Some beginner process questions

I’m a long time Linux user looking to replace a headless Debian x86 server with a VIM3. Its not a production system but reliability and security are still pretty important to me. I’d like to keep it up to date with patches, ideally I’d like to stay as close as possible to vanilla Debian, and I’d like to understand the things I need to trust.

I’ve successfully run the Debian image downloaded through krescue and also the Ubuntu server image built from github actions. Things are going ok, but I had a few basic process questions:

  1. I notice there is just one Debian image on which is a release candidate from September. There are more images for Ubuntu but a lot of those are pretty old too. What drives when new images are posted to and how are those likely to compare with the ones I would build myself? Have the ones on gone through any more testing?
  2. I’d really like to understand more about what Fenix is doing and the boundary between Fenix and Ubuntu. Are there any posts or other documentation on the design or structure of Fenix or is it just a question of diving into the source?
  3. I’m a bit bothered by the fact that building an image needs root on the host computer (and that even the docker container needs privelged execution, sysadmin capability, and loop control on the host). Is there a quick answer for why is this needed?
  4. I found this post noting that PCIe had been disabled on Linux 5.x and it scared me a bit. Is there a chance I might one day do an update and have some driver I was depending on be disabled? Is there a page summarizing the current status of each driver in each kernel or something else that I should be checking before updates?


welcome aboard @art44,

yup, those images are a bit old, but you can build a new image with fenix script:

fenix is just a simple script for building Ubuntu and Debian images, you can build the firmware from source as well, but fenix helps save time and builds the entire firmware on the spot (remember to use fenix, you need a host linux computer)

presumably because it will require the need to root permissions for building the kernel and rootfs, you can ask @numbqq and @Frank more about this if you like,

that was a very long time ago, PCIe works again, please note if you need to use an SSD, you need to use one of the tested compatible SSDs


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@art44 Hello, About Ubuntu image , we support OTA upgrade , you can upgrade base on 0530 Ubuntu image . We mainly maintain ubuntu, debian is relatively little maintained, if you want stable use, maybe ubuntu is a better choice on VIM3

About fenix , it is used to compile the ubuntu and DEBIAN systems of all khadas boards. If you want to fully understand fenix, you still need to understand through the source code. The document of fenix is not described in detail, because it is completely open source, and for general users, there is no need to understand the structure, as long as they can use it.If you have any doubts about fenix, you can raise it in the forum.

Fenix is a virtual space built using Debian tools and hung on the host. These directories are created in it, not directly built on the host, and there is no security risk. After the build is completed, these mounted directories will be unmounted. Drop and release

In our latest mainline code, PCIe is already available, but there are still some problems with the latest mainline code. We are still debugging, so we have not released the relevant firmware. You can use fenix to build the latest mainline firmware.


Thanks for the quick responses!