Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

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MouettE
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Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by MouettE » 12 Jul 2019, 23:35

Hello everyone,

I've just release the debian buster image for the B3. As for the stretch image, this image is constructed from 3 different projects : the buster OS image itself, an install/rescue system and an installer script. More details on these further in this post.

Current users of the stretch image can also directly upgrade their system using standard system tools. More details below.

First the link and quick howtos for install and upgrade:
Quick install howto

This works the same way as the stretch image:
  • Unzip the downloaded file on a fat-formatted usb key with a partition table
  • By default the installer will wipe the entire disk. If you wish to keep the existing data of your device, edit the install.ini file inside the install directory and set wipe to false at the bottom of the file. The installer will then only format the first partition of the drive.
  • plug the usb key on the B3 and apply power while pushing the rear button.
  • The rescue/install system will start, format the drive, extract the buster image and reboot the server.
  • By default the network is configured for dhcp on both network interface. It can be changed in the install.ini file (the installer will now copy the network settings from install.ini to the buster system by default. This can be changed in the install.ini file).
  • If the LED turns red, something went wrong. Turn off the server and post the install.log file which is created in the install directory of the key so I can help you out.
  • When the LED is solid blue you can ssh into the box with user 'excito' (no quotes) and password 'excito' (no quotes). Then you can 'su' ; the root password is 'excito' (no quotes).
  • Once you're logged in I strongly recommend to set the locale and timezone of your server (its defaults are POSIX and UTC). Run the following commands :

    Code: Select all

    dpkg-reconfigure locales
    dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
    
Quick upgrade howto

I recommend you go through the busterrelease notes which include upgrade instructions. The only b3 specific task you need to do is to update the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/excito.list and change stretch to buster inside when preparing apt sources (step 4.3 of the upgrade guide)

That being said if you want to go fast and don't mind fixing broken stuff after the upgrade here is a very quick-and-dirty how-to :
  • update packages to the latest version with apt-get update and apt-get upgrade
  • replace stretch with buster in /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/excito.list
  • run

    Code: Select all

    apt-get update
    and

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    apt-get dist-upgrade
  • reboot the b3, check the running kernel with uname -a (should be a 4.19.x kernel) and check services with systemctl status
  • Fix whatever needs to be fixed :)
  • run

    Code: Select all

    apt-get autoremove --purge
    to cleanup old packages.
OS image contents

The buster OS is a very minimal debian install with only the core packages needed to start and ssh into the server. The image was bootstraped directly from standard debian utils (not built from upgrade of a previous version). There is a github repository which describes all the steps taken to build it.
  • The kernel used is Linux LTS 4.19.x series with Excito patches. This is actually the series used in debian and it's LTS upstream. Sources are available on github
  • Excito-specific packages (kernel, button and led management) are available in a repository I maintain on the Excito servers. The image is pre-configured to use it so further upgrades can be installed with apt tools. Everything is on github too.
  • U-Boot tools are installed and configured so you can play with u-boot if you dare. WARNING this is risky business, use it at your own risk.
  • The root password is 'excito' (without quotes) and I've also created an excito user with the same password. Note that by default in stretch you can not ssh directly as root with a password.
  • SSH host keys are generated on the first boot and it takes a few seconds.
  • The default network configuration is DHCP for both interfaces. It may be overridden by the install.ini configuration.
The install/rescue system

Full sources and rudimentary compilation instructions are available on github.

The installer script

I've also updated the installer script with a couple of fixes and the most-requested option of copying the network settings from the install/rescue system to the installed stretch system. Everything else work the same way and is still configured through the install.ini file on the USB install key. It's heavily commented so all the options can be understood and changed accordingly.

Also in rescue-only or if reboot is disabled, the install script on exit will also still animate the LED to dictate the first IP address of the box. It's bonus 8) and will hopefully make it easier to know the DHCP-attributed address of the server.

Conclusion

As always ask as many questions as you want I will be more than happy to answer them.

