VisionFive 2 Debian Image 202302 Released

That is all well and good, until an update is actually removing all the features that you are using and those features will probably not be available again (unless backported) until the kernel is probably 6.4 (which is not being worked on yet) ?

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@joe I’m not doubting your IT skills, this forum is remarkably free of idiots. I’m just trying to set expectations somewhat realistically to the status of this project as it is.
But aiming high and asking for more is also quite reasonable.

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With respect to experiences on Intel/AMD hardware with AMD/NVIDIA GPU’s, you must have been running headless and not using either sid or rawhide.

On many occasions when the gpu drivers weren’t in line with the mainline kernel, my desktop busted.
On long-term-stable(LTS) versions of debian/ubuntu/fedora/archlinux, you’ll never encounter this.

I imagine you never ran rawhide or sid because if you did you would experience a situation where you felt like rolling back or reverting from it somehow. The only way to revert back with debian/ubuntu/fedora/archlinux is by installing previous versions of packages which is a huge pain at times.

The only truly painless distro at the moment for me is Fedora Silverblue. It’s a different beast. It’s like a long-term-stable in the way that it doesn’t break your desktop, but it’s more recent than a long-term-stable. The migrations from Silverblue 35 to 36 to 37 at times were a bit painful since there’s a bit of learning curve to it, but throughout this experience, I never lost my desktop unlike debian/ubuntu sid and non-silverblue rawhide.

Why is Fedora Silverblue different? It’s a versioned filesystem. You really can rollback to a previous version of the filesystem unlike debian/ubuntu sid and non-silverblue rawhide. I cannot praise Fedora Silverblue enough for keeping the desktop and software upgrade experience a pleasant one.

I’m sharing this experience with you in the hopes the Starfive team understands how vital a priority it is and to get their software ecosystem in a state where there is no pain for upgrades. Ideally users should be able to place an image on an sdcard, then never have to image another sdcard again. That’s the kind of place users want to be. I think in the first week of receiving the board, I dd’ed/gparted’ed roughly about 10 times. I’ve honestly never had to do this so many times for an intel box ever. Once was enough. Then you install on the intel box.

I experienced the low-memory ARM SBC’s with 1GB/2GB/4GB and low-core count with it 2-core/4-core for so long and it was so slow to flash sdcard’s for it and so slow to work with it, It was a painful experience. I abandoned using ARM hardware. I was really hoping this VF2 board would be different.

Please do your best to lower the pain levels to develop and use the VF2 and next-generations of it. Please do your best to avoid making devs/users flash images on every kernel release. It should be a simple package upgrade/install for both firmware/kernel with whatever is currently installed on the sdcard. It could at the very same time, tweak the /etc/apt/sources.list to a newer snapshot compatible with the newly installed firmware/kernel.

With respect to not making automatic firmware updates, I think simply prompting the users “Are you sure about that?”(THE ROCK MEME GIF APPEARS HERE) would resolve letting the users being responsible to not install the firmware, but default ENTER should be “YES INSTALL NEW FIRMWARE” because that’s what users and starfive really want us to do to improve the developer/user experience.


While we’re in early development phase we’re better off with the snapshot to avoid pain.


What @coltree says is good advice.
And can we keep this thread on-topic (eg; the StarFive debian release, other distros have their own appropriate threads).


On my VF2 board with freshly flashed 202302 image I solved keyring problems by switching to live active repository using the following commands.

Warning: do not use below method if you need to use graphical session!

apt-get install ./debian-ports-archive-keyring_2023.02.01_all.deb
sed -i "s/^deb/#deb/g" /etc/apt/sources.list
echo "deb unstable main contrib non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Not sure about side-effects with the stuff from /usr/local

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What broke and what still works after that, while pointing at unstable ?
Or are you using it headless and only care about the RISC-V instruction set working and not about any other features of the SoC working ?

Or do you have a list of packages that you did not install ?
e.g. linux-image-6.1.0-5-riscv64, … ???

I stick with original built-in linux-image-5.15.0-starfive kernel package.
Mostly I’m running headless system. It seems that LigthDM got broken after upgrade, so I’ve added warning in the message above.

For GUI I prefer to use an other well known image from hexdump0815.


Thanks for sharing an image that is easier to download <700MB

i have a problem resizing the / partition because with so little free space i can’t install the utilities i know to resize partitions.

can you help me? with which commands were you able to enlarge the partition /?

thank you all for the wonderful work that the small riscv team is doing

see: Extend Partition on SD Card or eMMC


Thanks, done on the fly. I had missed the DOC section of the site.

very clear and simple the procedure now

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parted and resize2fs should already be installed.

Though I had an issue with corruption on the ext4 fs that I had to fix from outside before I can do the resize. Not sure if it was a mistake form my side, of the image come with the error baked in.

Unfortunately the new release always has two annoying bugs.

  1. the first login returns a login window again.

  2. can’t shut down or restart because it freezes and I’m forced to cut the power off and on again. then the problem doesn’t come back.

  3. still the problem of the repository key but I understood that since it is a snapshot no important updates will be released because we are still in the embryonic phase of the project and we are going ahead with the releases.

I hope they will be fixed in the next one and I would like a script for some settings like tzdata and choice of bash or zsh shell


I wonder if they will create image with console login instead of desktop GUI, will it be less picky about displays…

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It would be the same as the display, console or GUI will be handled by the same bit in the SoC.

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Too bad, I was hoping to get something simple and stable, like Debian server version with only command line and ssh.

@Andrej7 But the children wouldn’t like it if it hasn’t desktop and high performance GPU for displaying. BTW, the CPU of VF2 is pretty excellent than the VF1 is!


This guide DOESN’T work for me.

root@'s password:
Permission denied, please try again.

@Michael.Zhu IMHO removing SSH especially on a system that has had so many issues with the display working is a very stupid move. It’s locking people out of their VisionFive 2 computers. Security shouldn’t be the focus right now, getting the system working in an optimal fashion should be the focus right now. No one in their right mind is going to deploy a VisionFive 2, what is a BETA SBC, for mission critical services where security is a paramount concern.

I have followed all the suggestions on in this thread and I STILL can’t login via SSH as root. I am also at loss as to what to do next to resolve this. It is a very frustrating experience.

root@'s password:
Permission denied, please try again.
root@'s password:

Honestly, this new “202302” is a step backward in many ways. A very frustrating step backwards. Why are you/StarFive purposefully making this image less user friendly? It makes no sense.

I’ll be frankly honest, at this stage I regret buying the VisionFive2. StarFive needs to start making some better common sense decisions in my opinion.

I suggest StarFive roll out a new Debian image with SSH (and an Internet Browser!) installed by default as soon as possible. Again, this new image is a huge step backward in many ways. VERY AGGRAVATING.


But you can log in as user@ with the password starfive. Afterwards, you can of course activate the root login if you want to.