April Update: CE & FCC, Software Update and DIY Router?

I hope and trust this update finds everyone well. Production in China is picking up pace and we expect to start shipping the Pinebook Pro with Manjaro and PinePhone UBports Community edition next month. I am happy to report that, for the time being, everything is proceeding  smoothly and we’re on track to ship devices in accordance with our original plans. Still, I encourage you to sign up to this blog to stay up-to-date on shipping information since anything can happen in the next 30 days. 

Here is the TL:DR for this month’s community update:

  • ROCKPro64 cluster is up and running; IRC and Matrix will be moved over to it soon
  • We’re shipping surgical masks to those in need in your local community
  • PinePhone UBports edition gets CE, FCC and RED certifications
  • UBports Ubuntu Touch shaping up nicely; major development milestones reached
  • Other PinePhone OSes begin maturing; state of development + new phone OS
  • CRUST suspend on the PinePhone; 15 hours battery now possible
  • Schematics for PCBA v1.2 available after testing;  v1.2 will be available in the store for BH users eventually
  • Pinebook Pro Manjaro KDE build is very polished; development report
  • Docking your Pinebook Pro using USB-C; using Manjaro mainline kernel
  • We’re making our own USB-C dock; better ergonomics than most OEM options
  • RK3399 OG Pinebook upgrade kit testing and challenges; we’ll likely use graphene for cooling 
  • PineTab delayed until pandemic over; ready for fabrication and report of improvements + tablet keyboard is ready
  • The PineTime is now a smartwatch; BLE notifications support; we need a Linux + Android companion app 
  • OpenWRT on ROCKPro64; what do you think about a ROCKPro64-based router?


The PINE64 ROCKPro64 cluster has finally made it to its location at BBXNET and the process of setting it up began. For those who don’t know, in November last year we announced that we’ll be moving our services over to a custom 24-node ROCKPro64 cluster. At the time of writing the cluster is already up and running but not quite ready for having services moved to it just yet. The set-up process was interrupted by stricter social-distancing restrictions in the country where it is hosted, but we expect that in a week or two the process will resume. 

Once we have access to the server farm again we’ll slowly start transferring services. IRC and Matrix chats will be the first to be moved over, followed by other community-centric services such as the Wiki and forums. I’ll have more for you on this subject as it happens; in the meantime I invite you to enjoy the pictures of the cluster below.

ROCKPRo64 PINE64 cluster

PCB detailed look

This month we also announced that we will be contributing to COVID-19 relief efforts by donating surgical masks to where they are needed. This has been met with a phenomenal response from the community resulting in tens of thousands masks shipped. We still have some mask cartons left, so if you know of an institution in need of gear to protect their staff or dependants then make sure to contact me. The masks will be delivered in your name to a dedicated address charge free if you have been actively engaged with our community. Details can be found here

Mask boxes

Depiction of masks on the box

Lastly, I’d like to point your attention to a PSA I was recently compelled to release, in which I ask community members to stay away from the r/pinephone subreddit. Unlike all other community run subreddits concerning PINE64 equipment, we find this particular subreddit to be run in bad faith and potentially for malicious reasons. I’d like to take this opportunity to also shut down the notion that we’re ‘after’ this subreddit because it encourages those subscribed to sell and buy second-hand PinePhones. Your PinePhone is yours to do what as you please – keep it, sell it, throw it into a lake or make it into a dollhouse dining table, we have no say in it either way. 


As I’m sure you’re all probably already aware, the UBports Community Edition (CE) PinePhone is now up for pre-order with an expected shipping window of late May. We’re very excited for this first CE of the PinePhone – our cooperation with the UBports developers has been a cornerstone of the project from the very start and we’re happy to call them our friends. I won’t reiterate everything that has already been said and written about this edition in the past two weeks, and instead refer you to the official announcement on this blog. 

This CE ships with Ubuntu Touch preinstalled and addresses some of the issues identified in Braveheart PinePhones. It also comes packaged in a box with custom artwork from the UBports team (I’ll keep a secret – I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you), includes UBports Yumi mascot etched on the back of the phone and includes a multilingual user manual and a charging cable. I’d like to give a huge shout-out to all those who helped in translating the user manual to their mother tongue; it never ceases to amaze me how people step-up in this community to make things happen and help us out. You guys are awesome.

Perhaps most important of all, this PinePhone edition includes CE, RED and FCC certification. Getting this certification ‘done’ has been a major undertaking and I’d like to thank all those who have helped in its completion. For those who are unaware, CE, RED and FCC the PinePhone is in compliance with regulatory requirements in all our key markets.

Label with FCC and CE markings

Development on the build that will ship with the UBports CE is coming along at a very rapid pace. Just in the past few weeks we’ve seen implementation of the proximity sensor (which activates when you’re on a call), a wake-up trigger for the screen on an incoming call, notification LED, Bluetooth integration, the vibration motor as well as audio auto-routing. The OS will also run much smoother with a newer mesa version (not in current image at time of writing), making the device feel considerably snappier. In a video I published on a whim, I also showcased the camera working on Ubuntu Touch; it is my understanding that the implementation I showcased is quite hacky, so it may not be present in the build that ships.

Currently the development is focused on improving battery life, proper camera implementation and OTA updates. I’d also like to assure everyone that OSes, including this one, will be supported by all revisions of the PinePhone – this obviously also extends to BH PinePhones. Developers are now starting to incorporate more advanced battery preservation methods, notably CRUST (suspend), into their OS images. Upcoming Ubuntu Touch and KDE Neon images will ship with CRUST, extending the PinePhone’s battery life past 15 hours with the LTE modem and BT/WiFi module on. This feature is currently in early stages of testing but it is already working very well overall; I expect you’ll start seeing OS images with CRUST suspend available in a matter of days. This is obviously an important development, as an improved battery life brings the PinePhone closer to achieving daily driver status for those who want to use it as their only smartphone. 

A quick and crude look at Ubuntu Touch on the PinePhone

In other software news, we’ve seen a lot of improvement to popular OS choices as well as introductions of new ones. In the past few days I have used KDE Neon, Postmarket OS and Debian with Phosh. I found all of these OSes performing exceptionally well nowadays, especially in terms of UI fluidity. Let me start with KDE; I was very impressed with both its new features as well as how it performs even when running from an SD card. The most recent KDE Neon image supports autororation, incoming and outgoing calls, auto-brightness and all key functionality of the modem. Installing most common applications, such as Telegram, was a breeze and I was pleased to see the phone responding snappily to the power button being pressed to lock the screen. Little things, such as volume keys working and a power-dialogue showing when the power button is held down, have also been implemented since I tried the image last. The latest image has a significantly improved battery life, a reduction in battery consumption of 30-35% from previous OS iterations, thanks to Sameul’s work on suspend. It is a real pleasure to see Plasma Mobile mature, and I hope and trust the PinePhone has contributed to the maturing process in no insignificant way.

