In my last posting I described getting Slackware ARM to boot headless on the ODROID U3 single-board computer, and I said that the next step would be to try to make it handle ungraceful shutdown (power loss) better. I plan to put this board into a Eurorack synthesizer module with no easy access to the microHDMI monitor connection, and SSH over the Ethernet connection as the only access to administrative functions. If, when the power is pulled on it, it comes up on next boot in a state where it requires console interaction to do a step like checking the filesystem before it will accept SSH connections, that is a disaster; I'd have to disassemble the whole module to extract the microSDMI card and replace the OS image. To be useful, the ODROID must be guaranteed or almost guaranteed to survive a power drop and come up SSH-able on the next boot. Ideally, I want pulling the plug on it with no shutdown formalities to be the normal expected way of shutting it down too, not just an error condition from which it can recover. A good journalling filesystem can increase the chance of recovery from occasional accidental power drops, but I think the only way to make routine non-accidental power drops safe is to keep the filesystem mounted read-only - which might be desirable anyway, to reduce wear on the flash memory and prevent its being corrupted by other kinds of accidents. So this posting is about my experiences configuring Slackware ARM on the ODROID U3 to keep its root filesystem read-only.
Our last episode concluded with the discovery that the clip leads I was using to power the ODROID U3 had nontrivial resistance, possibly close to two Ohms for the pair. That's a lot, when one is pulling up to 2A through them from a 5V supply. I switched them for some lower-resistance ones, and the ODROID seemed to behave much better. Between that and a replacement of the Hardkernel-supplied microSD card, I was hopeful that the reliability problems would be much reduced and I could make some progress on the software side of things.
As of last update, I had given up on setting up the ODROID U3 without connecting a monitor to it, and was shopping for a micro-HDMI cable. Here are some further notes
I recently bought a Hardkernel ODROID U3 single-board computer to use in one of my projects. The ODROID U3 is an ARM-based computer capable of running Linux or Android, with Ethernet, USB, microSD, and some other ports that I wasn't planning to use. My plan is to use it for controlling a music synthesizer, with the USB ports used to interface to the synth and a little LCD panel, and the Ethernet port used to talk to other computers. This posting contains some notes on getting it to work.
The title is a song lyric; it means "the story that starts now," and that's more or less where I feel I'm at. A lot has happened between mid-November and now, and I'm hoping that this will mark a boundary or change in the conditions around me.
I've decided to stop using Arch Linux, because I believe in The Arch Way. I'm tempted to leave it at that, but more detail is below the cut.
I had a request for some comments on Arch Linux, now that I've been using it a few days, and in particular the question of whether it is easy to install.
I am, as the title implies, switching my home desktop system from Slackware Linux and KDE to Arch Linux and XFCE. You may see some minor disruptions here (in particular, the astrological chart generator may be down or unreliable) for the next few days. The switch is a pretty big production; I've been using Slackware for most of the last 20 years, and KDE for most of the time I've been using Slackware, and because I've been doing continuous incremental upgrades instead of full reinstalls, some parts of my system actually are that old.
There was no one big annoyance or disaster to make me want to switch, but my dissatisfaction with KDE has been gradually increasing for the last few years, and I decided it would be better to switch in a controlled way when I'm not fighting a fire, rather than wait until some kind of disaster forces me to switch under pressure. I'm still basically satisfied with Slackware, and I could have continued to use it, but I tried doing a similar KDE to XFCE switch on my laptop first to debug the process, and found that doing a complete reinstall of the underlying Linux distribution really makes the desktop change a lot pleasanter. Given that I'm doing a reinstall of the core Linux system, it seems like a good opportunity to also do the switch to Arch, which has some advantages over Slackware.