PPP Explorer Edition - Wipe eMMC
#1
*Due to some question surrounding my previous instructions, I have re-added and changed this post to use the same instructions as on the Pine Phone Pro Wiki the only difference being that I added some links and an image to make it more new Linux user friendly.

According to the PinePhone Pro Wiki, and due to the fact that not all software is stable yet, it is best to run all distros from an SD card. Yes I am aware that the Explorer Edition comes with Plasma Mobile installed to the eMMC, however from what I understand if something goes wrong and the stock bootloader becomes corrupted or overwritten you could be left with a more difficult time restoring the device due to the boot order of the PPP defaulting to the eMMC. So at this point it seems it is best to boot your distro from an SD card and wipe the stock bootloader off the eMMC which forces the phone to always boot from the SD slot.

The PPP comes by default with a bootloader on the eMMC that lets you boot to an SD card by holding down the power button a bit longer when turning the phone on. 

The steps below force the phone to always boot from and SD card (If you choose to follow this you do so at your own risk):
  1. Download the Arch Phosh PinePhone Pro Image (You can also use Manjaro or another distro if you prefer) on another computer and use your favorite tool (Gnome Disks, Etcher, etc.) to image it to an SD Card
  2. Insert imaged SD card into your PPP Explorer Edition and hold down the power button until it boots to Arch Linux (or other distro if you did not use Arch)
  3. Type lsblk in the terminal app on the phone to list the devices
    Code:
    lsblk

    [Image: device.png]

  4. Wipe the bootloader using the following command (Note: please replace "DEVICE" with the eMMC device name and double-check you got it correct and that you did not select your microSD card or a partition of the eMMC! Mine was called mmcblk2 and showed ~115gb in size but yours may be different so triple check!)
    Code:
    sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/DEVICE bs=8k seek=1 count=4

  5. Once you have run the command and it is complete. You can reboot and it should reboot to the distro on your SD card.
View my projects at: https://gitlab.com/users/The3DmaN/projects or at the3dman.gitlab.io you can also find me on Matrix in many of the Pine related channels.
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#2
The "key" is to hold down the power button longer while booting ? ---> Like 3 or 4 or more seconds ? ---> Thanks !
      LINUX = CHOICES
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#3
(01-30-2022, 02:02 AM)bcnaz Wrote: The "key"  is to hold down the power button longer while booting  ?    ---> Like 3 or 4 or more seconds ? --->  Thanks !

Yes, holding it for 3 - 4 seconds or so should work to boot to the SD if you have a stock Explorer Edition and if you have not wiped or messed up anything on the EMMC yet. And once you wipe the eMMC it will boot to the SD each time regardless.
View my projects at: https://gitlab.com/users/The3DmaN/projects or at the3dman.gitlab.io you can also find me on Matrix in many of the Pine related channels.
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#4
As others have noted, i can confirm that my PPP Explorer is booting to sd card, just by inserting the sd card and booting. If i remove the sd card, it boots to emmc.

Not expected behavior. But, quite welcome at this point.
Pinephone Pro enthusiast and SUPER-HYPED for PineTab 2! PT2 is AWESOME!
Former electrical engineer. Current rancher.

I know a lot about a few things, a little about a lot of things and am ignorant of an unknown number of things.
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#5
(01-31-2022, 06:44 AM)Conjada Wrote: As others have noted, i can confirm that my PPP Explorer is booting to sd card, just by inserting the sd card and booting. If i remove the sd card, it boots to emmc.

Not expected behavior. But, quite welcome at this point.


Did you just flash a rom to an sd card as with Pinephone? Can I use Balena Etcher?
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#6
(01-31-2022, 08:06 PM)Pinoideae Wrote:
(01-31-2022, 06:44 AM)Conjada Wrote: As others have noted, i can confirm that my PPP Explorer is booting to sd card, just by inserting the sd card and booting. If i remove the sd card, it boots to emmc.

Not expected behavior. But, quite welcome at this point.


Did you just flash a rom to an sd card as with Pinephone? Can I use Balena Etcher?

I actually flashed my sd cards using imager on a raspberry pi 4, so etcher shouldnt be a problem. Fwiw, i am using Archlinux Phosh, so my exprrience is limited and doesnt extend to any other distros, at this time. I have also wiped the eMMC at this point and only operating from the sd card.
Pinephone Pro enthusiast and SUPER-HYPED for PineTab 2! PT2 is AWESOME!
Former electrical engineer. Current rancher.

I know a lot about a few things, a little about a lot of things and am ignorant of an unknown number of things.
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#7
(01-30-2022, 02:02 AM)bcnaz Wrote: The "key"  is to hold down the power button longer while booting  ?    ---> Like 3 or 4 or more seconds ? --->  Thanks !

I Finally Got my Pro this afternoon.  Exclamation   WHoopie 

I found holding the power button about 5 or 6 seconds sends the boot to the sd card,

I installed  'Disks'  from the Mobian software store  --->  Ran Disks to format the eMMC  

  For NOW I will test drive the sd cards  and eventually pick a distro for the eMMC.

I did a quick benchmark while I had the eMMC in the  "Disks App's sights", ---> 160+ write 180+ read,  not too bad.

---> an incentive to put a good working OS on it..   Big Grin

****
I did give the installed OS a test drive before nuking it, ---> IT Does FAIL the "Out of the Box" usability test.

BUT -- it got in the way in the end, everytime I restarted Mobian it came back as Manjaro. Problem solved.

****
Download the image, then I use Balena Etcher to flash my sd cards. --> I Highly recommend Etcher
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
               Idea
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
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#8
(01-28-2022, 01:56 PM)The3DmaN Wrote: ...
According to the PinePhone Pro Wiki, and due to the fact that not all software is stable yet, it is best to run all distros from an SD card. Yes I am aware that the Explorer Edition comes with Plasma Mobile installed to the eMMC, however from what I understand if something goes wrong and the stock bootloader becomes corrupted or overwritten you could be left with a more difficult time restoring the device due to the boot order of the PPP defaulting to the eMMC. So at this point it seems it is best to boot your distro from an SD card and wipe the stock bootloader and OS off the eMMC which forces the phone to always boot from the SD slot.
...

Well written - thank you. And heartily endorsed: watching the developer chat it seems that at the moment (things on the PPP are very volatile and in state of rapid change especially around charging!) having any bootloader on the eMMC at present prevents recovery from suspend. (Lukasz @ 19:39 on 28 Jan on the dev chat channel.)

(02-01-2022, 12:43 AM)bcnaz Wrote: ...
I did give the installed OS a test drive before nuking it,  --->  IT Does FAIL the "Out of the Box"  usability test.
...

Sadly couldn't agree more - lots of eye-candy, very little function!. My first "mistake" was to have triggered the boot in landscape mode at which stage the user name/password screen is impossible to complete, and can only recover by doing a power off as autorotate isn't working during setup so couldn't get back to portrait!!
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (6.2 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edition, daily driver, rk2aw & U-boot on SPI, Arch/SXMO & Arch/phosh on eMMC
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb, Tow-boot with Arch/SXMO on eMMC
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