ARM host

I’d like a lower power server for inside my home. Some requirements:

  • Cortex-A9, quad core, 1.2 Ghz or more.
  • 2 GiB
  • Ethernet. USB hosted is OK, native gigabit is better.
  • 2 or more USB ports.
  • A public git tree.

And would be nices:

  • In the Linus kernel
  • Real datasheets (yay Freescale!)
  • Fit within a 3.5" drive envelope (102 x 25 mm, 18 mm for ‘airflow’)

Mass storage will come from the NAS. If it’s small enough then it can fit in a spare drive bay.

Some potentials:

  • Wandboard Quad. 95 x 95 mm, unknown height.
  • ODROID-X2, 90 x 95 mm, unknown height.

Update: 2013-08-01: I decided on the Freescale i.MX6 based Wandboard. Quite happy so far. SATA is broken but possible. Tops out at 70 deg C at 1 GHz.

Synology 213 as a Freedombox

I’d like to self host and move my current VPS into my home. I have an ARM-based Synology NAS which can also run Debian in a chroot. Here’s the setup.

Installing Debian:

It looks like the package does a debootstrap as part of the install.

  • Once installed, select Action | Run

Enter the chroot and do basic setup:

  • /var/packages/debian-chroot/scripts/start-stop-status chroot
  • vi /etc/apt/sources.list
  • Keep wheezy enabled, drop the others
  • apt-get update
  • apt-get dist-upgrade
  • apt-get install -yq jed locales sudo
  • dpkg-reconfigure locales tzdata

Add the SSH server on a custom port:

  • apt-get install -yq jed openssh-server
  • jed /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  • Update Port
  • cd /etc
  • mkdir rc.syno.d
  • cd rc.syno.d
  • ln -s ../init.d/ssh

Update the DSM-side start script to also start services:

  • vi /var/packages/debian-chroot/scripts/start-stop-status
  • Add the following after the last grep/mount in start_daemon:

chroot ${CHROOTTARGET}/ /bin/run-parts -a start /etc/rc.syno.d

Add the user account:

  • Add in the DSM side under Control Panel | User
  • Grab the user ID from /etc/passwd
  • Add in the chroot with the same user ID: adduser --uid xxxx username

You now have a Debian chroot with SSH access. Have at it!


  • The chroot is stored at /volume1/@appstore/debian-chroot/var/chroottarget. Don’t forget to back it up.
  • Add any services manually to /etc/rc.syno.d
Michael Hope
Software Engineer