Manjaro 20.06 Step-By-Step Installation Guide
#1
I've found that the information needed to replace the default OS on Pinebook Pro is scattered all over the place, and in some places, contradictory.  To help newbs like me avoid the trial-by-error that I went through, I've made the following guide based on a successful replacement of Mate/Debian with XFCE/Manjaro.

Update: extended introduction to clarify the structure of the guide

First, an overview of the guide.  First, to replace the eMMC distro, we need to make an ARM-compatible OS on a microSD.  For the purposes of this guide, we will be using the same OS on the microSD as we are on the eMMC, but theoretically any ARM-compatible OS could be used on the microSD.

Once we have the working OS on the microSD booting on the PBP, we will use that system to use 'dd' to transfer an image of manjaro directly onto the eMMC, bit by bit.

0. Get the proper images and signatures.

First, download the images and checksums you need.

KDE Plasma
- Download
- Torrent
- sha256
XFCE
- Download
- Torrent
- sha256
I3
- Download
- Torrent
sha256

1. Verify checksums

It's very important to verify that the compressed image you downloaded isn't corrupted or anything.  To do that, we will be running sha256sum on our image and checking it against the checksum we downloaded.

Make sure you are in the directory containing the images, usually `~/Downloads`

Code:
$ sha256sum <target image>.img.xz

For mac, use:

Code:
$ shasum -a 256 <target image>.img.xz

This will print a string of characters followed by the name of the file.  Check that checksum against the .img.xz.sha256 file.  There are many ways to do this, but the simplest way is to print the file:

Code:
$ cat <target image>.img.xz.sha256

Ideally, the output will look exactly the same as the sha256sum function.  If it isn't, then your image is corrupted and you need to redownload the image.

2. Decompress the image

Get xz-utils if you don't already have it installed.

Code:
$ # On Arch:
$ sudo pacman -Syu xz-utils

$ # On Debian/Ubuntu:
$ sudo apt-get install xz-utils

Then, extract the image.

Code:
$ # I like to use the -v flag so I can watch the progress of the extraction
$ unxz -k -v <target image>.img.xz

The mac equivalent is a bit different:

Code:
$ # Get xz package if you don't already have it
$ brew install xz

$ # Decompress image
$ xz -d -k -v <target image>.img.xz

3. Flash to microSD using Etcher

I recommend using balena Etcher to flash the image to microSD.  Simply select the image, then the drive to flash to, and then wait for etcher to finish.  It will likely take good while, so make some tea or something.

4. Boot from microSD.

Once the microSD has been flashed, pop it into the microSD drive on your Pinebook Pro and turn it on.  If all has gone well, it will boot to Manjaro's desktop.

NOTE: this system is not our final OS, this is simply the environment in which we will install Manjaro the internal eMMC memory.

You will get a few setup questions:
- keyboard layout
- username
- additional groups (there's a bug here: leaving this field empty will not add the default groups, so you will have to type them in manually separated by commas)
- full name
- password
- root password
- timezone
- locale (en_US.UTF-8 if you are located in the United States)
- hostname

At this point, we still need to put Manjaro on the internal eMMC memory, so we have a few more steps to run.

5. Repeat steps 0-2

As much as I wish to tell you that the Manjaro ARM installer works, it is incredibly buggy at the moment, so this is where we will have to get technical and dangerous.  Download a new image of Manjaro, verify its checksum, and decompress it, just like we did in Steps 0-2.

EDIT: To clarify, this image should be on the freshly booted microSD portion of the PBP.  This cannot be done on the eMMC portion of the PBP, because we are using this image to to replace the operating system on the eMMC.  It has to be done from the microSD.

6. Using dd 

EDIT: First, make sure that you are booted on the microSD card.  This will not work if you are working on the eMMC portion of the PBP.

At this point, I'm afraid we have to resort to the tool of last resort: dd.  Jokingly, it is short for "disk destroyer", because it is incredibly literal and the slightest misspelling could destroy all data on the target.

What dd does is it does a direct bit-by-bit transfer from a target to a destination in the form of:

Code:
$ dd if=<target> of=<destination> bs=4M status=progress

EDIT 2020-11-03: I have added a few arguments that make dd a little faster.  `bs=4M` makes the byte copy go way faster, and is just as reliable as the default (512 bytes).  I also added in the `status=progress` argument, which will show the byte copy progress in real time.

So, for our pinebook pro, we are targeting our freshly downloaded image, likely at '/home/<user>/Downloads'.  The destination will be '/dev/mmcblk2', but you should use `fdisk -l` to verify that your eMMC internal storage is located there.
For my own pinebook pro, I ran:

Code:
$ dd if=/home/<user>/Downloads/<target>.img of=/dev/mmcblk2 bs=4M status=progress

7. Reboot

Shutdown your system, remove the microSD card, and if all went well, you should be prompted for the same information as you were prompted for in Step 4.

8. Rejoice!

Congratulations, you have now successfully replaced the default OS on the Pinebook Pro!


Messages In This Thread
Manjaro 20.06 Step-By-Step Installation Guide - by nathanielwheeler - 06-23-2020, 07:24 PM

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