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Ubuntu 12.04 on ODroid-X Development Board

Yesterday, Hardkernel released the first version of Ubuntu for ODroid-X development board based on Linux 3.6-rc1 and Linaro Ubuntu Desktop 12.07.

This is still early work, but here’s the current status:

  • Linux Kernel 3.6-rc1 with gcc 4.7.1 Linaro toolchain
  • SMP driven Quad-Core processing
  • PMIC device driver
  • USB 2.0 High-speed Host driver for Exynos-4412 HSIC interface
  • Ethernet + USB Hub device driver
  • LCD display driver
  • HDMI display driver (Very early version and it may have HDMI 1.4a compatibility issues with some monitors)

To do:

  • Audio codec driver
  • eMMC device driver
  • Clock control driver
  • 3D HW-GPU X11 driver (This may need couple of months)
  • Power-off support
  • WiFi module is not working with Ubuntu GUI. Hardkernel Wi-Fi module is not working due to missing driver

There are 2 images: one for LCD display kits, one for HDMI output that can be downloaded via:

Once the download complete, uncompress the image and copy on a 8GB SD card or greater as follows:

where X is the letter of your SD card device on your system. If you’re using a 8GB SD card, there might be some slight differences in size, and you could see the following message:

If you still try to boot Ubuntu with this SD card, the boot will miserably fail to mount the rootfs:

Run the following command to fix and resize the rootfs partition:

Now you’re ready to insert the SD card in the board. Make sure the Jumper to boot from SD card is inserted and start the board. After slightly over 1 minute the Ubuntu desktop should appear.

Linaro Ubuntu on ODroid-X

Boot time would be greatly reduced with initramfs support and a  Class 4 or 10 SD card. I’m using a cheap SD card and the system response is not that great at the moment, although it’s still usable. Hardkernel Wi-Fi module is using Ralink RT5370 chipset, and the driver was not included in this image. I’ve built the driver successfully, but memory allocation error at load time prevent it from working correctly. Without network, I’ve decided not to review Ubuntu just yet.

If you want to customize the kernel, Hardkernel made it available on github. If you don’t have it already installed the Linaro cross-toolchain in Ubuntu:

For other distributions, you can download the latest gcc-linaro binary image, and uncompress it to your system

Now you can retrieve the code and build it:

To copy arch/arm/boot/zImage to your SD-Card, use the following command in your host PC:

and copy the modules to the rootfs.

  1. e8hffff
    August 11th, 2012 at 15:13 | #1

    Let me get this correct. There is an ARM Linux hardware 3D/OpenGL able driver for Mali400, but projects like Lima are dedicated for open source driver?

  2. August 11th, 2012 at 18:30 | #2

    I’m not a specialist about this, but I understand the ARM Linux Mali Drivers come as binary blobs, plus some open source parts and each time modifications are need you need to ask the manufacturers to update (at least some of) those blobs, which may or may not happen. The Lima project would make the complete ARM Linux Mali 400 drivers open source.

    X11 GPU support seems to be something pretty complicated as it always take months to get this done.

  3. menno
    August 14th, 2012 at 01:51 | #3

    Great board and topic!

    Can you test something for me?
    Is it possible to test the encoding processor power of this cpu within ubuntu linux on the odroid-x board?

    You can install ffmpeg with the command: apt-get install ffmpeg (and this version include all options) and execute:

    wget http://download.blender.org/peach/bigbuckbunny_movies/big_buck_bunny_480p_surround-fix.avi

    ffmpeg -i big_buck_bunny_480p_surround-fix.avi -acodec libvorbis -ab 128k -vcodec libx264 -vb 2000k -threads 0 webmout.webm

    How many fps does this board encode realtime?

  4. h0ly lag
    August 14th, 2012 at 16:38 | #4

    I am looking into getting one of these, or something similar. I know they are intended to be used as mobile development boards but I want one to tinker with as a small computer. Mainly it would be used for streaming HD video from a NAS, but I would also use it to play around as a small linux computer. I was looking at the Pandaboard and the ODROID-X. Pandaboard seems to have a much larger community following and support. Do you see this coming from the hardkernal dev’s and/or community? I am just worried that the things that do not work will not get finished or may take a very long time to be released.

