The support for RISC-V systems like the Visionfive 2 board is still quite thin. Now DietPi joins the list of available Linux distributions.
Linux support for RISC-V processors is still in a fairly early stage of development. Now, single-board computer distribution (SBC) DietPi has added experimental support for Starfive’s Visionfive 2 single-board computers. This means that a second distribution can now be used alongside Starfive’s Debian, which was updated and adapted a few days ago – albeit with some restrictions.
In order to use DietPi on the Visionfive 2, the firmware should first be updated. This is now much easier than it was around the turn of the year, when the most secure variant was updating via serial console and TFTP. The minimal distribution in the
sdcard.imgfile from the firmware Github project for Visionfive 2 can be loaded onto an SD card with balenaEtcher. The board started with this can write the firmware files with just a few commands
u-boot-spl.bin.normal.outand then, for example, from a USB stick to the flash memory areas integrated as a partition.
Visionfive-2-SBC: Limited Linux support
Interested parties can download the experimental DietPi image
DietPi_VisionFive2-RISC-V-Sid.7zfrom the DietPi download page and transfer it to an SD card with balenaEtcher. After inserting the card into the Visionfive 2, it should be able to start directly.
The limitations give an idea of how early the development of DietPi is. The worst thing is that the current DietPi image does not support a console on the HDMI output. Access must be via SSH on the Ethernet connection or with a serial console using a UART adapter on the board’s pin strip. The DietPi maintainers are therefore initially concentrating on the headless usable applications until they get HDMI support back in the kernel, writes StephanStS in the DietPi blog.
In the blog post there is a small list of programs that are already working – an entry that points to X11 with XRDP (quite slow) is interesting. Graphical program interfaces will therefore also soon be usable. The positive list with 19 entries is followed by a longer negative list with programs that are not yet working, 41 in number. The project is still looking for other testers who can and want to help with the further development in the form of comments in a Github thread.