Pre-built images for Stretch and Buster

Hi everyone,

Over the past few months I’ve been fiddling around with building some custom images for the Rock960AB, as well as simplifying the build process. I’ve now managed to get Debian Buster working with the usual things. Currently the files provided by rockchip-linux (mk-rootfs) do not work. I’ve submitted a PR for the main issues.

  • WiFi works (there is currently an incorrect setup script in mk-rootfs-buster which I’ve submitted a PR for)
  • Add a few goodies out of the box, including docker, git and ssh-keygen (so you can directly SSH into the board after flashing, if you have a USB-Lan cable). The kernel config is modified to include the necessary options for docker.
  • The kernel is built with modules (this is omitted from the 96boards documentation for some reason)
  • I’ve checked that video hardware acceleration (mpp) is installed and seems to work with GStreamer. Similarly this isn’t installed properly in mk-rootfs-buster
  • This build is headless to save a bit of space, but you could just install Gnome. I’ve not checked that HDMI works but I think it should.
  • I’m using the kernel from rockchip-linux/stable-4.4-rk3399-linux as this is more recently updated than 96boards, but I’m using the dts from 96boards. This enables the LEDs in /sys/class. I also tried to disable power management for the WiFi SoC, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.
  • WiFi works, but power management issues are still occurring despite my attempts to disable power management. I end up using a systemd service to forcibly keep WiFi on. I’ll probably add this to the next release to save effort.
  • USB LAN works, but I’ve had some weird issues with an Amazon dongle - it only works reliably using the USB2 port, otherwise it hangs whenever I call apt (no idea what’s going on)
  • Note that while Buster is has some nice stuff like Python 3.7, there are some things like ROS which don’t have apt packages available yet (ROS Melodic is only supported on Stretch). ROS Noetic is out in May though so you can look forward to that.
  • A Stretch release is also available.
  • The first time you boot up you may get a weird error message about the system not being ready for login yet (“System is booting up. Unprivileged users are not permitted to log in yet”). This seems to go away after the first reboot, perhaps it’s some initial configuration stage.

You can download the image files here:

If you want to modify the system, you can do this quite easily - modify the Dockerfile which builds the kernel if you need other modules, and modify if you want to bake things into the build (this is how Docker is installed, for example). The script also inserts a couple of packages into the default install list (and removes gnome).

Instructions for building are given in the repository. Basically if you have Docker, just clone the repo and run you need to make a data folder where the image gets placed.

Have fun!

@ne0zone75 I’ll try updating the manifest with mainline, maybe it’ll solve your WiFi trouble. I managed to get v5.5 to compile, but it doesn’t seem to boot. Possibly something up with the device tree as I don’t get the usual heartbeat LED either.