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Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu’

Banana Pro Allwinner A20 Development Board Looks Similar to Raspberry Pi Model B+

October 30th, 2014 No comments

Banana Pi development board was launched about half year ago with Raspberry Pi model B form factor, but with more powerful Allwinner A20 dual core processor, and extra interfaces such as SATA. A few months later, the Raspberry Pi foundation launched Raspberry Pi Model B+  with pretty much the same specifications, but a different board layout and connector placement, and LeMaker has now designed a new version of the AllWinner A20 development board called “Banana Pro” that’s somewhat similar to R-Pi B+ board layout, with a 40-pin header, and similar connector placement, minus a few differences, such as using two USB ports instead of four, and the addition of a Wi-Fi module.

Raspberry Pi Model B+ vs Banana PRO

Raspberry Pi Model B+ vs Banana PRO

Banana Pro specifications with differences against Banana Pi highlighted in bold:

  • SoC- Allwinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, SATA 2.0 connector
  • Video output – HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm jack for composite + stereo audio (AV), and MIPI DSI connector
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV jack, and on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211E/D) + 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (Realtek RTL8189ES)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB OTG, 1x micro USB for power
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART console
  • Expansion – Raspberry Pi B+ compatible headers (40-pin header), Camera connector (CSI), and LCD connector (DSI).
  • Misc – 3x on-board buttons for reset, power, and u-boot (FEL mode), 3x LEDs (power, Ethernet, and user), and IR receiver
  • Power – 5V/2A via micro USB port. AXP209 PMIC.
  • Dimensions – 92 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 45 g

Banana_PROCompared to Banana Pi, Banana pro adds a Wi-Fi module, and a micro USB OTG port, replaces a full size SD card slot with a micro SD card slot, the RCA port and stereo audio port by a single AV port, and the 26-pin header by a 40-pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi Model B+.

The company provides firmware images for various Linux distributions including Lubuntu, Rasbpian, Android Jelly Bean, Bananian, LeMedia (XBMC in Debian), ArchLinux for ARM, Scratch, etc… These are the images for Banana Pi, but they most likely also run on the Banana PRO, although Wi-Fi support is probably not guaranteed (yet) with all of these images, some of which dates from May. Banana PRO BSP can be retrieved from github.

The board can be pre-ordered on Aliexpress for $68.88 including shipping, with actual shipping scheduled within 30 days, or I misunderstood and they expect the parcel to be delivered within 30 days. A few more details can be found on LeMaker homepage, and a forum thread.

Via Banana Pi Google+ Community and Nanik.

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Qualcomm Releases Userspace Adreno 320 GPU Drivers for Ubuntu

October 30th, 2014 2 comments

Qualcomm Developer Network has just sent the October Newsletter by email, and they had some news specific to Ubuntu / Linux support on IFC6410 development board powered by a Snapdragon 600 processor. Firs they link to a guest blog post on Qualcomm website entitled “Video Conferencing on Linux with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Processor“, where Qualcomm partner eInfochips stated:

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.’s leadership in mobile market with Linux Android support is well established. As the demand for Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., increase in adjacent markets, the need for non-Android Linux support becomes evident.

Which is always good to read. The rest of the post blog provides a few more details about their a low-latency (50ms glass-to-glass) video conferencing solution based on OpenEmbedded build with Linaro Linux Kernel, and making use of Qt5, Gstreamer, and Sofia SIP library. Further improvements will be achieved with hardware video decoding.

Qualcomm also released a developer preview user-mode Ubuntu Linux driver binaries for Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU on Inforce IFC6410 board. Linaro already releases a monthly Linaro Member Build for IFC6410 board. This release includes support for OpenGL ES 3.0 and has been tested with the Linaro 14.09 Ubuntu release. The Linaro image already included OpenGL 2.1 support for Adreno 320 GPU, but based on the open source freedreno GPU driver, instead of an official release by Qualcomm.

You can download adreno-ubuntu.tar.gz with your Qualcomm developer credentials.

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Mastermind UT One is an Upcoming Ubuntu Touch Tablet Powered by Intel Bay Trail-T SoC

October 30th, 2014 2 comments

Canonical unveiled Ubuntu Touch for Phones & Tablets early 2013, launched an impressive yet failed crowdfunding campaign for Ubuntu Edge smartphone in Summer 2013, and after many more months of development, Ubuntu Touch phones are expected by the end of the year with Ubuntu version of Meizu MX3/MX4 and BQ Aquaris. Ubuntu Touch tablets may be coming soon as Phoronix has been informed of an upcoming UT One tablet powered by Intel Atom Z3735D and running Ubuntu Touch.

Illustration Taken from Google's Cache of MastermindTec Website.

Illustration Taken from Google’s Cache of MastermindTec Website, probably not actual hardware.

UT One specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3735D quad core processor @ 1.33 to 1.5 GHz with Intel HD Graphics Gen 7.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 16 GB internal flash + micro SD slot
  • Display – 10.1″ IPS LCD with 1280×800 resolution. 10-point touch screen
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio I/O – 3.5mm audio port, HDMI, 2x built-in speakers
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and support for 3G via external USB dongle
  • USB – 1x USB host port?
  • Camera – 2MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera
  • Misc – Power on/off switch, volume buttons,
  • Battery – 7,900 mAh battery for up to 8 hours use.
  • Dimensions – 254 x 170 x 10 mm
  • Weight – 636 grams

That’s about all we know from the leak. However, I’ve noticed a website called mastermindtec.com that’s currently in maintenance, but that still have some information about UT One stored in Google Cache, so it’s probably real. Pictures from the cache are probably taken from Ubuntu website, and not the actual tablet pictures. There’s also a string “Pre-order the UT One today for $350!” shown in Google search results, but I hope the price at launch will be a little lower than that…

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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 18 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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