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Revision 44 as of 2017-03-12 14:35:01
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An alternative to copy to SD card command
$ cat freedombox-unstable-free_2015-12-13_cubietruck-armhf.img > /dev/sdg ; sync
On MS Windows you will need a tool like ''etcher''.

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Download and Install

Welcome to the FreedomBox download page. You may either install FreedomBox on one of the supported inexpensive hardware devices, on any Linux Debian operating system, or deploy it on a virtual machine.

Installing on a machine running a Debian system is easy because FreedomBox is available as a package. We do recommend to install FreedomBox on a supported single board computer (SBC). The board will be dedicated for FreedomBox use from home, this will prevent a lot of risks, such as accidental misconfiguration by the user. In case of trouble deciding which hardware is best for you or during the installation, please use the support page or read the Questions and Answers page based on posts on the Freedombox-discuss mailing list archives.

Downloading on Debian

If you are installing on an existing Debian installation, you don't need to download these images. Instead read the instructions on setting up FreedomBox on Debian.

Downloading for SBC or Virtual Machine

Prepare your device

Read the hardware specific instructions on how to prepare your device at the Hardware section. On the web is a lot of documentation about setting your device up and flashing USB or SD Cards to boot your hardware.

Downloading Images

Recent images for supported targets are available here:

Verifying the Downloaded Images

It is important to verify the images you have downloaded to ensure that the file has not be corrupted during the transmission and that it is indeed the image built by FreedomBox developers.

  • First open a terminal and import the public keys of the FreedomBox developers who built the images:

    $ gpg --recv-keys BCBEBD57A11F70B23782BC5736C361440C9BC971
    $ gpg --recv-keys 7D6ADB750F91085589484BE677C0C75E7B650808
  • Next, verify the fingerprint of the public keys:
    $ gpg --fingerprint BCBEBD57A11F70B23782BC5736C361440C9BC971
    pub   4096R/0C9BC971 2011-11-12
          Key fingerprint = BCBE BD57 A11F 70B2 3782  BC57 36C3 6144 0C9B C971
    uid                  Sunil Mohan Adapa <sunil@medhas.org>
    sub   4096R/4C1D4B57 2011-11-12
    $ gpg --fingerprint 7D6ADB750F91085589484BE677C0C75E7B650808
    pub   4096R/7B650808 2015-06-07 [expires: 2020-06-05]
          Key fingerprint = 7D6A DB75 0F91 0855 8948  4BE6 77C0 C75E 7B65 0808
    uid                  James Valleroy <jvalleroy@mailbox.org>
    uid                  James Valleroy <jvalleroy@freedombox.org>
    sub   4096R/25D22BF4 2015-06-07 [expires: 2020-06-05]
    sub   4096R/DDA11207 2015-07-03 [expires: 2020-07-01]
    sub   2048R/2A624357 2015-12-22
  • Finally, verify your downloaded image with its signature file .sig. For example:

    $ gpg --verify freedombox-unstable-free_2015-12-13_cubietruck-armhf.img.xz.sig freedombox-unstable-free_2015-12-13_cubietruck-armhf.img.xz
    gpg: Signature made Thursday 15 January 2015 09:27:50 AM IST using RSA key ID 0C9BC971
    gpg: Good signature from "Sunil Mohan Adapa <sunil@medhas.org>"
    gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
    gpg:          There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.
    Primary key fingerprint: BCBE BD57 A11F 70B2 3782  BC57 36C3 6144 0C9B C971


After the download you can use the image to boot your chosen hardware (including virtual machines). You'll need to copy the image to the memory card or USB stick as follows:

  1. Figure out which device your card actually is.
    1. Unplug your card.
    2. Run dmesg -w to show and follow the kernel messages.

    3. Plug your card in. You will see messages such as following:
      [33299.023096] usb 4-6: new high-speed USB device number 12 using ehci-pci
      [33299.157160] usb 4-6: New USB device found, idVendor=058f, idProduct=6361
      [33299.157162] usb 4-6: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
      [33299.157164] usb 4-6: Product: Mass Storage Device
      [33299.157165] usb 4-6: Manufacturer: Generic
      [33299.157167] usb 4-6: SerialNumber: XXXXXXXXXXXX
      [33299.157452] usb-storage 4-6:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
      [33299.157683] scsi host13: usb-storage 4-6:1.0
      [33300.155626] scsi 13:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Generic- Compact Flash    1.01 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
      [33300.156223] scsi 13:0:0:1: Direct-Access     Multiple Flash Reader     1.05 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
      [33300.157059] sd 13:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
      [33300.157462] sd 13:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg5 type 0
      [33300.462115] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] 30367744 512-byte logical blocks: (15.5 GB/14.4 GiB)
      [33300.464144] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Write Protect is off
      [33300.464159] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
      [33300.465896] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] No Caching mode page found
      [33300.465912] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Assuming drive cache: write through
      [33300.470489] sd 13:0:0:0: [sdf] Attached SCSI removable disk
      [33300.479493]  sdg: sdg1
      [33300.483566] sd 13:0:0:1: [sdg] Attached SCSI removable disk
    4. In the above case, the disk that is newly inserted is available as /dev/sdg. Very carefully note this and use it in the copying step below.

  2. Decompress the downloaded image using tar:
    $ xz -d freedombox-unstable-free_2015-12-13_cubietruck-armhf.img.xz

    The above command is an example for the cubietruck image built on 2015-12-13. Your downloaded file name will be different.

  3. Copy the image to your card. Double check to make sure you don't write to your computer's main storage (such as /dev/sda). Also make sure that you don't run this step as root to avoid potentially overriding data on your hard drive due to a mistake in identifying the device or errors while typing the command. USB disks and SD cards inserted into the system should typically be write accessible to normal users. If you don't have permission to write to your SD card as a user, you may need to run this command as root. In this case triple check everything before you run the command. Another safety precaution is to unplug all external disks except the SD card before running the command.

    For example, if your SD card is /dev/sdg as noted in the first step above, then to copy the image, run:

    $ dd bs=1M if=freedombox-unstable-free_2015-12-13_cubietruck-armhf.img of=/dev/sdg conv=fdatasync

An alternative to copy to SD card command

  • $ cat freedombox-unstable-free_2015-12-13_cubietruck-armhf.img > /dev/sdg ; sync

On MS Windows you will need a tool like etcher.

  • The above command is an example for the cubietruck image built on 2015-12-13. Your image file name will be different.

    When picking a device, use the drive-letter destination, like /dev/sdg, not a numbered destination, like /dev/sdg1. The device without a number refers to the entire device, while the device with a number refers to a specific partition. We want to use the whole device. Downloaded images contain complete information about how many partitions there should be, their sizes and types. You don't have to format your SD card or create partitions. All the data on the SD card will be wiped off during the write process.

  • Use the image by inserting the SD card or USB disk into the target device and booting from it. Your device should also be prepared (see the Hardware section).

  • Read (the rest of) the Manual for instructions on how to use applications in FreedomBox.



Work Space





Live Help

Where To Start








To Do





Use cases





HELP & DISCUSSIONS: Mailing List - #freedombox irc.debian.org | CONTACT Foundation | JOIN Alioth Projects, GitHub

Next call: Saturday, August 12th at 14:00 UTC

Latest news: Stable FreedomBox images - 2017-08-05

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