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    ROCK 3 >  Debian

Work with ROCK 3 Debian

Introduction to ROCK 3 Debian

ROCK 3 Debian is an easy to use desktop system. While working with ROCK 3 Debian, you will find it do well on playing music, Internet, Bluetooth, AI and so on.

ROCK 3 Debian uses systemd to manage system.

Command prepended by $ means the command may be executed by an unprivileged user. And command prepended by # means the command may be executed by an privileged user. But the symbol, $ or #, is not part of the command.

Access from the Host PC/Laptop

Option 1: Serial console

Check Serial Console

Option 2: SSH

SSH server is enabled on port 22 of ROCK 3 default image.

Please use angryip to find your board IP address.

$ ping ip-of-device
$ ssh rock@ip-of-device

Debian Default User Account

Non-root User:

User Name : rock
Password  : rock


The preinstalled Desktop is xfce4.

Install and update necessary packages

Add Radxa APT, see Radxa APT.

Install packages;

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install -y rockchip-overlay
$ sudo apt-get install -y linux-4.4-rock-3-latest

Network Connection

There are two methods for network connection. One is Ethernet and the other is WIFI.

Ethernet Connection

You can use a network cable (one end connected to the external network port or route) to connect your ROCK 3 to the network. The ROCK 3 will automatically configure the network for your surfing on the Internet.

To test the Ethernet, we need to follow the steps:
  • Switch to super user mode by command
$ sudo su
  • Check whether the Ethernet is normal by command, ifconfig, which would show us a network card, eth0, and the Ethernet IP address. Also, use tool, ping, to connect to a normal domain.
$ ifconfig
$ ping
  • If failed to connect to a normal domain. , try
$ sudo dhclient eth0

WIFI Connection

When there is not a network cable for your ROCK 3 the WIFI connection is another good choice. ROCK Pi N10 supports 2.4G/5G WIFI and WIFI 6 wireless network.

To test the WIFI performance, we need to follow the steps:
  • Switch to super user mode
$ sudo su
  • Open the WIFI
$ nmcli r wifi on
  • Scan WIFI
$ nmcli dev wifi
  • Connect to WIFI network
$ nmcli dev wifi connect "wifi_name" password "wifi_password"
  • Test WIFI perpormance by tool iperf.


  • Update necessary packages.
root@rock3a:~# apt-get update
root@rock3a:~# apt-get install  broadcom-wifibt-firmware
  • Check Bluetooth service.
root@rock3a:~# systemctl status bluetooth
  • Run Bluetooth service if the Bluetooth service is inactive.
root@rock3a:~# systemctl start bluetooth
  • Check Bluetooth device.
root@rock3a:~# hciconfig
hci0:   Type: Primary  Bus: UART
       BD Address: 10:2C:6B:49:D5:53  ACL MTU: 1021:8  SCO MTU: 64:1
       UP RUNNING 
       RX bytes:850 acl:0 sco:0 events:58 errors:0
       TX bytes:2814 acl:0 sco:0 commands:58 errors:0
  • Example: Connect to Bluetooth Speaker.
  • Install pulseaudio packages.
root@rock3a:~# apt-get install -y pulseaudio-module-bluetooth pulseaudio
  • Run pulseaudio.
root@rock3a:~# pulseaudio --start
  • Connect using bluetoothctl.
root@rock3a:~# bluetoothctl
[bluetooth]# default-agent 
[bluetooth]# power on
[bluetooth]# scan on
[bluetooth]# trust 77:EC:79:4F:6B:AC
[bluetooth]# pair 77:EC:79:4F:6B:AC
[bluetooth]# connect 77:EC:79:4F:6B:AC
  • Play songs and enjoy it.

Check DDR size

ROCK 3 has several different DDR sizes, such as 2G, 4G, 8G.

$ free -h
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:          7.4Gi        72Mi       7.1Gi        16Mi       182Mi       7.2Gi 
Swap:            0B          0B          0B

For example, the size of DDR on this board is 8G.

