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One day I heard about these cheap chinese boards. Little did I know that I'd end up here. I have Banana Pi M1+ and few Orange Pi PCs.

Unofficial tutorial for installing Arch Linux ARM on sunxi boards

Install to a micro SD card

Installing Arch Linux ARM on the sunxi boards is pretty straightforward. This tutorial assumes that you have an Arch system already installed on a x86 system.

Insert the SD card into card reader and zero the beginning of the SD card:

   dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=1M count=8

Then partition the SD card:

   fdisk /dev/sdX

Create the filesystem (requires: e2fsprogs):

   mkfs.ext4 -O ^metadata_csum,^64bit /dev/sdX1

Mount the filesystem:

   mkdir mnt
   mount /dev/sdX1 mnt

Download and extract the root filesystem:

   wget http://os.archlinuxarm.org/os/ArchLinuxARM-armv7-latest.tar.gz
   bsdtar -xpf ArchLinuxARM-armv7-latest.tar.gz -C mnt
   sync

Install the prerequisites for compiling U-boot and kernel:

   pacman -S arm-none-eabi-newlib arm-none-eabi-gcc dtc base-devel git uboot-tools
   

Compile and install U-Boot (replace $BOARD with e.g. orangepi_pc_defconfig -- see the device pages for possible defconfigs):

   git clone git://git.denx.de/u-boot.git
   cd u-boot
   git checkout -b v2016.11                # select the preferred version
   make $BOARD ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-none-eabi- KBUILD_OUTPUT=output/
   
   dd if=output/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdX bs=1024 seek=8
   

Configure the bootloader:

boot.txt (mainline with initrd) boot.txt (mainline without initrd)
   setenv bootdelay 0
   setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 rootwait panic=10 root=/dev/sda1
   load mmc 0:1 0x43000000 boot/${fdtfile}
   load mmc 0:1 0x42000000 boot/zImage
   load mmc 0:1 0x45000000 boot/uInitrd
   bootz 0x42000000 0x45000000 0x43000000
   setenv bootdelay 0
   setenv bootargs console=ttyS0,115200 rootwait panic=10 root=/dev/sda1
   load mmc 0:1 0x43000000 boot/${fdtfile}
   load mmc 0:1 0x42000000 boot/zImage
   bootz 0x42000000 - 0x43000000
   mkimage -A arm -O linux -T script -C none -n "U-Boot boot script" -d boot.txt boot.scr
   
   cp boot.scr mnt/boot/boot.scr

Compile and install the kernel (will install dtb files for all sunxi boards, fine-tune the kernel config if you like):

   Get the kernel for the board, e.g. from https://kernel.org/. We assume the downloaded kernel
   is version 4.8.7.
   
   tar xf linux-4.8.7.tar.xz
   cd linux-4.8.7
   make sunxi_defconfig ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-none-eabi- KBUILD_OUTPUT=output/
   make -j8 zImage dtbs ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-none-eabi- KBUILD_OUTPUT=output/
   make -j8 modules_install ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-none-eabi- INSTALL_MOD_PATH=output2/
   cp output/arch/arm/boot/?Image mnt/boot
   cp output/arch/arm/boot/dts/*.dtb mnt/boot
  

Embed the new modules into initramfs:

   TODO

Install the initramfs:

   mkimage -A arm -T ramdisk -C none -n uInitrd -d initramfs uInitrd
   cp uInitrd mnt/boot
       
   umount mnt
   sync

Insert the micro SD card into the board, connect ethernet, and apply 5V power. Use the serial console or SSH to the IP address given to the board by your router. Login as the default user alarm with the password alarm. The default root password is root.

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