Can not find image to download for TX3 mini


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Armbian is a community driven open source project. Do you like to contribute your code?

Adding to this, I have a TX3 mini with an S905W currently running 5.7.0 off an sd card. Is there any way to upgrade? I don't mind losing data and wiping everything but I don't know where to find the appropriate builds after the fallout in the main thread. From what I understand, Balbes made it mandatory to have a uboot which is available for only a few specific models. Is this wrong or is there a way to get the newer builds running, like some sort of clean install method?

Edited by Zazazas
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Hi SteeMan

I'm newbie, it's quite difficult for me to clearly understand the fisrt post of that thread, there are also so much comments in that thread. I don't know which image file should I download and how to do with uboot file. Could you please share your experience.

 

Thanks and best reagds

 

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Given that you do have general linux knowledge and rpi familiarity, here are my comments on your requests.

I have 4 TX3 mini's three of which I run armbian on and one that I use the original android on.  I will mention that just because a box is labeled TX3 mini, doesn't mean the internals are the same.  The manufactures put identical external branding on boards that may be significantly different.  For example all TX3 minis claim they have emmc storage in them.  But only two of my TX3 minis have emmc storage, the other two come with nand storage (cheaper to manufacture that way).  Since mainline linux doesn't support nand I can only install armbian on internal storage on two of my boxes.

 

From the above linked post you need to download an image file from any of the download locations.  The file you are looking for is the arm-64 version from October 14th 2020.  These are the last versions from balbes150 to support Amlogic cpus.  So be warned that when and if you get this running on your TX3 mini box, there is currently no path to get anything newer than this Oct 14 build with 5.9.0 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.

 

In the downloads directory you will find builds for debian (buster and bullseye) and ubuntu (bionic and focal), along with both a desktop and non-desktop version of each.

 

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 (however I have only ever used dd on linux to create my sd cards, so I have no familiarity with that tool)

 

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 in these threads talk about that file, but in the latest builds it was changed to the extlinux.conf file)

 

Your extlinux.conf file should look like:

LABEL Armbian
LINUX /zImage
INITRD /uInitrd

# aml s9xxx
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxbb-p200.dtb
FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxm-q200.dtb
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-g12a-x96-max.dtb
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-g12b-odroid-n2.dtb
APPEND root=LABEL=ROOTFS rootflags=data=writeback rw console=ttyAML0,115200n8 console=tty0 no_console_suspend consoleblank=0 fsck.fix=yes fsck.repair=yes net.ifnames=0
 

Basically you need to have the correct dtb for your box and the correct boot command for your box, along with the top three environment variables set.  *Everything* else needs to either be deleted or commented out.  This is a common mistake where people uncomment out what they need, but leave other lines in the file not uncommented and thus they fail to boot.  The extlinux.conf file above is directly from my TX3 mini box.  Note that if you were using a different box than a TX3 mini, you would attempt to use different dtb files until you found the one that works the best for you boxes hardware (there are a bunch of dtb files in /boot/dtb/... to try depending on your cpu architecture and hardward).

 

Next you need to copy the correct uboot for your box.  This is needed for amlogic cpus (other cpus have different uboot stuff to do).  For your TX3mini you need to copy u-boot-s905x-s912 to u-boot.ext (note I say copy not move).

 

Once you have your SD card prepared, on an Amlogic box you need to enable multiboot.  There are different ways documented to do this, but for your TX3 mini box, you should use the toothpick method.  At the back of the audio/video jack connector is a hidden reset button.  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.

 

If you want at this point, you can copy the installation to emmc (assuming your box has emmc).  You do this by running the appropriate shell script in /root, which for your case is /root/install-aml.sh.  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 pretty easy to find TX3mini android firmwares on the internet and you can generally recover a bricked box using the Amlogic tool and an original firmware file.

 

Finally, I have written this from memory and haven't been actually doing these steps as I am writing, so there might be something I forgot to say, so I make no promises that this is completely accurate, but I think it is.

 

Also, don't expect that all parts of your TX3mini box will work.  You should have a working boot, working wired ethernet and working hdmi.  Don't expect things like wifi, bluetooth, infrared remote, box display to work.  The experimental armbian for these boxes is enough to get a basic server running and a light graphical display, but don't expect full functionality.

