Tow-boot headaches.
#1
I've been playing with my PinePhone for a couple of months. 
I flashed a few different OSs, and settled on Postmarket/Phosh. 
Well, I hate the backend, so I wanted to switch to Mobian, and back to the Debian environment I'm used to. 

Whelp, instructions on getting tow-boot installed are... wanting. 

I downloaded the pine64-pinea64 tow-boot package to flash. 
There's only one included img, shared.disk-image.img

 I've used the various ways I know of to burn said image to the SD card. 
Nothing seems to do anything, regardless of how I burn the image to the card. 

One piece of info tells me that the phone came pre-installed with tow-boot or the like preinstalled, 
but burning the Mobian install weekly file and attempting to reboot with that in place, just sends me into postmarket. 

HELP!
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#2
(04-30-2023, 04:26 AM)antiwesley Wrote: I've been playing with my PinePhone for a couple of months. 
I flashed a few different OSs, and settled on Postmarket/Phosh. 
Well, I hate the backend, so I wanted to switch to Mobian, and back to the Debian environment I'm used to. 

Whelp, instructions on getting tow-boot installed are... wanting. 

I downloaded the pine64-pinea64 tow-boot package to flash. 
There's only one included img, shared.disk-image.img

 I've used the various ways I know of to burn said image to the SD card. 
Nothing seems to do anything, regardless of how I burn the image to the card. 

One piece of info tells me that the phone came pre-installed with tow-boot or the like preinstalled, 
but burning the Mobian install weekly file and attempting to reboot with that in place, just sends me into postmarket. 

HELP!

That's basically a misunderstanding on the user side. Let me explain it with a metaphor:

Imagine you're installing Linux on your desktop PC. You create the partitions, like a boot partition and a root partition and you install the distribution on the root partition and then you install GRUB on the boot partition as bootloader.

It's basically the same on the PinePhone, but things are named a bit differently. You have images, which already include the bootloader (U-Boot) and you have images, which don't come with a bootloader (like Mobian). So after you flashed Mobian to the eMMC, you flash the bootloader image on the eMMC as well and then it has a bootloader.

Your above text contain two different user errors, which are important to understand:
- You downloaded the wrong image. Make sure you download the correct image for the PinePhone. The regular PinePhone is not the PINE A64 single board computer and it is neither the PinePhone Pro
- "One piece of info tells me that the phone came pre-installed with tow-boot or the like preinstalled" -> that is illogical. The regular PinePhone came preinstalled with an operating system (Manjaro) and a bootloader (U-Boot) on the eMMC. The eMMC is like your hard drive on your computer. If you overwrite the data, the data is gone and you can write whatever else you want to use on it. Make sure you're not accidentally reading the instruction of another device called the "PinePhone Pro", which is a completely different device and it works differently.
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#3
Thank you for the tips. 
Now that it's not 4am in the morning, and I'm not hopped up on caffeine, everything made sense
and I was able to get everything going on the first try. Smile

I'm so used to flashing/installing in one way, that when a different way comes up, it doesn't always make sense. 

SAFETY TIP:

Unless you're used to being up at 4 in the morning, don't try to do something like this.
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#4
More precisely, the main difference when it comes to booting is that the regular PinePhone has 2 bootable memory interfaces (eMMC, microSD), the PinePhone Pro has 3 (SPI, eMMC, microSD). The PinePhone Pro's SPI is a small memory dedicated to booting, and that is where Pine64 preinstalls Tow-Boot on the PinePhone Pro. But your regular PinePhone does not have an SPI. Hence, it also does not come with Tow-Boot preinstalled. Instead, as was already explained above, the eMMC comes preinstalled with a Manjaro image that includes its own U-Boot bootloader. But if you overwrite the eMMC completely, you also overwrite that bootloader, since there is no separate SPI memory on your device, it is all on the eMMC.
  Reply


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