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Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu’

Preliminary Dual Boot Android & Ubuntu Firmware for Nagrace HPH NT-V6 TV Box (Rockchip RK3288)

October 22nd, 2014 3 comments

Nagrace NT-V6 TV Box is powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor, and in my review I found the hardware to be pretty good, although some progress had to be done on the firmware. The company is still focus on perfecting Android firmware for NT-V6 and Firefly-RK3288 development board, but in meantime, they’ve released a dual boot image capable of running either Android 4.4 or Ubuntu (14.04?).

HPH-NTV6_Android_Ubuntu_Linux

To give it a try download HPH-RK3288-Android-Ubuntu_20140924.rar. I haven’t been able to try it myself, because Google Drive download is extremely slow today. Once the download is complete, you’ll probably need to flash the firmware using Rockchip AndroidTools (windows) or upgrade_tool command line utility (Linux).

The dual boot firmware is based on Android firmware 1.3.9 released on September 30, plus an Ubuntu root file system. It’s not overly convenient to use Ubuntu, because you need to enter recovery mode by inserting a sharp oject (e.g. a toothpick) into the recovery pinhole on the side of the device, and keep pressing for a few seconds as you power it up, or reboot from Android. Switching from Ubuntu to Android is much easier, as you simply need to click on a button called “boot android” located on the home screen.

It’s highly unlikely this image support 2D/3D graphics acceleration and/or hardware video decoding in Linux, but since the eMMC flash has very good performance, overall user experience should be pretty decent in Ubuntu, and most videos (up to 720p or 1080p depending on video codec/bitrate) can probably be played relatively smoothly using software decoding. The company also warns users that the Linux image is likely to have many bugs, and fixing them will be done after they’ve handled Android bugs.

If you have some other RK3288 TV boxes (Orion R28, Beelink R89…), you can also try some instructions provided in Linuxium in Mini PC Google+ community.

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USB Armory is an Open Source Hardware Freescale i.MX53 Dongle for Security Applications

October 22nd, 2014 4 comments

Most computers-on-a-stick come with an HDMI port, and a few USB ports, but Inverse Path’s dongle is quite different. USB Armory is a flash drive sized computer powered by Freescale i.MX53 Cortex A8 processor with only a USB port and a micro SD slot, that targets security applications such as mass storage devices with automatic encryption, virus scanning, host authentication and data self-destruct, VPN routers, electronic wallets, password managers, portable penetration testing platforms, and so on.

Inverse_path_USB_armoryUSB Armory specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex-A8 @ 800Mhz with ARM TrustZone
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – microSD card slot
  • USB – 1x USB host port. USB device emulation: CDC Ethernet, mass storage, HID, etc.
  • Expansion Header – 5-pin breakout header with GPIOs and UART
  • Misc – customizable LED, including secure mode detection
  • Power – 5V via USB  (<500 mA power consumption)
  • Dimensions – 65 x 19 x 6 mm

The board is said to run Android, Debian, Ubuntu, and FreeBSD. USB Armory is open source hardware and software, and you can already find the Kicad schematics and PCB layout files for the alpha version, distributed under a GPL v2 license, on github. Some software documentation can be found on the project’s Wiki, with firmware images coming later. Security features are achieved through ARM Trustzone which allows for secure and normal zones, and you may want to read a Trustzone on i.MX53 article on Genode OS framework project for more technical details.

USB armory is still under development, but you can register your interest on Crowdsupply where it should sell for less than 100 Euros later this year. Some more information is also available on Inverse Path’s USB Armory page.

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Updated Android 4.4 Beta and Ubuntu Images for pcDuino8 / A80 OptimusBoard Boards Released

October 17th, 2014 9 comments

pcDuino8 and A80 OptimusBoard are the only two Allwinner A80 development boards currently “somewhat” available, and albeit the PCB color is different, every else is basically identical, and pcDuino8 firmware should probably run on A80 OptimusBoard and vice versa. If you own any of these boards, you may interested in two images, one with Android 4.4 (beta), and one with Lubuntu, recently released by pcDuino / Linksprite.

pcDuino8_Ubuntu_Update

Android 4.4 (beta) 2014-10-08 – sun9iw1p1_android_optimus.img to be flashed with PhoenixCard (Windows) or Livesuit (Linux)

Lubuntu 14.04? 2014-10-08 is comprised of two files:

  1. Kernel – pcduino8_kernel_livesuit_20141008.img to be flashed with PhoenixCard or Livesuit first. See instructions to use Livesuit with A80 OptimusBoard.
  2. Rootfs – pcduino8_ubuntu_20141008.rar. First extract the rar files to the root of an SD card or USB flash drive. There should be two files: pcduino8_ubuntu_20141008.img and update.sh. Now connect the mass storage device to pcDuino3 / A80 Optimusboard, and reboot the board to flash the image to /dev/nandd automatically.
    The serial console should show something like:

    mount udisk succeed

    update.sh found, updating rootfs from udisk, please wait…

    writing pcduino8_ubuntu_20141008.img to nand flash

    it will take about 8 minutes to finish…

    During the update, one blue LEDs will blink quickly, and once the procedure is complete two LEDs should blink slowly (success) or fast (failure)

