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Build Arch Linux ARM images for Rock64 single board computer
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README.md

Rock64 Arch Linux Image Builder

Overview

This code will build a pretty "vanilla" Arch Linux ARM image for the Rock64 Single Board Computer.

It builds u-boot using ayufan's scripts (from https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/, https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-u-boot/). Then, it use guestfish to create an empty image, partition it as required by the RK3328, format the boot and linux-root partitions, and extract the Arch Linux ARM ARMv8 generic tarball into the image. It will then add the u-boot bootloader, extlinux config with the kernel command line args and fix the serial console.

Note that these days you can find Rock64 installation instructions on the official Arch Linux ARM website, so you may prefer to use those. The Rock64 was not explitly supported by Arch Linux ARM when I got mine, which is how this repo came into existence. Perhaps it's still useful for people who want to build their own images 🙂.

Build procedure

You can either build this using packages installed in your Linux system, or using Docker.

Build procedure (native)

This is written from the perspective of someone building the image on Arch Linux x86_64. See below for Dockerised version.

Install the following prerequisites (mostly required for building u-boot):

  • guestfish (part of libguestfs package)
  • dtc version 1.4.5-1
    • You can either build this yourself, or find it in the Arch Linux Historical Archive and install it using pacman -U https://archive.org/download/archlinux_pkg_dtc/dtc-1.4.5-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz)
  • git
  • uboot-tools
  • swig
  • make
  • python-virtualenv

And one of the following toolchains for cross-compilation (see issue #3):

Ensure the TOOLCHAIN variable in the Makefile is set appropriately.

Then:

make [arch.img]

Build procedure (using Docker)

  1. Build docker image
  2. Build Arch Linux Rock64 image
./docker/build-docker-image.sh
./docker/build-rock64-image.sh

Rock64 image usage

Burn image to sdcard or eMMC. Boot.

username/password: alarm/alarm root password: root

When using SSH, login as alarm first, then su root.

Known/potential issues

Things to do

In no particular order:

  • Figure out how to install extra packages (currently, guestfish's command running ability cannot be used because of the mismatch in architectures in the guest image and host)
  • Create systemd unit file for the ethtool setup (see above)
  • Contribute Arch Linux support back into ayufan's linux-build repo, assuming it's desired.
  • Build Arch Linux packages for ayufan's kernels.

Credits

  • ayufan for his excellent work on building Rock64 images. Many parts of this repo are inspired by his linux-build and other code. The following are (almost) directly taken from his code:
    • extlinux.conf
    • Makefile.*.mk
  • Rockchip for caring about mainline support for their chips
  • Arch Linux ARM for the distribution
  • Arch Linux Wiki page on banana pi for a pointer on fixing python library loading issues when building u-boot
  • picodotdev for setting up a Dockerfile & associated scripts for building the rock64 image
  • chlorophyll-zz for speeding up the build process and finding a missing dependency
  • Everyone who's reported issues and helped me fix them!
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