Dave Kimble

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  1. I am starting Rock64 again after a long layoff. I'm a bit rusty, please forgive any forgetfulness. I tried downloading the Rock64 desktop image, but it was 404. I downloaded Armbian_19.11.6_Rock64_bionic_legacy_4.4.207_desktop.7z Unzipped it, and used etcher to write it to the micro-SD card. Booted up, but didn't get to a graphical desktop. Created a new user OK. I did # apt update, # apt upgrade, # reboot now. Still no graphical desktop. I did # apt install lxde lxdm. (this used to work OK). As expected, the installer asked if i wanted to use lxdm as the display manager. Yes. $ sudo armbian-config Updated the timezone OK. Did Enable Desktop OK, but this didn't get me to lxde. Did Enable autologin. Reboot got me to LXDE. So far so good. But the USB keyboard and mouse don't work. Tried numerous mice and USB sockets. ALT+f1 now doesn't get back to command line so I am stuck. Have I forgotten something?
  2. The idea is: those people wanting a cheap PC solution will ALWAYS want to add an SSD to their system, preferably a big one and preferably much faster than the SATA-3 theoretical maximum (6 Gbps). M.2 SSD in fact. They then don't want to have to buy a micro-SD card just to hold the bootloader, or have cheap and nasty microphones, or alternative sound outputs (from HDMI), or RPi cameras, or unusual screens, or GPIO pins. They WILL want gigabyte ethernet and 4GB of RAM and LARGE copper heatsinks. I realise he will be building using someone else's chips, but no one has described a difficulty that needs a micro-SD and TF-slot to make things work. I hate bloat, both hardware and software, and am also working on cutting down on Ubuntu bloat.
  3. Well if it is not an Armbian issue, can you give me Steven Zhao's email address and I'll try and sell the idea to him directly?
  4. Valant, I don't know so much about "a cheap micro-SD card" - Amazon (AU) has cheapest 32 GB micro-SDs for AU$11.95 . And cheapest 32 GB M.2 SSDs for AU$24.67 which is hundred of times faster. Converters from 2.5" SATA 3 to M.2 SSD cost about AU$13, so the price of M.2 slot alone would be about AU$6, if that. Boot ROM does "point to" something - the ROM code specifies (points to) the device to get the payload from. If it currently has a code for micro-SD but not for M.2 SSD, then my suggestion becomes "a new ROM code for M.2 SSD" which is always present in the PC-model. Since on PC-model SBCs, the Boot ROM always points to M.2 SSD, the boot ROM is not needed and is bloat. Martinayotte, it IS an Armbian issue if we can recommend a better boot process and have OrangePi build it for us, saving OPi some space on his boards and unnecessary cost in the hardware components. If "ARM Standard" is to have a Boot ROM with ROM codes 1=micro-SD, 2=eMMC, then why not 3=M.2 SSD ?
  5. Yes, one of them is "needed" and the rest is hardware bloat - once you have read the Boot ROM, why have a chain of micro-SD cards or eMMC modules, or a PCIe slot and a PCIe expansion card and a M.2 device? And if the Boot ROM always points to the M.2 device, you don't need the Boot ROM either, so that's bloat too. I don't know why we are still discussing what "literally every current SBC" does.
  6. Yes, but if some SBCs were designed to be focused on the "PC-model", which always expects an SSD to be present, with a boot-flag set to identify it, then the bootloader would know where to find it. This would mean a change to the bootloader code, of course - a change to a better (faster, more reliable, cheaper and LESS HARDWARE BLOAT) solution than current SBCs that have unfortunately inherited from TV-boxes and RPi-lookalikes, which serve their own perfectly valid purpose, but don't suit the "PC-model". I know current SBCs are not like that now. I am talking about a change that could be proposed by Armbian Group to Steven Zhao of OrangePi, and be in existence in 6 months.
  7. On Rock64, I use youtube-dl CLI app.to download the video (720p) during my off-peak bandwidth time, and watch with MPV or VLC later in fullscreen (1920x1080). It plays OK, but this drives the temperature up to 89-92 ! This is a monitor of the results: http://davekimble.net/problem.video.replay.txt . I think the dropped frames are because of 25 fps v 60 fps of the monitor. I know it is a lot of work, but any ideas for reducing the workload welcome. Anybody else get this?
  8. I never said anything about BIOS. Initrd/initramfs contains the code that decides where to get the fs from and where to put it and mount it. If every SBC has a micro-SD card (that costs more than the SBC) then initrd will be on the micro-SD. But if every PC-model has a SSD, then you would get it from that. If that's not right, you haven't said how. Which reminds me, the individual board pages have a feature set (in blue boxes). Have these been translated into a spreadsheet so that they can be viewed/interrogated as a whole set? That would be very useful for choosing a board.
