Arch Linux ARM root filesystem
#1
As noted at the end of in this topic, Nadia's Arch Linux ARM GitHub repositories are retired:
https://github.com/nadiaholmquist/archiso-pbp
https://github.com/nadiaholmquist/pbp-packages

Since I use Arch Linux ARM intensively, I decided to take up the torch. This new repository contains a root filesystem for installation and installation instructions:

https://github.com/SvenKiljan/archlinuxarm-pbp

Package recipes can be found here:
https://github.com/SvenKiljan/archlinuxarm-pbp-packages

My philosophy and approach is a bit different. This custom Arch Linux ARM repository leans heavily on Manjaro ARM as upstream for all things related to the Pinebook Pro, including the kernel. This ensures that the latest improvements for the Pinebook Pro are incorporated in Arch Linux ARM as quick as possible. Only slight adjustments and some additional packages are used to make everything fit nicely in the Arch Linux ARM ecosystem.

Due to this approach the following works:
- External displays
- Experimental Suspend to RAM support (SD and eMMC installations only)
- Experimental NVMe booting

See the README for a full list of what is supported. Installation instructions are provided. Migration instructions can be found in the FAQ.
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#2
@SKiljan, this is fantastic news. Thank you! I'll aim to try out your work and provide feedback over the coming days.
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#3
Thank you for your work, i will give a look tonight.
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#4
Hi @SKiljan I've followed your instructions and was able to easily make an ALARM sdcard and eMMC.
  • Your bootloader instructions are great. Previously, I had used a few different (and conflicting) PBP/ALARM blog posts to get the bootloader properly installed.
  • The image the instructions link to doesn't have a /mnt directory. Easily fixed.
  • The image I used didn't have mkfs.vfat, quite easily fixed by installing dosfstools.
  • My first time seeing/using Tow-Boot.
  • Wifi isn't enabled after reboot. Given that ALARM is likely only used by advanced users this might not even be worth mentioning. 
I've not yet installed any GUI apps or tested audio. Looks like you've provided "pinebookpro-audio" which I imagine fixes the annoying Pinebook Pro headphone bug.

What I need to do now is get a LUKS-encrypted eMMC install. I imagine your existing eMMC instructions wouldn't need much changing, or I suppose your sdcard installation could be used to bootstrap a traditional Arch install. I'll play around.

I'm glad your distro is now linked on the wiki: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/Pinebook_Pr..._Linux_ARM. Only nit is that the wiki's credentials are wrong.

Great work, it's clear you put a lot of time and effort into this. Thanks again!
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#5
(06-24-2021, 01:22 PM)linuxad Wrote:
  • The image the instructions link to doesn't have a /mnt directory. Easily fixed.
  • The image I used didn't have mkfs.vfat, quite easily fixed by installing dosfstools.
  • Wifi isn't enabled after reboot. Given that ALARM is likely only used by advanced users this might not even be worth mentioning. 
I've not yet installed any GUI apps or tested audio. Looks like you've provided "pinebookpro-audio" which I imagine fixes the annoying Pinebook Pro headphone bug.

What I need to do now is get a LUKS-encrypted eMMC install. I imagine your existing eMMC instructions wouldn't need much changing, or I suppose your sdcard installation could be used to bootstrap a traditional Arch install. I'll play around.

I'm glad your distro is now linked on the wiki: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/Pinebook_Pr..._Linux_ARM. Only nit is that the wiki's credentials are wrong.

Hey, thanks for your words and comments!

About the missing directory and dosfstools not being installed, I already self reported those issues. This will be fixed in the next root filesystem, which will be released soon.

Audio works quite well, including the headphone detection. Also check out the FAQ if you want to raise the volume a bit. Do so at your own risk, of course.

I work as closely to 'stock' Arch Linux ARM as possible. The reason for this is that any documentation found and work done for Arch Linux ARM (and often Arch Linux) will be applicable to the Pinebook Pro as well. The installation instructions I wrote are in the style of Arch Linux ARM's documentation, and should be familiar to those who work with other ARM platforms (such as the Raspberry Pi).

If Wi-Fi is not enabled, then that is probably the way it is on all supported ARM platforms. At least, until the user runs wifi-menu or enables wireless networking in some other way. If wireless networking still refuses to work, check that you do not have the Wifi Privacy switch toggled. This switch is hardware, from what I understand, so Arch Linux ARM cannot solve this for you. Wink

For LUKS-encrypted eMMC, you are on your own in terms of what I want to achieve with the repository. It is Arch Linux ARM for just one more (un)supported device. Whatever one wants to do with or to Arch Linux ARM is out of scope.

I am happy to think with you, though. LUKS encryption should be possible, but one weakness will be the evil maid attack due to a lack of hardware protection. The kernel and initrd (or just the bootloader, if one would use LUKS encryption in the bootloader to load the kernel and initrd) will be unprotected.

To actually get LUKS encyption going with an unprotected kernel, following the instructions on the ArchWiki should get you pretty far. I would start with LUKS on a partition. A bootable microSD card will allow you to prepare everything on the Pinebook Pro itself, saving you some headaches.

Finally, the credentials on the wiki are correct. The default username and password combination is root/root, and the default normal user and password combination is alarm/alarm. Again, this is Arch Linux ARM default.
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#6
I've been using Linux for a while but I'm new to ALARM. While I'd been to https://archlinuxarm.org/, I hadn't found the installation instructions before. They're in tabs, I now see. LUKS and wifi and such are no trouble for me, and I agree with your approach of not straying far from upstream.

I can file issues if I find other things.
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#7
i was waiting for someone to address the orphant arch-pbp repos ,thanks for keeping arch pbp alive
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#8
I migrated to LUKS and installed a graphical environment. Video acceleration, sound, and headphone detection all work without additional configuration. The docs are well-written and informative. I am quite impressed and thankful.

I don't suppose there's a Paypal or other mechanism I could contribute?
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#9
migrated fom nhp. on my emmc/luks partition ...had to # out the /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf file to make it boot correctly...Nice!
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#10
It's good to see that others are appreciating this.

(06-26-2021, 07:08 AM)linuxad Wrote: I migrated to LUKS and installed a graphical environment. Video acceleration, sound, and headphone detection all work without additional configuration. The docs are well-written and informative. I am quite impressed and thankful.

I don't suppose there's a Paypal or other mechanism I could contribute?
I also tested LUKS, and it works quite well.

If you want to donate money specifically for Arch Linux ARM on Pinebook Pro, see if there is something upstream for which it can help. There are still issues that I will not be able to solve:

- Improve Suspend to RAM support (especially when using NVMe).
- Suspend to disk support.
- Better NVMe SSD compatibility.
- Better USB-C dock compatibility (although it seems to be better since kernel 5.13).
- HDMI audio support.
- Linux kernel upstream support.

All these issues contribute to better Linux Pinebook Pro support in general, and therefore for Arch Linux ARM as well.
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