SteeMan

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  1. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from FilSan in Blue Blinking Light of Death - HK1 Box amlogic S905x3   
    I'll try to respond to your questions as best as I can, but since I don't have that box, I can only guess.
    First you mention that 'no matter how long you hold the reset button'.  It isn't a matter of time and the process is that you need to boot with the reset button pressed for about 5 seconds, then after a bit, remove the power and boot with out the reset button pressed.  This second boot should boot into your sd card image.  The first boot holding the reset button is installing 'multiboot' which is a set of changed variables in the uboot environment that essetially changes the boot order.  Then the second boot uses this new uboot environment to boot from the sd card.  Note that you should only need to do the reset button step once (unless or until the uboot environment gets reset to default).
     
    You mention the s905x4 chip.  Do not get a box with this.  When it comes to TV boxes, older is better.  So s905x is better supported than s905x2, etc.  This is because it takes a lot of time and effort for the open source community to reverse engineer and get support into mainline linux (as the cpu manufacturers don't generally support linux openly, i.e. they don't release source code, and box manufacturers are even worse at supporting their products).  So the older something is the more likely someone has put in the time to get it somewhat working.  So for the s905x4 there isn't any support yet, and perhaps there may never be.
     
    The same general rule (older is better) goes for the other cpu families as well, allwinner and rockchip.  But if you are looking for something in the armbian community I would currently recommend looking at rockchip based boxes.  That is the only cpu family that has an active tv box developer working on support.
     
    Then finally, you mention gigabit networking.  I would recomend you set your sights on 100mbit networking.  Generally gigabit networking is implemented in off cpu networking chips that have no/limited support in mainstream linux.  It is very rare that you will get gigabit networking to work on a tv box with armbian.
     
     
    Generally the recommendation is to open the box and inspect the chips on the board for their markings and work from there.
     
  2. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from FilSan in Blue Blinking Light of Death - HK1 Box amlogic S905x3   
    @FilSan I wanted to comment about the other image you posted/mentioned.  While that sight mentions armbian, that code really has nothing to do with armbian.  Those developers are not involved in the armbian community, nor to they participate in these forums.  They are essentially using the armbian name without permission for their work. 
  3. Like
    SteeMan reacted to Igor in Doubt   
    "Delete My Account"
    https://forum.armbian.com/terms

    @Moderators
  4. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Werner in MX10 plus 6K   
    Per the box specs this box should have an alwinner h6 cpu, so moving to the correct sub forum.
  5. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Blackie in Tanix TX5 Plus Deluxe(with external antenna) - need to combine 2 dtbs   
    I find your research interesting.  I don't have this particular box (I have a TX3 based on the s905x3 cpu).  If you provided links to the source code for the dtbs (i.e. the .dts files) I'd be willing to at least look at the source code to see if anything jumps out.  Also since you want the gigabit ethernet working, do you know what ethernet chip your box has installed (i.e. could you open the box and take a picture of the board and especially the ethernet chip)?
  6. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from qm3ster in Status of Armbian on TV Boxes - Please Read First   
    Welcome to the world of Armbian on TV Boxes!
     
    TV Boxes are not officially supported by the Armbian project.  This "TV Box Club" area is for users interested in experimenting with Armbian on TV Boxes.
     
    Overall you will be best served if you set your expectations low as to what you might be able to accomplish with your TV Box and armbian.  Specifically you should think of your TV Box as a potential linux server - *not* as a desktop replacement.
     
    Feel free to post and ask questions in the TV Box club area if you are interested.  But realize this is a peer-to-peer forum so you may or may not get an answer.
     
    Search is your friend.  There is a lot of historic information stored on this site.  Your question has likely already been asked previously.  However, a lot has changed over time and therefore be prepared for a lot of the information you find by searching the forums to be outdated and in some cases just plain wrong.  Even though that may be the case, please search the forums first before posting a question.  It shows you are willing to invest the time to do your part and makes those of us who volunteer our time to answering questions more likely to want to help you.
     
