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Radxa ROCK PI 4c

Installing Talos on Radxa ROCK PI 4c SBC using raw disk image.


You will need

  • talosctl
  • an SD card

Download the latest alpha talosctl.

curl -Lo /usr/local/bin/talosctl$(uname -s | tr "[:upper:]" "[:lower:]")-amd64
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/talosctl

Download the Image

Download the image and decompress it:

curl -LO
xz -d metal-rockpi_4-arm64.img.xz

Writing the Image

The path to your SD card can be found using fdisk on Linux or diskutil on macOS. In this example, we will assume /dev/mmcblk0.

Now dd the image to your SD card:

sudo dd if=metal-rockpi_4-arm64.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 conv=fsync bs=4M

Bootstrapping the Node

Insert the SD card to your board, turn it on and wait for the console to show you the instructions for bootstrapping the node. Following the instructions in the console output to connect to the interactive installer:

talosctl apply-config --insecure --interactive --nodes <node IP or DNS name>

Once the interactive installation is applied, the cluster will form and you can then use kubectl.

Retrieve the kubeconfig

Retrieve the admin kubeconfig by running:

talosctl kubeconfig

Boot Talos from an SSD Drive

Note: this is only tested on Rock PI 4c

Rock PI 4 has an M2 slot which supports NVMe disks. It is possible to run Talos without any SD cards right from that SSD disk.

The pre-installed SPI loader won’t be able to chain Talos u-boot on the SSD drive because it’s too outdated. The official docs on booting from the SSD also propose using an outdated SPI to flash u-boot.

Instead, it is necessary to update u-boot to a more recent version for this process to work. The Armbian u-boot build for Rock PI 4c has been proved to work:


  • Flash any OS to the SD card (can be Armbian for example).
  • Download Armbian u-boot and update SPI flash:
curl -LO
sudo dd if=rkspi_loader-v20.11.2-trunk-v2.img of=/dev/mtdblock0 bs=4K
  • Optionally, you can also write Talos image to the SSD drive right from your Rock PI board:
curl -LO
xz -d metal-rockpi_4-arm64.img.xz
sudo dd if=metal-rockpi_4-arm64.img.xz of=/dev/nvme0n1
  • remove SD card and reboot.

After these steps, Talos will boot from the SSD and enter maintenance mode. The rest of the flow is the same as running Talos from the SD card.