Charles

guyran
Posts: 8
Joined: 18 Nov 2011, 09:52

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by guyran » 26 Nov 2019, 11:07

Having managed to install your excellent package for the recent Buster version of Debian and starting to just harden it with a firewall I discovered a warning that said the root, /usr & /etc are owned by UID 1000 which I discover is the excito user, is there any reason for this other than allowing 'excito' to access these directories on first login?
As I have no further use for this user and have configured ssh access for myself, wouldn't it be more normal to revert to 'root' ownership in this case?
Registered Linux User #546337 @ linuxcounter.net

MouettE
Site admin
Posts: 284
Joined: 06 Oct 2011, 19:45

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by MouettE » 27 Nov 2019, 15:24

Hello,

UID 1000 should only own /home/excito. /root, /usr et /etc should be own by root. The installer takes care of that. How did you install the system ?

guyran
Posts: 8
Joined: 18 Nov 2011, 09:52

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by guyran » 28 Nov 2019, 07:05

Thanks for the reply. I agree that this is a strange situation because I noticed I was getting "canonicalisation" error messages when using apt and found the reason was the root directory not owned by root. I have modified this and all works well.
In answer to your question, I installed using your "Quick install howto" on the Development section of this forum. I simply modified the install.ini file to specify my LAN's IP configuration. I had to modify the dhcp.conf file after installation to get it to connect to my provider's DNS server, but after that the updating of the locales and time zone went fine.

At the moment I'm copying across the old configuration files from my the old B3 disk, as I've installed your Buster on a larger disk. As I didn't use the bubba web setup a great deal, I've decided that I just want to use the B3 as a file server. I have had to install lvm2 as I noticed on mounting the old partitions that the data partition was a logical volume. I'm not sure that I'll use that structure on my new disk as I'm the only user so I'm not worried about having to possibly expand disk space at a later date.

guyran
Registered Linux User #546337 @ linuxcounter.net

OldB3User
Posts: 4
Joined: 28 Oct 2018, 04:06

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by OldB3User » 06 Dec 2019, 06:07

Hello. repo.excito.org appears to be down for me. Is it for anyone else?

jcilund
Posts: 1
Joined: 09 Dec 2019, 07:54

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by jcilund » 09 Dec 2019, 08:17

Thanks MouettE for the image, that was a god-send... I've not flashed my B3 in 6 years and initially thought it was its end of life, now I see there's still plenty in it!

OldB3User, repo.excito.org looks up for me, but I have not installed the Web UI on my b3 as I'm now running a different solution only to serve photo albums from the server.

For further reference, I had a couple issues during the upgrade and I thought I might document them here
- Power supply failed in the middle of the update and mis-lead me in thinking it was a problem with the server itself, until I tried my router's supply and found out B3 would start... Fixed
- lvm2 issue as guyran described. Here was my fix:

Code: Select all

su; 
apt-get -y update;
apt-get -y upgrade;
apt-get -y install util-linux lvm2 sudo
vgscan # returns lvm bubba
vgchange -ay bubba # activate lvm
mkdir -vp /mnt/storage
mount /dev/bubba/storage /mnt/storage
echo "/dev/bubba/storage /mnt/storage ext4 defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

gif
Posts: 11
Joined: 15 Feb 2012, 14:08

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by gif » 03 Jan 2020, 06:56

Thank you so much MouettE for your work!
Here is another veteran B3 user who was finally about to put the little server out of its misery after hd failure, as so many things had already stopped working due to outdated packages. But now, thanks to new ssh, python etc.. it gained whole new life!

