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HDMI Audio in Linux is Now Working on Cherry Trail mini PCs, OpenELEC 7.0 Image Released

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Since Intel has decided not to officially support Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processors in Linux, and focus on other priorities, people who have tried to use HDMI audio in Linux with mini PCs or TV sticks based on the processors have always had issues. There’s a workaround for Bay Trail mini PCs with Linux 3.16 kernel, but so far I’ve never seen a Cherry Trail system working with HDMI audio in Linux. Luckily, Pierre-Louis Bossart has been working on support, and Piotr kasprzak has tried HDMI audio support with OpenELEC 7.0 and a patched Linux Kernel 4.5.1, and confirmed it to be working on Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus and Wintel 10 Pro mini PC powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor.

Cherry_Trail_HDMI_Audio_LinuxThis can also be verified in the kernel log with dmesg:


If you want to try it yourself, you can download the OpenELEC image with the modifications. If you want to build your own Linux kernel with HDMI audio support apply this patch to Linux 4.5, and enable CONFIG_SUPPORT_HDMI=y in the kernel config.

Thanks to Piotr for the info!

  1. GunterO
    April 19th, 2016 at 17:23 | #1

    Great! Waiting for this for months 🙂

  2. April 19th, 2016 at 21:15 | #2

    Yes, my x5-Z8300 Board is no longer silent. Thanks to Pierre-Louis Bossart!

  3. baoboa
    April 20th, 2016 at 00:10 | #3

    this work for baytrail on linux 4.5 ?

    in the patch i see nothing specific to skylake

  4. baoboa
    April 20th, 2016 at 00:17 | #4

    baoboa :
    this work for baytrail on linux 4.5 ?
    in the patch i see nothing specific to skylake

    Argh !! time out during editing

    i was meaning cherrytrail not skylake

    and i see that in the patch

    ” Add header files for interface available on Baytrail and CherryTrail “

  5. Gaetano
    April 20th, 2016 at 04:08 | #5

    Great news, thank you very much Pierre-Louis Bossart and Piotr kasprzak!!!!!
    Does this Openelec image also play HEVC/H265 videos with HW decoding/GPU support?

    • Piotrasd
      April 20th, 2016 at 06:05 | #6

      Yes 😉 it works!!! But if you will play some 4k movies from Network buy 1gbps Network lan card on usb 3.0

  6. baoboa
    April 20th, 2016 at 06:10 | #7

    if think there is a line missing in the patch , the last diff is adding 16 lines, but 15 are shown
    by addidng an additional empty line
    “+”
    i was able to patch my kernel (4.5.1)

  7. gencap
    April 21st, 2016 at 17:32 | #8

    Just tried OpenELEC image (had to add a grub 32 UEFI boot file) to check if the patch worked on Acer Switch 10 (mod. SW05-12) based on Atom Z3735F SoC.
    I haven’t found any error/warning in dmesg complaining about missing/wrong firmware, but the result is the usual one: NO alsa soundcard and mute system.
    I couldn’t get any success also with the old linuxium patch targeted at baytrail SoCs.
    Perhaps, this Acer stuff suffers of a bad DSDT but I can’t figure out how to patch it.
    GC

  8. GunterO
    April 21st, 2016 at 18:02 | #9

    @gencap
    Your “Atom Z3735F SoC” based system is not a Cherry Trail …

  9. April 21st, 2016 at 19:22 | #10

    @GunterO
    But I understand that code is also supposed to work on Bay Trail.

  10. GunterO
    April 21st, 2016 at 19:31 | #11

    @cnxsoft
    Oops, sorry, indeed!

  11. baoboa
    April 22nd, 2016 at 02:13 | #12

    @gencap
    there is a new linux config “CONFIG_SUPPORT_HDMI”
    did you add it to your config-local when building the kernel ?

    i did not test it yet on my Atom Z3736F tablet

  12. piotrasd
    April 22nd, 2016 at 08:50 | #13

    maybe tomorro i will release new Openelec image …. please put me dmesg log from Z3736F

  13. gencap
    April 22nd, 2016 at 15:21 | #14

    I’m posting my ‘dmesg’ ASAP.

    @baoboa: I haven’t recompiled my own kernel; I’ve just downloaded the ^^^ OpenELEC image and added a bootia32.efi to make my Acer Switch 10 boot.

    My previous attempts always ended up with errors/warnings complaining about intel’s firmware or the particular codec (ALC5640) fitted in my 2-in-1.

    BTW, Linuxium DSDT patch doesn’t work since it is supposed to run on an Asus T100:
    I’m trying to adapt his “sed -i ‘/Device (HAD/,/Return (Zero)/s/(Zero)/(0x0F)/’ dsdt.dsl” to my DSDT.

    Could this workaround be backported to the kernel used by a recent Android-x86 distro?

  14. Mat
    April 22nd, 2016 at 21:27 | #15

    gencap :
    Just tried OpenELEC image (had to add a grub 32 UEFI boot file) to check if the patch worked on Acer Switch 10 (mod. SW05-12) based on Atom Z3735F SoC.
    I haven’t found any error/warning in dmesg complaining about missing/wrong firmware, but the result is the usual one: NO alsa soundcard and mute system.
    I couldn’t get any success also with the old linuxium patch targeted at baytrail SoCs.
    Perhaps, this Acer stuff suffers of a bad DSDT but I can’t figure out how to patch it.
    GC

    Could you send me your modified image? Also, could you point me how to modify it myself? I want to test Lakka (Based on OpenElec) on my Z3637F device and cannot boot.

