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Rock Pi 4 B Review: A Swiss Army Knife Of Single Board Computers

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The Rock Pi 4 B, while having no official affiliation with the Raspberry Pi, is a single board computer whose intention it is to provide all the features Raspberry Pi fans would like in the now dated Rasberry Pi 3 B+ model, and are hoping to see in the 4 B+ model. The Rock Pi 4 B has a lot to offer, but does it really check all the boxes?

The Rock Pi 4 B is a powerhouse in terms of SBCs, especially when compared to the Raspberry Pi. The board comes in three variants, 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM running at 3,200 MB/s, all other specifications are the same across the variants. These will run you $49, $59, and $75 and should not be confused with the model A parts that do not contain the 802.11ac wireless or the Bluetooth 5.0 (but do contain wireless and Bluetooth).

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FreeBSD 12.2-BETA3 Now Available

The third BETA build of the 12.2-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

Installation images are available for:

o 12.2-BETA3 amd64 GENERIC
o 12.2-BETA3 i386 GENERIC
o 12.2-BETA3 powerpc GENERIC
o 12.2-BETA3 powerpc64 GENERIC64
o 12.2-BETA3 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
o 12.2-BETA3 armv6 RPI-B
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 BANANAPI
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 BEAGLEBONE
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 RPI2
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 WANDBOARD
o 12.2-BETA3 armv7 GENERICSD
o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 GENERIC
o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 RPI3
o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 PINE64
o 12.2-BETA3 aarch64 PINE64-LTS

Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
system.

Installer images and memory stick images are available here:

    https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/12.2/

The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.

If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
system or on the -stable mailing list.

If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
system, use the "releng/12.2" branch.

A summary of changes since 12.2-BETA2 includes:

o An installation issue with certctl(8) had been fixed.

o Read/write kstats for ZFS datasets had been added from OpenZFS.

o The default vm.max_user_wired value had been increased.

o The kern.geom.part.check_integrity sysctl(8) had been extended to work
  on GPT partitions.

o The cxgbe(4) firmware had been updated to version 1.25.0.0.

o Fixes for em(4) and igb(4) have been addressed.

o A fix for a potential NFS server crash had been addressed.

o A lock order reversal between NFS server and server-side krpc had been
  addressed.

A list of changes since 12.1-RELEASE is available in the releng/12.2
release notes:

    https://www.freebsd.org/releases/12.2R/relnotes.html

Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.2-RELEASE cycle progresses.

=== Virtual Machine Disk Images ===

VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
(or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):

    https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/12.2-BETA3/

The partition layout is:

    ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
    ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
    ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)

The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.

Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:

    https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU

To boot the VM image, run:

    % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
	-netdev user,id=net0

Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.

=== Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===

FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:

  af-south-1 region: ami-085b7b5b76d8f88e1
  eu-north-1 region: ami-0d2aaf811cd455b5d
  ap-south-1 region: ami-0c85211fa78c701f5
  eu-west-3 region: ami-08c4c388a19042fb3
  eu-west-2 region: ami-030841f586c12d392
  eu-south-1 region: ami-035fcb9515104859e
  eu-west-1 region: ami-0d5e826250c10cd3a
  ap-northeast-2 region: ami-01adc51da511ea8fc
  me-south-1 region: ami-04b2ddbedee42d57a
  ap-northeast-1 region: ami-0e5b3fc6777cd037d
  sa-east-1 region: ami-08be6405809912e60
  ca-central-1 region: ami-0c954a7d72d7b483c
  ap-east-1 region: ami-04377808aeca208a7
  ap-southeast-1 region: ami-02e1e04501c308c0b
  ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0e9ae229b9ca55677
  eu-central-1 region: ami-002e88141d3b00ee2
  us-east-1 region: ami-0c678fade90df8f04
  us-east-2 region: ami-0967c088cbf208659
  us-west-1 region: ami-0dafae7edc2b2f376
  us-west-2 region: ami-07e4d062d094f5364

FreeBSD/aarch64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:

  af-south-1 region: ami-07c05f6349125a1c7
  eu-north-1 region: ami-041e507b80cb59335
  ap-south-1 region: ami-064907659b94c4823
  eu-west-3 region: ami-000c4a31405be8e94
  eu-west-2 region: ami-0debbacd03a24e562
  eu-south-1 region: ami-0c358e05477cd8b6b
  eu-west-1 region: ami-0fc48c1fef0e255f0
  ap-northeast-2 region: ami-06bd715c00c4237b7
  me-south-1 region: ami-04a671aa9611f8a74
  ap-northeast-1 region: ami-008e0fa8be5e5c44c
  sa-east-1 region: ami-03c2f687354f086b4
  ca-central-1 region: ami-0647aa16bc62701a3
  ap-east-1 region: ami-08f54406159203762
  ap-southeast-1 region: ami-007e5e33e3e4d9152
  ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0a028a4f5beeed373
  eu-central-1 region: ami-072e09d78436cf375
  us-east-1 region: ami-0218fa187d85dc688
  us-east-2 region: ami-06e8312e95743ce1a
  us-west-1 region: ami-0211983509f75ee9b
  us-west-2 region: ami-038188157f971a711

=== Vagrant Images ===

FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
be installed by running:

    % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-12.2-BETA3
    % vagrant up

=== Upgrading ===

The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:

	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 12.2-BETA3

During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
performed merging was done correctly.

	# freebsd-update install

The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
continuing.

	# shutdown -r now

After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
userland components:

	# freebsd-update install

It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
into the new userland:

	# shutdown -r now

Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
stale files:

	# freebsd-update install
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