I have tried the Ubuntu image on A80 OptimusBoard, and the kernel update works fine, but the rootfs update (USB flash drive) failed to complete successfully, ending with “write ubuntu to nand failed. update failed, please retry.” after a few seconds. The reason being /dev/nandd partition is only 630 MB, and Ubuntu image is 1.7GB, so I’d have to repartition the flash, something that’s used to be done in the board files for older Linux kernels, but with Allwinner kernel is might be different… An unofficial source also told me an A80 GPU SDK would be released by the end of the month.

Thanks to miniNodes for the info.

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MEEGO-T01 HDMI TV Stick Supports Android, Windows 8.1, and Ubuntu/Linux

October 15th, 2014 15 comments

ARM based HDMI TV dongles have been available for over two years, mostly running Android, but the community has managed to install Linux desktop operating systems such as Ubuntu or Debian on these tiny gadgets with some limitations. But now that Intel is making low power SoC for tablets, at least one company has decided to make an HDMI TV stick powered by Intel “Bay Trail-T” Z3735F/G quad core processor, which can run Android, Windows 8.1, and Linux based desktop operating systems such as Ubuntu.

MEEGO-T01Meegopad MEEGO-T01 (aka APM-D01?) hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735F / Z3735G “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics (2W TDP)
  • System Memory
    • 1 GB DDR3L-1333 for Z3735G (32-bit up to 5.3 GB/s)
    • 2 GB DDR3L-1333 for Z3735F (64-bit up to 10.6 GB/s)
  • Storage – 16 or 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Realtek RTL8723BS)
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 99.6 x 37.6 x 9.6 mm
  • Weight – 46 grams

Android and Windows 8.1 are supported according to the specifications, and Linux/Ubuntu is vaguely mentioned, so it may not be fully supported at this time, other Bay Trail-T mini PC can run Ubuntu with some caveats, so hopefully issues can be ironed out, and we can finally have an HDMI stick running Ubuntu / Debian with full 2D/3D GPU acceleration, and video hardware decoding support.

Intel_HDMI_TV_Stick_BoardThe PCB name is DAONH1MB6A0, and appears to have been designed by a Taiwanese public company called “HannStar Board Corporation“.

MEEGO-T01 / APM-D01 / Meegopad T01 (not sure of the name) is not available for retail yet, but it’s listed on Alibaba, as well as on Shenzhen APEC Electronic’s APM-D01 product page. I could not find any price information, except the very vague, and unreliable, “$1 to $70″ on Alibaba.

Via Mini PC G+ community

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How to Upgrade Allwinner A80 OptimusBoard Firmware

October 4th, 2014 4 comments

After informing Allwinner I had some rather slow write speed (3MB/s) to the NTFS partition of my USB drive on my A80 OptimusBoard, they kindly provided a new compressed Android firmware image (sun9iw1p1_android_optimus_v1.2_20140930.img.7z) with some NTFS optimizations that can be downloaded from baidu (password: x2tz), mega.co.nz or simos.info (please only use this link, if the other two do not work as it’s a private website and monthly bandwidth may be limited).

I vaguely remember tools like LiveSuit (Linux) or PhoenixSuite (Windows), and I ended up on sunxi-linux Livesuit wiki as I’m running Ubuntu 14.04 on my PC, but you should be able to flash the firmware with PhoenixSuite if you run Windows. The instructions below can also be used for other Allwinner based devices.

First you need to install LiveSuit, and build Allwinner USB drivers as follows:

sudo apt-get install dkms git build-essential
git clone https://github.com/linux-sunxi/sunxi-livesuite.git
cd sunxi-livesuite/awusb
make
sudo cp awusb.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe awusb
cd..

In order to use LiveSuit as a normal user, you also have to create /etc/udev/rules.d/50-awusb.rules with the line:

KERNEL=="aw_efex[0-9]*", MODE="0666"

Finally, we can start the program

./LiveSuit

LiveSuit_AllWinner_A80After uncompressing the downloaded file, you can load sun9iw1p1_android_optimus_v1.2_20140930.img by clicking on the Image icon. In theory, you can follow the instructions in LiveSuit using the power button and another button, but the only is that there are only a reset and power buttons on OptimusBoard, and the reset key will just reboot the board, and can’t be used for that purpose. Some board also have FEL key that enter FEL mode (for firmware upgrade) easily, but it’s not the case either.

I finally found the right method on mininodes’ “Ubuntu on Allwinner A80 Optinusboard” post, which explains you need to connect the USB serial cable provided with the board to your computer, and start a console with minicom, screen, putty, or other preferred terminal program. As the board boots, press the space bar to interrupt it, and type efex to enter FEL mode. LiveSuit should then ask whether you want to format the partition (I answered Yes), and complete the updating process. You can now reboot the board to start Android.

