Preliminary Ubuntu Image for Tronsmart Draco AW80 Octa-core mini PC

Tronsmart Draco AW80 is an Allwinner A80 based mini PC pre-loaded with Android 4.4. A preliminary Ubuntu image is now available for the device. It’s still a little buggy, but you can access LXDE desktop on an HDMI TV, Ethernet is working, and web browsing is apparently working nicely.

Known bugs include FAT32 partitions are read-only, wireless mouse and keyboard are not working (USB versions are OK), shutdown does not work, the user interface is not as snappy as in Android, and YouTube video playback is choppy. The last two issues could be related to the lack of VPU and GPU drivers providing video hardware decoding, and 2D/3D hardware acceleration respectively. The good news is that the company working on Draco AW80 got the GPU drivers from Imagination, and an updated image could be available with hardware acceleration. I’m not sure sure about VPU support, which is extremely important if you want to play videos, at least 4K videos, as Allwinner A80 should be able to handle most 1080p videos with software decode (and increased power consumption).

Installing the Ubuntu image will also wipe out your Android installation, but since SD card boot is feasible, an SD card image should also be expected in the future. If you want to give it a try anyway, you can download A80_Lubuntu_20141127-2.img.gz on baidu (password: ypdw).

Then extract the firmware, and flash A80_Lubuntu_20141127-2.img using the standard Allwinner A80 firmware upgrade procedure. With Draco AW80, you don’t need the serial console, simply connect the USB 3.0 OTG port to your computer, press the FN button on the bottom of the box, and power up the device to enter recovery mode.

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11 Replies to “Preliminary Ubuntu Image for Tronsmart Draco AW80 Octa-core mini PC”

  1. Nice to see more and more support Ubuntu, even with rough edges. Sadly still many come with it pre installed. Hopefully am waiting for unity 8 to start changing that.

  2. That download from baidu.com is terribly slow. I do not believe it is possible to get that file to Europe.

  3. LinAdmin :
    That download from baidu.com is terribly slow. I do not believe it is possible to get that file to Europe.

    we are uploading to other place for download. please wait tomorrow.

  4. Wondering why A80 is so agressive advertised as being capable of HEVC and H265 decoding?

    Regarding hw accelerated PowerVR drivers in linux , PowerVr representative said that they are not in charge with such drivers and they throw the “dead cat” into Allwinner backyard ,

    Have a look below

    “Nov 5

    to me

    Hi Ovidiu,

    The reference graphics driver source code we supply to our customers doesn’t work out of the box. It requires significant platform specific integration, such as interfacing with custom display drivers. For this reason we would recommend contacting AllWinner to request the A80 platform’s kernel driver source code.

    Our reference driver source code is distributed to companies that have licensed our Driver Development Kit (DDK). If you are interested in this option, I can connect you to our sales team.

    Regards,
    Joe

    Developer Technology Engineer, PowerVR Graphics”

    Then have a look to the Alwinner answer when i asked them :

    “Service
    Nov 6

    to ovidiu
    This message has been deleted. Restore message
    Hello,

    Since we don’t sell the development board, please contact the supplier for help.

    Best Regards,

    Emily”

    Isn’t this funny enough Jean-Luc ?
    For me it was :))

  5. I gave up before full circle closure.
    I hardly cannot even imagine what will be when the whole ARM linux support will migrate to x64 bit. (rofl)

    I have asked Charbax on Allwinner Tech Youtube channel what’s gonna be without hw acceleration drivers ….
    guess what Jean Luc – total silence.

    Unless with god knows what kind of miracle Allwinner with Tom Cubie and Charbax and their teams will bring to community some proper PowerVR oss hw acceleration drivers … i won’t touch A80.

    Mali drivers situation is not pinker tho In fact Mali also does have oss drivers for Linux, but the OpenGL library (libMali.so) is closed source, so skilled people using a pre-built binary provided by Amlogic / Odroid and thats why some development boards / boxes are kind of working with gpu hw acceleration in Linux distro’s.

    I and many other professional users still waiting for the the perfect and more powerfull replacement for raspberry pi , at the moment imx6 quadcore is the closest one but there are a lot of issues also there (for example the migration to kernel 3.14 which was painfull enough and it was done mostly by enthusiast people from Solid Run and not by Freescale itself which is the main producer of the hardware).

  6. @ovidiu
    I’ve contacted both Allwinner and Imagination (PR/Marketing contacts) to try to get a clear answer about the procedure to get Linux drivers. Maybe it will be difficult to get a straight answer because there may be business/legal reasons for this. If you really need this, I guess you could buy the DDK, and port it yourself, but of course that would probably be difficult, and costly, as well as failure risk if you can’t get documentation from GPU/CPU interface from Allwinner.

    I think Tom Cubie is not involved in Cubieboard anymore, and he focuses 100% on Radxa.

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