     
    Amlogic (S9xx) based TV Boxes
    1. There is no one currently working to support Amlogic based TV Boxes
    2. A single developer (@balbes150) had worked years on getting things to the state they are.
    3. As of October 14th, 2020 balbes150 removed support for Amlogic CPUs, so that is the last build that may work on your box.
    4. Expectations should be set low (i.e. don't expect anything to work) but if you do get the box to boot, get HDMI and wired ethernet to work, you are doing good.
    5. You really shouldn't expect things like Wi-Fi, bluetooth, remote control, etc. to work.
    6. There is a very small number of people on this forum/club that are able to provide any guidance.
    7. Most likely no one on this forum/club has ever seen your specific box.
    8. If you get this working on your box, it will likely only be useful for server type tasks, maybe a little light graphical desktop usage, but do not expect video playback, etc.
     
    RockChip (rk3399, rk3328, rk3288, rk3228, etc) based TV Boxes
    (Need to add information here)
     
    Allwinner (H6) based TV Boxes
    (Need to add information here)
     
    Other Comments
    The official recommendation from the Armbian project would be to not use TV Boxes and use officially supported SBCs. Taking this approach will likely result in an easier time, less hassle, better support and likely a more fully functioning device.
     
    There are reasons you may choose to want to use unsupported armbian on TV boxes, for example here are some of my ( @SteeMan ) reasons:
     
    1) It is a challenge and therefore a learning opportunity.  I would never have learnt to build my own linux kernels from source if I was still exclusively using x86 hardware.  If you want a challenge you will find it here.
     
    2) Price vs specs.  The Android TV boxes are built to be cheap consumer devices.  They are produced in larger quantities which drives down the per unit price.  You will generally not be able to get the same level of hardware for the same price with a standard SBC.  But that cheapness comes with - no support by the manufacturers and potentially sub-standard components.  If the manufacturers goal is to sell the lowest price box they are likely cutting corners somewhere to make that happen.
     
    3) emmc is standard.  TV boxes always come with internal storage while most SBCs do not.  Again from a price/performance standpoint having internal emmc storage vs running off an SD card is a plus.  emmc storage *should* be faster and longer lasting than storage on an sd card.  The caveats here being that this is one of the areas that the manufacturers may cut corners.  For example I have two TX3 mini boxes that are supposed to have 16GB of emmc memory (like the other TX3 mini boxes I have), but they were instead manufactured with cheaper nand memory for which there is no mainline kernel support.  There is no visible difference between the identically packaged boxes that had emmc vs those that came with nand, other than opening the case and looking at the physical chips on the boards.
     
    4) cases come standard.  TV boxes always come with cases, whereas for SBCs that is an extra cost.  For my uses having a case is a big improvement vs not having one.  A downside if that these cases are not necessarily well designed to provide adequate cooling.  So depending on your use case, overheating might be a problem.
     
    5) While I own both SBCs and TV boxes, I personally find the TV boxes work best for my needs (running server based software) and I enjoy the challenge of getting them running and keeping them running with the great underlying work that the armbian project is doing to build on top of.
     
    If you have the correct expectations (set your expectations low) are looking to learn and are up for a challenge these are fun things to work with.  And I look forward to working with you on these forums.
     
     
  7. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from jock in Cannot reset TV Box   
    I think these are what you are looking for: 
     
  8. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from DmitryS in Two different boxes don't reboot sometimes   
    I would say this problem is common with the s905x2 and s905x3 boxes.  I have this issue on my boxes as well.  I don't know of anyone that has tracked down the root cause.
  9. Like
    SteeMan reacted to TRS-80 in The surprising (to me) state of F/LOSS graphics, as presented by Alyssa Rosenzweig   
    I came across these recently and found several interesting things within, so thought I would share them.
     
    I debated posting this in Development, but wanted anyone to be able to see and reply to the thread.
     
    Anyway some parts I felt were important enough that I actually took down some notes and quotations, which I will include.
     
    Open drivers for Arm GPUs
    This looks like it was presentation LVC21-318 at  Linaro Connect '21 on 2021-03-25.
     
    Video is available at above page, and also on ThemTube here.
     
