Download and Produce a Balsa Precise SD Card using a Linux Machine
This page is a portion of the Quick Start for Balsa. It tells you how to turn an ordinary SD card into a Balsa SD card using a Linux computer. The steps are:
- Step 1. Install the programs you will need.
- Step 2. Download the image file for the Balsa SD card.
- Step 3. Extract the image (.img) file using 7zr.
- Step 4. Copy the image to an SD card. This action writes over the SD card completely. Any existing data on the card will be lost.
The download is about 1.1 gigabytes of data.
Step 1. Install the Programs You will Need
Install the following packages:
You can do that using Synaptic, Ubuntu Software Center or a Terminal command:
sudo apt-get install p7zip zsync
If you are running Ubuntu Oneiric (11.10) or later, also install Imagewriter. The name of its package is usb-imagewriter.
sudo apt-get install usb-imagewriter
Step 2. Download The Image Using Zsync
Start a Terminal session. Change directories to where you want to download the image file. Then enter this command:
A message may appear in Terminal: “No relevant local data found…” If you are not trying to resume an interrupted
zsync download, ignore this message and let the download continue. If you DO want to resume an interrupted zsync download of this file and you see this message, type CTRL+C, check to be sure the current directory is where your interrupted download lives, then repeat the
The image is a large file and may take some time. If you have to interrupt it, you can continue on from where it left off by re-entering the
zsync command above.
Step 3. Extract the Image
In a Terminal session, change directories to where you downloaded the image file.
7zr e balsa-precise-1.7-beta-2-8gb.img.7z
This will create a file named
balsa-precise-1.7-beta-2-8gb.img in that directory.
Step 4. Copy the Image to a USB SD Card
If you are running Ubuntu and if the SD card reader is recognized as a USB device, run the Imagewriter program. Select the file
balsa-precise-1.7-beta-2-8gb.img and the SD card.
When Imagewriter is finished, the SD card will be a Balsa SD card.
You can use the card to set up a machine to run Balsa, either the machine you just used to produce the card or a different machine.
If the SD card reader is not recogized as a USB device, you can use the dd command documented in the next section.
Alternate Step 4. Copy the Image to a Non-USB SD Card Reader
Use the dd program to copy the image to the SD card:
- Find the device name of the SD card. The easiest way to do that is to plug in the SD card, and run the Disk Utility (System | Administration | Disk Utility or use the program search capability). The device name is titled Device: and looks something like
- Open a Terminal window and
cdto the directory where you have the file named
- In the following line, replace
/dev/mmcblk0you found in step 1.
sudo dd bs=4M if=balsa-precise-1.7-beta-2-8gb.img of=sd-card
The dd utility will silently copy the file to the SD card. If you want to see a progress bar, you can use the ddrescue (from the gddrescue package) instead.
When the program or command is finished, the SD card will be a Balsa SD card.
You can use the card to set up a machine to set up a machine to run Balsa, either the machine you just used to produce the card or a different machine.