Debian GNU/Linux on FireFly Rk3288

Firefly RK3288 imageSome weeks ago I decided to build a small server for home as I did alreadyyears ago and documented in this Blog. After a small research on the web I decided to buy a low power consumption device based on ARM architecture and I ended up buying a brand new Firefly RK3288 that is using indeed the RockChip RK3288 processor. Unfortunately this kind of devices have really poor documentation and is not very easy to install the favourite GNU/Linux distribution. In this short guide I will share a Debian Rootfs Image that I prepared for the Firefly as well as a short guide on how to install it.

First of all let’s start downloading the files you will need to install Debian on the board. You will need two files:

1) Debian Rootfs!BBEm2bxK!nVRn1Ldem … 7OMJEyj2xM

2) Parameter:!QUknVChL!iQ7IpQZmC … 4DuwglMv3w

Before starting with the installation you will need to consider the following warnings:

1) this is ONLY the rootfs. It doesn’t have the boot.img or the kernel.img. If you would like to use this debian rootfs you can do like I did: just use the current partitions prepared when you receive for the first time the board and  replace the current rootfs with the debian one. To achieve this goal you can simply use one of the tools that allow you to flash partitions.

2) I am providing you the steps I followed to install the rootfs but keep in mind that I did it on a board with a previous single O.S. installed (Lubuntu); so if you have a dual boot it might be a little bit different. Moreover I will provide steps I followed on a Debian host using Linux Upgrade Tool.

We are now ready to play…

    a) prepare a “parameter” text file based on the one that you are actually running (you can get your own file connecting and reading the board nand partitions with rkflashkit). The most important variable to change is the one that is reporting what will be the partition used for the rootfs. In my case, as I was running an image with only Ubuntu, I had to chage the variable to root=/dev/mmcblk0p5. If you like you can download my parameter file from here:!QUknVChL!iQ7IpQZmC … 4DuwglMv3w.

    b) once you have your parameter file, flash it with following command:

           # upgrade_tool di -p parameter

    c) you are now ready to flash the rootfs. Uncompress the file downloaded from the link above and then issue the following command:

           # upgrade_tool di linuxroot debian_wheezy_ROOTFS_ffly.img

    d) reboot the board and wait for the login prompt to appear on the screen. Just login as root, password firefly and immediately run this command from the prompt:

           # resize2fs /dev/mmcblk0p5 (obviously this partition might be different if your parameter file is different).

You are now ready to enjoy Debian Wheezy!!

Please remember that this is a very basic system. It doesn’t have any X Server and it is configured to work only via ethernet (not WiFi). After you configure the eth0 you can install all packets you need to have a fully working system.


P.S.: After playing for a while with the image I noticed that the loopback interface doesn’t come up at first boot. So please be aware that you have to manually do it.


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