Yep I bought another small board. Here’s my typical tutorial on how I made it work for me.

First of all it comes preloaded with Android Jelly Bean. Just like your smart phone or Tablet. Just plug it in, hook an HDMI cable up, a mouse and keyboard and you’ve got a desktop version of Android.


Pretty cool but I’m a Linux guy. Android is basically Linux but give me the full features of a Linux distribution anyway. Very powerful and very configurable.

You can download a prebuilt image of Lubuntu which is a light version of Ubuntu Linux. You can get either a server version or desktop version here. Or you can get a dual boot version.

Now with other boards such as Raspberry Pi or Cubox, you copy the image file to your SD card and boot from that. Not so with the Radxa Rock. (Actually you can boot from SD but this tutorial is not about that).

The Lubuntu goes on the 8 GB NAND partition right on the board. But there are some gotchas.

You’ve downloaded the distribution now you need some tools.

- Upgrade Tool
- RKFlashkit

You get them both on the same page as above.

Now I can run you through the trial and error methods I employed and have you running in circles but this is the best way to install Linux, and I’ll tell you why. Once you flash the image file to the NAND memory there are all kinds of partitions. You’ll be installing an over 900 megabyte distribution on a 1 gigabyte partition. In a pinch you can resize that partition to 2 gigabytes but what you want is the whole 8 gigabytes of that NAND.

So do this. Take your Raxda Rock and hook it to another computer, either Linux or Windows (sorry Mac guys) via the micro USB port to the USB port on your computer while holding the recovery button in. This tutorial will be in Linux.


Open the program RKFlashkit within two minutes of connecting the Radxa to your linux computer via the USB cable. If it times out just do it again.

Now install your image with the Linux Upgrade Tool

Low level format the disk. This slicks your device. Kiss Android goodbye.

./upgrade_tool lf


Then install Lubuntu

sudo upgrade_tool uf radxa-raring-alip-update.img (assuming that the file is in the same directory as the upgrade tool).




resize2fs /dev/block/mtd/by-name/linuxroot

This turns your NAND partition into a 2 gig partition. I recommend at this point you go ahead and configure Lubuntu how you like it. Make your users, get your software. At least get a good start on it.

Now open RKFlashkit on your Linux computer and connect your Radxa Rock.

You will see two partitions in the drop down box. The boot and linuxroot partitions. Back them up using the Backup Partition button. The linuxroot partition will take a while to backup. Maybe 20-30 minutes.

Now your Radxa Rock is backed up. We need to go about getting rid of the data directory now so we can reclaim the full space of the NAND memory.

Now assuming you’ve downloaded and unzipped the Upgrade Tool get to the directory where you downloaded it and type (in my case) Warning: This is going to wipe your device again.

cd Downloads (assuming that’s where it is located, if not type the proper path)

./upgrade_tool lf

lf does a low level format on the NAND memory. Just like before.

Now on Linux make a file called “parameter-linux” (don't use the quotation marks) and insert the following code.

FIRMWARE_VER:4.2.2 MACHINE_MODEL:radxa_rock MACHINE_ID:007 MANUFACTURER:RADXA MAGIC: 0x5041524B ATAG: 0x60000800 MACHINE: 3066 CHECK_MASK: 0x80 KERNEL_IMG: 0x60408000 #RECOVER_KEY: 1,1,0,20,0 CMDLINE:console=ttyFIQ0 console=tty0 root=/dev/block/mtd/by-name/linuxroot rw rootfstype=ext4 init=/sbin/init initrd=0x62000000,0x00800000 mtdparts=rk29xxnand:0x00008000@0x00002000(boot),0x00E00000@0x00A000(linuxroot)

Save it in the same directory where your upgrade tool is. Remember the name is parameter-linux

Now type:

./upgrade_tool di -p parameter-linux

Notice that just above the middle it shows (data) partition. It is visible just above the second red line from the top. That’s where all the hiding space is. After you run the parameter-linux command note the very last line on my screenshot. The last partition is now (linuxroot). The drop down box that shows NAND partitions will have two entries, the boot, and linuxroot.


Now you can flash your previously saved boot and linuxroot partitions using the Flash Image button. Hit the Choose button in the RKFlashkit as depicted above and point it to your backups. Replace the boot backup to the boot partition and the linuxroot backup to the linuxroot partition. It will take a long time to restore the linuxroot partition. 30 minutes.

Then disconnect your Radxa Rock, hook it up to HDMI, mouse, keyboard and power brick.

Once you are in resize your partition again.

resize2fs /dev/block/mtd/by-name/linuxroot

Then type the following to check the partition size.

df -h

And you get your whole NAND memory available (obviously minus the boot partition) Notice it is now 7.3 GB. Hurray!


And note I have a 16 GB SD card installed. Will probably move my home directory over there to really give me some working space. Or just store some music there.

After you are installed Chromium doesn’t work. To fix it you must flash a new kernel and in my case I had to flash a new boot loader as well.

First go to RKFLASHKIT and DO A FULL BACKUP OF BOOT AND LINUXROOT Partitions. You are about to lose everything.

Get the boot loader from here:


As root flash it with the upgrade tool. Make sure the bin file is in the same directory as the upgrade tool and type this:

./upgrade_tool ul RK3188Loader\(L\)_V2.08.bin

Run parameter-linux

./upgrade_tool di -p parameter-linux

Now download the new kernel and flash it with RKFlashkit to the boot partition


Now restore your linuxroot partition and reboot.

Now Chromium works. Now install Flash.

sudo wget http://dl.radxa.com/rock/images/ubuntu/flashplayer/libpepflashplayer.so -O /usr/lib/libpepflashplayer.so

sudo mv /usr/bin/chromium-browser /usr/bin/chromium-browser-bin

sudo wget http://dl.radxa.com/rock/images/ubuntu/flashplayer/chromium-browser -O /usr/bin/chromium-browser

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/chromium-browser

And following all this and a little tweaking I now have a great functioning system with SAMBA, Squeezelite player using LogitechMediaServer, and a USB DAC.

desktop 1_003

And from my Mac you can see Samba is working fine.

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 4.59.47 AM