Debian/unstable SD card rescue image
#1
As already mentioned elsewhere thanks to Daniel Thompson's excellent pinebook-pro-debian-installer as intermediate stepping stone i was able to get a full Debian/unstable running, including Debian kernels 5.10 and latest 5.14.0-2 (as of today). 

The system has been installed on a 512GB Sabrent Rock Nano NVME drive and in a second step also on the internal eMMC storage. The latter is mainly used to host the /boot partition components needed to start up the system on the NVME drive. With the exception of the /boot partition, both systems have the root partition, swap and everything else running on a LUKS encrypted LVM. This works well enough for me to use as a daily driver on the road.

In addtion to all the above described i also created a full minimal Debian/unstable system with almost the same features on an 8GB SD card. The installation is fairly basic but with lots of excellent CLI utilities that might be handy as a rescue system to fix broken installations. So if you are an experienced Linux user accustomed to mainly work on the command line, then this might be the right tool for you.

The folder /root/mrfixit_u-boot/ contains Mr.Fixit's u-boot update files which might be useful to restore a broken u-boot with sdcard boot capabilities on the eMMC. It has LVM and cryptsetup installed to be able to externally manage encrypted LVM volumes. The system is using 50% of the supplied RAM as zram based swap.

The default GUI is using Window Maker and is largely based on components formerly provided by the now dormant Window Maker Live project (by yours truly). Don't be surprised about the two terminal windows running a screen session when you login. Here is a first visual impression of what to expect: i.imgur.com/59s2a1e.png.

For people preferring a more traditional desktop there is the option to switch to XFCE4 instead, which provides it's components also in the Window Maker desktop.

The graphical login manager is wmlive-gdm, a fork of the old GTK2 based gdm version 2.20.11, which was the last release still providing usable XDMCP capabilities. The XDMCP capabilities are the main reason why i still favour it over lighdm. Since the gdm is probably subject to bitrot,  for security reasons it might not be advisable to use it outside of closed local networks. 

In case you'd like to switch login managers, lightdm is also installed on the system and can be activated instead of wmlive-gdm by using the following commands:

# dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
# systemctl enable lightm

As the very name of the xz compressed SD card image already suggests, the login can be done with user id 'rock' and password 'changeme'. You might want to change the password to something more to your liking. The root password is currently locked, so please use sudo to switch to root for any sysadmin related tasks.

You will require an SD card of at least 8GB capacity for this image. To put it on an SD card, first unpack it with unxz and then use dd to actually write it:

# dd if=pbp-debian-sid_arm64-sdcard_uid:rock_pw:changeme.img of=/dev/mmcblkx bs=1M status=progress

Or simply do a:

# xzcat pbp-debian-sid_arm64-sdcard_uid:rock_pw:changeme.img.xz > /dev/mmcblkx

Please replace the trailing 'x' of the device name with the proper digit representing the actual SD card device after verifying its name with lsblk.

It might be possible to write it the same way to the internal eMMC, but you'd surely need to restore u-boot afterwards.
I haven't tried this myself so please be aware that you are on your own should you try this.

And last no least, here is the download link: 1fichier.com/?spb5mf92cspc0clhdvlf
Here is the MD5 checksum of the image: affde27f458890bff1f258b531e5ea6b  pbp-debian-sid_arm64-sdcard_uid:rock_pw:changeme.img.xz

EDIT: As chance had it, i found a few glitches in the above linked download and thus produced a refreshed image with a few changes:

* The secondary 5.10 kernel has been removed, leaving only the 5.14 kernel.
* Added btrfs related packages and fixed some minor menu issues of the Window Maker desktop.
* On the plus side, this xz compressed SD card image is now 50MB smaller than the first one.

New download link: 1fichier.com/?1xbzqoe5h0f48ux0bgmp
MD5 checksum of the new image: d2a1e88a559ae156551b54b903ef9302 pbp-debian-sid_arm64-sdcard_uid_rock_pw_changeme.img.xz

If you already downloaded the first SD card image, don't waste your precious bandwith to replace it with the new one.

Please don't expect a perfect system and be prepared to deal with the unexpected.

This is free software, so you are entitled to use and reuse it as such.

Hope it helps!
Devices: Pinebook Pro & Pinephone (Braveheart)
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#2
A new minor release of Debian's 5.14 kernel became available this week. Therefore i took the liberty to upload an updated version of the Debian SD card image for the PineBook Pro.

The GUI now defaults to the XFCE4 desktop and uses lightdm as login manager. Have a look at imgur.com/jpIAQLV.png to get a visual idea what to expect.

While the Window Maker environment was retained as a secondary desktop option, the wmlive-gdm package was removed due to security considerations.

User ID: rock
Password: changeme

MD5Sum: ecb0c95e58c4a6aea59f3685b10a2c21  pbp-debian-sid_arm64-5.14.0-3-sdcard_xfce4.img.xz

Download link: 1fichier.com/?6vxf6aiczuvtfk9cdw7v (Container zip file: pbp-debian-sid_arm64-5.14.0-3-sdcard_xfce4.zip)
Devices: Pinebook Pro & Pinephone (Braveheart)
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#3
It basically works, but it takes some luck to log in to the graphical interface. Sometimes you enter the command line and sometimes you enter the login interface. I don't know why.
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#4
(10-26-2021, 02:17 AM)wangyukunshan Wrote: It basically works, but it takes some luck to log in to the graphical interface. Sometimes you enter the command line and sometimes you enter the login interface. I don't know why.
The last portions of the output of the 'dmesg' and  'journalctl -xeb' command might give you some ideas.
Other than that please check out with 'systemctl status lightdm.service'.

Just guessing, as i am unable to reproduce this: Maybe your SD card is just slow and therefore it takes a while for X to load?

Thanks for any feedback!
Devices: Pinebook Pro & Pinephone (Braveheart)
  Reply
#5
(10-26-2021, 02:17 AM)wangyukunshan Wrote: [...] it takes some luck to log in to the graphical interface. Sometimes you enter the command line and sometimes you enter the login interface. [...]
I assume you downloaded the first version of the SD card image i provided, and which has both wmlive-gdm and lightdm installed in parallel.

As it turns out, even if one of the two session managers is definitely chosen as the default one (via "dpkg-reconfigure -plow lightdm", e.g.), until the other one has either not been completely deinstalled or at least disabled (via "systemctl disable wmlive-gdm" or "systemctl disable lightdm"), there is a race condition during startup that results in the behaviour you observed.

So if my guess is correct and you are using the older SD card image, then just disable or remove one of the present session managers and future startups will launch the X11 session in the expected normal manner.

Please let me know if this solves your issue. Thanks!
Devices: Pinebook Pro & Pinephone (Braveheart)
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