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Getting Started with Cubieboard

Starting
Olliver M. Schinagl

Leverage the power of the ARM-based Cubieboard to create amazing projects
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Book Details

ISBN 139781783281572
Paperback162 pages

About This Book

  • Learn how to choose a development board, install various Linux distributions, and put them to real-world use
  • Understand how to start using a Cubieboard for work-related purposes
  • Learn how to perform the steps involved in building a system and tailor it to your needs

Who This Book Is For

If you are anywhere from a beginner to an advanced user of ARM, who wishes to get into the rapidly advancing world of development boards, such as Cubieboard, this is the book for you. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, you will learn from this book as it teaches you in an easy-to-follow manner. No previous ARM experience is required.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Choosing the Right Board
Wading through the forest of available chips and boards
Additional hardware
Summary
Chapter 2: Getting Started with the Hardware
Connecting a serial port
Booting up the preinstalled software
Summary
Chapter 3: Installing an Operating System
Booting the Cubieboard
OS image installation background
Getting and preparing Fedora
Writing the OS image to the SD card
Finishing the operating system installation
Precautionary measures for installing updates
Maintaining the OS and installing updates
Adding more software to the OS
Summary
Chapter 4: Manually Installing an Alternative Operating System
Prerequisites for this chapter
Preparing the destination medium
Formatting the newly created partitions
Creating a Debian or Ubuntu rootfs
Making the destination medium bootable
The root user
Adding the serial console
Rebooting the new OS
Getting around the new OS via the command line
Summary
Chapter 5: Setting Up a Home Server
Prerequisites for the home server board
Accessing the server remotely
Interacting with services
Starting, stopping, restarting, or reloading a service
Adding or removing a service from the boot up
Running scheduled tasks automatically
Setting up a proxy server
Setting up a web server
Setting up a file server
Setting up a torrent server
Setting up a personal cloud
Summary
Chapter 6: Updating the Bootloader and Kernel
Prerequisites for this chapter
The bootloader overview
Exploring the kernel
Summary
Chapter 7: Compiling the Bootloader and Kernel Using a BSP
Prerequisites
Installing a toolchain
Other required tools and packages
Obtaining and maintaining the BSP
Choosing a kernel
Compiling for a Cubieboard
Summary
Chapter 8: Blinking Lights and Sensing the World
Making an LED glow
Amplifying the voltage and current
Controlling pins from software
Pulling up and pulling down
Reading a switch
Summary

What You Will Learn

  • Differentiate between the numerous ARM development boards based on the Allwinner A-series of chips
  • Connect and communicate with a development board using a UART interface
  • Install Fedora to create a desktop system
  • Create a custom rootfs based on Debian or Ubuntu
  • Set up a server that runs various services, such as a file and a web server
  • Compile the bootloader and the kernel from scratch using a board support package (BSP), creating your own hardware support package
  • Familiarize yourself with some basic electronic concepts using Cubieboard, as you move on to toggling GPIO pins and making LEDs blink

In Detail

Embedded platforms are interesting because they combine two fun fields. On one side, there is open source software, and on the other side, there is open source hardware. But a little further from that, we have electronics (AVR-microcontrollers), which can be very interesting and fun to work with. Cubieboard is a powerful single board computer, similar to Raspberry Pi, that supports multiple operating systems, such as Ubuntu and Debian.

This book will teach you everything you need to know about project development using Cubieboard, even if you are not an embedded platform expert.

The book starts by going over the most well-known Allwinner development boards, helps you choose a board, and recommends additional required hardware. Next, the book briefly explains how to "talk" to the board. Then, things start to get interesting with the installation of a desktop OS onto an SD card and booting into a fully graphical desktop system. Concluding this work, the last chapter gives you an example of how to connect external peripherals such as an LED.

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