How to install linux to NVME drive? vim3l

From start:
Connect NVME to M2 port, usb stick with image armbian, boot from SDcard with resc-image khadas.
What i have to do now?
In resc. menu i see only - Write image to eMMC… but i want to do that with my ssd drive in M.2 slot for much better performance. i dont need eMMC because it will fail after 1 year with all data.

Any one have manual with full step setup?

I bought this board to make file storage as well as cloud storage. And no support at all. I waited 5 days for some kind of answer. It would be better if I bought a raspberry pi, at least the community there is normal. I bought some crap with all the ports I needed, bought an SSD for $170 and now it’s just a piece of garbage lying around. We conclude: Do not buy something that is not a flagship.

Hello @Birox
sorry for the response delay. Have you checked the documentation regarding flashing images ?

with the resc you can also directly dd the image file to the /dev/nvme0n1 device node too.

They work very well, we are using the VIM3 & 4 with NVMe without any problems.

FYI, the reason we tested the Khadas boards was the Pi 4 would not stay up and running with an SSD on USB port.

Why in the resq image, i cant write it right from menu? U think all all people here knows linux, and how to use dd without examples?

I dont see any full manual for this situation in wiki.

Okay, I will provide an example for this shortly.

@Birox check out these following steps to getting your OS booting from the NVMe disk.

You need to have the following:

  • USB disk with the
    <image in oowow format>.img.xz file
    <image>.img file
  • OOWOW flashed to a sd card, and connected to the Network.
  • Suitable SSD in the m.2 slot.

Step 1. Empty the partitions of the eMMC to prevent it from overriding the boot priority.





You will be presented an option to erase the eMMC boot partition, which you can proceed to remove by selecting “yes”.

Step 2. Select the SPI flash as the primary boot mode and set the port mode to PCIe



After configuring your device will reboot and you will enter OOWOW again.

Step 3. Installing the OS

From the rescue, click on “Rescue Shell” and follow these commands.

  1. Get the SPI bootloader prepared:
$ spi_update_uboot online -k
  1. Install the OS on the NVMe disk:
$ cd /tmp/mounts/<name of your disk>

If you don’t know the name of your disk, you can press tab to autocomplete and select the USB disk you have.

If your image is <image>.img, run

$ dd if=<image file name>.img of=/dev/nvme0n1 bs=1M status=progress

Else, if its <image in oowow format>.img.xz, run

$ xz -dc <image file name>.img.xz | dd of=/dev/nvme0n1 bs=1M status=progress

After this you need to patiently wait for the command to write the image to the disk, once complete, remove the sd card and reboot the device.


Thank you very much. I installed everything according to the instructions and it worked! But only with an inserted sdcard. If you remove the sdcard it won’t start at all. At least that way. Thank you again.

I think i need to update spi or something like this.

This manual, have to be top thread.

And i dont understand, why your team didnt put this in resc menu like script for emmc, or sd installation.

@Birox did you set the boot mode to SPI


and run spi_update_uboot online -k from the rescue shell ?

please check the steps and ensure you’ve gone through the configurations, you don’t need to have the SD card to boot.

Hello. I created image with FENIX tool (vim3-debian-12-server-lnux-6.2-fenix-1.6.5-240307-develop.img). Try install it by your manual and VIM not started without SD. With SD VIM not start from NVME. Only OOWOW from SD. What I do wrong?
I think FENIX cant create Debian Bookworm image for NVME. To eMMC it installed whithout any problems. What I can do?

@banzay1989 image should be able to boot from nvme just fine, have you ensured you wrote the mainline bootloader to spi flash and enabled it as priority boot ?

My steps:

  1. Create OOWOW SD-card
  3. Copy image to /dumps/khadas/fenix/
  4. Install formated NVMe to M-key slot in New M2X Extension Board
  5. Boot OOWOW from SD-card
  6. Advanced → Reset device to default mode
  7. Advanced → SPI Flash options → Erase SPI Flash FULL
  8. Advanced → Internal eMMC storage → Erase eMMC Fast
  9. Device configure → Set Port Mode to PCIe (power off, boot)
  10. Device configure → Set Boot Mode to SPI (power off, boot)
  11. Rescue shell
spi_update_uboot online -k
  1. Advanced → Mount dumps storage SD/USB
  2. Rescue shell
cd /tmp/mounts/dumps/khadas/fenix
dd if=<image file name>.img of=/dev/nvme0n1 bs=1M status=progress
  1. Reboot & PowerOff → remove SD-card → reboot

@banzay1989 okay I will try to replicate the issue and get back to you.

@banzay1989 okay I have replicated your issue, need to understand and provide a solution for you, I will get back to you on this.

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@Electr1, any solution? May be @Frank @hyphop @RDFTKV can help me?