now. Currently the nvidia driver is propietary and Fedora does not support it. You will either ssh in or use a serial console.
  11. Look at your router to find out what DHCP and mac address came up. If you can, you can put this into your router for a more static setup later.
  12. either use the serial console or ssh into the box
        ssh root@192.168.18.223 # found via router
        Password: fedoraarm
  13. The system will have started the steps to resize the downloaded arm image to disk space. You should do the following and check to see if it worked.
      fdisk -l
    
    The size of /dev/mmcblk should show that the /dev/mmcblk0p2 is now the size of the disk, but a df will show it not the right size.Time to reboot.
  14. After the 2nd reboot a resizefs should be running in the background and you should have a working system to start installing packages to.


But wait.. what good is a box that has no monitor? Well not much for desktop people.. but for a server it is pretty darn useful. Future articles will show the following:
  • Setup of serial console (I didn't get my crossover cable yet).
  • Setup of nvidia drivers for those who want a desktop more than purity.
  • How to start a kickstarter to pay for a developer to port a free video driver
* I would like to thank Dennis Gilmore, DJ Delorie (of the DOS GCC fame) and Brendan Conoboy for their advice and not throttling me as I was pretty clueless on this adventure.

** I am assuming you have a local network plugin and a DHCP (most router/modems have this built in). I found that the trimslice built in wireless did not work as well as I hoped without an external antenae, and I also found that having a wired connection allowed for you to ssh into the box directly.
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