Did I completely brick my Orange Pi 5 plus by trying to update kernel?

Creating a bug report/issue

Required Information

  • DietPi version | cat /boot/dietpi/.version --------------------------------> 9.2.1

  • Distro version | echo $G_DISTRO_NAME $G_RASPBIAN 9.2.1

  • Kernel version | uname --all -------------------------------------------------> 5.10.160-legacy-rk35xx

  • Architecture | arm64

  • SBC model | `Orange Pi 5 Plus 16gb variant

  • Power supply used | Came in bundle with board

  • SD card used | Kingston 64gb SD Card / 256gb eMMC flash storage (boot and / drive)

Steps to reproduce

  1. Manually downloaded and installed what I thought were the latest kernel files that support the orange pi 5 plus directly from the dietpi servers. (sudo apt install ./
    I installed the headers file first, then the the the dtb overlay, then the image file itself. No errors were thrown.

Expected behaviour

  • I thought I’d just be able to install those 3 files, which would overwrite the current kernel version to the newest one (everything had been runnign on fine on the old kernel, but I heard there major security holes found) and reboot and all would be well.

Actual behaviour

  • After a reboot, without any SD card in the slot (whicu is how i eventually ran it anyway, having moved / filesystem to the eMMC drive, the machine literally does nothing. The red LED comes on solid, but that’s it.
  • If I insert an SD card, I am able to boot off of that and presumably have aceesss to all of the attached drives including the eMMC, so I suppose I’ve got that going for me. But, I don’t exacltyy have the technical knowledge to know what to do next.

Am I completely SOL and need to reiinstall the entire OS to get back to being able to boot from the eMMC drive directly, using the newer firmware? Or is there hope?

I do also have a full dietpi-backup set on one of the other attached drives that it looks like I could probably mount and get to if need be, for what it’s worth.

If you have any thoughts, insights or concerns or nods in the right direction, I’d be very much appreciative to hear.

Thank you in advance! Hopefully I can find my way out of this one. My build is kind of spaghetti and pretty complex, so I’d really rather not have to rebuild from scratch.

Thank you again,

Kind Regards,


Probably @MichaIng are the only one who could help

Oh no. I hate to bother him. It seems like he’s an incredibly busy guy, based on what I see here.

I was wondering if my quickest course of getting back to my old working system may be to flash the SD card with a fully bootable armbian image, get it configured, update the SPI bootloader (I’m wondering if that’s the crucial step I forgot), then re-flash the SD card with the latest dietpi image for arm64 just in case.

Reboot, see if it magically fimnds the old boot partition on the eMMC drive and boots from that, and if not, contirnue to boot from the fresh dietpi image on the SD card and then do a dietpi-backup restore from the external backup I’d created.

Would that work do you think and put things right.? Any potential pitflass, things to watch out for, or things or should make sure to do?

Also, if I were to get the system up and running from the SD card with a fresh install of dietpi and get the eMMC and my external drive mounted, can I use dietpi-backup to restore from the external drive to the internal eMMC. Or, do I really at this point just need to update the bootloader somehow?

Which ones did you install in particular? Indeed we have none on our server for legacy-rk35xx, currently.

I just checked the current-rockchip64 (which you probably installed), but it has no device tree for Orange Pi 5 Plus.

Was there a particular reason why you wanted to update the kernel? I aim to switch to Linux 6.1 soon, could do that for next DietPi release. Note that we would always install newer kernels hosted on our server on next DietPi update, at least all from here outside of the testing sub directory.

If you did not manually purge the old kernel packages, you should be able to revert to that one from another Linux system:

  • Plug + mount the SD card
  • Replace the Image, uInitrd and dtb symlinks within the /boot directory, which should point to current-rockchip64-ending files/dirs, with ones which point to the related legacy-rk35xx-ending files/dirs.

Nah…never “bricked”
Just the OS is borked…easy way is to wipe the OS and start fresh…hard way is to attempt to pick thru what borked it and fix it…