Mentioned versions of debian u-boot that include A10-OlinuXino-Lime support.
Outdated Information; the current state of affairs is covered by https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Allwinner
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|The Olimex A10-OLinuXino-LIME ships with Debian pre-installed, and jessie can be installed manually. d-i support is blocked by the board needing a non-mainline u-boot.
There are two versions of the LIME board. The version with the microsd card is probably a better choice for installing Debian on, since this allows removing the "drive" and mounting it on a laptop to set it up. (That version is also less expensive!). '''Important note: At the time of writing (i.e with kernel release 3.16), the mainline Linux kernel does not have a driver for the flash controller of the A10 SoC used on this board. This means that the on-board flash memory of the flash-equipped version of the A10-OLinuXino-LIME is not usable with the kernel package provided by Debian. Driver support for the flash controller is work in progress, but it is currently not suitable for production use.'''
To manually install Debian, see https://linux-sunxi.org/Mainline_Debian_HowTo#Bootstrapping_Debian . That page is not specific to the LIME, so needs a few changes:
* The kernel to install is linux-image-3.16-trunk-armmp, which is currently only available from experimental.
* To configure flash-kernel, make /etc/flash-kernel/machine contain "Olimex A10-OLinuXino-LIME"
* Debian's uboot does not work, see the above page for instructions to build from source (make A10-OLinuXino-Lime_config). (Note: have not gotten that to boot yet.)
Or, the u-boot that comes pre-installed can be used.
* The u-boot version shipped in Debian as of 2014.10~rc2+dfsg1-2~exp1 includes A10-OLinuXino-Lime, please file bugs reports on u-boot if it doesn't work.
* You will probably want to repartition the microsd card, to make the first (boot) partition larger, so it can hold the debian initramfs. 128 mb is a reasonable size. If you are installing your own u-boot, it will support ext4 for /boot, rather than needing to use vfat.
Note that the mainline kernel does not support the board's video/audio, but it should be suitable for a server or freedombox.