    I found this a fascinating presentation.  Alyssa contrasts the (proprietary) 'before times' with current situation which is apparently quite different.  In fact, I was quite surprised to learn that:
     
     
    She then goes on to give 3 case studies, one of which was VideoCore, where I was more than a little surprised to learn that Broadcom at some point actually hired someone to work on their F/LOSS driver.  Now this was only after that guy was well into his own (night and weekend) reverse engineering effort, followed by a lot of public pressure, but still.  End result apparently is that this driver is now shipping in production RPi 4.
     
    Next case study was about Freedreno.  I will quote my favorite part from here:
     
     
    Of course being firmly in the camp with the 'looney Free Software types' myself, this comment warmed my heart quite a bit. 
     
    Finally she gives the Panfrost case study, where she points out that things are apparently moving away from the 'reverse-engineering underdog' model, and:
     
     
    And so reverse engineering is apparently no longer needed.
     
    Apparently this is the driver that ships in PineBook Pro for example.
     
    Of course I must admit to being more than a little bit (pleasantly!) surprised at all of this.  And also starting to soften my stance towards Broadcom (just a little though, lol). 
     
    If you are the least bit interested in any of this, I can highly recommend watching the full presentation.  It's only 19 minutes long, anyway, but I personally was riveted the entire time.
     
    The Open Graphics Stack
    I think this presentation was given at Embedded Linux Conference '21 on 2021-09-29.  So, about 6 months after the above.
     
    But honestly I came across it on ThemTube here.
     
    In the beginning, she makes a good point about the tension between embedded devices with perhaps 20 year life cycles, and devices with proprietary drivers which may be EoL in 5 years, and how this tension can be alleviated by using F/LOSS drivers.
     
    But what got my attention the most was:
     
     
    She then goes on about details of particular platforms (including x86, ARM, etc.) and then finally:
     
     
    Which is a quite bold (and again, pleasantly surprising) statement IMO, but then again I do consider her an authority on the subject.
     
    After that she goes into quite some detail about the nuts and bolts of all the various parts of the stack, which you may or may not be interested in watching as much.
     
     
  10. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from SpOUT in Looking for specs and Linux Distro for an Android TV Box   
    Moved post to the correct forum area for TV box questions.
  11. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Sandro7 in Installation issues TVBOX MINIX U9-H   
    You apparently didn't read the FAQ post carefully as this is addressed:
     
    Note2: 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 attemping the install.  coreelec changes the boot environment in ways that are incompatible with these armbian builds.
  12. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from lauro in Question about USB wi-fi adapters + Amlogic CPUs   
    An external usb wifi adapter should generally work.  The key being that the linux kernal has the required driver/module to support that usb driver.  Generally any common wifi adapter will have linux kernel support.  I would avoid trying to get the cheapest usb wifi adapter you can find, as those are more likely in my experience to not have linux support.
     
    Making sure that I am providing a complete answer to your question, the lack of support for the internal wifi on TV boxes is unrelated to support for any specific usb wifi adapter.
  13. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from WaterWastage in Only 1G RAM detected on 'MXQ Pro 4K' (S905L-B)   
    Your box only has 1GB.  If you googled the part number on you memory chip from the photos (D9PSC) you could have found from specs that these are 2Gb chips and you have four on the board.  So 4x 2Gb = 8Gb = 1GB
  14. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from roy_pigeon in Armbian as portable OS   
    Please read the first post in the following thread:  https://forum.armbian.com/topic/12656-csc-armbian-for-rk322x-tv-boxes
     
  15. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from alekseypb in Noname tv box with S905X. Need help with uploading firmware   
    All the 'install multiboot' process is doing (whether through the reset button or update app) is running the uboot script aml_autoscript located in /boot in the image.  If you can get into uboot via a serial interface you can run these commands directly.  They are setting uboot environment variables to tell the boot process to look for armbian before trying to boot the android partition.
  16. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Pic55 in Status of Armbian on TV Boxes - Please Read First   
    Welcome to the world of Armbian on TV Boxes!
     
    TV Boxes are not officially supported by the Armbian project.  This "TV Box Club" area is for users interested in experimenting with Armbian on TV Boxes.
     
    Overall you will be best served if you set your expectations low as to what you might be able to accomplish with your TV Box and armbian.  Specifically you should think of your TV Box as a potential linux server - *not* as a desktop replacement.
     