Storage device

  • eMMC: /dev/mmcblk0
  • uSD Card: /dev/mmcblk1
  • NVME M.2 SDD: /dev/nvme0n1

Test RTC Device

First, plug in RTC battery and power on.Check the rtc device:

root@rock3a:~# dmesg | grep rtc
[    0.749597] rk808-rtc rk808-rtc: registered as rtc0
[    0.751404] rk808-rtc rk808-rtc: setting system clock to 2017-08-04 09:00:02 UTC (1501837202)

Second, use the follow commands to set the system time and synchronization to the rtc clock.

$ date -s "2021-08-17 20:03:00"
$ hwclock -w
$ hwclock -r
root@rock3a:~# hwclock -r
2021-08-17 20:00:04.745124+00:00
$ poweroff

and then disconnect the power supply Third, back to power after 10 mins and check whether the rtc clock run the same time

$ hwclock -r
root@rock3a:~# hwclock -r
2021-08-17 20:10:14.745124+00:00

Test Audio Player

Download a wav audio file, and use the command to test the HP player.

$ amixer -c 1 cset numid=1 3
   numid=1,iface=MIXER,name='Playback Path'
 ; type=ENUMERATED,access=rw------,values=1,items=11
 ; Item #0 'OFF'
 ; Item #1 'RCV'
 ; Item #2 'SPK'
 ; Item #3 'HP'
 ; Item #4 'HP_NO_MIC'
 ; Item #5 'BT'
 ; Item #6 'SPK_HP'
 ; Item #7 'RING_SPK'
 ; Item #8 'RING_HP'
 ; Item #9 'RING_HP_NO_MIC'
 ; Item #10 'RING_SPK_HP'
 : values=3

$ aplay -D plughw:1,0 test.wav
  Playing WAVE 'test.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 44100 Hz, Stereo

To test the Mic recordding, please follow:

$ amixer -c 1 cset numid=2 1
$ arecord -Dhw:1,0 -d 10 -f cd -r 44100 -c 2 -t wav ./mic_test.wav      #this is a record command
  Recording WAVE './mic_test.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 44100 Hz, Stereo
$ aplay -D plughw:1,0 mic_test.wav

Test USB Host

Plug in the U dish and use the command by serial console.

$ dmesg | tail
[  133.773558] usb 2-1: SerialNumber: CCYYB18M1CFKO4H4
[  133.774332] usb-storage 2-1:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[  133.774657] scsi host0: usb-storage 2-1:1.0
[  134.841096] scsi 0:0:0:0: Direct-Access     aigo     U350             1100 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
[  134.846394] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] 30720000 512-byte logical blocks: (15.7 GB/14.6 GiB)
[  134.847554] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
[  134.847635] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
[  134.848824] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[  134.858173]  sda: sda1
[  134.861161] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI removable disk
$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
$ lsblk
root@linaro-alip:~# lsblk
sda            8:0    1 14.7G  0 disk 
└─sda1         8:1    1 14.7G  0 part /mnt

If /dev/sda1 is successfully mounted, this usb host is working properly.

Test fan on / off

Please execute with root permission

echo 0 > /sys/class/pwm/pwmchip0/export
echo 10000 > /sys/class/pwm/pwmchip0/pwm0/period
echo 5000 > /sys/class/pwm/pwmchip0/pwm0/duty_cycle
echo normal >  /sys/class/pwm/pwmchip0/pwm0/polarity

echo 1 > /sys/class/pwm/pwmchip0/pwm0/enable        // on  
echo 0 > /sys/class/pwm/pwmchip0/pwm0/enable       //  off




  • Kernel version: 4.19.193-10-rockchip-g152e34a538b4
  • Package broadcom-wifibt-firmware version: 1.3
  • Package rockchip-overlay version: 2.9
  • Package rtl8723be-firmware version: 0.1



  • Kernel version: 4.19.193-2-rockchip-g7cf7399ddb5c
  • U-Boot version: 2017.09-gbd2fa07970e-210525