Quick Writeup on installing Debian in apu2c4, mostly for self reference
PCEngine’s APU2C4 is a really nice low power consuming device that packs some serious performance with its Quad Core AMD Procesors as well as 2 or 4 GB or RAM. One of its main attraction: 3 Gigabit LAN Ports. You can see the full specification here.
The only problem with it is that apu2c4 has only serial output, so it maybe a bit different installing not only debian but any Operating Systems in it that do not support serial output by default.
Following steps can be used to install Debian in apu2c4.
- First prepare some serial console like minicom or picocom. (I use picocom). Connect the serial out of APU to your laptop using Serial-to-USB cables.
- Perform the following command as root:
picocom -b 115200 /dev/ttyUSB0
- A serial console will come up. You need a Debian installation disk beforehand. Insert it, and poweron the APU. Select ‘f10’ when prompted and choose the USB Disk for booting.
- Before choosing the Install Option, we need to pass an arguement that changes the default output of the installer from VGA/HDMI to Serial. Press
taband you will see a line to edit the boot parameter. Remove the word
vga=788and replace it with
console=ttyS0,115200,n8and press enter to boot.
- Continue normal debian installation process.
- After completion of the installation, you won’t be able to boot because the system tries to send output to VGA/HDMI/(etc). We need to configure it to send output over Serial.
- Get a shell, either by some sort of live boot or via ssh if you had enabled it and are connected to the network.
- Edit the file
/etc/default/grubas following, append or replace as required
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX='console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200,n8' GRUB_TERMINAL=serial GRUB_SERIAL_COMMAND="serial --speed=115200 --unit=0 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1"
- After that run,
These steps should work with other Linux Distributions too. If you know of any other methods, please feel free to comment about it. :)