Organelle 1 - custom OS using Buildroot

Greetings critters,

The Organelle is beautifully open and hackable. For reasons I won’t go into, I have used Buildroot to produce a custom OS for my Organelle 1. I’m sharing it here in case you want to use it too. (I already shared it here, but I figured it’s better to move to its own thread).

Here’s the repo: Files · organelle-ports · Sam Thursfield / Organelle Ports · GitLab

This is a prototype, a toy, a starting point for more experiments.

Things you can do with this, after you build a new SD card image and boot it on your Organelle 1:

  • Run mother and use OpenSoundControl to interface with screen, keys, knobs
  • Compile some cool audio software for Organelle
  • Build your own Linux distro and become an expert developer

Things you can’t do:

  • Run Pure Data patches. (It’s not impossible, but I didn’t add PD, and why not use the stock firmware for that?)
  • Download pre-built packages. (Buildroot is not Debian, nor Arch).

Let me know if you find it useful!

1 Like

This is cool, thanks for sharing!

Last winter I played around with generating a Buildroot image for the Organelle M… got it booting with audio and Pd working. It was really nice to have such elemental system, and having it boot up so quickly was a bonus as well!

I look forward to trying this out.


Hello again,

I have pushed a new version of organelle-ports. Notable changes:

  • Rebase on Buildroot 2021.08 (was based on 2021.05)
  • Start ‘mother’ at boottime so we get the usual menu etc.
  • Add portmidi and enable some ALSA MIDI features in the kernel.

A few other things I’d like to do, but didn’t:

  • Improve boot time - the image is surprisingly slow (~23 seconds) to start Mother, starting that earlier and clearing out some unneeded systemd units would help.
  • Automount USB drive at /usbdrive
  • Enable all the firmware scripts. This is mostly done, the Python ones are ported to Python 3 but the image still needs pyliblo.

I also managed to get a patch written in Rust to start on the device :smile: I actually started this project because I wanted to get an SDK to crosscompile for the Organelle,then I got distracted by making a rootfs as well, as you do…