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Re: cannot boot from microSD card on aarch64 machine

From: Efraim Flashner
Subject: Re: cannot boot from microSD card on aarch64 machine
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2022 19:19:21 +0200

On Wed, Mar 02, 2022 at 12:37:53PM +0100, Ricardo Wurmus wrote:
> Hi,
> I got myself a rockpro64 board.  I put armbian
> (Armbian_21.08.1_Rockpro64_bullseye_current_5.10.60.img) on a microSD
> card to check that it’s all working correctly.  Then I downloaded the
> latest Guix System image for a pinebook pro and dd’d it to a USB drive.
> With the armbian microSD card inserted (which contains an old version of
> u-boot) I can boot from USB into Guix System.
> So I then decided to build my own system and install a new u-boot onto
> the microSD card.  Here’s the system I built:
> --8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
> (operating-system
>   (host-name "foo")
>   (timezone "Europe/Berlin")
>   (locale "en_US.utf8")
>   (bootloader (bootloader-configuration
>                (bootloader u-boot-rockpro64-rk3399-bootloader)
>                ;; SD card/eMMC (SD priority) storage
>                (target "/dev/mmcblk1")))
>   (kernel linux-libre)
>   (kernel-arguments
>    (list "console=ttyS2")) ; UART2 connected on the Pi2 bus
>   (file-systems (cons (file-system
>                         (device "my-root")
>                         (title 'label)
>                         (mount-point "/")
>                         (type "ext4"))
>                       %base-file-systems))
>   ...)
> --8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---
> The actual system also has one more initrd module, which I can’t
> remember now, but that shouldn’t matter.
> I mounted the target disk (an SSD) at /mnt, made sure that the microSD
> card was inserted, unmounted, and available at /dev/mmcblk1, and then
> ran
>    guix system init config.scm /mnt
> This was successful.
> Unfortunately, rebooting failed.  There is seemingly no activity at all
> when I power on the board, so something’s not right with how u-boot was
> installed on the microSD card.
> Does it perhaps install the u-boot files at the wrong offsets?  How
> would I begin to debug this?
> I’d appreciate any hints.

Are you sure the primary device is /dev/mmcblk1? On my pine64 it's

I'd start by putting u-boot and the image on the sd-card and see if Guix
boots up that way. If it works then there's a larger chance there's a
mistake somewhere in a config.

Perhaps you need to mark the USB drive as a dependency for your root

Actually, better idea. Try it with linux-libre-arm64-generic for the
kernel. I haven't tried recently but in the past I haven't been able to
use the linux-libre kernel with my pine64 and needed the arm64-generic

Efraim Flashner   <>   אפרים פלשנר
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