Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

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Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

charles.lesire
Hi guys,

Has anyone succeeded in installing a recent Linux distribution on the Atomboard?

I have tried with Lubuntu 14.10 and then 14.04 but I think I felt into troubles with either the initramfs or the display configuration, and no way to recover (I had to start the install from scratch several times).

Any hint?

My (hidden) objective: using ROS hydro from packages to ease the deployment.

Thanks,

Charles
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Re: Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

DavidJensen
My first recommendation is to stop using the Atomboard, because it has miserable processing power and it's full of hassles (that LVDS display? incredibly frustrating to use).

To your question, I was able to install Ubuntu 12.04 last spring and ROS groovy. 14.04 was released after we stopped using the Atomboard, so I can't speak to that, but here are my setup notes for 12.04. I did this using a mac, so some things might be a little different on Ubuntu or Windows.

Install Ubuntu on new SD card
- Make bootable USB stick with 32-bit 12.04 Ubuntu
    - Download 32-bit ubuntu 12.04
    - On a mac: (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-mac-osx)
        Convert downloaded .iso to .img
        $ hdiutil convert-format UDRW -o ~/Desktop/ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.img ~/Desktop/ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.iso    
        Remove the extra .dmg from the filename
        $ diskutil list
        Insert USB stick
        $ diskutil list
        USB stick is the new item /dev/diskN (mine was /dev/disk2 when I did this)
        $ diskutil unmount /dev/disk2
        $ sudo dd if=~/Desktop/ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.img of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m
        At this point, I got an error message saying the disk could not be read. This is probably just the formatting or something.
        $ diskutil eject /dev/disk2
        $ Restart and hold ‘option’, then select the USB stick to try booting to it.
- Make sure to have a fully charged battery, so you don’t risk losing power while installing.
- Insert the microSD card into the Atomboard and connect the bootable USB drive.
- Enter the bios (hit Delete at the main splash screen) and set the boot priority to USB
- Save and exit, then boot into the USB (should see Ubuntu splash screen)
- Choose to install on the disk, select manual partitioning
- Create a single ext3 partition on the whole disk. It will ask if you want to make a swap partition, but I didn’t.
- Install ubuntu, this takes a while.
- At this point, I was able to remove the flash drive and boot into ubuntu from the SD card without any trouble


EDIT: I realized right after posting that I didn't answer about ROS. I just followed the ROS install instructions to get it from the package manage. Nothing special there.
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Re: Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

djanthony
I was able to get ROS 12.04 installed on our Atomboards as well, and get ROS hydro working on them from the repos. My method was basically the same as the prior solution, where I made a bootable USB stick, booted the Atomboard from that, and installed to the SD card.

One suggestion that I have is to use the Ubuntu server images, which do not include a desktop environment. It simplified the install, and we rarely use a display on the Atomboards because of the LVDS connection issues.

David Anthony

On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 10:30 AM, DavidJensen [via asctec-users] <[hidden email]> wrote:
My first recommendation is to stop using the Atomboard, because it has miserable processing power and it's full of hassles (that LVDS display? incredibly frustrating to use).

To your question, I was able to install Ubuntu 12.04 last spring and ROS groovy. 14.04 was released after we stopped using the Atomboard, so I can't speak to that, but here are my setup notes for 12.04. I did this using a mac, so some things might be a little different on Ubuntu or Windows.

Install Ubuntu on new SD card
- Make bootable USB stick with 32-bit 12.04 Ubuntu
    - Download 32-bit ubuntu 12.04
    - On a mac: (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-mac-osx)
        Convert downloaded .iso to .img
        $ hdiutil convert-format UDRW -o ~/Desktop/ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.img ~/Desktop/ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.iso    
        Remove the extra .dmg from the filename
        $ diskutil list
        Insert USB stick
        $ diskutil list
        USB stick is the new item /dev/diskN (mine was /dev/disk2 when I did this)
        $ diskutil unmount /dev/disk2
        $ sudo dd if=~/Desktop/ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-i386.img of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m
        At this point, I got an error message saying the disk could not be read. This is probably just the formatting or something.
        $ diskutil eject /dev/disk2
        $ Restart and hold ‘option’, then select the USB stick to try booting to it.
- Make sure to have a fully charged battery, so you don’t risk losing power while installing.
- Insert the microSD card into the Atomboard and connect the bootable USB drive.
- Enter the bios (hit Delete at the main splash screen) and set the boot priority to USB
- Save and exit, then boot into the USB (should see Ubuntu splash screen)
- Choose to install on the disk, select manual partitioning
- Create a single ext3 partition on the whole disk. It will ask if you want to make a swap partition, but I didn’t.
- Install ubuntu, this takes a while.
- At this point, I was able to remove the flash drive and boot into ubuntu from the SD card without any trouble


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Re: Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

DavidJensen
I agree, using a server image is probably your best choice in terms of performance. I ended up modifying our Ubuntu to run fairly minimal, and turned off the GUI at boot, but we needed the ability to enable it occasionally, as we regularly used the onboard camera.

Ultimately, we ended up just removing the Atomboard, and now use an Intel NUC instead.
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Re: Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

djanthony
How have the NUCs been working for you? I was interested in them, but was worried about how they would hold up mechanically. Do the UAVs' vibrations bother them, and can they withstand the occasional crash?

On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 9:48 AM, DavidJensen [via asctec-users] <[hidden email]> wrote:
I agree, using a server image is probably your best choice in terms of performance. I ended up modifying our Ubuntu to run fairly minimal, and turned off the GUI at boot, but we needed the ability to enable it occasionally, as we regularly used the onboard camera.

Ultimately, we ended up just removing the Atomboard, and now use an Intel NUC instead.


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
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To start a new topic under asctec-users, email [hidden email]
To unsubscribe from asctec-users, click here.
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Re: Installing a recent distro on the Atomboard

DavidJensen
Mechanically, I haven't had any problems with the NUC. I've flown it on over a dozen flights since installing it in September, and there have been a few rough landings, and one tumble landing, but nothing that has resulted in damage to the aircraft. The NUC is installed in a 3D printed mount that screws into the platform that the battery was originally attached to, so it has the little rubber shock absorbers, and vibrations aren't an issue. We moved the battery up to where the Atomboard was initially installed: just above the propeller arms.

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me directly, so that we aren't hijacking this thread.

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