  5. August 14th, 2012 at 18:25 | #5

    @h0ly lag
    This is a tricky question, and I’d need a crystal ball to give a sure answer. The Pandaboard has been available since 2009 (or 2010), is still popular, supported by Linaro, and after several years the platform is pretty stable. ODroid-X is much newer (last month), so that’s normal there is less community behind it, but for the price it’s likely it will be popular. It may take some time for the platform to be stable however. I’m also hoping for Linaro ODroid-X or Origen 4 Quad support which would be great help for Ubuntu support.

    Development boards may not have all hardware codecs supported by the SoC they use (to save on licensing costs), which means software decoding may be used in some cases (AFAIK, ODroid-X only support H.264, not sure about Pandaboard). But it looks like ODroid-X can handle 1080p software decoding relatively well (Tested with MX Player). although it’s not perfect.

  6. helpinghand
    August 17th, 2012 at 21:52 | #6

    The rt5370 driver provided by ralink would build, but threw up errors when I tried to load it. To get the wifi working I rebuilt the kernel with the rt2x00 module and rt5370 support.

  7. August 17th, 2012 at 21:56 | #7

    Good effort. FYI, Hardkernel released a new Ubuntu image today – http://odroid.foros-phpbb.com/t1171-linux-kernel-36-rc1-runs-ubuntu-1204-on-odroid-x#5687 with Wifi support using Ralink source code.

    If you have time, maybe you could compare the performance of the driver you use vs the one in the new HK image.

  8. Paladine
    October 11th, 2012 at 22:46 | #8

    Any updates on audio support?

    Is there any possibility of getting 3D console support? Don’t necessarily want to run full-blown X, but I’d like to write some OpenGL apps that can be started from the cmdline.

  9. david
    October 12th, 2012 at 02:29 | #9

    How much wattage consumption does this use in one hr?

  10. Jesse
    October 25th, 2012 at 04:10 | #10

    Would it be easy to run xibo client on this dev board?

  11. October 25th, 2012 at 05:11 | #11

    Yes, just use the same method as for Mele a1000 – http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/05/04/xibo-digital-signage-running-on-mele-a1000-allwinner-a10-set-top-box/

    I still do not expect video to be working, and performance should still be poor due to lack if hardware acceleration.

  12. Chris Varnsverry
    November 13th, 2012 at 18:14 | #12

    Hi cnxsoft,

    Can I ask how you worked out exactly where to seek to to dump the zImage?


  13. November 13th, 2012 at 19:06 | #13

    @Chris Varnsverry
    I can’t remember exactly. Maybe I read it somewhere, or I just saw the following lines in the kernel output:

  14. Chris Varnsverry
    November 13th, 2012 at 21:33 | #14

    Aah, I feel an idiot. Thanks!

    cnxsoft :
    @Chris Varnsverry
    I can’t remember exactly. Maybe I read it somewhere, or I just saw the following lines in the kernel output:
    Hit any key to stop autoboot: 0
    reading kernel..device 0 Start 1057, Count 16384
    MMC read: dev # 0, block # 1057, count 16384 … 16384 blocks read: OK
    Boot with zImage

  15. Hanni Hannsel
    January 13th, 2013 at 17:00 | #15

    is already a new Ubuntu image available?

    Has anybody used the WLan Dongle with success?

    Thanks for your answer

  16. January 13th, 2013 at 20:28 | #16

    @Hanni Hannsel
    Yes, RT5370 driver should now be working. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read the forums. I’m waiting for Ubuntu with GPU accel before trying again.

  17. July 29th, 2013 at 02:36 | #17

    how to do apply ODROID-A?

  18. July 29th, 2013 at 10:55 | #18

    @Nathaniel Jobs
    It seems ODROID-A may have been discontinued, and if you need a developer’s tablet you may have to buy ODROID-Q2 (Exynos 4412) instead: http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G135278861948

  1. May 24th, 2013 at 04:33 | #1