Software Development on Librem 5 and PinePhone Linux Phones is Progressing Nicely

PinePhone LuneOS

Several Linux phones are expected this year including Purism Librem 5 and Pine64 PinePhone. Both companies have sent phone development kits out to developers a few months ago, and we are starting to see some nice progress for both phones. What made me write this post is an update from Purism comparing the boot time on Librem 5 running PureOS Linux distribution without specific optimizations yet, and HTC One Android smartphone.  Librem 5 smartphone devkit takes 13 seconds to get to the lockscreen, while the Android phone takes over 40 seconds. Fair enough, most people won’t boot their phone often, but it still nice to know it won’t take long to turn on the phone from power off state.  They also posted a progress report at the end of May saying calls are now working with better audio quality, fixed various issue with messaging in Chatty, work on Linux mainline is going well with Linux 5.2 expected to work …

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

Volumio Motivo is a Gorgeous Audio Streamer Powered by SOPINE A64 SoM

Volumio Motivo

Volumio is a well-known Linux based open source music player for Raspberry Pi, UDOO, Cubox-I, Beaglebone Black, and other single board computers. Some companies even made audiophile boards with support for Volumio including Khadas Tone high-resolution audio board for VIM/VIM2 SBC’s, and the tiny VoltaStream ZERO following Raspberry Pi Zero form factor. But Volumio team has decided to make their own hardware with Motivo, an awesomely looking audio streamer designed in collaboration with Yottamusic engineering firm, and Design Narratives industrial design company. Motivo was introduced at High-End Munich, the world’s biggest Hi-Fi trade fair, and Pine64 posted some photos in a tweet claiming it was powered by their SOPINE A64 system-on-module. The full details about the device have not been published at the time of writing, but we can still derive some of Volumio Motivo specifications and key features from the photos and a few bits of public information: System-on-Module – SOPINE A64 with Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, up …

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

Roshambo Retro Gaming Console Kit Features Rock64 or RockPro64 Board

Roshambo Pro Retro Gaming Console

Recalbox, Lakka TV, Retro Arena, and Batocera are some of the retro gaming distributions optimized to run on development boards. You can install those by yourself, and enclose the board is any case, but if you want something more fancy, Cloud Media is now selling Roshambo retro gaming kit based on Rock64 (RK3328) or RockPro64 (RK3399) SBC’s. Roshambo and RoshamboPro retro gaming kits are compatible with respectively Rock64 and RockPro64 boards, come with a shell with carrier board, power supply, cooling fan (Pro model only) and support cables. The kits support 256GB or 512GB SSD cartridges provided by the company, and optional game controllers with analog triggers and buttons are also available for purchase. Pine64 Rock64 / RockPro64 boards are compatible with Recalbox, Lakka TV, Retro Arena, and Batocera distributions, but bear in mind ROMs are not provided, so you’d have to install your own, or play free games only. There are five kits to build your own Rock64 / …

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

Pinebook Pro Arm Laptop Video Demo

Pinebook Pro Laptop Demo

Pine64 first revealed working on Pinebook Pro Arm Linux laptop at FOSDEM 2019 back at the end of January. The first Pinebook laptop had limited hardware resources, and as such was meant for simple tasks, but Pinebook Pro equipped with Rockchip RK3399 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB to 128GB flash, and a 14″ Full HD display is designed to be used as your main laptop. That means everything needs to work from 3D graphics acceleration, to hardware video decoding, and USB-C video output. Lukasz Erecinski very recently shot a demo of the laptop in action, and everything looks very good, meaning the laptop should be come available soon. You can watch the demo further below, but if you are in a rush here’s what has been tested and works: Ubuntu & Debian with MATE desktop 4K video playback 3D graphics acceleration for games (Quake demo) 3D graphics acceleration in Chromium web browser (WebGL, aquarium demo @ ~30 fps) 1080p video playback …

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

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 …

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

PINE64 Plans to Move their Website on a 24-node RockPro64 Cluster

24-node RockPro64 Cluster

Boards’ clusters are always fun to see, and PINE64 has shared pictures of two RockPro64 clusters with respectively 48 and 24 boards neatly packed into  partially custom enclosures. The  48-node cluster will feature a total of 288 cores, including 96 Arm Cortex-A72 cores and 188 Cortex-A53 cores, as well as 192GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Low cost development boards may be seen as toys by some, so it’s interesting to learn that PINE64 plans to move their complete website infrastructure including the main website, a community website, forums, wiki, and possibly IRC on the 24-node cluster, while it seems the 48-node cluster may be used for their build environment. The company has just completed the assembly of the clusters, and did not disclose the full technical details just yet. However, a progress report may be written in due time. Once the migration is done, and everything works as it should, it will be a good showcase of the stability of RockPro64 …

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

PINE H64 Model B SBC Launched with Raspberry Pi Form Factor

Pine H64 Model B

Pine H64 development board was introduced about a year ago with an Allwinner H6 processor, 1 to 3GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, a USB 3.0 port, a PCIe socket, and more with the legacy Pine A64 form factor and price starting at $25.99 for the 1GB RAM version. However, Pine64 made a few announcements at FOSDEM 2019, and beside the upcoming Pinebook Pro Linux/*BSD laptop, the company also mentioned a new PINE H64 Model B, still based on Allwinner H6 processor, but instead following Raspberry Pi form factor also used by the company’s Rock64 SBC. The new board is still not available on the official Pine64 store, but Ameridroid is already taking orders for Pine H64 Model B for $38.95 (2GB RAM) and $48.95 (3GB RAM). Pine H64 Model B specifications: SoC – Allwinner H6 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.8GHz with Arm Mali T-722MP2 dual-core GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.2/1.1, ATSC (Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression) System Memory – …

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

PineBook Pro Linux / BSD Rockchip RK3399 Laptop Coming Up for $200

Pinebook Pro

Pine64 announced the Pinebook laptop in 2016. The ultra cheap ($89 and up) laptop was based on Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor coupled with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and a 11.6″ or 14″ display. It was never meant to be a replacement for your current laptop due to the low end specifications, but you could still use it to tinker with Arm Linux or *BSD, as a lightweight portable terminal, etc… Pine64 made several announcements in a single blog post right before FOSDEM 2019 where they’ll showcase some of their upcoming products including the Pinephone development kit that’s use to develop software for the upcoming Pinephone open source phone, PineTab *BSD/Linux-only tablet with  Allwinner A64 SoC, and an 11.6″ display like Pinebook laptop, a retro gaming case compatible with Rock64 and Rock64Pro boards, an open source IP camera based on Allwinner S3L processor,  Pine H64 Model B (Allwinner H6) board with Rock64 form factor, Rock64 Rev.3 with some …

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