After my initial setup I found I was unable to format my SATA SSD drives. After trying various things and reading about others with similar problems I determined that I had a bad SATA interface card. The PCI-e SATA card I bought from Pine64 store only cost $9.99, so I didn't mind too much having to get a better one. I bought a JESOT SATA Card from Amazon for just $24.99 which came with an 8cm back bracket that fits perfectly in my Pine64 NAS case.

Now that I have a working SATA card I was able to proceed with formating my SSD drive and building and installing the bitcoind software. The steps I followed are:

  1. update apt and install LVM

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install lvm2
  2. add a new bitcoin system user and group

    sudo adduser --system --home /var/lib/bitcoind --group bitcoin
  3. identify and create partitions for the whole disk on my two SATA SSD drive

    sudo /sbin/lvmdiskscan
    fdisk /dev/sda
    fdisk /dev/sdb
  4. create LVM physical volumes, volume group, and logical volume

    sudo pvcreate /dev/sda1
    sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb1
    sudo vgcreate rockpro64 /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1
    sudo lvcreate -n bitcoin -L 500g rockpro64
  5. format my new 500GB logical volume, identify it's UUID and mount it via fstab

    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/rockpro64/bitcoin
    sudo mkdir /var/lib/bitcoind
    sudo chown bitcoin:bitcoin /var/lib/bitcoind
    sudo blkid
    sudo vi /etc/fstab

    add line to /etc/fstab:

    UUID=<THE UUID OF MY NEW LOGICAL PARTITION> /var/lib/bitcoind ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1
  6. install git and other tools needed to build the bitcoind software

    sudo apt install git
    sudo apt-get install libboost-system-dev libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-chrono-dev libboost-test-dev libboost-thread-dev
    sudo apt-get install build-essential libtool autotools-dev autoconf pkg-config libssl-dev libdb-dev libdb++-dev libevent-dev
  7. clone and build bitcoind

    git clone
    cd bitcoin
    git checkout v0.19.1
    ./configure --without-gui --with-incompatible-bdb
    make -j4
  8. install the bitcoin binaries

    cd src
    sudo install -sv bitcoind bitcoin-cli /usr/local/bin
    sudo chown bitcoin:bitcoin /usr/local/bin/bitcoin*
  9. copy and install default bitcoin.conf

    sudo mkdir /etc/bitcoin
    sudo chown bitcoin:bitcoin /etc/bitcoin
    sudo cp share/examples/bitcoin.conf /etc/bitcoin
    sudo chown bitcoin:bitcoin /etc/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf
  10. copy, edit, and install bitcoind.service

    sudo mkdir /usr/lib/systemd/system
    sudo cp contrib/init/bitcoind.service /usr/lib/systemd/system

    change bitcoind path in bitcoind.service to /usr/local/bin/bitcoind

    vi /usr/lib/systemd/system/bitcoind.service 
  11. create /run/bitcoind directory, reload systemd services and start the bitcoin daemon!

    sudo mkdir /run/bitcoind
    sudo chown bitcoin:bitcoin /run/bitcoind
    sudo systemctl daemon-reload
    sudo systemctl start bitcoind
  12. finally I checked the status of my initial block download by tailing the debug.log

    sudo tail -f /var/lib/bitcoind/debug.log

    After a few hours I'm almost 25% done with syncing:

    2020-03-18T03:49:29Z UpdateTip: new best=000000000000000000b0051a304dddb1e8a308f768362234bc9d1000856488ae height=410146 version=0x20000000 log2_work=84.597965 tx=126645632 date='2016-05-04T05:10:24Z' progress=0.245593 cache=351.3MiB(2403347txo)

    And my small but mighty RockPro64 is barely breaking a sweat:

    sudo armbianmonitor -M
    Stop monitoring using [ctrl]-[c]
    Time       big.LITTLE   load %cpu %sys %usr %nice %io %irq   CPU  C.St.
    21:01:35: 1800/1512MHz  1.62  18%   3%  13%   0%   1%   0% 52.2°C  0/3