New Custom Debian ARM64 Build 4.4.154.c83 is finally here!

Now I have a code name for my image Hornblende

The image can be downloaded from github:

  • OTG support is disabled in the kernel, so you can do ethernet over USB.
  • Bluetooth is working.
  • Audio is working.
  • Hardware acceleration in Chromium is working.
  • GPIO RX/TX is on ttyS2

4.4.154.c83 based on release from Radxa. All of my customize scripts are available in my repo, feel free to tweak them.

Known Issue:
Radxa’s apt repository is a mess, many of their “stretch ARM64” debs were built on Ubuntu, they will break Debian ARM64 if you run “sudo apt upgrade” without any protection. I blocked most of their packages in /etc/apt/preferences.d, until they fix their repo, you’d better leave those pins as is.

If you really want to use mpv to play videos locally, I’d suggest you to install the one from Debian Buster (testing version), it works great and won’t break anything in Stretch. I have the preferences file in etc too, you can tweak it to manage the testing packages.

You need to immediately reboot once after first boot to make the audio working!


  • Set up timezone by link timezone file to /etc/localtime, e.g.:
    sudo ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/YourArea/YourCity /etc/localtime
  • Set up locale: sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

It booted instantly on my 64 GB EMMC.
This build is so fast that it feels like a full fledged desktop.
(I’m posting from my RockPI4 running your build right now)
I installed VLC and it’s playing my videos from my DLNA server at full speed.


Do you have any intention of making the full source repo public. It would be nice to see this fork go public to accelerate the development of the libraries necessary to make it fully Debian Arm64 compliant. This is a home run, BTW. Nice job.


thanks for this image! can anyone confirm if usb wifi is working with this?

edit: just tested and it works!

It would be a whole lot more complicated to build an image for generic ARM64 platforms, even for RK3366 only will be a big challenge as an evening hobby :smile:

If I got sometime, I’d organize my repositories better, so anyone can build without wasting too much time on troubleshooting like I’ve been through.

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This is so unbelievably awesome, I cannot adequately express my gratitude. MANY THANKS!

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That’s the beauty of GitHub… just make your repo for this distribution public and let folks fork it and submit pull requests as each issue is resolved. The maintenance of this distro is probably more than one person can handle.



Sorry, I still can’t get Bluetooth scanning with success any BT devices at all. Anything I missed?

You are right, BT is not working correctly. I need sometime to investigate why /data directory is missing.

I have your current build running and stable with a 1TB nvme drive and a 256GB sdcard. It’s running full 4K video (that took a lot of desktop config tweaking). I was able to back up the entire system onto the nvme drive. Bluetooth doesn’t work, though that’s low on my requirements. My next hurdle is figuring out which libraries are missing or incompatible as I try to install VSCode.

Are you installing the headmelted build VSCode? I was able to install it, apt install completed and successful, I can edit code but C/C++ IntelliSenses doesn’t working, one file (Microsoft.VSCode.CPP.Extension.Linux) is missing from ~/.vscode-oss/extensions.

I tried to build it from the source code, but couldn’t install NPM.

Nope … The Headmelted version was created to run on the RPi (Armhf) I’m trying to install the full Arm64 Deb version from Microsoft. So far there are a few libraries that are being blocked in the distro. Most of the Microsoft code appears to be cross compiled. I’m trying to get a full Arm64 native version running.

He has ARM64 version, which I’m running right now.

Don’t download the deb directly, import the key and run apt install code-oss

Congratulations @O635789! Best desktop experience I’ve had on the ROCK Pi 4B. Downloading and applying the image (20% smaller) was a no brainer (I should know). HDMI & WIFI setup were intuitively simple.
You re already aware of the BT issue. Oh well. I’ve done dozens of Windows images and have learned that perfection is an ongoing quest. A perfect image is like finding the holy grail. By then, it’s time to upgrade everything. :thinking:
Your expertise and commitment to getting the ROCK Pi functional are self-evident in your works. Your generosity has also been demonstrated, no only in the time that you have invested in troubleshooting and fixing Radxa’s OS, but in the fact that you have shared the fruits of your labors with Radxa’s customers. (Hope you enjoyed the dancing girls :wink: ) You would have been within your rights to fix your own Rock Pi and said, “See ya, Folks! Good luck with yours.”

I would like to remind the ‘community’ that we should be mindful and grateful for what @O635789 has already done, as a part time ‘hobby’. In other words, IMHO his continued participation on this forum and support of the OS is voluntary and optional.

Under the circumstances, I feel that @O635789 has earned a more formal position with Radxa. Perhaps some royalties on each download and/or consultancy fees for continued technical support of their OS on this forum. Of course, this is none of my business. But, I would be much more inclined to purchase Radxa’s product if their best systems engineer had some incentive to stick around and sort out their repo.

The ROCK Pi 4B has great specs. But, the competition isn’t sleeping. Having a stable OS prior to launching it into the ‘prime time’ USA market is vital. I’ve had many new ideas for products, only to find them being sold on Amazon a few months later.

Hey, hermits speak our minds. That’s why we become hermits. I hope @O635789 doesn’t mind me saying what s/he wouldn’t. I hope others agree that we have no right to @O635789’s continued assistance. Finally, I hope Radxa sees this as an opportunity to take their product to the next level.

Nuf said.


I couldn’t agree with TheHermit more!

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I just installed the HeadMelted version without a hitch. I’ll let you know how it goes. Do you know how to change the application fonts…not the editor font settings? A lot of the application text is nearly unreadable on a 4K display.

Did you try View->Appearance->Zoom In?

Nope… I’ll try that now. Thanks.

Perfect… thanks.