Archive

Posts Tagged ‘debian’

MPL CEC10 Compact Embedded Computers Feature Bay Trail SoCs, 5 Gigabit Ports, Rugged Enclosures

July 28th, 2014 No comments

MPL, a company specializing in industrial PCs based in Switzerland, has recently announced their CEC10 series “Compact Embedded Computer” featuring Intel Bay Trail-I E3800 processors, with 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports using RJ45, M12, or SFP connectors, and supporting industrial and extended temperature ranges, and as well as various rugged housings.

MPL_CEC10_Industrial_PC

Specifications for MPL CEC10:

  • SoC – Intel Atom E3800 series single, dual, or quad processor @ up to 1.91GHz with Intel HD graphics.
  • System Memory – up to 4GB DDR3L ECC-RAM
  • Storage:
    • mSATA interface
    • Optional 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD
    • Optional eMMC flash (soldered)
  • Video Output- DisplayPort, optional eDP / VGA
  • Connectivity – 5x gigabit Ethernet ports. RJ45 connectors by default, but the system also supports M12 connectors or SFP cages.
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 device port, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Serial – 1x RS-232 port, optional RS-232/422/485 or extra RS-232 port
  • Expansion Slots:
    • Mini-PCIe slot (full size) with mSATA support
    • Optional PCie/PC104 board interface with 2x PCIe, 2x HSIC, 2x UART, SATA, SDIO, LPC and I2C.
  • Misc – Watchdog
  • MPL_CEC10_Military_Outdoor_Enclosure

    Military / Outdoor Enclosure

    Power:

    • 8–36V DC supply
    • Reverse polarity voltage, overvoltage, surge and burst voltages protection
    • Electromagnetic discharge protection compliant with MIL-STD-461E, IEC60945, EN50155
    • 8 to 18W power consumption
    • Sleep currents down to 100μA with support for wake capabilities (Ignition/RI) from ignition signal, RS232 ring indicator, or LAN (Wake-on-LAN).
  • Dimensions – 162 x 118 x 62mm
  • Operating Temperature Range – -20 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C (Extended temp. range)
  • Certifications (In progess) – EN 50155 (railway) and IEC 60945 (maritime) certifications

The company can provide various modules compatible with the optional board interface namely UPS LiPo, UPS Supercap, CAN, GPS, RS-232, RS-422/485, and Rugged WLAN modules. Four rugged enclosures are available for the system: DIN-Rail. Flange, Open Frame, and MIL/Outdoor. This industrial PC is said to support Debian Linux and various version of Windows.

MPL CEC 10 appears to be available, and will be for at least 10 more years as the company commit to long term availability. Pricing information has not been disclosed publicly. Further information can be found on CEC product page.

Via LinuxGizmos

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Testing VolksPC’s MicroXwin Android & Debian Distribution in MK808 mini PC

July 27th, 2014 7 comments

Earlier this week, I wrote about VolksPC mini PC running Debian and Android simultaneously, and the developers decided to send me a unit for testing. The hardware I received is the popular MK808 mini PC based on Rockchip RK3066 with 1Gb RAM, and 8 GB RAM, but loaded with MicroXwin unified distribution. MicroXwin is an implementation of Windows X that’s not using a client/server protocol, for instead communicates directly with the drivers for better performance, especially on low-end hardware.

I connected MK808 to my HDMI TV, added a USB hub to connect a USB keyboard as well as Mele Air Mouse, and powered up the device. The boot to Debian takes about 30 seconds, and 50 seconds for Android.

Debian with XFCE using microXwin (Click for Original Size)

As you boot it will enter in Debian with XFCE desktop environment, and you’ll notice two files, namely the Quick Start Guide and Release Notes that explain how to get started and configure the system. All configuration is done in Android, where you can configure the network, language and input, and date and time. The release notes provides the login credentials desktop/desktop and root/root in case you need them, explains how to start and start Android from a terminal window in Debian (stop  zygote / start  zygote), and lists some known bugs. To switch between Android and Debian, press Ctrl+Alt+F7, and as you’ll see in the video below, it’s truly instantaneous.