The two popular OSes using Phosh as the front-end are Postmarket OS and Debian with Phosh; despite sharing a common front-end, the two systems differ somewhat in terms of bundled applications and some features and functions. Postmarket OS exposes – for a lack of a better word – more options in the settings menu and ships with a cutting-edge kernel (5.6). Debian, on the other hand, has a couple more features implemented – such as auto-brightness and the proximity sensor. Both have functional GPS, incoming/outgoing calls (with great sound quality), SMS support and well as LTE – all initiated on boot. Both also ship with Firefox alongside the default GNOME browser; Firefox works really well on both and scales nicely to the screen-size of the PinePhone. I am including a short video from an end-user, showcasing the most recent build of postmarket OS on the PinePhone. 

In terms of New releases, NixOS is now available for the PinePhone for those who wish to try it out. I have not yet had the chance to run it but it is my understanding that all NixOS core functionality works well out-of-the-box on the PinePhone.

It’s all about choice

Before moving on to the next segment, I’d also like to mention that the revised schematics for the v1.2 PCBA in the UBports CE PinePhones will be available in the Wiki once the new boards pass all required tests later this month. I know a lot of Braveheart owners also ask about availability of the v1.2 PCBA revision in the store – the answer to this is ‘yes’, it will eventually be available in the spare-parts store section, but we really do not see a point in getting a newer PCBA as v1.1 will be supported forever.

Pinebook Pro

The Pinebook Pro production is underway and it presently looks like shipments will go out at the same time or prior to the UBports CE PinePhones. Obviously the most important fact about this upcoming production-run is the preinstalled OS. I wrote about this at length in last month’s community update, so rather than reiterating what I already wrote I’ll offer a closer look at the state of Manjaro on the Pinebook Pro. 

The Manjaro team has been working on delivering the most polished and tailored build of KDE yet. I am now confident that this effort will result in a true daily-driver device for light-to-medium tasks. I cannot overstate the level of testing and polish that has gone into this build; it extends to custom backgrounds for the Pinebook Pro, optimised trackpad settings, additional popular applications such as KODI and the right amount of opacity for the panel and menu. On first boot you’ll also be asked to complete an OEM setup, selecting your username and password, your keyboard layout, locale and language preferences.


The Pinebook Pro Manjaro wallpaper is pretty stunning in my opinion

I often use the Pinebook Pro for writing on-the-go and then revert to using my stationary computer at home. With the pandemic lockdown now in place, I figured that I’d try docking the laptop and seeing how it will hold up as a desktop replacement. To my surprise, even at 1440p, it worked extremely well. Apart from the obvious benefits of having a device that is mobile on the one hand and can perform the task of a low-load workstation when docked on the other, it’s worth pointing out that the Pinebook Pro can be powered from a 15W power supply – while my stationary PC requires a 650W power supply. So, for light tasks, I’ll keep using my Pinebook Pro from now on, as it’s better for the energy bill and the environment.

Pinebook Pro docked

We are currently in the process of making a custom USB-C dock for the Pinebook Pro, which will include all of the key features we expect everyone wants while delivering better ergonomics than most existing third-party docks lack. In short, after testing a number of common OEM USB-C docks, we arrived at the conclusion that we really don’t like how they handle cable management. Our dock will have all inputs and outputs stacked on one leading edge, so that you can have it sit nicely on your desk with the cables facing in one direction. As for functionality, you can expect power-in, HDMI out, USB 3.0 as well as a Gigabit Ethernet connection. These specs are not final, so if there is something you’d very much like to see added then make sure to let me know in the comments section. 

Pinebook Pro-ish

Lastly, work on the upgrade RK3399 kits for the original Pinebook is underway. We already did a fair bit of testing to determine the best way to cool the SOC in the plastic chassis. Our initial ideas to cool the RK3399 using a thin sheet of copper fell through, as the SOC ran hot and throttled quickly under moderate load. We’ve now moved onto testing using a graphene cooling system, which we believe will deliver much better thermal dissipation performance. One issue I’ve encountered insofar is with getting the keyboard firmware to play nice with the Pinebook Pro board – as a result, I expect this is likely something developers will have to get their hands on prior to end-users.


I wish I had some good news for you regarding the PineTab, but we’ve made the decision not to ship the device during the pandemic. With the two major devices – the PinePhone and Pinebook Pro – already proving difficult to arrange shipments for at this point in time, taking on additional burden is something we consider unwise. At the same time I’d like to assure you that the tablet is very much still in the works and something we sell this year, hopefully as soon as COVID-19 loosens its hold on the globe.

Much of the PineTab PCBA and body-work are, in fact, already at a fabrication stage. Even the backlit keyboard has now been customised to our spec and is ready for manufacturing. Speaking of the keyboard, we’ve made a number of improvements to it and its attachment mechanism based on feedback from developers. The keyboard has a white multi-level backlight and is branded with a PINE64 logo on the SUPER key in a similar fashion to the Pinebook Pro. The magnets that hold the keyboard attached to the PineTab have been considerably beefed up, so you can even lift the tablet up with the keyboard attached without it falling off (not that I advise or recommend doing so).

New and improved PineTab keyboard – look how many magnets!

We’ll treat this delay as an opportunity to further review existing OS images for the PineTab to determine which of the existing options would best suit an early-adopters edition. Earlier this year at FOSDEM I saw Ubuntu Touch running on the PineTab and I was very impressed at how well it performed. This was over 2 months ago and since then development has made significant strides in terms of both performance and overall functionality. Admittedly these advancements have been made on the phone, but I expect that all improvements are directly transferable to the tablet. There are, of course, other options including more traditional desktop OSes such as Manjaro to consider too.  Regardless of what we decide on in the end, the delay – while unfortunate and unplanned for – can turn out to be good for the PineTab project, as we’ll be able to ship a better performing and more polished OS on it from the very start. 

If you’re interested in the PineTab then I encourage you to subscribe to this blog. I’ll make sure to keep you updates as more information becomes available.


Last month I reported on PineTime development in which I focused on JF’s incredible work. We currently feel that this firmware stands the best chance of becoming the first to ship with an end-user PineTime production-run later this year or early in 2021. Since last month’s update we saw another major milestone in PineTime development, namely BLE notification support. This effectively turns the PineTime from a ‘dumb’ watch capable of syncing with an Android or Linux phone, into an actual smartwatch capable of displaying notifications on your wrist.

However, for this functionality to actually work we need a companion app for the PinePhone and Android. I’ll be reaching out to relevant people whom I know of, asking if they’d be willing to work together with JF and other PineTime developers on porting an app to mobile operating systems. But consider this a ‘call for development’ – perhaps you’re interested in taking on the challenge? If yes, please reach out to me or JF and have a chat about what you’ve got in mind.

JF showcases early work on notifications on the PineTime


I rarely focus on SBCs in my community updates because, well, I assume that most people who pick up a SBC know more-or-less exactly what the capabilities of a particular board are and what they want to use it for. Moreover, unlike the PinePhone, PineTime or Pinebook Pro, which are ultimately built to serve a particular purpose, SBCs are development platforms and deployed in a wide array of projects and scenarios. Covering all applications of a SBC, however interesting that may be, lies outside of the scope of community updates on the blog; that said, if someone wants to run a dedicated SBC segment on the blog then I’d be happy to accomodate this, as I think it’s a great idea. You know where to find me.  

