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Installing Voyage Linux SDK

Voyage Linux is Debian derived distribution that is best run on a x86 embedded platforms such as PC Engines ALIX/WRAP, Soekris 45xx/48xx and Atom-based boards. You can also run it on ordinary computers, but for that environments there are other more powerful distributions which you probably already know.

This tutorial tries to show how to install this environment on a board or PC environment. It is starting with the installation of the SDK as the basic environment for the latter customization that is done on the system.

Some of information is available on the Voyage Linux site. Part of it, mainly some installation procedures, is replicated in this howto (for the shake of my own order). However for the customization no information is included on the main site, so I hope the information included here will help you out.


Before doing anything let’s identify to the main links repositories for the Voyage Linux distribution.

All the packages, sources, etc. is found in the Voyage Mirror. Next some additional shortcuts are introduce to access the most relevant information.

In order to download the different releases, you can follow the links included on the main list or you can access directly http://mirror.voyage.hk/download/voyage/ and get the one you like. In the rest of this tutorial version 0.8.0 or current will be used.

If you want to customize Voyage the kernel you will need at least two things:

  • Kernel source code
  • is available under the dist directory in the Voyage Mirror. Then for each release go to the linux directory.

  • Base .config file used on Voyage Kernel

You can also try to start from a vanilla kernel and apply the different kernel patches available.

Besides the above, under the dists directory on the site, you have all the packages that are available or installed for each version.

These are the generic links to access the different data, but you can use your closest mirror.

Voyage Live CD or SDK installation

Download the Voyage Live CD or SDK iso

$ wget http://www.voyage.hk/download/ISO/sdk/voyage-0.8.0.iso
$ wget http://www.voyage.hk/download/ISO/sdk/voyage-sdk-0.8.0.iso

If you have a quite good connection and wget is getting toooooo long to download the images, try Axel, which tries to accelerate HTTP/FTP downloading process by using multiple connections for one file.

The command line I used was simple but efficient (from a download time of almost 1h with wget to 10 minutes with axel, amazing isn’t it?). You can customize your own by reading the man.

$ axel -a -n 20 http://www.voyage.hk/download/ISO/sdk/voyage-sdk-0.8.0.iso

I’ve downloaded the SDK Live CD as I’m customizing the distro. But if you want just to install the default one, you can follow the same steps with the Voyage Live CD.

Burn the image on a CD, USB, etc. or use a Virtual Machine (what I’ve done).

Next boot the system, log in (root / voyage) and proceed with the installation [1].

By default the system is read only, so make it read/write.

# remountrw

Create the directories required for the installation procedure

# mkdir /tmp/root
# mkdir /tmp/cf

Mount the distribution

# mount -o loop /live/image/live/filesystem.squashfs /tmp/root

The target device used in this tutorial is /dev/sda, which is a hard disk. IMPORTANT!! Change the destination to fit your requirements. Otherwise you might end up overwriting your current OS or other important information.

Format the target device. There are two options:

  • Manual
  • # cfdisk /dev/sda
    Do whatever is required to create a partition
    # mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda1
    # tune2fs -c 0 /dev/sda1
  • Automatic by using Voyage included script. I have used it with no problem
  • # /usr/local/sbin/format-cf.sh /dev/sda

Start voyage.update installation script. Select /tmp/root as distribution directory and /tmp/cf as mount point.

# cd /
# /usr/local/sbin/voyage.update
  1 - Create new Voyage Linux disk
  2 - Update existing Voyage configuration
  3 - Exit

Press 1 to install voyage to disk device and choose /tmp/root as the distribution directory.

You will be prompted to the main installation menu. You should go through the menu item 1 – 6 in sequence.

What would you like to do?
  1 - Specify Distribution Directory
  2 - Select Target Profile
  3 - Select Target Disk
  4 - Select Target Bootstrap Loader
  5 - Configure Target Console
  6 - Partition and Create Filesytem
  7 - Copy Distribution to Target
  8 - Exit

The options selected for each menu item are:

1) Distribution directory
  Path to distribution: /tmp/root

2) Voyage profile 
  5 - ALIX 
  6 - Generic PC
For this case, we have used Generic PC as we are installing it on the VM.

3) Installation devices
  Target disk: /dev/sda
  Partition to use: 1
  Mount point for target disk: /tmp/cf

4) Bootstrap Loader
  Grub or lilo: grub
  Partition to use: 1
5) Target console
  1 - Serial Terminal
  2 - Console Interface
For the case of Generic PC use option 2 (Console Interface) and for the ALIX use option 1 (Serial Terminal)

6) Partionning
Up to you. I use option 1 to partition again my disk.

7) Copy distribution to target
Current configuration is displayed. Check it and if everything is correct, press y.

8) Exit

After the installation complete, simple reboot and Voyage (SDK) will be started! (It is advisable to crossfingers ;)).

If you have done everything with Voyage Live CD, then the system will be a default Voyage Linux.

Next, it is time to proceed with customizations if required. The brand new installed system is Debian based so apt-get command is your friend.

# remountrw
# apt-get update
# apt-get install whatever_you_want_to_install

If you want to create a custom image, the easiest way is using the SDK version, although you can use a Debian based with the live-helper packages installed. Be aware of 32 and 64 bits systems when you compile the new image.

For a custom image release, follow the instructions in this post[]. Currently it is only available how to include a custom kernel.


[1] Getting Started – Live CD (v0.8.x) | Voyage Linux

Categories: Linux Tags: , ,
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  1. November 14, 2011 at 18:20

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