Differences between revisions 33 and 35 (spanning 2 versions)
Revision 33 as of 2018-09-13 12:14:24
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Comment: Simplify a few headers.
Revision 35 as of 2018-09-13 12:53:27
Size: 11368
Comment: Simplify: Drop historical details obsoleted by Linux 4.18 entering Buster.
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||Boot Standard Kernel: || {OK} - since Buster (requires Linux 4.17 + initramfs hack, or Linux 4.18) || ||Boot Standard Kernel: || {OK} - since Buster ||
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== Image == == Image install ==
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== Manual ==
The debian kernel package (starting with 4.17) and arm64 userspace packages work out of the box,
== Manual install ==
Buster and newer include kernel and arm64 userspace tools working out of the box,
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Starting with 4.17 linux contains a DT file for the teres.
Unfortunately pwm support (necessary for the backlight and thus the display) was slightly broken,
so you must explicitly load modules `axp20x` and `axp20x-rsb`
e.g. in `/etc/initramfs-tools/modules`,
or wait until linux 4.18 is available.

=== arm trusted firmware (bootloader stage 2) ===

Buster and newer ships with working device-tree (DT) file for the teres.

=== arm trusted firmware ===

Stage 2 of bootstrapping the hardware is ARM Trusted Firmware.
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=== u-boot (bootloader stage 1 & 3) === === u-boot ===

Stage 1 and 3 of bootstrapping the hardware is U-boot.

Translation(s): none

DebianOn is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owners would know how get the best out of that hardware.

The purpose is not to duplicate the Debian Official Documentation, but to document how to install Debian on some specific hardware.

If you need help to get Debian running on your hardware, please have a look at our user support channels where you may find specific channels (mailing list, IRC channel) dedicated to certain types of hardware.


The Teres-I is a DIY open hardware laptop sold by Olimex. Olimex has stated that they intend the Teres-I to be very modular, allowing main boards built around different SoCs to be used interchangeably. However the only main board available at the moment is based on the Allwinner A64 SoC with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC internal storage. The CPU is supported by the arm64 architecture in debian. armhf should work too, but is untested.

The laptop is sold with linux (ubuntu + vendor supplied kernel) preinstalled. Source code is only partially available for the vendor kernel, which means that users of the preinstalled system are permanently stuck with an old version of linux. On the other hand since a linux system is available, no external computer and no cross-compilation is required to bootstrap a debian system.

While debian should run fine from the eMMC internal storage, most people install debian to an external microSD card (there is one slot available) to have both systems available. That's also what is described in this guide.

Overall Status

To get an overview of mainline kernel support, see the status matrix of the linux sunxi community.

Core Components


Boot Standard Kernel:

{OK} - since Buster

Detect mmc:


Extra Features

CPU Frequency Scaling




Sleep / Suspend

{OK} - only with experimental kernel (requires Linux 4.19)



- OpenGL


- Resize-and-Rotate(randr)


Switch to External Screen



- Built-in (Touchpad)




Keyboard's Hotkeys


Legend :
{OK} = OK ; {X} Unsupported(No Driver) ; /!\ = Error (Couldn't get it working); [?] Unknown, Not Test ; [-] Not-applicable
{i} = Configuration Required; X-( = Only works with a non-free driver and or firmware


The laptop is sold as a kit for self-assembly. Here we assume that it is completely assembled and confirmed working correctly with the preinstalled system.

Image install

Several images exist for directly writing to your microSD card:

  • Redpill

    • Source: Debian
    • Build: Boxer + qemu + multistrap + custom scripts

    • Quirks: No bootloader (download separately). Includes nonfree package firmware-realtek.
  • Armbian

    • Source: Debian (or Ubuntu) + Armbian + Armbian-maintained forks of kernel and bootloader
    • Build: debootstrap + custom scripts

  • Olimex (torrent link)

    • Source: Ubuntu + Olimex + Olimex-maintained forks of kernel and bootloader
    • Build: qemu-debootstrap + custom scripts

For links, further information and discussion see the dedicated thread at the olimex forum.