MouettE
Site admin
Posts: 284
Joined: 06 Oct 2011, 19:45

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by MouettE » 06 Jan 2020, 21:48

gif wrote:
03 Jan 2020, 06:56
Thank you so much MouettE for your work!
Here is another veteran B3 user who was finally about to put the little server out of its misery after hd failure, as so many things had already stopped working due to outdated packages. But now, thanks to new ssh, python etc.. it gained whole new life!
It's good to know, thanks !

johnu
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Mar 2020, 14:20

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by johnu » 02 Mar 2020, 14:40

I just wanted to post my thanks to MouettE for all his hard work
I am another veteran B3 user who has used it as a file server for nearly 9 years. I was able to easily install the new version and thanks to jcilund's reply, mount my bubba storage without losing any files.
Thanks very much!

tywoniak
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 May 2011, 03:56

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by tywoniak » 03 Mar 2020, 13:47

Hi MouettE and all others,

I have just installed this buster image. I must admit that I was expecting something else. Sorry. I know that this was a hard work to achieve this image. Thanks in any case.

A few questions:
1. Is this image really without Bubba (I mean bubba* specific packages, firewall, etc. including Bubba web ui), or have I made perhaps something wrong during installation?
After that, my (maybe stupid) idea was to try to add the bubba* specific from old B3 distro (elvin?) to the fresh installed Debian buster, but I was not successful. Is is possible at all?
Or:
2. Is there any other possibility, how to get uptodate system for B3? I mean newer than wheeze as in 2.4.1.1/2.6.3? I was trying to upgrade from wheeze up to buster (step by step), but unsuccessfully.
If not:
3. Are there any plans (in near future - a few months timeframe) to release some complete uptodate Bubba system (I mean bringing original B3 SW onto such level as current Debian Buster)?

best regards
Jiri
PS.
I not too fluent in current linux, because my practice with linux was in 90's, i.e. in previous centuary :-)
I am running B2 already > 10 years and now I have got the B3...

MouettE
Site admin
Posts: 284
Joined: 06 Oct 2011, 19:45

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by MouettE » 06 Mar 2020, 13:15

tywoniak wrote:
03 Mar 2020, 13:47
Hi MouettE and all others,
Hello !
tywoniak wrote:
03 Mar 2020, 13:47
1. Is this image really without Bubba (I mean bubba* specific packages, firewall, etc. including Bubba web ui), or have I made perhaps something wrong during installation?
Yes it is. Bubba packages were not ported to debian distribution above squeeze. This requires a large amount of work.
tywoniak wrote:
03 Mar 2020, 13:47
2. Is there any other possibility, how to get uptodate system for B3? I mean newer than wheeze as in 2.4.1.1/2.6.3? I was trying to upgrade from wheeze up to buster (step by step), but unsuccessfully.
No.
tywoniak wrote:
03 Mar 2020, 13:47
3. Are there any plans (in near future - a few months timeframe) to release some complete uptodate Bubba system (I mean bringing original B3 SW onto such level as current Debian Buster)?
No.

However gordon has ported bubba packages on gentoo (the distribution is called bubbagen). You can get an up-to-date system with the bubba packages this way. You'll find all the information you need in the dedicated thread at https://forum.excito.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6441

Charles

tywoniak
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 May 2011, 03:56

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by tywoniak » 07 Mar 2020, 10:11

Hi Charles,

thanks for your response.

I know about Gentoo based BubbaGen.
My reason why to stick to Debian based B3 was/is mainly motivated to keep on main track, while Gentoo seems to me as special distro.

Till now I was (and still) using by B2 (and now B3) only as 2nd firewall. But now I am trying to install following set of packages, like Mosquitto, NodeRed, InfluxDb and Grafana and also rtl-sdr and rtl_433. Target: to integrate some simple home automation (combination MQTT and RF433). And that is the reason for trying to bring OS to uptodate version. Newer SW packages are hardly available for old OS and even in combination with old architecture (old powerpc/old arm). Currently I have achieved running Mosquitto, rtl-sdr and rtl_433. And even nodejs.

By backup plan is to use RaspberryPi... :-)

best regards
Jiri

Gordon
Posts: 1390
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by Gordon » 07 Mar 2020, 16:04

Hi Jiri,

As Charles explained, it takes quite a bit of effort to make the original GUI work with current Linux OS and the services it aims to support. This is where my main issue with Debian started, as their package manager requires packages to be digitally signed with an approved certificate. As this proved to be too much of a hustle I reverted to Gentoo which at the time had just been opened up as an alternative OS for the B3 by Sakaki.

