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Installing Debian on the Pinebook Pro

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GNU
Linux
Debian
HowTos

There are a couple of different pre built operating system images one can dd to SD cards or the eMMC and there are also some scripts to install (instead of dding) systems. The laptop comes preinstalled with what is usually (in the forums and the wiki) called Debian Desktop. It is a Debian based image with a Mate Desktop and a lot of modifications. The images for this system are distributed via a github repository. I did not find any source code for the images nor documentation about the changes from upstream Debian, so I have no idea how they are built (the archives behind the Source code links on the release page of the images only contain the README.md file). I only started the preinstalled system once or twice, but it seemed to work very well (suspend worked) and it ships a lot of useful software for end users. But I did not take a deeper look at this image. There are also two Ubuntu based images listed in the Pine64 wiki, one of which comes with LXDE as desktop system, the other one with the Mate Desktop. They are also distributed via github release pages, but in these cases the repository also contains the code of the build scripts. Manjaro, an Arch Linux based distribution, also provides images for the Pinebook Pro. Besides those there are Armbian images, Android images, Chromium images and some more.

I did not really want to use any of the provided images, but rather install my own Debian system. There is an installer script which installs Debian on a SD card or the eMMC using debootstrap. This script does a lot of useful stuff, and a good part of my approach of installing Debian is based on it.

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Also: Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in January 2020

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