  9. Isn't that simply because of the way initrd/initramfs has been written? - I know, let's get the bootloader from the slowest/most unreliable device we have. I'm not trying to save money here, just getting the fastest solution for the "PC model" SBC. I remember putting my first SSD into a EeeNetbook and being amazed at the speed of the boot. I'm suggesting that "creative" means "more focused on the actual task", one of which is "PC Model". One special case of which could be your own mail server set up by iRedMail. Others might be Routers, Robotics, ATA phone adapters... what else?
  10. I appreciate people want to do all sorts of things with their SBCs, but the usage of "cheap PC" must be common, and users will have the expectation of connecting up a HDD or SSD. So I was thinking: how about a M.2 slot instead supporting PCIe x4 so we can buy the biggest, fastest and cheapest per GB SSDs around. You could then eliminate the TF slot, micro-SD cards and eMMC modules, and the system could boot off the drive in the normal Linux manner. I'm not sure where the "support for PCIe x4" comes from, or how much this would affect the price. In the same way, I will probably never use GPIO pins, or IR receivers, cameras, touchscreens, on-board microphones, or alternative (to HDMI) audio outputs, so they can all be eliminated as bloat in the PC model. I believe Orange Pi is just one person, who can design things OK, but has no idea what market he is designing for. Perhaps he could be approached and put on the right track for mutual benefit. Your thoughts welcome.
  11. No wait ! With the sound card set to SPDIF and the speakers plugged into the headphones socket on the monitor (obviously fed with HDMI) it works! This has the advantage that when the HDMI input is switched from PC to TV from my set top box, the sound is switched as well, instead of requiring pulling one set of AV plugs out of the speakers and plugging the other set in. Hope that saga helps someone.
  12. After installing alsamixer_1.1.3 and pressing f6 to get a list of all "cards", the menu offers 1. Default 2. HDMI 3. SPDIF, (matching the ALSA driver's output in armbianmonitor -u), and 4. "Enter a name ..." , with HDMI already selected. My monitor doesn't have built-in sound, so I chose SPDIF ... but no sound. "Enter a name ..." is preset to hw=1 but that doesn't produce any sound. I installed aconnectgui, but that didn't explain what you could do with it. I seem to remember once having an alsa gui app that showed lots of channels and sliders and mute buttons that did things pulseaudio couldn't do for itself, but it was a long time ago. I installed alsa-utils, which gave me alsabat $ alsabat alsa-utils version 1.1.3 Entering playback thread (ALSA). Get period size: 2756 buffer size: 22050 Playing generated audio sine wave Underrun: Broken pipe(-32) Entering capture thread (ALSA). Get period size: 2756 buffer size: 22050 Recording ... Playback completed. Capture completed. BAT analysis: signal has 65536 frames at 44100 Hz, 1 channels, 2 bytes per sample. Channel 1 - Checking for target frequency 997.00 Hz Amplitude: 20576.6; Percentage: [62] Detected peak at 997.26 Hz of 35.89 dB Total 41.7 dB from 985.82 to 1008.70 Hz PASS: Peak detected at target frequency Detected at least 1 signal(s) in total Return value is 0 dk@desktop:~$ which looks interesting. I tried plugging in some headphones, and a USB speaker,which I think needs some driver I haven't got. I need some guidance here.
  13. Sorry, that URL doesn't work, maybe due to similar characters. http://ix.io/1ttO that one-tee-tee-capital O
  14. So now I am playing with Rock64 4GB. I installed the Armbian_5.65 server edition OS and then installed xorg, lxde, and lxdm., then rebooted into a working system. Final stage of setting up was to test rhythmbox_3.4.2 and there was no sound. pavucontrol > playback shows the app is running and the worm is leaping about, but absolutely no sound. Same playing a .wav file with mpv, or indeed any player. Is there something unusual about the audio socket, or some other limitation. armbianmonitor -u = http://ix.io/ltt0
  15. I was trying to update my report with the vivaldi attempt, but got timed out. Eventually I renamed and relocated the file, and gdebi picked it up. There were numerous unmet dependencies cured with --fix-broken and 83 MB of stuff. When run it says: $ vivaldi-stable No suitable library for HTML5 MP4 (H.264/AAC) was found, therefore only open codecs will play. But it works OK. Thanks. What does Firefox not do that Vivaldi does? Why isn't everybody jumping up and down about it? Why isn't anybody at Mozilla fixing it?
  16. Orange Pi Prime (H5) and Firefox. On amd64 the deb needs fonts-liberation and when I run it I get "Trace/breakpoint trap (core dumped)". On armhf: sudo dpkg -i /home/.../vivaldi-stable_2.1.1337.36-1_armhf.deb dpkg: cannot access archive "/home/.../vivaldt-stable_2.1.1337.36-1_armhf.deb" : no such file or directory Note the miss-spelling of vivaldi it has introduced itself and then complained about. I tried it a few times.
  17. My Prime is reasonably stable now, except for running youtube videos in fullscreen 1920x1080, which drives the heat up (I've seen 87 !), and after a few minutes freezes the video with the sound continuing. I can't find any mention of YouTube in the documentation, and only video URLs in the forum. Is there some trick I have missed?
  18. I agree the best place for this tutorial would be on the download page(s), linked as "How to get started". Another "feature" that I always do from the start is edit one of the desktop themes (for example Clearlooks-Olive) to change the active title bar colour to yellow, and text to black, and then switch to it. All the standard themes are very wishy-washy shades of grey. I don't know how people can manage their desktops without this, (I've been doing this since Windows 3.1). sudo leafpad /usr/share/themes/Clearlooks-Olive/openbox-3/themerc window.active.title.bg: flat window.active.title.bg.color: #ffff00 window.active.label.text.color: #000000 save and exit. Then Menu > Preferences > Customize Look and Feel > Window Border > Clearlooks-Olive > Close
  19. Following the suggestion that if I didn't like the documentation, I should write it myself, here is my version of what I was hoping for, (how to get started) instead of the formal definition style of a reference manual. Please feel free to correct the errors and use it how you wish. How to set up OS for development boards General This tutorial should apply to any board supported by Armbian, it uses the example of Orange Pi Prime. 0. Introduction The Prime's hardware is good, but can only work properly if the OS has all the drivers for the chips used on the board and only a few OS versions have them right. The most common faults are insufficient power (5V, 2.5A), poor or slow micro-SD cards, and CPU chip (Allwinner H5) overheating due to overclocking. The driver for the CPU chip watches the temperature and reduces the clock speed to keep temperatures in the safe zone (the lower the better, extending the board's life). Because of the overheating problems, I recommend NOT putting your Prime in a plastic box - mount it somehow in a vertical plane, and buy a heatsink for it, the bigger the better, and run a temperature monitor (LXDE has one built in). 1. Choosing the OS In my experience, only Armbian has the right approach, so I recommend downloading your OS from http://armbian.com/download. Your first choice is whether to have a GUI, and which desktop to use. The "desktop" Armbian version uses XFCE, which I dislike - I MUCH prefer LXDE. So download the non-desktop ("server") version and install LXDE afterwards. It is very hard to switch desktops from XFCE, because the login screen doesn't have an icon to choose the new desktop environment, and its a waste of electrons downloading it if you are going to use another one. 2. Copy to micro-SD Having downloaded and unzipped your image, you have to copy it to the micro-SD card. You need Etcher to do this, (http://etcher.io/download). It will also do a verify pass for you. You should also do a checksum check on it. If your SD card has a checksum error, it will NEVER work. 3. First boot Put the Micro-SD card in the TF slot on your new board, and the cables for ethernet, HDMI, and lastly power. After 5 seconds it will have loaded the bootloader, switched on the green LED, put something temporarily on the screen and started loading the Linux kernel. During the boot, nothing will appear on the screen for 8 seconds (while the screen driver loads), then a cursor will flash in top left of the screen for about 30 seconds (first time only, later 10 seconds), and then you will be invited to log in. The username is "root" and the password is "1234". It will then give an interesting readout of some basic values, and a CLI prompt. Congratulations, you have successfully booted ! If you get a red LED, you have messed up - either the power supply or the micro-SD card or the checksum. The first thing you must now do is change the root password, and the second is to nominate the first non-root user and password. Then you can reboot: sudo reboot now and log in as the non-root user. As the Armbian OS download will be slightly out of date, you will then need to do: sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade to get the updates since the download file was produced. 4. Copying file system to USB-SATA (optional) At this point you can plug in an empty disk drive via USB (on a powered USB hub), a 60GB SSD is sufficient for this. Remember that SSDs do not like being unplugged when they are busy, and you can't tell when that is, so DON'T DO IT. The entire OS is first saved on the micro-SD card, and the boot section will always remain there, but you now have the option to copy the root filesystem to SSD for faster and safer booting: sudo armbian-config which offers you a menu of options, choose System, which will load a bunch more options, choose "micro-SD to USB/SATA installation". The next questions should only offer you one option - to format /sda1 as ext4. Then it will start the copy, which is very slow and boring, and then tidy up. After this you must reboot and log in as the non-root user. 5. Second boot Other armbian-config options include setting your timezone, hostname, and making your user login compulsory. Finally we get to install the X server and our desktop environment, in this case: LXDE (alternatives XFCE4, KDE, GNOME3, Mint, etc ...) sudo apt install xorg lxde The LXDE package includes the lightdm display manager package, and as part of its installation it will ask you if you want lightdm to be your current display manager instead of Armbian desktop's nodm, say yes. 6. Second reboot And now when we reboot: sudo reboot now it should end up in the GUI at the login screen of lightdm. Click the icon to check that it is going to use the LXDE desktop. Enter your username and password, and it should go to your new desktop. The taskbar is at the bottom and is black, and the background of the desktop is dark grey - yuck. But you can right click on the taskbar and choose Panel Settings, and move the panel to the left margin (the natural place with wide screens) and change its colour. Right-clicking the desktop will give you options to choose you own colour or photo as the desktop background. Hurray! Now you can start installing all your apps and fine-tuning their settings. 7. Trouble-shooting If it doesn't manage to get into the GUI desktop, it will probably go into the CLI interface instead. This probably means an instance of the X server is not running, which can be fixed by: startx The keyboard shortcut Alt-f7 should switch to tty7, which is the GUI screen. Control-Alt-f1 should switch to tty1, which is the CLI screen. There are too many ways for this set up to go wrong to cover them all. Ask (politely) at the Armbian Forum, http://forum.armbian.com saying precisely what you did (that worked), and what you did that didn't, including screenshots, logs and exact error messages. armbianmonitor -u will produce a log of the boot process and upload it to a public webspace, so you can post that URL with your question. Remember the forum helpers are unpaid, busy people, and they will expect you to have searched the documentation and forums first.
