Official Debian images for the Pinebook Pro!
#1
Debian recently added support for the Pinebook Pro and RockPro64, adding to their existing support for the original Pinebook, Rock64, and Pine64 Plus! I haven't gotten the chance to try these yet but these are presumably based on the mainline kernel, given that Debian Unstable is now using Linux 5.5 with all the necessary patches for the RK3399 backported and Mesa 20.0.4. 

Images are being built everyday over at https://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/arm6...rd-images/ where the readme has instructions for how to combine the device-specific partition table and u-boot with the device-independent partition.img.gz that contains the installer such that you can make a bootable SD card with them both.

After being booted, the installer "runs completely in the system's RAM and does not need to load anything from the SD card anymore, so you can delete all existing partitions and use the full card for installing Debian. It is recommended to use the 'guided partitioning' option in the installer to create a proper partition layout on the SD card."

Given that these images purely contain the installer, you'll definitely need an internet connection for it to retrieve the rest of the packages and install a full system. I also believe these don't contain any non-free firmware, so you may need to install over ethernet and then add the non-free repo and install any required firmware afterwards. I'm very interested to see what's currently functional and if there's any unexpected snags or hangups, and I'll definitely update this post with what I figure out after receiving my Pinebook Pro and trying to install this image on it! :)
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#2
(04-26-2020, 02:11 PM)tortwigginum Wrote: Debian recently added support for the Pinebook Pro and RockPro64, adding to their existing support for the original Pinebook, Rock64, and Pine64 Plus! I haven't gotten the chance to try these yet but these are presumably based on the mainline kernel, given that Debian Unstable is now using Linux 5.5 with all the necessary patches for the RK3399 backported and Mesa 20.0.4. 

Images are being built everyday over at https://d-i.debian.org/daily-images/arm6...rd-images/ where the readme has instructions for how to combine the device-specific partition table and u-boot with the device-independent partition.img.gz that contains the installer such that you can make a bootable SD card with them both.

After being booted, the installer "runs completely in the system's RAM and does not need to load anything from the SD card anymore, so you can delete all existing partitions and use the full card for installing Debian. It is recommended to use the 'guided partitioning' option in the installer to create a proper partition layout on the SD card."

Given that these images purely contain the installer, you'll definitely need an internet connection for it to retrieve the rest of the packages and install a full system. I also believe these don't contain any non-free firmware, so you may need to install over ethernet and then add the non-free repo and install any required firmware afterwards. I'm very interested to see what's currently functional and if there's any unexpected snags or hangups, and I'll definitely update this post with what I figure out after receiving my Pinebook Pro and trying to install this image on it! Smile

I wasn't 100% sure from your posting what Debian version is used for these daily images. I loop-back mounted the partition image and found Debian 11 with Kernel 5.5.
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#3
How to update from the Unofficial Installer? Which packages should I install?
PBP ISO / Debian Bullseye (unofficial installer)
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#4
(04-27-2020, 10:58 AM)wasgurd Wrote: How to update from the Unofficial Installer? Which packages should I install?

After installation, there should be no difference, should there?

If you really want to get the same experience as with the official installer, you probably want to remove Daniel's kernel repro. Then you will then run the 5.5 kernel, though. If I understand tortwigginum, then Debian backported some Pinebook Pro specific patches to their 5.5 kernel. We need a volunteer to try out this kernel Big Grin
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#5
Hi folks,

I just tried the installer on my PBP (installing to eMMC) and would like to share my experience with you:

- no graphical display, you have to use the serial console to install the system; this also means you have to use the limited serial console installer
- to use the built-in wifi, you would need to add the required proprietary firmware during installation as it's not included in Debian by policy. Personally, I didn't want it anyways and used a USB to Gigabit LAN Adapter to install the system.
- guided partitioning seems to leave around 245 MiB before the boot partition which seems fine to me. However, unlike in Daniel Thompson's installer no nice GPT scheme is suggested.
- unfortunately, I forgot to check whether the installer supports f2fs ootb meanwhile (but that's not a pbp-specific matter)
- looks like they do NOT have a packaged version of u-boot yet - at least the installer did not offer me the option to install it.
- the installation media uses extlinux.conf instead of the crufty boot.cmd/boot.scr stuff. This was quite useful even for the installation and allowed me to easily change the serial console speed.

- the console speed of the trusted firmware image is "wrong" as it runs at 115200 baud while the rest runs at 1500000.
- I am not sure but it seems that the system did not properly reboot after installation but hangs at "reboot: Restarting system" (but maybe just due to missing bootloader).

Regarding patches, Debian *does* apply some patches to the kernel. However, I looked in their package source and spotted only this one file with non-main rk3399-related patches. It basically adds the dts file from Manjaro to enable support for the PBP:

https://salsa.debian.org/kernel-team/lin...ook-.patch

The good news is that it's likely this patch will not be needed in the near future anymore since the dts file for the pinebookpro was merged upstream two days ago and will be included in the next official mainline kernel release (version 5.7):

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/ker...h=v5.7-rc3

That's it for now. For next run, I plan to redo the installation using a GPT scheme and install the bootloader later on manually in order to finally boot up the installed system.
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#6
I gave this a second try. This time I used "guided partitioning" and selected the option to setup an encrypted LVM. Everything in the installation went nice and smooth, however, the bootloader was not installed during the setup leaving the installed system in an unbootable state.
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#7
the pbp dts in 5.7 is NOT the same as in manjaro. it will be a while before using "official debian" makes more sense than danielt's installer. i would, however, build your own kernel as i have documented.
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