Choosing to boot from eMMC or MicroSD?

Hello, I recently bought an AML-S905X and so far I have mixed feelings about it and that may be in part of Libre and LoveRPi but I am hoping someone can break this down and explain to me as I can't find a post on the following specifics.

With my device (from LoveRPi), I purchased a 16GB eMMC card (from LoveRPi) and have a 32GB Lexar UHS-II MicroSD card to host the OS on, either by dual-booting or using MicroSD to write to eMMC. As far as my understanding goes, this device boots directly to the eMMC module, and if absent, to the MicroSD slot. So far, I am able to write an image to the MicroSD card, and after 1-2min (current bug) the OS boots successfully at painful MicroSD speeds. If both storage mediums are attached, naturally, the eMMC module will boot first.

Here's where I run into an issue... It seems to me if purchasing an eMMC from LoveRPi, you will be required to buy an adapter in order to load an OS onto it. My eMMC module came loaded with something called MBOX which I have no use for, and because the eMMC module came loaded with an OS unbeknown to me it will always take priority over booting MicroSD.

Only solutions I can think of are blanking the eMMC (with adapter) to possibly force MicroSD booting by default, therefore allowing me to install Linux and use commands to manually write to eMMC; Or, use an adapter to write to eMMC directly. Both of these methods require an additional purchase and waiting, where as ODroid boards (only physical example I own) allow you to toggle boot select thus making an adapter only a convenient way to install an OS to eMMC, not the only way. And, as far as I know the U-Boot feature is currently disabled from my digging and testing. I tried using AMLogic USB Burning Tool with no success. I tried two different distros from LoveRPi site and an Armbian image; device is detected when pressing U-Boot button but every image fails with "Parsing Image Failed", and this has occured on three different computers.

If anyone has any solutions or can confirm this I would greatly appreciate this. Thanks!


  • So far I was just able to flash Libreelec (via dd command and Linux) and Android (via Burning tool) successfully. Please have a look to 'Libreelec' & 'Android - Playstore' thread.

  • I got a little busy but did a ton of searching and I don't think you read through my post...

    As per the post above I have been unsuccessful using the Burning Tool to burn any linux.img I have come across, and I do not want to use Android. I am also unable to use any form of flashing (in this case dd) because when booted into the MicroSD's Ubuntu environment I am unable to hot-swap my eMMC module in. Again, that issue is my eMMC taking boot priority. However, if I misunderstood your reply or the thread you are referencing takes this info into account please correct me and elaborate if you could please.

    UPDATE: I have bought an FT232 UART device to try manipulating the U-Boot environment to see if I could force boot the SD card manually, but I am actually unsure of what commands or files I may need to actually configure this thing properly. Again I have interrupted into U-Boot using Ctrl+C at boot time but I dunno what to do now. If I'm onto something here could someone nudge me in the right direction? Thanks again for your time!

  • Also just tried several more images from Libre, Armbian, LoveRPi and Lakka using the Amlogic USB Burning Tool (v2.0.8). So far I have tried several Debian, Ubuntu, and one Android 7.1.1 image; all of these result in a "Parsing Image Failed" error. I am holding the U-Boot button down while plugging in the double-sided USB-A cable, with one end on the top-left USB port (top right corner of Ethernet jack). This was attempted using a Dell laptop, a Lenovo laptop, and a custom desktop. I also believe I am in the correct mode as USB Burning Tool tells me I have a successful connection on HUBx-x, and UART gives me only one line of output: "GXL:BL1:xxxxxx:xxxxxx;FEAT:ADFC318C;POC:2;RCY:0;USB:0;"

    I will keep posting different methods but this has been the most frustrating SBC experience I've had so far and I feel a little duped.. All I want to do is write an image to the eMMC module.

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