Booting official Debian on RP64
#1
Question 
Hi, I'm trying to get the new Debian installer RC3 to give me a working Debian server on the RockPRO64, but I'm stuck. I'd like to know if I'm missing anything. The steps I followed are:

  • Got testing/unstable daily builds from: https://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/arm6...rd-images/
  • Squashed the images together as instructed
  • Flashed to a USB with Balena Etcher (A few months ago I flashed a U-Boot image from Ayufan to get USB boot working)
  • Put USB into the USB 3 port (No SD or eMMC inserted)
  • Installer starts successfully, run until partitioning
At the partitioning section, I created the following partitions:

On my USB:
  • 500MB ext2 mounted to /boot, bootable flag enabled (Boot from USB because U-Boot doesn't seem to support SSD's yet)
On my SSD (SATA):
  • 56GB ext4 mounted to /
  • 2gb swap at the end
On my HDD (SATA):
  • 2TB ext mounted to /hdd
Then I ran the rest of the installer till the end and rebooted.

It then starts, shows some info on the screen and then either gets stuck or throws a kernel panic. The info on the screen doesn't give me any pointers on what to do and it doesn't respond to anything I type, so I can't do shift+pgUp to see the rest of the kernel panic or ctrl+alt+f2 for other potential tty's. 

I don't want Armbian because it installs a bunch of things I don't want (plus the option to switch to SSD in armbian-config is missing), and Ayufan and Mrfixit's images seem outdated. Is there anything I can do to get this working? Or is Debian 11 on the RP64 just not ready yet?
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#2
Okay, I just got it to work almost perfectly. I grabbed flash_spi.img.gz from the latest pre-release of https://github.com/sigmaris/u-boot/releases, put it on an SD card and ran it. It eventually showed an output to my HDMI saying it installed U-Boot correctly. Then I removed the SD card, flashed the assembled Debian installer to my USB again, and ran through the installation exactly as I described. When I booted, i got the following error: Booting using the fdt blob at 0x1f00000

I restarted, got the same error, then restarted again and suddenly it worked and booted successfully. This is a known issue (see: https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=8685&page=8), that Sigmaris has already worked around, but the version installed by the Debian installer maybe hasn't. For now, I just reboot till it works.
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#3
Hi,

there is nothing wrong with the ayufan images, I have it running since several month. Of course with unattended updates.

I had problems while testing kernel 5.9 since it crashes all the time I connect a USB-stick. but kernel 5.6 is working fine.

Also I would still stick to debian buster 10.

No real need to test the un-released debian 11 yet.

M
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#4
Unless you like hunting down kernel patches and tinkering, you will be much better off with Armbian, at least on SBCs.

What "extra" stuff is installed that you don't like?
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#5
Afaik, the official installer still has issues with installing the bootloader.

You could try the method I describe in my blog to get the official Debian installed with an alternative approach. I didn't test it with Debian 11 (yet!), but with Debian 10 it works quite well on the RP64:

https://www.kulesz.me/post/140-debian-de...4-install/
  Reply
#6
(03-23-2021, 09:51 PM)TRS-80 Wrote: Unless you like hunting down kernel patches and tinkering, you will be much better off with Armbian, at least on SBCs.

What "extra" stuff is installed that you don't like?

Can you boot Armbian focal from eMMC. In my case it simply doesn't work.
Using this Uboot by the way: 
https://github.com/sigmaris/u-boot/relea...ckpro64-ci
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#7
(06-28-2021, 01:13 PM)MisterA Wrote: Can you boot Armbian focal from eMMC. In my case it simply doesn't work.
Using this Uboot by the way: 
https://github.com/sigmaris/u-boot/relea...ckpro64-ci

Armbian has a (perhaps unfortunately named) tool called nand-sata-installer which is what you are probably looking for. It should install to various targets on supported devices.

Again, if it is supported, Armbian will have already figured out the best boot loader, kernel, patches, etc. to use. For less experienced (or even medium, like myself) people, that is probably the best option. And if you are more experienced / have better ideas, IMO it will be better to contribute them to Armbian rather than everyone working on their own separately and information gets lost, precious time and energy wasted on experiments which others already did, etc...
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