VisionFive 2 Debian 202310 Released

VisionFive 2 Debian Image 202310 has been released. Here are the simple release notes.
Please check the wiki page for more details:

Tips :

  1. Although 4K resolution is supported and we have improved the desktop performance, there is still frame drop issue during video playback . Thus, it is recommended to switch to 1080p60 resolution for a smooth video playback experience.
  2. Please avoid running apt upgrade as it will override the existing customized mesa and linux-libc-dev versions provided.
  3. This debian image contains FFmpeg, Firefox and VLC by default.
  4. Please update the SPI flash to the latest SPL/U-Boot binaries if you would like to try nvme booting (set boot mode as QSPI boot).

Image Download link : VisionFive v2 Debian

What’s New

  • Supported SBC: VF2 v1.2A and v1.3B;
  • Based on Linux kernel 5.15.0 (VisionFive2 kernel tag v3.8.2);
  • Based on StarFive uboot tag v3.8.2;
  • Debian snapshot date: 20221225T084846Z (sid);
  • Support fastboot in U-Boot;
  • Support G-Sensor for new Radxa 10 inch 1200*1920 MIPI 4-Lane LCD;
  • Support BT function for WIFI/BT dongle AIC8800;
  • Improve 4K destop performance from 10fps to 25fps;
  • Gnome-Extension:
    • Added Gnome-control-center;
    • Added bluetooth support;
  • OMX:
    • Video decoder: Distinguish sliceHeight calculation methods of avc and hevc;
    • Fix issue where the bottom of 1080P video output from the decoder was blur;
    • Omxdec: fix jpg decode output is empty;
    • Omxdec: fix decode process stuck in some hls cases;
  • Use stride and slice to calculate avframe buffer linesize;
  • Using G-sensor to auto rotate desktop;

Known Issues

  • 1080p60 is playable on ffplay but with framedrops;
  • Chromium FFmpeg is not working;
  • NVME image occasionally has a slow boot time;
  • Qt modules qtwebengine failed to build;
  • NWjs Filesystem access APIs failed;
  • NWjs mp3 encoder failed to be detected;
  • After the system is fully started up, connecting HDMI does not automatically start the desktop;
  • Vulkan CTS;

What’s Next

  • Debian-Installer support - Could support both SD + eMMC boot in single image;
  • Vulkan support;
  • libcamera support;
  • Desktop performance upto 4k@30fps;

Hi all,

Good news. Thanks a lot to the team for the update.

The 4 tips you give in your message seem to be a way to avoid providing compatible hardware.

The first three are Debian specific and are of no use if you don’t use Debian (are you paid by Debian ?). Please provide real open source drivers for the graphics hardware instead.

People here first paid for this piece of hardware without even knowing it will exist, and are technically skilled enough to distinguish between tech failures/issues and marketing blabla. Know your customers.

The fourth tip, is about manual boot mode selection., will this be software (u-boot) feasible some day ? That seems easy, to confirm. My dream is to be able to boot over a network located image.

These tips are in fact known issues.

err… you do realise Debian is an open source project… paid by who?

The reality is that this is that StarFive based their engineering release on Debian for very good technical reasons, not bribery. And since it is Debian based it kind of follows that Debian will get the most attention, and StarFive’s work will be Debian-centric.


I believe they are commenting and posting from a standpoint that the only officially released engineering prototype operating system is a special version of Debian. Therefore, it stands to reason they would offer tips or help about that specific operating system.

I am of the opinion that we should strive to get ONE option working, and then attempt including more. Since Debian is a known quantity, it is easy to understand the changes made, and what is needed to move forward.

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Nothing against them to concentrate on debian. They could have chosen any other linux but that is absolutely ok. And, to be honest, the tone of some people here astounds me a lot. This is a development board on a fairly new platform…it is the purpose of those boards to get them early into the wild, so that an infrastructure can be build by a community.

That said, there is clearly one issue, I agree on and that are the graphics drivers and the correspondent mesa stack. Not, that they make everything open source. Won’t happen for the firmware e.g. and that’s the same on AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. But the kernel driver and everything above should be given to us in exactly the versions used on that debian image.
Alongside with distribution agnostic information on how the stack is supposed to work.
And, at least what I can see, the buildroot mesa version is 22.1.3 but the installed stack in the debian image is 22.3.5, so why isn’t there a site where we could at least download the needed patches for that one?


