Official Debian support!
#61
I've just got Debian up and running on my ROCKPro64 and after a few false starts it's "working" but I have no display except for the serial console. Here's what I did:

Installed the updated u-boot from here

Installed the official Debian from here booting from a USB stick and installing onto an SD card

After that I had no display, so I got the firmware blobs from here and put them in their respective places in /lib/firmware/brcm and /lib/firmware/rockchip.

I still have no display. I'm using a computer monitor hooked up via HDMI. Before I upgraded the u-boot, it would show on the monitor, then the monitor would go black when the kernel booted. Now it's black the whole way through the boot process.

Is there something else I need to do? I don't really care if I don't get video back during u-boot but it would be nice to have it once the kernel kicks in.
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#62
You might join the debian-arm@lists.debian.org mailing list and ask there. Or try it with this kernel which the Daniel Thompson debootstrap setup uses. https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=8207

It is official Debian to some degree because it uses debootstrap to install by pulling from Debian servers. Debian just doesn't have all the pieces yet. They don't like using blobs they have no control over, same with OpenBSD. I'm using it on a new SD card to boot from then I manually mount my nvme drive. I can replace the SD card or drop back to Stretch on the eMMC and not mess up what's in my data partition on the nvme. When the final solution comes along I've got a few partitions reserved for those.
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#63
Yesterday I successfully did my first installation of vanilla Debian Bullseye with KDE in my rockpro64. The only issue I got was with the partitioning step, so here are my notes about it in case they help someone:

  1. Follow the instructions from https://wiki.pine64.org/index.php?title=...ial_Debian to write the Debian installer into an SD card and boot with it. You don't need to flash u-boot into the SPI memory as it's contained in that SD card image.
  2. At the "select target partitioning scheme", do NOT select "use entire disk" as you'll bump into https://bugs.debian.org/987569. You need to keep the 16MB of empty space at the start of the SD card intact, as that's where u-boot resides. I propose that at this step, you remove the SD card, and you use gparted in a PC to delete all partitions and create something like this: MBR, 16MB empty space, single ext4 partition marked with the boot flag (u-boot needs that), optional swap partition.
  3. Finally I ran `apt install u-boot-menu; u-boot-update` to regenerate /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf with the following. U-boot reads that file, it's the equivalent of grub.cfg:


Code:
## /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf
##
## IMPORTANT WARNING
##
## The configuration of this file is generated automatically.
## Do not edit this file manually, use: u-boot-update

default l0
menu title U-Boot menu
prompt 0
timeout 50


label l0
        menu label Debian GNU/Linux bullseye/sid 5.10.0-6-arm64
        linux /boot/vmlinuz-5.10.0-6-arm64
        initrd /boot/initrd.img-5.10.0-6-arm64
        fdtdir /usr/lib/linux-image-5.10.0-6-arm64/
        append root=UUID=ad59f7a5-97db-4c9f-b437-0333cdb25cea ro quiet

label l0r
        menu label Debian GNU/Linux bullseye/sid 5.10.0-6-arm64 (rescue target)
        linux /boot/vmlinuz-5.10.0-6-arm64
        initrd /boot/initrd.img-5.10.0-6-arm64
        fdtdir /usr/lib/linux-image-5.10.0-6-arm64/
        append root=UUID=ad59f7a5-97db-4c9f-b437-0333cdb25cea ro single
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#64
I wonder if there's a way to boot with sdcard and install the Debian OS to disk, which could be another sdcard or emmc that attached to usb?

And how should I prepare the bootable another disk for that purpose?
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#65
Yes, that's commonly done from live cds too. But it may not include stuff about your hardware enough to boot. Example: I have a Pinebook Pro and it's easy enough to download an image and write it to SD card. But getting it to boot the nvme SSD is another matter involving uboot.