    Feel free to post and ask questions in the TV Box club area if you are interested.  But realize this is a peer-to-peer forum so you may or may not get an answer.
     
    Search is your friend.  There is a lot of historic information stored on this site.  Your question has likely already been asked previously.  However, a lot has changed over time and therefore be prepared for a lot of the information you find by searching the forums to be outdated and in some cases just plain wrong.  Even though that may be the case, please search the forums first before posting a question.  It shows you are willing to invest the time to do your part and makes those of us who volunteer our time to answering questions more likely to want to help you.
     
     
    Amlogic (S9xx) based TV Boxes
    1. There is no one currently working to support Amlogic based TV Boxes
    2. A single developer (@balbes150) had worked years on getting things to the state they are.
    3. As of October 14th, 2020 balbes150 removed support for Amlogic CPUs, so that is the last build that may work on your box.
    4. Expectations should be set low (i.e. don't expect anything to work) but if you do get the box to boot, get HDMI and wired ethernet to work, you are doing good.
    5. You really shouldn't expect things like Wi-Fi, bluetooth, remote control, etc. to work.
    6. There is a very small number of people on this forum/club that are able to provide any guidance.
    7. Most likely no one on this forum/club has ever seen your specific box.
    8. If you get this working on your box, it will likely only be useful for server type tasks, maybe a little light graphical desktop usage, but do not expect video playback, etc.
     
    RockChip (rk3399, rk3328, rk3288, rk3228, etc) based TV Boxes
    (Need to add information here)
     
    Allwinner (H6) based TV Boxes
    (Need to add information here)
     
    Other Comments
    The official recommendation from the Armbian project would be to not use TV Boxes and use officially supported SBCs. Taking this approach will likely result in an easier time, less hassle, better support and likely a more fully functioning device.
     
    There are reasons you may choose to want to use unsupported armbian on TV boxes, for example here are some of my ( @SteeMan ) reasons:
     
    1) It is a challenge and therefore a learning opportunity.  I would never have learnt to build my own linux kernels from source if I was still exclusively using x86 hardware.  If you want a challenge you will find it here.
     
    2) Price vs specs.  The Android TV boxes are built to be cheap consumer devices.  They are produced in larger quantities which drives down the per unit price.  You will generally not be able to get the same level of hardware for the same price with a standard SBC.  But that cheapness comes with - no support by the manufacturers and potentially sub-standard components.  If the manufacturers goal is to sell the lowest price box they are likely cutting corners somewhere to make that happen.
     
    3) emmc is standard.  TV boxes always come with internal storage while most SBCs do not.  Again from a price/performance standpoint having internal emmc storage vs running off an SD card is a plus.  emmc storage *should* be faster and longer lasting than storage on an sd card.  The caveats here being that this is one of the areas that the manufacturers may cut corners.  For example I have two TX3 mini boxes that are supposed to have 16GB of emmc memory (like the other TX3 mini boxes I have), but they were instead manufactured with cheaper nand memory for which there is no mainline kernel support.  There is no visible difference between the identically packaged boxes that had emmc vs those that came with nand, other than opening the case and looking at the physical chips on the boards.
     
    4) cases come standard.  TV boxes always come with cases, whereas for SBCs that is an extra cost.  For my uses having a case is a big improvement vs not having one.  A downside if that these cases are not necessarily well designed to provide adequate cooling.  So depending on your use case, overheating might be a problem.
     
    5) While I own both SBCs and TV boxes, I personally find the TV boxes work best for my needs (running server based software) and I enjoy the challenge of getting them running and keeping them running with the great underlying work that the armbian project is doing to build on top of.
     
    If you have the correct expectations (set your expectations low) are looking to learn and are up for a challenge these are fun things to work with.  And I look forward to working with you on these forums.
     
     
  17. Like
    SteeMan reacted to dieselnutjob in dts2tsv   
    Suppose that you have a bunch of dtb/dts files that are known good (like from Linux kernel source).
    Suppose that you have a dtb file that you ripped out of some new device and probably no source code.
    This tool will allow to dump all of the parameters (nodes) out of the dtb file and compare it with all of the other ones that you have in a spreadsheet so that you can visualise the differences.
     
