bogdan's (micro)blog

bogdan » raspberry pi minimal gentoo (updated)

03:46 pm on Dec 29, 2013 | read the article | tags: ,

the love for gentoo and the spare time during this winter holidays made me update my minimal raspberry pi gentoo image. the image includes:

  • latest 3.10.y (3.10.25+) raspberry pi kernel (sha1: 035642b95ebe820cc265070af72a13f4fa1eb4c7). hdmi output is enabled, also the sound card module is compiled together with lan95xx driver, zd1211 usb wi-fi driver, 3g modem support, ftdi serial addapter and f2fs support. of course gpio. f2fs-tools are also included, but the root partition is still ext4 as some still use debian stable which has no f2fs support.
  • iproute2, iptables and dropbear ssh for networking. no ipv6 support as i think rpi is best suited for local networks. udhcpc is provided through busybox. same ping.
  • full blown vim and wget. i like editing in colors. and sometimes you have to download something.
  • lighttpd http server. as i’m starting to like how easy it is to setup. the root folder of the http server is on the VFAT partition, under www. so you can upload your website files directly from windows.
  • php5.5.4 with fpm and sqlite3. although minimal things are compiled in php, it should be enough to run wordpress. warning! no gd or imagemagick support.
  • wpa_supplicant if you decide to add an wifi dongle. pulled out onto the /boot VFAT partition the network configuration file under /boot/etc/network.
  • you need at least 2Gb of SD card. had incredible success with Hama 8Gb/Class 10/Blue cards. the Verbatim 8Gb/Class 10/Blue card on which i built the first version doesn’t work anymore.
  • root password is blackcat

here’s the download link. enjoy! =) gentoo-3.10.25-blackcat-1.0.img.gz (sha1: d5560f81e43361a7e99db6e7d42e67d4446b0b7b)

Raspberry Pi Minimal Gentoo Distro

bogdan » raspberry pi minimal gentoo (details)

12:11 am on May 3, 2013 | read the article | tags: ,

a few details on running gentoo-3.8.8-cat-0.8.img.gz on your raspberry pi:

  • lacking a hwclock, the openrc will complain about the skew clock of some files. use touch to fix their clock and rc-update -u to update the openrc deptree. a reboot will show no more complains.
  • above is one of the reasons net.wlan0, sshd and lighttpd are not added by default to the “default” runlevel. more, the net.wlan0 symlink is missing. use ln -s /etc/init.d/net.lo /etc/init.d/net.wlan0 before running rc-update add net.wlan0 default. same for eth0.
  • to make it easier to configure the net, both /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf and /etc/conf.d/net are linked in /boot/config/wireless.txt and /boot/config/network.txt respectively. you can edit those from windows (while creating the bootable SD card).
  • the kernel contains a fix that enables the nat table in iptables. who knows, a pi router might be a nice idea.
  • you can login via serial console =). it should be interesting connecting a serial LCD to see it.
  • also, lighttpd is pre-configured to use files in /www directory. there, each .rb file is parsed as a cgi script. i’ve minimized the config so it fits only .rb, .html, .js, .css., .jpg, .png files. more than enough in my opinion.
  • the linux includes pi_piper to access pi’s GPIO. including the SPI.

i’m thinking to build an arduino interface to protect the pi’s GPIO and to extend the functionality using the serial port. don’t know when i’ll have time to do that, but it’s in my plans.


if it moves, compile it

bogdan » raspberry pi minimal gentoo

09:58 pm on Apr 28, 2013 | read the article | tags: ,

i love gentoo. mostly for its ability to be small and tight on the machine running it. so, here it is. a small gentoo distro (around 121Mb) that includes the following:

  • iproute2 & iptables (no ipv6 though, cause i don’t really like it)
  • vim & wget
  • lighttpd (wanted nginx, but has some problems with minimum arm cross-compile)
  • openssh (wanted dropbear, but same as above)
  • ruby (wanted python, but same as above)
  • reiserfs root, tools and kernel support (be it as it may, reiserfs is still a damn good file system in my opinion)
  • wpa_supplicant for wifi configuration
  • update (0.4): fixed ruby socket bug
  • update (0.6): fixed ruby ffi_c.so problem (gentoo doesn’t cross compile C extensions from ruby gems ebuilds. soon a post on a workaround). also added a full blown vim distribution: syntax and advanced commands support. added around 22Mb. you can still use the slim 0.4 version, but you have to replace ffi_c.so with this one (sha1: 07e000d78fd8af57c40a47a26dfd685092d03982)
  • root password is raspberrypi

the kernel:

  • 3.8.8 latest (3.8.y / last night fetched) raspberry pi patched kernel configured with usb LAN95xx network driver (default) and ZD1211 driver (for a USB WiFi SMC dongle i have) with firmware
  • for convenience, you get the imagetool-uncompressed.py on the /boot partition


  • the updated raspberry pi 1Gb img file (including updated vim and a working pi_piper with an example.rb): gentoo-3.8.8-cat-0.8.img.gz (sha1: efe34f9c3c5dbd572f83884e9ef0e76136cecb4d)
  • the raspberry pi 1Gb img file (ready to be “burned” on an SD card): gentoo-3.8.8-cat-0.4.img.gz (sha1: 5fe996882533bfd3474bc199e6ee4f124e0f1f52)
  • the kernel image: kernel.img (sha1: cf2bcc30bc3da9c5d6d55c8c4d9a83cf7f43e928)
  • the kernel .config (as the bcmrpi_defconfig isn’t bootable): config (sha1: a524301b9818e11909206584f2710993c2dbc0d0)



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