VisionFive 2 flash image - Release compatibility

Question to StarFive and the ones developing firmware and software to the VidsionFive 2 board:

Do you plan to go toward a common u-boot / UEFI / flash boot image set and if so do you have a timeline for this?

I am a bit surprised that it seems that every Debian release so far needs to be matched by a set of flash u-boot / firmware images. Maybe this is just a phenomenon that has been hard to avoid due to this board being one of the first Risc-V SBC boards, but some seem to think it indicates some larger problems, see this discussion for example: StarFive VisionFive 2 Firmware / Bootloader Update Guide

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In my humble opinion, what was said there was not wrong, but it is now outdated.

I recommend reading this one.


I used it to upgrade my flash, and found it helpful. The problem I had was that since the naming of the two boot image files (u-boot and …fw…) did not change between releases I assumeed they were compatible, which I later found out was not the case.

I was also thinking about the discussion below which includes

"On this board you do have to update it every single update apparently. The kernels/dtbs are so incompatible it won’t even boot. How these keep changing I have no idea. Mapping your hardware is not something that should change this dramatically each update. This is not normal at all.

I also don’t see how this design gets fixed. This is a fundamental design problem. They can’t ship a universal image or kernel for this. It’s always going to be fiddling with firmware and flashing on this board."

I hope he’s wrong, but not sure at this point.

In fact, I’m very sure he’s wrong about that, but that’s not the point either. :nerd_face:

When I got my Radxa ROCK Pi 4 in December 2019, I had quite a few adventures ahead of me, but I knew what I was ordering, I wanted to have adventures and I was prepared for difficulties. Unfortunately, some problems could only be solved with a new board revision. If you want to sit in a comfortable armchair in your small, air-conditioned home laboratory, surrounded by screens, measuring devices and computers and experience adventures, then “no risk, no fun” also applies. At least you don’t have to expect to lose a few toes like you do when climbing Mount Everest. :wink:

I was so excited about my adventure with the Kickstarter Early Bird - 4GB VisionFive 2 that I decided to order an 8GB VF2 from Waveshare via amazon because of my impatience, which made the waiting time seem unbearable.

What makes the StarFive VisionFive 2 so special for me? Unlike Radxa, StarFive cannot fork a kernel from a major SoC manufacturer ( [1] Rockchip) and adapt it to their board, they are solely responsible for the board and SoC. What Starfive is doing could be called basic digital research. I’m very happy with my ROCK Pi 4 and I don’t want to belittle Radxa’s excellent work, but what StarFive is doing is disproportionately more difficult. As early bird VisionFive 2 owners, we can participate in a very exciting development. This is true adventure.

  • [1] Rockchip has over 700 employees and does a lot of groundwork that is important and hardly affordable for small development teams like Radxa.

I agree, and since I am also working with a Radxa ROCK 5B I have seen similar problems there. Just hope there are no hardware limitations against creating a stable firmware platform which can be used for multiple operating systems in a while.