  20. Thanks for your detailed response. The problems were largely my own, as you suggested, and reinstalling the latest image fixed almost everything. My complaint about autologin is valid though. What is the point of having a secure Linux system if anyone can walk up to it and mess with it without having to login? "there are virtually no complaints about this" means only a few people are aware of sensible computer security - that doesn't surprise me, but is hardly an excuse for poor practice. Of course if you know how to change the user back to require a password, you can do that, but how on XFCE? I know how on LXDE, but the checkbox was greyed out. I tried with unfamiliar XFCE but had no success. With today's wide screens the obvious place for the taskbar is on the left, but when you do this with XFCE, the writing runs vertically along the edge, instead of reorienting itself to the horizontal. I like lots of launcher icons (I have 18 currently) and lxpanel allows a wide taskbar and fits all the small icons into it in rows. This is the only panel that can do this. (attaching images doesn't seem to work). Finally, Firefox 61.0.1 still crashes on opening. There are lots of posts on this forum. A workaround that works is to use v52.0.2 : Download: ftp://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu_ports/pool/main/f/firefox_52.0.2+build1-0ubuntu0.12.04.1_armhf.deb sudo apt remove firefox sudo apt-get install libpango1.0-0 sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/firefox_52.0.2+build1-0ubuntu0.12.04.1_armhf.deb sudo apt-mark hold firefox
  21. So I downloaded Armbian 5.38 (which does contain armbian-config) and the install to SSD went OK. I then installed lxde OK. There is a dependency that is not included so also install lxsession-logout . The primary user is set up with autologin set - I think this is a very bad idea. It also caused me another problem, as with 2 desktops environments (LXDE and XFCE) and no login screen to choose between them, it was impossible to get out of XFCE. Uninstalling it was the only option. XFCE is so horrible, I think you should change to LXDE, and have NO APPS in the basic version, just a menu of apps to tick and have things just the way you want them without wasted downloads.
  22. OrangePi PC Armbian 5.35 with LXDE desktop Firefox 57.0.1 I haven't done anything with my OPi for 6 months, so when I tried it again, it booted normally except for not looking quite right on my big HDMI screen. I remember fiddling with this in the old immediate-post-boot phase, but http://armbian.com says to use "sudo armbian-config". There were 250 MB of updates, which took forever. Meanwhile I tried to run Firefox, which repeatedly crashed on startup. Installing v61.0.1 didn't help. Also Konqueror, but not Dillo or Midori or Chromium-browser. Back to fixing the display, I tried running it but didn't have the armbian-config, so I downloaded and installed it OK. I seem to remember a System > Display entry, and I set it to 1080p60, which improved the look of the display OK. Then I noticed a System > Install entry, and since I had an SSD (via USB) already plugged in, I tried the installation to SSD. It was quicker than it said it would take, but still 1 hour, and of course I missed the end, so I don't know if it complained. A reboot didn't seem any faster, and looking at the partition, it only had /lost+found/ folder in it. Using gparted to set the boot flag didn't help. Also the System > Install entry was now missing, and the System > Display entry too. Then I noticed about the fifth screen line of the boot sequence said "CRC error - assuming default environment". The Documentation says armbian-config > System > Install is done by nand-sata-install, so it tried running it again but got the response "The tool must run from SD-card" - maybe that explains why it didn't copy anthing to my SSD. Questions 1. has anyone succeeded in doing the install to SSD? 2. the SD-card, which is mounted at /boot, doesn't seem to have any nand-sata-install in it, or any armbian-config 3. what's with the CRC error, it doesn't seem to make any difference? 4. is anyone else having problems with browsers?