Is there a none-headless Linux OS that really works now for Rock64?
#1
Sad 
I bought the Rock64 over 2 years ago. I never really used it. None of the Linux OS were stable for my needs.

I just need one that works well as a mini desktop computer. For a browser to work and play videos just fine. To also work as a Samba server. I want it to run through a VPN (the router would hanlde this, so no probs there).

And is there a way to make the SD card redirect the OS to run from a hard drive instead?

If none of the above, the I'll just have to try to sell it...
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#2
I use ArchLinuxArm, in a headless config. It JUST WORKS. Solid as a Rock(64)!!

https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8...hip/rock64

I've been using Rock64 systems as routers and NAS systems. 200+ MB/sec USB3 performance and 900Mbits/sec Ethernet real thru-put.

Note that the quality of the power supply is critical to this level of success. But, that said, I'm using inexpensive 5V3A DC-DC converters from China.

No complaints for this application....However, if trying to run an Xorg Desktop w/browser, this system will be marginal performance, IMO.
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#3
(07-09-2020, 06:55 PM)nethammer Wrote: I use ArchLinuxArm, in a headless config. It JUST WORKS. Solid as a Rock(64)!!

https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8...hip/rock64

I've been using Rock64 systems as routers and NAS systems. 200+ MB/sec USB3 performance and 900Mbits/sec Ethernet real thru-put.

Note that the quality of the power supply is critical to this level of success. But, that said, I'm using inexpensive 5V3A DC-DC converters from China.

No complaints for this application....However, if trying to run an Xorg Desktop w/browser, this system will be marginal performance, IMO.

Well that's the thing. I don't want to run it headless. On paper, the Rock64 is more powerful than a Raspberry Pi 3, which I also have. But no OS that I'm aware of runs Linux well without it being headless. To have one just to work as a NAS alone is such a waste for me when the RPi3 can do more than just that under Raspbian (but with lower bandwidth, of course).
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#4
(07-09-2020, 07:09 PM)AkiraSensei Wrote: Well that's the thing. I don't want to run it headless. On paper, the Rock64 is more powerful than a Raspberry Pi 3, which I also have. But no OS that I'm aware of runs Linux well without it being headless. To have one just to work as a NAS alone is such a waste for me when the RPi3 can do more than just that under Raspbian (but with lower bandwidth, of course).

Since the Rock64 has true GigE (vs. USB attached GigE), it VERY SIGNIFICANTLY outperforms all RPi3B/B+ systems.  At this super low price point, I use all my Rock64's as dedicated appliances. And, they are fantastic performers. I've tested this extensively.

However, if you are wanting stellar desktop performance, I don't know of any solution in this category. A RPi4B will come the closest.  But, IMHO, even the RPi4B still isn't there for most applications.....REALISTICALLY.

If you desire a lower power and lower temperature solution, the Rock64 still wins. Couple one of these boards with a cost-effective VLAN switch (like the Dlink 1100-8) and you've got a POWERFUL wire-speed VLAN/VPN router at a great price point.

For my desktop workstation (running x.org) that I'm typing this from, it's a Ryzen3, running Ubuntu 18.04.
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#5
(07-09-2020, 07:33 PM)nethammer Wrote: Since the Rock64 has true GigE (vs. USB attached GigE), it VERY SIGNIFICANTLY outperforms all RPi3B/B+ systems.  At this super low price point, I use all my Rock64's as dedicated appliances. And, they are fantastic performers. I've tested this extensively.

However, if you are wanting stellar desktop performance, I don't know of any solution in this category. A RPi4B will come the closest.  But, IMHO, even the RPi4B still isn't there for most applications.....REALISTICALLY.

If you desire a lower power and lower temperature solution, the Rock64 still wins. Couple one of these boards with a cost-effective VLAN switch (like the Dlink 1100-8) and you've got a POWERFUL wire-speed VLAN/VPN router at a great price point.

For my desktop workstation (running x.org) that I'm typing this from, it's a Ryzen3, running Ubuntu 18.04.

Hmm, I have a pfSense router running on an x64 machine that I built. Do you also use pfSense on the R64?
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#6
I've not run FreeBSD (pfSense) on the Rock64, only ArchLinuxARM. IMO, Linux is a fully capable, advanced firewall, just without the pfSense GUI.
A big reason why pfSense adopted FreeBSD is licensing (BSD vs. GPL2). That said, I'm not diminishing FreeBSD in any way, it's VERY capable, too.

I use the Rock64 boards as very complex VPN routers (huge rule sets) and they run basically wire-speed. I first setup a Rock64 in an emergency, replacing some X86-64 and big Cisco hardware, after a severe hurricane with unexpected backup power failure. I ultimately had a VERY LIMITED power budget for a couple weeks. I was thoroughly amazed at how well the Rock64's performed---so amazed that I've never gone back to the x86 systems, except where I need 10GigE and 40GigE wire-speed. I still use Cisco at the high end, for wire-speed layer 3 filtering/routing.
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#7
(07-09-2020, 08:34 PM)nethammer Wrote: I've not run FreeBSD (pfSense) on the Rock64, only ArchLinuxARM. IMO, Linux is a fully capable, advanced firewall, just without the pfSense GUI.
A big reason why pfSense adopted FreeBSD is licensing (BSD vs. GPL2). That said, I'm not diminishing FreeBSD in any way, it's VERY capable, too.

I use the Rock64 boards as very complex VPN routers (huge rule sets) and they run basically wire-speed. I first setup a Rock64 in an emergency, replacing some X86-64 and big Cisco hardware, after a severe hurricane with unexpected backup power failure. I ultimately had a VERY LIMITED power budget for a couple weeks. I was thoroughly amazed at how well the Rock64's performed---so amazed that I've never gone back to the x86 systems, except where I need 10GigE and 40GigE wire-speed. I still use Cisco at the high end, for wire-speed layer 3 filtering/routing.

Ah, so it's for way more advanced stuff. Pretty cool how you ended up using these SBCs because of power failure. I don't have the time to learn and work on a project like that, so I'll just have to sell my Rock64.

Thanks for the replies.
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#8
I wish you success in finding a solution you're happy with.
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