Android 7.1 Nougat on Amlogic TV Boxes – A First Quick Look

Last year, we found out that Amlogic was working on Linux 4.4, possibly for their Android 7.0 Nougat SDK. As a developer who signed all relevant NDAs, Stane1983 has now been working on Amlogic Android 7.0 for a few day, and reported some of his findings. First Amlogic source code is based on Android 7.1.1 R6 (NMF26Q), but still with Linux 3.14.29, possibly because Mali-T830 GPU drivers are still r11p0, and Linux 4.4 may come later. One good thing is that the Nougat SDK supports 64-bit Android OS instead of the 32-bit Android we are all currently using in our TV boxes. A not-so-good news is that internal storage partitions have changed, which means most current TV boxes are unlikely to get an update, becau it may not be possible to perform OTA updated, and instead would require an updated via Amlogic USB burning tool. But let’s look at the user interface and settings. The default launcher has not changed, …

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Linux 4.10 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.10: So there it is, the final 4.10 release. It’s been quiet since rc8, but we did end up fixing several small issues, so the extra week was all good. On the whole, 4.10 didn’t end up as small as it initially looked. After the huge release that was 4.9, I expected things to be pretty quiet, but it ended up very much a fairly average release by modern kernel standards. So we have about 13,000 commits (not counting merges – that would be another 1200+ commits if you count those). The work is all over, obviously – the shortlog below is just the changes in the last week, since rc8. Go out and verify that it’s all good, and I’ll obviously start pulling stuff for 4.11 on Monday. Linus Linux 4.9 added Greybus staging support, improved security thanks to virtually mapped kernel stacks, and memory protection keys, included various file systems improvements, and …

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Embedded Linux Conference & IoT Summit Europe 2016 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference & IoT summit 2016 first took place in the US in April, but the events are now also scheduled in Europe on October 11 – 13 in Berlin, Germany, and the schedule has now been published. Even if you are no going to attend, it’s always interesting to find out more about the topic covered in that type of events, so I had a look, and created my own virtual schedule with some of the sessions. Tuesday, October 11 10:40 – 11:30 – JerryScript: An Ultra-lightweight JavaScript Engine for the Internet of Things – Tilmann Scheller, Samsung Electronics JerryScript is a lightweight JavaScript engine designed to bring the success of JavaScript to small IoT devices like lamps, thermometers, switches and sensors. This class of devices tends to use resource-constrained microcontrollers which are too small to fit a large JavaScript engine like V8 or JavaScriptCore. JerryScript is heavily optimized for low memory consumption and runs on platforms with …

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Linux 4.6 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.6 earlier today: It’s just as well I didn’t cut the rc cycle short, since the last week ended up getting a few more fixes than expected, but nothing in there feels all that odd or out of line. So 4.6 is out there at the normal schedule, and that obviously also means that I’ll start doing merge window pull requests for 4.7 starting tomorrow. Since rc7, there’s been small noise all over, with driver fixes being the bulk of it, but there is minor noise all over (perf tooling, networking, filesystems,  documentation, some small arch fixes..) The appended shortlog will give you a feel for what’s been going on during the last week. The 4.6 kernel on the whole was a fairly big release – more commits than we’ve had in a while. But it all felt fairly calm despite that. Linux 4.5 added support for GCC’s Undefined Behavior Sanitizer flag (-fsanitize=undefined) which should …

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Embedded Linux Conference 2016 and OpenIoT Summit 2016 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference 2016 and the OpenIoT summit 2016 will take place on April 4 – 6, 2016 in San Diego, California, and over 800 attended will meet including kernel & system developers, userspace developers, and product vendors. The Linux Foundation has recently published the schedule, so I’ve had a look at some of the talks, and designed my own virtual schedule to find out more the current development focus although I won’t attend. Monday April 4 10:40am – 11:30am – Linux Connectivity for IoT by Marcel Holtmann, Intel OTC There are many connectivity solutions that available for IoT. For example Bluetooth Low Energy, 802.15.4, Zigbee, OIC, Thread and others. This presentation will provide and overview of the existing technology and upcoming standard and how they tie into the Linux kernel and its ecosystem. 11:40 – 12:30 – BoF: kernelci.org: A Million Kernel Boots and Counting by Kevin Hilman, BayLibre The kernelci.org project is currently over 1500 kernel boot …

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How to extract kernel.img with mkboot script

As I tried instructions to install Linux on Amlogic S905 Android TV boxes yesterday, I wanted to extract kernel.img file found in Android firmware, but Google did not help that much until I found mkboot part of mkbootimg_tools scripts. But first let’s see how kernel.img is created… Google provide a Python script called mkbootimg that combine the kernel image (e,.g. zImage), a rootfs/ramdisk and the device tree (DTB) file with a command line that looks like: However, AFAIK the company does not provide a “unmkbootimg” script, and mkbootimg can only be used to create kernel.img, not decompile it. But that’s what mkboot does, and it works for kernel.img and recovery.img. Let’s retrieve the necessary files first: mkboot is a bash script so we can use it right away: So it can be used both for unpacking and repacking kernel.img to/from the output directory. Let’s run the command with an actual kernel.img file: The script has indeed decompiled kernel.img with the …

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How to Run Headless Linux on Amlogic S905 Devices Such as MINI MX or K1 Plus

A few week ago, I had been informed that Amlogic S905 U-boot and Linux source code was released, and one person use the code and other resources to load a minimal Ubuntu 14.04 image to his K1 Plus TV box and released the installation instructions and the image (Thanks olin!). I also have K1 Plus here, but since I’ve just finished reviewing Beelink MINI MX, I decided to use the latter instead. The instructions below boot Linux from the (micro) SD card, and can still boot Android if you remove the SD card. Modifying U-boot environment The instructions include opening the box, and connecting or soldering a USB to TTL debug board to access U-boot and change some parameters. But later once an image with network is working, you could also build and load fw_setenv and fw_saveenv, and do the same steps with an Android shell and without the need to open the device. K1 Plus has the UART headers …

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Linux 4.2 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 4.2 last Sunday: So judging by how little happened this week, it wouldn’t have been a mistake to release 4.2 last week after all, but hey, there’s certainly a few fixes here, and it’s not like delaying 4.2 for a week should have caused any problems either. So here it is, and the merge window for 4.3 is now open. I already have a few pending early pull requests, but as usual I’ll start processing them tomorrow and give the release some time to actually sit. The shortlog from rc8 is tiny, and appended. The patch is pretty tiny too. Go get it, Linus Some notable changes made to Linux 4.2 include: File systems New features for F2FS including per file encryption CIFS support SMB 3.1.1 (experimental) Cryptography – Jitter Entropy Random Number Generator, Chacha20 stream cipher and Poly1305 authentication (RFC7539),New RSA implementation. See lwn.net for details. AMD GPU driver added support for AMD “Tonga,” …

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