I understand your point. There is some kind of provocation here :wink:

An engineering Release (EngRel) is part of the fabrication quality process. I expect them to have a Debian EngRel, a FreeBSD EngRel, etc … whatever they want, the more, the better. But please please don’t ship that to the customer. Use these EngRels to tweak the beast possible bios/firmware Pre-OS environment and ship that optimized version to us.

I just saying that I buy hardware from hardware manufacturers , and software/OSes fro software manufacturers. Intel is not providing its own version of Firefox, mesa, etc.

If Firefox / mesa is not working enough, change the firmware, not Firefox/mesa, and, when the tests are OK. ship the firmware… This helps everyone (BSD included).

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We do expect Intel to provide GPU drivers though. But Imagination isn’t expected to provide GPU drivers for some reason.


I would be totally on your side if it was Intel, AMD, MSI, Asus or meanwhile RaspberryPi Foundation. They have built up a large development team, established codebase and all that. Pi 5 e.g. is sold as “The everything computer. Optimised.”. Not as a development board. These two things are not comparable! The VF2 is for people to experiment with RISC-V, the corresponding codebase and software infrastructure, not primarily as a SBC for drop into home automation or other daily use scenarios. If all goes well, that will be the case in 1-2 years. And to reach that goal, the board is released in its current state.

To perhaps better understand my point, a short clarification on why I personally bought a VF2 and what my goal is:
I’m sick of Intel/AMD and meanwhile partly also ARM rolling out beta releases of their hardware and board manufacturers doing the same on the mainboard and/or gpu side of things. Im tired of getting to know there is something like an ME (intel) or PSP (AMD) doing some magical stuff which I cannot see or influence.
I want in lets say late 2024 or early 2025, when my next deskop PC will be a topic, buy a RISC-V based computer. Something like the Milk-V Pioneer. Just a bit cheaper and with faster CPU cores. And I want to run Archlinux on that one. So all I’m doing right now for the VF2 helps that goal. That is my motivation.
Besides that, after playing around with the VF2 for some weeks now, I’ll buy a second one with a large SSD as my new home server, replacing my old Intel Atom based box.

That are my thoughts regarding that topic and for me, I feel I spent the money well on the VF2.



I also rate VF2 higher than that. Even its existence is a real asset.

My VF2 was the first usable home server machine and I use as such for 1 year now. Is is just not used to view movies and I don’t understand why we are loosing so much time on that (it is probably the job of the GPU vendor).

This release gives NVME booting and for me, this is much more important than Mesa/Firefox because it impacts all systems. And Big thank you to the team for this OS-independent feature.

I still expect some OS-independent features like boot order, not using my physical hands to switch the boot device, etc

Most Debian architectures (ppc64, ) don’t provide GPU acceleration enough to make them usable as a home pc.


Great :slight_smile:
But if I may ask…why gives this release NVME-Booting? I did that already with 3.7.5 and as far as I know, that was even possible earlier?

I did not try too much. This time, NVME booting worked out of the box.

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I’m using it in dual boot. Debian and Archlinux on the same NVME :wink:

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Does anyone know the exact packages that are custom that apt upgrade will break? Couldnt we use “apt-mark hold” to prevent those packages from being modified and update everything else?


I guess I can’t talk about the GPU or the other three letter competitor and how they are working on drivers. Anyhow, someone seems to be working on something. Hopefully the community will receive the data it needs soon.


Can you please elaborate on this? I would love to put some money on any new project of VF3 with a different/smarter GPU and more specs.

Any links?

I cannot elaborate because the post was flagged not conforming to community guidelines.

It is also perhaps because there was conflicting information about which GPU is included in the VisionFive2… who knows.

How ? for me does not work at all … Boardrevision 1.2A 8G Ram, 1TB NVMe:

Enter choice: 1: Debian GNU/Linux bookworm/sid 5.15.0-starfive
Retrieving file: /initrd.img-5.15.0-starfive
** No partition table - nvme 0 **
Couldn’t find partition nvme 0:3
Can’t set block device
Skipping l0 for failure retrieving initrd

i updated UBOOT and SPL to latest and did not work either with same errors

What software did you use to write the image?

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balena etcher 1.18.11 — which works fine for 202308

Is there a specific reason to not have all controllers enabled in the kernel’s cgroup support? not having cpusets as an enabled controller makes using nomad hard.