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openSUSE ARM Gets new Raspberry Pi Images

September 9th, 2013 by
Raspberry Pi in action

Sadly, the sticker doesn’t fit…

Over the weekend, Bernhard Wiedemann has been working on new armv6 based images for the Raspberry Pi. It is built using a set of alternative build scripts aiming to make the building of the image easier. He’s put the scripts as well as an image online, you can get it from oSC or here (image) and here (scripts). If you’re playing around with Raspberry Pi and want to create images for your device(s), this is for you!

The Image and Building It

As Bernhard explains on his blog, the image he created is only 82mb compressed, so it is pretty minimalistic. The image also contains the scripts he created for building under /home/abuild/rpmbuild/SOURCES/.

If you’re interested in playing with the building itself, creating custom images, the following commands will get you going:
osc co devel:ARM:Factory:Contrib:RaspberryPi altimagebuild
cd devel:ARM:Factory:Contrib:RaspberryPi/altimagebuild
bash -x main.sh

He notes: If you have 6GB RAM, you can speed things up with export OSC_BUILD_ROOT=/dev/shm/arm before you do.

This package doesn’t build in OBS or with just the osc command as it requires root permissions for some steps. That is why you have to run it by hand and let it do its magic. The under-250-lines of script will go through the following steps:

  1. First, osc build is used to pull in required packages and setup the armv6 rootfs.
  2. Second, mkrootfs.sh modifies a copy of the rootfs under .root to contain all required configs
  3. And finally, mkimage.sh takes the .root dir and creates a .img from it that can be booted

Bernhard claims that: “this can build an image from scatch in three minutes. And my Raspberry Pi booted successfully with it within 55 seconds.

Todo and Open Issues

He also points out some remaining open issues:

  • the repo key is initially untrusted
  • still uses old 3.1 kernel
  • build scripts have no error handling

Compared to the old image, this one has some advantages:

  • It is easier to resize as the root partition is the last one
  • Compressed image is much smaller
  • Reproducible image build, so easy to customize
  • It is armv6 with floating point support, so could be faster
  • We have 5200 successfully built packages from openSUSE:Factory:ARM

If you wanted to play with building images for the Raspberry Pi, this might well be the easiest way doing so! And as always, merge requests are very much welcome.

Have a lot of fun

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12 Responses to “openSUSE ARM Gets new Raspberry Pi Images”

  1. Etam

    Yay! openSUSE everywhere! :)

  2. Do you know when OpenSUSE will be available for the beaglebone black?

    • beaglebone is armv7 so we have plenty of openSUSE packages for it already. Should not be that hard to make an image out of that (usually just needs uboot + kernel specific to the board)

    • Short answer is as soon as someone who has one ports it. Long answer is that it isn’t a device that many if any of the ARM team have, also there are key components missing upstream which means that we would need to spend much more time working on fixes etc.

      If you have one, we would gladly try and help you implement support. Unfortunately there are other items that we need to focus on to make sure ARM support is at the required state.

    • Roman

      I hope they get a beaglebone image soon.

    • Peter Jan Randewijk

      I hope this happens soon. If Ubuntu could do it, so could openSUSE… The Beaglebone Black has so much I/O which is so easy to access especially with the Adafruit’s Python IO library, https://github.com/adafruit/adafruit-beaglebone-io-python

  3. Jan-Bart Spang

    No XBMC package yet? It’s the only reason I use openELEC or Raspbian at the moment. I suppose it’s a good chance for me to learn how to build packages…

  4. Joseph

    >As Bernhard explains on his blog, the image he created is only 82mb compressed

    If only we could do that on x86 then we could compete with Puppy Linux. :-)

  5. Today I’m very “SusePible”

  6. Hi!
    via the following link
    I found the OpenSUSE image for Raspberry
    I downloaded the November 10th image and decompressed it to my 8GB card.
    I booted Raspberry with it and the boot seemed to work.

    However, I end up with a very minimal IceWM desktop with no apps installed (except XTerm). Not even a background (just the stippled X-Windows root window) There is a OpenSUSE/Configuration/Add-Remove software menu entry but this puts up a small window for a fraction of a second and does nothing. (too fast to read any error mesage that might be printed) Any ideas as to what went wrong? where I can turn to? What forum to post this in (no dedicated OpenSUSE Raspberry forum yet…)

  7. Michel

    While leaving a reply, I put in my website. since then, I’ve had about 20 spam messages sent to the feedback form on my website…. Can my website linkbe removed? (maybe too late, but…)