Manual install

Buster and newer include kernel and arm64 userspace tools working out of the box, but you will need to get or compile yourself a custom bootloader.


There are no real requirements for disk layout other than that the bootloader is stored in an area close to the start of the disk but outside any partition. Most microSD cards already come with a compatible partition layout, so you only have to change the type of the existing partition from Windows to Linux and format it with your favorite filesystem.

device tree

Buster and newer ships with working device-tree (DT) file for the teres.

arm trusted firmware

Stage 2 of bootstrapping the hardware is ARM Trusted Firmware.

The debian package atf-allwinner has support for Teres I using this binary:



Stage 1 and 3 of bootstrapping the hardware is U-boot.

mainline u-boot still misses a few bits like a pwm driver (to get display backlight up early) and a usb driver (to read linux and initramfs from sdcard), so you need to get this fork and then cherry-pick one more commit:

git clone https://github.com/anarsoul/u-boot-pine64.git
cd u-boot-pine64
git remote add icenowy https://github.com/Icenowy/u-boot/
git fetch icenowy
git checkout -b teres origin/pinebook-wip-20180206
git cherry-pick icenowy/teres-i-mainline

You find information about compiling u-boot and writing the binaries to media in board/sunxi/README.sunxi64 - the basic steps are:

BL31=/usr/lib/atf/sun50iw1p1/bl31.bin make teres_i_defconfig
BL31=/usr/lib/atf/sun50iw1p1/bl31.bin make
dd if=spl/sunxi-spl.bin of=/dev/sdx bs=8k seek=1
dd if=u-boot.itb of=/dev/sdx bs=8k seek=5

The final files can also be downloaded:

Possibly the U-boot parts of this Armbian patchset is relevant...


Since there is already an ubuntu system preinstalled on the teres, you can simple download debootstrap from unstable and install it on ubuntu -

  • it's only a shell script, so no dependency problems.

Then just follow the debootstrap chapter in the installation manual.

The default bootscript built into u-boot probably won't find all the files necessary to boot the system. To fix this we need to write a custom bootscript and reformat it with mkimage from the package u-boot-tools:

mkimage -T script -d boot.txt /boot.scr

Here is a minimal example bootscript which assumes that /dtb, /vmlinuz and /initrd.gz are symlinks to the real files.

Using debian installer

There is no support in the official installer yet. However it might be possible to copy the arm64 installer files and a suitable device tree file onto a microSD card with a bootloader from external sources. If you try that approach, please share your experience.


If the screen remains blank or the system doesn't boot (is stuck in u-boot or initramfs) you can connect a serial console. The serial console is multiplexed with the headphone output. Instructions how to make or buy a proper connector are at the olimex forum.



  • (not covered yet)


  • (not covered yet)

Power Management

Sleep is supported since Linux 4.19.


  • (not covered yet)

System Summary


lsusb -v | grep -E '\<(Bus|iProduct|bDeviceClass|bDeviceProtocol)' 2>/dev/null

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         0 Full speed (or root) hub
  iProduct                2 Generic Platform OHCI controller
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 15ba:003c Olimex Ltd. 
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceProtocol         0 
  iProduct                2 TERES Keyboard+Touchpad
  (Bus Powered)
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 1908:2311 GEMBIRD 
  bDeviceClass          239 Miscellaneous Device
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Interface Association
  iProduct                2 USB2.0 PC CAMERA
      (Bus Powered)
  bDeviceClass          239 Miscellaneous Device
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Interface Association
  (Bus Powered)
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 05e3:0608 Genesys Logic, Inc. Hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Single TT
  iProduct                1 USB2.0 Hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         0 Full speed (or root) hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
  bDeviceClass            9 Hub
  bDeviceProtocol         0 Full speed (or root) hub
  iProduct                2 EHCI Host Controller

USB Host controllers entries (without OHCI, UHCI, EHCI) are removed too.



Some configuration files and sample outputs.

  • [get | view] (2018-04-07 09:22:19, 0.2 KB) [[attachment:boot.txt]]
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