One recent project sparked my personal interest however, so I want to report on it here. Tobias (Manawyrm) from Manjaro managed to build OpenWRT for the ROCKPro64 and have it play nice with a PCIe GbE expansion board. The ROCKPro64 could even be used with a 10GbE card thanks to the PCIe connection. Tobias has already issued a pull request for his work on the ROCKPro64, and when accepted I can see us exploring this concept further. I have already voiced my interest in making a router in the past, and with reports of the ROCKPro64 performing well in this role, I will be asking TL to brainstorm this notion further. I am thinking of a special router-oriented enclosure and a 4xGbE expansion board, as well as u.fl cutouts in the case to mount high gain antennas for the AC module. What do you think, should we explore this further? Would you be interested in building your own ROCKPro64-based router? Let me know in the comments.

Photo via Tobia’s Twitter

135 responses to “April Update: CE & FCC, Software Update and DIY Router?”

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    I’d personally love to have on a ROCKPro64 based router, though I’m not sure what I’d do with all the power, heh.

    As for the PBP dock, it looks amazing! Will the end result be that big, or is that just because it’s a prototype? Will it work without power in? (I might want to carry one around just for Ethernet and USB splitting.)

    I’m in the same boat about the ROCKPro64 router.

    I think what you’re referring to when you say “Will the end result be that big” is the big block to the left of the monitor with the Pine logo. That is in fact the NAS case for the RockPro64. I think the image itself just shows the PineBook Pro being docked with a generic dock that can’t be seen in the picture.

    > I’d personally love to have on a ROCKPro64 based router, though I’m not sure what I’d do with all the power, heh.

    Maybe run something like a FreedomBox or FreedomBone on it, so it can be not just a home gateway to a net connection, but a home server.

    Joseph K. Ustomer says:

    Can anyone tell my why the pre order page says Forbidden?
    How is anyone supposed to order a pinephone?

    John Carter says:

    Another +1 for a router. Right now I run a small industrial PC with 4 intel ports running ClearOS (linux router distro). I mainly run this config because my ISP is terrible and I have to support two DSL modems (since the max Centurylink will give me is a 3Mbps connection). Hopefully, once Starlink or something better that’s wired comes along I don’t need such a complex configuration. You would probably sell a ton of these to DIY router guys once word got out. Here are the reasons I would STILL want to run with a DIY router even if that happens:

    1. The router would support a backup Internet connection (say fixed cellular service) in case your primary goes down (useful if you have land based Internet that fails, you could easily switch to a wireless hotspot, or other method, for the whole house).
    2. Security updates on this device vs a consumer router which might get one or two firmware updates, but is abandoned afterwards.
    3. VPN support (ie, permanently encrypted VPN tunnel or do point to point VPN for work)
    4. Adding a display to show network information or even have a small informational display that could show alerts and device hardware information.
    5. If virtualization support exists, you could purpose one or two cores for management and the remaining cores for the router (being able to VNC into the virtual machine running the router software would be a big advantage to people who don’t want to have to hook up mouse/monitor/keyboard if something goes wrong).
    6. Customizable 3d printed cases to suit your own aesthetic.
    7. Upgradeable components (want to go from 1GBe to 10GBe? Change the card. Want to add a faster USB wireless adapter? Buy a new one)

    1. Does this truly have hardware AES encryption capability (for VPN connections)? Doing AES encryption via CPU is possible, but highly inefficient (power/heat/cpu utilization-wise).
    2. Does this support virtualization and PCIe passthrough for the PCIe port? (not a deal breaker, but would definitely make remote management easier)

    Eric Rightmyer says:

    Will the official Manjaro KDE version be available for download? I’m currently running the 20.04 version.

    Dan Johansen says:

    The next release (likely 20.06) will be very close to the factory image used, just with newer packages.

    Great news as always!

    A router with the power of the RockPro would be nice. I remember that I was hunting for something like this, and spent far more on my current router than what felt healty. 🙂 So I think you should definitely make it happen if possible.

    Regarding the docking station: maybe I’m on the wrong side of the globe, but at the university most of the projectors only support VGA connector, so if the docking station is not enormous, maybe it can also be used as a portable adapter.
    Also, a 5in1 card reader can be also be a really nice addition. With these, I think the adapter would also be warmly welcomed by an even wider costumer base.

    Last but not least: is it possible that sometimes in the future there will be an in-depth article about the cluster? I’m really interested about the software part, how did you handle task delegation, how communication between the nodes work etc. I would really appreciate such an article.

    Keep up the good work guys and stay safe!

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    These are all very good points – a SD card reader is not a bad idea at all. As for VGA, this one may be difficult. But I’ll keep it in mind. Thanks for the suggestions.
    As for the cluster – I’ll ask Matthew (fire219) to write up something about the cluster as he sets it up in this coming month. Hopefully he’ll have the time to write something.

    I would love to see the router project move forward. I know it is possible to running routing software on many sbc platforms, but there are very few that have pcie and can be expanded to more than two ethernet ports. I have considered buying several in the past, but most of them were too slow or too expensive to meet my needs.

    Brian Aberts says:

    A Pine64 Router would be essential for privacy and security! Plus it could probably be upgraded easily if the brains of it were a RockPro SBC!

    Here is my experience withe a «usb-c dock». I bought a «letscom 8 in 1 adaptator» according to amazon :


    *hdmi-out (works fine with a 1920×1080 display)
    *three usb (i use all of them for a mouth, a printer and an audio-dac ; two of them are 3.0 but it’s useless for my purpose…)
    *ethernet 1Gb/s (works fine)
    *SD and micro SD reader (never tried them, but they are seen by the kernel…)
    *usb-c power-in only that i dont use cause i dont owe such a cable.

    It works very fine though it’s a bit hot (i hope it wont die suddenly…). Once we are un-contained, I may move with it… I dont mind having usb 3.0 but I use the 3 usb ports… If i wanted to plug an external disk, say, i would use the usb 3.0 port of the PBP…

    I dont doubt you’ll do great job in manufactoring the «perfect» dock ! Keep on doing great hardware and keep safe,

    A ROCKPro64 router could be interesting. However, I’d like to point out some of the shortfalls that I’ve seen in pretty much all of the SBC-addon router attempts that I’ve seen so far (such as those based on various Fruit-Pi variants), that will likely also limit similar attempts on the ROCKPro64.

    A modern router and access-point needs, at a minimum, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two wireless radios. One GigE port is needed for the WAN uplink to your Cable/DSL/Fiber modem. Another GigE port is needed for the LAN connection to an internal switch. More advanced builds benefit from additional GigE ports for things like secondary upstream ISPs or channel bonding to internal managed switches. On the wireless access-point side, the overwhelming majority of Linux-supported host-AP-capable wireless radios are only capable of operating in either the 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g/n) or 5 GHz (802.11a/ac) band at a time; they can’t do both bands simultaneously. So in order to have a true simultaneous dual-band wireless access-point, you need two wireless radios (one to handle 2.4 GHz, another to handle 5 GHz).

    For several years, I’ve been building custom Linux-based routers and access-points for myself, for family, and for friends using various PC Engines APU2 boards https://pcengines.ch/apu2.htm
    See that link for full specs, but some of the relevant points for comparison: 2-4 GigE ports (depending on specific model) and 2 miniPCI express sockets for wireless radio modules — all built into the base SBC for $105-$120 (depending on specific model).

