Categories
Errors Linux Software

Mounting a whole disk with partitions

I reinstalled one of my RPis (moving from 32 to 64 bit).

Before doing the full reinstall, I took a dump (dd) of my disk.

Usually, I create one per partition, but this was the Christmas season, and I was half occupied with feasting and half occupied with entertaining Ila. So, mistakes were made.

I ran dd if=/dev/sdb of=backup.img — but this means I can’t mount the disk directly, as it’s not a partition:

# mount backup.img /tmp/disk
mount: /tmp/disk: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/loop0, missing codepage or helper program, or other error.

I should’ve dd’d /dev/sdb2 instead of the entire disk.

All right, so let’s figure out what can be done… First, let’s look at the content of the image:

# fdisk -l backup.img
Disk backup.img: 111.8 GiB, 120040980480 bytes, 234455040 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x8297a463

Device          Boot  Start      End  Sectors  Size Id Type
backup.img1 *      8192   532479   524288  256M  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
backup.img2      532480 34078199 33545720   16G 83 Linux

So, we can probably mount starting from sector 532480.

We can see that the sector size is 512 (which, I think, is the default for most). So, if we multiply 512 * 532480 we get 272629760.

Now we can mount the disk using the following command:

mount -o loop,offset=272629760 backup.img /tmp/disk

And that should do it.

The 2nd partition (the one with data) is now mounted and accessible under /tmp/disk.

If you need the first partition, the same can be done by running 512 * 8192 = 4194304; the following command mounts the boot partition:

mount -o loop,offset=4194304 backup.img /tmp/disk.
Categories
Hardware

OLED Lego Brick

Via Hackaday.

Categories
Errors Linux Software

NetworkManager exit status 1

Recently reinstalled NextDNS on a RPi4 64bit and came across this error:

# nextdns activate
Error: NetworkManager resolver management: exit status 1

It seems like NextDNS was actually running, but just throwing an error when running nextdns activate. Restarting did seem to work without throwing any error.

The logs showed the same error:

Dec 20 14:06:20 tyr nextdns[5753]: Starting NextDNS 1.38.0/linux on :53
Dec 20 14:06:20 tyr nextdns[5753]: Listening on TCP/:53
Dec 20 14:06:20 tyr nextdns[5753]: Starting mDNS discovery
Dec 20 14:06:20 tyr nextdns[5753]: Listening on UDP/:53
Dec 20 14:06:21 tyr nextdns[5753]: Connected 45.90.28.0:443 (con=13ms tls=58ms, TCP, TLS13)
Dec 20 14:06:21 tyr nextdns[5753]: Connected 185.18.148.91:443 (con=12ms tls=28ms, TCP, TLS13)
Dec 20 14:06:21 tyr nextdns[5753]: Switching endpoint: https://dns.nextdns.io#185.18.148.91,2a04:b80:1:30::2
Dec 20 14:06:25 tyr nextdns[5753]: Setting up router
Dec 20 14:06:25 tyr nextdns[5753]: Activating
Dec 20 14:06:25 tyr nextdns[5753]: Activate: NetworkManager resolver management: exit status 1

The solution was (as root):

apt install network-manager resolvconf -y
systemctl enable NetworkManager
systemctl start NetworkManager
nextdns activate

Looks like, instead of resolvconf, openresolv was installed.

First time I heard about openresolv; usually resolvconf is the default. Not entirely sure if this was the culprit (and NetworkManager not being started) but the errors are now gone.

Categories
Hardware Linux Software

Making Bluetooth work on RPi4

I rarely use Bluetooth on my RPis. I’m already facing enough issues with my iMac and Mac Mini (it lags, it randomly disconnects in meetings, etc).

My pwnagotchi on the other hand is counting on a BLE network to connect to the internet: for now I am using my iPad, and while that works, it causes my iPad to disconnect from WiFi (because of course, it can only do tethering from a mobile network, not from its WiFi network).

