I own a raspberry pi and loved it, but it just wasn't powerful enough. So I googled around and found Cubie, figured it should be more than powerful enough for what I wanted to do. I found out the hard way that the cubie is not as user friendly as the raspberry pi was. My biggest gripe was that there was tons of support however it was not as good as the raspberry pi community is. For instance I was under the impression I could boot from an SD card just like the pi, and while I can what I didn't know is that it has to be a microsd card. Luckily I had an old cell phone that had an 8gig card in it that I could use. The next issue I faced was installing the image onto the sd card and how exactly to do it. In this post I will go over some of the things that I faced with the cubie and how I was able to over come them in hopes that someone else will have good documentation to go off of. I am using the cubietruck and installing lubuntu on an older scandisk 8gig microsd card.
You will also need dd for linux (usually pre-installed)to transfer files.
Installing the software to boot from microsd
First thing we'll need to do is find the card then zero it.
sudo ls /dev/Your card should show up as sdd or sde (mine happened to be sde) depending on the card and linux distro you're running. You can run ls on /dev/ get the output then plug the microsd card in and run it again to compare. Next we need to zero the card out.
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sde bs=1024 seek=544 count=128Next we're going to make the card bootable with dd.
dd if=/home/user/downloads/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl-ct-20131102.bin of=/dev/sde bs=1024 seek=8Now that the card is bootable we need to create partitions to install the operating system to. To accomplish this we'll be using fdisk on the microsd card.
sudo fdisk /dev/sdeWe need to create two primary partitions:
Basic Configuration on first bootUsername/Password: linaro/linaro Once booted there are a few things you'll want to do. First you'll need to log in, the default user for the OS is linaro the password as you might guess is also linaro. Next thing you'll notice is that there is no wlan0 but only eht0. This is because the modules are not installed. Lets install the modules for Bluetooth and wifi.
$sudo modprobe bcmdhdNow you can configure wpa supplicant to set up wifi. You might run into some issues with wpa_supplicant. You can find help with wpa_supplicant here. Lets reboot now to make sure the configuration stuck. What you'll notice is that once again wlan0 is not there anymore. This is due to the Bluetooth and wifi module not loading on boot, so lets fix this.
$sudo modprobe bcmdhd $sudo nano /etc/modulesAt the end of the /etc/modules you'll need to add bcmdhd so that it will load on boot. Now all you need is to save the file with Ctrl^x and reboot. Now your wireless configuration and module should both load at boot. Now you should have wireless network. At this point you should update and upgrade install packages
$sudo apt-get update $sudo apt-get upgrade
ConclusionI've had the cubietruck a short time now, and can say that I do enjoy it and it's power over the pi; however the community could be better as far as development is concerned. I got the cubietruck to make xbmc 720p and 1080p playback smoother, without having to overclock. I haven't quite configured everything I want at the moment so I can't speak on whether the purchase I made for what I wanted the cubietruck to do was worth it. So far it's been a learning curve and I look forward to finding out more I can do with it. For now I have a starting point.
Main Cubieboard Site
Tools and OS's