Operating System on NVMe (without SD Card)


I would like to run my MNT Reform notebook without SD card. In the manual I also how to switch to NVMe.

After I created a partition with gnome-disks and formatted everything ext4, i run the following commands as root user:

apt install rsync
reform-boot-config nvme

The SD card is still necessary for booting, but then everything runs from the much faster NVMe SSD.

I read on Twitter that it is also possible to use the eMMC storage from the CPU module instead of the SD card as a boot medium.

Can someone please explain me how to boot without SD card. I have already found the jumper labeled BOOTCFG :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot

1 Like

Hi, I’m happy to hear the migration process worked just like that!

If you want to go SD-less, you have to switch over to the eMMC. For this, you need to switch the little DIP switch on the i.MX8M SOM. This is a bit tricky because you need to remove the heatsink to reach the switch. Putting the heatsink back on with the little plastic spacers requires a bit of patience. But yeah, all you need to do is flip the switch, boot without the SD card (you will end up in the Rescue System). There, do reform-boot-config nvme once again.

1 Like

OK… I have found the switch. (It is not the switch labeled BOOTCFG.) Set the switch to OFF and put everything back together.

No problem with the heatsink. I am now in rescue mode. But the script reform-boot-config does not work. It always wants to mount and write the SD card. The SD card (/dev/mmcblk1p1) does not exists. The eMMC is /dev/mmcblk0p1.

Tried it manually.

echo nvme > /reform-boot-medium

But after a reboot it boots the rescue system again.

Do you (or anyone else) have another tip?

Thank you

1 Like

Hi, the Rescue System’s u-boot (on eMMC, /dev/mmcblk0boot0) does not use /sbin/reform-init, that’s why it does not respect /reform-boot-medium.

To work around this, flash this alternative build of u-boot onto the eMMC boot partition: A variant that uses /sbin/reform-init in the eMMC boot sequence, allowing to boot from NVMe via eMMC · Reform / reform-boundary-uboot · GitLab


Super. With the new u-boot version it works. I did everything as you described:

wget http://mntre.com/reform_md/flash-rescue-reform-init.bin # download new version
echo 0 > /sys/class/block/mmcblk0boot0/force_ro # unlock boot partition
dd if=flash-rescue-reform-init.bin of=/dev/mmcblk0boot0 bs=1024 seek=33 # flash

My MNT Reform now boots without SD card.

Thank you!