Yes, we are alive ;)
It's been a while since we've posted and we wanted to let you know what we've been up to since our last update...
The first major thing we've been working on are storage focused Lollipops. We've been asked a number of times over the last year about builds and setups that can use hard drives for large data sets to be stored. We're pleased to let you know that we've found some options and have details on our hardware documentation page. KemoNine has deployed a Neo2 version and we've adopted the M4 version for our internal NAS, that we use to house our backups, build output and more.
The second major update is we've updated our list of supported boards. We've had support for the Raspberry Pi 3b and 3b+ models for quite some time and they now feature at the top of the list and are now our recommended board. We've seen some major kernel updates roll through the Armbian project and the kernel modules/features don't always line up well to previous versions on updates. We've selected 2 boards outside of the storage options to continue supporting over time: The Orange Pi PC 2 and Orange Pi Plus 2e. We've been running both of these boards over time and despite some minor hiccups they've been the two most stable options. Our hardware documentation page has the full details and updates.
Intermediate and Advanced Hardware/Software Updates
We've improved our hardware documentation as well as added a few advanced concepts to the mix based on some remixes we've helped others with.
For hardware documentation we have added a way to simulate A-GPS (what your phone uses for fast GPS locks) to our GPS documentation as well have improved and simplified dedicated RTC setup. These are small but useful updates that KemoNine put together while re-working their portable Lollipop Cloud.
In our advanced topics we've added information on how to deploy zfs on arm64v8 boards with at least 1Gb of RAM. This will become the core of our storage documentation that we're still working on. We've also discovered how to reliably move /var/log out of RAM for more persistent log storage. This works well with zfs to help reduce storage of logs, RAM usage and more. You can even leverage zfs to hold swap and turn off the RAM swap option Armbian has by default. By combining zfs with moving /var/log and disabling RAM based swap you can achieve a quality, storage first lollipop deployment on arm64v8 SBCs.
We've also sorted out network isolation which includes namespaced-openvpn and firejail which can be leveraged for some network isolation operations. namespaced-openvpn and firejail don't give us the VPN kill switch we want but we hope they can prove a good starting point for those working with services that need 100% isolation via a VPN. We will continue to work towards a complete VPN kill switch option but for now this is the best we can put together.