  15. piotrasd
    April 23rd, 2016 at 15:38 | #16

    https://www.sendspace.com/file/o63gqg – OpenELEC-Generic.x86_64-6.0.398-Intel_EGL based on source MattDevo + HDMI sound patch

    about Asus T100 i have new patches for latets kernel 😉 i could make test build

  16. piotrasd
    April 23rd, 2016 at 15:48 | #17

    i will try make special image also for Bay trail 😉

  17. piotrasd
    April 23rd, 2016 at 18:41 | #18

    @gencap im also on Wintel 10 Pro booting from grub becuase of UEFI32bit – did you maybe figureout where put or store grub.cfg for read by gurb2 automatical ?? i must always write manual boot sequence 🙁

  18. Mat
    April 23rd, 2016 at 20:25 | #19

    piotrasd :
    https://www.sendspace.com/file/o63gqg – OpenELEC-Generic.x86_64-6.0.398-Intel_EGL based on source MattDevo + HDMI sound patch
    about Asus T100 i have new patches for latets kernel i could make test build

    Thanks, will try it later on my Pipo X7S (has a Z3637F). Please, could you point me how to easily do it myself as I want to test Lakka too?

  19. piotrasd
    April 24th, 2016 at 03:25 | #20

    for anyone who want boot openelec with UEFI32 bios, please download
    https://github.com/hirotakaster/baytail-bootia32.efi/raw/master/bootia32.efi and put to folder on USB flash in folder
    /EFI/BOOT after that from EFI shell tap “fs0:” next when grub will loaded tap

    set root=(hd0,gpt1)
    linux /KERNEL boot=/dev/sda1 disk=/dev/sda2 ssh (if you want install on memory inside device put on the end of line “installer”)
    and on next line
    write boot and tap ENTER

  20. MarkW
    April 24th, 2016 at 07:47 | #21

    Does this patch support bitstreaming/passthrough of DTS/AC3? How about HD audio DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD?

  21. piotrasd
    April 24th, 2016 at 14:52 | #22

    not yet – there is no HDaudio in SoC and only 24bit, sound for passthrough is needed 16bit but developers looks solution how this resolve in other way ….

  22. gencap
    April 27th, 2016 at 15:23 | #23

    @Mat, @piotrasd:
    I’ve copied “bootia32.efi” from an old “parted magic” distro, but I just booted manually to test if HDMI audio was working, so I didn’t manage to build a permanent grub.cfg.
    Actually, on my Aspire Switch 10, I use rEFInd to triple-boot Windows 8.1, Android-x86 KitKat (missing audio and some “secondary” hardware support) and that handy pmagic mini-distro.
    I had to shrink the default recovery+wimboot partition to make room (~2GB) for an ext4 partition (/dev/mmcblk0p4) holding both android and pmagic.

  23. Eli Landes
    April 29th, 2016 at 18:13 | #24

    Does it mean that it will work on Minix z64 (baytrail z3735f)?
    In the past, have managed to install OE6 , but HDMI has not worked.

  24. April 29th, 2016 at 19:41 | #25

    @Eli Landes
    In theory it should. But you may have to read the other comments above to get it working.

  25. pault
    June 2nd, 2016 at 02:10 | #26

    HI I installed the image to my new Tronsmart ara x5 plus but for some reason after using it for 20-30 min it will automatically reboot I have tried fresh install and same result.

    Can someone pease help me.

    has anyone else experienced this?

  26. GunterO
    June 2nd, 2016 at 13:27 | #27

    I don’t think it is related to OpenELEC.
    The Tronsmart Ara X5 has a bad track record of issues like you have, but this is supposed to been fixed in the “Plus” (read: debugged version). Do you have the latest BIOS installed?
    Maybe you can find help on their forum: http://forum.tronsmart.com/forum/mini-pc#.V0_RyJF96Hs

  27. speedy
    June 5th, 2016 at 13:23 | #28

    will this hdmi sound patch be included into the official openelec releases soon? (also uefi boot and so on)
    (just worried to lose it again when updating/upgrading)

  28. moggy
    June 7th, 2016 at 22:27 | #29

    Tride the Iso on my Pipo X7s mini PC powered by Intel Atom Z3735 the sound worked but had no network even tried a Usb wireless adapter

  29. Pinny
    September 8th, 2016 at 16:06 | #30

    I have the wintel CX-W8 pro with cherry trail x5 z8300 bord, i have no sound in Windows 10 , i have install the openelec 7 on usb drive wel finally it works. But can i get sound also in kodibuntu ??

  30. mark
    September 22nd, 2016 at 03:00 | #31

    I installed on wintel pro and sound is gteat however the kodi seems locked there is no openelec program and no way to add skins or addons even after enabling addons in the settings. anyway to downgrade to a stable build

  31. htpcguys33
    September 28th, 2016 at 19:17 | #32

    Is there a stable version with the hdmi patch and the c-state fix for Cherrytrail and Baytrail?

  32. ScottyP
    October 26th, 2016 at 07:44 | #33

    Works on Intel Compute Stick Gen 2 z8300 Just need it with an updated Kodi version or in a Jarvis build. Please let us know if updates are available would like to some add-ons and skins.

  33. October 26th, 2016 at 09:04 | #34
  34. Angelo
    December 16th, 2017 at 09:07 | #35

    @Piotrasd
    Hello Pierre,

    I am dying to get the latest working Linux Distro OpenElec or any other that works out of the box with sound and proper video for my Wintel PRO Cherrytrail atom processor can you guide me to where I can get latest iso? I will use Rufus of windows laptop to create bootable usb. I currently have linux Ubuntu on it but it is missing drivers. I be more than happy to buy you a cup of cafe.

    Regards,

    Angelo

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