How to install Ubuntu Server 20.04 to M5 EMMC

Does anyone have a more concise set of instructions for setting up the M5 to boot Ubuntu from the EMMC? I’m having trouble following the wiki. I’ve got Ubuntu installed and booting fine from the SD card but don’t really understand the next steps. Thanks!!

You have gotten further than me. I’m not able to boot any of the images I have tried (Rasbian, debian, ubuntu) from a SD card. I have flashed the eMMC with android and that boots fine, but if I insert a flashed SD card, the screen stays black. I’ve flashed the SD card with images downloaded from this forums link, and used balenaEtcher.

What did you do to be able to boot from a SD card.

You will have to format the EMMC in order to restore SD Card boot capability. You need a USB debug console cable. You can find one on Amazon. I will post all my other steps for getting Ubuntu install on the EMMC…I finally figured it out.

Setting up Banana Pi with Ubuntu 20.04 Server from a Windows PC

  • Download latest version of Balena Etcher
  • Download image file from: Banana Pi Open Source Project (
  • Unzip the image file to a folder on your Windows machine
  • Used Balena Etcher to flash the unzipped image file (*.img) to an SD card
  • Copy the zipped (*.zip) version of the same file to a USB thumb drive (I had to reformat the USB drive to NTFS file system to copy the file to the USB stick…not sure why)
  • Boot up the Bpi M5 with the SD card
  • Login for Ubuntu was ‘pi’ with password ‘bananapi”
  • CONTINUE IF YOU WANT TO CONFIGURE M5 TO BOOT UBUNTU FROM EMMC If you proceed, you will no longer be able to boot from the SD card until you reformat EMMC
  • Login for Ubuntu was ‘pi’ with password ‘bananapi”
  • At the terminal prompt $, ran these two commands:
  • Insert the USB thumb drive into Bpi M5 and mount in via terminal $ using these commands:
    • sudo fdisk -l
      • Used to see what the OS is naming your USB drive
      • Mine was /dev/sda1
    • sudo mkdir /media/usb
      • Used to make a directory (mount point) for mounting the USB drive. This directory may already exist.
    • cd /media/usb
    • sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/usb
      • Used to mount the USB drive to the /media/usb folder
    • ls
      • Lists the contents of the USB drive.
      • Should see your *.zip version of the Ubuntu image file
    • sudo bpi-copy /dev/mmcblk0
      • Copies, unzips, and installs the image file onto the EMMC
    • I got an error at this point related to “unzip” not being a valid command
      • I just ran the command: sudo apt-get install unzip
      • Re-ran the command: sudo bpi-copy… listed above
  • The boot order for the Bpi M5 is Start ROM:Boot EMMC and then Boot SD Card, so if you want to go back to booting from the SD Card after installing an OS on the EMMC, you will have to erase it first and start over.
  • To erase the EMMC for SD Card bootup:
    • Connect the M5 to your computer via USB debug console cable
    • Use the Amlogic USB Burning Tool to format the EMMC

Thanks for the clear, detailed, step by step response. This is how the wiki should have been. Good to hear you got it working and thanks for taking the time to write it up.

Wow! I wish I had found this about a week ago. You are my hero. Thank you so much!

Can this method be used to install Raspbian on eMMC?

I found it can install raspbian with this methond but it will work only with some images.

This worked for me also.

I am trying this image with a 32GB SD card written with Balena-Etcher 1.18.11 on a Macbook and a BPI-M5, all I get is a logo appears on screen for a while, then black screen flash, in an infinite loop. Does that mean it cannot read the SD card ? What is the flashing logo telling me ?

I look at the card, FAT32, volume checks ok, i see a bunch of files incl boot.ini etc. so physically card & image seems ok.

Hi there, I’ve followed the procedure on a BPi 3 (4x 2GHz, 2GB, 5x 1 Gbit) but none of the Eth-ports get a usable IP4-address. Something additional I need to do? Thanks in advance, F