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 preferred one. Google Play is available in this version. Mele will …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

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: a10-hwpack-bld.sh – 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 a1x-media-create.sh – 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 also work. Installing Ubuntu on tablets should also be possible, but …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

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. It has about the same hardware specifications (and price) as …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

makeSD Script to Write Image to SD Card for Mele A1000 / AllWinner A10 Devices

Most images released for Mele A1000 (Ubuntu, Puppy Linux..) won’t fit in my SD card, and until now I had to manually partition the SD card, extract the data and copy it to the SD card. I’ve also noticed the size of the SD card slowly creeps lower overtime. I bought an SD card last week and fdisk reported 3901685760 bytes and this morning the same command reported 3898782720 bytes. That’s probably due to new bad sectors which I believe is actually normal for this type of device. The problem is that a backup of “last week” SD card done with dd might not be restored properly with dd since the SD card is now smaller. So I decided to write a shell script “makeSD.sh” that will do the following: Umount the SD card if needed Partition the SD card Copy uboot to the SD card Mount the image file and SD card partitions Copy the files between the image …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Editing AllWinner A10 Board Configuration Files (script.bin)

AllWinner A10 based devices all have board configuration files in binary format, sometimes refereed to as script.bin, evb.bin, sys_config.{product_nane}.bin store in the FAT partition with the kernel. You may want to decode those binary files to configure your hardware and/or disable/enable peripherals. For the Ubuntu image provided for the Mele A1000 set-top box, the file is called evb.bin and the two other files (mele.bin and sys_config1.mele_mod.bin) are not used. The filename can change since it is configurable in u-boot e.g.: load1=fatload mmc 0 43000000 evb.bin bootcmd=run load1 boot_mmc If you want to decrypt the binary files into text format (fex), you can retrieve bin2fex tool: git clone https://github.com/amery/sunxi-tools Build it: cd sunxi-tools make This will compile both bin2fex (binary to fex text files) and fex2bin (fex files to bin), but the later does not seem to work right now. fex2bin also works now. If you want to decrypt a configuration files type this command line: ./bin2fex evb.bin > evb.fex The …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Xibo Digital Signage Running on Mele A1000 AllWinner A10 Set-Top Box

Those following my blog know that I recently bought a Mele A1000 to play around. For those who are not familiar with this device, the Mele A1000 is a $70 Android set-top box featuring an AllWinner A10 cortex A8 processor and lots of peripherals, and it can easily be hacked to run a Linux distributions. This hardware would also be a great digital signage player thanks to its video playback capabilities: up to 2160p video decoding and 1080p video output. Last year, I ported Xibo, an open source digital signage player, to ARM and ran it in the Beagleboard emulator (qemu), but I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it out in a real hardware. I’ve tried this rootfs based on Linaro ARM Linux Internet Platform (ALIP) image for BeagleBoard in the Mele A1000, by following an adaptation of the method I provided earlier. For this demo, I created a layout in Xibo dashboard with 4 zones as pictured above: …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

How to Create Your Own Debian / Ubuntu Image for Mele A1000 (AllWinner A10 Based STB)

Developers working on AllWinner A10 have released an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS SD card image (4GB) for the Mele A1000. I’ll show how you can create your own Debian or Ubuntu image based on this image for any size of SD Card using Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) and the recent Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) as example. The current image is not perfect, for example Ethernet doesn’t work (but you can still get network connectivity with WiFi), the NAND flash can not be accessed, the system does not appear to be very stable when running X and a few more issues. But this will be fixed by the developer community over time. First download the SD card image wget http://hands.com/~lkcl/mele-ubuntu-lucid.img.lzma Install 7z (if you don’t have it yet) and decompress the file: sudo apt-get install p7zip-full 7z x mele-ubuntu-lucid.img.lzma The decompressed size is 4008706048, which might be larger than your 4GB SD Card (as it was my case). If you card is larger, …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Ubuntu on AllWinner A10 based Mele A1000 Set-top Box

I’ve recently received and reviewed the 70 USD Mele A1000 STB powered by AllWinner A10, but haven’t been able to hack it yet since I’ve have not received the USB to Serial cable necessary for debugging the board. However, somebody else (Tom Cubie) had time to hack the box and run Ubuntu from a SD card (while still keeping Android in the flash) as you can see below. This port does not seem to include hardware accelerated GUI just yet, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. Tom said he just followed the instructions at http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/hacking_the_mele_a1000/ and http://rhombus-tech.net/a10_mmc_boot/ to have Ubuntu working, but those do not appear to be that clear at the moment. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon