SteeMan

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  1. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Tucano2000 in Armbian for Amlogic S905X3   
    Technically Balbes never supported the s905x3. But it is true that he is now ending support of all amlogic cpus.  I already make my own kernel builds, and since I own a few different amlogic based boxes, I have an interest in seeing support continue in some form.  I have asked balbes in another thread if he would tag his public github repositories with a tag that corresponds to his last build supporting amlogic, which then can be a starting point for continued support by the community if there is enough interest.
  2. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Logicpro8_user in Rupa Pyramid A5x - Android TV Box HDMI sound missing.   
    moved topic to the proper forum
  3. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from supersmurfs in Can anyone explains what are the steps for making a TV box works with armbian?   
    This comment is likely superceeded by balbes and jock's posts, but I wanted to just provide my thoughts on the android dtb issues. 
    The way I like to think about dtbs is they are glue code between the kernel and the hardware.  We often think of them only from the perspective of the hardware, which once a box is built the hardware doesn't change (although boxes can change over the course of different manufacturing runs providing different board revisions).  But the kernel is an evolving code base and even though the hardware may be fixed, the dtb glue may need to change over time as the kernel code changes.  Thus technically dtbs are kernel version specific (but in practice the changes in the kernel generally are not significant over smaller periods of time).
    However....  When it comes to android kernels two factors come into play, one is that android kernels tend to be highly forked/patched from mainline kernels and second, android kernels tend to be based off very old kernels.  So for example an android 4.4 based kernel is really a 5 year old kernel, and a lot has changed in the kernel over a 5 year period.
    Also, making this more complex is that fact that sbc/tv box support has only been added to mainline kernels fairly recently.  So older android or legacy kernels that were supported were highly patched kernels.
    Armbian is generally focused on current mainline kernels (after all that is where the future support will all take place), and therefore a 5.10/5.12 kernel is very different in how it supports sbc/tv box hardware than a 4.4/4.x legacy/android kernel. 
    The end result is to not expect an android dtb to work with a mainline kernel.  That doesn't mean that there isn't a lot to be learned from an older dtb file, but the process is much more complicated than simply getting the old andoird dtb and using it on a mainline kernel and expecting it to work.
  4. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Atreyo tech in Kernel rebuild resources and process for pine64-LTS   
    The first place to start is by reading the documentation:  Armbian Developer Guide.  The developer guide walks you through the armbian build process.  The entire armbian build process may be more than you are looking for (not knowing what changes you are looking to make), but with an overall understanding of the armbian build process (simply being able to rebuild the image you are already running) you will likely be able to figure out a path forward for your needs, or at least be able to come back to the forums with a more specific question based on greater understanding of the system.
  5. Like
    SteeMan reacted to Clonazepunk in Rockchip or Allwinner TV Box?   
    H6 is newer an has a way better GPU on it, and also a higher clock. Between them, H6 wins 
     
    And mine is a T95 Mini (TUREWELL). It didn't arrive yet. Soon I'll be able to give support to it 
  6. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from ghoul 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 ghoul in Template to report a working TV Box   
    The following template should be used to report a working TV Box running Armbian.  The purpose of this template is to gather consistent and complete information.
     
    To submit a report of a working TV Box start a new topic in this sub-forum with the name of the TV box as the title and copy/paste this template into the post and provide the requested information.
     
    Note:  Only report status using dtb files that are part of the image and therefore available to all users from a standard source.  If you have used another dtb file, please mention that in the comments along with where the source code for the dtb is located and what the custom dtb improved.
    Note: You will need to install/enable a desktop environment to gather all of the below information (i.e. hdmi audio)
     
    TV Box Status Information Template Version 1.0
    TV Box Name (example: TX3 mini):
    CPU (example: amlogic s905w):
    Armbian build file name:
    DTB file used:
    Kernel Version:
    Distribution Installed (focal, buster, etc):
    Working Ethernet (Yes/No):
    Max Ethernet Speed that works (100/1000):
    Does wifi work (Yes/No):
    Does bluetooth work (Yes/No):
    Does HDMI audio work (Yes/No):
    Additional Comments (provide any additional information you feel is important):
     
