Mainline Linux/Debian for NanoPi R5S/C

After finding out that Github@Inindev made a stable fully working (as far as I can tell by my first tests) build for these SBC’s with mainline Linux Support I thought creating a dedicated topic about getting DietPi off the Rockchip/FriendlyElec kernel for the R5S and R5C.

My tests showed that I could boot with no issue.

  • uname -a:

Linux nanopi-r5s-arm64 6.1.0-10-arm64 #1 SMP Debian 6.1.38-1 (2023-07-14) aarch64 GNU/Linux

  • lspci showed all Nics and my JMB585 Sata Controller too

This should hopefully fix the issues regarding kernel level wireguard and just bring longevity to these SBC’s

For my testing I put the prebuilt image on a micro sd card and booted holding down the maskrom button for around 5 secs before plugging the SBC back to power. Conveniently made a dd backup of the emmc and had no issue copying that image on a usb 3 thumb drive.

What I plan on doing next is run the dietpi script on the clean debian bookworm image as well as built an bullseye image and run the script on that (as I need OMV6 on my main R5S and that has no bookworm support)

If you need testers, I am ready. I have R5S and R5C, and a good knowledge of them, and the quite particular managing of the eMMC (maskrom and so on).

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Curious… can this effort be expanded to include the R6S, R6C and NanoPC-T6 SBCs? I’m interested because I am considering purchasing one of these units and would love to have mainline Linux Support vs the FriendlyElec kernel for long term support.

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@CA_Lobo Can theoretically yes (and I hope so) but there’s no mainline support yet for the friendlyelec rk3588 sbc’s. Maybe someone will get to it at some point. The support for the R5S/C was there for the past 4 months but nobody had made a fully working image until recently. If more people get the RK3588 based ones I wouldn’t be surprised if they get mainline support too bc if I’d upgrade my R5S it would be to one of those

I made a bullseye image can you test it?

I tested on my R5S. It did not start. With or without masking the ROM, it does not start.
I tested on a SD card. Can it be the reason ? Is it necessary to copy it on the eMMC ?
I have the 4G RAM variant, with a 128GB SSD inside.

eMMC is not necessary. Can you read UART or do you see any HDMI output or does it straight up not work?

Unfortunately I have not cable ready to read UART. I have no HDMI output (black screen, nothing, not the blinking cursor). My SD card is 16GB. Is this too small ?

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Nope I think I’ve found the issue my build accidentally used the default Kernel with Debian 11 which is 5.10 that doesn’t have the RK3568 support. Will try to fix and update

I’m not sure if it’s worth the time to make an image with the bullseye-backport 6.1 kernel instead of the actual mainline 5.10 kernel. I’d say we’ve already got every need covered by the DietPi-Bullseye image or the FriendlyElec Bullseye image that exist by now.

The focus should be on Debian 12 which has proper mainline support and DietPi-Bookworm to be based on the mainline kernel for the R5S/C

For me no problem for Debian 12. The question is that until now I have been unable to build our kernel modules on R5S.

The T6 seems to be included from Kernel Tag v.6.6 and onward btw.

But let’s keep the focus in this thread to the R5S/C and if needed open a new topic for the NanoPi Series 6

…focus in this thread to the R5S/C and if needed open a new topic for the NanoPi Series 6…

fair enough. I’m too much of a newbie to bring up linux on the NanoPi Series 6 so I’ll leave it to someone else to bring up.

I’ve build a new image here Release Debian 11 Bullseye with Linux Kernel 6.1 · HeyMeco/NanoPi-R5S-Images · GitHub . Still needs to be tested but I got the hint from sbc-bench who built their image under the same parameters. There’s also Kernel-Headers included so hopefully this will fix that issue for you too

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Bravo ! (Means : congratulations, in French). It works :
Debian GNU/Linux 11 (Bullseye) 6.1.52
Super thanks !

Independent on the effort done to build the image, not sure if this is a good idea to use Debian 11 still. Sonner or later moving to Bookworm would be recommended anyway. :wink:

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Totally agree with you!
I saw it as a nice to have when the option presented itself that it’s possible. When the software I run (mostly helt back by OMV) gets bookworm support I see no reason to keep the Debian 11 with (6.1) mainline effort up especially since 6.1 is already EOL and >6.3 is strived for.

As for DietPi Github@Inindev’s Image’s seem to be a fitting base to run the DietPi installer script on.
I saw that there’s a Bookworm Image available already for DietPi on the R5S but don’t know which Kernel it’s running on. Is it still the 5.10.x rockchip one or mainline?

yes actually we use 5.10.160. But I guess @MichaIng will have a look into mainline kernel as well.

I’d assume going forward from here the best way is to “lock” the Debian 11 Image to the 6.1 LTS Kernel and Debian 12 Image to run mainline for R5S and R5C.