NanoPi NEO Plus2

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NanoPi NEO Plus2 is a minimalist computer built for the ARMv8-A architecture. More information about this project.

Note: The device is not officially supported by the ALARM project, i.e. please refrain from submitting patches, feature requests or bug reports for it.

Installation

Boot order

The NanoPi will try to boot from SD-card and, if not available, it will boot from eMMC. Booting from SD-card is usefull to recover the device.

Using stock kernel

A simple way to boot archlinux in the NanoPi is to first install the official image by following the instruction at http://wiki.friendlyarm.com/wiki/index.php/NanoPi_NEO_Plus2#Install_OS and then reuse existing kernel image, modules, and uboot to boot archlinux. After installing the stock image, archlinux can be installed as follows.

Insert the SD-card with stock image into a linux pc. The following instructions suppose that it's root fs is located at /dev/sdc2, whereas the uboot partition is localted at /dev/sdc1.

Backup the original modules:

 # mount /dev/sdc2 /mnt
 # bsdtar -czf orig_modules.tar.gz -C /mnt /lib/modules /lib/modprobe.d

Also backup some firmware modules, they will be needed to fix WIFI support.

 # bsdtar -czf orig_firmware.tar.gz -C /lib/firmware brcm ap6212

Download the generic archlinux armv8 image from https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8/generic . Then unpack it:

 # umount /dev/sdc2
 # mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc2 # add -f to force overwrite of existing fs
 # mount /dev/sdc2 /mnt
 # bsdtar -xpf ArchLinuxARM-aarch64-latest.tar.gz -C /mnt

Unpack the original modules

 # rm -rf /mnt/lib/modules /mnt/lib/modprobe.d
 # bsdtar -xpf orig_modules.tar.gz -C /mnt

Clean the boot partition:

 # rm -rf /mnt/boot/*

Populate the fstab:

/mnt/etc/fstab
# <file system> <dir> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
/dev/mmcblk0p2       /               ext4            rw,relatime,data=ordered,noatime   0 1
tmpfs   /tmp         tmpfs   nodev,nosuid            0  0
/dev/mmcblk0p1       /boot           vfat            rw,defaults 0 1

Insert the SD-card into the NanoPi and it should now boot the stock linux kernel with archlinux.

Compiling custom kernel

Full instructions for cross compilation are available at http://wiki.friendlyarm.com/wiki/index.php/Building_U-boot_and_Linux_for_H5/H3/H2%2B#How_to_Compile_Mainline_BSP_for_H5 .

Another option is to compile the kernel on the NanoPi itself:

 $ git clone https://github.com/friendlyarm/linux.git -b sunxi-4.x.y --depth 1
 $ cd linux
 $ touch .scmversion
 $ make sunxi_arm64_defconfig ARCH=arm64
 $ make -j4 Image dtbs ARCH=arm64

Then install the new kernel manually:

 # cp arch/arm64/boot/Image /boot/Image
 # cp arch/arm64/boot/dts/allwinner/sun50i-h5-nanopi*.dtb /boot/
 # make modules_install INSTALL_MOD_PATH=/

Fixing WIFI support

When the wifi interface disappears, the following messages are printed in dmesg:

dmesg
[   12.020670] brcmfmac: brcmf_fw_map_chip_to_name: using brcm/brcmfmac43430a1-sdio.bin for chip 0x00a9a6(43430) rev 0x000001
[   12.039285] brcmfmac mmc2:0001:1: Direct firmware load for brcm/brcmfmac43430a1-sdio.bin failed with error -2
[   13.081285] brcmfmac: brcmf_sdio_htclk: HT Avail timeout (1000000): clkctl 0x50
[   13.081285] brcmfmac: brcmf_sdio_htclk: HT Avail timeout (1000000): clkctl 0x50

In order to fix this, the stock wifi firmware must be used.

Upload the firmware modules to the NanoPi:

 $ scp orig_firmware.tar.gz alarm@nanopi_ip:

On NanoPi, unpack them:

 # bsdtar -xpf orig_firmware.tar.gz -C /lib/firmware

After reboot, the wifi interface should appear and work again.