Linux 5.15 LTS release – Main Changes, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.15

Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.15, an LTS version, this past Sunday: It’s been calm, and I have no excuse to add an extra rc, so here we are, with v5.15 pushed out, and the merge window starting tomorrow. Which is going to be a bit inconvenient for me, since I also have some conference travel coming up. But it’s only a couple of days and I’ll have my laptop with me. Sometimes the release timing works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.. Anyway, the last week of 5.15 was mainly networking and gpu fixes, with some random sprinkling of other things (a few btrfs reverts, some kvm updates, minor other fixes here and there – a few architecture fixes, couple of tracing, small driver fixes etc). Full shortlog appended. This release may have started out with some -Werror pain, but it calmed down fairly quickly and on the whole 5.15 was […]

UGOOS AM7 Android 11 TV box with Amlogic S905X4, WiFi 6 is up for pre-order

Ugoos AM7

When Ugoos AM6B Plus 2021 TV box was introduced with Amlogic S922X-J and WiFi 6, we noted the company was working on UGOOS AM7, a more affordable TV box that also supports WiFi 6, and comes with the latest Android 11 running on Amlogic S905X4 processor with 4K AV1 video playback. UGOOS AM7 is now available for pre-order on Aliexpress for around $128 including shipping. The device includes 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC flash, 4K HDR video output at up to 60 Hz, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFI 6, and Bluetooth 5.0. Ugoos AM7 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X4 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 32GB eMMC flash storage Video Output – HDMI 2.1 up to 4Kp60 with HDR, HDCP 2.2, CEC support;  3.5mm AV port with composite video (and stereo audio) Video Codecs 4Kp60 AV1, VP9, H.265/HEVC, H.264 AVC 1080p60 H264 MVC, MPEG-4, […]

Ugoos AM6 Review – An Android 9.0 TV Box with Plenty of Options

Ugoos AM6 Review

Karl here….With another review. Today we look at the AM6 from Ugoos. Ugoos has been around for quite some time. I recently did a review of the Beelink GT-King with the same S922X processor and I will do some comparisons with that. I have to say with everything except the UI, I like this box much better (You can read my rant in the Beelink article about Android on the TV). The AM6 is built well. It is solid with a metal enclosure and just feels good when you pick it up. I know weight doesn’t really matter but it feels substantial. Like I stated I don’t really like UI but Ugoos ticks quite a few boxes that appeal to my nerdiness. I will go more into that later. Below are the specs per Ugoos Website. I highlighted the interesting ones. Hardware Specs: Operation System – Android 9.0 Language – […]

Ugoos X2 Cube Android 9.0 TV Box also Serves as a SAMBA Server

Ugoos X2 Cube

Ugoos X2 Cube is a tiny Android 9.0 TV box powered by the latest Amlogic S905X2 processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB flash storage. The new Amlogic processor happens to have a USB 3.0 port which provides good storage performance, and the box is also equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet port, which should make the device especially suitable for network storage beside the usual 4K HDR video playback or streaming offered by any typical Amlogic S905X2 TV box. However in most cases, the firmware provided for such TV boxes does not offer an option to easily configure a SAMBA server (aka Windows network share), so you’d need to either mess up with the firmware configuration yourself, or install a paid app. Ugoos is different since they long have had the option to enable NFS & SAMBA client and/or server in the settings, and Ugoos X2 Cube is no different. […]

Access SAMBA Shares in Android with File Browser by Astro

File Manager Android App SAMBA Share

My go-to Android file manager used to be ES File Manager until… today. The free version of the app already had some annoying floating widgets and all sort of things you would be expect to be enabled by default, but the latest version requires you to install an app to enable SAMBA 2.0 support. I tried to keep up with the requirements, but the ad relies on Google Play services which was not installed in the firmware I used. The easiest way to solve the issue is probably to pay $2.99 for the PRO version, but for firmware without Google Play services it might not be possible to sideload it. So instead, I decided it was time to look for an alternative file manager with SAMBA support, since that’s the main feature I use in an Android file manager while doing reviews. I found two candidates File Commander – Free […]

Linux 4.13 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 4.13 and a kidney stone…: So last week was actually somewhat eventful, but not enough to push me to delay 4.13. Most of the changes since rc7 are actually networking fixes, the bulk of them to various drivers. With apologies to the authors of said patches, they don’t look all that interesting (which is definitely exactly what you want just before a release). Details in the appended shortlog. Note that the shortlog below is obviously only since rc7 – the _full_4.13 log is much too big to post and nobody sane would read it. So if you’re interested in all the rest of it, get the git tree and limit the logs to the files you are interested in if you crave details. No, the excitement was largely in the mmu notification layer, where we had a fairly last-minute regression and […]

NanoPi NEO NAS Kit Review – Assembly, OpenMediaVault Installation & Setup, and Benchmarks

NAS Dock v1.2 for Nano Pi NEO / NEO 2 is, as the name implies, a complete mini NAS kit for 2.5″ drive for NanoPi NEO or NEO 2 board. The NEO 2 board is strongly recommended, since it’s not much more expensive, but should deliver much better results due to its Gigabit Ethernet interface. I’ve received two of those kits together with several other boards & accessories from FriendlyELEC, and today I’ll show how to assemble the kit, configure OpenMediaVault, and run some benchmarks. NAS Kit V1.2 Assembly with NanoPi NEO 2 Board The only extra tool you’ll need is a screwdriver, and potentially a soldering iron as we’ll see further below. The metal box is stuff wih accessories so the first thing is to open one or two sides to take out the content. We have the mainboard, NanoPi NEO back plate, NanoPi NEO 2 back plater, a […]

VLC for Android 2.0 Released with Network Shares, Multi-windows, Better Codec Support, and More

VLC / VideoLAN is a popular desktop video player for Linux and Windows, and it’s the program I go to when I want to watch a local video on my computer. VLC also has an Android version, but last time I checked VLC in an Android TV box, I was disappointed due to the lack of SAMBA support, and video decoding support was pretty poor on Rockchip RK3368 processor at the time. The good news is that the developers have now released VLC for Android 2.0, which brings several improvements including: Support for network browsing including DLNA/UPnP, Windows Shares (SAMBA), FTP(S), SFTP, and NFS Multi-windows/pop-up video with support for Samsung MultiWindow and LG Dual Window extensions New asynchronous hardware decoder, and codecs and formats support updates. Subtitle downloads via OpenSubtitles from VLC interface without having to go to the website inside a web browser Right-To-Left and Complex Text Layout subtitles […]