What is the best SBC model for custom libre-linux build?
#1
I am considering buying a few Pine64 SBC's, but I need to know how amenable the various models are to building a fully libre custom linux. Specifically, building my own ATF, mainline U-Boot, mainline de-blobbed kernel, etc.

I own some Libre Computer Tritium boards and have successfully done this with them, but I've found the hardware somewhat unreliable, e.g ethernet ports going bad, etc. so I am looking for an alternative.

Would RockPro64 or H64 be a good fit for what I am doing? Also, are the Wifi/BT modules usable with open firmware?

Thanks
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#2
(12-13-2020, 01:24 PM)Mwo87 Wrote: I am considering buying a few Pine64 SBC's, but I need to know how amenable the various models are to building a fully libre custom linux. Specifically, building my own ATF, mainline U-Boot, mainline de-blobbed kernel, etc.

I own some Libre Computer Tritium boards and have successfully done this with them, but I've found the hardware somewhat unreliable, e.g ethernet ports going bad, etc. so I am looking for an alternative.

Would RockPro64 or H64 be a good fit for what I am doing? Also, are the Wifi/BT modules usable with open firmware?

Thanks

great more people are interested in fully libre options.

Rock64pro was reported before to work with fully libre builds, here are instructions:
https://stikonas.eu/wordpress/2019/09/15...rockpro64/

Few commands might not work so you can cross-check this (non-libre) guide:
https://wikipeida.deadbsd.org/view/ROCKPro64

According to instructions you can remove blobs from ATF and compile your own ATF and u-boot. You can stick to gentoo or other libre disros


Rock64pro does not have wifi, you can use usb dongle.

If you prefer something simple, you might be interested in buying less powerful freedom box:
https://freedombox.org/buy/

Or installing freedom os (debain for arm) or supported boards, including rock64 and rockpro64:
https://freedombox.org/download/
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#3
Thanks misha64, that information is very helpful for the RockPro64.
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#4
Wow, very pleasantly surprised to see this is potentially possible with ROCKPro64 (as anyone who have dug into this can tell you, there are only a handful of boards where this is possible)!

I have been interested in this subject for a long time.  Back in June of 2019 I had made a post on Armbian forum (one of my first over there, in fact) about the very same thing.  More recently (Dec 2020), someone else made a similar post after the subject came up in Armbian IRC.  Both of those threads contain a lot of links to further resources.

EDIT:  I just added a link to second link above, pointing back to this thread.
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