From PINE64
Revision as of 20:05, 30 June 2024 by Ptman (talk | contribs) (→‎Known Issues)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The PineTab2 with the detachable keyboard attached

The PineTab2 is PINE64's successor to the original PineTab Linux tablet computer, featuring a faster processor and better availability. The tablet is available in two configurations, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The tablet ships with a detachable keyboard that doubles as a protective cover.

The tablet is designed around the Rockchip RK3566 processor, which features 4 energy-efficient Cortex-A55 64-bit ARM cores and enjoys good mainline Linux support. A similarly packaged RISC-V tablet is the PineTab-V.

Pre-orders started on the 13th of April 2023, with pricing starting at USD 159 for the 4GB/64GB version and USD 209 for the 8GB/128GB version. The PineTab2 began shipping on June 2, 2023.

Getting started

The PineTab2 box contains two smaller boxes.

The first box includes:

  • the PineTab2,
  • a short user guide,
  • a power cable and
  • the UART adapter. Note that the UART adapter is in the same package as the power cable in a second compartment and can be a bit hidden.

The second box has the keyboard in it.

First start

The PineTab2 can be started by pressing and holding the power button for two seconds. The device is initialized at the first boot and will power-cycle while the partition table is populated.

Note: If the initialization process is interrupted it might lead to a corrupted operating system installation. In that case reinstall the operating system as explained below.

The PineTab2 ships with DanctNix Arch Linux and comes with a pre-set user and the default password 123456.

Default credentials
Default user alarm / 123456

You can create a new user and set your own password after the initial boot. To do so, go to system settings -> users and create a new profile using your preferred name and password.

Keyboard cover

When connecting the keyboard to the Pinetab2 ensure that the camera and the golden pogo pin connectors are correctly aligned. The external keyboard has 5 connection pins (the golden pins). four are standard USB connectors and one is used to detect that the keyboard is connected.

The backlight can be changed with the key combination Pinekey + Ctrl (right).


All operating systems for the PineTab2 are delivered by community developers and partner projects. Aside from the operating system that comes pre-installed on your device, you can install and run any other operating system available for the PineTab2. Most, if not all operating systems for the PineTab2 are open and free, such as Linux and BSD.

Since most software issues will be release-specific, please see the PineTab2 Releases page for additional software related instructions, tips, and tricks.


The releases for the PineTab2 can be found under PineTab2 Releases.

Installation instructions

The PineTab2 is capable of running different operating systems from the internal flash memory (eMMC) and from microSD card.

Preparing the microSD card

To write an operating system to the microSD card (typically called "flashing" in the community), you need to first download a compatible image from the releases section.

Next you need to decompress the downloaded image. The images are typically compressed in an archive format such as xz to reduce the download size. If you are using a graphical tool such as balenaEtcher or Gnome Disks it will handle the decompression of the image in the flashing step automatically.

Further you need to flash the image to the microSD card. This can be done using various tools, for example balenaEtcher (recommended for new users), Gnome Disks or command-line tools such as cp and dd. Insert the microSD card in a microSD card reader connected to your computer and then choose a tool of your liking.

Graphical applications:

  • balenaEtcher (Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux): Click on Flash from file and select the image. Then select the microSD card target device and click on Flash!.
  • Gnome Disks (Linux): Select the microSD card target device on the left side in the Disks list. Then select the three dot menu on the top right and click on Restore Disk Image.... Select the image, verify the correct device is selected and then click on Start Restoring....

Command-line tools:

  • cp: sudo cp IMAGE.img /dev/[DEVICE]
  • dd: sudo dd if=IMAGE.img of=/dev/[DEVICE] bs=1M status=progress conv=fsync
Note: Make sure to replace IMAGE.img and [DEVICE] with the filename of the image (double check if it is decompressed and has the file extension .img) and the device name. You can use the command lsblk to find the device name. Make sure to flash to the whole device instead of partition 1 and that you're NOT selecting /dev/sda1 or /dev/mmcblk0p1 as target. Be very careful to select the correct device, as the tools can overwrite your data when the wrong device is selected.

Then insert the microSD card into the PineTab2.

Using the USB UART adapter can be required in some cases as explained in the info box about the boot order. The adapter is shipped with the PineTab2 in the box which is also containing the charging cable. The switch to disable the eMMC and SPI is located on the top right of the image.
Note regarding the boot order: The SPI and the internal memory (eMMC) have a higher boot priority than the microSD card. The pre-installed bootloader on the internal memory (eMMC) tries to boot from the microSD card first. In some cases it can be required to bypass the bootloader, for example if the bootloader is corrupted or was overwritten by a bootloader with varying settings.

To force the device to boot from the microSD card, the eMMC and the SPI can be disabled by using the debug UART adapter shipped with the device in the box also containing the charging cable. Set the SD BOOT MASKROM switch on the adapter to the position ON and plug it into the USB/PD charging port. Then power on the tablet and unplug the debug board or set the switch to the position OFF again when the factory image is started, otherwise the factory image won't find the eMMC.

Power on the device with the microSD card inserted (and optionally with the USB UART adapter inserted and the bypass switch set to ON depending on the software situation, see the info box above). It should now boot the new operating system from the microSD card.

Something is not working? Please join the PineTab channel in the community chat, the community is always happy to help. In the section #Connecting the UART adapter you can find information about how to connect the USB UART adapter and how to retrieve the boot logs if the device is not booting properly even after the above procudere.


