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Rock Pi 4C+ no HDMI video output, also overlays


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Hi. At first I'd like to apologize for the tone of this post, but there are things that I've been fighting with, without any success, for a long time.

Problem 1.

I have, as it seems, a very common problem with Armbian on RK3399.

I burned Armbian 23.8.1 for the Rock Pi 4C+ onto an eMMC module, which booted, but there is no HDMI video output.

I can't SSH into it over ethernet and provide more details because the server is disabled by default.


I assume that the problem here is the same one as I often see coming back to all RK3399 boards and the solution is always the same - "libreelec patches for the HDMI subsystem" (whatever they are). If it's so common then why is it that Armbian releases never work out of the box? With all due respect for the maintainers of course. At this point wouldn't it be easier for RK3399 boards maintainers to just make a tutorial on how to patch the thing up so that new users could do it themselves without waiting or taking up their time?


Problem 2

Also another thing I wanted to ask is why do Armbian people never care about providing overlays for interfaces and peripherals that manufacturers do support in their own images? I'm sorry for sounding arrogant and demanding even though I have no idea how to do things on my own (although I would if I knew how), but I've been tinkering with many different boards over the past months and there's always the dilemma - either use Armbian which has the most up-to-date kernel, often mainline support and graphics drivers but completely non-existent interface/peripheral support, or use the manufacturer provided images which have good interface/peripheral support, but are often quite inflexible and maybe a little outdated. Can't have both and it's all extremely annoying to deal with, especially since getting into building your own images and doing it right, figuring out all the quirks and actually creating support for features is extremely hard because it isn't exactly explained anywhere. As I said, I've been tinkering for months and I only scratched the surface so far. I really don't want to be the "somebody please" guy, but [...].


This is the problem with community-provided support.

And it's just so natural for Linux to constantly have problems because of this development model... Not just on ARM SBCs...

No structure, no clear goals, no group efforts, low funding... Just random people doing random stuff in their free time mostly (you're welcome to yell at me if I'm wrong)...

In the end it's a coin toss if things work or not.

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Well both problems can sort of be summarized under the fact - which you already guessed - that Armbian doesn't have sufficient funding (we actually never had unfortunately) to provide all these features properly. Software development actually costs lots of money which the majority is payed from our own pockets. So we have to make best out of it which is best effort support. If things are missing everyone is invited to join by sending a PR to fix things simply or pay for their development.


A board being maintained means that there is a dedicated person attached to it which has access to the hardware and can do tests. However they are not necessarily developers so they cannot fix but observe.


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8 hours ago, its.not.working said:

No structure, no clear goals, no group efforts, low funding

We do have some structure otherwise we would not be able to survive and generate millions worth of services. This recent topic, which consist of asking us to fund (slave work) additional 100.000 USD worth of services, explains one perspective.  Perhaps it will open your eyes, perhaps not. It is not the first time someone is asking that we improve efficiency of self-mutilation. We are millions away from what its needed and it seems nobody wants to fund our work? This means we are probably doing useless things ... If you have the answer, if you have concrete ideas how to resolve problems, I will pay for the time.


8 hours ago, its.not.working said:

I've been tinkering for months


I totally understand your frustration. This is what we do 24/7. Pile of problems is still sky high and we can't do just resolving them. We have to live, we have to fight and we have to find satisfaction, that drives us.

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I actually just started tinkering, but I'm wondering if it's possible to preseed / automate firewall rules, ssh cfg and static ip for a install without a display.


I've got a wonky hdmi port on my monitor and got pulled into this experiment because I didn't feel like spending more on my libre renegade ( On a functional monitor ) 2nd sbc when I was able to install debian on my Orangepi 3 lts.


I'm going to try to Install https://distro.libre.computer/ci/ubutu/22.04/  I'll update soon, for anyone interested here are the docs https://hub.libre.computer/t/ubuntu-22-04-lts-server-release-notes/63

Edited by Daniel Jones
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