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Initial OrangePi i96 support landed in Mainline Linux Kernel - Orange Pi i96 - 96Boards Forum

Initial OrangePi i96 support landed in Mainline Linux Kernel

Hello Everyone,

I’m glad to say that the initial OrangePi i96 board support landed in Mainline Linux Kernel (5.0-rc1) with new RDA Micro SoC architecture. As of now, the board can enter initramfs shell with single Cortex A5 CPU.

More update will come in upcoming days. Please stay tuned!



Thanks for good news.
Nice work!

Could you please provide some information, how to compile this kernel?
Which options to select in “menuconfig” or how to define RDA Micro architecture ?
Looking forward…
Would like to test new kernel as well maybe port SPI driver to get some type storage for system.

Is there any news ?

I’m trying to compile mainline kernel with command :
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf-
arm-linux-gnueabihf- version 7.3.0 (Ubuntu/Linaro 7.3.0-27ubuntu1~18.04) .
Yes, I select: RDA Micro SoC and RDA serial port and console config.
But have no output after “Starting kernel …”

Looking forward for update.
Tutorial to get kernel booting would be awesome !


I’m extremely sorry for the delay! TBH I completely missed your last forum post :frowning:

Anyway, in order to boot mainline kernel on i96, you need to issue below commands from u-boot:

setenv bootargs "earlycon initcall_debug console=ttyRDA2,921600n8 root=/dev/ram0"
fatload mmc 0:1 ${kernel_addr} zImage+dtb
fatload mmc 0:1 ${script_addr} rda8810pl-orangepi-i96.dtb
fatload mmc 0:1 ${initrd_addr} uInitrd
bootz ${kernel_addr} ${initrd_addr}:${filesize} ${script_addr}

For building zImage+dtb, you can use following command:

$ cat arch/arm/boot/zImage arch/arm/boot/dts/rda8810pl-orangepi-i96.dtb > zImage+dtb

Then, place the zImage+dtb, rda8810pl-orangepi-i96.dtb and uInitrd (a 32 bit initrd) in a FAT partition of the SD card and issue u-boot commands.

I will also try to add a guide in doc repo for this.


Thanks for reply,

I have a bit different config - files in NAND , files get loaded, but still silence from kernel.
BootArgs set as you mentioned, will try to boot from SDCard later today.

Finally got kernel booting, but 5.0-x , not clearly compiled 5.1-x , will dig dipper in differences in config.

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I am trying to compile mainline kernel for orangepi 2g-iot board which has same CPU with i96.
My problem is after “Starting kernel” message there is no output. I followed the commands you wrote but it didn’t change anything (I used 2g-iot dtb file). It seems boot partition of your system is FAT because you used fatload command However my sistem has ext2 boot partition. Which image did you use.
Another thing is, is it possible to share your defconfig file? I used 3.10 kernel defconfig file and it might be the root of my problem.

Thanks in advance!

There is no defconfig file so far, you need to crosscompile and for ARCH=arm (may be armhf) do not remember precise command. Will try to share later.
There is no difference in file system because kernel get loaded from RAM , and how do you put it in RAM is your chose.
Put attention, kernel must be combined with compiled device tree (“dtb” file) .

I had similar issues to Pe3ucTop.

Compiled 5.6.2, no output after “Starting kernel …”

Compiled 5.0.21, works fine.

Same build process for both: started with multi_v7_defconfig, then enabled the RDA bits. I’m going to try and figure out where things went wrong.

@drt1245 Not sure what the issue is. I did build >5.0 kernel while upstreaming the GPIO controller support. Maybe I can give it a shot in the coming weekend and update.

I was able to get 5.6.2 working. I copied my .config from the 5.0 kernel, and used that. Not sure why that fixed things, but it did.

@drt1245 Hi,
Could you please share your .config file ?
I have no access to mine one right now, but @kayaci was interested in working one.
Do your .dts files differ from original ones ?

.config is here:

I used a vanilla 5.6.2 from No changes to dts.

Hello everyone,
Thank you for all your help. I tried .config file and now I can see more logs. However I have another problem. While booting, system hangs here:

Loading, please wait...
[    1.450000] systemd-udevd[82]: starting version 215
[    1.450000] random: systemd-udevd: uninitialized urandom read (16 bytes read)
Begin: Loading essential drivers ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/init-premount ... done.
Begin: Mounting root file system ... Begin: Running /scripts/local-top ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-premount ... done.
Begin: Waiting for root file system ... Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-block ... done.

last line was printed 28 times and it ended up like this:

Begin: Will now check root file system ... fsck from util-linux 2.25.2
Usage: mount [-r] [-w] [-o options] [-t type] [-f] [-i] [-n] device directory
Target filesystem doesn't have requested /sbin/init.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-bottom ... done.
Begin: Running /scripts/init-bottom ... mount: No such file or directory
Could not copy file: No such file or directory
No init found. Try passing init= bootarg.

Any ideas?

I used 5.6.2 vanillia kernel and booted zImage+dtb

@kayaci We don’t have any storage support added to mainline kernel. So you will land in initramfs. I started working on it sometime back but never finished.