Install Cubian

benbull edited this page Oct 30, 2014 · 31 revisions

In this tutorial you will learn how to install Cubian to your Cubieboard on both micro-SD card and NAND.


Currently you can download Cubian at

Install to Micro-SD card

  1. Linux

    1. Unzip the img If the img filename end with bz2

       bzip2 -d PATH_TO_CUBIAN.bz2

      If it ends with 7z

       apt-get install p7zip-full
       7z x PATH_TO_CUBIAN.7z
    2. Write to your device

       dd if=PATH_TO_CUBIAN of=/dev/YOUR_DEVICE bs=4096; sync
  2. Windows users

    1. Download Image writer.

      Link1 Link2

    2. Unzip the img

      Please use 7-zip to unzip the IMG file

    3. Rename the img

      Our Image writer only recognize file with a raw extension, so rename the image file.Press windows and R,run cmd.exe and then execute the DOS command

    4. Write the Img to your device Image Writer Screenshot

  3. Mac OS X users

    1. insert SD card to your mac and wait for system to detect it. Do not eject.

    2. run

       diskutil list
    3. determine device identifier diskutil list

    4. unmount the device

       diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
    5. copy image file to SD card, this process can take a while so please be patient.

       sudo dd if=/Users/YOUR-USERNAME/Downloads/Cubian-base-r1-arm-a20.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m
    6. If successful, terminal will return to standard prompt and display a success message:

       1024+0 records in
       1024+0 records out
       1073741824 bytes transferred in 656.027953 secs (1636732 bytes/sec)

Install to NAND

Installing Cubian to NAND is pretty easy.

  • First, you need to install it to your Micro-SD card using the tutorial above, then boot and login to your Cubieboard. the default username and password is cubie

  • Once you logged in, if you have an earlier version, you will execute the following command

      sudo ~/nandinstall/

However, if you have the latest release, the ~/nandinstall folder isn't there. In that case, you need to install the tool by yourself and then run it, as follows:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install cubian-nandinstall
    sudo cubian-nandinstall

Note: If you get the error 'Method /usr/lib/apt/methods/ did not start correctly' try running apt-get update first. This happens because apt-get tries to install an old version of cubian-nandinstall from


  • Screenshots of Cubian running on Mirco-SD card

Cubian Mirco-SD Cubian Mirco-SD

  • Screenshots of Cubian running on NAND

Cubian Mirco-SD Cubian Mirco-SD


Expanding the size of your NAND partition to 4GB.

  • WARNING! THIS WILL DELETE ALL DATA! (Cannot run while an OS is currently running from the NAND drive. You must use Live"SD".)

(Must be root! Or sudo)

If you are running a recent version of cubie, you should skip to apt-get update.

  • Add GPG key
$ wget -O - | apt-key add -
  • Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add this line
deb wheezy main
apt-get update
  • Install cubian-resizefs
apt-get install cubian-resizefs
  • Resizing the partition (Remember this must only be done from a live"SD")
$ sudo su
$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nandd

If /dev/nandd doesn't resize the file system to max, go through all the nand partitions and try the command! Examples

$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nand
$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nanda
$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nandb
$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nandc
$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nandd
$ cubian-resizefs /dev/nande

Alternatively if this fails, try logging in via LiveCD/SD and resizing while the NAND is not in use.

Example of how my NAND resize turned out

halfhead@Cubian:~$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs          3.8G  0.4G  3.4G  9% /
/dev/root       3.8G  0.4G  3.4G  9% /
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