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Old image for Amlogic s905x3 ?


jhg
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Greetings.

I just entered this hobby tonight and read up some on amlogic boxes in these forums. 

 

Im trying to boot armbian to a A95xF3 air with the amlogic s905x3 chip off a SD card but hangs at error message "fail to map file in aml_autoscript".

I guess I have the wrong dtb file configured in ext-linux, I have not tried all dtb files yet but now I have wasted so much time so I try to ask here if there is any easy way booting the amlogic s905x3 chip. There is a couple of youtube videos using files for Rk3399 from 2019 and perhaps they might work as Im not lucky with the last posted ubuntu 20.20 images ?

I did read there is security issues with the old images so perhaps that is not an option. If there is a clear howto for the boot setup I would appreciate a link as there is lots of different methods described at different places making me confused. What I learned of this device is that pressing reset button with tooth pick gives nothing, su reboot update in termux not available allthough claiming to be rooted so only way getting the box to read SD is via the manual software update app. Android build number in the box is 202006121521, android 9.

kindly jhg.

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@SteeMan Thank you for reply, apologies for my late return as Iam not allowed posting more than one post per day for safety reasons.

Thank you for clear instructions in your linked post, that is more or less how I understood balbes instructions but you made a clear indefinite procedure so we are on the same page.

 

When using your method I got same result as previously, the A95X logo flashing every 5 seconds and nothing more for 10-20 minutes, no linux boot scripts rolling on the screen, BUT, when going back to balbes ext-linux conf and booting normally (without toothpick) leaving the sd card in the box I got to my surprise some kind of success, the tv went black and I could see the amlogic box thinking about something but after 10-20 minutes still nothing, no boot text, no error message, nothing. This is success in that way that I hate the a95x boot flash video played on max volume so a completely silent a95 box is success and I have never got the a95 box to respond to the sd card before using your structure. The only dtb file giving any response is the meson-gxl-s905x-p212.dtb, Im unsure if I have tested all dtb files but Im getting there...sooo... I guess it is up to finding correct dtb ? Is there any way to get more precise in my troubleshooting, is there log files or similar I can read somewhere as in linux ? I have no worries about bricking the android box, it will be smashed to pieces soon as my patience is ending, when Im out of patience with something it will be smashed to small pieces just to get me piece of mind enabling me to forgive and forget.

 

One thing Ive been thinking about is that balena etcher always fails writing the image file complaining about the armbian files but writing same image with good old rufus always works, I cant see how that would cause any boot issues but its odd, I tried writing with winimage and that worked to with same files balena is nagging about but takes forever, hence rufus.

Edit : When reading my first post here I realize I dont get the error message of map file anymore but I have no knowledge judging if that is good or bad, prolly I just got the correct u-boot.etx script for the s905x3 ?

 

Edit 2 : Thank you for assistance (forgot to thank you).

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@jhg If you really want to dig into this more, you would need to hook up to the colsole interface on your box.  To do this you would need to identify the console connector location on the board, solder a connector to it and then get a usb adapter to monitor the low level u-boot output.  The first stages of uboot output to the console only, then the chain loaded uboot (uboot.ext) will display stuff at later stages to hdmi.

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@SteeMan Ok. Thank you for assistance, soldering connectors is beyond my interest in this hobby but we did try =0)

Let me know if you come to think of anything easier to try.

Is there a tv box you can recommend still supported by armbian ? Im fascinated by making a desktop computer out of these and want to see it work, cant really explain why.

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@jhg

7 minutes ago, jhg said:

Im fascinated by making a desktop computer out of these and want to see it work, cant really explain why.

I understand the fascination, it is why I'm here trying to help others foster that same fascination.  But I would caution you on your expectations.  When you talk about 'desktop computer' you are likely to be disappointed.  The current state of these boxes (once you get one working) is you can get a desktop gui running, but the performance isn't going to be something useful.  They do make great servers however.  If you want a usable desktop experience you are going to need to be spending around a $100 or so for an RK3399 box which is less fascinating and a stretch on the wallet.

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@SteeMan My only need is youtube, some national tv-app and sometimes a email or a document, not more than that. The reason Im considering armbian in this device is that the android9 version has locked out split screen so I would be able staying with android if I find a way to enable split screen, would you happen to know any tips about android 9 /split screen ? 

 

Is RK-cpus the widest supported tv box on armbian ? I have been looking around this forum but cant really find a general favourite ?
 

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You are not going to get watchable YouTube on a cheap TV box with Armbian currently.  The state of the open source video decoders (vs the generally closed source used in Android) is still a work in process.  Right now I would say the best supported CPUs are the Rockchip ones.  On the box side balbes150 is working on the Station M1/P1 and jock is working on general Rockchip TV box support.

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On 10/17/2021 at 10:46 AM, balbes150 said:

s905x3 has never been supported and you can safely throw it in the trash, nothing will work.

@balbes150 I trust your expertise on that one =0)

 

I got it working finally with @SteeMan patient support, as you said all the time its a combonation of correct files so for booting a A95x F3, (amlogic S905x3) balbes latest image 20.10 works using the 922 boot script and the meson-sm1-sei610.dtb dtb file... as you said all the time....and as you also mentioned there is lack of good decoders but Im still not disappotined, it is a workable solution booting off the sd card for doing some emails, male webbrowsing (we men use internet for finding stuff to buy) so in conclusion it is not comparable to paid softwares that costed millions in development but it is very usable as is and I think balbes did a great work. One thing I noticed is that the a95box shuts down after a while because of heat so I will try to scale off some processes eventhough you probably slimmed it down as much as possible, perhaps the preload script may help on this image as in original xubuntu.

Thank you @balbes150 for your great wok with these images, I appreciate it, I have not really started using as daily driver but will give it a try. Im starting to wonder what a chromium os based image would look like, is there someone experimenting there...?

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The s905w2 is actually a new processor from amlogic (bad confusing naming choice as it is not related to the s905x2).  As a new processor you are not going to find support for it in mainline linux for a while (if ever).  There is less and less effort in the mainline linux community to support new amlogic cpus.  So this may be something that will never work with armbian.

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