    The ROCKPro64 is a great board for many use cases. However, the ROCKPro64 only has one GigE port, one set of expansion headers for a custom 802.11ac module, and one PCIe 4x slot. So, at a minimum, you are already fighting over the PCIe slot for either a second GigE port or a second wireless radio. The ROCKPro64 base SBC currently sells for $60-$80 (depending on specific model); add in one or more GigE ports via a (roughly) $20 PCIe expansion card, and you’re just about at cost parity with the PC Engines board, while still not reaching network connectivity parity, and also requiring a larger enclosure/footprint. Using USB dongles to provide the missing network connectivity consumes available USB ports, usually adds networking speed bottlenecks, and further increases the physical footprint and clutter of the build.

    I would absolutely love to see a Pine64 router-focused board with multiple (at least 3) GigE ports and multiple (at least 2) miniPCIe or PCIe slots for supporting standardized off-the-shelf wireless radios. Alternately, if building on a ROCKPro64 base board, you’d really need a specific PCIe card that provides multiple GigE ports AND multiple wireless radios (or at least radio sockets) on the same board. Without either a router-focused Pine64 SBC or multi-GigE multi-radio PCIe card, a networking-focused SBC like the PC Engines boards is just a better hardware option than any of the “router” builds that I’ve seen built on the more desktop- or embedded-focused SBCs that lack the required network connectivity for a true router.

    Those are all good points. I have considered using the pcengines boards. They are currently at the top of my list for new router projects. It might be nice to have more processing power for some of the applications I’m considering, but that’s hard to know without trying the different platforms.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    All valid points – many of which have prevented us from making a router in the past. I spoke about it openly on Linux Unplugged sometime in December 2019 or in early 2020 (can’t remember). So, here’s the thing, if we decide to proceed with this project then we’ll make it clear that this is more of a DIY project router – to learn about networking and have fun – than an actual replacement for a professional router. The RK3399 is simply not a networking SOC – its as simple as that.

    What you write makes me think we should probably drop the idea, just so people don’t get mislead by what we’re trying to do…. than again, on the flip-side, people do make and use RPI based routers.

    Something that you might consider, is instead of focusing specifically on a DIY router project, making a more space-optimized general-purpose metal enclosure for the ROCKPro64 that still support a PCIe card. The ROCKPro64 Metal Desktop/NAS case is a nice case for building a NAS, but if you aren’t building a Desktop or NAS, that is a LOT of wasted space inside of the case. The ROCKPro64 PREMIUM ALUMINUM case is a nice compact size, but doesn’t have room for a PCIe card.

    I would very much like to see a metal enclosure for the ROCKPro64 in either one of the following two form factors:
    1) Roughly the size of two PREMIUM cases stacked on top of each other. With a 90 degree PCIe adapter, this would let you put any PCIe card directly above and parallel to the ROCKPro64 board (though heatsink might be an issue). This would be half the width of the NAS case and also slightly shorter than the NAS case.
    2) Roughly the size of two PREMIUM cases laid side-by-side. With a different 90 degree PCIe adapter, this would let you put any PCIe card to the side of and parallel to the ROCKPro64 board. This would be about the width of the NAS case, but about as short as the PREMIUM case.

    Then, if someone wants to install a 4-port Gigabit Ethernet card, it’s a compact DIY router. If someone wants to install a PCIe TV capture card, it’s a compact part of their DIY multimedia installation. If someone wants to install a PCIe software-defined-radio card, that would work. Or if someone just wants one or two 2.5″ SSDs (not the full-size 3.5″ HDDs) for a compact desktop, those could be put in that side area instead. A case like this should still be small enough to mount behind a TV/monitor or under a desk — all locations for which the current NAS case is too big.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Those are all good points. I’ll talk to TL and see what can be worked out regarding the case. Perhaps making a plastic case would be a bit more economic under current circumstances and conditions.
    Good news is that a small 4xGbE board stacks very nicely with the RPro64: https://imgur.com/a/jESICih

    I think a ROCKPro64 router would be very cool. If you include antennas, my concern would be how good the signal was compared to a router from a major manufacturer. I currently run OpenWRT on a TP-Link router and have no complaints. It would be cool to have a more powerful CPU, but I don’t know if I would actually buy a ROCKPro64 router near term when my current router is working fine. If I needed to replace it, a ROCKPro64 router would be at the top of the list.

    Since the UBPorts Community Edition PinePhone was just announced, I had been wondering if this month’s update might include some information on future PinePhone versions. I suppose if I want a PinePhone I should just get the UBPorts edition even if I am more interested in another OS.

    Jeśli mogę coś zasugerowac to bardzo prosze o prosty kawałek kabelków. kazdy pine64 ma GPIO, dlaczego by nie dodac prostej karty nawet na arduino podłączonej do gpio? Po prostu kabelek z gpio do każdej płyty. W ten sposób spokojnie zrobicie szybką sieć. Połączenie bezpiśrednie punkt punkt. Będzie to na tyle szybkie, że komunikacja czy po MPI czy dowolna inna biblioteka będzie śmigać.
    Nawet zwykły cache na sieć/php. Taka dedykowana siec spokojnie będzie szybsza niż ethernet a po za tym będzie szybsza od switcha.

    Thank you for highlighting all the great work that has gone into all the Pine devices. I’m completely on board for a ROCKPro64 based router. In terms of the PineBook Pro dock, if the dock requires extra power as I’m expecting it probably will, it would be nice to see more ports than just HDMI, USB 3.0 and Ethernet. Like @Gergely said, a 5-in-1 card reader would be a really neat and useful addition. In contrast to what @Gergley said I think that most people wouldn’t see a benefit from VGA as it’s a dying format. The only places keeping it alive are out-of-date businesses and some academic organisations. USB-C PD would also be very useful, so we can charge the device over USB-C while also using the dock.

    As always an awesome update Lukasz!

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Hey Oscar! No doubt the dock will provide power in via USB-C (PD). As for video inputs/ outputs, I am in two minds about VGA and Displayport (someone else asked for that as well). In the end, this may be a bit much indeed for a competitively priced dock.
    The interesting thing is that you’re the third person who mentions a card reader – so there is clearly a need for that. But let me ask this – most people use mSDs anyways (even mSDs are used in cameras with SD adapters), so wouldn’t the mSD slot on the PBP be enough?

    On the subject of a card reader on the dock – it could be very useful for the times when the PBP is booting from the mSD slot instead of the eMMC.

    Any chance of seeing other keyboard layouts for PineTab or Pinebook Pro? I’m sure a lot of people would love to see a german “QWERTZ” keyboard in the area where I live…
    Thank you for all your great work!

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    We do get this question quite a bit. The short answer is “no, we wont have any regional keyboard layouts” – and this is also the final answer regarding the PineTab. But for the Pinebook Pro there is also a longer answer : because the keyboard firmware has now been reversed engineered (so you can make it do whatever you please pretty much), it would be possible for us to sell various language-version key caps. This would allow users to flash a local firmware (I’m sure someone would quickly create a French, Spanish and German version due to the large number of users from these locations) and install the needed key-caps themselves.
    There is a catch however – replacing the keycaps is a bit of a pain in the behind. The key-hinge mechanism is rather fragile and sits firmly in its socket. Even if I were to only replace 5-8 key caps, which seems to be the average for localization, then I feel the likelihood of damaging one or more hinges is still rather high.