The default language is Chinese, and at the first boot, it will ask some questions related to Google services, to which I answered ‘是’ (Yes), and ‘同意‘ (Agree) as I’d like to use the Play Store.

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Firefly-RK3288 Development Board is Now Available for $189

September 27th, 2014 2 comments

Three days ago, a T-chip representative informed me privately that Firefly development board (Rockchip RK3288) would not be available on foreign websites, and that it was unclear when the board would be selling in China. So either I’ve been lied to, or there’s poor internal communication within the company, as they’ve now listed Firefly-RK3288 board on Taobao for 800 CNY (~$130), and it’s also available on Ebay for $189 including shipping, possibly by somebody unrelated to T-chip, especially there are only 3 units for sale.

Firefly_Development_BoardLet’s go the specifications that have slightly changed since the original announcement:

  • SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A12 / A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
  • System Memory – 2G DDR3
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Video I/O
    • HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×2160@60p
    • VGA out (D-SUB connector)
    • Dual MIPI, Dual LVDS and and EDP signal available via expansion headers
  • Audio Output / Input – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, microphone header, and built-in MIC
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with external antenna, and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Debugging – Serial console
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 38-pin headers with access to MIPI, LVDS, EDP, SPI, UART, ADC, GPIO, I2C, I2S…
  • Misc – IR receiver, 2x user LED, power, recovery and reset buttons.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 118 x 83 mm

The board ships with a USB cable and a Wi-Fi antenna. An acrylic enclosure and a 5V/2A power adapter are available as option. The company has now updated their Wiki in English with a quick start guide, hardwre document and instructions to build Android and Linux from source. You can also download Android 4.4 and Ubuntu (Lubuntu) 14.04 Desktop images, or a dual boot Android/Ubuntu image.

Since the board is $130 on Taobao, and $189 on Ebay, you may be able to save a few bucks by buying via Taobao from third party websites such as taobaoring or engtaobao. According to a post by Charbax, it might also be possible to get it shipped for $159, but contacting the company by email, but of course in that case, you don’t have third party protection. Such board is mostly interesting since you’re hopefully getting an up-to-date SDK for the board, but if you are simply looking for devices with these features, something like Tronsmart Orion R28 Meta would be cheaper.

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Linaro 14.09 Release with Kernel 3.17 and Android 4.4.4

September 27th, 2014 No comments

Linaro 14.09 has just been released with Linux kernel 3.17-rc4 (baseline), Linux 3.10.54 & 3.14.19 (LSK), and Android 4.4.2 & 4.4.4.

Linaro has kept working on their member boards such as IFC6410 (Qualcomm), D01 (Huawei/Hisilicon), Ardnale (Samsung), and Juno (ARM). They’ve also announced they’ll change the tools to build GCC by using cbuild2 instead of cbuild1 for next release, and they’ve enabled a build with gcov (for code coverage analysis) which may mean they’ll work on reducing the kernel size by getting rid off unused code. I’ve also noticed the Arndale and Arndale Octa Ubuntu images are now based on Linux LSK with Mali GPU support since last month.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 3.17-rc4-2014.09
    • GATOR version 5.19
    • updated topic from Qualcomm LT (ifc6410 board support) and HiSilicon LT
    • updated Versatile Express ARM64 support (FVP Base and Foundation models, Juno) from ARM LT.
    • updated Versatile Express patches from ARM LT
    • updated LLVM topic (follows the community llvmlinux-latest branch)
    • Big endian support (the 2014.05 topic version rebased to 3.17 kernel)
    • config fragments changes – added gcov config fragment, disabled DRM_EXYNOS_IOMMU to work around boot failure on Arndale
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.09
    • based on GCC 4.9 and updated to latest Linaro TCWG releases: Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.09, and Linaro GDB 7.8-2014.09.
    • This will be the last release done with cbuild1 and crosstool-ng. Next releases will be done with cbuild2. Official support for very old host environments will be dropped.
  • Linaro builds of AOSP 14.09 built with Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09.
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.09
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.09, Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.09, integrated Linaro GDB 7.8-2014.09.
    • imported Linaro eglibc 2.19 into meta-linaro after OE-core switched to glibc 2.20
    • fixed shadow securetty for Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics SoCs
    • upstreaming – fixed libpng on aarch64 (neon symbol), updated PM QA to 0.4.14, updated libunwind to include aarch64 support
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.09
    • added linux-tools (perf standalone, splitted from kernel build)
    • updated packages: Juno firmware 0.8.1, LSK 3.10.55/3.14.19 and linux-linaro 3.17-rc4 kernels.
  • A gcov enabled build has been added
  • Linaro builds of the Android NDK have been updated to current upstream sources and current Linaro toolchain component releases.
  • Standalone Android toolchain binary builds now use Linaro binutils for improved armv8 support.

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1409/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.

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