I have been using my raspberry pi 4 to monitor my network and my Synology NAS. So far, I’ve been using a SanDisk MicroSD card for storing all the data which died (remember: MicroSD cards have a limited number of writes)
After doing some research I learned that the Raspberry Pi 4 gained direct boot capabilities from USB Mass Storage (aka SSDs) with a bootloader (eeprom) update in 2020.
I struggled for about 2 nights to make it work despite following various how-tos/tutorials. The method outlined here is what worked for me as of 2021-10-23. It could change in the future. With new updates to the ubuntu image those steps might not be necessary anymore.
Preparation – Upgrade bootloader
The easiest way to upgrade the bootloader on the raspberry pi is to use the raspi-config tool built into the raspian os image. Therefore first write the Raspian OS image to an MicroSD Card to make use of raspi-config. Afterwards, write the Ubuntu Image to the MicroSD card You can use the raspberry image writer. Flash the image to a MicroSD card
Boot the raspberry pi with raspian os, login with the default credentials and run
Choose Advanced Options –> Bootloader Version –> Latest
Select No when asked to restore Default Settings
Exit and Select Yes when asked to reboot
On Reboot the bootloader should be upgraded.
Check in the Terminal that the upgrade was applied
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo rpi-eeprom-update
BOOTLOADER: up to date
CURRENT: Tue Jul 6 10:44:53 UTC 2021 (1625568293)
LATEST: Tue Jul 6 10:44:53 UTC 2021 (1625568293)
RELEASE: stable (/lib/firmware/raspberrypi/bootloader/stable)
Use raspi-config to change the release.
VL805_FW: Dedicated VL805 EEPROM
VL805: up to date
Use raspi-config to set the boot-order to USB-Boot by default
Choose: 6 Advanced Options
Next choose: A6: Boot Order
Choose B2 USB Boot
Check in the in the terminal that bootloader order has been modified. Confirm BOOT_ORDER statement is there.
Huawei introduced the App Twin feature with Version 5.0 of Huawei’s EMUI, their Android skin. I believe that Huawei must consider this feature one of EMUI’s biggest selling points, since they present it in the topmost layer of the Settings application.
App Twin allows you to create a duplicate instance of an installed application so you can log-in to two different accounts at the same time. On Huawei Smartphones destined for the European Market with the Global Rom you’re able to clone WhatsApp or Facebook. On the equivalent Model for the Chinese Market you’re able to duplicate QQ or Wechat. Unfortunately these are your only options by default. I expect Huawei to add more applications to this list with upcoming version of EMUI.
When you duplicate one of those applications, a new app icon will be created on your home to start the cloned instance of the app. A small number is added to the original application icon to indicate which instance you’re using the cloned or the original application. Unfortunately, the duplicate application can only exist on Huawei’s stock launcher, and when the icon is cleared from the home screen, all the data associated with the App Twin instance is deleted.
The App Twin feature isn’t an innovative, never to be seen before concept on part of Huawei. There are several applications that perform the same function on the Google Play Store. Some of the most popular ones include App Cloner and Paralllel Space. In addition, Xiaomi’s MUI offers the same feature with greater compatibility and a larger selection of Applications. However, I would argue that by default, the third-party application alternatives are to some extent superior to Huwai’s implementation. Any application which you duplicate isn’t tied to Huawei’s stock EMUI launcher and even more importantly you aren’t limited to only 2 predetermined applications which Huawei has set.
In contrast, the third-party applications (with the exception of Xiaomi’s MIU implementation) have their own faire share of disadvantages. For example, App Cloner doesn’t work well on many applications including most Google Apps. Parallel Space is a pretty bloated application and quite the resource hog and is slow to launch any given cloned application.
I have to give Huawei credit to its implementation of the App Twin feature since it doesn’t suffer from either of this issues. However, for some odd reason Huawei decided to restrict the feature to a few apps. Despite their official claim that App Twin only works with WhatsApp/Facebook or QQ/Wechat it can actually work with pretty much any application on your device (with the exception of a few system application)
Clone any App with EMUI’s APP-Twin Feature
To clone any app you need access to the ADB shell and the application’s full package name.
First download the android SDK with the included ADB and fastboot tools or download the separate ADB binaries straight from Google:
Next install Huawei’s HiSuite which also installs the necessary drivers for ADB to work correctly. In order to be able to see the your Huawei smartphone you need to enable USB debugging in the developer settings:
Settings –> Developer options –> USB Debugging (Tap on Build Number 7 times in Settings –> About Phone to unlock Developer options if you haven’t already done so)
Verify that ADB is set up properly by checking if adb recognises your device. Open up a command prompt and type adb devices . If you see your phone’s serial number and it doesn’t state ‘unauthorised’ then you’re good to go.
