Recently purchased an Unmatched Rev B (2023) and have been trying to get ubuntu installed on the system.
I downloaded the image from the ubuntu-based link. Will the address post below in the reply section.
Specifically under “Preinstalled server image” option
" [RISC-V for SiFive HiFive Unmatched preinstalled server image]"
The image was downloaded to the microSD card provided with the unmatched system. I burned the image to the NVME device using the sifive instructions provided here (boot from NVME section).
The instructions say that you need to mount the boot partition and modify extlinux/extlinux.conf - I’ve mounted that drive and there is no file at the path extlinux/extlinux.conf. In fact, the only partition with the path is the /root partition. The instructions claim that u-boot checks for this file when the system starts to find out where it needs to look for a kernel.
So, I doubled back to the instructions from the ubuntu team. They claim all you need to do is modify extlinux/extlinux.conf on the /root partition and run the u-boot-update command and all is good. A link is provided here.
I’m unsure of this claim and it gives me the impression that the instructions from sifive are for folks that want to boot from NVME and the instructions from ubuntu are for folks that are ok with a microSD boot that switches over to NVME.
My first question is the above impression correct? Next question, if this is correct, then is the lack of the correct path on the boot partition mean the 22.04.3 version of ubuntu broken? If that is the case, should I move up to ubuntu 23?
Different linux distros can put things in different places. So the fact that the extlinux.conf path is different doesn’t matter. The SiFive instructions are correct for the OpenEmbedded images that they produce. The Ubuntu instructions are correct for Ubuntu.
You can’t boot without the SDcard. The board will run u-boot from the SDcard, and then u-boot can optionally use either an SDcard root or a NVMe root depending on the extlinux.conf contents. In theory, the only thing you need on the SDcard is the u-boot partition if you have an NVMe root.
$ cd /mnt
bin dev home lost+found mnt proc run snap sys usr
boot etc lib media opt root sbin srv tmp var
$ cd boot
$ cd extlinux/
Also, if you transferred the image correctly, you should have 5 partitions on your nvme drive. It should look like this (except you won’t have mtdblock0 and the mountpoints will be on mmcblk0). Then you would want to mount partition nvme0n1p1.
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINTS
mtdblock0 31:0 0 32M 0 disk
mmcblk0 179:0 0 29.7G 0 disk
├─mmcblk0p1 179:1 0 29.6G 0 part
├─mmcblk0p12 259:0 0 4M 0 part
├─mmcblk0p13 259:1 0 1M 0 part
├─mmcblk0p14 259:2 0 4M 0 part
└─mmcblk0p15 259:3 0 106M 0 part
nvme0n1 259:4 0 465.8G 0 disk
├─nvme0n1p1 259:5 0 465.6G 0 part /
├─nvme0n1p12 259:6 0 4M 0 part
├─nvme0n1p13 259:7 0 1M 0 part
├─nvme0n1p14 259:8 0 4M 0 part
└─nvme0n1p15 259:9 0 106M 0 part /boot/efi
Looks like a u-boot problem. I’m going to guess you’re still using the SD card that came with the board. I would try burning the Ubuntu 23.04 image onto another SD card and use that instead. Then you’ll have a more up to date u-boot.
The board is sensitive to SD cards. Another SanDisk 32 GB would be ideal.
Yep, I’m using the sifive provided microSD card and am following the nvme bring up instructions provided in the user manuals for the unmatched from the sifive site.
The sifive documentation for nvme bring up refences a version of ubuntu that isnt available on the ubuntu servers any more (~ubuntu-21). This maybe an indication the version sifive provides had some issue (maybe this one?) which resulted in that version being taken down (ubuntu 20, 22, 23 are still on their servers…so they skipped a version that has documentation?).
So the sifive card boots but cant be used to bring up other distros.
Alright, looks like I’ll have to snag another microSD card and work this process from scratch.
good news. everything worked! flashed the microSD with that specific image, downloaded the image again, dumped the image to nvme, modified extlinux.conf as per the instructions and the system and it everything seems like it’s in order.
The device hits microSD and redirects to nvme to load the kernel.