Official Debian support!
#1
Hello everyone,


I am very please to let you all know that many of our flagship devices, including key SBCs as well as Pinebook Pro and the Pinebook, now have official Debian support.
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#2
Wow, that's very good news! Unfortunately, only support in unstable so far but this means it will be supported in the next stable release!
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#3
I'm at a bit of a loss on how to get this on my SATA drive.  I've successfully booted it from the SD card. I haven't used the SPI update to boot directly from the SATA but I am considering it.
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#4
So, how precisely, if one is using the pinebook pro, would I install this official debian?
I'm still using the oldstable my pinebook pro came with.

the readme was a bit obscure
TIA.
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#5
(04-28-2020, 05:35 PM)jazzmans Wrote: So,   how precisely, if one is using the pinebook pro,  would I install this official debian?
I'm still using the oldstable my pinebook  pro came with.

the  readme was a bit obscure
TIA.

Right there with ya, I was more lost after reading it.
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#6
(04-28-2020, 06:42 PM)MIchael Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 05:35 PM)jazzmans Wrote: So,   how precisely, if one is using the pinebook pro,  would I install this official debian?
I'm still using the oldstable my pinebook  pro came with.

the  readme was a bit obscure
TIA.

Right there with ya, I was more lost after reading it.


You download firmware.pinebook-pro-rk3399.img.gz and partition.img.gz and create complete_image.img via

Code:
zcat firmware.pinebook-pro-rk3399.img.gz partition.img.gz > complete_image.img

You burn complete_image.img on a micro-sd card and boot it. That's the installer. kuleszdl was our guinea pig and went through the installation process here https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...4#pid64874. Reading through it, I'm convinced that most want to use Daniel's installer, instead. In the end you get the same "kind of installation" and software onto your emmc or micro-sd card. The major difference is Daniel's installer installs a more recent kernel. For a pure Debian experience you can remove his repro from /etc/apt/ and install Debian's kernel.


PS: Nobody ever tried "apt-get dist-upgrade" from the preinstalled Debian 9 to Debian 10 or 11. There are a lot of customizations which don't apply to a vanilla Debian 10 or 11 installation.. So, I assume a lot of small things would go wrong and a lot of cleanup work becomes necessary.
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#7
If I'm understanding the README correctly, it looks like you 'merely' smoosh together the device specific firmware file and the the generic installer bit and you get a ready to use device specific installer image.
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#8
(04-28-2020, 07:30 PM)Der Geist der Maschine Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 06:42 PM)MIchael Wrote:
(04-28-2020, 05:35 PM)jazzmans Wrote: So,   how precisely, if one is using the pinebook pro,  would I install this official debian?
I'm still using the oldstable my pinebook  pro came with.

the  readme was a bit obscure
TIA.

Right there with ya, I was more lost after reading it.


You download firmware.pinebook-pro-rk3399.img.gz and partition.img.gz and create complete_image.img via

Code:
zcat firmware.pinebook-pro-rk3399.img.gz partition.img.gz > complete_image.img

You burn complete_image.img on a micro-sd card and boot it. That's the installer. kuleszdl was our guinea pig and went through the installation process here https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...4#pid64874. Reading through it, I'm convinced that most want to use Daniel's installer, instead. In the end you get the same "kind of installation" and software onto your emmc or micro-sd card. The major difference is Daniel's installer installs a more recent kernel. For a pure Debian experience you can remove his repro from /etc/apt/ and install Debian's kernel.


PS: Nobody ever tried "apt-get dist-upgrade" from the preinstalled Debian 9 to Debian 10 or 11. There are a lot of customizations which don't apply to a vanilla Debian 10 or 11 installation.. So, I assume a lot of small things would go wrong and a lot of cleanup work becomes necessary.
zcat worked fine for making complete_image, thank you.

All right,  2 questions.

how do I 'burn' the complete_image to the sdcard, using dd, on the pinebook pro,  booting from the default debian oldstable install; and could you link me to daniells installer? I'm fine using any option to get unstable installed on this machine,  but the boot process for arm is confusing to this long term (18 years now) debian user.

Thanks in advance!

edit to add

You mean this for daniels installer?

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=8487
I'll try it again,  last time I did, a few months ago, I had no luck, but I'll try again.
Thanks.
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#9
(04-30-2020, 09:05 AM)jazzmans Wrote: how do I 'burn' the complete_image to the sdcard, using dd, on the pinebook pro,  booting from the default debian oldstable install; and could you link me to daniells installer? I'm fine using any option to get unstable installed on this machine,  but the boot process for arm is confusing to this long term (18 years now) debian user.

You should be able to use dd much like you were imaging a hard drive on an x86 system, the /dev devices are just mmcblkX instead of sdX. The following should work:

Code:
dd if=<complete_image path> of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=1M status=progress
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(Translation: If something breaks on the website, forum, or chat network, I'm a good person to yell at about it)

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#10
Please note that, unfortunately, there is a regression now in the installer that I often observed with Debian unstable in the past: Debian now ships kernel 5.6 but the installer probably still includes 5.5. The installer boots up fine etc. but later in the step with selecting the mirror - no matter what mirror you select - the installer refuses to continue because it can't find a kernel/modules that match the installer's kernel.

I tried using older partition.img.gz files but I didn't fine one that works. If anyone knows a workaround please share.
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