Asus Tinker Board

The official Mender documentation explains how Mender works. This is simply a board-specific complement to the official documentation.

Device description

Tinker Board is a Single Board Computer (SBC) in an ultra-small form factor that offers class-leading performance while leveraging outstanding mechanical compatibility. The Tinker Board offers makers, IoT enthusiasts, hobbyists, PC DIY enthusiasts and others a reliable and extremely capable platform for building and tinkering their ideas into reality.

It is based on RK3288 SoC from Rockchip and has the same form-factor as Raspberry Pi SBCs.



Test results

The Yocto Project releases in the table below have been tested by the Mender community. Please update it if you have tested this integration on other Yocto Project releases:

Yocto Project Build Runtime
thud (2.6) :test_works: :test_works:
sumo (2.5) :test_works: :test_fails: 1
rocko (2.4) :test_works: :test_works:

1. Fails to load U-boot when provisioned with sdimg

Build Means that the Yocto Project build using this Mender integration completes without errors and outputs images.
Runtime Means that Mender has been verified to work on the board. For U-Boot-based boards, the integration checklist has been verified.

Getting started


  • A supported Linux distribution and dependencies installed on your workstation/laptop as described in the Yocto Mega Manual

    • NOTE. Instructions depend on which Yocto version you intend to use.
  • Google repo tool installed and in your PATH.

Configuring the build

Setup Yocto environment

Set the Yocto Project branch you are building for:

# set to your branch, make sure it is supported (see table above)
export BRANCH="thud" 

Create a directory for your mender-tinkerboard setup to live in and clone the
meta information.

mkdir mender-tinkerboard && cd mender-tinkerboard

Initialize repo manifest:

repo init -u \
           -m meta-mender-rockchip/scripts/manifest-rockchip.xml \
           -b ${BRANCH}

Fetch layers in manifest:

repo sync

Setup build environment

Initialize the build environment:

source setup-environment rockchip

Configure Mender server URL (optional)

This section is not required for a successful build but images that are generated by default are only suitable for usage with the Mender client in Standalone deployments, due to lack of server configuration.

You can edit the conf/local.conf file to provide your Mender server configuration, ensuring the generated images and Mender Artifacts are connecting to the Mender server that you are using. There should already be a commented section in the generated conf/local.conf file and you can simply uncomment the relevant configuration options and assign appropriate values to them.

Build for Hosted Mender:

# To get your tenant token:
#    - log in to
#    - click your email at the top right and then "My organization"
#    - press the "COPY TO CLIPBOARD"
#    - assign content of clipboard to MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN
MENDER_TENANT_TOKEN = "<copy token here>"

Build for Mender demo server:

# Update IP address to match the machine running the Mender demo server

Building the image

You can now proceed with building an image:

MACHINE=tinker-rk3288 bitbake core-image-base

Replace core-image-base with your desired image target.

Using the build output

After a successful build, the images and build artifacts are:

  • tmp/deploy/images/tinker-rk3288/core-image-base-tinker-rk3288.sdimg
  • tmp/deploy/images/tinker-rk3288/core-image-base-tinker-rk3288.mender

The disk image (with .sdimg suffix) is used to provision the device storage for devices without Mender running already. Please proceed to the official documentation on provisioning a new device for steps to do this.

On the other hand, if you already have Mender running on your device and want to deploy a rootfs update using this build, you should use the Mender Artifact files, which have .mender suffix. You can either deploy this Artifact in managed mode with the Mender server (upload it under Releases in the server UI) or by using the Mender client standalone mode.


  • The Mender integration layer for Asus Tinker Board and template files can be found in meta-mender-community.

Known issues

The current integration is based on the community based meta-rockchip. This layer focuses on running mainline components on the hardware, meaning that it is missing some features compared to downstream Linux kernel. One example would be hardware acceleration for graphics and video.

The official meta-rockchip layer which was based on downstream components but was more feature rich is no longer maintained by Rockchip.

Build error

| + install -m 0644 /home/user/hub/build/tmp/deploy/images/tinker-rk3288/u-boot-rockchip.img /home/user/hub/build/tmp/work/tinker_rk3288-poky-linux-gnueabi/core-image-base/1.0-r0/
| install: cannot stat '/home/user/hub/build/tmp/deploy/images/tinker-rk3288/u-boot-rockchip.img': No such file or directory

Can we worked around with adding the following to local.conf:

_MENDER_PART_IMAGE_DEPENDS_append = " u-boot:do_deploy"

This is not part of the templates, because this is actually a bug in meta-mender

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Thanks for these instructions, everything is working fine (produces a working image with mender features), will try to get it to work as well with the newer yocto releases (warrior etc.).

1 Like

Please note the various meta-rockchip forks,

There is, This is based on using mainstream components (Linux and U-boot), so no GPU support basically. I believe I used this for thud support.

There is also, Which is maintained by Rockchip and has GPU supported (custom Linux fork), but they have abandoned it at times, which is why I at one point created, and I believe I used this for the rocko integration

I would probably just focus on as this has been maintained consistently at least.

1 Like

@mirzak Does this hardware have real A/B updating possibillities? I mean, the Raspberry Pi has the boot partition. Nothing of that sort?

Nothing of that sort on this one :slightly_smiling_face:. The “boot firmware” is very specific to Raspberry Pi, and can not say that I have seen anything similar on other boards beside maybe NVIDIA boards which have some “special” requirements.

Thanks for your reply, this will be helpful. Will keep you updated if I manage to get an updated image going (updated kernel, updated yocto version, etc.).

I currently have some weird:
" Assembler messages:
Error: .err encountered "
When re-(cross)-compiling the linux kernel (newer version).

Also I have to double check why, but updating Poky and OE layer to the newest version caused the libdrm recipe to be processed (currently I am still using your meta-rockchip layer), and it is pointing to a no longer valid git hash ( Might be a mis-configuration on my end, not sure why this recipe is now being involved.

Anyway, I should be able to get there slowly but surely. First time using Mender, and it is quite cool.

Lastly, I think I will update the mender layer as well, currently I still have the “old” commands: mender -rootfs instead of mender -install, etc.

Unfortunately I am not able to boot with images built from thud (following the instructions in the first post, or bumping everything to thud) or warrior. I do successfully build an image, however once on the Tinkerboard I do not reach a terminal, the Yellow/Orange LED is blinking and the Ethernet Port is blinking orange as well.

I will have to connect to the Serial Port and check what’s happening.

Hi all,
I’m very interested (and I’m developing to) TinkerBoard.
I’d like to know if the OS based on Yocto supports the hibernate mode - this is crucial for my project.
I’m almost new on Yocto but I’ll try to build the OS soon, just to verify the customization capabilities.

Thanks, regards.

I do not know if hibernate mode is supported. The integration is based on meta-rockchip which is based on upstream Linux kernel.

I would recommend you to ask on the meta-rockchip mailing list.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Trying to integrate FireFly-RK3288 (Yocto Project)