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k5map
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

RPi OS VM using Bookworm

With the official release of Bookworm, are there plans to provide a means to use it as the OS for RPi virtual machines?  If so, is there an approximate date on when it will be available?

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cyprienlaplace
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello k5map,

That is a great question! I spent some time tyring to make something work, but I am afraid to have bad news.

First, I have been able to install a debian 12 kernel and boot the RPi Bookworm OS. This was the easy part, and not that much different from what we have been doing with past versions.

I was able to install open-vm-tools, no issue here.

But then RPi OS changed to use Wayfire as the desktop manager, using Wayland. And it requires a (virtual) GPU. The ESXi Arm fling v1.x does not have GPU support, so this will just not work.

Then I tried the same on Fusion Apple Silicon Tech Preview, and it seems that the GPU support has issues. I don't know if it's Debian Bookworm version of vmwgfx module, or from the hypervisor. I'll follow up internally.

But for the fling v1.x, hélas, there is no hope to run RPi Bookworm OS. Sorry for the sad news.

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k5map
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for the quick response...

If I don't care or need the desktop manager (almost all of my VM are headless), will bookworm work?

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cyprienlaplace
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

There is the "RPi OS Lite", that does not contain the desktop. And I found an article (https://opensource.com/article/20/6/custom-raspberry-pi) that says:

The "Lite" version of Raspberry Pi OS is really nothing more than a minimal image based on the latest version of Debian. This image contains only the core operating system and boots to a command line instead of a desktop. Consider this the foundation of your custom Raspberry Pi OS.

In this case I would suggest to just use Debian 12 "Bookworm", and not the Raspberri Pi OS. Unless you have some specific software requirement that only comes from the RPi OS, that should work for you.

(and even if the fling does not propose "Debian 12" as a guest OS, just choose "Debian 11"; add the Debian 12 arm64 ISO and proceed to a normal installation)

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k5map
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Interesting option... I'll give it some thought (I do have a few VM which need to be RPi OS because there are a few command differences).

What's kinda funny is I've successfully completed two in-place upgrades of existing VM to bookworm without any issues.  So you'd think we could do a fresh build as well.  🙂

cyprienlaplace
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

As an experiment, I installed a fresh Debian 12 Bookworm, and then added the Raspberry Pi OS package repository to it 🙂

I downloaded Debian 12 "netinst" from https://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current/arm64/iso-cd/ and did a simple install.

Then I logged in as root, and run the following commands:

apt install -y gnupg2
wget https://archive.raspberrypi.org/debian/raspberrypi.gpg.key -O - | apt-key add -
cat <<EOF >/etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list
deb http://archive.raspberrypi.com/debian/ bookworm main
# Uncomment line below then 'apt-get update' to enable 'apt-get source'
#deb-src http://archive.raspberrypi.com/debian/ bookworm main
EOF
apt update

and then I listed what packages can be upgraded, which I presume are from the Raspberry Pi OS depots:

root@debian12:~# apt list --upgradable
Listing... Done
console-setup-linux/stable 1.221rpt1 all [upgradable from: 1.221]
console-setup/stable 1.221rpt1 all [upgradable from: 1.221]
keyboard-configuration/stable 1.221rpt1 all [upgradable from: 1.221]
libc-bin/stable 2.36-9+rpt2+deb12u3 arm64 [upgradable from: 2.36-9+deb12u3]
libc-l10n/stable 2.36-9+rpt2+deb12u3 all [upgradable from: 2.36-9+deb12u3]
libc6/stable 2.36-9+rpt2+deb12u3 arm64 [upgradable from: 2.36-9+deb12u3]
libpam-modules-bin/stable 1.5.2-6+rpt2+deb12u1 arm64 [upgradable from: 1.5.2-6+deb12u1]
libpam-modules/stable 1.5.2-6+rpt2+deb12u1 arm64 [upgradable from: 1.5.2-6+deb12u1]
libpam-runtime/stable 1.5.2-6+rpt2+deb12u1 all [upgradable from: 1.5.2-6+deb12u1]
libpam0g/stable 1.5.2-6+rpt2+deb12u1 arm64 [upgradable from: 1.5.2-6+deb12u1]
locales/stable 2.36-9+rpt2+deb12u3 all [upgradable from: 2.36-9+deb12u3]

And now all the software from the Raspberry Pi eco-system is installable as well.

(if you still want to start from the RPi OS Bookworm image, I can re-do the steps to install the debian kernel to post them here)

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cyprienlaplace
VMware Employee
VMware Employee


@k5map wrote:

Interesting option... I'll give it some thought (I do have a few VM which need to be RPi OS because there are a few command differences).

What's kinda funny is I've successfully completed two in-place upgrades of existing VM to bookworm without any issues.  So you'd think we could do a fresh build as well.  🙂


Interesting! so when upgrading to Bookworm it does not install/use Wayfire?

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k5map
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

As of now, I access all of my VM via SSH or web.  How can I verify which desktop environment is installed?

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cyprienlaplace
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

a "ps ax" might give a good indication. If there is an Xorg running, or wayfire process..
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primetechguides
Contributor
Contributor

I've done a guide how install the Raspberry Pi Bookworm image to ESXI virtual machine.
Bookworm Desktop needs X11 Desktop environment, Wayland doesn't seem to be supported as yet, but can be changed using raspi-config.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd-dvskk1_c

 

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