Best/easiest way to install minimal Debian on PinePhone?
#1
Hi,

My goal is to use the PinePhone as a very minimal webserver. I can (and have) accomplish this on Mobian, but I'd like to try on an even more lean distro.

I don't even need the touchscreen or modem or wifi to work, as long as I can use a USB keyboard or SSH and Ethernet (I have the USB-C dock thing).

What's the best way to install Debian on the PinePhone?

I tried installing Debian from their site with the right architecture -- it involved concatenating one image to another before flashing, but I could never get it to work.

Should I just install Mobian and strip out the desktop packages?

Thoughts? Thanks.
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#2
this interests me too because I want to develop a new GUI, I will try this

https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8...ner/pine64
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#3
(07-15-2021, 11:04 AM)mouffa Wrote: this interests me too because I want to develop a new GUI, I will try this

https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8...ner/pine64

Thanks for the suggestion and link, mouffa. I'm trying that and it is working well so far (the screen is always on, though there's probably a way to fix that)

I would prefer Debian so I think I may also try Armbian, which looks like it may also work: https://www.armbian.com/pine64/ (and looks like by default it doesn't turn on the PinePhone's screen?)

But thank you again
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#4
(07-14-2021, 08:05 PM)mcgee Wrote: Hi,

My goal is to use the PinePhone as a very minimal webserver. I can (and have) accomplish this on Mobian, but I'd like to try on an even more lean distro.

I don't even need the touchscreen or modem or wifi to work, as long as I can use a USB keyboard or SSH and Ethernet (I have the USB-C dock thing).

What's the best way to install Debian on the PinePhone?

I tried installing Debian from their site with the right architecture -- it involved concatenating one image to another before flashing, but I could never get it to work.

Should I just install Mobian and strip out the desktop packages?

Thoughts? Thanks.

Barebone arch -> https://github.com/dreemurrs-embedded/Pi...h/releases
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#5
on any distribution you can turn off the screen and the back-light by writing to the appropriate driver files in the /sys filesystem

I just tried the barebone from the link and works perfectly, it recognizes the dock so you can connect ethernet, mouse, keyboard, monitor etc, you just flash it in the SD and it's ready
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#6
(07-15-2021, 11:27 PM)mcgee Wrote: I would prefer Debian so I think I may also try Armbian, which looks like it may also work: https://www.armbian.com/pine64/

My guess would be that the hardware is just different enough to cause problems.  Small or large problems?  Not sure...

Looking at the list of Supported Devices for Pine64 (mfr), I do not see the PinePhone.  And a quick search did not turn up a forum post where anyone seems to be working on this, either (but you could start one Wink ).

Good thing is, Armbian is actually a build system.  However, you are into uncharted territory here.  So I would strongly encourage you to start a thread, hang out in IRC (#armbian on libera.chat), and share what you learn.  You may even get some help.

I would also study what Mobian are doing, as they are also a Debian based distribution.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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#7
I would argue that for a webserver debian is probably overkill. You could probably get away with grabbing busybox and megi's kernel tree and building an OS yourself or using pmbootstrap if you want something easy.
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