 

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Hi SteeMan

Thank you for your very detail guideline. I follow but still get a problem

I download image, flash to SDCard via balenaEtcher,  edit /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf with correct DTB parameter

I push SDCard into, hold reset and power on, but my TX3 mini always shows the screen as in picture https://ibb.co/12JtfJS, as far as I understand it is recovery screen

It can't boot into armbian in SDCard

 

Best regards

 

 

 

Edited by Ngo Thang
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3 hours ago, Ngo Thang said:

I download image, flash to SDCard via balenaEtcher,  edit /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf with correct DTB parameter

Did you also copy u-boot-s905x-s912 to u-boot.ext?

.

Also, does the box boot to android successfully without the sdcard installed?  Also, have you tried other software like coreelec on this box?

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I was just testing on my spare tx3 mini box, and the only time I see the android recovery screen is if I don't have an SD card (or not a valid sd card) installed.  So my educated guess is that there is something wrong with your sd card or how you are burning the image to the sd card.  I've never used balenaEtcher so I can't provide any guidance on what might be wrong there.  If you have access to a Mac or Linux box where you can connect the sd card to, you might want to try creating the sd card from the command line using dd (sudo dd if=/location/of/armbian/image of=/dev/locationofsdcard ..., there are plenty of examples on google on how to burn an image from the command line)

Otherwise I have run out of suggestions for you.

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I don't usually stick my nose in TV Boxes area, and I notice you are doing great job here @SteeMan helping everyone.

 

However, the Armbian project since a long time now only recommends using USB Imager or Balena Etcher as they are easy, cross platform, and most importantly verify what has been written (which, by default, dd does not).

 

I am a GNU/Linux guy too, and also prefer command line tools, but that's the official scoop.  At least until I can write some instructions which include verification.  But that is a whole another uphill battle (and I am holding off, because we are in the middle of a release right now, and everyone is too busy).  If you look around you will see probably more than one forum post where that has all been hashed out before.  Just FYI.

 

Keep up the good work, mate.  I'll see myself back out now.

Edited by TRS-80
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It's stranger like that:

If I boot into Android, I can read content in my SDCard and my USB that mean SDCard slot and USB slot are OK.

I flash both my SDCard and my USB with file https://users.armbian.com/balbes150/arm-64/Armbian_20.10_Arm-64_focal_current_5.9.0.img.xz

I plug only SDCard and hold reset -> it shows recovery screen

I plug only USB and hold reset -> it shows recovery screen

I plug both SDCard and USB, even I hold reset or do nothing, it boots into text screen but after restarts and boots into text screen again and restarts again and again. Let see my video capture https://streamable.com/76pj97

 

Tks very much

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23 hours ago, Ngo Thang said:

If I boot into Android, I can read content in my SDCard and my USB that mean SDCard slot and USB slot are OK

Just because you can read the contents of the boot and root partitions on the SDcard does not mean it is OK or that it was created correctly.  The boot sectors of the card need to be correct as well and those you aren't going to see.

 

23 hours ago, Ngo Thang said:

I plug only USB  (no SDCard) and no need to hold reset, it still boots into text screen and restarts forever as my video clip above, it shows error "Unexpected XHCI event TRB,..."

This would look like potential progress.  This is what you would expect to see if you have the wrong boot configuration parameters (i.e. your extlinux.conf).  Could you attach the extlinux.conf file you are trying to use.

 

One final comment, is that you only need to successfully enable multiboot once (i.e. press the reset button while applying power).  It isn't something you need to do every time.  But since you don't know if you have done it successfully, I understand why you are continuing that method, but I just wanted to make sure you knew that it wasn't something you will need to do repeatedly if you can get your box working.

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Now I can boot into Armbian, I find out an interesting way.

If I unplug USB keyboard, it can boot from SDCard or USB into Armbian without pressing reset button, after it comes to login screen, I plug USB keyboard and I can use it normally. But if I plug USB keyboard while booting, it shows error "Unexpected XHCI event TRB,..." and reboot forever

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On 11/30/2020 at 7:16 PM, Ngo Thang said:

Now I can boot into Armbian, I find out an interesting way.

