H96 Max X2 S905X2 2GB/16GB armbian dtb with working 100Mbps ethernet?

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Hi @SteeMan!

I have an H96 Max X2 S905X2 2GB/16GB box. I'm trying to get the ethernet port work in armbian for this box. Please see the attached high resolution images of the motherboard of this box. Some related info printed on the boards:
S70-905X2-V2 2018-11-15

CZ1830 SX18122 (wifi/bluetooth chip? I get nothing from googling these strings)

Red marker is the location of the NAND short to be used to unbrick the box.

Here is what I found so far:

1. Wifi does not work even in stock android rom, not to mention any kind of custom rom /  armbian, so I have absolute zero hope for wifi. And I broke bluetooth after accidentally performing a full erase in the usb burn tool (go figure... bluetooth was working with stock android pie rom, but not working with XTMOD oreo rom. And now after a full NAND erase, bluetooth is not working even in stock rom...)

2. Ethernet port is working with an non armbian build, This is for boxes with 100Mbps port, so I'm sure mine has 100Mbps port instead of 1Gbit port.

3. I have tried all the meson-g12a- (as well as meson-sm1- prefix for S905X3) dtb files included in the last working release of armbian for amlogic boxes from @balbes150. I was able to boot into armbian using some of the dtb (suffix u200 and x96_max). However, none have working ethernet port.



If you can, please help me tag other armbian gurus. Let me know what terminal commands you want me to try and get output from. So far ifconfig only return the loopback (lo) network.




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  • balbes150 locked and unlocked this topic
Armbian is a community driven open source project. Do you like to contribute your code?

@Thang First off since you are working with coreelec you will need to restore the box to a clean android firmware before attempting to work with the armbian builds that are out there.  The coreelec install changes things in incompatible ways to how the armbian builds expect the system to be in order to work correctly.

I have two of these boxes (don't know if they are the exact same hardware as you have reported as I haven't opened them up recently)

One of these boxes I am running as a production web server and the other I use for testing.

I am currently using the meson-g12a-sei510.dtb but have in the past used the meson-g12a-x96-max-rmii.dtb

But it seems that on newer kernels the meson-g12a-x96-max-rmii.dtb isn't working anymore.

Note that these boxes only have 100mbit ethernet and therefore the regular meson-g12a-x96-max.dtb won't work for networking as it is for 1gbit ethernet, you need meson-g12a-x96-max-rmii.dtb or meson-g12a-sei510.dtb that I am currently using.

You mention a couple of things in your original post that I want to explain to you, specifically that the formats of the dtb files between coreelec and armbian are different.  That is because coreelec uses legacy kernels and armbian uses mainline kernels.  Legacy kernels are kernels where the cpu vendor/board designer added support for the cpu and board to a fork of the linux kernel.  Mainline kernels are where the support for the cpu has been officially integrated into the kernel source tree and supported by the official linux kernel.  Those two processes have led to different ways of the code being structured and thus make the dtbs incompatible between the two code lines.


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I was able to make ethernet working with armbian by @SteeMan's advice. The key is to install the STOCK firmware. I didn't expect a custom android firmware like XTMOD can break ethernet in armbian. FYI, I'm using meson-g12a-sei510.dtb.


By the way, it seems like @balbes150is not happy (really) with even a mentioning of the name of the non-armbian who-know-what-it-is operating system. I understand it is done due to some strict rule armbian forum has, in order not to clutter the forum with irrelevant information. Or it simply could be because Mods/Admins don't like it. I was hoping my detailed description of my struggle could help someone encountering a similar issue specific to this box, but it doesn't seem so, apparently.


For those who come across this topic, long after it's closed, please keep in mind that the android rom installed in your box's internal storage may affect the functionality of armbian or the whatever non-armbian OS. If you find an usb or ethernet is not working, try installing a different android firmware other than the stock rom and test again.


Sorry for the hassle. Mods/Admins: you can close this topic now.

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