installing on external device?


New Member
I want to install ubuntu server on a circuit board. sorry I don't know all the terminology.

I have a respeaker core v2 smart board. It has mics etc. its designed to run linux off an SD card or internal storage. I'm opting for the SD card (but could be convinced to do the internal storage if its better).

I have installed ubuntu server on lots of PCs, but never an external device. It allows a serial connection to perform putty commands, but it only has one SD card slot, so I wasn't sure how to even start with installing ubuntu on that device.

if any can give me the steps, or ask me any questions that would be great. I'm not sure what all details are needed to help get an answer.


Well-Known Member
Hi @jjohnston, and welcome! A quick look around with Google indicates you probably can't use Ubuntu Server on this device.

What I've found is that this is a very specialized SoC (System On a Chip) device and it may only work properly with the GNU/Linux image that is tweaked by the board manufacturer. That is a Debian 9 version with download and install instructions available here.

The instructions also specifically mention using Etcher to burn the image to the SD card. I have followed similar instructions for the Raspberry Pi, and somehow the image file sets up the SD card with persistence so that it saves your settings. Etcher doesn't normally do this on its own, so it seems that it must be in the image itself.

You may can install other ARM-based Linux distros, but I think you might lose some of the functionality the device is designed for.



Well-Known Member
I got ya. darn. I contacted their tech support, and they said that if I wanted to use a generic version of linux, I would just need to install the respeakerd program and made it sound like that was all, but maybe not... :(
I'm always glad to follow-up and say when I may be wrong, and this may be one of those times. :D (I'd like to say rare times, but my wife would say frequent... and she is probably right. :eek:)

The current version of Ubuntu Server for ARM processors is available here. I'm not sure at the moment if other USB burning software, other than Etcher, will burn to SD cards... so this may still be a question or an issue for you. Etcher will not put "persistence" on the SD card with Ubuntu Server so that you can run off of it full time (and download/save the installation of respeakerd that you mention)... you would have to install Ubuntu Server into the built-in eMMC storage area, as far as I can tell.

Without persistence, you can't save anything else to the SD card. But the Debian based image that the company provides will allow you to do this... will let you run off the SD card... because their image already contains their program (and it probably works with persistence like the Raspberry Pi does). If other burning software will put Ubuntu Server on the SD card with persistence, then it seems like you will be able to achieve your goal.

Sorry for the confusion. I was away from home and obviously did not search your problem very thoroughly. :confused::D And I'll still have to search more about software that can burn .iso file to SD cards.... that isn't something that comes up very often. It seems that the device itself requires a SD card to boot though, and that it won't boot from USB.


Members online