Trisquel on Arm A20/Sunxi success.

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ryry
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Iscritto: 03/26/2024

Hi all

I did send this to the devel mailing list, but thought I'd share it here to. Also I am not sure the list got my email as it doesn't show in the archive.

I have been working to try and get a working trisquel namely on the
banana pi (but also the cubox-i4pro). I had seen on the devel list archive circa october 2023,
when there was discussion on sunxi/a20 boards either using the
installer or a rootfs tarball would not boot past the Starting/loading
kernel output on u-boot and discussion around the kernel setup
currently used by trisquel not supporting such boards.

Firstly, yesterday, I managed to get the banana pi (a20) booting trisquel
happily, I did have to use the 5.15 kernel from the FLSA repo (freesh),
this kernel (or its config) seems to have sunxi and some other missing
device families enabled (the same/similar as the debian armmp config), whereas
the current trisquel configs show that these such as Sunxi are "not set"
niether y or n.
I am guessing and correct me if I am wrong, this is why
the relivant device tree blobs aren't compiled? The relevant device tree source are available in the kernel sources in the trisquel repo however not being enabled in the config I guess they don't get
compiled with the kernel if sub architectures (sun7i for example) are not enabled there.
These are included in the kernel from the freesh repo, so setup was fairly
painless (unpack rootfs to suitably prepared medium, chroot in using an
x86_64 trisquel and QEMU static etc, then install the kernel from
freesh as per instructions, install and setup u-boot-sunxi for correct
board from trisquel repos, remove flash-kernel (not needed here), setup
extlinux config and copy the dtb to a suitable location in boot dir. I
was then able to boot through to the (in my case) already config'd
console*.

*I had already setup users etc, when used the above method
(minus using the freesh linux-libre kernel) to boot a cubox-i4 which
was already enabled in the kernel config of trisquels kernel- this
device works ok to, but won't reboot properly (just halting), but not
sure thats the kernel.

On both there where a few gotcha moments, like the fsck halting boot,
due to it saying the version was outdated (or something like that),
this I skipped in the u-boot kernel args in extlinux.conf and it boots
fine.

If anyone knows am I being naive, is it that simple or have i missed something?
(this is still a learning curve for me as I am used to Parabola arm), but is it possible just
enabling the correct families (in the kernel config like the freesh version) so that at the time the
trisquel kernel is compiled it should provide a bootable kernel and
missing dtbs for the missing allwinner boards and the installer? This could be a seperate flavour like the armmp in debian?

Elsewise and in-case not is there any harm in me using the
linux-libre kernel from the FSLA repos in the mean time? It seems nice and stable and I'd love to use as my daily server setup on these devices and I can't see a reason why I shouldn't after testing for stability as I believe the supplied rootfs for arm are complete enough for daily use?, so little chance of any security issues etc? Perhaps a dev could confirm this?

Hope this makes sense, I'm happy to write up a proper guide for other
users looking at getting the allwinner a20 devices working (as this
should work for the other missing ones to such as the cubieboard etc).

Regards
Ry

ryry
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Iscritto: 03/26/2024

Given, it still seems nice and stable, I shall do an install for the Cubieboard 2 aswell this weekend, as this should work using the same process, with a view to migrating things over in the coming weeks, if nothing else crops up.

Avron

I am a translator!

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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

I am not sure the list got my email as it doesn't show in the archive

I am subscribed to the list and did not receive any email. However, congratulations and it would be very nice if you can write some guide indeed.

ryry
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Iscritto: 03/26/2024

"I am subscribed to the list and did not receive any email. However, congratulations and it would be very nice if you can write some guide indeed."

I have emailed the list owner to say, my emails aren't getting through, but I've no way of knowing if theres and issue there to, but will what happens.

Thanks, I was rather pleased that after realising the issue seem to be with the kernel configs that that using the FSFLA linux-libre, just worked.

I will write a guide and post it here, I'll write it as I do the cubieboard2 install and another on the banana-pi (both A20) this long weekend. It will be nice to get these set up ready for migrating to trisquel.