HOW TO create a installation USB with ... (see below)
Hi there!

My PineBook Pro (PBP) does not work anymore after a SW misinstallation (I have used 'pip' to install SW. After the installation, just trouble...).
Now I wanna to install (from the scratch):
1. Manjaro-ARM-minimal (Manjaro-ARM-minimal-generic-22.10.img.xz)
2. Manjaro-ARM-kde-plasma (Manjaro-ARM-kde-plasma-generic-22.10.img.xz).

But... I do have NO IDEA how to create an installation USB (in my case, probably, a bootable microSD) and how to proceed to install the new OS on the PBP. 

I do need "expert" help... Please make me happy.

Ta-ta, IOS
(12-14-2022, 01:07 PM)Ice-O-Star Wrote: But... I do have NO IDEA how to create an installation USB (in my case, probably, a bootable microSD) and how to proceed to install the new OS on the PBP. 

The simplest "new user"-friendly way to write that on a storage media is to use Etcher, which has a nice point'n'click interface.

Under the hood, Etcher will:
  • Decompress the .zx file
  • Take the resulting .img file
  • Write its content as-is directly on the whole SD card.

The data inside the .img file is 1:1 bytes content of an actual disk, including a partition table, a main system partition with all files, and boot sector(s) to boot the pinebook.
It's conceptually similar to how a .iso file used to contain raw data as on a Boot CD / DVD (or more recently boot USB stick) -- and thus Etcher is functionally equivalent to your favorite CD burning software (cdrtfe, InfraRecorder, Nero, DiscJuggler) but for disk and flash device instead of optical media.

You have two possibilities to use Etcher:
- on an SD card that you then plug inside you PineBook and you boot of the card. (You could later transfer it to the eMMC)
- using a USB-to-eMMC adapter, you can open your pinebook, take the eMMC out, plug it into the adapter and use Etcher to directly write on the eMMC.

Under the hood Etcher is the equivalent of running under Linux:
zxcat Manjaro-ARM-kde-plasma-generic-22.10.img.xz | sudo dd of=${DEV} bs=1M iflag=fullblock oflag=direct,sync status=progress

...where "${DEV}" is the device you're writing to, ex.: some /dev/mmcblkn (mmcblk0, mmcblk2, etc.) if the machine has a microSD card slot (or eMMC port), or /dev/sdx (sdb, sdc, etc.) if you're using a USB adapter.
(Beginner advice: be extra careful to write to the correct sdx as your laptop's harddrives have also similar names. Same with mmcblkn if you're writing SD cards from your pinebook pro as its eMMC will also show up as mmcblkn. Using the commands "lsscsi" and "lsblk" can help point out which is what).

More details about installation here:
    This guide does two step, create a Tow-Boot SD card and use to flash Tow-Boot into your laptop's firmware (a kind of BIOS-like firmware that is able to boot generic images), and then write the generic image on the SD card.

  • Alternatively, there's a self-contained Pinebook Pro-specific image (doesn't require Tow-boot flashed in the firmware) in the wiki.

(12-14-2022, 01:07 PM)Ice-O-Star Wrote: (I have used 'pip' to install SW. After the installation, just trouble...).

Now some advices regarding that:

pip tends to install software directly into your user path (so always "on" for your user),
or (if used with "sudo") into the system (so always "on" for everyone).

To avoid messing with your current system, you might want to check "pyenv" which enables you to install stuff with pip inside a separate isolated environment that you can activate or deactivate without messing your system.

Another similar solution you can look to is conda:
install mambaforge (miniforge with mamba).
This system also uses environements (instead of messing your system), but is language agnostic:
it has Python, but also Perl, software written in C/C++, etc.
and it also provides installers that are compatible with its environment (e.g.: if you "mamba install pip" inside a conda environment, then running "pip install blah" will install it into that conda environment, not on your system).

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