I've got a ThinkPad T410. I got it off craigslist in what was a somewhat shady transaction. Regardless, it came with a 300GB spinner. Not interested in finding out how much life was left on it I got a solid state replacement from NewEgg for “Cyber Monday”. A 240GB Intel one for $110, that's less than 50 cents per GB!
The spinner has a single unencrypted partition with Arch Linux running on it. I wanted to run Arch on an encrypted partition. The main reason: If it's ever stolen I don't want to have to worry about any of the data on it. Bonus reason: Geek/spy points.
So, while there are excellent guides for installing Arch, and setting up encryption, and optimizing an SSD, there don't seem to be any combining the three. In reality it's not that much more difficult, and if you are motivated to setup encryption on Linux in the first place you probably know what you're doing. Still, I was disheartened a bit at the lack of information so I decided to note how I went about it in general.
Now that you have the hardware built and tested (although that's not necessary), you can either use the code I've written-which is specific to the hardware and environment I have, or compile your own version. If you want to compile your own there are two options:
- Compile on the Pi itself
- Compile on an ARM virtual machine
- Cross-compile on a faster machine
The trade off? Compiling on the Pi is slow (very slow). The virtual machine is a marked improvement for compiling speed, but is complicated to setup. Cross-compiling is about the same difficulty as setting up a virtual machine but a bit faster and less “bulky”. So it depends. The virtual machine is nice if you have a lot of libraries you want to use, since you'll have to compile all of them to be available for linking. If any of them have poor autoconfig support, it might be a pain to fix if you weren't already on the target machine. But, since I just needed one or two popular libraries, I decided to setup cross-compiling from my host (x86_64) machine.
The last time I setup cross-compiling it was on Gentoo, and it wasn't pleasant. However, after a little bit of research it looks like the crosstool-ng project is pretty popular and useful. I only had to patch one tiny thing.
Here's the overall process:
- Install crosstool-ng
- Configure a cross toolchain with it
- Try and build the toolchain
- Use the toolchain to build your Pi code
So, a while back I gave my wife a Farscape DRD kit. I promised to make it in to a robot. How hard could it be? Well, not too bad. A little more expensive than planned, though…
Out of the box the Galileo is setup to run sketches uploaded from volatile memory, which is really lame. I didn't spend much time with it using the stock SPI kernel. So, an SD card is pretty much required to do any serious development with this board. This is not a bad thing (although you aren't running in real-time anymore), since having a full OS to use has lots of advantages. Plus, this way I can automate the build process in a way I'm more familiar with.