Debian (or ubuntu) on a micro sd card (pinebook pro)
#1
Hi,

I have a micro sd card that I want to install Debian (or Ubuntu in case Debian doesn't work) and directly boot and use it as my primary storage space (it is 256gb so would be sufficient).

How can I achieve this? I have not tried this before; so, any help would be appreciated.
#2
(08-07-2020, 10:33 AM)pine76 Wrote: Hi,

I have a micro sd card that I want to install Debian (or Ubuntu in case Debian doesn't work) and directly boot and use it as my primary storage space (it is 256gb so would be sufficient).

How can I achieve this? I have not tried this before; so, any help would be appreciated.

You can find links to images here: https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=...re_Release
And here are the instructions to write to a micro SD card: https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/NOOB#I...D_on_Linux

If you need a video, here is one example with Manjaro (but should provide enough information for any other image): https://youtu.be/zvvUW2gG7UI''s
Updated commands are in the description of the video.
Once the image is written, it's a good custom to do: sync

I have seen with one micro SD card that something did not work as expected.
But I could fix that with GParted: https://youtu.be/2910b-yris8[url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2910b-yris8][/url]
#3
(08-07-2020, 10:33 AM)pine76 Wrote: Hi,

I have a micro sd card that I want to install Debian (or Ubuntu in case Debian doesn't work) and directly boot and use it as my primary storage space (it is 256gb so would be sufficient).

How can I achieve this? I have not tried this before; so, any help would be appreciated.

The images I have tried from the Pine wiki, and flashed to the sd card have just worked,  I used Balena Etcher to flash them.

       ( "Next I do want to try  using the newest arm64 image from the Debian website".)

Are you planning to run from the sd card ?  or install the OS to eMMC and simply use your sd card for extended storage ?

Instructions for both methods are covered in the wiki.  It may be best to test first from the sd card in both case scenarios

   (The PBP does attempt to boot first from the sd card.)   If you are new to the PBP,   Please see booting notices in the wiki.!

Have Fun,  B.C..
#4
Hi,

Yes, I am new to here and I am trying to find my way. I do not have success with one single img disk using Balena Etcher. Generally the result is me waiting on a black screen ifo pbp. The img I tried are Ubuntu family, Debian (previous os of pbp), Kali. I installed Balena Etcher to a Kubuntu laptop from their PPA and burned with the SD Adapter that comes with.

I have checked the previous post and decided to use Gnome Disks utility instead. I tried Ubuntu family and Debian stable without success again. However, Fedora Workstation 32 worked for me.

I later on decided to give Debian install script on the Manjaro KDE that comes with Pine. It seems to be success and I am tempting to use Bullseye (even though I prefer a more stable linux os). It seems ok mostly except for one annoyance. When I leave the machine off for a few hours or let's say over a day, and decide to turn it on after, I end up booting into Manjaro KDE in the built-in flash instead of Debian Bullseye on my Micro SD. What can I do?

My SD card is Samsung Evo Plus with 256GB storage. If you ask me to burn other img files, I will need further instructions as Balena Etcher is not working. Gnome Disks is working only with Fedora Workstation. Alternatively, I can try to fix it on my current Bullseye, which I prefer.

Thank you for the help.

I was just checking the wiki page that jiyong has linked. It seems that I had to decompress the downloaded image before using with Balena Etcher. I want to make sure if this is correct?

Balena Etcher did not refuse to see the direct downloads when I chose them though, I am confused here.

As of now, I have Debian Bullseye but with a boot annoyance mentioned in my previous post.
#5
The Debian OS in the wiki is the original image that mrfixit prepared for the factory preinstalled images on the Pinebook Pro.
( I do still have this running on both my PBP laptops, the original ISO and the later ANSI keyboard models.)

>  However,  I believe the official 'Debian arm64' download will work soon, or possibly works now.
   ( I mentioned in previous post, I plan on trying the latest, but I have not yet)

As to the Balena Etcher app,  the direct download from their website is a more current version, if you are running Ubuntu, or a direct derivative such as KUbuntu, the Etcher website will automatically pick the newest release that will work on your operating system.

>NOTE:  The Balena Etcher app can take minutes to start up after clicking on it, on my computer, but it does work great for me.

I hope that helps,
B.C.

---------

Balena Etcher handles the de-compressing,  on 'most' compressed images.
  Also, next I use 'Disks'  to 'resize' the image to use the full compacity of the SD card.
#6
(08-09-2020, 01:14 PM)bcnaz Wrote: The Debian OS in the wiki is the original image that mrfixit prepared for the factory preinstalled images on the Pinebook Pro.
( I do still have this running on both my PBP laptops, the original ISO and the later ANSI keyboard models.)