Android in MK808 (Click for Original Size)

Android in MK808 using microXwin (Click for Original Size)

Both operating systems share the same file system, so you can edit files in Debian, and use them in Android, and vice versa. However, I’ve noticed some directories and files may become invisible in Android, such as the Pictures and Documents directory in the user’s directory (/mwinx/home/desktop). For some reasons, I have not been able to login to a SAMBA share in ES File Explorer although a scan can find my server, and plugging in a USB card reader will crash Debian, and sometimes reboot the system. From time to time, I may also lose control of the USB keyboard, and Wi-Fi disconnects pretty often, so stability is not that great with that firmware.

However, I’m been pleased with the performance in both Debian and Android. Programs such as LibreOffice Writer, and Chromium browser both load under 10 seconds in Debian, and the system feels more responsive that I would expect from such hardware. I wanted to install es2gears and glmark2-es2 to test hardware GPU acceleration, but the packages normally used (mesa-utils-extra & glmark2-es2) could not been found by apt-get.

VolksPC_Debian_Chromium_Libreoffice

Back in Android, I’ve tried several apps (ES File Explorer, Google Play, Youtube..), also including games such as Buggy Beach Blitz, and they all work as expected. Running Antutu 4.x benchmark gives a score of 10521 points, which seems about right for a dual core processor with Mali-400MP4 GPU. If you start playing a Youtube Video in Android, and switch to Debian, the video still plays in the background and you can hear the audio. This means for example, that you can start playing music in Android, and work in Debian, or start a task in one OS, and it will still run, if you switch to the other one.

You can watch the video below to check out he boot time for Debian and Android,  the speed of the switch between Android and Debian, Wi-Fi disconnecting, and the loading times of LibreOffice and Chromium.

I’ve also run a few commands in a terminal windows to check memory and storage:

root@localhost:~# uname -a
Linux localhost 3.0.36+ #173 SMP PREEMPT Wed Jul 2 11:53:59 PDT 2014 armv7l GNU/Linux
root@localhost:~# df -h
df: cannot read table of mounted file systems: No such file or directory
root@localhost:~# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           853        815         38          0         24        441
-/+ buffers/cache:        349        503
Swap:            0          0          0
root@localhost:~# lsblk
NAME      MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
loop7       7:7    0   2.2G  0 loop 
mtdblock0  31:0    0     4M  0 disk 
mtdblock1  31:1    0     8M  0 disk 
mtdblock2  31:2    0    16M  0 disk 
mtdblock3  31:3    0    32M  0 disk 
mtdblock4  31:4    0    64M  0 disk 
mtdblock5  31:5    0   128M  0 disk 
mtdblock6  31:6    0     5G  0 disk 
mtdblock7  31:7    0     4M  0 disk 
mtdblock8  31:8    0   512M  0 disk 
mtdblock9  31:9    0   1.7G  0 disk 
root@localhost:~# 

It’s running an older 3.0.36+ as is common with RK30xx and RK31xx based devices, about 853 MB total RAM is available to the system, and df -h does not work because /etc/fstab is empty.

The take away from my testing is that this unified distribution has great promise, as performance is good, and I did not encounter display issues, but some serious work needs to be done to debug the whole system, as well as improve its stability. It’s not entirely clear however, whether the stability issues are related to microXwin implementation, or the underlying Android firmware for MK808.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

Lemaker.org is Giving Away Banana Pi Development Boards to Developers and Fans

July 26th, 2014 1 comment

Banana Pi is a development board powered by AllWinner A20 dual core SoC with 1GB RAM, and with expansion headers and a form factor very similar to the Raspberry Pi. It can run Debian, Lubuntu, Android 4.2, Arch Linux ARM, Scratch OS, and OpenSuse, but Lemarker.org community would like more educational materials such as open source software or hardware projects, tutorials, etc.., so they’ve launched a program to give away boards to developers and people who can help writing and maintaining documentation.
Banana_Pi_Board

There are three categories of projects:

  • STEAM – “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics” educational, open source projects running on the the Banana Pi
  • Hardware or Software Project -  Open source projects based on Banana Pi which could be helpful to the community, including open source hardware peripherals projects;
  • Banana Pi Fans – You don’t need to be as technical as for the two others categories, but you must be committed to write tutorials or user guides, participate to the Wiki, upload video guides, etc.., under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

To apply, you just need to create a poll in the forums in the category that matches your project, describe the project, the licenses used, links to existing documentation if any, etc…Other members of the community can then comment or/and vote for your project for two weeks, and you’ll be send a board if accepted.Current projects include a Self-Managing Uninterruptible Power Supply for Banana Pi, and WTherm web connected thermostat.

