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Install ArchLinux on BeagleBone Black

The installation of ArchLinux on ARM based embedded devices is well documented online, but I always forget the extra and optional steps that are assumed to be known.

ArchLinux is a great operating system for low-cost ARM based embedded devices, such as the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black. The development team for the ARM port is doing an excellent job optimizing and updating the package repository.

The official website has instructions for installing ArchLinux ARM on the BBB, but is missing the details for post-installation steps that are generally not known by users who are just starting with ArchLinux. The best, most detailed and up-to-date ArchLinux installation tutorial I found is the one written by The Mukt, but at the time of this writing it appears to be offline.

Below you can find the condensed summary of the installation steps that I usually take on BeagleBones.

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Slit-scan Renders of Videos in JavaScript

I’m finally catching up with my backlogs at work and at home, which means I get to work on some side projects again. Let’s start with something cool this week: slit-scans in JavaScript.

I met a group of talented artists and programmers from the demo scene at FMX 2015 this year. One afternoon, Thomas Mann from Framefield and Michael Sänger from Mercury were looking at a picture that caught my eye. It was a time sliced rendering of a demo with interesting visual patterns.

I have since been wanting to implement this effect in JavaScript to process arbitrary YouTube videos and see how they would look. It turns out that this is not feasible yet (or not anymore) due to the security measures that are in place to prevent cross-domain JavaScript attacks, but I still went ahead and implemented it for local video files on my computer.

You can try out the tools for yourself at the end of this post.

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ArchLinux iSCSI on BeagleBone Black

I recently hooked up a BeagleBone Black to an iSCSI target on a Synology NAS. The iscsi_tcp module is not being built in the legacy kernel by default. Newer versions of the kernel include it as a loadable kernel module.

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ArchLinux Internet Connection Sharing on BeagleBone Black

I have a BeagleBone Black connected directly to my desktop PC for development and testing. Occasionally, I need the BBB to connect to the internet, for example to download updated packages. This post describes how I am sharing the internet connection between the two computers.

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ArchLinux AX88179 on BeagleBone Black

Trying to get an AX88179-based USB-to-Ethernet adapter to work on BBB under ArchLinux? Here’s how to compile the user package yourself.

Last time I checked there was no built-in support for AX88179 chipsets in the ArchLinux kernel for BeagleBone Black yet. As these chips are now being used more widely in USB 3.0 adapters for gigabit ethernet, this post describes how to install the kernel driver manually.

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ArchLinux Kernel Compilation on BeagleBone Black

I recently had to modify and recompile the kernels on my BBB’s. Cross-compilation is well documented on the internet, but what if you want to compile directly on the device? Here are the steps…

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Restoring KDE Multiple Monitor Display Settings

When running multiple monitors on KDE, the current display settings may not be restored after reboot. Replacing xrandrmonitor with kscreen is one easy way to work around this.

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Welcome back!

After a downtime of nearly three years I have finally been able to find some time to revive this web site. Here is a quick introduction for those who don’t know me yet.

About me

Hello, my name is Gerke Max Preussner, and this is the seventh incarnation of my presence on the internet. I am a professional software engineer with over fifteen years of experience in creating video games and simulation software. Since 1998 I have directed, led and implemented the technical aspects of over 50 projects. Headcrash Industries is the alias and legal entity under which I have been performing my work. I am currently employed at one of the world’s leading developers of video games and game engines.

Historically, I specialize in the design and implementation of software frameworks and the integration of hardware and software components into game based technology for entertainment, virtual and augmented reality, military, medical, corporate and academic applications. In recent years my focus has shifted towards next-gen game console and tools development.

About this blog

The purpose of this blog is to share ideas and discuss interesting details and lessons learned from past projects. It is also a reference to keep track of technical problems that I solved in the past, and to help others who are encountering similar challenges. Articles from previous years have been removed, but I may bring back some of those that are still relevant today.

In parallel to the blog I am working on an updated portfolio, but it will still take a few more weeks to get all the content online. I am also planning to release interesting and previously unpublished materials in the vault.

Get involved

Having spent a lot of time at conferences and conventions, I know that many of you have questions about what it is like to work in the video games industry and about video game development in general. I often don’t have the time to talk to everyone in person, but I hope that this web site will become an interactive and engaging way to get in touch with me.

I encourage you to leave a comment if you have feedback or questions about anything I am writing here. If there is something related to my work that you would like me to cover, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I will try to find the time to write about it.

Thanks for visiting – I hope to hear from you soon!