    I am confused by this comment because usually keyboards send scan codes, not character codes. A good explanation of what I mean can be found here (see “Characters vs Scancodes”): https://ultimatehackingkeyboard.com/blog/2018/06/23/how-can-i-type-accented-characters-with-my-uhk

    This means that you can use your operating system keyboard layout (e.g. German) even without any special firmware. It is just that the key caps show the wrong characters. This isn’t even a problem if you are a touch typist. But of course it would be useful to have key caps for regional keyboard layouts.

    Whatever you do with the USB-C dock for the pinebook, I will be happy as long as you ensure it works with the pinephone as well.

    I appreciate the update and congrats on all the accomplishments so far.

    The router project and the Pinebook Pro dock sound great! Looking forward to getting my Pinebook Pro! Any interest from the /e/ foundation folks related to the Pine Phone? Seems like a great fit, though they are working on modding android. Is there any functionality in the Pinebook that would accept video in? Something like a Nexdock? My interest in a unified device goes back to the Ubuntu phone which didn’t take off but the idea somewhat lives on with Samsung Dex.. You guys are doing great stuff, keep up the good work!

    I think Icenowy is working on Android port with mainline kernel for the PinePhone. Might be something to keep track of 🙂

    Hey, take a look at Gadgetbridge for PineTime maybe? They did pretty amazing job handling Xiaomi devices and more. Maybe there is enough there to kickstart development.

    ooh, i’d love to be able to upgrade my existing linux-based firewall/router with a lower-power/higher-throughput rk-based system.
    Heck, i’ve even got a 2-port 10G sftp/+ card i can throw on that pci-e slot…

    I have been looking for cost-effective open source routers (both hardware and software) for quite a long time. The choice seems to be between spending a lot of money on open source devices, or buying cheap junk proprietary devices. I would be super interested in a Pine router.

    Not sure if this is the right place to “reach out” to Lukasz regarding the companion app:
    For Android there is the app “Gadgetbridge” which is FOSS and already supports a lot of devices.
    I gues it would be easier to get PineTime support with Gadgetbridge than to develop a completely new app if that is in your interest.

    I like the router to become a home gateway, so protect privacy and allow sharing. So would be nice to run pihole and nextcloud. It would be nice to share files between pine devices 🙂
    OpenWrt can do most things, but maybe a NAS OS (like OMV) with docker for applications could be an option?
    I would like to have my files (sharing), bittorrents, media streaming, website, chat?, email? in a private secure box instead of “in the cloud”.
    Backup is then an important feature.

    I would bei very interested in a rock pro 64 router exspecily if there good enough open source wifi antennas

    Yes, it would be great to have ROCKPro64-based router, on two levels.
    On the professional level, I’m an engineer in the field of medical devices, main applications of our devices are minimally invasive surgery for neurology, traumatology, orthopedic surgery. Integrating such a router into our devices would be very nice. We are currently working on integrating such piece of hardware this year, this post comes at the right time 🙂
    I already order ROCKPro64 few weeks ago and I’m impatient to try!
    On the personal level. I was considering a router based on ARM Cortex-A53 but it is too slow, and more powerful arch are too expensive, the RK3399 would for sure be what I want.

    I saw in the comments some good points about connectivity, especially about wireless configuration. I am expecting a SBC from PC Engines for my work in the next days to try it out.

    BTW, I saw a comment asking if a detailed post can be done about the cluster. I’m also up for it. I am considering making a cluster myself based on ROCKPro64.

    Is the USB-C dock developed only with the PBP in mind or is there a chance that it will be compatible with the PP as well?

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    It will surely be compatible with the PP as well. That said I expect a simpler PP dock will also be available sometime soon – actually likely the one I’m using for the PBP in the picture I linked in the post above.

    I like the Pinebook Pro dock idea a lot. My own two cents: I use multiple monitors both at home and at work. I’m up to 4 at home but I only have 2 at work (one of which is my AIO desktop). Is there any chance that the dock can have at least 2 hdmi outputs? 3 would be even better but I won’t push my luck.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    You need to be realistic, the Pinebook Pro works really well at 1080p or 1440p. It also does quite well when either extending or mirroring the image at 1080p. But running multiple monitors connected to it would really be pushing the boundaries of what its capable of. So no, there will likely just just be a single HDMI output, supporting up-to 4k@60, or there will also be a VGA for academic/ business scenarios on-top of that (not sure about this one).

    Oh ok. I thought if it could do 4k then at least 2 1080p monitors would be fine too, since 4k is like 4 1080p monitors in resolution. I do website stuff so mostly my extra monitors are static or low refresh content. Anyways, I enjoy mine as a replacement for my old Intel laptop but it’s not going to be a desktop replacement for me anytime soon.

    Carl Johnson says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work!
    Any updates on the psion-inspired keyboard case for the pinephone?
    Would be a dream come true to use pinephone as a UMPC 🙂

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    We’re working on it! The string of event: HK riots, CNY, Pandemic have kind-of limited what we can work on at-a-time. We’ll get to it, and potentially other add-ons, later this year.

    I would think working with GadgeBridge Android app would be the way to go. I used it with my Pebble and it worked well for Notifications, Sleep, Fitness, etc. No need to re-invent the wheel.

    Braillynn says:

    I am totally on board for a Pine router! Also I plan on getting the Pinebook Pro and would love a dock for it! You just keep coming up with the best ideas.

    Braillynn says:

    So glad to hear that ? Any thoughts on their being a controller add on for the Pinephone via the pins on the back for retro games?

    The last 15 years I used the german “FritzBox”, a real good product.
    Your router should be a energy-efficient as the FritzBox, it should be possible to use as NAS and perhaps replace my computer for the daily “normal” work.

    Thank you for the update and all the hard work by the community! I love my PbP and look forward to the PinePhone. To those involved, thank you again, you’re doing exceptional work!

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    There will be some news regarding the HRock64 next month I hope. Two changes from initial announcement:1) there will only be a 4GB version and 2) it will be slightly more expensive since the COVID-19 pandemic bumped the component prices up quite a bit

    I have an 8 in 1 USB combo hub which looks like this:
    prices on ebay tend to be up to £25 or eu25

    One end has the USB-C tail, the other end a cat5e gigE socket (unfortunately no status lights), and along the edge there’s an SD and microSD slots, couple of full sized USB sockets an HDMI and a couple of USB-C ports (one of which can be connected to a USB-C PD charger).

    I usually find I have to power on the laptop and boot the OS before I can connect it otherwise sometimes the usb hub doesn’t work, and/or the PSI connected to the USB-C port doesn’t start charging… this on both x86 device as well as PBP.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Looks like a really nice dock actually … huh, let me see if we can find the OG vendor for this, perhaps its not needed to reinvent the wheel then 🙂 does all IO (except the USB-C cable and GbE) face one way?

