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The OS on PC104 (live USB) - Introduction

The pc104 located inside the iCub head runs a full Debian distribution. This version of Linux has been customized for the specific application and to boot from an USB key. As the iCub (project) grows up, many updates have been performed to this Linux usb-key image to follow the hardware as well as the Debian distribution changes. Stable versions are frozen into image files and uploaded to the iCub webserver.

At any time to determine the version of the image is running on your iCub, the following files in the root of the filesystem can be inspected:

  • VERSION_PC104: contains the version of the image
  • ChangeLog_PC104: list changes to the image

Latest version

The latest version is 7.10 based on Debian 10 (Buster).

Versioning

  • 1.x This is an Etch'n'half based distribution, built on a Debian LIVE system.
  • 2.x This is a Debian Lenny based distribution, built on a Debian LIVE system.
  • 3.x This is a Debian Squeeze based distribution, contains a kernel with Real-Time patch.
  • 4.x This is a Debian Wheezy based distribution, this version contains an updated version of libportaudio.
  • 5.x This is a Debian Wheezy based distribution, built on a Debian LIVE system with overlay persistence, compiled for kernel rt-amd64 (x86 64 bit with real time PREEMPT_RT patches)
  • 6.x This is a Debian Jessie based distribution, built on a Debian LIVE system with overlay persistence, compiled for kernel rt-amd64 (x86 64 bit with real time PREEMPT_RT patches)
  • 7.9.x This is a Debian Stretch (v9) based distribution, built on a Debian LIVE system with overlay persistence, compiled for kernel rt-amd64 (x86 64 bit with real time PREEMPT_RT patches)
  • 7.10.x This is a Debian Buster (v10) based distribution, built on a Debian LIVE system with overlay persistence, compiled for kernel rt-amd64 (x86 64 bit with real time PREEMPT_RT patches)

Starting from version 5.0, the image file name is composed by four parts: a a major release, a minor release, a build release that is a string containing the build date and a kernel flavor string, which describes the kernel architecture the image is built for.

For example, icub-live_5.0-14.11.12-rt-amd64.iso is:

  • 5 is the major release
  • 0 is the minor release
  • 14.11.12 is the build release (Year.Month.Day)
  • rt-amd64 is the kernel flavour

32 bits vs 64 bits

As can be seen in the previous section, iCub LIVE versions starting from 5.x all require a 64 bits architecture. However, it is possible to build 32 bits versions by following the guidelines described here.

Users and Passwords

Starting from version 5.0, the default user account is

Username : icub Password : live

If you want to change the default password simply execute (this works only if you are using persistence)

passwd icub

Note

the root user has no password, this means that the direct login (i.e. ssh root@10.0.0.2) is disabled, but you can always do sudo su - once connected as icub, to switch to the root user.