    See https://github.com/dieselnutjob/dts2tsv
  18. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from TTWebb in Installation Instructions for TV Boxes with Amlogic CPUs   
    These instructions are for balbes150's builds supporting Amlogic CPUs for TV Boxes. 
     
    Note1: As of October 14th, 2020 balbes150 is no longer supporting Amlogic CPUs (and no one else has yet stepped up to continue his efforts). Therefore if you install using these builds/instructions you will have a 5.9.0 linux kernel with no upgrade path for the kernel. You will get updates from your chosen distribution (debian or ubuntu) just no kernel updates, unless someone else in the community picks up the ball and begins building/maintaining amlogic kernels for TV Boxes.
     
    Note2: 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 attemping the install.  coreelec changes the boot environment in ways that are incompatible with these armbian builds.
     
    Download link:
    https://users.armbian.com/balbes150/arm-64/
    or
    https://yadi.sk/d/_rQgn_FosYuW0g/20.10/20201014
     
     
    In the downloads directory you will find builds for debian (buster and bullseye) and ubuntu (bionic and focal), with both desktop and non-desktop versions.
     
    Once you download your chosen build (for example  https://users.armbian.com/balbes150/arm-64/Armbian_20.10_Arm-64_focal_current_5.9.0.img.xz - ubuntu focal non-desktop 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. (In earlier builds this was done in the /boot/uEnv.txt file, so a lot of comments you may find in older threads talk about that file, but in later builds it was changed to the extlinux.conf file)
     
    Your extlinux.conf file should look like:
    LABEL Armbian
    LINUX /zImage
    INITRD /uInitrd
    # aml s9xxx
    #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 root=LABEL=ROOTFS rootflags=data=writeback rw console=ttyAML0,115200n8 console=tty0 no_console_suspend consoleblank=0 fsck.fix=yes fsck.repair=yes net.ifnames=0
     
    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.  *Everything* else needs to either be deleted or commented out.  This is a common mistake where people uncomment out what they need, but leave other lines in the file not uncommented and thus they fail to boot.  The extlinux.conf file above is directly from my TX3 mini box.  Note that if you were using a different box than a TX3 mini, you would attempt to use different dtb files until you found the one that works the best for you boxes hardware (there are a bunch of dtb files in /boot/dtb/... 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
    Note that 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 unpluged, 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).  You do this by running the appropriate shell script in /root, which is either /root/install-aml-s905-emmc.sh for s905 cpus or /root/install-aml.sh for all others: s905[x,w,l,x2,x3],s912,s922.  Note that it is recommended that you make a backup of emmc first (use the ddbr tool that should be installed on your sd card).  Also be prepared if anything goes horribly wrong with your emmc install to reinstall the armbian firmware using the Amlogic USB Burning Tool to unbrick your device.  It is generally easy to find original android firmwares on the internet and you can generally recover a bricked box using the Amlogic tool and an original firmware file.
     
     
     
  19. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from TRS-80 in Building Adventures: Arch Linux on RK3229   
    @Clonazepunk Welcome to armbian.  I was just reading your recent posts and it sounds like you have some good technical skills and a desire to help others.  A combination that is in limited supply.  As you are new to armbian, if there is anything I can do to help your learning curve please reach out to me.  The TV Box community needs people like you willing to help others.  It seems that you have an interest in both rockchip and allwinner TV boxes.  While Jock and other provide great support for rockchip there really isn't anyone currently supporting allwinner.  So if you are looking for a challenge...
    Again if you have any questions for me please reach out to me either in the forums or through PM.
  20. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Massive Box in Booting Armbian from USB when it's already installed on eMMC   
    Do not do that as you will brick your box.  Amlogic based TV Boxes only boot from emmc (except in rare cases).
     
    No.  boot.ini isn't even used by the balbes multiboot process.
     
    I asked earlier if you could boot from an sd card (as that should work since you originally booted that way before installing on emmc).  Again, I will repeat myself, don't expect to be able to boot from usb, that doesn't work on many amlogic based boxes.
     
