Odroid: Swap on USB-stick

Swap is used when the kernel runs out of memory and need to swap less used information to the disc to make space for information currently in use. In a good setup the swap will never be used but if it’s needed and not existing it will make processes crash.

I have just started out testing BitTorrent Sync (btsync) on my Odroid-C1 and noticed that all the memory was allocated more or less straight away after starting the btsync service. So just to be safe during my test, to avoid crashes, I added a 8Gb USB stick to use for swap space. You can of course use the SD-card but that will take up space needed for the system as well as shorten the life of your SD-card.

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Odroid: First setup

If you have installed Raspberry Pi in the past the Odroid will not be a problem. It a little more hands on and require a little more effort then the Raspberry Pi. Here is a quick guide how to get you Odroid up and running. In this example I use an old Odroid-C1 that I found in one of my drawers.

Download image

First you need to download an image for your SD-card (or eMMC module, which is supported by Odroid). The Hardkernal download page have all the available images. Then make use of SD-formatter and Win32DiskImager to get the image onto the SD-card. When you first boot you Odroid you will notice that it doesn’t give HDMI output as appose to the Raspberry Pi. You will need to connect it to your network and make sure you have a router or similar running a DHCP server. Once you see the IP in the DHCP list you can go ahead and use putty to SSH into it. Default username is root and default password is odroid.

Initial config

First thing you want to do is to change the default root password by running passwd. Now you have a much more secure box then before. The Raspberry Pi ships with a config script that you can use to make your basic config, the Odroid doesn’t. I did however find a great script called odroid-utility written by Mauro Ribeiro, which seems to be an employee of Hardkernal actually. The script is open sourced on Github and gives you more or less the same capabilities as the Raspberry Pi config script. Since it’s not shipped we need to download it, make sure that your Odroid have an internet connection and run the following:

sudo -s
wget -O /usr/local/bin/odroid-utility.sh https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mdrjr/odroid-utility/master/odroid-utility.sh
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/odroid-utility.sh
odroid-utility.sh

odroid-utility

It gives you the ability two do basic configuration like HDMI, resize root partion and change the hostname. You can also update the kernel with this tool. Each time you run the script it updates it self so once you download it you can be sure you have the latest release.

Update your system

After all this just do a basic package upgrade and your Odroid is ready for use.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Timezone

This one is really important for some implementations since correct date and time can break some setups.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata