Cubieboard2 – An ubuntu 13.04 system that globally work (without graphic hardware acceleration)

I managed to obtain a working system with Ubuntu 13.04, booting on µSD, rooting on SATA, after really few modifications of the great work of Focus (user from #cubieboard channel on HDMI output works perfectly with my screens, using HDMI wire + DVI converter. I understood by these way, why in my previous test I didn’t have a good display. The wire should be pluged before booting. Plug a hdmi + dvi is not hot-plug in testing configurations.

With this images, there is no graphic acceleration (2D and 3d), so the SoC become quickly hot, you can touch the SoC with your finger and feel the heat in 2 to 4 seconds. Screensaver was one of the main reason of the energy waste in my case (use most of the two CPUs for blitting images.

How to do

Get images following links :
* uBoot image for µSD allowing boot SD => root SATA
* A SATA partition (to copy -a/rsync, or dd, as you want) :

Uncompress the two images :

xzcat uSD_cubie_boot_sda1.img.xz >uSD_cubie_boot_sda1.img
 xzcat linaro_ubuntu_desktop.img.xz >linaro_ubuntu_desktop.img.xz

Copy image uSD_cubie_boot_sda1.img on the µSD card :

dd bs=4096 if=uSD_cubie_boot_sda1.img of=/dev/sdX # ou /dev/sdX est votre carte µSD

Copy the linaro system image on your partition, previously created and aligned on cylinders for optimal performances on your disk especially SSD (else simply dd, for an easier install, but you will loose all data on your disk) :

mount /dev/sdY1 /mnt/mydisk
mount -o loop linaro_ubuntu_desktop.img.xz /mnt/image
rsync -a --numeric-ids /mnt/image/* /mnt/mydisk/

There is some changes to do:

* change linaro user rights (some dirs was root owned) :

chown -R 1000.1000 /mnt/mydisk/home/linaro

* Unmont everything and do a syn

umount /mnt/image /mnt/mydisk

* Unplug µSD an SATA disk and pluyg them on the Cubie. After that, start it.

There is then the need to add a desktop that don't use GL effects (graphics hardware acceleration doesn't work on these images)

If you don't have a serial port control, use CTRL+ALT+F1 to go to console mode.
Install XFCE or LXDE (warning the keyboard is in qwerty, type loadkb fr (on an AZERTY or linaro like on a QWERTY keyboard to have, here fr keyboard, replace fr by your language on the console) :

sudo apt-get install xfce4

Restart lightdm like this (or restart the whole system with a soft reboot (ctrk+alt+suppr or simply reboot in terminal console) :

sudo service lightdm restart

Choos linaro user, choose wanted desktoip and type linaro password (think your are again on a QWERTY keyboard).

Et voila, use synaptic to install paquets you are interested in. Here are some stuff that works in what I want:
* Mypaint + tablette wacom (Slow like an eeepc, as no hardware graphic acceleration)
* entangle + DSLR Nikon D5100 (but should work with any DSLR camera supported by gphoto2 v2.4.14 (allow full remote control of camera from the cubieboard), use an empty card on a camera, else this old version of gphoto will scan the card before access to preview mode (viewfinder on computer screen).
* Some little openGL things, but super slow (no GL hw acceleration with this image)
* mplayer or some other players/libs to play mp3 (you can use alsamixer in console to set the sound volume).
* ibus + chinese input
* inkscape, firefox (slow because the lake of hw acceleration)
* libreoffice (only made a quick test => work).
* sakura terminal emulator (the default one is near unreadable too little character set).
* etc...

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