[BPI-R4] Install OpenWrt to EMMC without going through NAND

I wanted to play around with the snapshot releases of OpenWrt and was looking for thread for the R4 similar to this one for the R3. Unfortunately, there isn’t one yet, would it make sense to create it and update the opening post as needed?

I already found the regular steps described by Daniel to flash the SD card image from the snapshot firmware selector to a SD card and then install to NAND and then to EMMC.

But I would like to skip the NAND part and install it to EMMC directly, for example using the pre-flashed OpenWrt on NAND and the EMMC image on an USB stick.

This brings a first issue though, there isn’t a EMMC image file like there is for the SD card. How can I solve this?

Main reason for not using the NAND storage is, that I don’t want to wear it out with my experiments. I’d rather flash a “final” image there, once everything is settled (openwrt r4 in next release, wifi card available and installed, uboot with nvme support etc.) as the backup/recovery/bootloader system for my R4.

Don’t worry, you won’t wear out the NAND by flashing it once (or twice: once now and then another time with the final image). It can survive thousands to ten-thousands of flash cycles.

Also note that using OpenWrt has a different layout for the NAND chip, so even if you only write OpenWrt to the eMMC, this will affect the NAND and may render the stock image there unusable. The other way around (having OpenWrt on the NAND and SinoVoip stock image on eMMC or SD card) is not a problem.

Using SinoVoip’s image to install stock OpenWrt is a bit tricky, because they use deprecated/outdated block2mtd hack to simulate a NOR-flash-like device on top of the eMMC…

1 Like