    @lucasz I have just realised that the ethernet chip is only fast. here’s a pruned list of usb IDs from lsusb

    Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0bda:8152 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8152 Fast Ethernet Adapter
    Bus 001 Device 008: ID 05e3:0610 Genesys Logic, Inc. 4-port hub
    Bus 001 Device 006: ID 1a40:0801 Terminus Technology Inc.
    Bus 001 Device 005: ID 1a40:0801 Terminus Technology Inc. USB 2.0 Hub

    this explains why it took so long when I copied the manjaro arm installer to my file server after downloading it!

    I would very much like a cost effective firewall/router board with three independent network interfaces. Too many devices have really just two ports, WAN and then a LAN with a simple switch bridged to all LAN ports.

    Or, two have two ports, WAN and LAN, and a vlan capable switch to allow you to have lots of internal VLANS.

    I need this as I have two internet connections with two different upstream routers, and multiple LANs for different purposes (trusted devices, visitors, and quarantined devices like cheap chinese IP cameras which would phone home) and an experimental vlan (e.g. for IPv6 only testing like XLAT64).


    YES to both toe PBP dock and the RockPro64 Router. I’d buy both IMMEDIATELY!

    For the Dock, please just HDMI and DisplayPort. No VGA needed. Yes to the card reader. Some USB A and USB C ports as well.

    For the Router, maybe you could produce a NIC card with 2-3 GiBit ports. That would be useful for multiple subnets at home.

    Keep up the good work!

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Thanks for the input. We already began brainstorming the router 😉 I may have some news next month.
    Regarding the dock – we’ll see how it goes.

    rfr- xor says:

    Tworzycie nową płytkę z nowym procesorem. Dlaczego nie dodacie po prostu jakis prostych procesorów ale w wiekszej liczbie (jak w Cell lub Parallela, przecież parallela jest darmowa, to projekt akademicki. 16 procesorów można by dodac od razu, a wydajność na wat jest ogromna. płytka pobierająca 5W jest dużo szybsza niz obecny pine) lub po prostu dodac fpga. Małe https://tomu.im/fomu.html można było by spokojnie dodac do płyty głównej. Autor by miał taniej a programiści mogli by przenieść dużo oprogramowania na fpga. Ktoś chce liczyc bitkoiny, grafike 3d, fizyke w grach, albo obliczenia numeryczne czy nawet blender. Taki maleńki fpga jest bardzo efektywny prądowo

    Achy i ochy co do routera. A ja jakoś nie rozumiem. Mamy do wyboru dwie ścieżki:
    a) mały mobilny router, który jest wielkości dwóch pudełek zapałek, który ma dobre odkręcane anteny, modem LTE, Wifi 6 mesh, do tego jakiś dysk i zapewne ze 2-3 porty usb i działa na 5V USB. Mała rzecz, która robi za serwer git/dysk i ogólnie ma wszystkie zabawki noszone ze sobą w dowolnym miejscu. Dobrze jak by miałao kilka przycisków i mały ekran. Coś co ma vpn, iodynę (tunel po DNS) i wiele innych zabawet (a pewnie i kali linux 😉 )
    jest zwykłe, wolne itd.
    b) albo coś szybkiego, szybszego niz cisco, jak szybkie switche komercyjne. Można by było przerobić klaster Pine na porządny switch razem z procesorami do robienia cache (squid), do rozdzielania ruchu, monitorowania load balancing itd. Ale to musiało by być potężne.

    Moim zdaniem oba te rozwiązania wymagają dużo nakładów pracy i finalnie wyjdzie niewiele lepszy sprzet na samym końcu. Obie koncepcje to tak na prawde mniejszy telefon w innej obudowie, z potężnymi modemami (do 5G trzeba potężnego procesora) albo klaster z potężną siecią co będzie trzeba po prostu zaprojektowac ethernet od podstaw.

    Moim zdaniem tak, ale nie teraz, może jak wyjdzie 2 wersja komórki i klastra. Na razie to jeszcze nie ten czas

    Seeing that you guys seem to be receptive to new ideas one thing I’d love to so is a device that functions like a phone without any direct i/o so that all video and sound goes through the attached computer device via USB-C. It would be really handy to be able to use a headset on the PineBook and be able to make normal mobile phone calls and use the keyboard (and trackpad) to send and receive SMS messages. Half of the needed bridging software stack already exists with KDE Connect so it wouldn’t take too much hacking to provide a complete mobile functional experience on any desktop/laptop.

    Now, if this idea was in anyway sane or possible then imagine of this “dumb” mobile device functionality was embedded into your dock!

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    We’re always receptive to ideas. We’re working on – or more accurately speaking brainstorming – some ideas for the future, one of which may vaguely fall into the category you suggested. We’ll see. Thanks!

    Amazing update! Waiting for my Pinebook pro to arrive 🙂

    I ‘d be very interested in a PineRouter. What would I do with it? First thing is local DNS resolution with DNS blocking of adds (like pihole but not on a separate device like I have now). After that, it would contribute to DDNS resolution of my domain that’s running my Nextcloud instance. Shameless plug, look at NextCloudpi project, it’s awesome and it supports RockPro64 as well. Future steps would be to have a wireguard server to use as a VPN.

    Peter Geis says:

    Good Morning,

    For the past three months or so the rockpro64 HAS BEEN my home router.
    I used an i350 dual port nic, and the old router became an access point.
    (the wifi module for the rockpro64 is not sufficient for main router usage)

    Originally I used openWRT native booting, but running it bare metal was horribly under-utilizing the board.
    Now I run it in an lxd container, since the rk3399 doesn’t have an iommu in place for the pcie to allow pcie passthrough to a kvm virtual machine.
    I submitted a bug report for openWRT not supporting lxc correctly, and that issue is resolved.

    Performance is incredible, with the i350 at 900mbps routing to the internet I see a single a53 core at about 30% utilization.
    It uses about 100mb of ram at full load.
    Running lxc also allows me to have other containers for network services.
    I have pihole in another container, as well as Home Assistant, Nextcloud, a nginx server, and even a Terraria server running concurrently.

    I also just upgraded to a dual port x520 10gb card, in preparation to moving to a 10gig backbone.
    The rockpro64 only supports 4x 2.5gbps lanes, so 10gig will fully utilize the available bandwidth.
    Prior to this upgrade I had to perform a repair to the pcie bus, due to an engineering flaw with the rx3 data pair (see the forum).

    Other than a case capable of accommodating a 10gig nic, the rockpro64 needs a more powerful wireless card.
    Another option would be a 4x pcie switch to expand the single slot to two slots.
    Or even a custom pcie addon router card, with multiple high quality nics and multiple high quality wireless chipsets.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Oh wow! That’s really exciting stuff Peter 🙂 Do you have any pictures or the setup or a write-up of some sorts?
    Very cool – thanks for sharing 🙂

    Peter Geis says:

    I don’t have a decent write-up yet, though I tossed up a picture of the current setup.

