Turning A1000 into a server

So my quest to turn my A1000 into a server is proceeding apace: I now have a custom kernel for a headless system which supports ethernet, SATA and wifi.

Okay, the kernel.conf is here: anify.config. It's built against the git tree at https://github.com/linux-sunxi/linux-sunxi, using branch 'allwinner-v3.0-android'. It's 3.0.28 (currently). Most of the core drivers are built into the kernel rather than using modules.

Issues I've noticed:

  • tickless kernel doesn't work. (If you turn it on, the system will hang randomly.)

  • the wifi driver will only build as a module due to link errors.

  • most of the allwinner-specific drivers have mangled kernel configurations, which means that turning them on and off is frustrating (as the config tool can't enforce a valid configuration and the build fails if it's not set up right). I have most of them turned off. It's not as if vibrator support's going to do much for me.

  • ethernet works but the MAC address isn't initialised properly, so you'll have to take the lid off, read the MAC address off the label on the ethernet socket, and do something like this in your /etc/network/interfaces:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
   pre-up ifconfig eth0 hw ether 00:01:02:03:04:05
  • Kernel tracing gets emitted twice. I haven't figured out why yet.

  • This is using the default evb.bin. I haven't tried changing it.

Incidentally, debootstrap seems to be buggered at the moment: I tried several times to make it generate a working Debian unstable root filesystem, and didn't succeed (invalid /var/lib/dpkg/status, incorrect package sets, etc). My current system is based of the minimal Debian root file system linked to on the images page of the wiki.

Pre-built "server" kernel .debs and uImage

If you want you can try these pre-built kernel images tailored to use a Mele or an MK802 as a server. These are based on the kernel config and the git tree mentioned above, with some additional changes, e.g. enabled support of all USB Ethernet dongles (necessary if you're going to use an MK802 as a server with a wired network connection), enabled netfilter iptables/ip6tables, enabled the 'tun' module for VPN, etc. No video output with these kernels, but 507 MB RAM of 512 MB is free for the OS.

Bugs related to using the A1000 as a Server.