>  However,  I believe the official 'Debian arm64' download will work soon, or possibly works now.
   ( I mentioned in previous post, I plan on trying the latest, but I have not yet)

As to the Balena Etcher app,  the direct download from their website is a more current version, if you are running Ubuntu, or a direct derivative such as KUbuntu, the Etcher website will automatically pick the newest release that will work on your operating system.

>NOTE:  The Balena Etcher app can take minutes to start up after clicking on it, on my computer, but it does work great for me.

I hope that helps,
B.C.

Yes, the wiki says the Debian os in the wiki was the previous official Pine release, which was the reason I tried hard to make it work. No, I can confirm that the previous Debian pine os in the wiki is not working either with Etcher or Gnome Disks. I am getting strange flickers and other kind of oddities when I try it on my micro sd card.

I tried uncompressing with an unxz command on the bash this time and I have a relative success with Ubuntu Focal Xfce. However, I didn't find it usable as it seems to exclude some very basic capabilities such as wifi connectivity. I am disappointingly having problems with Debian family and Ubuntu family.

I am puzzled with Balena Etcher, which I installed based on their instructions on their website via PPA; I am on Kubuntu Focal in my other machine, so it was a breeze to install the latest version. It is just that none of the images I burned with Balena works at all, which makes me scratch my head.

Gnome Disks is doing a superior job than Balena, I was able to burn Fedora Workstation and Ubuntu Focal with Gnome Disks. If I try them with Balena, I end up looking at black screens.

At this stage I am either choosing Debian Bullseye or Fedora 32 Workstation. Bullseye looks nice, but giving me other problems such as sound card, failing to open my 2TB external hard disk etc. It is lighter than Fedora tho.

Fedora is the most polished OS available for pinebook from my experience. Almost everything worked out of the box, I didn't have any issues on opening my 2TB hard disk and the sound card and keyboard are working, so I can get into business quick. It is a bit heavier on the resources tho, but not heavier.

I think I will stay with Fedora as it seems more stable than Debian Bullseye to me.
#7
Yeah, that is a head scratcher,
I have been using old Dell laptops running Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04,
and Linux Mint Debian Edition to run Balena Etcher and flash my SD cards.
>Though for the Mint DE, I did have to refer to the help pages to find the correct Balena Etcher to install.

Since I have had very good results with Etcher, I do not understand why it is not working for you.

Are you using a separate power supply to run your 2tb hard drive ?
I have seen posts where heavy external loads have caused other problems on the PBP.
#8
Yes, the 2TB hard disk does not work by connecting to pbp usb ports. I ended up buying a new usb-c hub and I am able to connect now. The problem is that some of the oses are giving me exfat error.  But I have success with fedora.

i am currently on bullseye now but I am trying to choose between fedora ws and bullseye. I may switch back to fedora again.
#9
You may find some of the answers you are looking for in the forum rather than the wiki.

But there are quite a few thousands of forum posts, + not all the good ideas find their way into the wiki.



a-wai is well known on this forum as a developer for the Mobian phone OS.

He has suggested the mainstream Debian arm64  "is - or - soon will be able to run on the PBP"



My problem with installing Debian from the Debian website  is it will lose the ability to auto-boot from the SD card.

  Since most of the operating systems in the Pine wiki do have the boot instructions included on the eMMC.




  The PBP will chose the SD card first, so it "appears" to have the instructions elsewhere.



I like the ability to test other operating systems from the SD cards, while still having a permanent operating system on my eMMC.

  Please  see the Pinebook Pro boot order in the wiki. !

I hope this makes sense, helps ?

BC
#10
(08-11-2020, 06:45 PM)bcnaz Wrote: You may find some of the answers you are looking for in the forum rather than the wiki.

But there are quite a few thousands of forum posts, + not all the good ideas find their way into the wiki.



a-wai is well known on this forum as a developer for the Mobian phone OS.

He has suggested the mainstream Debian arm64  "is - or - soon will be able to run on the PBP"



My problem with installing Debian from the Debian website  is it will lose the ability to auto-boot from the SD card.

  Since most of the operating systems in the Pine wiki do have the boot instructions included on the eMMC.




  The PBP will chose the SD card first, so it "appears" to have the instructions elsewhere.



I like the ability to test other operating systems from the SD cards, while still having a permanent operating system on my eMMC.

  Please  see the Pinebook Pro boot order in the wiki. !

I hope this makes sense, helps ?

BC
Thank you for the insightful information. I am finding my way but not as easy as I anticipated. I thought buying a linux preloaded laptop would ease setting up things as compared to converting a MS PC. Apparently, I was wrong.

I switched to Debian on a Micro SD card because Manjaro gave me problems in setting up my favorite programs. I was originally planning to stick with the default os of the pinebook as I suspect Manjaro comes tweaked to work with hardware.

Debian is nice; I like their Gnome version. I think we should be still able to burn the Debian to a micro sd? I am aware Fedora has aarch64 raw images but not sure if we could do it either.

Ok, I will try to read about boot process in pine64.


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