Selected applicants will have to bear the cost of shipping via SF-Express, DHL (Priority), UPS, FedEx, or China Post depending on the applicant’s preference.

All details and conditions are available on Apply for Banana Pi page.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

PcDuino8 Octa-core Development Board Revealed (Video)

July 24th, 2014 9 comments

Two AllWinner A80 powered development boards are currently expected. We’ve already seen some pictures of the Cubieboard8, and today we can gt more details about PcDuino8 development board thanks to Charbax who visited Linksprite, and interviewed the company.

PcDuino8

Here are PcDuino8 (Beta) specifications based on the interview and pictures:

  • SoC – AllWinner A80 octa core big.LITTLE processor with 4 ARM Cortex A15 cores, 4 Cortex A7 cores, and Imagination PowerVR G6200 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB
  • Storage – 4GB flash + micro SD Card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x Micro-B USB 3.0 port
  • Debugging – 14-pin header for JTAG
  • Expansion Header – 32-pin header
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power – Round DC power jack (5V?)

The hardware specs are a bit lower compared to the Cubieboard8, notably when it comes to RAM, and USB ports. LinkSprite is currently working on Android and Debian for the board, but they also said some developers are also working on Chromium OS. The board is expected to be available next month, and they hope to keep the price below $100.

The video below is 19 minutes long, but only the first 1 minute and 30 seconds are about their new Octa-core board. The rest of the video includes:

  • History of PcDuino boards including a new PcDuino3 Nano soon to be available
  • A version of Scratch for PcDuino board with an hardware tab to program GPIOs using the program’s graphical user interface.
  • Quick demo of a Robot powered by a PcDuino board
  • PcDuino for education used in schools in Colorado, USA, Germany, and China. Resources are available at learn.linksprite.com
  • Visit of linksprite’s R&D office
  • Quick talk with the developer of Papilio DUO FPGA board, as it happens to be manufactured by Linksprite.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

VolksPC mini PC runs Debian and Android Simultaneously Thanks to MicroXwin Framework

July 20th, 2014 9 comments

It’s been possible to run Linux or Android on ARM based board and producs for a while, with some firmware providing dual boot support, or even simultaneous use running a chroot with a VNC server and client combination. Some developers have come up MicroXwin, a X-windows implementation using a custom Xlib library that communicate directly with the graphics drivers, and not using a client/server implement. This provides much faster performance compare to X11, as shown on Raspberry Pi and Cubieboard2 development boards, and it has given them the ability to run Debian LXDE and Android Jelly Bean simultaneously on their upcoming VolksPC, a mini PC based on Rockchip RK3066 with 16GB flash.

VolksPC Runs Android and Debian LXDE.

VolksPC Runs Android and Debian LXDE

The first VolksPC will have the following specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3066 dual core ARM Cortex A9 CPU @ 1.4Ghz with Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB NAND flash + SD/MMC/MS card reader (Up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3 and VGA
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports

The hardware is pretty standard, except for the 16GB flash as you need enough space to run the two operating systems from flash with some extra space for user’s data. As you’ll see from the video below, the system is very smooth both in Android and Debian, and the same file system is shared between the two operating systems. For example, provided the video has not been edited, LibreOffice is shown to start in less than 10 seconds, and they also showed a YouTube video playing in Debian, albeit not in full screen. Since both operating systems are running at the same time, switching between the two are instantaneous. You can kill Android, and still run Debian, or you can logout of Debian, and still run Android if you need to some free RAM. The demo is apparently running on MK808.

VolksPC mini PC is not available right now, and it’s unclear when it will be released. The unified distribution shown in the video above can not be downloaded either, and MicroXWin does not seem to be open source, or least not yet, so it’s not something you can currently use or port to your device. Nevertheless, it’s probably something to keep an eye on, and you can do so on VolksPC.org.

