A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella.

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A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella.

Postby Dr.BeauWebber » Sat May 17, 2014 11:09 pm

So you have unpacked your new board from Adapteva, and are looking at it and wondering :
“what next ?”

Well you will need a few things more, before you can power it up, and there are a number of essential links to look at :
http://www.parallella.org/
Parallella Quick Start Guide : http://www.parallella.org/quick-start/
Creating a Parallella SD card : http://www.parallella.org/create-sdcard/
Verified Peripherals (Tested Hardware Accessories) : http://forums.parallella.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=862
Cases and Cooling ; http://www.parallella.org/2014/04/30/cases-and-cooling/
Another simple fan for the Adapteva case : http://forums.parallella.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1156

But I recommend the following :
1. A micro-SD card with SD card holder : SanDisk Ultra 16GB or better 32GB MicroSDHC Class 10 UHS-1.
2. A good quality 5V DC 3A power supply with a 5.5mm OD / 2.1mm ID centre positive polarity plug. Maplin do them.
3. One or two fans – I used two 12V 40x40mm ones from Maplin, and power them off the 5V supply on the Parallella – whisper quiet. See: Another simple fan for the Adapteva case above, but there are a number of other designs.
4. An Ethernet cable to a broadband hub.
5. A video micro-HDMI-male to full HDMI-female adaptor.
6. HDMI- to DVI Monitor cable.
7. Digital VDU with DVI connector.
8. A micro-USB-male to full USB-female adaptor.
9. Either a USB un-powered hub plus wired USB key-board and wired USB mouse
Or a combined dongle radio keyboard and mouse – see Verified Peripherals above.
You can of course vary this list if you know what you are doing, but if not, stick to it. Note for the micro adaptors use short-cable versions, there is not space for the all-in-one versions. Amazon do them.

The first thing, once the above fans are in place – before powering up the board - is to fit the heatsink – fins sideways across the board. DO NOT POWER THE BOARD WITHOUT HEATSINK AND FAN.

Then program the micro-SD card with the image etc., needed for booting the system. See :
http://www.parallella.org/create-sdcard/
I use method 1 and Win32 Disk Imager from SourceForge in Windows to create an SD card :
Method #1:(easier)
1. Download the complete image (<releasename>.img.gz) from ftp://ftp.parallella.org/sd_images
2. Decompress it to an .img file
3. Go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/files/latest/download and get Win32 Disk Imager
4. Insert the micro-SD card into its SD holder, and into your regular computer
5. Use Win32 Disk Imager in Windows to create an SD card (write device)


When programmed, insert the micro-SD card gold fingers down, label up. into the micro-SD card slot underneath the board, next to the video connector, until it clicks in place.
Connect all the connectors, check carefully that they are all firmly in place, and apply power last.
The monitor should come out of power-save mode, and two Linux penguins should appear, top Left, of the screen.
A bit later the Linux log-in should appear, and hopefully the mouse and keyboard will be working.
Use them to select
user : “linaro”
and log in with
password : linaro
A bit later the Parallella Linux desk-top should appear.

You can check you have web access by opening a browser :
Go to the bottom left icon on the bottom taskbar, and you should get an on-screen menu.
Select : Internet => Firefox Web Browser
- If your web connection is successful, you should see a http://www.parallella.org web page.
The first thing is to do is to set a new password before being on the internet too long :
sudo passwd linaro
- sudo allows you to give system commands.
- You will be asked for a new password twice : WRITE IT DOWN

NEXT: Update all the software on the SD card to the latest version :
sudo apt-get update
- This will take a few minutes to run, but should complete OK.
- You will now need to re-boot to ensure you are using the fresh versions :

NEXT: How do you shutdown the system without corrupting the SD card ?

Well there is a desktop GUI option to do this, but it did not work for me; so :
Go to the bottom left icon on the bottom taskbar, and you should get an on-screen menu.
Select : Other => tcsh - right near the bottom of the list
- this is a shell window where you can type commands
To shut down safely, type :
sudo shutdown –h now
- The system should now shut down.
- Remove DC power.
To re-boot, re-apply power.

