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I don't want (plus the option to switch to SSD in armbian-config is missing), and Ayufan and Mrfixit's images seem outdated.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/
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