Tow-Boot, a new U-Boot option for Pinephone Pro and other devices
#1
"The goal of Tow-Boot is to make booting boring."

Martijn Braam from PostMarketOS highlighted the recent development of Tow-Boot with a video of installing it on the Pinephone Pro.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufzAC4QADvY

More Links:
Website: https://tow-boot.org/
Git: https://github.com/Tow-Boot/Tow-Boot
Releases: https://github.com/Tow-Boot/Tow-Boot/releases
About Tow-Boot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCVcjwpDCYo
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#2
Looks nice, but is there any way to extricate it from the packaging? I have no interest in installing nixos.
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#3
(02-06-2022, 11:44 AM)tmschmitz Wrote: Looks nice, but is there any way to extricate it from the packaging? I have no interest in installing nixos.

What do you mean by installing nixos? It's strictly a bootloader for loading whatever operating systems are present.
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#4
Now if it could only be made to play nice with Pinephone Pro suspend which U-boot seems to be complicating. That's the only thing keeping me on Levinboot ATM.
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#5
I expect that I am missing the obvious, somewhere. I will explain my train of logic, and I would be grateful if you would help me find the path.

The getting-started.md file says to dd spi-installer.img to an sd card, and to boot from it. I watched the videos, and all that looks pretty easy. However, there is no file spi-installer.img in the git download, so I assume that I need to build it. I find no makefiles or instruction on how to do this, just .nix files.
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#6
(02-07-2022, 07:52 AM)tmschmitz Wrote: I expect that I am missing the obvious, somewhere. I will explain my train of logic, and I would be grateful if you would help me find the path.

The getting-started.md file says to dd spi-installer.img to an sd card, and to boot from it. I watched the videos, and all that looks pretty easy. However, there is no file spi-installer.img in the git download, so I assume that I need to build it. I find no makefiles or instruction on how to do this, just .nix files.

I am delighted you asked the question: I have exactly the same question/issue but decided if I had to ask it would mean I was an idiot (a segway from if I have to ask I can't afford it Big Grin )
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (5.16 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edittion, Tow-boot on SPI, Arch/phosh on eMMC
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb, daily driver: Tow-boot with Arch/Phosh on eMMC
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#7
I guess I am used to looking like an idiot, so I just went ahead and blurted it out...
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#8
No, you guys are right, the last release is 20 days ago before this went live, so I'm not seeing an SPI image under releases, nor how to build it. Found a build from the pull request. They are test builds so this isn't out officially just yet.

EDIT: And Tow-Boot has single handedly fixed suspend and wake from suspend on PinePhone Pro. This feels like Christmas, no more dead battery after a couple of hours.
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#9
(02-07-2022, 03:46 PM)tmschmitz Wrote: I guess I am used to looking like an idiot, so I just went ahead and blurted it out...

OK - found a "WIP" version here that has the spi-installer.img for the PPP and that works great for me.
(02-07-2022, 09:56 PM)lllsondowlll Wrote: ...

EDIT: And Tow-Boot has single handedly fixed suspend and wake from suspend on PinePhone Pro. This feels like Christmas, no more dead battery after a couple of hours.

Yeah-but (if you ever saw Little Britain ...) after resume on a (Pine64) RK3399, at the moment the sound is a mess! Another WIP without any patch that I know of yet Smile 

Seems the way Tow-boot make resume work is that it is on the SPI - so far the necessary condition to cause resume fail was having the "in-use" bootloader on the eMMC. Hypothetically it would be interesting to test SPI blank, Tow-boot and OS on eMMC. Probably would fail to resume as, at heart, Tow-boot is just a U-boot wrapper.
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (5.16 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edittion, Tow-boot on SPI, Arch/phosh on eMMC
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb, daily driver: Tow-boot with Arch/Phosh on eMMC
  Reply
#10
(02-07-2022, 09:56 PM)lllsondowlll Wrote: EDIT: And Tow-Boot has single handedly fixed suspend and wake from suspend on PinePhone Pro. This feels like Christmas, no more dead battery after a couple of hours.

How much longer does it seem to run off battery?
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