     
    What utility are you running?
  21. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from skysurf in Installation Instructions for TV Boxes with Amlogic CPUs   
    These instructions are for balbes150's builds supporting Amlogic CPUs for TV Boxes. 
     
    Note1: As of October 14th, 2020 balbes150 is no longer supporting Amlogic CPUs (and no one else has yet stepped up to continue his efforts). Therefore if you install using these builds/instructions you will have a 5.9.0 linux kernel with no upgrade path for the kernel. You will get updates from your chosen distribution (debian or ubuntu) just no kernel updates, unless someone else in the community picks up the ball and begins building/maintaining amlogic kernels for TV Boxes.
     
    Note2: 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 attemping the install.  coreelec changes the boot environment in ways that are incompatible with these armbian builds.
     
    Download link:
    https://users.armbian.com/balbes150/arm-64/
    or
    https://yadi.sk/d/_rQgn_FosYuW0g/20.10/20201014
     
     
    In the downloads directory you will find builds for debian (buster and bullseye) and ubuntu (bionic and focal), with both desktop and non-desktop versions.
     
    Once you download your chosen build (for example  https://users.armbian.com/balbes150/arm-64/Armbian_20.10_Arm-64_focal_current_5.9.0.img.xz - ubuntu focal non-desktop 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. (In earlier builds this was done in the /boot/uEnv.txt file, so a lot of comments you may find in older threads talk about that file, but in later builds it was changed to the extlinux.conf file)
     
    Your extlinux.conf file should look like:
    LABEL Armbian
    LINUX /zImage
    INITRD /uInitrd
    # aml s9xxx
    #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 root=LABEL=ROOTFS rootflags=data=writeback rw console=ttyAML0,115200n8 console=tty0 no_console_suspend consoleblank=0 fsck.fix=yes fsck.repair=yes net.ifnames=0
     
    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.  *Everything* else needs to either be deleted or commented out.  This is a common mistake where people uncomment out what they need, but leave other lines in the file not uncommented and thus they fail to boot.  The extlinux.conf file above is directly from my TX3 mini box.  Note that if you were using a different box than a TX3 mini, you would attempt to use different dtb files until you found the one that works the best for you boxes hardware (there are a bunch of dtb files in /boot/dtb/... 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
    Note that 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 unpluged, 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).  You do this by running the appropriate shell script in /root, which is either /root/install-aml-s905-emmc.sh for s905 cpus or /root/install-aml.sh for all others: s905[x,w,l,x2,x3],s912,s922.  Note that it is recommended that you make a backup of emmc first (use the ddbr tool that should be installed on your sd card).  Also be prepared if anything goes horribly wrong with your emmc install to reinstall the armbian firmware using the Amlogic USB Burning Tool to unbrick your device.  It is generally easy to find original android firmwares on the internet and you can generally recover a bricked box using the Amlogic tool and an original firmware file.
     
     
     
  22. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from dubis22 in Status of Armbian on TV Boxes - Please Read First   
    Welcome to the world of Armbian on TV Boxes!
     
    TV Boxes are not officially supported by the Armbian project.  This "TV Box Club" area is for users interested in experimenting with Armbian on TV Boxes.
     
    Overall you will be best served if you set your expectations low as to what you might be able to accomplish with your TV Box and armbian.  Specifically you should think of your TV Box as a potential linux server - *not* as a desktop replacement.
     
    Feel free to post and ask questions in the TV Box club area if you are interested.  But realize this is a peer-to-peer forum so you may or may not get an answer.
     
    Search is your friend.  There is a lot of historic information stored on this site.  Your question has likely already been asked previously.  However, a lot has changed over time and therefore be prepared for a lot of the information you find by searching the forums to be outdated and in some cases just plain wrong.  Even though that may be the case, please search the forums first before posting a question.  It shows you are willing to invest the time to do your part and makes those of us who volunteer our time to answering questions more likely to want to help you.
     
