Fedora 34 Silverblue on Raspberry Pi 4 / 400de

Yes, it is a Keyboard, with the regular Raspberry Pi 4 compute elements inside.

tl;dr And yes it can boot the regular Silverblue installer after installing the relevant UEFI firmware n the target SD.

As the Broadcom CPU is quite powerful (compared to the Pi 3) I wanted to give it a try and run Fedora 34 Silverblue on it.

While the Fedora documentation seems to be quite outdated in general, otoh it is straight forward to install the regular Fedora 34 ARM cloud image on an SD-Card using the arm-image-installer. But the cloud image only exists for the regular Fedora Spins - not for Silverblue. The only way to install Silverblue, is using the Anacoda (wohoo) installation ISO.

My plan was to simply dump the ISO to a USB drive, change the Pi boot order to boot from USB; done.

Boot order

Changing the boot order can be done using Raspberry Pi OS. Thus downloaded, flashed to SD, booted, updated eeprom, and changed the boot order. Well, this was not really needed, as the Raspberry Pi 4 is configured to first boot of SD, then of USB - if nothing is found on the SD. Well, at least I've updated the eeprom ...

Now, the next step, downloading Fedora 34 Silverblue installation ISO, dumping it to the USB drive, reboot ... Nothing. A littel bit of googling revealed that booting an OS via UEFI on the Pi 4 requires a custom (but open source, EDK2 based) firmware. Crazy? Well it turned out to be quite simple.

UEFI installation

The trick was to provide the UEFI firmware on the target SD, this would then boot the regular Silverblue ISO right awary. In order to achieve this I had to reformat the SD, create a small EFI system partition (FAT32), and extract the firmware archive into this partition.

After the SD had the UEFI firmware, the Pi 4 booted of the SD, into the UEFI firmware, which was then looking to boot from USB, loading the SIlverblue installer. Form there it was a regular installation - just make sure to keep the existing UEFI boot partition on the SD during the SIlverblue installation.

That's it.

So what?

Except for Wifi everything seems to work. The most surprising thing was really the UEFI firmware, and how painlessly it went from that point on. Pretty awesome compared to my other ARM trials a few years ago.

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