New Article: Fedora Server Edition on a Raspbery Pi & Co?

Outline

Abstract:

  • Fedora Server is also available for Single Board Computers (SBC) like the legendary Raspberry Pi. That device started some years ago primarily as an experimentation and education tool.
  • Fedora Server Edition on such a DIY device?
  • The technology evolved over the years into an affordable but sufficiently powerful tool for many task of everyday life.
  • Works on application level like a “full blown” Fedora Server as used to on expensive hardware. A closer look opens up a multitude of possibilities.

Why using Single Board Computer Server

  • Not just pure affordability in several respects.
  • Suitable for many typical tasks everyday life, specifically in the Soho area.
  • Opens up new prospects that would otherwise be unfeasible.
  • Examples
    • Redunancy even in small busines
    • Dedicated server monitoring
    • Extended test options

How it works

  • Originally ust one storage media
  • Inherited from the time: no installation procedure, but ready-to-use OS image.
  • Fedora provided Fedora Server Edition image implements a standard Fedora server as it is familiar to Sysadmin.

Special considerations: Organization of the storage area

  • Fedora Server: Separation of system and user data
  • Possible also on SBC, but currently not well supported for serious deployment.

Step-by-step installation overview

  • Prepare and transfer image
  • Minimal initial configuration using local monitor and keyboard
  • Comfortable configuration & administration using Cockpit

Completely remote installation

  • Prepare and transfer image
  • Identify device on network segment
  • Complete setup using Cockpit
2 Likes

+1 from me! I definitely like SBC articles, and combined with a server setup article, could get wordy, I suggest writing with a Spartan pen. :wink:

1 Like

I agree, I’m always looking for more SBC related articles :smiley:

+1. Card #322 has been created to track this article.

I want to link to this article, since it’s similar in context. [Article Proposal] Migrate containers from Raspbian to Fedora IoT using [...]

I wrote that article in the meantime and I’m focusing mostly on an example-based approach to show some pitfalls when migrating from the RPi world to Fedora Server / IoT for the first time. As an extra to make it more interesting I show how to transition from a docker-compose file approach to the “more native” systemd.

I imagine there is quite some potential here. Besides Fedora Server there is also Fedora IoT which can be flashed onto an RPi. Writing the above article I noticed that apart from some specifics (FIoT does not have cockpit on board and uses rpm-ostree instead of dnf) they are pretty similar so maybe this article can take that into account. I’m very happy to help here since I’m operating both Fedora IoT and Server Editions on RPis both privately and at work :wink:

Hi,

First of all, my apologies for the late reply. I was so swamped that I could only do the most urgent things for some time. And now I have reached the middle of my backlog.

I have now read your article and find it very informative. Since I’m not done with mine yet, I can very well refer to it and show that at least some SBCs can be used for serious things, not just DIY tinkering and learning anymore.

One problem is Fedora support. For Fedora Server, we are considering creating some sort of “reference list” of recommended SBCs for Fedora Server. At the moment it is very hard to find out which of the SBCs are supported by Fedora sufficiently to run Fedora Server on them. Maybe we can cooperate on such a list (among others)?

Best
Peter

Will the RPI compute module be in the pipeline for target SBCs?
To build scalable things, CM looks like the right SBC boards to do that.

  • Native SATA support without USB bottleneck
  • Choice of SAS and SATA drives to build an enterprise-grade hardware RAID

I don’t know. A question on the Arm list may provide information. However, I am not optimistic. Raspberry uses much proprier kernel extensions. Fedora cannot and will not adopt those.

But there are good and powerful alternatives, e.g. the various Rockchip boards that have PCIe interfaces with Sata or NVMe connectivity, which are also supported by the mainline kernel and thus also by Fedora.

BeagleBone Blue

Which Rockchip boards did you test with the Fedora ARM server?
ROCKPro64 or ROCK Pi 4 look like a worthy upgrade from RPI 3B+.

Hm, so far as I found out it is 500mb RAM. Not much for server I think.

The latest Fedora wiki shows that CM3, CM3+ are also supported.
With the IO Board, I guess I could use the PCIe interface.

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Architectures/ARM/Raspberry_Pi

I tested the Rock Pi 4A, the model without WiFi. With the F35 kernel it works superb. I’be access to 2TB NVMe storage, wired network and everything else works smoothly.

In order to be able to boot from NVMe you must flash U-Boot to the SPI chip. The current hardware rev. 1.4 comes with SPI already soldered. With older hardware you have to solder yourself. :-).

Fedora doesn’t provide a suitable U-Boot version for SPI, at least I didn’t get it to work. Armbian provides a mainline U-Boot SPI very easily to install. Fedora server works out of the box with it.

Yes, Rock Pi 4A is a fine and powerful replacement for a Raspi.

Ah, gotcha. So more like the Khadas Vim3Pro then? It’s stackable apparently.

Yes, Khadas Vim or Khadas Edge. Unfortunately,both are incredible expensive in Europe / Germany. It is on my shopping list for a while. And stackable is a significant criteria for usage as a Mini server.

They certainly look impressive. The Edge Basic is currently $177.07 CA at Digi-Key dot ca while the Edge Vim Pro 3 is $222.98 there. They do make a number of types and all seem to have a .m2 connector.

Ouch, the plan to have such industry-grade SBC at that price range is just ‘pi’ in the sky to me :slight_smile:

Well I won’t be grabbing any in the near (or likely mid distant) future. I just thought they were reasonable for what they come with.