Using BPI-M2 Zero on Pimoroni Cluster HAT

I have to admit I am running a RPI3 odd as a home server with Hypriot. So, just a workhorse for running the house. Has plenty of capacity and am looking for jobs for the system to do and processing videos off astronomy experiments, which also tends to crave a cluster.

I did just buy a Pimoroni Cluster HAT that is actually supposed to take four RPI zero. However, my evil plan is to see if I could run four BPI-M2 ZERO instead!

Anyone gone through that pain yet? Looking for recommendations for linux distro on the BPI-M2 ZERO to tackle this with. It might make sense to use Rasbian, given many of the ensuing supporting examples assume RPI Zero running atop RPI 3 ish.

I am assuming some pain since I am running Hypriot on the RPI “controller”. That will be the more interesting part I suspect. It it gets too hard, buying another RPI 3ish would be the lazy way out of coure. Still, you don’t learn anything going that route.

The author of the cluster hat software (running on Rasbian) feels there is some work required. Noting at least that “I can’t get the g_cdc kernel module to load and it’s lacking functionfs so looks like it needs a kernel recompile.”. Basic problems to solve are laid out in steps provided. So guess the starting question is whether there are plans for getting “g_cdc kernel module to load” or including “functionfs” in an update of any of the Rasbian images?

Cheers, B

Get Armbian. It has best support, its up2date and full docker support for years.

@igorpec so I read you haven’t attempted running bpi-m2 zero on a pimoroni cluster hat using ethernet over usb.

No - I am only pointing you to the most matured and best supported software where you will loose less time.

Don’t have such setup - that’s on you to try out. Ethernet over usb should work (works) on Allwinner H3 boards unless this particular one is not broken on hardware layer. With Armbian you will find a serial console running on that port. You need to disable it, load ethernet gadget and configure IPs. That’s it.

I have compiled an armbian image for BananaPi M2 Zero with all the required kernel modules built-in and everything else left out (gpu etc) for thermals and performance. I also ported all functions and scripts found in raspberries sitting on top of the ClusterHAT to have a fully functioning cluster.

Please see the thread below: BananaPi on ClusterHAT



I have been trying, desperately, to upgrade these Banana PIs with the images provided. After I do an apt-get update and apt-get upgrade or even apt-get full-upgrade the Banana PIs do not come back up. I have even connected to the Banana PIs, directly, with HDMI cable, OTP cable with Keyboard, to see what is going on and nothing, it does not boot or anything after upgrade. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to talk to you about what this project is being used for and see if you want to get involved…or not…I just really need to get past this upgrade problem with these Banana PIs.

I should state, I am using “cbridge” not “cnat”. After looking at some threads, it may seem the “cnat” images may not have this issue after the apt-get update and apt-get upgrade or full-upgrade.

Thank you in advance.

To safely update and upgrade these images, first hold the kernel:

  1. sudo apt-mark hold linux-image-current-sunxi
  2. sudo apt-mark hold linux-dtb-current-sunxi

Just had good results combining this image:

With @vassilis invaluable “” script steps here:

Ended up with a working “p4” node and am now going to go back and update p1-3 from here. (I had trouble with the latest Armbian Bookworm 24.2 as ripping out network-manager is not as foolproof there, or I did something else slightly wrong.) The downside of using the public images is that we’re not getting vassilis’ special kernel with disabled GPU/etc. The upside is you don’t need to apt-hold anything.

I’ll actually probably go back and use “minimal” instead of the midsize (non-desktop) image, as I doubt I want half of these things, but overall it’s a whole couple generations newer than the old images.