Steps for Installing Alternative OSes in 2022
#1
I have a 2022 Pinebook Pro. I used dd to write an OS image to an SD card, in my case NetBSD which I sourced from here:

http://nycdn.netbsd.org/pub/arm/netbsd-9/

Last time I ran NetBSD was years ago, on a different architecture. When I reboot the power led blinks and then nothing happens. Maybe I'm missing something obvious.

After searching I found this post:

https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?...#pid113987

To wit:


Quote:The version of Manjaru that comes pre-installed on the 2022 Pinebooks Pro, includes a U-boot that does not allow booting from micro-SD card.

The ways to resolve this are
1) replace the U-boot on the eMMC with a different one, or possibly Tow-boot
2) wipe out the eMMC and install a different operating system on it.
3) install Tow-boot to SPI ROM (I do not actually recommend this, but it can be done, apparently).
4) disable the eMMC 

OK, so I need to do one of 4 things which I have no background to assess the relative merits thereof. Maybe I want to do the easiest one.

For #1, I can't find anything that looks apropriate and recent.

For #2 I'm not sure I want to get rid of Manjaro yet.

Why would #3, installing Tow Boot to SPI be a bad choice? Anyways, I found these tutorials for that:

- https://tow-boot.org/devices/pine64-pinebookPro.html
- https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=17529


#4 is not appropriate obviously (can't boot from SD)

Any pointers and thoughts would be appreciated.
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#2
Err, #4 will work, just not very convenient. the netbsd will have a uboot in the 1st 16M
(to disable you have to unnecessisarily remove and then re-install back cover, why is there not a hole?))
#5 save emmc mbr, save emmc 1st 16M, blank 1st 16M. restore mbr
Then only the uboot on SD is available, and then you can actually evaluate a SD uboot
How to boot from emmc then? either tow-boot on SD (+ whatever distro) OR
Just a uboot on a preferably small SD, the rest can be a data drive
Do put a file system on the rest, or uboot will freak out, lock up
A good way to test uboots
And, BTW, if you have a working uboot, DON'T be in a hurry to update it,
ask yourself ,,,,WHY (and make a backup, so you can change your mind)
-----
BTW, be aware that, for rk3399, uboot on SPI is DIFFERENT than uboot on SD/emmc,m,,,, use right one
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#3
I am writing this from my PBP running NetBSD. (I only run NetBSD on both of mine. My wife still runs Manjaru on hers.)

What you are experiencing is exactly what I found with the new Manjaru-installed U-boot.

My advice is to do what I do, and that is, to install NetBSD on the eMMC, and Manjaru on a micro-SD card. I do this because I rarely use Manjaru. But even if I planned to use it primarily, I worry that Manjaru updates will automatically update U-Boot on the Manjaru-installed device back to the "non-working" state.

My original #4, disabling the eMMC ("permanently") *is* viable; then the (any) micro-SD will boot. But as @wdt says, turning on and off the eMMC when you do want to use it, is not convenient.

If you do decide to install NetBSD on the eMMC, it is actually pretty simple.
1) Turn off the PBP.
2) Insert the NetBSD-installed micro-SD card.
3) Leave the PBP open and hang it over the edge of a table.
4) Remove the bottom cover.
5) Turn off the eMMC.
6) Turn on the PBP, NetBSD will boot.
7) As soon as you see the green text which is the NetBSD kernel booting, quickly turn the eMMC back on.
8) Reinstall the bottom cover.
9) Set up your network in NetBSD
10) Download the NetBSD image again, and dd it to /dev/rld0. (ld1 *should* be your SD card, ld0 *should* be your eMMC).

The caveat is that downloading the NetBSD image from a the fresh NetBSD install is not straightforward. At least, I cannot find it anywhere via ftp. So if you have an external hard drive or card slot that you can plug into a USB slot on the PBP, you can access the image that way. Also, unless you have -current, the inbuilt Wi-Fi in the PBP will not work in NetBSD. Even in -current, unless it has been fixed, it is unreliable and will frequently lock up the computer. So ideally you already have a different means of networking. I use a TP-Link model TL-WN722N Wi-Fi dongle.

Also be aware that the PBP with the cover removed is *extremely* fragile. If you need to pick it up or relocate it, only handle it by the display half.
:wq



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#4
>dd it to /dev/rdl0. (ld1 *should* be your SD card, ld0 *should* be your eMMC).
I'm wondering if there is a typo in here????
>I worry that Manjaru updates will automatically update U-Boot
AFAIK, only mrfixit actually writes to 1st 16M
Manjaro dumps idbloader and uboot.itb into /boot, for you to do the dd commands
OTOH, an update of dtb which comes with a new kernel can mess things up
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#5
(11-12-2022, 02:46 PM)wdt Wrote: >dd it to /dev/rdl0. (ld1 *should* be your SD card, ld0 *should* be your eMMC).
I'm wondering if there is a typo in here????
Yes it should be /dev/rld0
Quote:>I worry that Manjaru updates will automatically update U-Boot
AFAIK, only mrfixit actually writes to 1st 16M
Manjaro dumps idbloader and uboot.itb into /boot, for you to do the dd commands
OTOH, an update of dtb which comes with a new kernel can mess things up
We know what Manjaru does today, but we don't really know what it will do tomorrow.  And as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't have a good track record.
:wq



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#6
Thanks for the feedback all.



Unless Manjaro supports the PBP particularly well compared to other distributions, I don't care about keeping it around.


I did see some wiki information about how to treat the laptop when its open, but I'm having a hard time conceptualizing it. So would my head have to be craned under the table as I see the dmesg scrolling on the screen? like an inverted "L" where the screen is facing the wall?



I saw a picture of the internal set up here:

[Image: PBPL_S.jpg]
It is hard for me to tell what the switch looks like from the picture, I guess its a little SPST?
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#7
Yes, that's how you do it. It's not as bad as it seems. It's only bad if you don't flip the switch in time and have to cycle power several times. BTW, I think you have to flip the switch just before you see the dmesg output. You can do it as soon as you see the numbers counting when the kernal is loading.

Here's the worst part: That picture is wrong. The latest batch of PBPs is different, and the switch is hard to find. I wish I had taken a pictures of mine when I had it apart.

There are things that Manjaru can do which other OSs don't, particularly NetBSD. At least for now. For example, the blue key functions (except F7-F12) don't work. If you are familiar with NetBSD, you can make it do everything you want anyway. Somewhere here I wrote up how to use custom key combinations to change the display brightness, for example. The most annoying thing is probably going to be having to use a Wi-Fi dongle. If I ever get ambitious, I'm going to take mine apart and install it inside the PBP. I have a micro-SD of Manjaru, but honestly, since the first time I used it, I have only used it once, to do the keyboard firmware update. I could not get the updater to work with NetBSD. If I ever decide to put Tow-boot on SPI ROM, I'll need it again. For some reason, (at least the last time I tried) the NetBSD special device for the SPI ROM doesn't work. You will probably want to subscribe to the NetBSD port-arm mailing list.
:wq



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#8
This is a good guide for BSD installation: https://tomscii.sig7.se/2022/02/Guide-to...inebookPro
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#9
(11-13-2022, 04:44 PM)tllim Wrote: This is a good guide for BSD installation: https://tomscii.sig7.se/2022/02/Guide-to...inebookPro

This is the one specific to NetBSD:
https://bentsukun.ch/posts/pinebook-pro-netbsd/
:wq



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