Batocera.Linux OS Combines Kodi & Retro Gaming for Raspberry Pi & ODROID Boards

batocera.linux

There are already several ways to run retro games on development boards, with for example RetroPie, and derivatives like RetrOrangePi, Lakka and Recalbox. Batocera.Linux is another option that I had never heard about so far, and works on PCs, as well as Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards, with ODROID-N2 support having been added very recently. batocera.linux operating system can easily be run from a USB flash drive on your computer without altering your existing OS, while it will boot from a standard microSD card on Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards. Beside retro-gaming support, the OS also includes Kodi media center for playing videos, or listening to music. You may even play games in it since retro-gaming support was added in Kodi 18. The partial compatibility table above shows all platforms have a different level of support, and for Intel hardware support more emulators than Arm based boards. The Orange arrow means it works but performance is poor, and the yellow …

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Review – Ubuntu 18.04, Kodi 18, and Xibo Digital Signage

MINIX NEO Z83-4U Review

MINIX NEO Z83-4U is a Cherry Trail mini PC pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.04. I received a sample a little while ago, and in the first part of NEO Z83-4U review I checked out the specifications and hardware that appears to be exactly the same a MINIX NEO Z83-4 Pro mini PC, except for the eMMC flash capacity that has increased from 32GB to 64GB. Since the mini PC comes with an older Atom X5-Z8350 processor, and is designed for commercial applications, I’ve decided to make a slightly different review. We already now how the system is supposed to perform thanks to benchmarks with NEO Z83-4 mini PC running Windows 10 Pro, so I’ll just check the main features are working as expected in Ubuntu 18.04, test audio & video support in Kodi 18.1, and try out Xibo Linux open source digital signage CMS and player on the mini PC. MINIX NEO Z83-4U Initial Setup I connected various USB peripherals, an …

LIVA Q2 Review – ECS Micro PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

ECS LIVA Q2 Teardown

ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is a Taiwanese company that has been offering mini PCs for several years now. Last year they announced their ‘pocket-sized’ model the LIVA Q. Originally featuring Apollo Lake SoCs it has now been upgraded and renamed as the LIVA Q2 and offers a choice of Gemini Lake SoCs. The distinguishing feature of the LIVA Q series however is the form-factor. Compared with Intel Compute ‘stick’ PCs and Intel NUC ‘mini’ PCs the LIVA Q2 is a ‘micro’ PC. This micro PC is like a minimalist mini PC that includes just the minimum number of useful ports namely a couple of USB ports (3.1 and 2.0) on one side, a micro SD card slot on another and finally an HDMI (2.0) and gigabit Ethernet at the rear. The resultant micro PC is beautifully small consisting of a 70mm (2.76″) square case by 33.4mm (1.31”) tall which can still be mounted on the back of a monitor using …

Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

Kodi 18 Leia

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced EPG and PVR support among other things. Binary addon support …

FOSDEM 2019 Open Source Developers Meeting Schedule

FOSDEM 2019

FOSDEM – which stands for Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting – is a free-to-participate event where developers meet on the first week-end of February to discuss open source software & hardware projects. FOSDEM 2019 will take place on February 2 & 3, and the schedule has already been published with 671 speakers scheduled to speak in 711 events themselves sorted in 62 tracks. Like every year, I’ll create a virtual schedule based on some of the sessions most relevant to this blog in tracks such as  open hardware, open media, RISC-V, and hardware enablement tracks. February 2 10:30 – 10:55 – VkRunner: a Vulkan shader test tool by Neil Roberts A presentation of VkRunner which is a tool to help test the compiler in your Vulkan driver using simple high-level scripts. Perhaps the largest part of developing a modern graphics driver revolves around getting the compiler to generate the correct code. In order to achieve this, extensive …

Khadas Edge Review – Part 3: Android 7.0 Preview

Khadas Edge Android 7.0

Hey Karl here with a look at a preview of Android on the Khadas edge. Jean-luc has done 2 parts already. The first one looking at the hardware side, and a second looking at Ubuntu. A third img is available that for LibreELEC. The initial release was very barebones, and the 2nd version is much more polished with the Play Store installed now and overall feels snappier. Khadas is supposed to be sending an Edge over to Super Celeron, and I hope they follow through. DHL DHL really messed up my board. Here are some pics. I will only be testing with Ethernet because the WiFi antenna got damaged badly and even bent the heatsink. I think the board is slightly damaged as well. I can only flash using the buttons on the board and not the carrier board. Everything else seems OK. Due to the damage I am using a heatsink that I had. I took some temp readings …

Raspberry Pi TV HAT Adds a DVB-T2 Tuner to Raspberry Pi Boards

Raspberry Pi TV HAT Kit

The Raspberry Pi foundation has just launched another official HAT for their maker boards with the Raspberry Pi TV HAT based on Raspberry Pi Zero form factor, and is equipped a DVB-T2/T tuner in order to convert your board into a Linux based digital TV receiver and recorder. Raspberry Pi TV HAT specifications: Sony CXD2880 TV tuner Supported TV standards DVB-T2 (1.7MHz, 5MHz, 6MHz, 7MHz, 8MHz channel bandwidth DVB-T (5MHz, 6MHz, 7MHz, 8MHz channel bandwidth) Reception frequency: VHF III, UHF IV, UHF V RF coaxial input for antenna connection RPi Interface – 40-pin RPi header Dimensions – 65 x 30 mm (half-size HAT) Operating temperature – 0–50°C The Raspberry Pi TV HAT is also known as the Raspberry Pi DVB TV μHAT based on the markings on the board’s silkscreen. The add-on boards follows a new HAT specification called the “half-size HAT” matching Raspberry Pi Zero board’s dimensions. Instructions to use the TV tuner with TVHeadEnd have been provided by the …

Beelink X45 Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04/18.04

Beelink X45 Board

The Beelink X45 mini PC is now available, and Lightinthebox.com have provided a unit for review. It is very similar in style to Intel’s latest NUC Windows mini PC, the NUC7CJYSAL reviewed earlier. However it contains an Intel Celeron Processor J4105 SoC which is a quad core processor bursting up to 2.50 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. It is physically small consisting of an approximately 4.5″ by 4” case about 1¾” tall with a front panel that includes the power button and a couple of USB ports and a headphone jack with the rest of the ports including two HDMI (2.0) ones at the rear: The specifications include: A key point to note is the Beelink X45 comes with 64GB eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 4GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) with space and connectors for both an mSATA and SSD. Starting with a …