Pinephone Multiboot Platform Guide
#1
I have been working on a "Pinephone Multiboot Platform" guide for the wiki, to consolidate in one place some of what I learned working through this myself. The intended audience is new Pinephone owners with some prior linux experience; just beyond the noob level. The goal is to  explain the power and flexibility of p-boot with btrfs, walk through the process of downloading and installing the Multiboot Demo Image to sdcard, and go over some basic btrfs commands to examine and manipulate os installations. That's as far as I have gotten at the moment. It's is still a work in progress, so I haven't posted it to the wiki. You can see the current draft on my user page: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/User:Woo2.

If you find it useful and think its worth continuing please say so. For now I have to move on to other things, but if feedback makes it seem worthwhile I'll try to find time to add sections on setting up a partition table and filesystem from scratch, adding OSes, and performing p-boot flash and unconf/conf operations.
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#2
Thumbs Up 
It's a very good idea woo2  Smile


I would like to know how to use the p-boot (on the SD card) with only one distribution (Manjaro Phosh Beta 20, also on the SD card) and in this way be able to use the eMMC option to launch Glodroid which is on the internal storage of the PinePhone.
I do not know much in computer science so if someone wants to explain this to me in a (relatively) simple way, I would be grateful to him.

Thanks in advance
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#3
I'm using SD cards to kind of replicate a "multi-boot" environment, even though it's super slow.
But this is because of the very limited storage.
Isn't it sad to consider 32 GB nowadays to be very limited storage, while 2 decades ago it would have been considered massive?
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#4
(01-08-2022, 08:33 PM)ryo Wrote: I'm using SD cards to kind of replicate a "multi-boot" environment, even though it's super slow.
But this is because of the very limited storage.
Isn't it sad to consider 32 GB nowadays to be very limited storage, while 2 decades ago it would have been considered massive?

Indeed. When I started working in the computer industry in the late 1970s, NOBODY had that kind of storage unless maybe you were the CIA and then it would take a good chunk of a large building to hold it and an electrical substation to provide the power. A "hard drive" at that time was about the size of a washing machine. In this photo the black device on the right is a DEC RP04 disk drive. It weighed about 500 pounds and held about 92 MB.

[Image: laundry_room.jpg]
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#5
(01-08-2022, 11:31 PM)Zebulon Walton Wrote: It weighed about 500 pounds

Be right back, I'll need to calculate pounds to weight (kilograms) first.
(One moment later...)
Wow, even to me that's hard to imagine.

When I was a kid, we were still using floppy drives though.
For nostalgia purposes.
Though for ancient tech, that disk drive actually looks pretty fancy, I'd probably put dirty clothes in it if you didn't tell me it's not a washing machine. ^^;
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#6
(01-08-2022, 08:54 AM)Avisando Wrote: It's a very good idea woo2  Smile


I would like to know how to use the p-boot (on the SD card) with only one distribution (Manjaro Phosh Beta 20, also on the SD card) and in this way be able to use the eMMC option to launch Glodroid which is on the internal storage of the PinePhone.
I do not know much in computer science so if someone wants to explain this to me in a (relatively) simple way, I would be grateful to him.

Thanks in advance

I wanted to do this then realized it wasn't so I difficult as I thought it would be and so I wrote a simple guide here:-
create your multiboot the easy way!
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#7
(01-08-2022, 08:54 AM)Avisando Wrote: I would like to know how to use the p-boot (on the SD card) with only one distribution (Manjaro Phosh Beta 20, also on the SD card) and in this way be able to use the eMMC option to launch Glodroid which is on the internal storage of the PinePhone.
I do not know much in computer science so if someone wants to explain this to me in a (relatively) simple way, I would be grateful to him.

This is out of my wheelhouse, but I'm quite sure the explanation wouldn't be simple. If you had a kernel properly compiled for the PinePhone p-boot should be able to throw control to it. You would also need an appropriatey formatted partition on the eMMC and would have to setup the filesystem. But after all that work you would probably then have to deal with a lot of hardware incompatibility issues.

Sorry I can't help. If you try you will probably be the first. You may not end up with anything functional, but guarantee you will learn a LOT.

(01-09-2022, 03:08 AM)ryo Wrote:
(01-08-2022, 11:31 PM)Zebulon Walton Wrote: It weighed about 500 pounds

...
When I was a kid, we were still using floppy drives though.
For nostalgia purposes.

I remember when Commodore doubled the memory of their flagship Commodore 64 and came out with the Commodore 128 (kilobytes). It was amazing!

Yes, I was doing the sd switcheroo for a while as well. 32GB is a bit small for ongoing multiboot setup, but you could still get a couple or few distributions if you don't store a lot of media also (the demo image has 17).

But the beauty of Megi's template isn't just p-boot, it's the combination of p-boot with btrfs. Btrfs means you don't need a separate partition for each distro, so they can grow and shrink to save space. Copies of entire distros consume almost no space. I'm using a 128GB sd and have more space than I know what to do with. Before I update anything I copy (snapshot) the entire distro. If something breaks (unfortunately still common at this point) the whole thing can be reverted in a matter of minutes from another working distro on the same sd or the eMMC. The days of having to reflash the entire image are over. You do need a kernel with btrfs support though. (Megi's does, obviously.)
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#8
(01-09-2022, 08:43 PM)woo2 Wrote:
(01-08-2022, 08:54 AM)Avisando Wrote: I would like to know how to use the p-boot (on the SD card) with only one distribution (Manjaro Phosh Beta 20, also on the SD card) and in this way be able to use the eMMC option to launch Glodroid which is on the internal storage of the PinePhone.
I do not know much in computer science so if someone wants to explain this to me in a (relatively) simple way, I would be grateful to him.

This is out of my wheelhouse, but I'm quite sure the explanation wouldn't be simple. If you had a kernel properly compiled for the PinePhone p-boot should be able to throw control to it. You would also need an appropriatey formatted partition on the eMMC and would have to setup the filesystem. But after all that work you would probably then have to deal with a lot of hardware incompatibility issues.

Sorry I can't help. If you try you will probably be the first. You may not end up with anything functional, but guarantee you will learn a LOT.

Ok thank you very much for your information.
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