I wanted to explore if I could set up bluetooth tethering/internet sharing from my RPi4 server… But for that BLE had to work! And for some reason BLE was not working on Liana.

[bluetooth]# power on
No default controller available

For some reason no controller was available. The drivers were definitely installed…

apt install bluetooth pi-bluetooth bluez raspberrypi-sys-mods

but hcitool dev ; hciconfig -a weren’t returning anything.

After quite some extensive Googling I found the solution

Check if this returns something:

# ls -l /dev | grep ttyAMA0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root           7 Sep  1 15:08 serial1 -> ttyAMA0
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 204,  64 Sep  1 15:08 ttyAMA0

As opposed to:

# ls -l /dev | grep ttyS0
# (no output)

Then continue to do the following:

# make a backup
cp /boot/cmdline.txt /boot/cmdline.txt.bak
# edit the file
nano -w /boot/cmdline.txt
# edit the first part from
# console=ttySerial0 to console=ttyAMA0
# the line should be something similar to but do NOT blindly copy paste it as you won't be able to boot due to your PARTUUID being different
console=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=PARTUUID=6c586e13-02 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait
reboot

After rebooting … it works!

liana ~ # hcitool dev ; hciconfig -a
Devices:
	hci0	DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79
hci0:	Type: Primary  Bus: UART
	BD Address: DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79  ACL MTU: 1021:8  SCO MTU: 64:1
	UP RUNNING 
	RX bytes:2397 acl:0 sco:0 events:118 errors:0
	TX bytes:2603 acl:0 sco:0 commands:99 errors:0
	Features: 0xbf 0xfe 0xcf 0xfe 0xdb 0xff 0x7b 0x87
	Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3 
	Link policy: RSWITCH SNIFF 
	Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT 
	Name: 'liana'
	Class: 0x000000
	Service Classes: Unspecified
	Device Class: Miscellaneous, 
	HCI Version: 5.0 (0x9)  Revision: 0x13b
	LMP Version: 5.0 (0x9)  Subversion: 0x6119
	Manufacturer: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (305)

liana ~ # bluetoothctl 
Agent registered
[bluetooth]# scan on
Discovery started
[CHG] Controller DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79 Discovering: yes
[NEW] Device 7F:A9:BC:8D:E4:14 7F-A9-BC-8D-E4-14
[NEW] Device 58:EB:19:D8:D4:23 58-EB-19-D8-D4-23
[NEW] Device A4:83:E7:42:79:F6 A4-83-E7-42-79-F6
[NEW] Device 58:7B:24:1B:CC:5C 58-7B-24-1B-CC-5C
[NEW] Device D9:05:9F:DB:55:19 N0163
[NEW] Device 5F:DA:90:34:82:68 5F-DA-90-34-82-68
[NEW] Device 77:2A:1B:11:54:7D 77-2A-1B-11-54-7D
[NEW] Device 42:BF:0B:38:F3:20 42-BF-0B-38-F3-20

Next step is trying to get tethering to work…

Categories
Hardware Linux Software

Raspberry Pi 4 + SSD

All right. With the release of the new RPi4 with 8Gb of RAM I had to get myself one to see if it was already a viable desktop replacement for surfing and emails.

While a SD card works fine for certain tasks (things that don’t require a lot of IO) — for a desktop that’s a no-go… It’s just too slow.

I still had an old Macbook Pro 13″ (2o15?) SSD lying around that was collecting dust. Why not use that one to use as root for the RPi?

This article will focus on making it work on Raspbian first. Technically this should all work on other distros as well, but YMMV seeing all this is still beta.

I use Raspbian Lite: I like to work with minimalstic systems and install just what I need. But technically this should work with any flavour.

But first, let’s prep the device.

Case

I already have a RPi4 (4Gb) at home running mostly Docker containers (nginx proxy and a few personal things and Smokeping).

