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Posts posted by SteeMan

  1. @tuanna  You didn't buy a 4/32 box.  That CPU doesn't support that amount of memory.  It is common that sellers lie about the specs of boxes they sell, to the point of faking specs reported in their android firmwares and even changing the markings on chips.


    According to your pictures, if you research the memory chips (D9PSC) they are 2Gb each x 4 = 8Gb = 1 GB

    Researching the Toshiba emmc chip, while I can't figure out exactly its size, that part ranges from 2GB - 16BGB, so not 32GB.


    My take is you have a 1/8 box, just as linux is reporting.

  2. @bacco70  Please provide some basic information about your setup.  What box do you have?  What build do you have installed (file name and where downloaded from)?


    13 hours ago, bacco70 said:

    Formatting ROOT partition...
    /dev/mmcblk1p2 contains a ext4 file system labelled 'ROOT_EMMC'
            last mounted on /ddbr/install on Sat Mar  4 12:38:17 2023

    This would indicate that you are trying to install on to a none clean emmc.  The script assumes you are installing on top of the native android firmware.  This message indicates you have other stuff previously installed.  Please explain what you have done before this attempt.

  3. 3 hours ago, bunducafe said:

    Just out of curiosity: If upstream only makes the OS more likely to be fragile what is the use case then for community builds that can be downloaded every now and then?

    The purpose of Community builds is to provide the "community" an opportunity to step up and care for these boards.  If no one is interested, eventually they will stop working and be dropped.  Armbian is first and foremost the build environment for building SBC firmwares. Second, some Armbian developers also maintain boards they personally care about.  But there are far more boards than core developers can support.  But the infrastructure is there for others to step in and support boards they care about. But in the end if no one cares enough to maintain a board, it will drop from community support to end of support eventually.

  4. @desperex Armbian doesn't have the resources to track bugs and work for fixes in upstream code.  We generally just take upstream code and incorporate.  So someone external to Armbian needs to work the upstream producers to get them to make fixes as appropriate.  The problem is that for many of these inexpensive commodity chips/drivers there isn't any long term support infrastructure (i.e. they produce, release and then move on to the next chip with no intention to support them)

  5. Have you tried installing the armbian-firmware-full package?  The base distribution comes with the armbian-firmware package installed (note not -full) which is a trimmed down package that contains a small subset of all available linux firmwares to reduce size.

  6. Please try with the instructions on this site (where you originally posted this) using current downloads.


    I have multiple of these boxes and the reset button should work.

    Describe what happens when you use the reset button (complete description like how long you are holding reset, what is shown on the screen, when you are adding power etc.)


  7. These instructions are for Amlogic CPUs for TV Boxes. 


    Note: If you have previously run other distributions on the box such as coreelec the below installation will not work.  You will need to restore the original android firmware before attempting the install.  coreelec changes the boot environment in ways that are incompatible with these Armbian builds.


    Download links:

        Stable Builds: https://redirect.armbian.com/aml-s9xx-box/archive

        Weekly Development Builds:  https://github.com/armbian/community (aml-s9xx-box)

        or build your own image using the Armbian build framework


    Once you download your chosen build, you need to burn the image to an SD card.  Generally balenaEtcher is recommended as it does a verification of the burn.  Also be sure to use high quality SD cards.


    Once you have the SD card with your chosen build, then you need to edit the boot configuration file on the SD card.  In the BOOT partition of the SD card there will be a file /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf, that you need to edit.


    Your extlinux.conf file should look like:

    LABEL Armbian
    LINUX /uImage
    INITRD /uInitrd

    #FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxbb-p200.dtb
    FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb
    #FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxm-q200.dtb
    #FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-g12a-x96-max.dtb
    #FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-g12b-odroid-n2.dtb
    APPEND ...

    Basically you need to have the correct dtb for your box and the correct boot command for your box, along with the top three environment variables set.  A common mistake is for people to uncomment the dtb file needed, but leave other dtb lines in the file not uncommented and thus they fail to boot.  You may need to attempt to use different dtb files until you find the one that works the best for your box's hardware (there are a bunch of dtb files in /boot/dtb/amlogic/... to try depending on your cpu architecture and hardware).  It is unlikely that there will be a matching dtb file for your TV box.  The idea is to find the one that works best for your box.  This may mean that you try booting with different dtb files until you fine one that works good enough for your needs.  By searching the forums you will find information about what dtbs other users have found work best for different boxes.


    Next you need to copy the correct uboot for your box.  This is needed for how these builds boot on amlogic boxes.  There are three different u-boot files located in the /boot directory:  u-boot-s905, u-boot-s905x-s912, u-boot-s905x2-s922

    You need to copy (note copy not move) the u-boot file that matches your cpu to a new file named: u-boot.ext

    So for example with a TX3 mini box that has an s905w cpu you would copy u-boot-s905x-s912 to u-boot.ext

    For x905[w,d,l], and other variants use u-boot-s905x-s912; for s905x3 use u-boot-s905x2-s922



    Once you have your SD card prepared you need to enable multiboot on the box.  There are different ways documented to do this, but the most common is the "toothpick" method.  The "toothpick" method means to hold the reset button while applying power to the box.  The reset button is often hidden and located at the back of the audio/video jack connector.  By pressing that button with a toothpick or other such pointed device you can enable multiboot.  What you need to do is have the box unplugged, have your prepared sd card inserted, then press and hold the button while inserting the power connector.  Then after a bit of time you can release the button.  (I don't know exactly how long you need to hold the button after power is applied, but if it doesn't work the first time try again holding for longer or shorter times).


    You should now be booting into armbian/linux.  Note that the first boot takes longer as it is enlarging the root filesystem to utilize the entire SD card.


    After you are satisfied that your box is working correctly for your needs you can optionally copy the installation from the SD card to internal emmc storage (assuming your box has emmc). (Note: Installing to emmc has some risks of bricking your box.  Don't do this unless you feel you understand how to reinstall your box's android firmware)  You install armbian to emmc by running the shell script in the /root directory: install-aml.sh. Note: It is not possible to install into emmc on boxes with the s905 cpu (s905x, s905w, s905x2, etc however should all be supported).  It is recommended that you make a backup of emmc first.  Also be prepared if anything goes horribly wrong with your emmc install to reinstall the android firmware using the Amlogic USB Burning Tool to unbrick your device.  If you have or can find an original android firmware on the internet and you can generally (but not always) recover a bricked box using the Amlogic tool and the original firmware file.



    Note: Followup posts in this thread should be limited to comments to improve or better understand these instructions.  Other issues should be posted as new questions in the Amlogic CPU Boxes sub-forum.

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