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#1 2018-01-04 10:11:28

andreas_baumann
Administrator
From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 548
Website

PC Engines Alix 1.E

AMD Geode LX D800, 256 MB RAM, 8 GB compact flash.

alix-1e.jpg

Some small caveats and tipps for installation:

Did a pacstrap on another machine (using an IDE/CF-adapter).

The IDE-Adapter needs a special module, otherwise you cannot boot:

# change in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf
MODULES=(pata_cs5536)

mkinitcpio -c /etc/mkinitcpio.conf -p linux

Make sure not to write too often to the CF:

/etc/fstab: noatime mount

Increase write back delay:

cat /etc/sysctl.d/99-writeback.conf <<EOF
vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs = 6000
EOF

Let systemd write journal into volatile memory and not store
coredumps.

TODOS:
- tame systemd more
- get more video than VESA, see https://www.x.org/wiki/GeodeDriver/,
  but configuration and loading in X11 is not that simple
- answer the question: "does a CF card support or/and need TRIMing?"

links:

https://www.daniel-boehmer.de/thinkpad-cf/#cf-ide
https://buecher.mamawe.net/buecher/head … -linux.pdf
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=147061
https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/SSD/TRIM/#TRIM-ext4

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#2 2018-06-22 08:27:46

andreas_baumann
Administrator
From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 548
Website

Re: PC Engines Alix 1.E

Update on graphics and Xorg. The old X driver xf86-video-geode is segfaulting with Xorg 1.20 currently.
I managed to get a VESA setup running, though mode switching is not working and only producing green
text blocks on the screen. So I can login graphically once, then I have to reboot.

Another setup tipp: Make everything read-only on the CF. Then install a transient guest user with the
https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/systemd-guest-user/ package. You add the init files for the
guest user to /usr/share/guest-configuration directory which gets copied to /home/guest when
starting up.

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#3 2018-10-09 19:01:37

andreas_baumann
Administrator
From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 548
Website

Re: PC Engines Alix 1.E

Currently the i686 version of Archlinux32 is not working at all anymore (endbr32 to nopl and missing nopl issues on the AMD Geode).
Looking forward to get the i486 architecture up and running for this machine (and the AMD K6 one). Currently it works in text mode..

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#4 2018-10-09 22:10:52

levi
Moderator
From: UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 174

Re: PC Engines Alix 1.E

I've been running for about ten years now on flash drives (a simple SD card for the past two or three), and I've never switch to noatime.  I'm aware that it's aging my hardware, but they all have a sufficient lifespan for me.  My mini PCI controller in my EEEPC did give up the ghost before the drive itself did.

Edit: Yes, in response to the post above mine now that I've read it properly, the i686 builds containing SSE2 instructions is a gotcha for anyone running something purely i686.  Luckily for me, the Atom in my netbook supports SSE2 just fine so I've not had a problem, but I dare say those of us running early Atom-based devices in the i686 community are not quite a majority of users; there are probably more of us who are running something slightly more off-the-shelf, as there are plenty of chips built between Pentium Pro and the Atom that don't support everything the current buildtools require.

Last edited by levi (2018-10-09 22:14:52)

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