If I unplug USB keyboard, it can boot from SDCard or USB into Armbian without pressing reset button, after it comes to login screen, I plug USB keyboard and I can use it normally. But if I plug USB keyboard while booting, it shows error "Unexpected XHCI event TRB,..." and reboot forever

 

Hi @Ngo Thang I recently bought 1 TX3 mini and I'm facing the same problem like you.

It always boots into android recovery when pressing the reset button while power on, instead of booting from Armbian SD or USB. I've tried on other model of TV Box with S905W and boots OK pressing the reset button, so it TX3 mini problem.

 

Finally how did you solve it? Did you flash stock firmware? Where did you download the firmware? Thanks in advance!

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Hi robertoenr

 

It's simple like that. Follow guide of SteeMan, but NO NEED to hold Reset while booting, DO NOT PRESS OR HOLD ANYTHING while booting and DO NOT plug USB Keyboard while booting, you can plug USB Keyboard later, after see login screen

 

On 11/23/2020 at 10:26 PM, SteeMan said:

Given that you do have general linux knowledge and rpi familiarity, here are my comments on your requests.

I have 4 TX3 mini's three of which I run armbian on and one that I use the original android on.  I will mention that just because a box is labeled TX3 mini, doesn't mean the internals are the same.  The manufactures put identical external branding on boards that may be significantly different.  For example all TX3 minis claim they have emmc storage in them.  But only two of my TX3 minis have emmc storage, the other two come with nand storage (cheaper to manufacture that way).  Since mainline linux doesn't support nand I can only install armbian on internal storage on two of my boxes.

 

From the above linked post you need to download an image file from any of the download locations.  The file you are looking for is the arm-64 version from October 14th 2020.  These are the last versions from balbes150 to support Amlogic cpus.  So be warned that when and if you get this running on your TX3 mini box, there is currently no path to get anything newer than this Oct 14 build with 5.9.0 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.

 

In the downloads directory you will find builds for debian (buster and bullseye) and ubuntu (bionic and focal), along with both a desktop and non-desktop version of each.

 

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 (however I have only ever used dd on linux to create my sd cards, so I have no familiarity with that tool)

 

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 in these threads talk about that file, but in the latest builds it was changed to the extlinux.conf file)

 

Your extlinux.conf file should look like:

LABEL Armbian
LINUX /zImage
INITRD /uInitrd

# aml s9xxx
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxbb-p200.dtb
FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-gxm-q200.dtb
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-g12a-x96-max.dtb
#FDT /dtb/amlogic/meson-g12b-odroid-n2.dtb
APPEND root=LABEL=ROOTFS rootflags=data=writeback rw console=ttyAML0,115200n8 console=tty0 no_console_suspend consoleblank=0 fsck.fix=yes fsck.repair=yes net.ifnames=0
 

Basically you need to have the correct dtb for your box and the correct boot command for your box, along with the top three environment variables set.  *Everything* else needs to either be deleted or commented out.  This is a common mistake where people uncomment out what they need, but leave other lines in the file not uncommented and thus they fail to boot.  The extlinux.conf file above is directly from my TX3 mini box.  Note that if you were using a different box than a TX3 mini, you would attempt to use different dtb files until you found the one that works the best for you boxes hardware (there are a bunch of dtb files in /boot/dtb/... to try depending on your cpu architecture and hardward).

 

Next you need to copy the correct uboot for your box.  This is needed for amlogic cpus (other cpus have different uboot stuff to do).  For your TX3mini you need to copy u-boot-s905x-s912 to u-boot.ext (note I say copy not move).

 

Once you have your SD card prepared, on an Amlogic box you need to enable multiboot.  There are different ways documented to do this, but for your TX3 mini box, you should use the toothpick method.  At the back of the audio/video jack connector is a hidden reset button.  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.

 

If you want at this point, you can copy the installation to emmc (assuming your box has emmc).  You do this by running the appropriate shell script in /root, which for your case is /root/install-aml.sh.  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 pretty easy to find TX3mini android firmwares on the internet and you can generally recover a bricked box using the Amlogic tool and an original firmware file.

 

Finally, I have written this from memory and haven't been actually doing these steps as I am writing, so there might be something I forgot to say, so I make no promises that this is completely accurate, but I think it is.

