At the end of February I received an e-mail from Jingfeng Liu of Linksprite informing me that they are launching a new product called pcDuino and offering a free sample. Two days ago I got a package in the mail containing the board, a WiFi dongle and a bag of cables. In ten minutes, most of them spent looking for spare keyboard and mouse, the system was up and running.
pcDuino is a mini PC platform based on 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. It has 1GB of RAM, 2GB of Flash, 2 USB Host ports, 1 USB OTG port, HDMI video, Ethernet and Micro-SD slot. It comes with Ubuntu pre-installed and its graphic desktop is surprisingly responsive for such a small machine.
After an uneventful start – all you need to do is connect a keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor – I started looking into ways to control my pcDuino remotely. Ethernet worked out of the box so physical connectivity was not really an issue. However, I haven’t found any access control tools and even root account is set up with no terminal password (and in KDE, the root password is ‘ubuntu’ – I managed to guess it at first attempt without ever looking in the doc). No remote access tool were installed either, which was actually a good thing since I needed to secure the root account first.
Even though pcDuino comes with graphic desktop, I prefer working with command line. I launched the
LXTerminal application from the desktop and typed
sudo su. This command switches current user to root. Now it’s time to give it a password. The command for it is
passwd. It will prompt for a new password and then will ask to confirm. The root is now password protected.
Now I needed an account for myself. On Linux machines my nickname is ‘felis’ so I typed: