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.
SteeMan got a reaction from jhg in Old image for Amlogic s905x3 ?
I understand the fascination, it is why I'm here trying to help others foster that same fascination. But I would caution you on your expectations. When you talk about 'desktop computer' you are likely to be disappointed. The current state of these boxes (once you get one working) is you can get a desktop gui running, but the performance isn't going to be something useful. They do make great servers however. If you want a usable desktop experience you are going to need to be spending around a $100 or so for an RK3399 box which is less fascinating and a stretch on the wallet.
SteeMan got a reaction from jhg in Old image for Amlogic s905x3 ?
@jhg If you really want to dig into this more, you would need to hook up to the colsole interface on your box. To do this you would need to identify the console connector location on the board, solder a connector to it and then get a usb adapter to monitor the low level u-boot output. The first stages of uboot output to the console only, then the chain loaded uboot (uboot.ext) will display stuff at later stages to hdmi.
SteeMan got a reaction from fabiobassa in Trying to learn more about u-boot for amlogic devices.
@Sameer9793 The TV Box environment for amlogic and rockchip is very different. In these forums there are two threads that cover a lot of the rockchip varients (https://forum.armbian.com/topic/12656-csc-armbian-for-rk322x-tv-boxes and https://forum.armbian.com/topic/17597-csc-armbian-for-rk3318rk3328-tv-box-boards)
@jock and @fabiobassa are the two experts in that area in the forum.
SteeMan got a reaction from sergiy in Where I can get kernel source code for Armbian 20.10 focal 5.9.0 RK + AML + AW?
Then the short answer is there isn't source for these no longer supported (technically never supported as TV Boxes have never been officially supported) builds.
However, you seem to have sufficient technical skills and therefore I will point you down the path of building your own kernel (and thus you will have everything you need). Review the following thread: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/9625-compiling-and-booting-mainline-linux-for-your-s9xxx-tv-box
That is where I began my journey with armbian on amlogic TV Boxes. I think everything in that thread, (mostly thinking about my post with instructions) is still valid, although I have moved on to doing things differently now days. But I am running latest verisions of 5.4LTS, 5.10LTS and even 5.15.rc on various TV Boxes as I write this. So if you have the proper skills, you are not stuck with the kernel you currently have running.
SteeMan reacted to Slider in CSC Armbian for RK322X TV Boxes
Sorry for my late reply, but looks forum not allow me to post more once per day.
And Yes, you are right! I also found this step, and now latest armbian on this box :).
I burn multitool to both sdcard and USB Stick, so it can boot. Booting from USB stick, but then works with sdcard (resize partition and search img files in images dir)
About pictures, it is below:
ROM - 16G eMMC Samsung KLMAG2WEMB-B031
RAM - 4x4Gb DDR3 Samsung K4B4G0446B-HYK0
WiFi - SV6051P
SteeMan got a reaction from Willy Moto in Please help us to make the $30 Android TV box the promising bright future of internet and software freedom
@ballerburg9005 I just wanted to add a few of my own thoughts to this thread. Overall I can see both sides to the above discussion. There are valid points made by everyone commenting. While we all sometimes need to have 'grand visions' of the future we would like to work towards, we also have to deal with the reality of where we currently are. I often think of a saying "crawl, walk, run". While we all want to be running to the finish line of an Olympic race, we all start by crawling first. As that relates to armbian and more specifically armbian on TV boxes, we are at the crawling stage. There is a lot of work to be done to just get us walking. That doesn't mean that crawling and walking in themselves aren't valid and productive stages (they are and you can use a lot of different TV boxes today to do a lot of productive stuff).
There is a lot of work to be done today to improve our crawling. We need volunteers (like you) to pick up that work if we ever hope to get further along our path. We need to build a community one volunteer at a time. While visions are important, if we don't have people willing to do work today then we will never more forward.
If you hang around armbian for any extended period of time, you will learn that the single thing that most bothers the core maintainers of the project are people having grand visions or even small visions of what should be done but who don't contribute any time to help and expect others to do the work for them.
Whether intentional or not, that is how your post came across to Igor and Balbes and they reacted as they normally do to such posts.
If you want to run to the finish line with your vision, you need to start by crawling. Spend time on these forums following the issues to build your knowledge. Help support new users to allow others with the technical knowledge time to work on development and progress on our shared goals. This all doesn't happen overnight.
I welcome your contributions to the efforts here, but starting off by getting into a disagreement with two of the core maintainers isn't likely the best way to have started. Overtime you will realize we all share a lot of the same goals and can work together even through we have different personalities and sometimes have to overcome language/cultural differences.
SteeMan got a reaction from giga in armbian or any other linux distro on ebox r99 (RK3399)!
@giga What armbian tv box builds have you tried? What instructions have you tried? What dtb's have you tried? I don't have this box but have armbian running on a different rk3399 based box.
SteeMan got a reaction from Werner in CSC Armbian for RK3318/RK3328 TV box boards
@Jason Duhamell Please don't post large files inline. Use the "Spoiler" feature to hide long attachments (the icon that looks like an eyeball). It makes it much easier to read these threads without having to scroll through large files.
SteeMan got a reaction from Crypto_Dino in Allwinner H6
@Crypto_Dino I'm not sure which instructions you are following, but you aren't using the correct latest builds for the h6, nor following instructions correctly. The latest builds by balbes150 for the Allwinner H6 are located here: https://users.armbian.com/balbes150/aw-h6-tv/
As for instructions you mention renaming files to u-boot.ext. That is an instruction for Amlogic CPUs not the Allwinner H6.
SteeMan got a reaction from masihbelajar in How to change the boot order?
@zhuceluntan Please read the following FAQ post: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/16976-status-of-armbian-on-tv-boxes-please-read-first
As is indicated there balbes is no longer involved in supporting Amlogic s905x cpu based boxes.
Please do not direct posts directly to a specific user as that is a bad practice. That sends the message the you are expecting a specific volunteer to provide you support and that runs counter to the Armbian community support model. Volunteers help the project in the ways they can, and may use their time to answer the posts they feel they have time to. Obviously if you are engaged in a conversation with a specific person in a thread it is fine to tag them, but to log a new post tagged to a specific person is not good form.
SteeMan got a reaction from stut 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.
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:
# aml s9xxx
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.
SteeMan got a reaction from stut in Information for users of TV boxes on the Amlogic platform
@balbes150 If I could ask a favor of you. Would it be possible to add a tag to your public github repositories that corresponds to your last build supporting AML? With a tagged version of source code that corresponds to your final released build others can pick up where you have left off if they are capable and motivated. I appreciate your dedication to armbian and respect your decision to end your support of Amlogic cpus.
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.
SteeMan got a reaction from Logicpro8_user in Rupa Pyramid A5x - Android TV Box HDMI sound missing.
moved topic to the proper forum
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.
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.
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)
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.
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:
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):
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:
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!
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.