First of all let me just say that my preferred Linux distribution is Debian and thanks to the excellent work by Selsinork  I have just what I want.

However, just for fun I thought I would see how easy it would be to get other distributions working so for a start I had a go at Arch Linux and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was.


For this exercise  I used a Debian vbox on my PC and when I attach a uSD card via a USB adaptor it comes up as /dev/sdb


1. take a uSD  card with a working  Debian from Selsinork's creation see The specified item was not found. and associated posts. All I really needed was the installed u-boot and some other required files but as I already had working cards it was the easiest way to start.


Mount the cards rootfs on my vbox as /mnt

mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt


2. copy off the card the following files and save for later in a directory ~/dsave


mkdir ~/dsave

cp /mnt/bootscript ~/dsave

cp /mnt/extlinux.conf ~/dsave

cp /boot/imx6dl-riotboard.dts ~/dsave


3. reformat the rootfs partition ext4


umount /mnt

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1



4. remount the blank file system


mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt


5. get the new rootfs ARMv7 Multi-platform from Downloads | Arch Linux ARM and install on card



tar xvf ArchLinuxARM-arm7-latest.tar.gz -C /mnt



6. Now copy the saved files back


cp ~/dsave/bootscript /mnt

cp ~/dsave/extlinux.conf /mnt

cp ~/dsave/imx6dl-riotboard.dts /mnt/boot

cp ~/dsave/imx6dl-riotboard.dts /mnt/boot/imx6dl-riotboard.dts.rec

cp /mnt/boot/zImage /mnt/boot/zImage.rec

     (the last two provide the recovery files for the boot-up option and can be ignored for now and created later)


7 Now we need to create an fstab entry for the rootfs otherwise it gets mounted read only

    edit /mnt/etc/fstab and add the following


/dev/mmcblk0p1    /    auto    errors=remount-ro    0    1



8. now flush any pending writes and unmount the card



umount /mnt


9. Insert the uSD card in the RIoTboard (boot switches set for uSD) and power up.

NOTE:  A debug serial console connection is required to see the boot-up and complete the next stage as the HDMI screen will not be enabled.

On the serial console the system should boot up and prompt for login.


Login as root

password  root


You should also have an ethernet connection which should come up DHCP

you can now perform an upgrade with:

pacman -Syu


This will update a few things including the kernel and firmware.

After this update reboot and it will also bring up a login on the HDMI screen.


There you have it, I don't expect everything to be fully working, there may be issues somewhere but this is as far as I go

If anyone is interested I will make a card image file available for download.