Information for users of TV boxes on the Amlogic platform


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Information for users of  TV boxes on the Anlogic platform.

At the beginning of the year, I already warned that support for AML will be reduced, now it's time, I completely stop supporting all  TV boxes based on AML. Therefore, for those who definitely need ArmbianTV, I strongly recommend that you no longer buy models of TV boxes with Amlogic chips and switch to using supported hardware. AML support is Available exclusively for several models whose manufacturers cooperate with Armbian. In all new versions of images and the kernel, I will add various security mechanisms that will create serious problems, including hardware problems and hardware failure. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you do not try to launch new versions of ArmbianTV images using non-standard mechanisms used in old images , and not listen to the advice of outsiders who have nothing to do with the development of ArmbianTV. This is fraught with serious problems at unpredictable times.

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  • balbes150 changed the title to Information for users of TV boxes on the Anlogic platform
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Information for users of  TV boxes on the Anlogic platform.
At the beginning of the year, I already warned that support for AML will be reduced, now it's time, I completely stop supporting all  TV boxes based on AML. Therefore, for those who definitely need ArmbianTV, I strongly recommend that you no longer buy models of TV boxes with Amlogic chips and switch to using supported hardware. AML support is Available exclusively for several models whose manufacturers cooperate with Armbian. In all new versions of images and the kernel, I will add various security mechanisms that will create serious problems, including hardware problems and hardware failure. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you do not try to launch new versions of ArmbianTV images using non-standard mechanisms used in old images , and not listen to the advice of outsiders who have nothing to do with the development of ArmbianTV. This is fraught with serious problems at unpredictable times.
I dont understand about what are you talking about at all

Sent from my SM-C9000 using Tapatalk

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  • Werner changed the title to Information for users of TV boxes on the Amlogic platform

Balbes wrote "I will add various security mechanisms that will create serious problems, including hardware problems and hardware failure." 

 

You see I was very suspicious when my SD card kept getting corrupted after 5.7.x on s905x3. 

 

At first it would happen only when I hit" shutdown" it wouldn't boot after a restart. With 5.8 it would randomly happen while leaving the OS running. With 5.9 it happened on first boot. My sd card never corrupted in 4.9.... 

 

Now his statement explains a lot.

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Ver 20201014 kernel 5.9
 
Pay attention. This is the latest version of ArmbianTV images, where there are files for AML. The following images will not contain this data.
Do you still support for RK and AW?

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Damm it!

I just bought a HK1 (S905X3) the day before!

In spite I carefully read  forums, it was not clear to me which RK3399 is full supported. None seem to be good enough.

Please, tell us about last version we can install on AML.

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21 minutes ago, Sag said:

Please, tell us about last version we can install on AML.

 

23 minutes ago, Sag said:

In spite I carefully read  forums, it was not clear to me which RK3399 is full supported.

Models that are well supported in ArmbianTV

NanoPC t4

Firefly Station P1

RockPI 4B

Renegade Elite (roc-rk3399-pc)

 

 

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3 minutes ago, tediwildan said:

Buy one, its very cheap emoji16.png

Sent from my SM-C9000 using Tapatalk
 

Yeah sure. Volunteer developers waste money to get hardware for someone else's pleasure and giving exactly zero in return.

What about donating the needed hardware?

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Hello Balbes. Which version of your images are safe to use without the security mechanisms? 

 

Are you upset because of something? 

 

I am a bit scared to use the new 5.9 version that you have made. Does it have that security mechanism?

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8 minutes ago, Bozza said:

Which version of your images are safe to use without the security mechanisms? 

 

Look carefully at the first message of the topic - s905x3 is not supported. therefore, there are no working\safe options for it.

 

12 minutes ago, Bozza said:

Are you upset because of something? 

Where does this conclusion come from ?

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1 hour ago, balbes150 said:

 

Models that are well supported in ArmbianTV

NanoPC t4

Firefly Station P1

RockPI 4B

Renegade Elite (roc-rk3399-pc)

 

 

 

Thanks, but I was looking for a chinese TV Box.

