Newer Linux with working SPI sought after

Hi everyone,

I’m running my Zero in a Beepy. For it to work, I need SPI for the display and I2C for the keyboard.

The only configuration I was able to run both was using the official Ubuntu Focal image. However, that image obviously is ancient. :neutral_face:

I tried the official Kali and Armbian builds, but I couldn’t get SPI to work on both. On top of that, both (IIRC) are missing kernel headers, so I can’t build any drivers.

I even tried for a newer kernel, but couldn’t get that configuration to run, not even on the Focal image.

Although I could live with an old kernel, I still would like to have current software, so Kali with it’s rolling release would be great, but as I said, no luck with the SPI there.

I assume a connection between SPI not working and the way parameters are passed to the boot process, but I’m not very familiar with SBC boot and U-Boot etc.

Any hints would be HIGHLY appreciated.


Ubuntu Focal is an LTS release so all the software should be updatable to current. If the kernel supports everything you need it to, sounds like the way to go.

Alternatively, Armbian has a fantastic build system that makes it a breeze to roll your own kernel with whatever patches and configuration you want. I just built 6.3 with the realtime patchset for my Rock64 the other day. It took forever but when it was done, it was just a matter of dpkg -i *.deb && reboot.

Hey @Bebef,

did you ever get this to work? I have a zero on my beepy since earlier today and though I was able to boot with the android-image the display didn’t work. I was trying to get the lineageOS variant on the radxa but it fails either on flashing or when trying to sideload from the existing Android OS-- either way I am not clear, this would get the screen to work either :frowning:

any hints what you ended up doing would be highly appreciated!

  1. Driver For the beepy keyboard, for Debian and ubuntu

  2. Driver for the Sharp Display, for Debian and Ubuntu

  3. beepy app repo

  4. the rp2040 microcontroller and all other beepy related foss software and tips and hints

This will help you! I’ve forked the whole beepy project to make it a modular one handed Linux PC with 4g data module, esp32 s2 2nd wifi module, and added a adruino controller and access to it, and 22 gpio for the radxa zero series.

Pls message me if you’re interested in this radxa zero project.

I hope that GitHub link helps people, if you cannot use GitHub I’ll move it somewhere else that everyone can access!

Sincerely cb