And one of the ‘best’ purchases I made for the RPi4 was the “Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Aluminium Case” (Lazada, AliExpress). This case is passive and dissipates enough heat (even in a closed cabinet in Singapore where it’s 30°) for the CPU never to throttle back when overclocked at 2Ghz (see below).

Do note that this case (which is pretty much just a massive heat sink) gets pretty hot if the RPi is running at max performance for long periods of time.

USB-SSD

Get one that fits your SSD and that ideally has Linux support. As Apple uses custom SSD connectors (prior to being soldered onto the motherboard) I had to get a converter from China. It was a bit of Russian Roulette to see if it would work or be supported on Linux. I got myself this one (chipset: Netchip Technology). As I didn’t remember what type of Macbook Pro this came from, using this site to compare serial/model was useful. This USB-to-SSD converted also works on Mac and Windows by the way.

The SSD with the PCB that provides the USB interface.

In my case, the RPi also did not provider enough power to the USB-SSD converter (although… it really should but whatevs), so be sure to use the provided power cable and plug it into a USB power source. Not doing so will cause the SSD to heat up and show a bunch of disconnects/errors in dmesg.

raspbian ~ # fdisk -l /dev/sda1 
Disk /dev/sda1: 233.8 GiB, 250999127552 bytes, 490232671 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
raspbian ~ # lsusb 
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 0525:622b Netchip Technology, Inc. 
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 2109:3431 VIA Labs, Inc. Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
raspbian ~ # lsusb -t
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/4p, 5000M
    |__ Port 2: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Mass Storage, Driver=usb-storage, 5000M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/1p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/4p, 480M
Raspberry Pi 4 with USB SSD connected
Raspberry Pi 4 with USB SSD connected

eeprom update

Disconnect the USB-SSD for now.

At the time of writing we need to update the eeprom to boot from USB. I’m using the latest eeprom available to me. Note that the USB-boot eeprom is about to hit stable so you might not need to do this anymore.

There are two methods for updating. We can do it manually:

rpi-update
cd /lib/firmware/raspberrypi/bootloader/beta
rpi-eeprom-update -d -f ./pieeprom-2020-06-15.bin
# BCM2711 detected
# VL805 firmware in bootloader EEPROM
# BOOTFS /boot
# *** INSTALLING ./pieeprom-2020-06-15.bin ***
# BOOTFS /boot
# EEPROM update pending. Please reboot to apply the update.
reboot
# RPi should come back online after a reboot

Or we use rpi-eeprom-update (see article, at the bottom):

nano -w /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update
# edit critical to stable
rpi-eeprom-update
rpi-eeprom-update -a

The good thing is that, even if you boot from a Raspbian that does not have /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update edited to use stable instead of critical, it will not downgrade your eeprom.

Now you can plug in the SD card in an USB-SD card reader, and test if the RPi boots from USB. Note that the SD card might be slower.

RPi booting the SD card from USB (/dev/sda)

All right — so everything is working. I am keeping this SD card to update the eeprom again at a later stage (as the one we flashed is beta). If we use Archlinux or Ubuntu the eeprom update tools won’t be included.

Next step is to flash Raspbian to the USB-SSD.

This screenshot shows Ubuntu, but for the sake of this article, we’ll use Raspbian still. I’m using Etcher to flash.

Boot-up from the USB-SSD.

Errors

In case you are getting an error similar to start4.elf: is not compatible you’ll need to copy paste /boot/start4.elf from a Raspbian that ran rpi-update (i.e. the one from the SD card, or see below).

If you are booting (a fresh) Raspbian, it might complain about cma: Failed to reserve 256 MiB (and several other errors). The solution is running rpi-update.

