The officially official Devuan Forum!

You are not logged in.

#1 2021-01-05 05:41:39

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 107  

Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

Dear Devuan friends,

I've written a guide on how to get Devuan 3 (stable) installed on the Pinebook Pro using the vanilla kernel, vanilla u-boot and no third party repos. Both the kernel and u-boot still require manual compilation as the default configuration files do not fit the device, however, their source code does not require any unofficial downstream patches.

Of course, many things can be further improved with unofficial patches. Yet, the target audience of this guide are those who prefer a vanilla, mainline experience. Here's the link:

https://www.kulesz.me/post/150_devuan_pinebookpro/

Feedback is warmly welcome and highly appreciated.

Offline

#2 2021-01-05 09:13:18

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,694  
Website

Re: Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

Does the Pinebook Pro need kernel 5.10? 5.9 is currently available from the beowulf-backports repository:

https://pkginfo.devuan.org/cgi-bin/pack … -1~bpo10+1

^ That would obviate the need to compile the kernel and would also ensure that the user isn't left running an increasingly outdated kernel in the future.

And in respect of this statement:

Using further deblobbed sources (e.g. Linux/Libre or cleaned trusted firmware) has not been tried.

Note that the stock Devuan kernel is already fully de-blobbed, that's why the non-free firmware is supplied in separate packages. The "Libre" [sic] kernel has had the ability to load firmware blobs removed so it would not be possible to get the wireless card working, unlike with the Devuan kernel.


antifa ftw!

Offline

#3 2021-01-05 15:55:53

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 107  

Re: Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

I assume it should also work from the backports repo. However, I don't see much sense in using the backport kernel as it (afaik) does not get regular security updates and 5.9 is EOL in upstream already. However, the packages in Debian unstable (5.10 currently or very likely also 5.9 in backports) do *not* work as the kernel is compiled with said configuration parameter that prevents the display from working.

Regarding the blobs: Okay, this was new to me. I always thought Debian included the upstream kernel from kernel,org without deblobbing it. However, it seems like Debian indeed deblobs it. Therefore, it would be proabably better to use the sources from the kernel package in Debian instead of pulling the kernel directly off kernel.org.

Offline

#4 2021-01-05 16:11:43

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,694  
Website

Re: Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

kuleszdl wrote:

I don't see much sense in using the backport kernel as it (afaik) does not get regular security updates

The backported kernel is drawn from testing and is updated from there so it's usually a couple of weeks out of date but that's surely better than having to keep track of upstream manually and compiling a fresh kernel locally every time there's an update.

kuleszdl wrote:

However, the packages in Debian unstable (5.10 currently or very likely also 5.9 in backports) do *not* work as the kernel is compiled with said configuration parameter that prevents the display from working.

Sounds like you should submit a bug report to Debian then. Just be sure to reproduce the issue with a Debian system, some of the developers can be funny about bug reports from Devuan users.


antifa ftw!

Offline

#5 2021-01-05 22:33:31

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 107  

Re: Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
kuleszdl wrote:

I don't see much sense in using the backport kernel as it (afaik) does not get regular security updates

The backported kernel is drawn from testing and is updated from there so it's usually a couple of weeks out of date but that's surely better than having to keep track of upstream manually and compiling a fresh kernel locally every time there's an update.

That's true which is exactly why I usually prefer to use the kernel from unstable instead of the one from backports.

kuleszdl wrote:

However, the packages in Debian unstable (5.10 currently or very likely also 5.9 in backports) do *not* work as the kernel is compiled with said configuration parameter that prevents the display from working.

Sounds like you should submit a bug report to Debian then. Just be sure to reproduce the issue with a Debian system, some of the developers can be funny about bug reports from Devuan users.

I'll look into it but I'm pretty sure someone else already reported it as this issue also turns up on all "regular" installations of Debian unstable on this device.

Offline

#6 2021-01-07 21:11:12

bgstack15
Member
Registered: 2018-02-04
Posts: 202  

Re: Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

Thank you: This is good news! I had toyed around with the idea of getting a Pinebook Pro, and I would only want to run the best software on it. I'm not afraid of a kernel compile especially with nice instructions like you have there. I just cannot find a real reason to get a super-small laptop yet...


This space intentionally left blank.

Offline

#7 2021-01-09 19:29:33

kuleszdl
Member
Registered: 2018-11-03
Posts: 107  

Re: Installing Devuan on the Pinebook Pro (mainline u-boot + kernel)

Well, tbh I have the pinebook pro because it was the first kinda-powerful and kinda-freedom-friendly arm64 laptop that was available. Opinions about it vary, and personally I prefer old Thinkpads over it (especially due to their much better input devices - keyboard, trackpoint). Yet, the PBP is a really interesting device with a pretty decent screen and long battery life.

I am pretty sure bullseye will have quite a good ootb experience on it, however, I really dislike that the regular installer does not support installing to f2fs filesystems so I will probably continue doing installs in the fashion described in the article. However, having a stable (packaged) kernel and packaged bootloader will be definitely an improvement over the current situation.

Offline

Board footer