There is no real reason why my changes to the GUI could not also function with any other distro though. It's really the package manager prerequisites that make it more or less impossible for me to support main line distros like Debian and RedHat. My Gentoo packages do actually still use the original Excito Bubba 2.6 sources, to which a number of patches are applied. In theory if you skip all the Gentoo specific patches, which are identifiable by name, you should be able to make the software work with current Debian as well.

tywoniak
Posts: 5
Joined: 24 May 2011, 03:56

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by tywoniak » 19 Mar 2020, 04:57

Hi all,
thanks for your response.

After one week spent on Gentoo:
Installation itself was OK. The genup utility took not a few hours, but about 2 days. I have not found it in cron weekly. Otherwise everything generally worked. Nevertheless, I gave up it because of not able to install Application SW set (rtl_433,Mosquitto,Influxdb,Nodered,Grafana). Though I have tried every tricks, like basic Gentoo know how: unmasking, installing via rpm, installing manually from sources etc. Despite of the general Gentoo's idea to install everything from sources, the B3 architecture (armv5tel) is nearly unsupported and even if in a few cases manual installation succeeded, it does not work. I was able to install mosquitto (older version), rtl-sdr (with ~arm), go (with ~arm), rtl_433 from sources, InfluxDb using rpm (--nodeps --ignorearch). InfluxDb worked, but then stopped and cannot be started again. rtl_433 worked unreliable.
Thus I have returned back again to Debian buster.

After another week spent on Debian buster:
Installation itself was OK. I was suprized by absence of network tools, nevertheless, apt-get install net-tools has cured it easily. I was able to install (binary) packages Mosquitto and InfluxDb (InfluxDb really works). I was able to install rtl_433 (together with many prereqs) from sources (CMake). There was problem with loosing nearly all data by rtl_test, I have then fixed it by re-installation of rtl-sdr from sources and using other librtlsdr.so. Nevertheless, rtl_433 seems to be unreliable. My idea is that (when compared with ppc version, that works fine) it is because of wrong timing: ppc version uses fast access to kernel using linux-vdso32.so. And lastly: building of nodejs not only took ages, but then (in chrome js V8 engine building) it has shown that really, in case of arm, minimum of v6 is a must (B3 is armv5tel). Therefore no NodeRed. And no attempt of Grafana.

Thus I have finally shut down my plan of running my simple home automation on Bubba. My new plan (actually it is a backup plan from the beginning) is to move to Raspberry Pi, maybe with one exception: using Bubba as InfluxDb database server.
[And as home firewall, old good B2 running debian 6, 2.4.1/2.6 will stay. BTW, I was able to install Mosquitto and rtl_433 there, both running OK. I falied trying to install InfluxDb (based on Go) as well as Nodered (based on nodejs).]

BTW. I am still surprized, how slow is B3 when compiling. [OK, I know that current SWs are huge monsters, but ...]

Best regards
Jiri

Gordon
Posts: 1390
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 03:18

Re: Debian buster (10) image 1.0 released for B3

Post by Gordon » 19 Mar 2020, 16:43

I think the main problem with compiling software on the B3 is that the CPU is single core. For some reason this appears to create serious overhead with some processes. For instance, I used to run a python script to access the Evohome (a heating system) web portal and that needed a minimum of 40 seconds to complete. After I converted the script's functionality to an ELF binary I can achieve the same (and more!) in just over a second. Shamefully the Gentoo package manager happens to be built on python...

Must say that I am unsure about your remark on mosquitto being an older version in Gentoo. As part of my own home automation system I am running that myself and the installed version is 1.6.8, released two months ago. Nodejs however is definitely an issue and the last version I've found to work correctly is version 0.10 and thus I masked all newer versions in Bubbagen. I do verify from time to time though and found that the most recent versions won't even complete building.

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