     
  8. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from tony013 in Make forum messages friendlier -- 2021 Edition!   
    Given the following comment posted in response to the new invalid message discussed above:
     
    "Hi Werner, I didn't realise I'd posted this as a bug I'll post it elsewhere"
     
    I took another look at the language in the big red warning message that is displayed for people posting new topics in the bug tracking forums.  While it would seem obvious to those of us on the inside what we are trying to communicate, to the novice user I think there is room to make it more clear.  To that end I have the following suggested wording changes:
     
    Current text:
     
    Wait!
    To avoid common mistakes when opening issues use this form to make sure you have collected all necessary information and create your issue report at the correct place:
    >> https://armbian.com/bugs <<
    Issue reports that are not following these guidelines will be removed without further notice!
     
    Suggested text:
     
    Important Please Read Before Posting a New Topic (Bug Report)!
     
    You are about to post a new topic in the Armbian Bug Tracker.  Armbian uses the sub-forums under "Bug tracker - supported boards and images only" as it's public facing bug reporting system. If you really intend to report a bug please fill out the following form to supply the necessary information for a valid bug report:
     
    >> https://armbian.com/bugs <<
     
    With limited resources the Armbian project is only able to spend time investigating bugs where all the requested information has been provided and for only the boards/images/software that are supported.  Your bug report will be considered invalid and receive no attention if you do not supply the requested information.
     
    If you only have a question or are looking for help on something in general related to Armbian, you should be submitting your question in one of the "Community forums", such as "Common issues / peer to peer technical support" or "General chit chat", not in this bug reporting forum.

  9. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from tony013 in Make forum messages friendlier -- 2021 Edition!   
    I don't see a problem with using the invalid label as it is invalid according to the directions the user has read (or not read).  What I think would improve this is giving the user more direction on what to do next.  I think some working changes in the post that closes the thread as invalid would be all that is necessary.  So instead of:
     
     
    Your issue report is invalid for one or multiple reasons (non-exhaustive enumeration):
     
    it has been stated at the wrong place
    it lacks fundamental requested data
    it could have been easily solved by a quick search and/or reading documentation
    unsupported userspace/image/SBC
     
    Since you refused to use the bug reporting form carefully and follow the information there as you have been asked for we have no intention to further investigate.
    Please add missing information if applicable.
     
    https://www.armbian.com/bugs
     
     
    Something like:
     
    Your issue report is not a valid bug report per the Armbian bug reporting instructions (https://www.armbian.com/bugs).  With limited resources the Armbian project is only able to spend time on issues where all the requested information has been provided and for only the boards/images/software that are supported.  Your report is invalid for one or more of the following reasons (non-exhaustive list):
     
    - it is for an unsupported board or image
    - it is for software that isn't supported (such as userspace modules installed on top of the core operating system)
    - it has been logged in the wrong forum (for example requests for help that are not actual bug reports)
    - it lacks requested data (armbianmonitor output)
    - it could have been easily solved by a quick search and/or reading documentation
     
    Please review what you have submitted and the bug logging instructions (https://www.armbian.com/bugs) and either add the required information or open a new topic in the correct forum (such as "Common issues / peer to peer technical support" or "General chit chat")
     
     
    I think this softens the tone and tries to help the user do the right thing.  Which they likely still won't 
     
     
     
  10. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from jock in Armbian en box tv con procesador RK322X...   
    Your question was already answered the first time you posted your question.
    There is an entire thread dedicated to discussing how to install armbiian on an rk322x tv box: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/17979-help-can-i-install-armbian-on-tv-box-with-r329q-v30-board/?tab=comments#comment-123847
     
     
    This is now the third the you are asking the same question. It you ask a fourth time, I will consider you as spamming the forum and proceed accordingly.
     