 

Also, don't expect that all parts of your TX3mini box will work.  You should have a working boot, working wired ethernet and working hdmi.  Don't expect things like wifi, bluetooth, infrared remote, box display to work.  The experimental armbian for these boxes is enough to get a basic server running and a light graphical display, but don't expect full functionality.

 

 

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Thanks @Ngo Thang

 

In my TX3 mini S905W 2GB RAM/16GB ROM I noticed several things:

 

Android preinstalled is 9, but firmware compilation date is 2020-09-29 (quite recent, compared to official firmware from Tanix webpage).

 

Opened the box and the Board version is 1.6. Again, so recent compared to 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 showed on other forums.

 

The WIFI module is SP6330-X.

 

Tried to boot  Armbian with the toothpick method on botton reset button while power on, but it loads the Android recovery instead booting from SD card. There is no way to boot from SD or USB with this method, always you get the android recovery. Tried also pressing the remote menu button while power on, with no success. Also I ensure to boot without keyboard connected.

 

Based on these tests, I have some questions, if anyone knows how to deal with them:

Does anyone knows where to get the stock firmware for this 1.6 board?. I suspect is quite recent and can't find a stock firmware compilation with 2020-09-29 date for this 1.6 board. The most recent I've found is for board 1.3 and dated on 2019-12-10.

How can I enable multiboot on this device?. As I said it has been impossible to boot from SD or USB, always get the android recovery. While the same SD/USB is booting perfect on other TV Box S905W with toothpick method.

Attatch board and preinstalled firmware photos:

https://mega.nz/file/nE4glBTB#yDxjIpCQ5Te_GyiHp9fzQGxI1Wn_JnQjo2pGnpokK_w

 

https://mega.nz/file/SF5WxRxa#clOe168ZugDJOQkNRmxpSdW9HlrT7v6vM6aZiZTpiHI

 

https://mega.nz/file/SBgATZaa#iZOMpvxc0g_NfiOjxfnJjotEqDNnrM2vapUmNm_08Cc

 

https://mega.nz/file/TNhUEJzD#Tj_VAakZrYM0L9itPjCFwV7MjVyplIXcehMZkVmrOYM

 

https://mega.nz/file/iNpE1ZoI#wjq0JPckXywftwvwKLd8fjJaMwGCk3yxi2wEi-tzxHc

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Update: I located the stock firmware for this TX3 Mini 1.6 board in a vietnam webpage: https://tinhte.vn/thread/tong-hop-cac-ban-firmware-cua-android-tv-box-tx3-mini.3022766

As I read is the 2020-21 hardware stage for this box. And this is the unique firmware working on this box.

 

I've tried with Amlogic Burning Tool and works OK. Mega link to stock firmware (if anyone interest): https://mega.nz/file/TcID3SyB#9SPAqK2kslwuDQ9C9TMgEFfai4bPwZy-RNar3WSYw48

 

The bad news is that still can't boot from USB/SD (external media). No human way. I've tried pressing/non pressing the reset button while power on, pressing the remote menu button, disconnect all (including keyboard) with no success to boot Armbian, it always boot to Android Recovery. It's like the box can't boot from external media and the reset button function were changed to show the Android Recovery...

 

@Ngo Thang What DTB are you using? I've tried the "meson-gxl-s905w-p281.dtb" and the "meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb", but no way to start.

 

Aprecciate all help.

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On 12/19/2020 at 2:54 PM, robertoenr said:

Update: I located the stock firmware for this TX3 Mini 1.6 board in a vietnam webpage: https://tinhte.vn/thread/tong-hop-cac-ban-firmware-cua-android-tv-box-tx3-mini.3022766

As I read is the 2020-21 hardware stage for this box. And this is the unique firmware working on this box.

 

I've tried with Amlogic Burning Tool and works OK. Mega link to stock firmware (if anyone interest): https://mega.nz/file/TcID3SyB#9SPAqK2kslwuDQ9C9TMgEFfai4bPwZy-RNar3WSYw48

 

The bad news is that still can't boot from USB/SD (external media). No human way. I've tried pressing/non pressing the reset button while power on, pressing the remote menu button, disconnect all (including keyboard) with no success to boot Armbian, it always boot to Android Recovery. It's like the box can't boot from external media and the reset button function were changed to show the Android Recovery...