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2 hours ago, balbes150 said:

Look carefully at the first message of the topic - s905x3 is not supported. therefore, there are no working\safe options for it.

 

Where does this conclusion come from ?

Well because you said that you have made a security mechanism that will break things on unsupported devices. That isn't normal.

 

I understand that you don't want to support some devices, but including drm or malware that breaks devices on purpose is a different matter.

 

Do you need any help? Is there anything that can be done? 

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@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.

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13 hours ago, Bozza said:

Well because you said that you have made a security mechanism that will break things on unsupported devices. That isn't normal.

I think you misunderstand balbes. I think he was talking about u-boot for instance or any other low level software that can make things difficult when it does not fit the hardware.

You can use the new images if you want to test, but there will be no support from him and no warranty that it'll work on your hardware. It is a bit sad, but when you look at the tv box market, amlogic boxes quality are worst and worst (many variants of the same reference with cheap chips and mainline support is mainly done slowly by Baylibre - only for the aml soc and not for all additional chips that may never come to mainline).

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16 hours ago, Bozza said:

Well because you said that you have made a security mechanism that will break things on unsupported devices. That isn't normal.

Thank you, I haven't laughed like this in a long time. So, when for many years I released images (that you absolutely used for free) at my own expense and in my personal time, which no one pays for, this is normal. But when I stopped this release and closed the possibility of illegal (pirated / stolen) use of my work, it became not normal. Very funny logic you have.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jeanrhum said:

I think you misunderstand balbes. I think he was talking about u-boot for instance or any other low level software that can make things difficult when it does not fit the hardware.

For some AML devices (for which there will be support), their own images will be released, specifically designed for this equipment, with protection from use by thieves and pirates. These images will be protected from use on devices that are not intended for this purpose. When trying to run on non-intended devices, users will have problems (immediately or over time, clearly visible or hidden, such as the gradual destruction of the system, etc.). Now there are many fans of freebies. They buy all sorts of shit and try to run ArmbianTV on it, but the manufacturers of this shit did not spend a single dollar, did not take any technical support in the development of the system. These manufacturers expect to steal (themselves or through users) the development of systems that were paid for by hardware manufacturers. I fully agree with manufacturers who want to protect their investments in software development from theft by pirates (users of equipment whose manufacturers / sellers did not take any part in this).

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Introducing creeping errors / timebombs in systems is so anti-community/ OSS as it can be.
I understand if you drop support, even drop it completely.  It works, or it doesn't work.
If I had to pay you $10 for a license, I would do that, I have no problem with that. I have created a couple smaller OSS projects as well, and contributed to soma larger ones, but not spent nearly the amount of time you have. I understand the amount of effort that goes into OSS.
But you destroying other peoples work because they used software based on Open Source if not a good thing to do, and might actually be illegal in many countries.

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I the past few days I got several messages regarding this problem, even all corespondent knows that Armbian official policy only support images that are digitally signed. That is Armbian and its supported under those terms (make sure to read them before making more damages). Everything else you found floating on the internet you are using on your own risk. Why this topic? Since majority of R&D costs are covered from our private pockets (for official Armbian public share is between 0.2 and 0.4%),  most of your requests (for more of our private time/cash) can only ends in "f* off", "stop wasting our time", ... This is open source and "you", the one that need this and that function, full working and supported OS on every cheap garbage you purchase for a few bucks ... fork the code and maintain it! Armbian base maintenance (also source for TV boxes) currently costs us between 2.000 and 5.000 EUR per day and I have no idea how much people that fork this project adds that things also works (no idea how well) on TV boxes, that are similar to SBCs. If only 10% its already a lot! And what do they / we get back for that? Extreme constant demand and dissatisfaction since its absolutely not possible to fix all problems (for just 100 hours per day) and people doesn't (want to) understand that.
 

