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Install OS to eMMC

Step 1 - Download U-Boot only image and an Helios64 image build

To emulate the internal eMMC as USB Mass Storage, special u-boot image is needed. Download the microSD card image from here.

You will also need to download an OS image to write to the internal eMMC.

Go to Download and chose one of the latest build.

Important

  • OMV (OpenMediaVault) is only supported on Debian OS.
  • Armbian 20.08.8 and earlier version has bug that prevent system to boot from eMMC!

Step 2 - Writing U-Boot image to a microSD Card

You will need to use an image writing tool to write helios64_sdcard_u-boot-only.img.xz to microSD Card.

Under Windows, Mac OS or Linux (via Graphic Interface)

Etcher is a graphical SD card writing tool that works on Mac OS, Linux and Windows, this is the easiest method for most users. Etcher also supports writing images directly from XZ files, without any prerequired decompression. To write your image with Etcher:

  • Download Etcher and install it on your computer.
  • Insert the microSD Card inside your SD card reader (microSD to SD adapter might be needed).
  • Open Etcher and select the helios64_sdcard_u-boot-only.img.xz image file from your local storage.
  • Select the microSD Card you wish to write your image to.
  • Review your selections and click 'Flash!' to begin writing data to the microSD Card.

Etcher

Under Linux (using dd via Terminal)

Armbian images are using XZ compression format, therefore we need xz-utils or xz tools to decompress the image first.

for Debian-based distribution (Debian/Ubuntu) you can install the utility using following command:

apt-get install xz-utils

in RedHat-based distribution (RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux) users can use this command:

yum install xz

after installing the compression tool, you can now decompress the images:

xz -dk helios64_sdcard_u-boot-only.img.xz

finally we can write the images to sdcard using dd:

sudo dd if=helios64_sdcard_u-boot-only.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M conv=fsync status=progress

Note

/dev/sdX is where the microSD is mapped in your Linux machine, change the 'X' to your corresponding mapped device. If you set /dev/sdX to a wrong device then you might risk erasing a hard drive or different device than the designated microSD.

Step 3 - Wire Helios64

Warning

Always proceed with caution when manipulating 110/220V appliance.

  1. Insert the prepared microSD Card.

  2. Connect your computer to the serial port with the Type-C to Type-A USB cable.

  3. Connect Helios64 to your home network with the Ethernet cable.
    Choose LAN2 port if you have 2.5Gb network.

  4. Plug-in the DC power connector. Don't power-up the Power Adapter yet.

Connections with Enclosure

If you are using Helios64 without an enclosure:

Connections without Enclosure

Step 4 - Power-Up Helios64

Now that everything is ready you can plug-in the AC adapter and push the Power Button.

Enclosure Power ON

If you are using Helios64 without an enclosure:

Enclosure Power ON

Step 5 - Writing an OS image to Internal eMMC

After you have powered-up Helios64, your computer should have detected a new storage device called Linux UMS disk 0.

Now write Helios64 OS image that you have downloaded in Step 1 to the above detected storage device.

Using Etcher

  • Open Etcher and select the Helios64 image file from your local storage.
  • Select "Linux UMS disk 0" drive.
  • Review your selections and click 'Flash!' to begin writing data to the microSD Card.

Etcher

Using dd via Terminal

Decompress the image:

xz -dk Armbian_20.08.0_Helios64_buster_current_5.7.15.img.xz

finally we can write the image to eMMC using dd:

sudo dd if=Armbian_20.08.0_Helios64_buster_current_5.7.15.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M conv=fsync status=progress

Replace the filename by the image file name you downloaded.

Note

/dev/sdX is where the "Linux UMS_disk_0" is mapped in your Linux machine, change the 'X' to your corresponding mapped device. If you set /dev/sdX to a wrong device then you might risk erasing a hard drive or different device than the designated Helios64 internal eMMC.

Step 6 - Power-Down Helios64

Power down Helios64 by long pressing (~4 seconds) the Power Button and then remove the microSD card.

Now the setup is ready for its first start, go to First Start page for further instruction.


Last update: October 14, 2020

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