Debian 8.x (Jessie) to 10.11 (Buster) upgrade for Kiwis using BeagleBone Green/Black



  • Thank you @jks

    The CRCs totally match, and I'm at total lost what could be a problem... So I'll leave it run at v1.461 Debian 8 then, at least it runs. I'm not exposing it to the 'Net, so hope it'll survive.

    Though, on second thought, the WSPR extension is pushing spots to, could that be a security exposure issue?...

    Anyway, thank you...

  • What size sd cards did you use?

    When re-flashing did it seem to go through the normal "back-and-forth" LED pattern before it finally ended in all of them flashing quickly? A Debian 10 re-flash should take much longer than Debian 8 due to the increased size of the image.

  • @jks I've tried 16GB, 8GB, could not find a 4GB so just overwritten the original 4GB card that came with my KiwiSDR - nothing worked! Yes, it went through all the "back-and-forth" for quite long time, and always ended with 4 LED blinking on-off in unison... I've even once left it blinking like that for 30+ minutes. Restarting BBB afterward always ends up again with all 4 LEDs blinking.

    I've tried to do an in-place (by editing the /etc/apt/sources.list), but ended with "You don't have enough free space in /var/cache/apt/archives/" error...

    So, possibly the last resort is clean install Debian (which version should I take?) then install KiwiSDR from source? What do you advise?


  • Is this really necessary? My Kiwi's 6 or 7 years old and has run perfectly fine the whole time. I know zip about Linux and don't understand a word of this code.

    I'd rather buy an new KiwiSDR and toss this one in the garbage than fight my way through this code and ruin a good radio.


    Ken VE3HLS

  • Hi Ken.

    If your Kiwi is running a relatively recent version of the Kiwi code (like v1.6xx) then you don't need to upgrade to Debian 10. You'll continue to receive Kiwi updates with Debian 8.

    If you do want to upgrade but don't care about preserving the configuration then there is an easier procedure. You can just place a Kiwi-customized copy of Debian 10 on an SD card and re-flash the Beagle. Instructions for doing that are here:

    What's described above is a way to save and restore all the customizations you've made. It's intended for people who've made extensive changes like an extensively curated set of DX labels that they don't want to lose.

    Please let us know what your situation is and we'll help you through the process (if it's even needed).

  • Thanks John,

    I don't have anything special configured so it looks like I just need to upgrade to Debian 10. I assume I also have to install the KiwiSDR software on the card as well before I plug in the new one?



  • Okay. No, you don't have to install the Kiwi software additionally.

    The image file mentioned in the instructions is a Debian 10 image that has already had the Kiwi software installed. It's an old Kiwi version (v1.486 I think). But that's okay because as soon as you've re-flashed, and then started up again, the Kiwi will update over the Internet to the latest Kiwi software version (assuming it has an Internet connection).

  • OK, thanks.

  • It is once again possible to use the SD card supplied in the original Kiwi product box to re-flash the BBG/BBB.

    A number of months ago that SD card stopped working due to having archived Debian 8.

    We have now found a way around this issue by making a change in the current release (v1.624) build process. So it's once again possible to re-flash to v1.2 using the supplied SD card and update over the Internet all the way to the current release in one go.

    It is still recommended that you consider upgrading to a later version of Debian for the security benefits.

  • I dont follow the last part of Part 1 instructions:


    Make a full backup of your current Debian 8 system. Go to the admin page, "backup" tab.

    What backup tab?

  • On the admin page. See below.

  • My version must be way to old. I don’t have that tab.

  • jksjks
    edited September 11

    See where it says "Config: v1.2"? This means what you're running is the factory image, which is incredibly old (2016). There is no point in backing this version up.

    Now, how did you get here? This can't possibly be the version you've been running on your Kiwi for any length of time (at least I hope not). Did you re-flash from the supplied SD card recently? Is this a "new" Kiwi that hadn't managed to get updated over the Internet?

    Instead of following the instructions here, which preserve your customizations during the upgrade, just follow these simplified instructions for re-flashing with the Debian 10 image:

  • This is what I have.

  • My power supply died. When I plugged in a new power supply I accidentally had the microSD card inserted when the Kiwi/Beagle booted up and I guess it reinstalled old Debian and Kiwi and I don't see Backup menu anywhere.

  • Okay, so a re-flash occurred and you've lost all the prior configuration data. Hopefully it was not too extensive. Or perhaps you have a backup on another SD card.

    There are a couple of ways to go from here. You can simply let the Kiwi update to the latest version (from v1.2) if it has access to the Internet. That is, the local Ethernet connection goes to a router with Internet access. There was a period of time where updating to the latest version using the supplied v1.2 cards didn't work. But I fixed this recently. An update is attempted after each power on or restart. From v1.2 the update to v1.625 (current release) takes a long time. As much as an hour. So be patient. This leaves you running Debian 8.

    Or if you want you can download the Debian 10 image from the onto another SD card, re-flash from that (you get v1.4xx something from that) and let the Internet update procedure take you to v1.625.

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