Via Liliputing and Phoronix

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

The World’s Cheapest Linux Computer? Pogoplug Mobile Now Sells for $7

July 19th, 2014 10 comments

Somebody asked “Anyone knows a computer cheaper than a Raspberry Pi with a network interface?” on Google+ mini PCs community. Some OpenWRT routers such as TPLink WR703N selling for about $20, or the VoCore Wi-Fi module selling for about the same price (Wi-Fi only) were parts of the answers, and I also mentioned some HDMI TV dongles that now sell for around $35, which is still a little cheaper than the Raspberry Pi model B when one considers shipping. But I found the answer by dhead666 particularly interesting:

Pogoplug Mobile goes for 7$ on Amazon and that includes psu and network cable.
It run Linux great (I’m using Arch) but you will want to have a ttl-usb cable and soldering iron available in case you manage to mess u-boot (go to the doozan’s forums for more info about the u-boot).

Let’s have a look.

PogoplugPogoplug Mobile is not a new device, as I wrote about it as far back as 2011, but it was certainly not selling for $7 at the time.

Pogoplug Mobile has the following specifications:

  • Processor – Marvell Kirkwood 88F6192 ARMv5TE compliant processor @ 800 MHz
  • System Memory – 128 MB RAM
  • Storage – 128 MB NAND + SD card slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port

You can find a review of the device, including board and device pictures, on SmallnetBuilder. The product is sold as a backup device connected to a cloud service, but as we’ll see below, you can also install Arch Linux ARM. There are also other Pogoplug models with USB 3.0 and SATA II, but obviously they cost more.

Pogoplug_Mobile_Rear

What about the $7 claim? Pogoplug Mobile can indeed be found on Amazon for about $7, and it’s actually one of the best selling items in the NAS category. I’ve also looked for other models with SATA and USB 3.0, and gotthe following price list

If Amazon US won’t ship to your country, it’s also available on Ebay, but you’ll have to shop around as shipping costs may be prohibitive…

Even at $7, it’s not really a Raspberry Pi killer, as there’s no video output, and it does not seem you have easy access to GPIOs, yet for headless non-embedded applications it looks certainly interesting especially for storage application as it provides Gigabit Ethernet which should be much faster than the 10/100M Ethernet via USB you get with the Raspberry Pi, and it’s a very cheap way to connect any USB hard drive to the network. At this price it’s almost like they sell you the Ethernet cable and power supply, and give you the device for free. The Series 4 are also cost effective if you want SATA, more USB ports, and extra performance with USB 3.0.

To say the least the reviews on Amazon are mixed, with many people saying the device does not work as expected, and they lost their files. Luckily the Pogoplugs are hackable, and instructions to run Arch Linux ARM from SD card are indeed available for Pogoplug Mobile and Pogoplug Series v4, and somebody also managed to boot Debian. There are various instructions from people who played with this extra cheap device on the net.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter

33 Euros Olimex A20-OLinuXino-LIME Open Source Hardware Board Supports Linux and Android

July 9th, 2014 No comments

Last year, Olimex launched A10-OLinuxXino-LIME powered by AllWinner A10, and it became quite popular due to its Linux and Android support, its open source hardware, and a price tag of just 30 Euros that made it cost competitive with BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi boards. The company has now designed an upgrade with A20-OLinuXino-LIME powered by AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor, that sells for just 3 Euros more.

A20-OlinuXino-LINE

A20-OLinuXino-LIME specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – microSD card slot, SATA, and optional 4GB NAND Flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 1080p
  • USB -  USB-OTG + 2x USB Hosts
  • Connectivity – 10/100Mbit Ethernet
  • Expansions – 200 GPIOs on 0.05″ connectors
  • Misc – Lipo battery management and connector, buttons
  • Power – 5V
  • Dimensions – 84 x 60 mm

A20-OlinuXino-LIMEThe specifications are exactly the same expect for the processor. The company will provide images and source code for Android 4.2.2 and Debian. Source samples, some tools, and hardware designs file are available in Olimex’s OlinuXino github repo. You’ve find any A20-OLinuXino-LIME hardware design files directly, simply because the board is the same for A10-OLinuXino–LIME as AllWinner A10 and A20 are pin-2-pin compatible. There’s supposed to be a Wiki for A20-OlinuXino-LIME (currently empty), but this will be very similar to the A10 version. U-boot and Linux kernel source code are mostly leveraging the work done by linux-sunix community.

Two versions of the board are now available: A20-OLinuXino-LIME without flash (boot from micro SD card) for 33 Euros ($45), and A20-OLinuXino-LIME-4GB that will include a 4GB NAND flash and sell for 43 Euros ($59).

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter