First thing to say is I am new to Rockstor and here, so bear with me please.
I’ve spent some time with the build process for a Pi4 target, and wanted to report back my non-expert findings to the community.
I used a Pi4 to build the installer, and the process in the instructions went without hitch: a .raw file (5.2GB size) was successfully created.
However, I could not get a successful boot from either SDCard or USB SSD using this image. After a bit of head-scratching, and an enlightening discussion with @phillxnet on here, I was about to run through the build process again with some additional advice re potentially missing dependancies. Before that, I thought I’d try one last thing with the original .raw file - use a different image writing tool.
Indeed, it seems the built-in tool in my laptop distro was the culprit: I went back to Balena Etcher with success. And yes, I know I should probably be using dd.
I believe the installer build itself to be pretty solid: it built a working .raw image without fuss.
So now I can get a booting Pi4. Well, within reason…
Pi4 boots from SD Card perfectly every time, with or without additional USB drives (ie for data) attached. Rockstor 4 Webgui is accessible, and very responsive, from Chrome on my laptop.
Pi4 will boot from USB SSD, but NOT if additional USB drives are attached at boot time.
Also noted that SDHCI errors were repeatedly generated (I assume complaining of no SD Card in slot). The system still booted successfully and the Rockstor WebGui accessed in the usual manner from my laptop browser, but the screen attached to the Pi for initial setup shows continuously looping SDHCI errors. Simply placing a formatted SD Card in the slot stopped the errors, as the OS could now see something there. This is definitely OS related, and could probably be avoided by blacklisting SDHCI modules - I need to try this, as I don’t know what the knock-on effect of doing this might be. As the Pi would be used headless, these errors would not be visible anyway but I’d rather not have them.
None of the above issues are related to Rockstor itself, but rather the underlying OS. I’m not an expert in SUSEland so will need to try my best mate (Google) and this forum to get some pointers.
Once booted however (I stuck with SDCard boot), Rockstor starts up fine and works like a champ. It was extremely satisfying to log in to Rockstor 4 on a Pi, select Testing channel, and watch it do the update to 4.0.2-0.
I worked through the usual steps of setting up drives, pools, shares, users, SAMBA, NFS etc and it all seemed to go without hitch to be honest.
I found the Pi4 to be extremely responsive to anything I tried in the GUI. Shares were accessed easily, with good read/write speeds using my typical laptop/AC WiFi/Access Point/Gigabit LAN chain.
I’ve not tried Rockons yet, and I know one has to be careful to check they work with ARM64 beforehand.
A couple of functional issues I noted:
I did experience a strange thing where one of my Shares could not be resized from the default 1.00GB size, but this went away without me doing anything apart from a reboot. I know Share sizes are irrelevant with that part of BTRFS not ready yet, but I wanted to test the usual suspects.
Selecting ‘Shutdown’ but then clicking on ‘Cancel’ on the dialog clears the webgui from browser, and then brings up the dialog again in a loop.
When I get some more time hopefully later this week, I will investigate the issues I see with USB SSD booting. Any pointers gratefully received, of course.