     
  11. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Werner in Armbian en box tv con procesador RK322X...   
    Your question was already answered the first time you posted your question.
    There is an entire thread dedicated to discussing how to install armbiian on an rk322x tv box: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/17979-help-can-i-install-armbian-on-tv-box-with-r329q-v30-board/?tab=comments#comment-123847
     
     
    This is now the third the you are asking the same question. It you ask a fourth time, I will consider you as spamming the forum and proceed accordingly.
     
     
  12. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Wizzard in Armbian for TV box rk3328   
    @Wizzard In searching through this thread and the forums, I can't see anyone reporting to have tried installing on your model.  Since no one has responded to your post, it is unlikely anyone around here has your model of box and therefore unlikely to be able to help you out.  There are hundreds of different TV box models each with different components which makes support for the vast majority nearly impossible.  There is likely information in this thread that could help you, but unfortunately you are likely on your own to sort through it and try out potential solutions to get your box working.  One thing I noticed in this thread that may be helpful to your case is a comment that mentioned replacing the uboot on the armbian image with a libreelec uboot.  Since you indicate you can boot libreelec that path sounded relevant to your situation.  Unfortuantely I don't own any rockchip boxes and therefore am of little help beyond providing pointers to others efforts.
  13. Like
    SteeMan reacted to hexdump in A really dumb question Amlogic Vs RockChip vs Allwinner   
    @jock - i think amlogic (the company) still is not very good regarding open source, but at least linux mainline is quite useable on their chips
     
    the emmc clk pin trick works for amlogic too (if one finds it ) and wiping the emmc results in a boot from sd card ... the main problem is that the legacy u-boot reads its dtb from a later partition on the emmc and fails if it cannot find it - this is a problem if one for instance fdisk's and mkfs the emmc: the u-boot itself can still be intact, but it is bricked as it can no longer find its dtb (this is why the balbes150 amlogic images always kept 700mb and later more of the emmc in place when installing onto emmc to avoid overwriting this sensitive information) ... putting a mainline u-boot on amlogic boxes is possible but due to the complex boot structure and the required fitting blobs way more complicated than on rockchip and allwinner ... in summary: if amlogic then best is a properly supported sbc (odroid etc.) - unsupported stuff like tv boxes can result in quite a bit of extra work and unwanted surprises with those socs
  14. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from masteripper in Is it required for X96 max+ to have firmware 8 to run Armbian?   
    Enabling multiboot is something that only should need to be done once, assuming it is done correctly.  It is persisted in the uboot environment stored on emmc.
    Having said that, I have experienced cases where for some reason on some boxes the uboot environment gets reset to the default and multiboot does need to get re-enabled, but that is a rare occurrence, nothing I have ever seen happening on every boot.
  15. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from masteripper in Is it required for X96 max+ to have firmware 8 to run Armbian?   
    Your assumption is incorrect.  The 'multiboot' changes the uboot environment stored on the emmc, even if you are trying to run something on sd.  The is the whole point of 'enabling multiboot' without the changes to the base uboot environment the board doesn't know how to boot from the sd card.  Those changes to the base uboot environment are different across different distributions and therefore the requirement to restore back to a known base with the original android firmware.
  16. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from gounthar in A SBC for computing - your thoughts   
    When designing a good sbc for general compute/server tasks I think you need a set of features that enable both a 'desktop' as well as 'server rack' deployment.  The reason for this is the evaluation process someone will likely undertake in order to buy into the boards features. No one is going to buy 32 boards for a 'server rack' deployment as the first purchase.  Instead they are likely to purchase one or a few to evaluate first.  That evaluation is not going to happen in a rack mount, but instead will happen on a desktop.  Once someone is comfortable that the base board works for their basic needs (i.e. the software and general hardware works), then they will explore the 'server rack' deployment options as they plan to scale a use of the board.
    In my opinion therefore you need to make sure you have the features necessary to have a good evaluation experience on the desktop for the board ultimately to be successfully purchased in larger quantities for server work.  One example of this is an hdmi port.  While an hdmi port is completely useless in a server deployment, it can be quite useful during board evaluation on a desktop.  Another example is cooling as mentioned in the above posts.  I think you need to have good thermal design for both deployment scenarios (both as a desktop board and in a server rack mount), which might require different heat dissipation strategies for the different environments. Finally POE while likely unnecessary for a desktop evaluation is critical for a server deployment.
     
