Stock distros and headless installations
#1
Hi all, I just ordered a RockPro64 to act as a home NAS and Nextcloud host, and have been looking into installation options.

It seems like most "installation" options are simply writing a pre-installed image of some custom variant (Armbian, etc) of the stock distros (Debian, etc) to storage from a PC and plugging that into the board, rather than a more traditional process where an installer is booted which then actually does an installation to storage.

Since I'm a retrogrouch, I'd much prefer the more traditional installer-based approach and use a stock distro (in particular, either Debian 10 or Ubuntu 19.04), and ideally be able to do the install headless over the serial console. I'm not sure however based on reading the wiki or these forums whether this would even be possible.

So, two questions:

 * Can I install and use a stock distro like Debian 10 or Ubuntu 19.04 with the RockPro64?
 * Can I install by (say) writing the installer to USB flash, booting to that, then installing it via serial?

Thanks!
  Reply
#2
(07-11-2019, 07:40 PM)mjog Wrote: Hi all, I just ordered a RockPro64 to act as a home NAS and Nextcloud host, and have been looking into installation options.

It seems like most "installation" options are simply writing a pre-installed image of some custom variant (Armbian, etc) of the stock distros (Debian, etc) to storage from a PC and plugging that into the board, rather than a more traditional process where an installer is booted which then actually does an installation to storage.

Since I'm a retrogrouch, I'd much prefer the more traditional installer-based approach and use a stock distro (in particular, either Debian 10 or Ubuntu 19.04), and ideally be able to do the install headless over the serial console. I'm not sure however based on reading the wiki or these forums whether this would even be possible.

So, two questions:

 * Can I install and use a stock distro like Debian 10 or Ubuntu 19.04 with the RockPro64?
 * Can I install by (say) writing the installer to USB flash, booting to that, then installing it via serial?

Thanks!


This isn't really possible because there is no bios on boards, so the system is controlled by u-boot which is board specific. To get some kind of idea about this you only have to look at all the board images published by armbian.
  Reply
#3
(07-11-2019, 08:42 PM)evilbunny Wrote: This isn't really possible because there is no bios on boards, so the system is controlled by u-boot which is board specific. To get some kind of idea about this you only have to look at all the board images published by armbian.

Oh, so BIOS/bootloader issues aside, it's not possible to run the stock Debian, despite it supporting AArch64? That's disappointing.

Why couldn't an installer install u-boot when doing the rest of the installation?
  Reply
#4
Also, since the RockPro64 has SPI flash on-board, couldn't I flash uboot to that and use that to boot both the installer from SD and (once installed) the system from eMMC?
  Reply
#5
(07-11-2019, 10:26 PM)mjog Wrote:
(07-11-2019, 08:42 PM)evilbunny Wrote: This isn't really possible because there is no bios on boards, so the system is controlled by u-boot which is board specific. To get some kind of idea about this you only have to look at all the board images published by armbian.

Oh, so BIOS/bootloader issues aside, it's not possible to run the stock Debian, despite it supporting AArch64? That's disappointing.

Why couldn't an installer install u-boot when doing the rest of the installation?


Ayufan and mrfixit both produce images based on debian and ubuntu, but with custom kernels.
  Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Rockpro64 and stock arch linux TaborFife 1 226 11-29-2019, 12:18 PM
Last Post: Yoast
  Rockpro64 Headless Server Reliably Becomes Unresponsive Doneganai7 8 349 06-15-2019, 05:48 PM
Last Post: Doneganai7

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)