I did it once on a Raspberry Pi and a USB hard drive. Booted from a downloaded image on an sd and cloned it onto the hard drive. Then in the copy I had to change /etc/fstab to point to the new locations. Also in the string the kernel sees I had to change the root= part to the new drive. Which can be a uuid or the older /dev/sda1. If you're booting an actual hard drive you probably want a rootwait or you'll get frequent crashes after idle periods. https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions...-rootdelay

You'll find the root= in /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf Which has to exist on the new drive too but the paths will probably be different. UUIDs might solve this. An actual installer would ask what you want to boot from and set it up for you.
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#66
Good news, everyone!
Debian has just released linux-image-5.10.0-7-arm64 A.K.A. 5.10.38-1, and it boots on PBP with built-in screen working perfectly fine, out of the box, no need to patch device tree or anything else. Most other things seem to work fine too so far - WiFi, sound, OpenGL acceleration... Haven't tested Bluetooth or deep sleep yet though.
This message was created with 100% recycled electrons
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#67
(05-21-2021, 11:26 PM)moonwalkers Wrote: Good news, everyone!
Debian has just released linux-image-5.10.0-7-arm64 A.K.A. 5.10.38-1, and it boots on PBP with built-in screen working perfectly fine, out of the box, no need to patch device tree or anything else. Most other things seem to work fine too so far - WiFi, sound, OpenGL acceleration... Haven't tested Bluetooth or deep sleep yet though.

I have Buster installed. I just cloned my micro SD card, then booted the clone, enabled buster-backports, and installed linux-image-arm64 (5.10.24-1~bpo10+1), and it boots to a black screen. The only non-standard hardware I have in my Pinebook Pro is that I have an NVMe installed, and I removed the eMMC module.
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#68
(05-30-2021, 03:43 PM)jbrock Wrote:
(05-21-2021, 11:26 PM)moonwalkers Wrote: Good news, everyone!
Debian has just released linux-image-5.10.0-7-arm64 A.K.A. 5.10.38-1, and it boots on PBP with built-in screen working perfectly fine, out of the box, no need to patch device tree or anything else. Most other things seem to work fine too so far - WiFi, sound, OpenGL acceleration... Haven't tested Bluetooth or deep sleep yet though.

I have Buster installed. I just cloned my micro SD card, then booted the clone, enabled buster-backports, and installed linux-image-arm64 (5.10.24-1~bpo10+1), and it boots to a black screen. The only non-standard hardware I have in my Pinebook Pro is that I have an NVMe installed, and I removed the eMMC module.

Before 5.10.38-1 got packaged in linux-image-5.10.0-7-arm64, the most recent kernel in Debian was 5.10.28-1 packaged as linux-image-5.10.0-6-arm64, and as my post would imply, that would still boot to black screen. Since 5.10.24-1~bpo10+1 is behind even the known-not-working 5.10.28-1 I'd be more surprised if it worked.
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#69
(05-31-2021, 12:48 AM)moonwalkers Wrote:
(05-30-2021, 03:43 PM)jbrock Wrote:
(05-21-2021, 11:26 PM)moonwalkers Wrote: Good news, everyone!
Debian has just released linux-image-5.10.0-7-arm64 A.K.A. 5.10.38-1, and it boots on PBP with built-in screen working perfectly fine, out of the box, no need to patch device tree or anything else. Most other things seem to work fine too so far - WiFi, sound, OpenGL acceleration... Haven't tested Bluetooth or deep sleep yet though.

I have Buster installed. I just cloned my micro SD card, then booted the clone, enabled buster-backports, and installed linux-image-arm64 (5.10.24-1~bpo10+1), and it boots to a black screen. The only non-standard hardware I have in my Pinebook Pro is that I have an NVMe installed, and I removed the eMMC module.

Before 5.10.38-1 got packaged in linux-image-5.10.0-7-arm64, the most recent kernel in Debian was 5.10.28-1 packaged as linux-image-5.10.0-6-arm64, and as my post would imply, that would still boot to black screen. Since 5.10.24-1~bpo10+1 is behind even the known-not-working 5.10.28-1 I'd be more surprised if it worked.

I definitely should have read your post more carefully. I appreciate the clarification. I look forward to trying it out in the near future.
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#70
(06-01-2021, 01:09 AM)jbrock Wrote: I definitely should have read your post more carefully. I appreciate the clarification. I look forward to trying it out in the near future.

Well, to be fair, I probably should've explicitly mentioned that it's currently available only in Unstable/Sid, though if it isn't already it should become available pretty soon in Testing/Bullseye, which in turn should be released as Stable some time this year. I'm so used to using latest greatest hardware for which Sid and often self-compiled latest kernels are a must that I tend to forget there are plenty people who prefer to run Stable.
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