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Lubuntu Desktop/Server SD Card Installation for Cubietruck

About this Article


We may want to install lubuntu desktop/​server to SD card, here is a guide for you. This guide is for Linux platform only. We take Desktop as a example in this guide. If you are interested in Server, just replace the images with server one.


  • Any Linux environment,​ we want fdisk, dd, tar, wget commands
  • An SD Card(at least 2GB)


We assume card=/dev/sdd here

Get Images

Name Desc URL
u-boot u-boot with spl download
bootfs uImage, uEnv.txt, script.bin download
rootfs rootfs download

Cleaning SD Card

$sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=${card} bs=1024 seek=544 count=128

Make Bootable SD Card

$sudo dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl-ct-20131102.bin of=$card bs=1024 seek=8


$ sudo fdisk $card

Using the fdisk command to create 2 partitions on the SD Card, e.g.

  • 1st partitions start from 2048 sectors, 64MB in size
  • 2nd partitions just keep it all default

Show bellow

 Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdd1            2048      133119       65536   83  Linux
/dev/sdd2          133120    15278079     7572480   83  Linux

Also we recommend you to look at Bootable_SD_card

$sudo mkfs.ext2 ${card}1
$sudo mkfs.ext4 ${card}2


$mkdir /tmp/sdd1 /tmp/sdd2
$sudo mount -t ext2 ${card}1 /tmp/sdd1
$sudo mount -t ext4 ${card}2 /tmp/sdd2
$sudo tar -C /tmp/sdd1 -xvf bootfs-part1.tar.gz
$sudo tar -C /tmp/sdd2 -xvf rootfs-part2.tar.gz
$sudo umount /tmp/sdd1
$sudo umount /tmp/sdd2

Customizing ( optional )

Change your own kernel

Move Rootfs to Hard Drive

  • Mount rootfs partitions

After login to lubuntu system on Cubietruck with linaro,

$sudo su - root   --> change to root user
#mkdir /tmp/1 /tmp/target
#mount /dev/mmcblk0p2 /tmp/1
#mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
#mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/target
  • Moving rootfs
#(cd /tmp/1; tar --backup -c *) |tar -C /tmp/target -xv
  • Changing Kernel Parameters
#mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/
#vi /mnt/uEnv.txt
(Change root=/dev/sda1)

So the file's content would like bellow

cat /mnt/uEnv.txt
extraargs=console=tty0 disp.screen0_output_mode=EDID:1280x720p50 rootwait panic=10 rootfstype=ext4 rootflags=discard
  • Sync to disk, and reboot to your hard drive
#umount /mnt

After installing rootfs to SSD, we will get much more better experience.

  • Performance (R:106MB/s, W: 148MB/s)
root@cubietruck:~# cat /sys/block/sda/device/model 
root@cubietruck:~# dd if=/dev/sda2 of=/dev/null bs=1M count=10000
10000+0 records in
10000+0 records out
10485760000 bytes (10 GB) copied, 98.9637 s, 106 MB/s
root@cubietruck:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb2 bs=1M count=5000
dd: writing `/dev/sdb2': No space left on device
913+0 records in
912+0 records out
956919808 bytes (957 MB) copied, 6.45456 s, 148 MB/s


VGA output

If we want to change to VGA output default, we need to modify the script.bin at the 1st partition

$bin2fex script.bin 1.fex
$vim 1.fex (and change screen0_output_type to 4)
$fex2bin 1.fex script.bin

Kernel Source

Wifi Module

Cubietruck have AP6210 wifi/bt module combo on board, to load the module,

#modprobe bcmdhd

Default User/Password

tutorials/ct1/installation/install_lubuntu_desktop_server_to_sd_card.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/02 20:05 by benn