Issues booting Manjaro ARM KDE on Pine64 Pinebook Pro

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or whether my Pinebook Pro has a fault but I seem to keep ending up in the same place, after doing a clean install of Manjaro ARM 20.08. The previous process was as follows:

  • Insert a microSD card containing a Debian instance.
  • Boot the Pinebook Pro using the microSD card.
  • Zero out the eMMC using dd.
  • Flash Manjaro ARM to the eMMC via dd.
  • Power off the Pinebook Pro.
  • Remove the microSD card.
  • Boot into Manjaro ARM.
  • Run sudo pacman -Syyu.
  • Resolve the locale.gen pacnew issue.
  • Use lsblk to identify where Manjaro ARM is installed & update uboot by running the two dd commands. In my case, I swapped the X for a 2.
  • Reboot the Pinebook Pro to check that uboot is okay.
  • Install some software via pacman:
    • hunnspell-en_GB, yay, base-devel, r, rkward, gcc-fortran, openblas, syncthing (not enabled via systemctl as it is currently is broken), telegram-desktop, jdk-openjdk, libnotify, neofetch, mesa-demos, papirus-icon-theme.
  • Install some software from AUR via yay:
    • simplenote-electron-bin, vivaldi-arm64, vivaldi-codecs-ffmpeg-extra-bin-arm, zotero-arm-bin.
  • Add the Privacy Shark repo and use pacman to install some software from there:
    • signal-desktop, teams-for-linux, jitsi-meet-desktop.
  • Change SDDM login screen theme to breeze, desktop icon theme to papirus-dark, and change the lock screen and desktop wallpapers.
  • Use konqi as my user avatar, and add a user email in KDE’s system settings.
  • Switch scrolling direction to natural for both X and Y axis on the trackpad, and activate X-axis two-finger scrolling, in system settings.
  • Minor r, rkward and kate tweeks.
  • Power off Pinebook Pro at some point.
  • Pinebook Pro no longer boots. Gets stuck with the red power LED glowing and a faint hissing sound. I’ve noticed that I’ve had a USB-C power cable in when this has happened this time, but can’t remember if that’s been the case every time.

My output of extlinux.conf is:

FDT /dtbs/rockchip/rk3399-pinebook-pro.dtb
APPEND initrd=/initramfs-linux.img console=tty1 console=ttyS2,1500000 root=LABEL=ROOT_MNJRO rw rootwait bootsplash.bootfile=bootsplash-themes/manjaro/bootsplash

Please could someone help me? What am I doing wrong? I can still insert my Debian microSD install and boot from that.

you have done this on power AC or battery ?

I think everything was done on battery up to powering off the Pinebook Pro. I then put it on charge overnight on a USB-C cable. The cable goes straight to a main plug (not via a hub).

I just went through this recently, so hopefully this will help. Follow the steps I’ve outlined in this post.

It’s annoying somewhat because you have to go through the install/setup procedure twice - first when you boot from the new SD image (download here), and yet another time when it’s been installed on the eMMC.

Note: I don’t know if my system is just buggy or something, but it did have issues booting up correctly on Step 5, after I’ve installed on the eMMC. I found that if I shut down completely (instead of reboot) and turn on the machine, I had better luck getting it to load from the eMMC that first time. YMMV.

Note 2: FWIW, I also experienced the black screen on boot w/LED light lit issue after a recent Testing Update. The reason I had to do a re-install was because I could not figure out a way to recover from that. If you find a root cause, I’d be curious to know what it was as well.

Just what version of debian is it? mrfixit, danielt or ayufan?
If it is mrfixit, I would use its uboot on the emmc
In short, save emmc mbr, dd 1st 16M sd -> emmc, restore emmc mbr
You may also wish to save 1st 16 emmc before you do anything
in case uboot is not the problem, but I would bet it is

So, did this work in the end?

Yes, it worked. My PBP is back up and running normally now.

Just did as you said and started from scratch, again… again. All seems to be well at the moment. Only difference this time is that I’m not bothering with flashing new versions of uboot… just in case. No idea what caused the issues before. Unless it was uboot, I have no idea. I’ve done nothing else different. I powered off at several points during the setup process to see if I could narrow down what was causing it, but as it decided to not break this time, I’m at a loss.

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