armbian v4.81 / 28.12.2015 vanilla on Cubieboard 2 fails to boot

Recommended Posts

Update: checking download file, it seems that I downloaded so it's not 4.81 no matter what the download pages said.


I'm trying to install upstream kernel on Cubieboard 2 and kernel never starts.


Attached is output from boot (I'm getting same on serial port). I did try different sdcard (to rule out problems with it) but I'm worried about ext4fs_devread read error and partition error.


Is there something more that I can try?


Legacy kernel works well, but I wasn't able to just upgrade kernel and u-boot on it, but that resulted in unbootable system -- which packages I have to install to migrate from legacy to upstream kernel? 


Link to post
Share on other sites
Donate and support the project!

ext4fs error indicate some kind of SD card / file system corruption troubles. 

Download image is v4.5, that's correct - when you issue apt-get upgrade - you get to 4.81. It's a bit confusing, but that's how it is.


Currently no idea what could be wrong. First try another SD card.

Link to post
Share on other sites


found your post yesterday. I had a similar problem with my Micro SD-Card.

1. Downloaded Armbian 3.xx

2. Used dd command, which works fine

3. Tryed to boot up my Cubietruck, but it could not finish to boot (can't remember the exact message).

Then I tryed several times to make a bootable Micro SD Card (I have tested additional on the same card a Raspbian for my Banana Pi, which works!).

Again: Tryed it with armbian (3.xx and 4.xx); tested the card (f3), but with each try it get worst. At last the card was not recognized by Debian system. After all I have pushed it into my Windows PC and checked the card for errors. This time there were no error messages!!

Downloaded Armbian with Windows PC, used the installer, pushed the card into the Cubietruck and everything works well (except wlan - but this is another problem ;O)


It seems my SD Card reader on my Debian Laptop was faulty . The strange thing, sometimes it works well, but in other cases it could not finish a process.


I have also tryed another Micro SD Card (with the faulty reader) which works well years ago. But when I have checked it with f3 there were also error messages (f3 has interrupted writting on it).


Hope you will solve your problem ;O)



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for a hint, but I don't really think that SD card in my laptop is to blame. Why? Because legacy image works well on same card with same SD card writer.


However, I did try to re-format the card with read-write check (basically mkfs.ext4 -c -c) and copy files over. Read/write check didn't return any errors, and kernel did start, but now I kernel stack-trace:




The first line with "VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(179,1)" seems to indicate that now kernel is having some problems with SD card.


However, after this machine reboots and keeps rebooting right after u-boot, without showing this stack-trace again. I did try another (third) SD card with unmodified image and have same problem as reported in original post.


I would really appropriate if somebody with cubieboard 2 could try image just to have some configuration that image is ok. My experiment with re-creating file-system suggests that there is something wrong with image after all.


At this point in time, I suspect 4.2 kernel to be faulty (or something along this lines) since legacy kernel works nicely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally, I managed to get to my goal of running newest kernel on my cubieboard:

root@cubieboard2:~# uname -a
Linux cubieboard2 4.4.0-rc6-sunxi #3 SMP Mon Dec 28 11:38:20 CET 2015 armv7l GNU/Linux

So, how did I get there, you might ask?
First, I noticed that my kernel on laptop was reporting bad geometry for sdcard so I re-created partition table to fix it.


I also wrote u-boot again to card using


dd if=u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=/dev/sdX bs=1024 seek=8


Have in mind also that I already re-created ext4 filesystem previously on this card. My conclusion is that cubieboard2 image on Igor's site is somehow corrupted, and that one of these steps (partitions, mkfs.ext4 and/or u-boot) fixed it.


In next step, I did apt-get install linux-firmware-image-dev-sunxi linux-headers-dev-sunxi linux-image-dev-sunxi linux-u-boot-cubieboard2-dev

which installed latest versions of linux and u-boot.


I'm happy 4.4 kernel user now, and want to thank Igor for his hard work on armbian. Hopefully, this post might help somebody else in future.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are small chances for this scenario but yes, I believe it's possible. 


Images will be recreated soon, but than again I'll need to test at least some of them even we have some degree of checking withing building process.


Thanks!  B)

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.