Recommended distro?
#1
I have tried the latest release of manjaro plasma, when I update, it won't boot any more. I have also tried the latest dev build of manjaro. The same thing happens. I also tried manjaro MATE, and the same thing happens. All of them seem to get a random grey screen, I have even seen the Armbian logo appear in grey when trying to boot manjaro. Very strange.

I have a mrfixit debian sd card, it is pretty stable I guess. I am using it to flash my emmc, but it's pretty slow in regards to ui interactions. 

The latest releases of Armbian have graphical issues, and the latest release of TwisterOS Armbian only has a 30% chance of booting up for me, as well as really muted audio. 

So far all of these distros have had really bad touchpad sensitivity. Does anyone know of a way to fix this that will work in most distros?

TwisterOS runs the fastest and smoothest of the 3 for me.  It even runs youtube video better than my pi4. It's very nice, but has too many other issues.

So does anything smooth and stable exist out there at this point? Preferably ubuntu/debian as it makes it possible to install all the things I am used to, easily.
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#2
YMMV based on your experience with the specific OS you run and understanding of the quirks of the specific hardware you run it on. The only exception - something with one-to-one mapping between OS and hardware like macOS and Apple hardware.

That said, I've had pretty good experience with latest Debian Sid, especially after Mesa introduced support for Panfrost around spring/summer last year. I use mrfixit's (IIRC) BSP u-boot release 2.0 and also his firmware for WiFi/BT, kernel built with xmixahx's pbp-tools, the rest - vanilla Debian Sid. I use KDE Plasma as a desktop environment. OpenGL - works, deep sleep - works, sound volume - decent, considering el cheap-o speakers (had to fiddle with alsamixer), sound after sleep - works (with post-suspend hook to reset the driver, search the forums). I use zram instead of swap partition/file, mine is configured to use zstd compression and disk size 4xRAM (too aggressive for most people, 2x or even 1.5x should be plenty). Had mine since Jan 2020, still happy with it, hoping after Debian freeze ends the next official Debian kernel will finally get the display working out of the box - been too lazy to build new kernel myself.
This message was created with 100% recycled electrons
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#3
The gray screen maybe is related to that one bug that happens when you reboot, it's not initializing the screen correctly, usually. In that case it is easier to always power cycle instead of reboot.

Other booting issues could come from the version of uboot installed on the eMMC or SD card. I also use an NVMe SSD inside for the OS with uboot and "/boot" on the eMMC.

Muted audio – have a check in alsamixer, press F6 to select the sound card, there are multiple controls that all affect the volume, also very important is to have the stereo polarity on either "R invert" or "L invert" because the speakers are wired incorrectly inside the computer.

Touchpad – I'm using a hacked keyboard and touchpad firmware that improves the touchpad a lot, but this is something that may or may not work great, look for posts on this topic.

As for distro, I'm using Manjaro ARM KDE like Pine64 recommends.
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