The NanoPi NEOLTS is a SBC from FriendlyElec that uses the Allwinner H3
SOC. The NanoPi NEOLTS has a nice selection of hardware including 100Mbit
Ethernet, 3 USB Ports and a bunch of exposed GPIO.
FreeBSD on the NanoPi uses GENERICSD image. This image requires a bootloader
to be added before it will work. We can prepare a single image to be copied to
many SD cards by using a memory disk as an intermediate step.
We need to:
Get the latest GENERICSD card image snapshot
Install the correct boot loader pkg
Create a memory disk
Copy the GENERICSD image to memory disk
Copy the bootloader to the memory disk
Mount the root partition of the sd card image
Copy the programs and files we need for the tutorial to the sd card
The latest image is as I write is 13 CURRENT from 20190829:
Each u-boot bootloader platform has its own package, currently there are 46
different bootloaders in the FreeBSD ports system. We want the u-boot for the
nanopi_neo (our target).
$ pkg search nanopi
u-boot-nanopi-neo2-2019.07 Cross-build das u-boot for model nanopi-neo2
u-boot-nanopi_a64-2019.07 Cross-build das u-boot for model nanopi_a64
u-boot-nanopi_m1plus-2019.07 Cross-build das u-boot for model nanopi_m1plus
u-boot-nanopi_neo-2019.07 Cross-build das u-boot for model nanopi_neo
u-boot-nanopi_neo_air-2019.07 Cross-build das u-boot for model nanopi_neo_air
# pkg install u-boot-nanopi_neo-2019.07
The u-boot-nanopi_neo package contains the binary bootloader we need in
The Wikitravel page for Bucharest has some scary warnings about taxis. I
didn't heaer any horror stories from conference goers, but there was a large
variation in prices for the same journey.
He held a two day DevSummit before the conference proper. A DevSummit is a
chance to talk through technical issues and hash things out face to face. We
did some planning for FreeBSD 13 with the idea of setting GGoals for the
We tried to match a bit of a hackathon with the DevSummit, but the tutorial
schedules meant we couldn't focus the time very well and it was broken up.
Keynote1: Lightweight virtualization with LightVM and Unikraft
Hacking together a FreeBSD presentation streaming box – For as little as possible
That was me, I thought it was quite good :D
The Evolution of FreeBSD Governance
Using Boot Environments at Scale
The End of DNS as we know it
Keynote2: Some computing and networking historical perspectives
Ron's keynote was unreal and it is a massive shame that this sessions
wasn't recorded. Ron has a ton of experience with working with
network systems since 1976, he shared some stories and anecdotes. The
one closest to my heart was pirating away an IMP front pannel and
saving it from the scrappers. If you get a chance to see Ron speak
you should jump up and down at it.
Taking NetBSD kernel bug roast to the next level : Kernel Sanitizers
Livepatching FreeBSD kernel
This was an interesting study into how many different platforms do
live patching. The FreeBSD way to do live patching could be
simplified to 'use dtrace fbt probes'. Which is super reductive of
all of the work invovled, but it shows the power of the system we
have with dtrace.
Debugging lessons learned as a newbie fixing NetBSD
Maya is a terrifying person. Somehow she manages to hack productivly
across the entire range of the stack and across many different
architectures. There were many debuggin gems in here, I hope she
continues to present on this the information was great.
FreeBSD/VPC: a new kernel subsystem for cloud workloads
EMF Camp is a giant hacker camp that occurs in the deep South of England. It
managed to attract nearly 2500 people into a field for four days at the end
EMF Camp 2018 was the first time I have volunteered to help with the
organisation. I volunteered to help out the content team earlier in the year,
it wasn't until the week before that we realised lightning talks needed more
organisation. Foolishly I stepped up and got a weird split experience between
attending the camp and running a tiny slice of it.
It wasn't sooooo awful, I'll probably do it again.
I attended EMF Camp 2014, since then they have really managed to integrate well
with the village system used at other camps. The map shows all the spontaneous
events that people put together during the camp, the adage 'it is what you make
it' really comes out at these events with many participants helping to make it
In our own way the Scottish Consulate contributed too, with our
bureaucratic role playing game going beyond the pale and expanding into
operation of a phone network (cups and string) and a Hard border from the rest
of the camp.
Toorcamp is America's Hackercamp, it happens on the stunning Orcas Island
an hour or so North West of Seattle. Hacker events always manage to create
their own neon lit world, Toorcamp took this to another level and sequestered
500 hackers away in a idillic resort in the Pacific North west and even then it
poured on the neon lighting effects to keep us in a dream world.
Doe Bay resort spreads over three regions, a bay area (were I camped with
Milliways), an island outcrop and a field at the top of a hill. This division
(especially the hill) make it less enticing to move around the site. It also
meant that the nosiy area in the bay, by being far away from most of the
camping, was able to go all night long without disturbing too many people.
Toorcamp is serviced by a group of telephone enthusiasts called Shady Tel. They
operate a highly reptuable phone company in the American fashion, offering
service anywhere on the camp site, whether near an exchange or on a boat out in
I hate talking to people on the phone, but I found this limited network to be a
ton of fun. I must have spent hours wardialling around trying to find people to
call. Once I discovered the maintainence line that echo'd back your phone
number I started going around and collecting interesting phones.
Because we are hackers on top of this phone network highly ammusing things pop
up. Milliways ran a pager network and from their payphone I spent many hours
paging people to call numbers. Knowing how to find numbers for a phone I
started paging people to call me at random places.
The Doe Bay resort that hosted Toorcamp would be a wonderful place to go even
without an amazing hacker camp in toe. Rather than attempt to describe the
event it is easier to link to the 10 intervies the amp hour podcast did on
The final night nature decided to turn on a smoke machine and join the party.