Boot from the working Raspbian (using the SD card):

# check which drive is your USB-SSD (i.e. using fdisk -l or dmesg). 
# In my case I booted from USB-SD (/dev/sda) and we'll update the new/clean Raspbian on the SSD (/dev/sdb).
#
# First resize the partition, if the system never booted it'll be 1.5Gb and thus not big enough:
# Device     Boot  Start     End Sectors  Size Id Type
# /dev/sdb1         8192  532479  524288  256M  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
# /dev/sdb2       532480 3620863 3088384  1.5G 83 Linux
fdisk /dev/sdb
# Type the following:
# p (and visually check it all makes sense)
# d
# 2
# n
# Select (default p): p
# Partition number (2-4, default 2): <enter>
# First sector (2048-490234751, default 2048): 532480 (or whichever is the same "start" from the 2nd partition) 
# Last sector, +/-sectors or +/-size{K,M,G,T,P} (532480-490234751, default 490234751): <enter>
# Created a new partition 2 of type 'Linux' and of size 233.5 GiB.
# Partition #2 contains a ext4 signature.
# Do you want to remove the signature? [Y]es/[N]o: n
# p (visually check once again it makes sense, if not you can cancel/quit by typing q)
# w (if it makes sense)
# The last command will write the changes to the partition table and sync all changes. 
# Then we need to check and resize the filesystem:
e2fsck -f /dev/sdb2
resize2fs /dev/sdb2
# If all that worked we can start mounting everything
mkdir /tmp/ssd
mount /dev/sdb2 /tmp/ssd/
mount /dev/sdb1 /tmp/ssd/boot/
mount /proc/ /tmp/ssd/proc/ -t proc
mount --rbind /sys/ /tmp/ssd/sys/
mount --rbind /dev/ /tmp/ssd/dev/
# Once everything is mounted, we're chrooting into the fresh Raspbian running on the SSD
chroot /tmp/ssd/ /bin/bash
# you can double confirm the partition size using:
df -h
# And we update the system. Again, if all this hits stable it might not be needed.
rpi-update
# say "y" when it's asking you to.
# exit the chroot and turn off the device, remove the USB-SD and leave USB-SSD connected. 
exit 
halt

My first reboot the boot process threw errors about failing to mount the root fs.

We’ll need to update /etc/fstab with the correct partuuid.

# Boot from the (USB-)SD card again
# In my case sdb became sda and vice versa, so double check
lsblk
# be sure to select the right disk (the SSD, no the SD)!
mkdir /tmp/ssd
mount /dev/sda2 /tmp/ssd/
# And find the SSD here as well.
# look for the last column, partuuid, something like 
"6f6cc2fb-01"
blkid
nano -w /tmp/ssd/etc/fstab
# edit the existing partuuid's with the ones from blkid
# you'll need to edit both /boot (-01) and / (root, -02).
halt
# When rebooting from the SSD it'll go through a fsck. In my case for some reason it failed and dropped to a shell. I did a manual check and everything was fine. Rebooted and it booted normally... *shrug*

Booting

At this stage booting from the USB-SSD should work just fine. You have a working system booting from USB.

It’s working! Now I can configure my system.

Overclocking

Last thing I’d recommend is getting a bit more juice out of your four cores.

You can quite easily overclock the RPi4 to 2Ghz (per core). It’s a pretty nice boost (~25%) and worth going for. I haven’t seen any heat issues leading to underclocking (throttling back), and everything runs stable. Note that under real circumstances you are unlikely to be running at 100% for extended period of times.

This guide explains how to overclock Raspbian (but the same applies for Ubuntu RPi — I’ll eventually be using Ubuntu as the OS due to its 64 bit support; at the moment Raspbian only supports a 64 bit kernel (beta) and the userland still runs 32 bit. But that’ll be a follow-up article.

The gist of the article is to edit /boot/config.txt and add:

over_voltage=6
arm_freq=2000

Save the file, reboot and monitor temp (echo $((cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp/1000))) and core frequency (watch -n 1 vcgencmd measure_clock arm) while running stress -c 4 to make sure the cores are running at 100%.

Raspberry Pi 4 running at 2Ghz
Raspberry Pi 4 running at 2Ghz. It never throttled back after running for ~30 minutes.