RockPro64 getting started - non-booting images [solved]
#1
OK, bought a new RockPro64, downloaded some linux images, burned some of them to eMMC, didn't boot.
The green light comes on (power) and the white light comes on  and stays on. Then for about half a second the white light goes off, then goes on again for a couple of seconds. Repeat.
No HDMI output whatsoever.

Tried a couple of images, like the MrFixIt and Manjaro ARM images, no go.
Then happened upon Ayufan's fine work here:
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/releases

His image actually booted!
Specifically: https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-b...tag/0.9.14
Progress. The RockPro64 isn't DOA! Smile

Did some more reading, some searching the forums, nothing turns up but for an almost random mention somewhere that a uboot might be old.

Turns out, on new RockPro64 boards you have to install the u-boot / uboot, if you actually want to run some linux images.

Uboot is the ARM bootloader. There is a storage chip (SPI) on the RockPro64 board that holds the bootloader software.
The bootloader software is ran during boot, and if it finds a correct image, it boots that image.

Also: no information anywhere on how to actually install a new uboot.

New RockPro64 boards, it turns out, they come without a working uboot loader, or with a seriously old version that just doesn't load Linux images.

Luckily Ayufan also has images that flash to the SPI a newer (somewhat) uboot.
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-u-boot/releases

Now the information says you download an image, flash the image to an SD-card or eMMC and then boot it. When it boots, it flashes the SPI with the new uboot, and we should see a blinking white light. Which would be nice, if it actually loaded that image to start the flashing. Which it didn't. Because: no working uboot.

OK, so, the solution: download the ayufan linux image, flash that to a eMMC or SD.
E.g.: bionic-mate-rockpro64-0.9.14-1159-armhf.img.xz
Boot from that, and yes: this takes ages. But it's all good stuff.

Then from the working Bionic Mate, download the ayufan uboot .deb, this one:
https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-u-boot/releases
u-boot-rockchip-rockpro64-2017.09-rockchip-ayufan-1065-g95f6152134.deb

Then open a terminal to install the .deb with:
sudo dpkg -i u-boot-rockchip-rockpro64-2017.09-rockchip-ayufan-1065-g95f6152134.deb
(make sure you are in the download folder)

Then you can install the uboot to the SPI:
sudo rock64_write_spi_flash.sh
You have to type YES with capitals to agree that this is a risky move. Then: be patient

There is a lot of scrolling... and then it's done.

Reboot, and you should be able to load images other than ayufan's.

Oh, yeah, this software works wonders for burning images:
https://www.balena.io/etcher/
You don't have to 'unxz'  the images, you can burn the .xz images right to an SD card or an eMMC.

This took me the better part of a day, so let's hope this post saves someone a day or an unnecessary RMA.

Also: please correct / reply if any of the above is wrong. I've only been at it for a day now.
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#2
Well, even with all that, it continues to be a little hit or miss.

Manjaro booted exactly once from eMMC. And reflashing the eMMC appears to make no difference.
It does seem to boot more reliably from SD though. So there's that.

Any extra ideas or pointers about booting non-ayufan images from eMMC would be welcome!
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