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desu

Mainline kernel and u-boot on NAND

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Hi everyone,

I know this question has been answered earlier, but maybe something has changed with the recent versions of U-boot and kernel. So, is there any progress with support of NAND flash with A20 CPU in mainline kernel and U-boot?

 

If NAND is not supported in U-boot, is it possible to load mainline kernel from legacy u-boot?

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It should be possible, but not out of the box. There are some patches around, but:


- our capacity for testing and implement are tiny,
- there is a small demand for this feature,

- NAND is deprecated technology.


If one succeeds with implementation and conduct proper testings than we might consider merging in.

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Hi Igor, thanks for your answer!

15 hours ago, Igor said:

There are some patches around

Could you guide me where to start digging?

15 hours ago, Igor said:

NAND is deprecated technology.

As compared to eMMC? So, there will be fewer devices with raw nand in future?

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Ok, I see. Thank you. But, as a last question, legacy sunxi kernel and u-boot is still a viable option for NAND, right? Is it possible to install Armbian with legacy kernel on NAND?

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10 minutes ago, desu said:

But, as a last question, legacy sunxi kernel and u-boot is still a viable option for NAND, right? Is it possible to install Armbian with legacy kernel on NAND?


Yes. It is possible, but I would rather use SD card and modern kernel. If you insist or have a case for A20 with some onboard storage, consider getting Olimex Lime2 with eMMC.

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On 24.8.2017 at 11:21 AM, desu said:

Ok, I see. Thank you. But, as a last question, legacy sunxi kernel and u-boot is still a viable option for NAND, right? Is it possible to install Armbian with legacy kernel on NAND?

Yes, I have this configuration working here since quit a long time on a cubietruck, it's stable and does it's work. Boot from NAND and OS on NAND.

 

Let me add a few things:

  • I prefer booting from NAND as this is soldered on the PCB and it avoids the contacts of the SD card. There are quite a couple of reports on the web with SD card failures due to contact problems on the card slot. Thus - though NAND may have been outdated by eMMC - it still has it's advantages compared to SD and you cannot simply chose between NAND and eMMC for a specific board.
  • However - due to lack of NAND support in mainline kernel - I will probably also switch to an SD card as soon as stretch on A20 becomes stable. The old legacy kernel becomes more and more a pain in the ass.
  • But for A20 there are other things that might throw you back on the old legacy kernel, namely lack of support for the MALI GPU in case you want to run a desktop. As I use my cubie in a headless setup I don't give a damn about Mali but for other usage scenarios this might of course be a no-go issue. I'm aware of the fact that the bad Mali support is not the fault of armbian but of Arm not suplying the necessary DDK under the GPL. Maybe the situation will change one day in the future as Lima resurrected, see here (German only): https://www.golem.de/news/lima-projekt-freier-linux-treiber-fuer-mali-gpus-wiederbelebt-1706-128680.html

Cheerz

 

Don

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9 hours ago, Don Pedro said:

I'm aware of the fact that the bad Mali support is not the fault of armbian but of Arm not suplying the necessary DDK under the GPL.

Lack of a DRM display driver is the main problem here. A20 DRM driver is being worked on by the community, but for now it's only for HDMI. And in any case mali doesn't give noticeable improvements for the desktop performance on these devices, for many people the main showstopper would be the lack of Cedrus support (HW video decoding)

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Hello!

It is possible to boot from NAND with last mainline kernel and u-boot. Nowtime my cubieboard2 boot from SATA disk with u-boot placed on NAND (without any SD card). 
You can enable NAND support in mainline kernel with this guide mainline_nand_howto and compile u-boot with NAND support as described here Compile U-BOOT with NAND

If necessary I can write my steps to make a bootable system without SD in detail.

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On 29.10.2017 at 11:30 AM, helgi.kraftman said:

If necessary I can write my steps to make a bootable system without SD in detail.

Yep! Would be interested in learning how to do that!

 

Unfortzunately I don't understand much of what is written in the two links you posted... ;-(

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