Now that you have obtained the physical hardware to run your node/stakepool, it is time to get into the software side of things.
First thing’s first, we need to obtain the Operating System. We will be using the Armbian OS Ubuntu built for ARM-based processors.
Of course, you can use the Armbian Debian distro or any other ARM-compatible Linux image of your choice!
This guide uses Armbian as it is also available for many other Single Board Computers like Raspberry, NanoPi, RockPro64, and has overall great support for the board. Furthermore this means that this guide will more or less work for all of those other boards as well no matter the setup.
Decentralisation and Diversity in geographic Location, Operating Systems and Hardware is very important, and one of the main goals of the Cardano on the Rocks project.
We have built a special Cardano-on-the-Rocks edition of the Armbian Linux distribution for you to hit the ground running. It’s only packed with the packages you need and furthermore auto-executes an initial-setup script after the first boot.
If you have connected the LED lights and the OLED Display as described in former lessons, you won’t even need any USB-Keyboard or HDMI-Display for the initial setup of your node with this custom image.
Archives can be uncompressed with 7-Zip on Windows, Keka on OS X and 7z on Linux (apt-get install p7zip-full).
As an alternative, you can open the official Armbian image archive for the RockPi and download the original Ubuntu Bionic Commandline image. This choice however will require connecting a USB-Keyboard and HDMI-Display or look at the DHCP lease table of your LAN-Router to get the RockPi’s IP-Address and manually proceed forward.
Note: Our guide assumes that your node will work around the clock without a connected screen. Therefore, the command line variant is the one we will use to explain the instructions in the next lessons.
Once you have downloaded the image to your personal computer it is time to flash the OS onto your eMMc module. Gently connect the eMMc module onto the microSD or USB adapter and plug the adapter into your computer.
Attention: the eMMC modules have a slightly smaller and larger connector. plug it in the right way and don’t use force to physically damage the module.
Once it is recognized you are good to go. Boot up your favorite application with the ability to flash images or download one such as balenaEtcher.
Note: You can simply select the download zip archive Etcher can extract the image on the fly.
Select the eMMC module as the drive, and complete the flashing by clicking on the Flash! button. This may take a few moments to finish, but when done you can pat yourself on the back for having the OS now ready.