    My ideal feature list would be:
    1gbit POE ethernet port
    4GB ram
    32GB emmc (or more optional)
    good external storage options (m.2 or other)
    hdmi port
    2 or more usb ports (at least one being usb3)
    power port for non POE usage
    optional case for desktop use with good thermals
    optional rack mount with good thermals
     
    The two things I think it shouldn't have:
    - no wifi/bluetooth
    The reason I say these are not desired is that good wireless (good antenna's, good software support) is difficult to design into a board, it isn't needed in the server rack case and can be accomplished better with a usb addon for the desktop case without incurring the added cost to the base board.
    - no SD card
    The reason I wouldn't include an sd card slot is if emmc is standard, that will be the preferred deployment storage media.  You only need another option to install/update the internal emmc and usb should be sufficient for that.  The sd support then just becomes an added cost with no real long term need.  It does require that booting from usb be well supported by the firmware.
     
    Such a board would span a lot of use cases from general purpose single desktop use case to hundreds of boards deployed in dense rack configurations.
     
    My personal experience is that I try things out first by evaluating one of something, then scale up to a few, and ultimately more as each step of the evaluation process shows the product is capable of the next deployment step.
     
    Finally I'll mention price.  In my opinion you likely need the above described board at a price point no more than a RaspPi.  Given the large ecosystem and mind share built around that platform, and it is already capable of doing the above (although not well in many respects), you can't have something like this be at a 'high end' premium price point and expect it to be successful.  Price will to an extent drive the evaluation process.  If the price is considered too high, then people won't even start the evaluating, they will just stick with what the everyone else uses.
     
  17. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from lanefu in A SBC for computing - your thoughts   
    When designing a good sbc for general compute/server tasks I think you need a set of features that enable both a 'desktop' as well as 'server rack' deployment.  The reason for this is the evaluation process someone will likely undertake in order to buy into the boards features. No one is going to buy 32 boards for a 'server rack' deployment as the first purchase.  Instead they are likely to purchase one or a few to evaluate first.  That evaluation is not going to happen in a rack mount, but instead will happen on a desktop.  Once someone is comfortable that the base board works for their basic needs (i.e. the software and general hardware works), then they will explore the 'server rack' deployment options as they plan to scale a use of the board.
    In my opinion therefore you need to make sure you have the features necessary to have a good evaluation experience on the desktop for the board ultimately to be successfully purchased in larger quantities for server work.  One example of this is an hdmi port.  While an hdmi port is completely useless in a server deployment, it can be quite useful during board evaluation on a desktop.  Another example is cooling as mentioned in the above posts.  I think you need to have good thermal design for both deployment scenarios (both as a desktop board and in a server rack mount), which might require different heat dissipation strategies for the different environments. Finally POE while likely unnecessary for a desktop evaluation is critical for a server deployment.
     
    My ideal feature list would be:
    1gbit POE ethernet port
    4GB ram
    32GB emmc (or more optional)
    good external storage options (m.2 or other)
    hdmi port
    2 or more usb ports (at least one being usb3)
    power port for non POE usage
    optional case for desktop use with good thermals
    optional rack mount with good thermals
     
    The two things I think it shouldn't have:
    - no wifi/bluetooth
    The reason I say these are not desired is that good wireless (good antenna's, good software support) is difficult to design into a board, it isn't needed in the server rack case and can be accomplished better with a usb addon for the desktop case without incurring the added cost to the base board.
    - no SD card
    The reason I wouldn't include an sd card slot is if emmc is standard, that will be the preferred deployment storage media.  You only need another option to install/update the internal emmc and usb should be sufficient for that.  The sd support then just becomes an added cost with no real long term need.  It does require that booting from usb be well supported by the firmware.
     
    Such a board would span a lot of use cases from general purpose single desktop use case to hundreds of boards deployed in dense rack configurations.
     
    My personal experience is that I try things out first by evaluating one of something, then scale up to a few, and ultimately more as each step of the evaluation process shows the product is capable of the next deployment step.
     
