Vanilla Install on Pinebook Pro

Dear ARM enthusiasts,

I have ordered a Pinebook Pro that should arrive sometime in early May. I primarily run Arch Linux on my x86 machines, but it appears that the Pinebook Pro is not supported out-of-the box by the Arch Linux ARM flavor. However, Manjaro clearly is. I therefore plan to set up Manjaro - benefiting from its Pinebook Pro support - in a configuration that closely resembles a vanilla Arch setup. I have done some research into this and would like to ask if I understood things correctly:

  • According to these profiles ([1], [2]), writing the minimal edition to the internal eMMC should yield a bootable operating system with only minimal administrative utilities installed (and the base-devel group, e.g., pacman, etc.?)
  • After writing the minimal image to the eMMC, I switch the branch to “Unstable” as explained in [3] to gain access to packages nearly in sync with upstream Archlinux ARM.
  • I run pacman -Syyu and proceed to installing my graphical setup and packages of choice.

If the above is correct, I have two more questions regarding the last item: I could find no information on this in the above-linked device profiles, but to get the most out of the GPU, I believe that I should install the “xf86-video-fbturbo-git” driver? And are there any other audio/wifi/bluetooth-related packages I should consider?

Many thanks in advance,

[1] gitlab . manjaro . org/manjaro-arm/applications/arm-profiles/-/blob/master/devices/pbpro
[2] gitlab . manjaro . org/manjaro-arm/applications/arm-profiles/-/blob/master/editions/minimal
[3] wiki . manjaro . org/index.php/Switching_Branches

P.S. Please excuse the broken links. Apparently the message board software doesn’t trust me yet.

That’s not the case… it’s still manjaro but more frequent update and smaller… closer to arch… but it’s still manjaro… maybe less stable than arch as it’s where all manjaro specifics package, kernels etc land first… (maybe after some arch package lands then can break between both).

I’m in unstable with plasma as desktop… and never had big issue… but i don’t use my pbp as much as my daily driver x86 laptop.

There is the same package in stable, testing, unstable just with a delay for testing etc. Like as for manjaro x86

Thank you for your reply.

My initial post was worded incorrectly - I actually meant what you wrote (…more frequent updates…) and have updated my question accordingly.

I take it then that running “Unstable” roughly results in the kind of rare, minor issues encountered on Arch (at least in my experience). I can happily live with that.

This has resolved part of my question. Whether the proposed setup procedure is valid and what device-specific driver packages I need to install still remains open.

I have received my Pinebook Pro and can confirm the following:

  • Starting with the minimal edition image, I installed “xorg-server”, " xf86-video-fbturbo-git", and “lxqt”. The desktop works flawlessly.
  • Sound works fine with “pulseaudio”.
  • Connecting to wireless networks works out-of-the-box with iwctl, but in order to get “networkmanager” with “nm-applet” to work, I had to install “crda” (which I was surprised not to find as part of the minimal edition, even though it appears in the device profile.)
  • I have not tested Bluetooth yet.
  • Will test switching to the testing / unstable branch soon. [EDIT May 11]: No issues on the testing branch.

Glad to hear it.

Pipewire also works just fine. :slight_smile:

I think we added crda to the profile, after 21.04 was released. So it will be there from next release.

Should just work ™.

Great to have you as a tester. :wink:

Thank you for your reply Strit,

I have been using OpenBSD for a few years before deciding to jump into the ARM world. I now need to catch up on the recent developments in Linux/Arch over those past years. I have never heard of Pipewire but will have a closer look at it (likewise, the first time I used iwctl was when installing Manjaro on the PBP - first, I was looking for wifi-menu and netctl.)

I shall also have a look at the contribution thread and see to what extend I can help. Many thanks to all of you for providing fantastic software for ARM!

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