ArchLinux on PogoPlug

Amazon shipped me the PogoPlug V4 faster than I expected. It landed on my doorstep this afternoon. It’s a little bigger than I thought, but not by much. I also ordered a couple of add-ons:

ArchLinuxARM can only boot from the top USB port. That’s why I bought the tiny flash drive. I wanted the lid to close. The wifi adapter won’t see action for a few days yet.

Updated instructions

Installation was mostly painless, with only a couple of snags that I sorted out using their help forum.

The ArchLinux package that needs downloading is 188.3 MB. The problem is that the PogoPlug internal flash can only hold about 55 MB. The instructions on the Arch site need a bit of revision.

The first is that bsdtar is not needed, and that you need to cd into the flash drive for the download to fit. The regular tar command will work where bsdtar will fail. It will throw a warning, tar: warning: skipping header 'x', but it completes without error.

Step 9 is listed as:

chmod +x bsdtar
./bsdtar -xpf ArchLinuxARM-kirkwood-latest.tar.gz -C alarm

It needs to be:

cd alarm
tar -xzvf ArchLinuxARM-kirkwood-latest.tar.gz 
rm ArchLinuxARM-kirkwood-latest.tar.gz

The rest of the steps work without modification.


After the reboot I was able to ssh into the new install. As always, there’s a few things that need to be done.

Update the system:

  • pacman -Syu

Install some needed packages:

  • pacman -S vim sudo

Reboot, then do some basic sysadmin tasks:

  • Change the root password (passwd root)
  • Create a non-root user and password.
  • Configure sudo.
  • Set up ssh public key access.
  • Disable root login and password logins over ssh.
  • Install the NTP client.
  • Set the local timezone.
  • Change the hostname.
  • Configure the router to give the PogoPlug a static local IP address.
  • Update your local hosts file to use the PogoPlug’s new IP address.
  • Verify ssh and sudo are working using a different terminal window.
  • Reboot and enjoy.

Future plans

Over the next few weeks I’ll be setting up the PogoPlug to be a Time Machine backup server and maybe an ad-blocking wifi access point. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “ArchLinux on PogoPlug

  1. Pingback: PogoPlug, ArchLinux and Time Machine backup, Pt. 1 | Jennifer Mack

    1. I was curious as to why one needs an ad-blocking device. Is the web that bad? 🙂

      I installed and configured ownCloud on one of my RPi. Performance was terrible. Ok, less than terrible. Unusable. Maybe I’m just spoiled by high performance devices but I copied a 26K PDF to the folder and waited at least 10 seconds before it appeared on the ownCloud. Blog post coming soon.


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