    Finally I'll mention price.  In my opinion you likely need the above described board at a price point no more than a RaspPi.  Given the large ecosystem and mind share built around that platform, and it is already capable of doing the above (although not well in many respects), you can't have something like this be at a 'high end' premium price point and expect it to be successful.  Price will to an extent drive the evaluation process.  If the price is considered too high, then people won't even start the evaluating, they will just stick with what the everyone else uses.
     
  18. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from geekinlinux in Allwinner H6   
    This thread is for the allwinner H6 cpu.  Your box as you mention has the H616 cpu.  Different CPU requires different builds.  There is no armbian working build for h616 cpu as of now.  Some work is happening on it, but it is likely a year out from being supported.
  19. Like
    SteeMan reacted to lanefu in A SBC for computing - your thoughts   
    I want a stripped down board that has real 802.3af POE
  20. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Dan MacDonald in T95 Max - cannot install MATE under Ubuntu, HDMI issue, fan, eMMC support   
    Please first read:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16976-status-of-armbian-on-tv-boxes-please-read-first
     
    Then read the following thread which should be relevant for your needs:
    https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16859-allwinner-h6/
     
  21. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from jock in CSC Armbian for RK322X TV Boxes   
    Sometimes disreputable manufacturers will modify the kernel in the android firmware to provide false information. (easy way to cut costs by not actually including the memory/storage advertized).
  22. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from fabiobassa in CSC Armbian for RK322X TV Boxes   
    Sometimes disreputable manufacturers will modify the kernel in the android firmware to provide false information. (easy way to cut costs by not actually including the memory/storage advertized).
  23. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from Ngo Thang in CSC Armbian for RK322X TV Boxes   
    Sometimes disreputable manufacturers will modify the kernel in the android firmware to provide false information. (easy way to cut costs by not actually including the memory/storage advertized).
  24. Like
    SteeMan reacted to jock in CSC Armbian for RK3318 TV box boards   
    Armbian project does not officially support nor maintains tv boxes. Armbian project maintains only supported Single Board Computer (SBC) devices. SBCs have stable hardware (kind-of), and are usually well-documented.
     
    Tv boxes are another thing.
    In the ideal world of the naked puffy angels chanting melodious high-tone songs, the organization you proposed would be perfect.
    In our world full of crap, dirt and oil it does not work at all: every chinese tv box manufacturer buy chips at the lowest price point possible on the market and put all that crap and scrap on these boards. If you read carefully the first post (and I invite you to do it) the very same rk3318 is probably a scrap chip, and eMMC chips are often failing after a while, some because are faulty, some others fail because of crappy soldering (you can ask @fabiobassa how many faulty eMMC chips desoldered from these boards).
     
    That's why Armbian does not officially tv boxes: it's a community matter, because keeping the things working with a huge hardware variety is just too difficult and very time consuming.
    In a world were everything can fit onto these boards, having one image for each box is unthinkable; I preferred a more elegant solution that allows the user to download a single image with a basic configuration that (hopefully) boots on every board with the same SoC. Once installed, the system can be further configured by the user herself to enable all the features of the board, like higher cpu speed, wifi, bluetooth, eMMC higher speed modes, leds, buttons, etc... etc...
     
    You won't find images of mine spread here and there on the forum, usually I publish images just on the first page of this thread and sometimes I prepare some special testing images for someone who has willingness to help the development progress. When everything will be stable enough, I will ask for merging to the main Armbian project, so the images will not be built and published anymore by me, but the Armbian server will build (and certify) them and they will be available in the official download page, but still totally backed and maintained by community efforts.
     
    You will find everything you need to get the thing running on the first page of the thread, so read that carefully and, if you're not satisfied, steer away from tv boxes and search for a proper SBC.
  25. Like
    SteeMan got a reaction from wperw in Armbian - Transpeed T98 6K with Allwinner H6 SoC   
    No, there is no current Armbian support for the H616 CPU variant.  Work is being done, but the general guidance is that support for this may be a year or so in the future.