Building ARCH Linux distribution for iMX233-OLinuXino


iMX233-OLinuXino ARCHLINUX distribution

Kiril Zyapkov is one of our early developers who received free iMX233-OLinuXino-Maxi, he uses ARCHLinux during his daily work and he made ArchLinux distribution for OLinuXino.

The distribution use OpenEmbedded Layer to generate the necessary packages. The project is at GitHub:

If you browse the Github project you will notice PKGBUILD scripts, they are used by makepkg (which is part of pacman, the package manager for arch) to build the packages.

Kiril still work to create custom repo with the kernel, elftosb and imx-bootlets, now he is working on PKGBUILD for imx-bootlets, to may the install script for the kernelto add alone mmcblk0p1, and will be ready in the next days.

For these who want to test Archlinux without building the packages themself there is ready generated binary rootfs at

It works with the normal Open Embedded generated Kernel 2.6.35 which image you can download from:

Here are some documentation and useful links:

and here is collection of many software which are not part of the repositories.
You can figure out how build system works by browsing their PKGBUILD files.
ArchlinuxARM uses the buildscripts of the original Arch, but with modifications of some packages, the repository is . There is scrip for rootfs generation

Kiril is using the same script to generate rootfs-a for OLinuXino.

Short description about how to make bootable SD card with Linux file system for OLinuXino boards

(NOTE – this example is given with “sdb1 and sdb2” device but it could enumerate differently on your host, so confirm what it enumerates as before running fdisk!)

1. Insert the card reader to the Linux host.
2. Un-mount the card reader, i.e. ‘sudo umount /dev/sdb1’
3. run fdisk, ‘sudo fdisk /dev/sdb’
4. Press ‘p’ to show the partitions on the card
5. Press ‘d’ to delete a partition. Repeat to remove all partitions
6. Press ‘n’ to create a new partition
7. Press ‘p’ to select the primary partition
8. Press ‘1’ to create partition 1 on the card
9. Press Enter to start from first block
10. Type ’16MB’ to create the 16MB partitions
11. Press ‘t’ to change the newly created partition type
12. Enter ’53’ for the new partition type
13. Press ‘n’ to create a second partition, select ‘p'(primary), then ‘2’(number)
14. Press Enter to accept all default settings
15. Press ‘w’ to write the partitions to the card and exit the fdisk
16. Format the second partition on the SD card – run ‘sudo mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdb2’ command.
17. Mount the second partition on the card
18. If you do not have the mmc mounting point created yet, create one with ‘sudo mkdir /mnt/mmc’
19. Run ‘sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/mmc’ to mount the partition as the mmc card
20. Copy the supplied files – alarm-olinuxino-rootfs.tar.gz(the ARCHLINUX FS) and image) for example in your home/user directory, unzip to imx233-Olinuxino.img
21. Enter the mounted sd card directory – cd /mnt/mmc
22. Untar the rootfs to the card ‘sudo tar -xzf /home/user/alarm-olinuxino-rootfs.tar.gz’ to put down the root filesystem.
for login use
23. Copy the boot image in sdb1 device using dd, i.e. type – ‘sudo dd if=/home/user/imx233-Olinuxino.img of=/dev/sdb1
24. Type ‘cd’, ‘sync’ and umount sd card – ‘sudo umount /dev/sdb2’

At this point the SD card should be ready for use.

EDIT 09/07/2012: Kiril has updated the GitHub project page with completely instructions and pre-build images:

Now you can download and use full functional ARCH Linux ARM distribution

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zoobab
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 17:13:16

    Maybe it would be a good idea to supply binary images people can just DD on their SD cards…


  2. Pablo Huijse
    Jul 06, 2012 @ 06:50:58

    whats the root password for the generated binary rootfs found at


  3. zoobab
    Jul 06, 2012 @ 09:56:41

    you could generate an sd image that already contains the partition table. Of course it wont use the full space of an sd card, but for trying out it is easier to just use dd if=myimage.img of=/dev/mmcp0.


  4. nvd2
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 19:36:39


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Dec 18, 2012 @ 19:45:18

      AX88772B works only with 3.x kernel it have some incompatibility with 2.6.x kernel but we have no so much knowledge to identify the problem


      • nvd2
        Dec 18, 2012 @ 20:02:34

        I got the driver from their website. It says:

        “This driver has been verified on kernel versions from 2.6.14 to 3.2.0.”

        I need to download the kernel source for the compilation. Do you know where to find the source for the kernel, the one used in the “imx233_kernel_2.6_ARCH_FS_WIFI.img”?

        If things go well, I can share the “.ko” file for others to use directly.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Dec 18, 2012 @ 20:09:03

        to the best of my knowledge all imx233 kernels including the one used in Arch are build with Yocto/OpenEmbedded

  5. Bojan
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 00:05:16


    after I put on the sd card image: (, olimex – micro are constantly reset.

    Why ?


  6. Dinesh
    Oct 07, 2015 @ 22:27:44

    for login use

    It means user and password blank ? So how to connect using Putty ??
    Is there ssh service on ?
    please reply me fast.


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