 

@Ngo Thang What DTB are you using? I've tried the "meson-gxl-s905w-p281.dtb" and the "meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb", but no way to start.

 

Aprecciate all help.


Hi, don't know if it might help, because I have a TX3 Mini with a 1.2 board,  but if yours can dualboot stock Android (Alice UX) and LibreELEC, like mine does, then perhaps they are similar enough.

On mine, pressing the reset button does nothing either, in order to boot from SD card I have to:

-boot on the stock Android first;
-open the upgrade & backup app;

-press on select an upgrade package;
At this point a menu will pop-up and after a brief search the app should find, on the SD card, an "aml_autoscript.zip" file, which I guess is a package the image creator has made in order to trick the upgrade app into thinking that the Armbian image is an upgrade package, but anyway, select it;

-press the upgrade button;

The app ask if you're sure, would you like to make a backup first, yada yada, click ok and it should reboot for the firmware upgrade;
On reboot, instead of the firmware upgrade that Android expected, you should have Armian booting, no need to press buttons or anything, just click reboot and wait to be prompted to input a username and password.
 

Since I have no wi-fi (my TX3 has the dreaded SV6051P SDiO Wi-Fi and BT chip) and since many around the forums claim that they fixed it by changing their dtb, I have tested several dtbs:
meson-gxl-s905w-tx3-mini.dtb

meson-gxl-s905x-p212.dtb

meson-gxl-s905w-p281.dtb

meson-gxl-s905x-nexbox-a95x.dtb
All of them worked, meaning that I could boot into Armbian no matter which one of them I used, but I noticed that audio through HDMI works on the s905w ones and not on the s905x ones (sometimes I had no HDMI audio on s905w either, just try reflashing the SD card if that happens).
None of them fixed the Wi-Fi, none of them had hw acceleration for videos (meaning that video playback relies on CPU and it sucks), no IR remote, no VFD, no audio from the AV jack, but that was to be expected.

 

Since we're on the subject, I wanted to ask SteeMan (the man who owns 4 TX3s, with different board revisions) if he managed to get the Wi-Fi to work on any of them and if yes, on which ones.

But anyway, yeah, let me know if that works.

Edited by eddy_c
spelling/grammar errors
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3 hours ago, eddy_c said:

I wanted to ask SteeMan (the man who owns 4 TX3s, with different board revisions) if he managed to get the Wi-Fi to work on any of them and if yes, on which ones.

I don't have working wifi on any tv box I own.  That is why I always stress not to expect to be able to use the on board wifi.  If you need wifi, a cheap linux supported usb wifi dongle should work just fine.

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On 12/19/2020 at 8:54 AM, robertoenr said:

The bad news is that still can't boot from USB/SD

I wish I had some great insight into your problem.  It is interesting that you seem to have a much newer board revision that probably the rest of us that have a box similar to this.  That certainly could be the problem.  I would also recommend looking at the suggestion just posted by @eddy_c about using the android update app method.  The only other suggestion I would have is to try different amounts of time holding the reset button while booting (vary from one second up to 10 seconds to see if that makes a difference), as that is something I have noticed before in getting a successful multi boot, getting the timing right on the reset.

I am waiting for a new tx3 mini to come in the mail (hopefully soon), so depending on what board revision I get, maybe I'll be able to reproduce your issue.

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@robertoenr What you need is a correctly configured dtb file that maps the actual hardware you have to the kernel so that the kernel can pick up the correct drivers.  Such a file likely doesn't exist (unless someone has created one that works already).

 

In reality every tv box board has slightly different hardware and thus needs to have a different dtb file to function properly.  But since the board manufacturers don't support mainline linux, no such dtb files exist.  So we just use one of the standard dtb files that is close enough.  So you get most but not all functionality working.

 

It is beyond the ability/resources of the people around here to create dtbs for every tv box without any information about how they are designed/manufactured.  This is why you only get basic functionality when using armbian on tv boxes (basic hdmi, cpu, memory, usb, sdcard, ethernet) as that is pretty standard, where other things like wifi, bluetooth often different on every board or utilize chips that aren't supported in mainline linux.

 

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