Armbian on the MangoPi MQ Pro!

Boring Introduction

After spending the last 24 hours trying to bodge together a Gentoo build in the worst possible way, it turns out there’s a working build of Armbian that will run on the MangoPi MQ Pro and everything was a waste of time. Do I care? Nope, not too much, becauuuuse..

Armbian user balbes150 has been working away on Armbian builds for other RISCV D1 boards such as the Nezha, LicheeRV Dock, sharing his knowledge with the Armbian forum users and as luck would have it, they also run on the MangoPi MQ Pro!

Image Downloads

There are a few to choose from, both Ubuntu and Debian flavours are represented and if you want a desktop environment? Sure, they’re there too, though I can’t say you’re going to have a great time with a single 1GHz RISCV core but if you’re into that kind of thing, more power to you. I’ve tested the jammy desktop and headless versions and both work, I have no reason to believe the others don’t but if you have any issues, please leave a comment!

The following images are all linked directly from the author’s repository via Yandex.ru. I’ve mirrored all of them in Spain, Singapore, Australia and the US though if your download speeds aren’t great from there.

Headless / CLI

Armbian_22.08.0-trunk_Nezha_jammy_current_5.19.0.img.xz
Armbian_22.08.0-trunk_Nezha_sid_current_5.19.0.img.xz

XFCE Desktop

Armbian_22.08.0-trunk_Nezha_jammy_current_5.19.0_xfce_desktop.img.xz
Armbian_22.08.0-trunk_Nezha_sid_current_5.19.0_xfce_desktop.img.xz

Issues Noticed So Far

  • The first boot is going to take some time! Do make sure you’re watching it via HDMI if possible so you can see what it’s doing as depending on the size and speed of your SD card, it may take a while to boot and resize.
  • Straight out of the gate there seems to be an issue with the wireless interface only detecting certain networks. This seems to be related to band-steering and 2.4GHz/5GHz networks sharing the same SSID. An easy fix is having a separate SSID for 2.4GHz (or a guest network running on that if you have the ability to) but when we have further information, we’ll update it here.
  • When shutting down, balbes150 notes that it doesn’t quite complete properly and you’ll still see an image on the screen.
  • When connected to the UART serial console, the HOST USB-C port will not function. You will need to un-plug your serial cables and enable the USB port or try plugging in and out the device a few times until it turns on and activates.
  • The activity light will not come on on the board so don’t be alarmed. Just plug in a USB ethernet adapter or HDMI cable and you’ll be able to access the device.
  • There are possible locale issues due to packages being missing. RichN via the RISCV Discord (definitely join if you’re interested in RISCV fun!) has mentioned that he’s already working on fixing this and including additional plugins for the desktop environment.

Summary

balbes150 has done some great work in getting these images together and whilst they weren’t built specifically for the MQ Pro, they work well enough and everything I’ve tested so far within Armbian has been what I’m used to (in the headless images anyway, I only checked to see if the XFCE image booted) so bravo to the guy.

The default password when logging in to Armbian if you’re not familiar with it is 1234 and you’ll be prompted to change that and set up an account with your chosen shell on the first login.

This will be a living document and no doubt there’ll be new builds so as soon as we discover fixes for known problems, or we encounter new ones, I’ll update this page with timestamps.

Enjoy your MangoPi boards (finally!)

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Bret

What started out with a Pi Model B 10 years has grown into 15+ Raspberry, Orange, Mango Pis etc sitting on my desk in various states of benchmarking. Hopefully, not all of it was in vain! If you'd like to support my craziness, check out my donation page at Ko-Fi.

9 Comments

  • 25/06/2022 at 01:43
    Ray Knight

    Thanks for the link to Armbian. I just received 2x Mango Pi MQ1PL (512MB) version and 1x MangoPi MQ1PH (1GB) version. They are all marked 20220415 v1.3 and are the Pink version. I ordered a 1GB Red version earlier from a different vendor and it still has not shipped! I’m hoping to confirm that this will work with Pi Zero hats that use pogo pins as it appears to have the right contacts unlike other Pi Zero format boards like the BPI-M2 ZERO and Radxa Zero.

    REPLY
    • 25/06/2022 at 11:23

      Hm, hopefully the other vendor ships it out, the official page only had 10 1GB versions listed and they were made from RAM chips that were from testing boards so it would be odd for them to try and scalp those 🙁

      Which hat were you looking to use exactly? I should check if my Pi Zero USB Dongle works!

      REPLY
  • 07/07/2022 at 23:43
    Orlando

    HI Bret,
    Thanks for your post. I managed to set Armbian up and logged in, Yet, I’ve noticed the system is hardly responsive 🙁 Has this been your experience too? Like the GUI responded to open the applications menu… and that was it … It went frozen.

    Curious to hear others’ experiences. Thanks,

    REPLY
    • 07/07/2022 at 23:59
      Orlando

      After a reboot, XFCE started, and things worked as normal. hope it stays like that 🙂

      REPLY
      • 08/07/2022 at 09:53

        Ah, glad to hear you got things working! I’ve not tested the desktop side of things at all really, except for checking that the images booted. I will definitely look into adding some testing like this for all boards that support it. Is there anything in particular that you’d find useful benchmark/testing wise?

  • 17/09/2022 at 08:18
    Chaos_Muppet

    Bret,
    Thank you so much for this post. I am not an experienced linux user, but I was able to get the jammy headless and desktop images working on my boards.

    I’m currently struggling to find a suitable GPIO python package. RPi.GPIO cannot install (makes sense, but I thought I’d give it a shot). I also tried installing pyGPIO (https://forum.armbian.com/topic/5662-pygpio-a-more-general-python-gpio-library/), and met with a similar failure while running the installer.

    I’m sure I need to do more reading on RISCV, and using a more established machine would be better for my tinkering projects, but I’m excited to learn more!

    REPLY
    • 17/09/2022 at 11:39

      Comments like this are great to wake up to on a weekend! I’m glad that it helped out and you’ve been able to get your board up and running 😀 Sadly I haven’t touched anything on the GPIO just yet so I can’t offer much help there.. If you do figure it out though feel free to come back and let me know!

      REPLY

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