     
    Amlogic (S9xx) based TV Boxes
    1. There is no one currently working to support Amlogic based TV Boxes
    2. A single developer (@balbes150) had worked years on getting things to the state they are.
    3. As of October 14th, 2020 balbes150 removed support for Amlogic CPUs, so that is the last build that may work on your box.
    4. Expectations should be set low (i.e. don't expect anything to work) but if you do get the box to boot, get HDMI and wired ethernet to work, you are doing good.
    5. You really shouldn't expect things like Wi-Fi, bluetooth, remote control, etc. to work.
    6. There is a very small number of people on this forum/club that are able to provide any guidance.
    7. Most likely no one on this forum/club has ever seen your specific box.
    8. If you get this working on your box, it will likely only be useful for server type tasks, maybe a little light graphical desktop usage, but do not expect video playback, etc.
     
    RockChip (rk3399, rk3328, rk3288, rk3228, etc) based TV Boxes
    (Need to add information here)
     
    Allwinner (H6) based TV Boxes
    (Need to add information here)
     
    Other Comments
    The official recommendation from the Armbian project would be to not use TV Boxes and use officially supported SBCs. Taking this approach will likely result in an easier time, less hassle, better support and likely a more fully functioning device.
     
    There are reasons you may choose to want to use unsupported armbian on TV boxes, for example here are some of my ( @SteeMan ) reasons:
     
    1) It is a challenge and therefore a learning opportunity.  I would never have learnt to build my own linux kernels from source if I was still exclusively using x86 hardware.  If you want a challenge you will find it here.
     
    2) Price vs specs.  The Android TV boxes are built to be cheap consumer devices.  They are produced in larger quantities which drives down the per unit price.  You will generally not be able to get the same level of hardware for the same price with a standard SBC.  But that cheapness comes with - no support by the manufacturers and potentially sub-standard components.  If the manufacturers goal is to sell the lowest price box they are likely cutting corners somewhere to make that happen.
     
    3) emmc is standard.  TV boxes always come with internal storage while most SBCs do not.  Again from a price/performance standpoint having internal emmc storage vs running off an SD card is a plus.  emmc storage *should* be faster and longer lasting than storage on an sd card.  The caveats here being that this is one of the areas that the manufacturers may cut corners.  For example I have two TX3 mini boxes that are supposed to have 16GB of emmc memory (like the other TX3 mini boxes I have), but they were instead manufactured with cheaper nand memory for which there is no mainline kernel support.  There is no visible difference between the identically packaged boxes that had emmc vs those that came with nand, other than opening the case and looking at the physical chips on the boards.
     
    4) cases come standard.  TV boxes always come with cases, whereas for SBCs that is an extra cost.  For my uses having a case is a big improvement vs not having one.  A downside if that these cases are not necessarily well designed to provide adequate cooling.  So depending on your use case, overheating might be a problem.
     
    5) While I own both SBCs and TV boxes, I personally find the TV boxes work best for my needs (running server based software) and I enjoy the challenge of getting them running and keeping them running with the great underlying work that the armbian project is doing to build on top of.
     
    If you have the correct expectations (set your expectations low) are looking to learn and are up for a challenge these are fun things to work with.  And I look forward to working with you on these forums.
     
     
  23. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from EmilJ in Unknown S905X-B TV Box without reset button   
    Often there is an 'update' app in Android that will do the same thing as the reset button.  But note that not all apps named 'update' will do what is needed.  But check if you have an update app and see if you can use it to run the aml_autoscript.zip  located in the /boot directory of your armbian sdcard.  This should cause the box to reboot and have the same effect as the reset button.
  24. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Werner in S912 Box, Internal emmc input/output error   
    Are you sure your box has emmc and not cheaper nand?  A lot of boxes cut costs by using cheaper nand instead of true emmc, and nand storage is not supported in the 5.x kernel.  I would suggest you open the box and look up the specs of the chips you find on the board to confirm what you actually have.  (I own TV boxes that have identical markings on the outside, but one will have emmc and the other will have nand).
  25. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from jhg in Old image for Amlogic s905x3 ?   
    You are not going to get watchable YouTube on a cheap TV box with Armbian currently.  The state of the open source video decoders (vs the generally closed source used in Android) is still a work in process.  Right now I would say the best supported CPUs are the Rockchip ones.  On the box side balbes150 is working on the Station M1/P1 and jock is working on general Rockchip TV box support.