Olimex OlinuXino a10 Lime Minimal Debian 7 Image

31-10-2014 | Remy van Elst

Table of Contents


A friend of me recently pointed me to the Olimex Olinuxino A10 LIME, an open source hardware ARM (Allwinner A10) based dev board with 160 GPIO's, 1,2 GHz/512 MB RAM, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 esata port, 1 hdmi port, USB-OTG, 100 Mbit lan (not via the usb bus) and more of those nice features. The price is even more awesome, the device is 30 euro's, add 5 euro's and you have yourself a nice black case. It consumes very little power, combined with all the features a perfect dev / tinkerboard.

Sadly, the default Debian 7 image suplied by Olimex is bloated and huge. Perfect for the general tinkerer, has a Desktop Environment and a lot of dev tools and support for everything. Not perfect for me, I want a small minimal base to start and add up on that only what I need.

I took this image and stripped everything out of it, leaving only the bare minimum. Basically it only runs SSH and allows you to install the tools you need to build your project, without any other cruft.

It is also more optimized to run off flash storage, by default it has no logging, no locatedb updates, noatime mount option, this all reducing writes to the SD card.

If you have an Olimex A20 LIME2, I also have an image for that, located on this page. The difference between the A10 and the A20-LIME2 is that the latter one has gigabit network, 1 GB ram and a dual core ARM processor.

The main features / differences from the Olimex provided Debian image (Debian with kernel 3.4.90+ release 3):

  • Minimal set of packages:
    • No X or desktop environment.
    • No man pages, extra locales or documentation
    • No alsa or sound support
    • Syslog disabled by default
    • Kernel modules for Wireless network removed
  • Only 22 MB of ram used
  • Only 190 MB Diskspace used
  • Username/password the same, 'root/olimex'
  • SSH (dropbear) on by default on port 22
  • Getty terminals off, only ssh.
  • DHCP enabled

The kernel itself is still 3.4, the Debian version is 7 for armhf.


You can download the image from here:

Feel free to mirror it wherever you want. If you like it or use it, you might consider sending me a nice email. Or, if this image helped you and you want to support me AND get $10 Digital Ocean credit (2 months free), use this link to order: https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=7435ae6b8212


Download the image:

wget https://2162bb74000a471eb2839a7f1648771a.objectstore.eu/olimex/a10_debian7_minimal_raymii.img.tar.gz

Extract it:

tar -xf a10_debian7_minimal_raymii.img.tar.gz

Verify the md5 sum:

md5 a10_debian7_minimal_raymii.img
sha256sum a10_debian7_minimal_raymii.img

If it is correct, continue. If it is not correct, retry the download.

Plug in your microSD card and use dmesg to see which device it is.

Please note that this image is supposed to be on the MicroSD card. I don't know if and how it works on the eMMC internal flash.

Write the image to the microSD card:

dd if=a10_debian7_minimal_raymii.img of=/dev/mmcblk0

Afterwards, use a tool like (c)fdisk, parted or gparted to enlarge the second partition. It is only 300 MB, which is to small to use most of the time.

Plug the microSD card back in and boot the Olinuxino. It receives an IP address via DHCP. Check your router or use nmap to find it. Log in as root with the password olimex.

If you want to install software, please apt-get update first, since the apt-lists are removed to save +100 MB.


Tags: allwinner, arm, debian, gpio, minimal, olimex, olinuxino, raspberry-pi,