Current status of Armbian for X96 Air P3 4/64GB (S905X3)?


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I've just started looking into installing a Linux distribution on my X96 Air P3 with 4 GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, but as it seems there is a lot of conflicting info around, especially concerning the gigabit ethernet port that is supposedly only working with 100Mbit/s?

 

Is there any tutorial on how to get started and choose the right image + proper DTB?

 

The intention is to install to the eMMC and use the box as a small home server exclusively

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12 minutes ago, dante6913 said:

There is no armbian support for amlogic tv boxes (and never was a support for the S905x3). If you want linux in your x96 air you may look in manjaro arm forum. People are thinking on support to amlogic tv boxes.

 

I know that there is no official support by Armbian, but as it seems several others have got it working somehow. The info for that is scattered all over, so I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction.

 

I didn't know about Manjaro on such a box, but I'm having a look over there right now.

 

Nevertheless, if any more (recent/complete) info about Armbian on such a S905X3 box should be available, please let me know.

Edited by Master One
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As long as you understand the limitations that dante6913 mentioned, and as long as you are only expecting to use it for server work, and I would add one additional item that you should only be expecting to use wired ethernet (wifi/bluetooth support is very spotty).

I would recommend just trying the last build that supports amlogic cpus (The 5.9.0 October 14th 2020 build) and follow the instructions in the first post of this thread:

Try the various dtbs for s905x3, sm1 (or s905x2, g12a) and see if any of them work well enough for your needs.  I have a TX3x3 box which contains a s905x3 and I use the meson-sm1-sei610.dtb for that box. 

 

The one thing specific to the s905x3 that might be unclear from the instructions on that post is that you will need to copy the u-boot-s905x2-s922 file to u-boot.ext as there is no x3 specific version, but the x2 version should work (at least it does on my TX3x3 box).

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@SteeMan, yes, limitations understood, the expected use is (headless) server work and only wired ethernet network connectivity is needed. I'll have a deeper look and will start playing around with this shortly.

 

Concerning the various DTBs: How do I know which one works best? The X96 Air P3 with S905X3 is SM1, so is it possible that any of the other DTBs works better (or at all?) than meson-sm1-sei610.dtb?

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On 12/2/2020 at 10:49 PM, Master One said:

is it possible that any of the other DTBs works better (or at all?) than meson-sm1-sei610.dtb?

Yes it is possible.  The dtb is the mapping of all the hardware to the software (not just the cpu).  So a dtb that isn't a perfect fit for the cpu may work overall better for the rest of the hardware on the board.  For amlogic cpus the differences between the s905x2 and s905x3 series are not major, so a dtb for an x2 board may work as good or better for your x3 based board.  So I would look at the meson-g12a-*.dtb files as well.

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