Conference talk - Radxa Rock Pi4 mainline u-boot and mainline kernel

Hello together,

at the conference I explain howto install Debian with mainline u-boot and mainline kernel. The talk is in German.

mainline is only working with eMMC or micro sd card and usb ssd.

Can you provide us with a dts file which enables pcie and spi flash?

Kind Regards


This is nice. For those who are interested, slides in Germany.

Hello Jack,

I need a dts which includes pcie for mainline kernel 5.3.1 .
Can you provide please this dts file to the community?

Kind Regards

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Hi, Dondon

We will start to work on the mainline kernel after the Chinese National Holiday(Oct 1st to Oct 7th).

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Hi Jack,
how are You?
Hope You had great holidays.
Have You made any progress? Can I support You?
Kind Regards

Hi, Dondon

We have tested the v5.4-rc2 tag kernel, NVMe works out of box. Can you try that?

Hello jack, the latest Kernel I have is 4.4.179-6 from here. Where would I get newer Kernels such as 5.3 or 5.4 for testing?

On Armbian:

armbian-config -> system -> alternative kernels

Test images with modern kernel:

Thank you for the quick response, however I’m currently using Debian 9.11 with some software. I was wondering if I could upgrade the Kernel directly instead of having to use an entirely different image.

Anything is possible, but I am not familiar with this custom Debian. I am only sure that its not this simple. Also this, the one and only alternative 5.3.y -> kernel, is still for testing only. Its fragile and you might end up with board not booting. What then? Do you know how to go back manually? I would advise you to download nightly Armbian images now and then, install on some spare SD, and check how good support is … Are (hardware related) features you need, working properly.

Armbian is far more polished Debian than any Debian out there. On all levels so. Its not just easy kernel changing.

Hi otte,
Linus provides the mainline kernel and the “official” kernels on this address
The command “make bindeb-pkg”
makes debian-packages.
Kind Regards

Hello Jack,
Thank you for your respond.
I will try the kernel 5.4 at weekend.
Kind Regards

Dear Jack,
I tried 5.4-rc3 (not rc2)
This kernel does not work out of the box.
I understand “out of the box”:
download, untar then
make defconfig
make bindeb-pkg

If I do this no pci or nvme driver is compiled in.

What do you understand under “out of the box”?

I compiled all the drivers but no device under dev or dmesg gives information about nvme.

Best Regards

Everything out of the box from mainstream sources? Perhaps a little too optimistic for ARM/RK3399 boards.

5.3.y + few patches and correct config or this simple command:

and here it works as you wanted. dpkg -i *.deb + reboot


00:00.0 PCI bridge: Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co., Ltd RK3399 PCI Express Root Port
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Aquantia Corp. AQC107 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz Ethernet Controller [AQtion] (rev 02)

I don’t have possibility to check on Rockpi4 at this moment, but I assume PCI works unless there is some error in the DT.

Edit: I have to note that I didn’t use master build branch so this command above will not work on standard. But on development. This whole stuff is there and troubles are expected.

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Hi all,
nvme with mainline linux kernel 5.4.0 is now working.
Details shortly.
A modified Device tree source did the trick.
Now working on spi flashing.
Perhaps someone can provide me with the modified dts file.