FreeBSD on the CubieBoard2

I have previously been running NetBSD/evbarm and OpenBSD/armv7 on my CubieBoard2, and wrote about it here and here. The Cubieboard2 is an ARMv7 device which was released in 2013 so it is quite ancient by now. However, a renewed interest in FreeBSD on my side prompted me to try running the system on this device. ARMv7 is a Tier 2 architecture on FreeBSD, so the system cannot be upgraded by freebsd-update and must be kept up to date by source....

March 14, 2022 · 6 min

NetBSD on the NanoPi NEO2

The NanoPi NEO2 from FriendlyARM has been serving me well since 2018, being my test machine for OpenBSD/arm64 related things. As NetBSD/evbarm finally gained support for AArch64 in NetBSD 9.0, released back in February, I decided to give it a try on this device. The board only has 512MB of RAM, and this is where NetBSD really shines. Things have become a lot easier since jmcneill@ now provides bootable ARM images for a variety of devices, including the NanoPi NEO2....

August 6, 2020 · 8 min

OpenBSD/armv7 on the CubieBoard2

I bought the CubieBoard2 back in 2016 with the idea to run OpenBSD on it, but because of various reliability issues with the onboard NIC, it ended up running NetBSD for a few weeks before ending up in a drawer. Back in October, Mark Kettenis committed code to allow switching to the framebuffer “glass” console in the bootloader on OpenBSD/armv7, making it possible to install the system without using a serial cable....

May 27, 2020 · 4 min

OpenBSD/arm64 on the NanoPi NEO2

I bought the NanoPi NEO2 solely for it’s form-factor, and I haven’t been disappointed. It’s a cute little board (40*40mm), which is to the best of my knowledge the smallest possible device one can run OpenBSD on. The CPU is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 which is quite capable, a GENERIC.MP kernel build taking 15 minutes. On the downside, the board only has 512MB of RAM. An USB to TTL serial cable is required to connect to the board and perform installation....

November 13, 2018 · 3 min

NetBSD on the CubieBoard2

Here are some notes on installing and running NetBSD/evbarm on the AllWinner A20 powered CubieBoard2. I bought this board a few weeks ago for its SATA capabilities, despite the fact that there are now cheaper boards with more powerful CPUs. Required steps for creating a bootable micro SD card are detailed on the NetBSD Wiki, and a NetBSD installation is required to run mkubootimage. I used an USB to TTL serial cable to connect to the board and create user accounts....

July 8, 2016 · 5 min

GPU-accelerated video playback with NetBSD on the Raspberry Pi

NetBSD 7 gained support for hardware acceleration on the Raspberry Pi last January, and OMXPlayer was subequently imported into Pkgsrc. This combination allows seamless video playback directly in console. For testing this setup, I used Jun Ebihara’s prebuilt NetBSD RPi image and packages. Installing OMXPlayer using binary packages: pkg_add omxplayer Playing a video after blanking the screen: omxplayer -b captain-comic.avi This works unsurprisingly well and the player is quite pleasant to use....

April 30, 2015 · 1 min

RISC OS on the Raspberry Pi

Last week-end, I was finally able to dedicate some free time to play a little bit with the Raspberry Pi again, so I decided to plug it on my TV and try RISC OS Open using the prebuilt RISC OS Pi (RC14) SD card image. In fact, I already had a brief encounter with RISC OS running on Acorn hardware (most likely a Risc PC) a while ago at a French demoparty in the late nineties....

April 24, 2015 · 1 min

NetBSD on the Raspberry Pi

Last spring, I finally caved in and ordered a Raspberry Pi. In fact, I had a very precise reason to do so: it makes a nice and affordable little board to run NetBSD natively. Before starting, I recommend using a Class 10 SDHC Card as it will make the whole process of using pkgsrc faster. Creating the SD card As the Rapberry Pi port is still not part of the stable release, we will have to run NetBSD-current....

September 25, 2014 · 5 min