Installing Debian Linux on a Bananapi Pro

Release date: 2019-01-05

As of October 2018 it is possible to install a regular Debian Linux armhf with a Debian or Vanilla Kernel on the Bananapi Pro without the need to use a super-specialised distribution. Booting a system like this with u-boot is not straight forward but possible once you understood the syntax. In the following lines I will try to give you some additional information concerning this issue.

You will need a 16 GB SD-card, a host system with a recent Debian Linux and a working SD-card reader to perform the installation. I recommend a single-partition installation, using ext4 as a filesystem. All data on the sd-card will be erased!

Theoretically it would also be possible to use the "stable" distribution of Debian Linux if you do not want to use "testing", but you should use at least "buster" which 10/2018 is "testing". To change, switch testing to stable in the qemu-debootstrap and sources.list entries.

You use all of this information at your own risk!!! There is absolutely no warranry!!!


BananaPRO BOOT Archive
I collected some files which proved to be very helpful for setting up a Bananapi PRO and packaged them in this archive. Please feel free to use them. It is absolutely possible that the contents may be outdated by the time you are planning to use them and workarounds like the patch to activate the internal wifi will not be necessary any more as they were in 10/2018.
Released:02 Oct 2018 by Bodo Giannone (http://www.giannone.ch)
Download:bananapro_BOOT_WIFI_2018_10_02.tgz
SHA1-SUM:ab32cdadeda26e6fe26792108dddb1902c4f0d19
Contents:
FileDescription
0001-ARM-dts-sun7i-Disable-OOB-IRQ-for-brcm-wifi-on-Cubie.patchdevice-tree patch to make internal wifi work (necessary 10/2018)
boot.cmdrecommended boot script (raw file)
boot.scrrecommended boot script (image file)
brcmfmac43362-sdio.binfirmware needed for internal wifi
brcmfmac43362-sdio.txtfirmware needed for internal wifi
gen_boot.scrscript to create the boot script image file
sun7i-a20-bananapro_DISABLED_OOB-IRQ.dtbpatched device-tree (there may be a newer version packaged with a recent linux kernel)
u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.binu-boot binary (there may be a newer version packaged with a recent u-boot)


Prepare the host-system


Prepare the client-system


Install Debian Linux on the client-system


Configure the client-system
(You need to create the following files)


Completing the installation



References

http://sunxi.org/Bootable_SD_card#Cleaning

https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Allwinner

http://wiki.lemaker.org/BananaPro/Pi:Setting_up_the_Linux_distribution_root_file_system

http://linux-sunxi.org/Mainline_Debian_HowTo#Setting_up_the_SD-card

http://linux-sunxi.org/Mainline_U-Boot

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© 2018-2019 by Bodo Giannone
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