Rock Pi 4B boot from NVMe

Personally, I think it’s a great idea. However, I have to consider whether this product has a good chance of commercial success. Compared to an eMMC, the development costs are the same, the board and connectors cost the same, the production will hardly be cheaper and the transport costs are the same. The only saving factor is the price of the Flash device. Even if many now ask for booting without an SD card, the module would compete with the SD card.

1 Like

Its cool.

May be I dont understand. SSD can get more IO speed.
Search in amazon
emmc $48 32 Gb emmc ODROID
cheap noname 256 Gb SSD - $39 ADATA SU800 256GB M.2

The eMMCs offered for the RockPi 4 are cheaper in price.

I ordered the smallest eMMC this time (16GB), planning to use it for booting only, put the entire rootfs on SSD, I don’t know how feasible is that, will see.

1 Like

That’s what i did originally and later on upgraded to 32gigs. Unless you plan on using a lot of disk space like docker images or compiling a lot of code 16gigs should work. I’m using Docker so I want more space

hmm, I’m not a deep expert in flash storage chips, but it looks to me like there would be a huge benefit in having a “boot-from and run-on nvme only” option.

@jack may a dumb question, but where to find actual (debian) images? download page on radxa wiki is still linked to an image from 2018-11

The boot and run on nvme image itself will be the same as current images, it’s just the bootloader can support nvme disks. We are still working on merge other functions(such as device tree overlay) to the bootloader with newer version of u-boot that supporting nvme.

1 Like

Cool. Can I or our community help You?

I found 2 links for add support nvme to u-boot

1 Like

If you can introduce a little bit about yourself, we are very happy that you help us. The status is, currently u-boot for ROCK Pi 4 is vendor version, which old, 2017.1 version. NVMe stack is supported in the mainline u-boot in your second link and there still are changes in recent latest mainline. So we need to work on the latest mainline u-boot, which means we need to port all our work previously on the mainline u-boot.

I am .NET developer, I have small experience with Linux, python.
I want use ROCK Pi 4 for Home automation/Smart house with domotics, future check person(NLP) and use scenarios for each person.

I do not want use google home, amazon echo because all my private data should stay my home )))

I hope I can start Windows 10 IOT on this SBC.

1 Like

Not sure if it useful here: With the help from Armbian forum I figured out how to enable/disable and configure some GPIO ports (eg I2C) on the current armbian RockPi4 image (beta)

# enable i2c7

cd /tmp
chmod +x device-tree-compiler_1.4.7-3_arm64.deb
dpkg -i device-tree-compiler_1.4.7-3_arm64.deb

cp /boot/dtb/rockchip/rk3399-rockpi4b.dtb /boot/dtb/rockchip/rk3399-rockpi4b.dtb.bkp

dtc -@ -I dtb -O dts -o rk3399-rockpi4b.dts /boot/dtb/rockchip/rk3399-rockpi4b.dtb

#edit section i2c@ff160000 in .dts file
		status = "okay";
		clock-frequency = <400000>;

dtc -@ -I dts -O dtb -o /boot/dtb/rockchip/rk3399-rockpi4b.dtb rk3399-rockpi4b.dts

status can be disabled or okay.
clock-frequency is optional and can be increased for use-cases like the OLED display from default 100kHz to 400kHz.

1 Like

Can you can explain how to put bootloader in SPI or SDcard to boot nvme and usb3 hd?
Thank you.

At least 2 people on this forum including myself are running smart home on RP4. I’m using HA in python virtual env on Debian, the other using HA in docker on Ubuntu. Both of us have posts on this forum you may look up. I’ve tried all 3 (OA2, HA and Domo) and settled with HA.

You can refer the partitions table of the image here:

For SDcard,

dd if=/path/to/image of=/dev/sdx count=32768

You have a bootable sdcard with bootloader only now.

For USB3 device or NVME device,

dd if=/path/to/image of=/dev/sdx bs=4M

Write the whole image to USB3/NVME device.

Sorry if I’m being slow-witted here, but if I understand this: If I can copy the 5 partition images to my NVMe using the correct offsets then the RockPi will boot from NVMe and I no longer need to boot from a microSD? Thanks in advance for your understanding.

I have installed recalbox with your help, but recalbox is in sd card.
I don’t understand if must execute all 2 command dd or only second.
Sorry for my bad english.

No. You still need the uSD card for the bootloader, because if the bootloader in nvme, ROCK Pi 4 can not boot it.

That would be a great idea I was going to ask if anyone knew of any good quality fast low capacity Micro SD cards and is it possible to get them nowadays.
A small capacity EMMC module much better though and preferable to soldering on a flash rom for SPI boot.
I want one! :slight_smile:

hello. first i want to apologize for my english because is not so good. my problem is next, i want to buy Rock pi and use nvme ssd for operating system… i read a lot forum and see i need for this for start my os i need to put bootloader on sd card, emmc or spi flash, is this correct? Or this is posible exclusively and only whit spi flash? is spi flash is not nacessary which version of rock pi i need to buy, is this version 1.3 or i need 1.4 ( i am looking for buy Rock pi 4 model B 4 gb)? and i can not found tutorial how can i install os on nvme with bootloader on sd card or emmc, i found only installation on/with spi flah and nvme ssd?

thanks for your time and help

Booting from SPI is in beta testing. Please check the other thread:

SPI + NVMe booting(beta)