First Impressions - RockPro64

First Impressions - RockPro64

I decided to install the Ubuntu 18.04LTS (Bionic Beaver LXDE) distro to microSD.

 

Here’s the microSD I used:

https://ameridroid.com/products/sandisk-ultra-microsdhc-uhs-1-card ($7.40)

 

Because I have an excess of older LCD screens, I figured I’d try to use one of them. This particular one is a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor with a VGA connector only.

 

I used the following adapter to go from HDMI to VGA:

https://ameridroid.com/products/hdmi-to-vga-audio-video-adapter ($7.70)

 

Here’s the power adapter I chose:

https://ameridroid.com/products/12v-3a-power-supply-us-plug ($8.99)

 

I also decided to install the RockPro64 in a case with a heatsink, but due to the low clearance inside, I was unable to use the 20mm heatsink from Pine64. Thankfully, we carry a 12mm adhesive heatsink that works well:

 

https://ameridroid.com/products/pine-a64-a64-abs-enclosure-white ($8.95)

https://ameridroid.com/products/heat-sink-40mm-x-40mm-x-12mm ($3.95)

 

Note that I had to modify the case a little at the power jack location as the RockPro64's power jack is slightly different than the Pine A64's. We should be getting RockPro64-specific cases soon.

 

Normally, when using a single board computer on a non-standard display, some fiddling is required to get the display settings correct. However (and surprisingly), the RockPro64 detected the monitor’s settings and automatically displayed correctly at 1280x1024! That was easy!

 

One of the first things to do when using a new Ubuntu installation on an SBC is to expand the filesystem. Let's take a look at the current stats:

rock64@rockpro64:~$ df -h
Filesystem      Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev            1.9G    0  1.9G   0% /dev
tmpfs           388M 476K  388M   1% /run
/dev/mmcblk0p7   15G 2.2G   12G  16% /
tmpfs           1.9G    0  1.9G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           5.0M 4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
tmpfs           1.9G    0  1.9G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/mmcblk0p6  112M  10K  112M   1% /boot/efi
tmpfs           388M 4.0K  388M   1% /run/user/100

Seriously? The filesystem was automatically expanded and the OS is only using 2.2GB? OK. That was easy (and lightweight)!

 

One of the next things is to update apt.

sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade

This was done in no time with minimal updates. Way fewer updates than other systems that I’ve set up in recent memory. YMMV ("Your Mileage May Vary" - you may have different results)

 

I also ran:

sudo apt install linux-rockpro64
linux-rockpro64 is already the newest version (0.7.9).

One of the next things I do is install Synergy to share my keyboard and mouse among the multiple disparate systems on my desk. Normally on SBCs, this requires compilation and installation of source code for Synergy. Not on the RockPro64. 

sudo apt install synergy

That’s it! Next step was to add Synergy to the startup of the computer. The first attempt worked for me: 

cd ~/.config/autostart
vi synergyc.desktop #use whatever editor you’re comfortable with

Add the following lines to the file: 

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=synergyc -n rockpro64 1.2.3.4 #replace “rockpro64” with the name configured on your Synergy server and 1.2.3.4 with your Synergy server’s IP

After reboot, I noticed I still had to login before Synergy would start to work. So I attempted to configure the system to autologin, but none of the methods I tried would work. So I posted a question on the Pine64 forum in the proper group for RockPro64 Bionic 18.04.

 

Oh, well. If I have to restart the system, I can log into it with my portable keyboard in order to get Synergy working until I figure it out (or someone answers the forum post).

 

Next, I noticed the timezone was incorrect, so I entered the following in the terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

I selected my timezone, and the time updated accordingly.

 

See https://ameridroid.com/blogs/ameriblogs/more-impressions-rockpro64 for more.

 

Have fun!

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Comments

Bo - August 10, 2018

David, Disclaimer: I haven’t booted from the eMMC yet.

I’d start by reading about the procedure at the RockPro64 Wiki page: http://wiki.pine64.org/index.php/ROCKPro64_Main_Page

If I had issues after reading the available information, I’d post my question at the RockPro64 Forum: https://forum.pine64.org/forumdisplay.php?fid=98

I hope this helps!

Bo - August 10, 2018

Sean, I downloaded from ayufan’s GitHub page at https://github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/releases/tag/0.7.9

At the time of download, I used the bionic-lxde-rockpro64-0.7.9-1067-arm64.img.xz image.

Sean - August 10, 2018

Where did you get RockPro64 arm version of Ubuntu 18.04LTS (Bionic Beaver LXDE) distro? Could you share the download link? Or did you custom build one on your own?

David Witten - August 10, 2018

Ok, but how do I get it to boot from the eMMC?

When should the (totally undocumented) pins next to the eMMC be shorted? Ever?

And how do I get it to recognize and auto mount USB mass storage (a simple memory stick)?

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