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Linux tutorial: Using the Fienix distribution on the X5000, part 1 editor Daniel Reimann has taken on the topic of Linux on his AmigaOne X5000 and reports:

Preface and introduction

When I bought my AmigaOne X5000, I did not intend to test Linux on it. I wanted to take a closer look at AmigaOS 4, which I only knew by playing around with WinUAE (see manual in the forum), and at MorphOS, which I got to know for the first time under QEMU (experience report) .

The reason, why I approached the topic Linux at all, were quite practical nature: neither AmigaOS 4, nor MorphOS offer at present a current writing program. And: even if you switch to one of the existing editors, you still can't print for a long time. At least not me with my Canon Pixma MP640, which has already many years on the hump, but unfortunately is not supported. My intention when buying the X5000 was to be able to use a computer that is as complete and suitable for everyday use as possible, without having to use the Windows laptop again for this or that application. Otherwise, the invested high sum would not have been justifiable in my opinion. In this respect, I see it as an absolute advantage to be able to run three different operating systems on the AmigaOne X5000 and thus to exhaust and combine all application possibilities.

Linux itself was and is completely new territory for me. That's why I was looking for a simple and uncomplicated way to try out the OS. So-called live installation images are a good way to do this: an image is created from an existing Linux installation on the hard disk, which is written back to a USB stick or SSD card using a tool and is bootable. No installation is necessary.

Four distributions are basically possible on the X5000 (and X1000): besides Fienix (versions 3 and 5.1), the independent distribution Void (Mate 1.26.0), there is also MintPPC (version 3 "Cindy") and Ubuntu Mate (version 16.04). As Linux and Amiga expert Christian 'xeno74' Zigotzky - many thanks at this point for the great support - explains, the maintainer of Void PPC will discontinue this distribution at the end of the year. Mint PPC is currently not being developed further and some repositories of Ubuntu Mate have been removed, making it impossible to update. In his opinion, Fienix is therefore the only sensible and, above all, future-proof distribution for the AmigaOne. It is based on Debian Sid, but only includes packages from Debian that work. Additionally, some programs are added that Debian does not have, such as various web browsers, games etc.


Therefore, I chose Fienix. I had been running version 3 successfully for a while, but for this article and of course for myself I wanted to use the latest available version 5.1. However, this turned out to be more difficult than I thought: to write the image back to a USB stick, a tool is needed. For Windows users like me the USB Image Tool is the first choice. In contrast to the image of version 3, the image of version 5.1 contained until a few days ago only the Fienix partition, but no boot sector and no boot partition. The mandatory boot partition had to be created by the user, but then the write back with the USB Image Tool in "Volume Mode" did not work. Alexander Beug, the developer of the tool, provided great support here, but in the end the problem could only be solved by asking the creator and maintainer of the Fienix distribution, Casey Cullen, to provide a complete image, which was done now. Many thanks, Casey!

So how exactly do we go about creating a USB stick with Fienix 5.1?
On the download page of the distribution select the appropriate computer system, in my case the AmigaOne X5000, which takes you to the U-Boot page. There download the archive ("fienix_5.1-spark-fulldisk.img.gz", 2.4 GB) and unpack it.

Only recently version 1.90 of the USB Image Tool was released, which we also download ("", 822 KB), unzip and start:

The "Device Mode" is already preset. By means of "Restore" we select the just unpacked image of the Fienix distribution:

If writing back the image has been successful, then two drives are available under Windows after completion:
  • "FIENIX-BOOT" with the required files "cyrus-p5020.dtb", "uImage-5.10" and "uInitrd-5.10"
  • and another drive which cannot be accessed
The "uImage" file contains the kernel. There is already version 6.0 available, which we download and copy the file "uImage-6.0" from the unpacked directory "X5000_and_QEMU_e5500" to the "FIENIX-BOOT" partition (and delete the old uImage file if necessary).

The "uInitrd" file contains the initial ramdisk. It is best to take it from the long-term kernel 5.10.149 archive. Done!

In the second part we will look at how to start Fienix. (dr)

[News message: 22. Oct. 2022, 06:06] [Comments: 1 - 01. Nov. 2022, 09:21]
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