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#1 2018-08-23 22:34:09

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Devuan on GPD Pocket

Hey everyone!

I'm trying to install devuan in a GPD pocket. Only problems so far have been the "Couldn't find CD-ROM" thing (Fixed mounting the USB stick I was installing it from into /cdrom) and the wireless card. I've been at this a long time, so it's time to ask for help because I really don't understand what's going on. It's probably a minor issue with an easy fix but I haven't been able to figure it out yet.

Here's where I'm stuck now. The installer says that "No ethernet card was detected". Which is weird, because I can see it when I do lspci:

01:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Limited BCM4356 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter (rev 02)

I select the appropriate driver from the list (brcmfmac), and it goes back to the same driver selection screen with the same "No ethernet card..." message.

When I switch to a shell and filter dmesg, I get this:

brcmfmac: brcmf_chip_recognition: chip backplane type 15 is not supported

Which leads to some posts/messages about the new kernel breaking this particular broadcom driver. I've tried the typical solutions posted online (copying the file from other drivers into /lib/firmware/brcm, for example) to no avail, and most of the other solutions involved installing a package (Found this response in the arch forums), which is not an option in this case unless it's a package I can get into the USB stick and doesn't require an existing installation.

I've looked extensively and I haven't been able to figure it out. ¿Do I get the firmware package and install it manually in a shell while the installer is running? ¿Is it just a problem with the configuration and all I have to do is edit some files? ¿Do I wait until a new kernel is released? ¿Or use a previous kernel? ¿Do I give up and get a usb-c to ethernet adapter? ¿Could this problem be avoided using the full install DVD (as opposed to the netinst)?

Any tips about this would be more than welcome...

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#2 2018-08-24 11:33:39

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 873  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Firmware packages are in /firmware in the isos. A few of the broadcom packages were omitted because they require a license agreement, but some of the broadcom packages are there. So it would be possible to install it manually, either during or after installing the system. I'm not sure which one yours needs. And some of the broadcoms packages will download the necessary files, which means you must have a network connection before you can set up your network. (I never did understand the logic of that)

Another option would be to try the desktop-live iso which has most of the wireless drivers already installed.

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#3 2018-08-24 14:14:14

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Nice idea, I hadn't thought about the live ISO. Tried it just now and doesn't boot tho. Can't get any sort of shell either (Left it for an hour just in case, but no dice).

I think I'll get a USB-C dock (Since I was going to get that eventually anyway) and try to make it work with an ethernet cable. I hope that works...

I'll update this once I get it working.

Last edited by Achifaifa (2018-08-24 14:14:44)

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#4 2018-08-24 16:51:04

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 873  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

At what point does the boot fail? Press "e" at the boot menu to edit the linux line and remove "quiet". Maybe it will give more info.

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#5 2018-08-24 21:50:17

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Well, that's interesting. There is no quiet option enabled.

In the end I found a USB2 to ethernet adapter at home and used that, plugging/unplugging the USB drive/adapter as needed. I was able to complete the installation, but now the installed system has exactly the same problem as the live CD (It just stays there with a black screen). Checked the grub menu options with e, and the installed system doesn't have the quiet option either.

Just as before, I can't see any ttys. I'm sure there's an error message somewhere in there, but I'm not sure how to check it without access to the thing.

(I didn't install the ssh server because I never do that in these cases and that may have been a mistake tongue)

Working on it, will update with whatever I find.

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#6 2018-08-25 12:20:44

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 873  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Try adding 'nomodeset' to the linux line. That might fix the black screen.

Another option is to try logging into console and issuing a reboot or shutdown command. If the machine responds correctly, you know you were really logged in.

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#7 2018-08-25 15:41:57

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Ok, so here are some updates

I decided to retry the installation (To re-install it with a ssh server) to check if it was booting completely or just stuck in a specific part of the process. This time the installation step failed because it was trying to install lilo and the install menu blinked and went back to the previous step without any messages.

After some time fighting with this I tried ignoring this part of the installation process (The one where you configure the package manager and install some basic things) just to get it over with. Rebooted the computer, same problem. Black screen came in after "switching from EFI" message. I tried to type user/pass/some commands at random (Previous laptop wouldn't turn the screen on until I started the X server, so I'm sadly used to this). At some point, I issued a ctr+c and the laptop rebooted. So I assumed it was booting somehow.

Then I came here to post this, saw your 'nomodeset' suggestion and yes, this works and I'm now logged in. big_smile big_smile big_smile

I suppose I have to fight with a base system installation since I skipped that part of the process (apt is not configured and there are plenty of packages missing), but I can log in so I'm pretty happy with that.

If I figure out some of the other things that are annoying/weird about this I'll leave it here for reference. Thanks a ton for the help so far smile

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#8 2018-08-25 16:50:39

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 873  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

If you boot the desktop-live again, there's a failsafe entry in the boot menu that contains 'nomodeset' and a bunch of other 'no-this-or-that' and you can experiment with which options work. And if you install from the live, the installation takes about 10 minutes.

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#9 2018-08-25 22:09:56

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Hi again! I tried that too with the live CD, but it didn't work either. Not sure what I was doing wrong.

