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Witch distribution for headless setup?

Started by ygini, April 05, 2013, 03:23:46 pm

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I'm new here, looking for some help to install a basic system on my CubieBoard for a headless system.

I would like to install a system without GUI, I don't plan to use this board on a TV but as a controller for electronic devices and I want to access it from the network.

So basically, I need a BSD or Linux OS who can be installed and used through the console port and then be accessible via SSH though the mercury wireless dongle. The OS need to support GPIO in userland.

If it's possible, I prefer to install this OS on the NAND and not on a external SD card.

What can you recommend to me for that?

Best regards,


I've used debian, linaro nano, and ubuntu-core, along with my own kernel build for A10 and the appropriate hardware pack for the given board.  I like linaro as it starts a root shell on the console after booting (can be changed to a normal login getty by commenting out the AUTOGETTY_ARGS in /etc/default/autogetty).

GPIO support will depend on the kernel version and config, not the particular distribution (unless you download a complete distro for A10 like Roman's).

ssh and wifi support can be added with apt-get on any of the above distros.

Any distribution can be installed to NAND; I've done this with several.  The main thing is to have a kernel that supports writing the full virtual NAND device (anything after this commit: 694a0ef864b3d6940f7360894f480e5629b0cdb7).


Thank for this answer.

In the mean time, I've used linaro to install a small ubuntu on my SD.

Do you have some howto about install on the NAND and custom kernel config ?


Just search for nand on this forum and at mimiand.com.  Do the same for kernel builds.  Also check out the linux-sunxi.org wiki.