Nightly Builds for AllWinner A10 U-boot, Linux Kernel and Hardware Packs

Kent of SCUZ Technologies has graciously provided a build machine (Intel Xeon E5645) for Rhombus Tech (and possibly other) open source projects, and I’ve setup nightly build scripts for AllWinner A10 kernel, bootloader (u-boot) and hardware packs for Mele A1000 (HDMI), Mele A1000 (VGA), A10 mini PCs (using MK802 script.bin) as well as a server build for Mele A1000. The nightlies are built using script which is available in github, and can be downloaded from The resulting files are copied to a dropbox folder, until a better solution is found. For each build, you’ll find the following files : u-boot.bin – U-boot sun4i-spl.bin – U-boot SPL uImage – Kernel image product_YYYY.MM.DD.log (e.g. mele-a1000_2012.07.20.log) – The build logs whether the build succeeds of fails. One per hardware pack. product_hwpack_YYY.MM.DD.log ( e.g. mele-a1000_hwpack_2012.07.20.7z) – The hardware pack with the kernel, u-boot which can be used with script to create […]

XBMC for Android on Mele A1000 Media Player (Video)

Following this morning announcement, I’ve started to build XBMC for Android using the instructions on XBMC Android github repository, but it takes hours on my machine. In the meantime, I’ve found a prebuilt apk that I’ve tried on my Mele A1000 and shot a (super blurry) video. This is still a development version, so there are a lot of bugs, but it shows good progress. The user interface renders at 28 fps and it’s very smooth, although CPU usage is about 65%. The remote control can work properly, but XBMC does not respond to mouse clicks and keyboard input. It can find UPNP servers (Windows) and locate your file. SMB client crashes XBMC on my system I’ve tried Big Buck Bunny 480p, 720p and 1080p, and none of the sample can play smoothly, so NEON software decoding does not appear to be fast enough to play videos smoothly. The APK […]

XBMC Media Center Coming to Android

I’ve received a mysterious picture this morning without further details… After a little Google search, it appears XBMC has announced their progress on XBMC for Android. There was already XBMC remote and thin client available on Google Play, but the latest announcement is the real deal, and XBMC can be launched on you Android based devices be it a set-top box, a tablet, a phone, or whatever… It will be the same user experience as on the desktop Have a look at a short (and blurry) teaser video showing XBMC running in Android. “Big Buck Bunny” video is to media player what Angry Birds is to tablet, it has to be shown during demos… XBMC developers explain that most devices only support software decode of audio and video for now, but expect on OpenMAX based player to eventually be available. The main development platform was a Pivos XIOS DS set-top-box […]

List of 39 Low Cost Linux Friendly Boards and Products

Dmitry (omgfire), one of my awesome readers, compiled a great tabular list of Linux friendly boards and products that sells for less than $300 US (usually less than $200). This list includes technical details such as the processor, GPU, memory, NAND flash, connectivity, ports, supported Linux distributions… as well as availability and pricing information. There are currently 39 Linux devices in total. The vast majority are ARM based boards, but he also included 2 x86 products by VIA, but those are relatively pricey ($265 and up). Here’s a summary list with SoCs used, links to blog posts and product pages (if available), as well as price information. Raspberry Pi Model B – Broadcom BCM2835 (ARM11) – Blog post (That’s my first post about the R-Pi last year, and the board is much different now) –  Product page – Price: $35 + shipping Rikomagic MK802 – Allwiner A10 (Cortex A8) –  […]

Ubuntu 12.04 Server ARMHF Image for Mele A1000/A2000

I’ve seen quite a few people who want to use the Mele A1000 – or its brother the Mele A2000 – media player as a server (Sacrilege!). Since recent ARM servers are running Ubuntu 12.04, and Tom Gall has (conveniently) posted the live-build config necessary to generate Ubuntu 12.04 Server image this week, I thought I’d give it a try on Mele A1000. The image generated is a headless system running Apache 2 and sshd (openssh_server). I’ll detail the steps I followed to generate this image first, so if you just want to try the SD card image, scroll down at the end of the post. The first step is to generate Ubuntu Linaro Server rootfs, by following the Live-Build instructions on Linaro website together with Tom’s live build config. I’ve followed those steps in a machine running Ubuntu 12.04. Let’s install the required packages:

Configure the build and […]

Mele A1000/A2000 Android 4.0 Image Released

At last, a (semi-)official Android 4.0 release (and not a beta) for Mele A1000 and Mele A2000 media players has been released. This release is based on AllWinner Android 4.0 SDK. You can download homlet_4.0_v1.0_20120609_dd.img.lzma or here and dump it to the SD card with dd (Linux) and Win32DiskImager (Windows). It is also available via Bittorrent. There is also another image named homlet_4.0_v1.0_20120609.img.lzma that can be flashed via the Phoenix Utility, but the download link is not available anymore at the moment. Here are the instructions in Linux:

Where you need to replace X in /dev/sdX by the correct letter for your SD card reader. Now insert the SD card in your Mele, and wait until the LED stops blinking, remove the SD card and restart the device. Et voila! The default language is Chinese, so you’ll have to go to the Settings to change the language to your […]

Hardware Packs for AllWinner A10 Devices and Easier Method to Create a Bootable Ubuntu 12.04 SD Card

Linaro has a tool called linaro-media-create to install Linaro Ubuntu to an SD card by passing the device, hardware pack file, the rootfs and the board as arguments. Hardware packs are files that contains hardware specific binaries and configs files (e.g. bootloader, kernel…). I’ve done something similar (albeit more basic) for AllWinner A10 devices so that you can easily install and run Ubuntu (and possibly other distributions) on an SD card. I’ve written 2 scripts for this: – Script to generate evb.bin, build the latest u-boot and linux kernel, retrieve some config files and compress all this in an hardware pack file – Script to make a bootable SD card for AllWinner A10 devices. You can get the scripts with git:

I’ve only tested it with Mele A1000, but if you have other A10 devices such as MK802 mini PC or MINI X media player, it should […]

MINI X Android 2.3 Network Media Player Based on AllWinner A10

Here’s another tiny device based on AllWinner A10 processor. The MINI X is an Android 2.3.4 set-top box with 512MB RAM and 4GB NAND Flash that costs 77.50 USD including worldwide shipping. Here are the device specifications: CPU – AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8) with Mali-400 GPU Memory – 512MB DDR3 RAM Storage – 4GB NAND Flash, microSD slot Video Output – HDMI 1.3 USB  – 2x USB 2.0 host Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n Video Formats –  MKV, TS, TP, M2TS, RM/RMVB, BD-ISO, AVI, MPG, VOB, DAT, ASF, TRP, FLV etc Video Codecs – MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1, Divx, Xvid, RM8/9/10, VP6 Subtitle – SRT, SUB, IDX, SSA, SMI Audio Formats – MP3, ACC, OGG, WMA, WAV, M4A, APE Image format – JPG, BMP,GIF, TIF, PNG IR Remote Control Dimension: 72 x 61 x 13mm Weight: 51g This device is half-way between the MK802 HDMI stick and the Mele A1000 STB. […]

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