Anyway, I've been at it most of today and I got most of the stuff working

* Terminal rotation:

This is fairly well documented. Screen is in portrait mode by default, and you have to add 'nomodeset fcbon=rotate:1' to the "GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT" field on /etc/default/grub. After rebooting, everything from the grub menu onwards should be OK (This only works with TTYs, x11 will still be rotated 90 degrees CCW)

* Keyboard layout

The colemak keyboard install works pretty well with the usual method (dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration), but the O key (semicolon in QUERTY) is not in its place in this laptop and that gets annoying very fast. Not an issue with an external keyboard.

It'd be cool to configure different keymappings depending on if an external keyboard is connected or not, but that's a minor thing I'm willing to live without until I get everything else fixed.

PD: The disk encryption password you set during install is inputted with querty (Or whatever keymap you specify during install). From then on, when asked for this, you have to input it using that keyboard layout, even if you change it with dpkg-reconfigure. Right until you install the DM/WM/X server stack. Once this is installed, the disk password will have to be typed in the new layout. I have no idea why but it can get confusing at first

* Desktop environment

i3wm is also pretty straightforward to set up (install i3 and lightdm and you're set). Except that, for some reason (Not sure if configuration issues or a missing package, or something else) I can't rotate the screen. Which is a bit inconvenient since the x11 screen is in portrait mode by default.

The message I get is "output default cannot use rotation "right" reflection "none" when issuing "xrandr --output default --rotate right". I've looked this up online for hours and none of the solutions work.

* Sound

This is not working either. I've seen tons of "Audio Port: ASoC: no backend DAIs enabled for Audio Port" messages in dmesg, but I haven't been able to find a solution that works. Installing intel sound drivers doesn't work, and blacklisting the HDMI audio module doesn't work either (Which I find strange, since it looks like the solution most often reported as working).

Aplay shows one card available (chtrt5645), so it's detecting it, and alsamixer shows *LOTS* of channels (And I mean, dozens of them), but the audio doesn't get through. Again, I'm not sure if this is a driver/configuration problem, or simply another basic package I'm missing because I skipped the base installation

* Wifi

This is the last of the major things I wanted to get fixed. I'm doing OK with the ethernet adapter, but I'd like to at least have working wifi and bluetooth in this. wicd runs fine, but can't find any networks. I suppose this is related to the known kernel problem, so I'm not particularly worried about it since I'm going to use a wired connection most of the time.

* Misc problems

Had some problems derived from that missing base installation, such as bash not autocompleting properly (I was missing the bash-autocomplete package) or not being able to wget things (was missing the ca-certificates package and the letsencrypt cert was not being accepted), but otherwise it's OK.

* TO_DO list

- Fix the x11 rotation issue (Most important so far)
- Fix sound
- Make the wifi work
Minor things:
- ACPI is, generally, not working. Can't see battery status, system doesn't hibernate/turn screen off/lock session when lid is closed, fan control doesn't work (Fan is constantly at 100%), etc
- The screen is not white, but some sort of weird blue-ish white. Not sure if this is a software problem or a hardware one
- Configure external-keyboard-dependent layout
- The trackpoint needs some calibration.

I'll post again as I figure these out, hopefully I have a functional laptop by the end of the weekend ^^"

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#10 2018-08-31 23:45:32

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Good news and bad news. Also worse news.

The good thing is, I think I have located what is causing the main 3 issues (WIFI, sound and video). From what I've seen digging around the system and looking online, it's most likely caused by lack of drivers/support/whatevs for this particular SOC (Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series PCI Configuraiton Registers, according to lshw).

Which means that, (bad news) unless someone is bored enough within the next month to fix this (Or I miraculously become smart enough to do it myself, which is not gonna happen anytime soon), this is probably not going to work.

The worse news is, my previous laptop decided to start dying today (Disk is about to be fried and I doubt it's going to last one more week, a spare in bad conditions would cost more than what I paid for the entire thing and I can't use a regular 2.5" drive in it or use any hard drive dock to recover files from the actual one), so I really don't have time to sit around and figure this out.

So as things stand now, if I don't find a working kernel or drivers for this soon (Or anything really, just having *any* video driver to be able to rotate the screen with xrandr would make it usable enough to survive) , I'll have to end up installing arch or something (Which sucks very very unbelievably much, but has a working image I can burn into a pendrive and install).

I'm super sorry because I was really looking forward to figuring this out and sharing it here, but I'm not sure I'll be able to sad

If I find something I'll let you all know.

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#11 2018-09-18 23:02:10

Achifaifa
Member
Registered: 2018-08-23
Posts: 7  

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Quick update: After moving everything to the new laptop and fiddling for a while, the GPD decided to shut down for apparently no reason and it never turned back on again, so I decided to give up, return it and keep looking for a new laptop I can use.

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#12 2018-09-21 15:53:40

siva
Member
Registered: 2018-01-25
Posts: 167  
Website

Re: Devuan on GPD Pocket

Achifaifa wrote:

...lack of drivers/support/whatevs for this particular SOC (Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series PCI Configuraiton Registers, according to lshw)

Despite my love for the project's goal, the hardware specs (manufacturers and models) on the GPD pocket always gave me a little pause for concern.  Also, broadcom doesn't have a reputation for open-source friendliness, as far as I can remember.

If you do get it working, you *could* install Arch, figure out which drivers and versions it uses, check them against what's in ascii/backports/beowulf and install, or possibly just compile them.  Drivers don't usually take an unbelievable amount of time to compile, in my experience; and if they're slow to build, you could also compile or cross-compile them as .deb files on another system.  I'm interested to hear back if you do get it working smile

Last edited by siva (2018-09-21 15:55:42)

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