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PinePhone Pro: flashing Tow-Boot to the SPI and new pmOS installation required

March 28, 2022 1 min. read

We plan to merge pmb!2870 in two days, on Wednesday 2022-03-30. Once it is merged, the PinePhone Pro will boot with UEFI in postmarketOS. The supported way to boot the PPP with postmarketOS from then on is through Tow-Boot, which needs to be flashed to the SPI.

Previous postmarketOS installations will not boot anymore unless both Tow-Boot has been flashed to the SPI, and a new installation with pmbootstrap has been performed. Otherwise it will fail due to the boot partition not being formatted with FAT32 (if only installing Tow-Boot without reinstalling) or because extlinux.conf has been deleted (if only upgrading the existing install without installing Tow-Boot).

Note that the PinePhone Pro is still in the testing category of devices, and this is the edge channel. We don't make such radical, breaking changes on stable and should be able to avoid them in edge once the device enters a higher device category.

Motivation

This deprecates the custom U-Boot build we used before with PPP-specific patches. As of writing, we get the following advantages with Tow-Boot:

Steps

Wait until pmb!2870 is merged and related binary packages have been built (see bpo). Then hold off with upgrading your existing installation and follow the Installing Tow-Boot on the SPI and Installing postmarketOS sections in the already updated PinePhone Pro wiki page.