The first step in enabling the App-Twin Feature for your specific app is to find the package name of the specific application. The easiest way to accomplish this using an app like App Inspector From the Google Play Store
The package name is the first line underneath the app’s name e.g. com.google.android.apps.plus
If you don’t want to install another app just to see the package name of an installed application you can also see a list of all installed application using the following adb shell command: adb shell 'pm list packages -f
With the package name we can now enable the App-Twin feature. Start an adb shell with adb shell
Once in the adb shell enter the following command:
settings get secure clone_app_list
If you are already using the App Twin feature, then you should see either one or two package names returned with this command. If you aren’t using this feature, this string will be empty. Now, we will either append to the existing list or create a new list of apps to clone.
settings put secure clone_app_list "PACKAGE#1;PACKAGE#2;PACKAGE#3"
where PACKAGE#1…PACKAGE#3…PACKAGE#N is the full semi-colon separated list of app packagesyou want cloned. Make sure that you don’t forget to put the package list in-between quotation marks, otherwise the command won’t work.
If you are already using the App Twin feature and you received a list of packages during the“get”command, then be sure to APPEND your list to the ones that were returned. Otherwise, the existing apps will be deleted.
For example, if I want to clone Gmail, Solid Explorer, Chromium, and Reddit is Fun, I would enter the following command:
settings put secure clone_app_list "com.google.android.gm;pl.solidexplorer2;org.chromium.chrome;com.andrewshu.android.reddit"
Immediately after entering this command, you should see a toast message telling you that a cloned app has been placed on your home screen.
Debian 9 Stretch was released as the latest stable version of the Linux Distribution: Debian. While it’s always possible to install Debian 9 fresh from scratch, it’s also possible to perform an in-place upgrade from Debian 8. The following post describes the necessary steps to do so.
Upgrading to Debian 9 Stretch is only supported from Debian 8 Jessie. If you are running a version older than 8, you must first upgrade to 8 before working through this process.
The upgrade involves a kernel update, so a reboot will be required toward the end of the process.
It is strongly recommended that you have a full system backup or backup of any important data before proceeding with the upgrade, ensure that you have a plan to roll back. In the case of a virtual machine, take a snapshot before starting.
It is recommended that you have your Debian 8 Jessie installation completely up to date before starting, to do this run “apt-get update” followed by “apt-get upgrade” and install available updates.
root@debian8:~# apt-get update
root@debian8:~# apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
In this case all updates have been applied already, so it’s fine to proceed.
Edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file, my file is shown below. As you can see all of the lines are currently specifying “jessie”. Note that your mirror sources will likely be different which is fine.
deb http://ftp.ch.debian.org/debian/ jessie main
deb-src http://ftp.ch.debian.org/debian/ jessie main
deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib
# jessie-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb http://ftp.ch.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib
deb-src http://ftp.ch.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib
Change the instances of “jessie” to “stretch”, you can either do this manually, or automatically with the below sed command.
sed -i 's/jessie/stretch/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
You can either use “stretch” or “stable”, as Debian 9 Stretch is now the current stable version as of writing. However note that if you use stable instead of the specific release name, in future when Debian 10 is released that will be the stable version so you may upgrade to that unintentionally.
The recommended way to upgrade Debian is with the ‘apt-get’ command. First update the list of available packages with the below command, as we’ve just updated the sources.list file.
Use “apt list –upgradable” command to quickly see what will be installed, updated, and removed during the upgrade process without affecting the system.
Now that the list of available packages has been updated from the mirror, run the below command to perform a minimal upgrade.
This is known as a minimal system upgrade as it only upgrades packages that can be upgraded without needing any other packages to be removed or installed, so it’s a safe place to start. This upgraded 932 packages requiring 412MB on my system.
Now you’re ready to do the complete system upgrade, this will upgrade to the latest available version for all packages installed.
Ensure that you have enough free disk space to complete the operation, in my case it notes that afterwards 1,048MB of additional disk space will be used with 639 package upgrades and 479 newly installed packages.
During the distribution upgrade, services installed on your system needs to be restarted after up gradation of each service packages (ex. Apache, NTP) which may cause you the service interruptions. You can choose to restart automatically during upgrade or manually after the upgrade. Here, I opted to do “an automatic restart of services during the OS upgrade“.
Reboot your machine after the distribution upgrade.
Verify the current version of Debian operating system.