    When I get the chance to take the internet down I’ll take a scan of the modified board.
    When I get the time (currently working on the rk3328 usb3 phy driver) I’ll actually make a blog of my work.
    If you are interested in my kernel work, it’s at github.com/pgwipeout/linux

    Bardzo prosze o dodanie ankiety na tej stronie (czyta je wiecej osób niż forum)
    W ramach wdzięczności za swoją pracę pine64 chciało by podarowac jeden sprzęt (np. laptop lub telefon) wybranej osobie:
    * Linus Torwalds
    * Tanenbaum

    Myślę, że niektórzy ludzie wnieśli ogromny wkład. Tak wielki, że po prostu sprzęt pine64 nie maiłby racji bytu. To byłaby akcja wdzięczności dla tych gigantów. Nie chce sugerowac ani kto powinien się znaleźć na liście ani jaki sprzęt. Ba nawet nie wiem czy macie jakies fundusze by na to przeznaczyć. Ale wydaje mi się, że było by zachowanie to na miejscu.

    Any advancement on a more EU-compatible shipping option?

    It would be nice if there was a shipping option that includes customs duty so that one doesn’t have to deal with customs processing and could get the package to their address, directly.

    ( like the eBay Global Shipping Program or Banggood’s EU Priority Line or many Aliexpress sellers providing this as a more expensive option for their products )

    I know, that Pine64 is not a high-volume, commercial entity but this would still be very nice.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    We’re working towards something but it has been put on hold due to the current global situation. Once everything returns to normal(-ish), we’ll get back to work on it.

    Are you guys adding a trackpoint to the pinebook in the future? I see a lot of bad reviews about the current trackpad…

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    We’ve got no plans to add a trackpoint to the current version of the Pinebook or Pinebook Pro

    I’m currently searching for two board :
    – A replacement for LIME/LIME2 board for the project La Brique : https://internetcu.be/ The boards currently used are too limited in processing power and capacity (networking, storage…).
    – A router. I’m a member of Rezine, an alternative Internet Provider. Rezine is itself member of FFDN : https://www.ffdn.org/en
    As an Internet provider, Rezine uses routers which are installed in users’s home. Currently, commercial routers are used. One person is adapting OpenWRT for the selected device over and over. Each time the selected device is not more sold, a new device is selected and OpenWRT has to be adapted again. So a router would be very welcome.
    The two boards I mentioned could have the same base with options for one usage or the other. I won’t give details here but I’ll be happy to discuss about it.
    Ideally, a new board would be designed (there are features not needed on the current board, like the camera port).
    As a workaround, a daugther board could be designed with a PCIe switch dispatching on PCIe slots. Maybe other switches for USB and Ethernet could be added.
    One important note for me : Almost all boards I’ve seem since now lack a M.2 port for a SSD. This is especially important when self-hosting (for capacity and reliability).

    That would be great. I have both Turris MOX (A+E) for my work and ROCKPro64 for personal use, and I’d be enthusiast about such collaboration. I’ve been in touch with people at Turris and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were enthusiast as well. People at CZ.NIC are known for there nice projects. CPU on Turris product is too slow for more than 1Gb Ethernet. They have a SFP module, but it is quite limited at the time. This is the reason why I didn’t get the Turris as my personal router.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Three things: 1) the Omnia is using a ‘proper’ networking SOC and has a different market outlook; 2) we will pitch our our router as a ‘a learning project – mostly about learning and having fun with networking … even tho it will likely work well for home applications’ ; 3) still looking at a number of options to power this project … not dead-set on RK3399

    “Jeff F.
    “April 17, 2020 at 3:49 pm
    “YES to both toe PBP dock and the RockPro64 Router. I’d buy both IMMEDIATELY!
    For the Dock, please just HDMI and DisplayPort. *NO VGA NEEDED…* ” ! [emphasis mine]

    This, beyond a shadow of a doubt, falls under the classification of “Personal Opinion”, and should, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be treated as such.

    There are some of us who do NOT throw outstanding, totally serviceable hardware away when buying the newest. I own (along with the latest) two VGA / SVGA monitors which have absolutely beautiful displays, made by Hitachi, and which are ‘bullet-proof’.
    Many people (me included) own LCD TVs which are computer-compatible ONLY by virtue of having a VGA interface.

    To not include a VGA interface would be extremely short-sighted, and lend totally-undeserved credit and credibility to the “If-It-Ain’t-The-Newest-It-Ain’t-No-Good” crowd.

    Please do not sign up for this flawed mental-set.

    thexder1 says:

    I love the idea of a ROCKpro64 based router. I like having more options for networking focused boards. I looked at and bought an espressobin board, but later found it was too slow to be useful for my internet connection and it has been just sitting on the shelf since. I am currently using an x86 system I built for a router, but if I could port the functionality to something like this that would be great.

    chyba chodziło o to by router miał więcej fizycznych przycisków i może diód, wyświetlacz. typu, przełącznik w góre i mamy dodatkową usługę a jak zadziala to przełącznik świeci się na zielono a wczesniej swiecił sie na zółto bo włączyliśmy przycisk ale zanim usługa nntp, albo http zacznie działac mija trochę czasu, albo na czerwono, bo jest błąd w konfiguracji.
    taki fizyczny przycisk na “services”

    DIY router sounds interesting! I would like to make a box with 4-5 NICs,, 1-2 fast SSDs, passive cooling, some casing and fast speeds on wireguard and routing. Then I wold also run some VMs on it. WiFi doesn’t matter as I would just use a wifi router or access point

    I need to voice an objection to building a custom USB dock, there are tons of them in the market at really low prices and while I too would like something that manages cables better (I will buy the first one I find with one USB and a micro SD card reader and 3.5mm audio on the front, all other connections on the back) I would like to see you focus on more Rock chip based projects. Focus on your strengths and your core competencies, don’t get distracted by things that another third party can do well. Talk some existing dock maker into doing your concept rather than use your engineers.

    Rock based router – great idea, I’d buy one though not first preference.

    First preference – another run of the 11″ Pinebook laptops, preferably with the upgraded processor. I’m waiting on the May shipment of my Pinebook Pro but would really prefer the smaller form factor as I commute several hours a day by train and want something I can open no matter which seat I get on the train.

    I would like a 11″ Pinebook that at least matched the Pinebook Pro – A64, 4GB RAM, and, USB-C. If it made more sense to start from the ROCKPro64 platform that would be great also, I’m not concerned between Allwinner and Rockchip. I know this could be a challenge for a plastic case; but, I would be very happy with a metal case upgrade as well and the cost that would be associated – it would be parity with the Pinebook Pro or more I’m sure. There really is no good Linux small laptop; it seems the thinking is always is that the small machine users only want small performance. I could get a PC but I really want an ARM based commuter machine.

    Benjamin Feakins says:

    Could the USB-C dock have dual-HDMI or displayport video out? I’ve yet to find a USB-C dock where dual HDMI/displayport output works on the Pinebook Pro.

    I would like to add my vote to the above commenter’s, regarding a Pinebook-equivalent of the Pinebook Pro (for simplicity, I’m going to refer to this as the PBP-11 from now on).

    In a great many instances, I need a laptop / notebook which conveniently fits into my briefcase, or leather “brief-bag” (which I am finding more usable than a briefcase, nowadays).
    I would absolutely buy a PBP-11 immediately, as I’m certain others would, to get the convenience of greater portability and the benefit of all your amazing ground-work which has gone into the PBP.

