Boot Images from External Media

There are several images that are designed to run from a SD Card or Thumbdrive (U-Disk) and are compatible with VIMs. For example:

This tutorial is about how to boot these images.

Step 1. Clone image to SD card or Thumbdrive (U-Disk)

There are several ways to burn an image to a SD card or Thumbdrive:

  • Etcher got a user-friendly GUI for beginners, and is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. Simply select an image and it will automatically identify your external device which the image is going to be burned to. (Recommended)

Howto Use Etcher

  • dd on Ubuntu / Debian with command line:
$ sudo dd if=/path/to/image of=/dev/sdX bs=8M

Step 2. Select the appropriate DTB file

If the image you choose is Khadas SD image, skip this step and goto Step 3.

For Armbian, LibreELEC, Manjaro, AltLinux and ArchLinux

You need to select the appropriate DTB file.

  • Navigate to your SD card’s / Thumbdrive’s BOOT partition, and open the folder labelled dtb.

  • Find the correct .dtb filename in the folder /dtb. Examples:

    • VIM1: /dtb/meson-gxl-s905x-khadas-vim.dtb
    • VIM2: /dtb/meson-gxm-khadas-vim2.dtb
    • VIM3: /dtb/meson-g12b-a311d-khadas-vim3.dtb
    • VIM3L: /dtb/meson-sm1-khadas-vim3l.dtb
  • Edit FDT in /extlinux/extlinux.conf and dtb_name= in uEnv.ini with the correct dtb filename.

For CoreELEC

  • Find the appropriate .dtb file in COREELEC partition dtb folder:
    • VIM1: Copy gxl_p212_2g_kvim.dtb to COREELEC partition, and rename it to dtb.img.
    • VIM2: Copy gxm_kvim2.dtb to COREELEC partition, and rename it to dtb.img.
    • VIM3: Copy g12b_a311d_khadas_vim3 to COREELEC partition, and rename it to dtb.img.

For Volumio

  • Find the appropriate .dtb file in BOOT partition dtb folder:
    • VIM1: Copy kvim.dtb, kvim_linux.dtb or meson-gxl-s905x-khadas-vim.dtb to BOOT partition, and rename it to dtb.img.
    • VIM2: Copy kvim2.dtb, kvim2_linux.dtb or meson-gxm-khadas-vim2.dtb to BOOT partition, and rename it to dtb.img.
    • VIM3: Copy kvim3_linux.dtb or kvim3l_linux.dtb to BOOT partition, and rename it to dtb.img.

Step 3. Boot VIMs from SD card or Thumbdrive

There are several ways to boot (activate multi-boot) from the SD card / Thumbdrive:

  • Via Keys mode (Side-Buttons) - the easiest and fastest way

  • Via Android

    • Enter Settings->About Device->System->Updates.
    • Click select and choose aml_autosript.zip.
    • Click update, then the system will reboot and boot from the external media image.

WARNING: Don’t use your PC as the USB-Host to supply the electrical power, otherwise it will fail to activate Multi-Boot!

NOTICE

  • If any other OS than Android, Armbian or LibreELEC has been installed to eMMC and you want to install either Armbian or LibreELEC to eMMC, the eMMC has to be completely wiped with dd before latest Android is burned to eMMC by following Upgrade Via a USB-C Cable.