OK now for some work to configure the system and make it more useful, so that you can do things like log-into the Parallella from a remote desktop or lap-top :
It is sometimes useful to have access to the world-wide-web from a textual window - install lynx text web browser :
sudo apt-get install lynx

To be able to log-into the Parallella from a remote desktop or lap-top, install tightvncserver :
sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
to run it and configure a window – I use a small window when working remotely from my lap-top :
vncserver :1 –geometry 750x500
- It will ask for a vnc password – it can be the one you gave above.
- It will return the name of the X server that you can access remotely :
- linaro-nano:1
On the PC one needs a VNC viewer,
i.e. install one from :
http://www.tightvnc.com/

Run it and this then gives a configuration panel and connection panel.
Enter the Remote Host IP and window number :
This can be a number obtained from one’s hub i.e. 192.168.1.71:1
But it is simplest to use the above name :
linaro-nano:1
and press connect. Hopefully you will get a window that allows you to enter the VNC password you set above, and then the Parallela desktop should open in a window.

To shut down the vncserver on the Parallella :
vncserver –kill :1

*** Back-up the micro-SD card NOW !!!
You have now done lots of work, and have a version that you may want more copies of.

The simplest is to use the above shutdown command, move the SD card to the PC
(I ignore PC complaints that the file system needs checking)
and use Win32DiskImager again, this time copying TO a file :
Create a name and then choose “Read” (from device).

All the best, this has worked for me, I hope it helps, but of course things change, no guarantees. Do tell me if the above does not work for you.
Dr. Beau Webber
http://www.Lab-Tools.com
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby shodruk » Mon May 19, 2014 2:13 am

Great guide! Thank you. :D
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby cmcconnell » Thu May 22, 2014 8:44 pm

Thanks for the guide. I've just received my board and need all the help I can get! :)

Just one query/observation -

NEXT: Update all the software on the SD card to the latest version :
sudo apt-get update
- This will take a few minutes to run, but should complete OK.
- You will now need to re-boot to ensure you are using the fresh versions :

Are there any Parallella-specific repositories being referenced by this, or is it all generic stuff? My Linux knowledge is limited, to say the least, but I'd be reluctant to update anything generic until I had fully tested the board (and perhaps not even then).

If I find problems, I want to be sure I haven't somehow introduced them myself with an update; so it seems like a good idea to do all the initial testing with the baseline system that was supplied (and presumably that the people at Adapteva used in their own testing.)

In fact, I have indeed run into various problems and am poised to try Shodruk's fixes - http://elinux.org/Parallella_Speed_Up_Ubuntu. Again, I'd like to start out by applying those changes to a baseline system, before updating anything, just so I know where I am.

Does that make any kind of sense?
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby 9600 » Fri May 23, 2014 5:43 am

cmcconnell wrote:Are there any Parallella-specific repositories being referenced by this, or is it all generic stuff? My Linux knowledge is limited, to say the least, but I'd be reluctant to update anything generic until I had fully tested the board (and perhaps not even then).


We haven't set up our own repository yet and if you look in /etc/apt/sources.list you will just see the Ubuntu ones configured.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby Dr.BeauWebber » Sun May 25, 2014 7:54 pm

OK, I have put a step by step description of these tweaks, what worked for me, at :
Beginners Guide - 2 - Tweaking the Linux system
http://forums.parallella.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1277
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby adeshpande » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:51 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the great guide. I was able to complete steps #1-5 successfully for creating the SD card. On this link, however,

http://www.parallella.org/create-sdcard/

I wasn't sure how to do steps 4 and 5? Did we already do that in your procedure?

Thanks
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby gceline » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:06 pm

At the beginning of the procedure, "Downloading the binaries" step 2 downloads the Linux Kernel files and Step 3 downloads the FPGA image.
In the process to create the new card in Linux (Step 5) and in Windows (Step 4 & 5) you need to copy these files to the BOOT partition of the SD card.
This is a FAT32 partition so it can be done in Windows or Linux. After unzipping the files you downloaded, copy the correct files to the SD card BOOT partition.
One file needs to be renamed (the FPGA image) - it is named to identify it, and must be changed to parallella.bit.bin on the SD card
Graham
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby adeshpande » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:37 pm

I've attached a pic of what I see on the card. Is this right?
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retas.jpg (154.3 KiB) Viewed 49794 times
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby adeshpande » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:37 pm

I didn't need to rename any files, however.
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Re: A Beginners Guide to getting started with the Parallella

Postby adeshpande » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:54 am

Do I have to do anything else?
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