Installing Voyage Linux on ALIX 2c0

As I wrote earlier, I have bought myself an ALIX 2c0, a smallish embedded computer. It is designed and manufactured by PC Engines and has the following specification:

  • 433MHz AMD Geode CPU
  • 128MB RAM
  • Compact flash slot for storage
  • 2 mini-PCI slots for WiFi or other uses
  • One serial port that is uses as console but can be reconfigured (although limited in functionality

There are number of distributions that could be used on this system. I found Voyage Linux to be the most interesting since it includes the standard Debian package manager. This means that it is effortless to install additional applications.

To get Voyage Linux onto the ALIX I did this (using another computer running Linux):

  1. Download Voyage Linux 0.5.0 or later from the Voyage Linux web site
  2. Untar the archive [ tar –numeric-owner -jxvf voyage-0.5.0.tar.bz2 ]
  3. Change directory [ cd voyage-0.5.0 ]
  4. Create a directory where the compact flash disk can be mounted [ mkdir /mnt/voyage ]
  5. Insert the compact flash disk and check which device name it gets (N.B. be absolutely certain that you get this correct or you may end up wiping your hard drive) – This instruction assumes that the compact flash disk is /dev/sda
  6. Run the script [usr/local/sbin/format-cf.sh /dev/sda] within the downloaded and unzipped archive. This will initialise the compact flash disk – Again, please verify which device name corresponds to the compact flash disk on your system
  7. Run the script [usr/local/sbin/voyage.update]

The script will go through the installation and ask questions. Most of the options will be correct so it is mostly a matter of pressing enter a number of times. What you will want to change is the following:

  • The target profile should be set to “4 – ALIX” instead of “7 – WRAP” which is the default
  • The target disk should be set to whatever device is your compact flash disk (e.g. /dev/sda) – PLEASE check the correct device name on your system or risk wiping your hard drive, but on the other hand if you didn’t heed my warning earlier your disk is already toast.
  • The drive where the compact flash disk should be mounted should be set to the folder created above (e.g. /mnt/voyage)

At the end you will be faced with a summary of all the settings. Check that it is correct and then type “y” to continue. The copying will take a minute or two, after that the compact flash disk is ready. Just place it in the ALIX, connect it to your network and boot.

The system will automatically use DHCP to get an IP address. It can be reached by SSH with the default root password of “voyage”.

2 thoughts on “Installing Voyage Linux on ALIX 2c0”

  1. Thanks for the instructions. Can this be done using Windows? I know it sounds funny – i don’t have a PC installed with Linux. But I do have Ubuntu on VMPlayer, or perhaps, i can use that?

    The system will automatically use DHCP to get an IP address. It can be reached by SSH with the default root password of “voyage”.
    >> How do you know the IP address of your ALIX?

  2. just use the ” ip addr” command on the ALIX to find the IP. Or a more comprehensive command “ifconfig”

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