RK3566 icon.png
Tablet's side ports: USB-C (with PD), MicroSD, USB-C 3.0, volume rocker, power button
  • SoC: Rockchip RK3566
  • CPU: 4x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 1.8 GHz
    • 32KB L1 Instruction Cache and 32KB L1 Data Cache per core
    • 512KB unified system L3 cache
    • ARMv8 Cryptography Extensions
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MP2 @ 800 MHz
    • Supported by the open source 'Panfrost' driver in Linux and Mesa
    • Supports OpenGL 3.1 and OpenGL ES 3.1 with many newer extensions
  • NPU: 0.8 TOPS Neural Processing Unit
  • RAM: 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4
  • Storage:
  • Display: 10.1" IPS LCD Resolution 1280x800
  • Cameras:
    • Front: 2Mpx, chipset: Galaxycore GC02M2
    • Rear: 5Mpx, chipset: Omnivision OV5648
  • Battery: 6000 mAh (22.2Wh)
  • Buttons: Power, volume up, volume down
  • Network:
    • Wi-Fi: BES2600
      • Driver under development, use a USB wifi dongle for now
    • Bluetooth: BES2600
  • I/O:
    • 1x USB-C 3.0 (top, host mode only; power output up to 680mA)
    • 1x USB-C 2.0 + PD (bottom, device mode by default; power input)
    • 1x MicroHDMI
    • 1x 4 pole 3.5mm audio jack (microphone right) and headphone detection
    • 2x speakers + microphone (microphone left)
    • 1x 5 pin (USB 2.0; <=680mA) Pogo connector for keyboard
    • (PCIe on PCB as a flat flex ribbon connector, no room for M.2 NVMe drives in case)
  • Sensors:
    • Accelerometer: Silan SC7A20
    • Ambient Light & Proximity Sensor
  • Multimedia:
    • rkdjpeg: 1080p120 JPEG decode
      • no driver in mainline yet
    • hantro: JPEG/VP8/H.264 encode, 1080p MPEG-2/H.263/VP8/H.264 AVC decode
    • rkvdec2: 4K H.264 AVC Main10 L5.1/H.265 HEVC Main10 L5.1/VP9 Profile 0 and 2 L5.1 decode
      • no driver in mainline yet
    • rkvenc2: 4K H.264 AVC/H.265 HEVC encode
      • no driver in mainline yet
  • Build: Metal and Plastic
  • Dimensions: 242x161x9mm
  • Weight: 538g
  • Misc:
    • Protective cover with keyboard

Development efforts

Main Article: Quartz64 Development

Linux mainline is already quite far along for the device, as the SoC is the same as is used in the Quartz64 line of devices. Some minor pinetab2-specific adjustments can be found here Check the main article for the big picture; PineTab2 specific issues are listed here.

Known Issues

  • The display panel driver is in PineTab2's kernel fork, and needs to be submitted to upstream.
  • wifi/bt chip bes2600:
    • The BES2600 Wi-Fi driver needs major cleanup and bugfixing (at the moment it often causes system crashes). This is a priority, but for now, you can USB tether a phone or use a supported WI-FI dongle. There are at least two code releases available, with two respective/non-interchangeable firmware versions. The latest danctnix kernel has a pretty well working wifi driver.
    • The BES2600 Bluetooth driver needs to be implemented.
    • Hardware bugs - the power and reset circuitry is not properly implemented in the circuitry, so hard reset of the chip (in the theoretical case it freezes) is impossible without power cycling the whole board.
  • The Camera drivers needs to be ported (gc02m2, ov5648), Rockchip CSI/ISP driver needs to be extended to handle 2 lanes.
  • Suspend does not currently work reliably due to a driver issue. It is therefore disabled in the factory image. Caveat Emptor if you chose to unmask the feature prior to it being fixed.

Connecting the UART adapter

The USB-C UART adapter can be connected to the PineTab2 to debug boot issues at the early boot:

  • Plug the adapter face-up in the USB-C port furthest away from the power button. If all the lights are lit, you have the wrong port: only the green light should be lit when you first plug it in.
  • Plug USB-C cable into the port on the adapter marked "DEBUG"
  • Open a terminal window
  • Install minicom or screen via your distribution's package manager, if you don't have it installed already
  • Connect via minicom using sudo minicom -D /dev/ttyUSB0 -b 1500000 or via screen using sudo screen /dev/ttyUSB0 1500000
    • Ubuntu-based distro users may encounter the error, "cannot open /dev/ttyUSB0: No such file or directory". If this occurs, check the output of sudo dmesg --follow and unplug/replug the USB to look for any errors. If you see an error like, "usb 1-1: usbfs: interface 0 claimed by ch341 while 'brltty' sets config #1", then the brltty service is likely conflicting with this device. Brltty provides access to blind users who use a braille display: if you do not need this service, try disabling it using these commands:
      • sudo systemctl stop brltty-udev.service
      • sudo systemctl mask brltty-udev.service
      • sudo systemctl stop brltty.service
      • sudo systemctl mask brltty.service

Board information, schematics and certifications

PineTab2 Board

PineTab2 mainboard schematic:

PineTab2 certifications:

PineTab2 disassembly guide:

Datasheets for Components and Peripherals

Rockchip RK3566 SoC information:

Tutorials and Frequently Asked Questions

Please see the PineTab2 FAQ page for tutorials and frequently asked questions.

External Links