We - Armbian - doesn't want to do anything with our forks - focusing to single board computers represent an insane big project, which we have already have big troubles to keep up. This policy is present since ever and for several months we are trying at least to do something about. Many people were investing their precious time into the project "What to do with TV boxes" to make this clear, to find best relationship and perhaps also support important Armbian forks in some way. Project is again 99.9% covered from our private pockets.

 

If @balbes150 decided to stop supporting free of charge for you, for whatever reason, we have nothing to complain and I am sure we all fully support his decision but perhaps his Google translated words might scared you off. If he stop maintaining things, he is no longer responsible that boards breaks down. HW defects because of leaving off maintenance are extremely rare, but possible - I think he wanted to emphasize that. One doesn't need to add any evil code, hardware starts to break down when support is canceled, slowly but surely ... Besides, he is not to blame. Open source projects are done together - if you don't help him (and apparently you don't, with rare exceptions) and at least inspect and correct his work, why complaining and worrying about bad/evil code? Join development process and stop being cheap consumer who is complaining over the product he got for free.

Make sure to check his (and also our) code and also perhaps understand that he might need a full-time assistant(s) to roll things out at the present level. If not, why the fuck anyone complains? There is a fork button.

 

How to help improving things? https://www.armbian.com/get-involved/ The same way for TV Box Armbian fork.

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Funny thing is, I haven't seen any outrage about HK using startup protection on "foreign" hardware in its u-boot, which causes the firmware in the device to be destroyed if it's not HK hardware. Where are you defenders of freedom ? I have long seen that most of all squeal about the violation of rights of those who themselves are engaged in theft and piracy, that would hide behind the freedom of their personal dirty deeds to get their personal benefits at someone else's expense. Yes, I warn all fans of freebies in advance that they would not try to hack and try to run my future versions, which will be designed for specific supported models, on their unsupported hardware and for all the consequences of disrupting the operation of their devices, they will be to blame themselves.

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Balbes could you at least tag the last working version for amlogic without any time bomb so the code can be forked?

 

I have noticed that with and after kernel version 5.7 the Sd card started getting corrupted. With the 5.9rc releases it became corrupted even faster. Is this a bug or feature? 

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If what balbes150 is doing is just dropping support, then everything is fine with me. Forked what I believe are the relevant github projects.

My current boxes are running fine, but really wanted an upgrade before moving more onto it. I have 3 S905x3 boxes BTW.

If balbes150 is pulling everything offline, and releasing intentionally destructive builds, as I read it, then it is bad.

Now, Amlogic is an american company, and I really would expect them to fork over some money to help Armbian. They likely spent money getting Android running.

I would like everybody to reach out to Amlogic, and try to have them send money in the direction of Armbian.  I guess that is the easiest way to get more support. The cheap chine copycats likely do not want to put money in that direction.

Personally, I buy TV boxes because they are way better value for money than the Pi 4. For less money I get a faster CPU, I get eMMC onboard, I get hardware crypto support (Raspberry foundation did not license that), I get a box, and I get a PSU.  So the TV boxes are way better value for money.

Now, if the Armbian project would recommend brands or models of TV boxes (they seems to be best value for money due to mass market production), I would plan that for future purchases.

Maybe some vendor (Beelink whatever ?) would be willing to contribute money for Armbian support. 

For me, I need 64-bit, 4GB memory,  1 Gbit, ethernet, preferable WiFi,  quad-core - good performing CPU not too hot, Hardware crypto, USB 3.0. Don't really care about graphics/sound, as they run headless. And I can do without the I/O of the Pi, using ESP32 for sensor integration. OrangePi, Odroid C4 etc are valid options. But way more expensive. Have some hot running, not too good performing OrangePi devices. Only using one for my 3D printer.

I likely do not have the skills  and surely not the time to take over support. But as long as we have the current release to start from,  then I am happy. Then I can always look at upgrading the kernel if I need. Otherwise, I will just have a stable running box (I hope) for many years to come. Saving the environment lots of CO2 compared to my old AMD x86 based server.

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