    One suggestion for an item which I’d like to see on the PBP-11, as you will obviously be doing a fair amount of engineering design along with the opportunity to offer some new things people would want or need: what do you think of a back-lit keyboard, as found on the PineTab?
    This would be of immense utility, as a ‘more-mobile’ laptop / notebook tends to be used–a LOT–in situations where the ambient-light level is far less than in office or home “8-to-5” environments–for example, in cars, trains, or planes while traveling; in darkened environments when making presentations; at home, in the evening, working while others are watching the telly…well, you get the idea.

    I eagerly look forward to the arrival of the PBP-11 with ANSI keyboard, back-lit or not.

    Warmest regards…

    If a pinerouter could fill the price gap between a PC Engines apu2 and a 30 dollar aliexpress router that would be excellent.

    I’m currently running a gigabyte motherboard with an Intel j1900 on board, it has dual nics. Then a $40 dual nic pci card brings total to four nics. Had to add a pair of SODIMMs for ram. Total cost without PSU and drives about $190 I guess. I chose the motherboard because it offered good performance for low power consumption. Unfortunately the baytrail j1900 and Linux aren’t a good match and the boy can crash. Apollo lake or Gemini lake supposedly ok, but, they’re all so dated and Intel’s chip shortages are a problem for embedded designs like that.

    I’d be happy to pay up to a similar price for a decent modern equivalent.

    Lukasz Erecinski says:

    Yes, this is one of the things we’re thinking about – what sort of feature-set, performance and positioning of the router we want. This will take a little bit as we’ve got other things going. At any rate, it will be a solid and modular hobby-grade DIY router.

    Is there any thoughts on improving the HW to enable interaction between U-Boot and the user for boot device selection?


    Peter Geis says:

    The hardware shouldn’t be the issue here.
    On serial u-boot mainline works perfect, it can boot off almost any connected device now.
    PCIe support is a work in progress for u-boot, but USB, sd, emmc, and net boot all work.
    I’ve never tried video console for u-boot, since I run headless, but I’ve seen patches landing for that as well.

    mutemule says:

    I’m a bit late to the party here, but a DIY router is exactly why I just put in an order for some RockPro64 boards, and I would be very happy to see such a project in place — mostly because I haven’t figured out an enclosure yet.

    The prior comments comparing this to an APU are totally valid, but I don’t see this as being comparable to an APU. I’m coming from a months-long struggle with the MACCHIATOBin, and for the life of me, I just can’t get a stable kernel build going that isn’t using SolidRun’s Debian image. The PCIe support on the RockPro64 puts it on par with the MACCHIATOBin, but considerably cheaper, and with more appropriate power behind it.

    The specific problem I’m trying to solve is that newer Internet connections around here are fibre connections at >=1Gbps. Which means I need something that can terminate a 1/2.5/5/10Gbps fibre link (yeah, 2.5), and having a PCIe connection means I can choose the best card for the job — and even at x4, that’s still sufficient bandwidth to not artificially limit my throughput.

    Peter Geis says:

    Good Afternoon,
    I have a dual port genuine x520 card running on my rockpro64.
    Depending on your revision of board, you can up the speed of the PCIe links to 5GT.
    Older revisions require some modification to be stable.
    Some people have encountered issues with Intel based NICs from third party manufacturers.
    I’ve started a compatibility matrix on the rockpro64 wiki.

    mutemule says:

    Oh amazing! I’ve got both an x520 and x710 on hand; I’ll update the wiki with my findings.

    Many routers and firewalls can only do a sustained gigabit if they’re handling full sized packets which are part of a single socket/stream connection. The moment you have a bunch of hosts behind the firewall all doing nat, and sending a lot of smaller packets you’ll find you hit a limit of nat state rate and packets per second.
    Good choice of NICs can make a huge difference to these limits.
    I noticed, on hackaday I think, someone fitting a mini PCIe Wi-Fi card to the PineBookPro which makes a big difference to the throughput.

    Boraks says:

    klawiatura w pinetab chyba mało uzywalna.
    przynajmniej w terminalu. Nie wiem jak ktoś miałby przełączyc sie na prawy terminal Ctrl+PgUP

    Ogromne shirty (przecież można było by choć jeden zmniejszyć) , brak klawiszy multimedialnych, które sa potrzebne wlasnie tu gdzie mamy różne rzeczy jak jasność dzwięk itd. (oczywiście potencjometry były by najlepsze, suwane , kręcone jakiekolwiek ale NIE ma żadnych) czyli trzeba znów odrywać ręce by wyciszyć albo by wyłączyc wifi/ gps.
    Wiele klawiszy można było by spokojnie zmniejszyć o połowe (szerokość)
    i dodac jeszcze jedna linie klawiszy.

    Albo jak to ktoś pisał, zrobic porządną klawiature z oprogramowaniem i miejscem na dysk czy Pine64 w formie karty.
    Z przełącznikami ekranów na klawiaturze, wyciszaniem i kilkoma przyciskami typowo tabletowymi (nie przeszkadzać, wyciszyc dzwięk, poprzedni program, home/menu itd)

    czy w laptopie można dodać fpga?
    Chce tworzyć procesor RISC-V
    karte graficzną, liczyć bitcoina czy cokolwiek innego. Potrzebuje szybkiego interfejsu.
    Chłopaki na hackaday zrobią sprzęt, tylko musi być jakas specyfikacja. Jesli interfejs byłby szybki to może nawet jakas część systemu mogla by chodzić na czyms takim?

    Another Mouse says:

    I think to create a proper router you might need a pci switch, like a backplane to multiply the pcie ports to have further ethernet ports, good router grade wifi cards, maybe an ssd etc. etc.
    This is not purely router only, so could make a general add on gadget.

    Without that I can only see plugging a wifi card into pcie and adding a proper managed switch to the ethernet for wan and lan via vlan.

    1 comment and a question?

    I was looking for a usb c hub for a pinephone, and found this project, that’s great, I will probably wait for yours

    I am also thinking of buying your usb-to-wifi dongle, but would like to ask if these types of things ever pose security issues to the system, or to data sent through them? (ie: can they contain malware inside them?) appreciate any feedback in the comments here .regards.

    product request.

    not sure if prior post worked, sorry if repeat…

    I would love to see a triple size battery available, similar to the ones which ‘zerolemon’ made for so many phones.
    I suppose you could even contact the company and offer to supply CAD files to help them design a suitable battery for the pinephone.
    I bought one years ago for a Galaxy Note 2 and it is still going! (9,300maH).
    It absolutely ‘made’ the phone as it would go for nearly a week.
    best regards

    Love the router idea. I began dreaming of a ROCKPro64-based router (running pfSense !!!) a while back when I noticed that NetBSD is available for the board. I think pfSense would be a much better rout(er) but I am not knowledgeable enough to assess the differences between NetBSD and pfSense, let alone what would need to be done to bring it to the ROCKPro64. I’m sure there would be some crossover development while working on OpenWRT so that’s good. Either way this is a wonderful idea!

    Yes! I would 100% be interested int the DIY router!

    Am making an upcoming project out of doing that for an rPi4 using a USB GB Ethernet adapter but this set up would be much more appealing but if you guys developed a 4 port side board and enclosure I would buy that instantly.

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