NixOS on ARM/Radxa ROCK5 Model B

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Radxa ROCK5 Model B
Manufacturer Radxa
Architecture AArch64
Platform firmware Vendor BSP
Startup order SPI NOR Flash, eMMC, SD

The Radxa ROCK5 Model B is a Single-Board Computer with a Rockchip RK3588 SoC.

Support of this system is YMMV (your mileage may vary), and depends on vendor-provided BSP (Board Support Package) based components.

Platform Firmware

Vendor Platform Firmware

Note: The Vendor Platform Firmware operates at the 1500000 baud rate. Your system may need to be configured to use 1500000 baud rate to make the serial console usable.

Booting the system with the vendor-provided platform firmware may not work due to a known issue in older U-Boot.

If using the vendor-provided platform firmware is desired, renaming the kernel derivation to a shorter name should allow boot to succeed.

Community Platform Firmware

Note: This Platform Firmware operates at the 115200 baud rate. The 115200 baud rate is more standard, so it may or may not need to be adapted to be usable.

A WIP tree to build U-Boot using the infrastructure for Tow-Boot is available. (The end-result is not a proper Tow-Boot build.)

This uses a fork with some fixes, so that an installation on the SPI Flash will work, and allow OS booting from NVMe, eMMC or SD. NVMe support may be YMMV depending on the specific hardware.

The board-specific README has further notes.

Using from shared storage (SD, eMMC) or from SPI should work, and both are as supported.

To build:

 $ nix-build -A radxa-rock5b

The SD or eMMC shared storage image can be flashed as usual:

# dd if=shared.disk-image.img of=/dev/XXX bs=1M oflag=direct,sync status=progress

The SPI image cannot be installed using the usual installer. For now you should follow the vendor instructions to write the binaries/Tow-Boot.spi.bin file to SPI. In other words using rkdeveloptool for the installation, or any other way to write to SPI flash.

System configuration

None of the basic components (Kernel, HW acceleration drivers) are available from upstream NixOS.

Building a working system requires additional configuration.

@aciceri's flake

Nix flake for building OS image:

To build:

 $ nix-build

Flash result to a new second legacy bootable ext4 partition on the installation media

Boot into system

 $ sudo nixos-rebuild switch --flake github:jonahbron/config/aciceri-rebooted-into-this#rock5b