Building a NanoPi M4V2 based All-in-One Linux PC running Armbian (Ubuntu/Debian)

Armbian Ubuntu All-in-One PC

At the end of my review of “RPI All-in-One” PC with Raspberry Pi 4, I noted the system also appeared to be compatible with NanoPi M4V2 single board computer. I’ve now tried it out, and assembling the board inside the 10.1-inch display is even easier than I initially thought. That means I now have a NanoPi M4V2 All-in-One PC running Ubuntu Hirsute or Debian Buster with XFCE desktop environment from Armbian, and most features work including the display and wireless connectivity, but I still have an issue with the touchscreen function. Here are the steps I followed initially: Download Armbian Buster XFCE image from Armbian and flash it to a microSD card with tools like USBimager. Insert the microSD card in the board Install the USB Type-C and HDMI-A adapters in the display. Insert the USB Type-C and HDMI port of the NanoPi M4V2 SBC into the adapters Install the […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

NanoPi R2C Plus dual GbE router board adds 8GB eMMC flash

NanoPi R2C Plus

NanoPi R2C Plus is a variation of NanoPi R2C dual Gigabit Ethernet SBC powered by a Rockchip RK3328 processor that adds an 8GB eMMC flash for storage and replaces a 10-pin 2.54mm pitch I/O header with an 8-pin 1.25mm pitch header. FriendlyELEC introduced the NanoPi R2C last August as a lower-cost version of NanoPi R2S replacing Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet transceiver with a Motorcomm YT8521S chip for availability and pricing reasons. NanoPi R2C Plus is just an evolution of the original design. NanoPi R2C Plus specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali-450MP2 System Memory – 1GB DDR4 RAM Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.1 flash, MicroSD Slot, SPI flash footprint Connectivity 1x Gigabit Ethernet (WAN) up to 941 Mbps (measured) via MotorComm YT8521S Gigabit Ethernet transceiver 1x Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) up to 941 Mbps (measured) via Realtek RTL8153B USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller USB – […]

Giveaway Week 2021 winners announced!

Giveaway Week 2021 winners

Giveaway Week 2021 is now over, and I’m ready to announce the winners. This year, CNX Software was joined by Rakwireless and Shenzhen Xunlong Software, as I did not have enough hardware to send out. I also had planned to give away Crowbits Master Kit, but when I realized the ESP32 module had a battery, I would have had to ask $100 just for shipping, plus having the risk of messing things up, since I’ve never sent devices with batteries with the new regulations. Nevertheless, the void was filled thanks to the generosity of Rakwireless who offered a solar-powered LoRa GPS tracker, and Shenzhen Xunlong Software who proposed an Orange Pi R1 SBC with a plastic enclosure. Let’s go through the list of winners located in four continents with Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania represented: NanoPi R2S gateway – Jason, CANADA WisBlock Kit 2 LoRa-based GPS Tracker with Solar […]

Giveaway Week – NanoPi R2S gateway

NanoPi R2S Giveaway

Here’s the 8th edition of CNX Software giveaway week! I’ll have seven items to give away to readers in the 2021 event with some help from two companies as I was short on available samples this year. We’ll start with NanoPi R2S gateway based on Rockchip RK3328 SoC, and equipped with 1 GB DDR4 RAM as well as two Gigabit Ethernet ports. I reviewed NanoPi R2S gateway at the end of last year with Armbian built Ubuntu 20.04 Focal, and it performed well under load thanks to the metal enclosure and optimized OS. The main downside is having a USB 2.0 port, especially if you intend to use it as external storage, but that’s the cost of having two Gigabit Ethernet ports on Rockchip RK3328 SoC, with one of those using the USB 3.0 interface. The giveaway includes the board and metal enclosure. It is already fully assembled. So you’ll […]

OpenWrt 21.02 released with WPA3, HTTPS, TLS enabled by default

OpenWrt 21.02

OpenWrt 21.02 has just been released with higher security with WPA3, HTTPS & TLS enabled by default, as well as initial support for the Distributed Switch Architecture (DSA), the Linux standard for configurable Ethernet switches. OpenWrt is the most popular open-source Linux distribution for routers and entry-level Linux-capable embedded systems, and the latest release includes over 5800 commits since the release of OpenWrt 19.07 in January 2020. WPA3 was already supported in OpenWrt 19.07, but not enabled by default,  OpenWrt 20.02 changes that, together with TLS thanks to trusted CA certificates from Mozilla. That means LuCi interface, wget, opkg package manager can all support HTTPS out-of-the-box. Note that HTTPS redirection can be disabled for LuCI in the configuration files. Another security change is that SELinux is now supported by OpenWrt, but not enabled by default. OpenWrt 21.02’s DSA implementation replaces the current swconfig system, but not all targets have been […]

Linux 5.14 Release – Main changes, Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V architectures

Linux 5.14 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced Linux 5.14 release which happens to almost coincide with the anniversary of the initial announcement of the “small” project on August 25, 1991, about 30 years ago. Here’s Linux 5.14’s announcement: So I realize you must all still be busy with all the galas and fancy balls and all the other 30th anniversary events, but at some point you must be getting tired of the constant glitz, the fireworks, and the champagne. That ball gown or tailcoat isn’t the most comfortable thing, either. The celebrations will go on for a few more weeks yet, but you all may just need a breather from them. And when that happens, I have just the thing for you – a new kernel release to test and enjoy. Because 5.14 is out there, just waiting for you to kick the tires and remind yourself what all the festivities are […]

LibreELEC 10.0 minimal Linux OS for media playback released with Kodi 19.1

LibreELEC 10.0

While most TV boxes and SBCs nowadays ship with or support a version of Android, people who just want the best viewing experience may prefer to switch to a Linux distribution such as LibreELEC or CoreELEC. The good news is that LibreELEC 10.0 has just been released with Kodi 19.1 and Linux 5.10 LTS. LibreELEC 10.0 is said to work well for Allwinner, Rockchip, and “Generic” Intel/AMD devices, while the Raspberry Pi 4 release’s codebase is rather new, and there may still be a few rough edges. Support for the previous generation Raspberry Pi boards has been dropped, and there’s no support for Amlogic platforms as CoreELEC already provides good support. Since LibreELEC 10.0 is based on Kodi 19.1, it benefits from the same features as Kodi 19 “Matrix” release including AV1 video decoding, a new skin, HDR support, and more. LibreELEC 10.1 support a wide range of single board […]