I went to the Orange Pi 4 home page, then to the downloads area and ended up getting directed to a Google drive area with a Debian kernel. Actually there were two:
-rw-rw-r-- 1 tom tom 764701747 Apr 18 2021 Orangepi4_2.1.0_debian_buster_desktop_linux18.104.22.168z -rw-rw-r-- 1 tom tom 853142578 Oct 9 2020 OrangePi_4_debian_stretch_desktop_linux4.4.179_v1.4.tar.gzI decided to work with the more recent "buster" image, extracted the 7z file (which yielded an image more or less 4G in size) which I used "dd" to place onto a 16G Sandisk compact flash card. I placed that in my unit and it booted right up. For whatever reason, Debian does not spew out the usual thousand line mass of kernel messages onto the console, but after a fairly short wait I see:
Starting kernel ... Orange Pi 2.1.0 Buster ttyFIQ0 orangepi4 login:I can login as root using password "orangepi" and find myself running a 4.4.179 kernel.
A quick note about the 6 cores. Linux doesn't seem to differentiate between big and little, so you will get random assignment from the scheduler, which is hardly ideal, but that is how it is at this stage. Cores 0-3 are little and 4-5 are big.
Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0 =>I am in!! Typing "help" shows me the commands "dhcp" as well as "tftpboot" so it looks like I am in busines reconfiguring this to do a network boot as I like to do. Typing printenv, I see "ethaddr" set, which is further encouragement.
Then I do the following:
apt-get update apt install locate updatedbI get messages like so, but in spite of this, I can do the install to get "locate" and then run updatedb
N: Repository 'http://mirrors.tuna.tsinghua.edu.cn/debian buster InRelease' changed its 'Version' value from '10.8' to '10.11' E: Repository 'http://mirrors.tuna.tsinghua.edu.cn/debian buster InRelease' changed its 'Suite' value from 'stable' to 'oldstable' N: This must be accepted explicitly before updates for this repository can be applied. See apt-secure(8) manpage for details.
Also I have no problem at all tapping on the space bar and getting to the U-Boot prompt.
Here are the brief messages I see on the serial console:
Tom's electronics pages / email@example.com