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The new Banana PI M2 Ultra


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What about the new Banana PI M2 ultra ?


Is it a real SATA controller ? or just one more that is channeled through the USB ?


And is this machine likely to be supported by Armbian ?


It in short seems to be a little overpriced and the eMMC storage to be to little.  And the M3 left a bit bad taste in my mouth, but if it is Sata that gives more speed than USB and if it will be Armbian supported then I might give them another go.

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Whether this device will ever be supported we'll see. Unfortunately Allwinner partnered here with the most horrible vendor out there. 'Team BPi' failed so often in doing things right, their understanding of documentation is strange (never been correct and they refuse to update docs even if you tell them multiple times what's wrong), their understanding of software is weird (they don't do tests with what this board will be bought for -- SATA and Gigabit Ethernet performance -- but use Raspbian rootfs to ensure that it will be slow as hell) but at least their definition of support is clear: none (just look in their forum what to expect).

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I just got this board shipped to me and am about to power it up.(Through OTG Micro USB) Anyone got a link to a power adapter for this little board??. If you would like some English test results just make me a list of commands and i'll be sure to run them on emmc ok.

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Check Linux-sunxi wiki: http://linux-sunxi.org/Sinovoip_Banana_Pi_M2_Ultra#SATA


Those PSUs from Xunlong, Cubietech and Sinovoip should work (of course the latter morons don't emphasize on the need for such a power adapter since otherwise no connected 2.5" disk can be powered through 'SATA power' connector).


And no further tests needed, everything already known. I will skip this device entirely since it's an overpriced fail, the vendor is still too dumb/lazy to provide schematics and almost all of the released 'technical documentation' is either insufficient or wrong. As usual :(

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I have received my BPi M2U just in time before Christmas, it should replace my overloaded BPi M1 with "only two cores" ;)
I am playing with SBC's for some years now and actually I set the limit to 50$ or 50€ because I don't what to pay much for a "paper weight" like Radxa Rock (no support at all) or Odroid C1 / U3 (instable)

But still I took the risk to pay 60€ for this board... finally...

- image of Sinovoip
- kernel (somewhere I read it should be from linaro?, who or what is TINA OS?)

- the housing of Banana Pi M3 fits

- SOC keeps cool (from my point of view no heat sink needed, wonder if it would run faster then 1.2Ghz)

- 2GB ram (I don't know if I will realy need it)

- barrel blug  (no powering via micro usb needed)
- nevertheless the kernel is running stable somehow, also when dmesg shows failure due to power down of a HDD connected via USB-HUB

- sata / network performance at least the same as BPi M1 but has 4 cores, therefore this board runs faster because this server has to handle minidlna, nas, web and wiki ;)


What I have done so far:

- patching my server image (armbian) with kernel of sinovoip 3.10.65 :(

  (will use it till I have my own  or better one)

- move gmac0 to its own core 4

- move sata to its own core 3

- reuse performance settings once provided by @tkaiser (see http://forum.lemaker.org/thread-7102-1-1.html)

- now I miss a toy ;)


Configuration of on-board led's:

root@bananapim2u:~# cat /sys/class/leds/led3/trigger
none ac-online usb-online rfkill0 [mmc0] mmc1 mmc2 timer heartbeat backlight gpio default-on
root@bananapim2u:~# cat /sys/class/leds/led1/trigger
none ac-online usb-online rfkill0 mmc0 mmc1 mmc2 timer heartbeat backlight gpio [default-on]
root@bananapim2u:~# cat /sys/class/leds/led2/trigger
none ac-online usb-online rfkill0 mmc0 mmc1 mmc2 timer [heartbeat] backlight gpio default-on

Disable heartbeat led:

root@bananapim2u:~# echo "none" > /sys/class/leds/led2/trigger

What I would like to do:

- build my own kernel (but I don't know if I will manage and if I will have time due to limit christmas vacation)

- buy another one ;)

- see if it will run 24/7


off topic:

Some people do not like sinovoip, because bad support, no answers in the forum etc...

Sinovoip has a working image somehow others do not have any... does anybody know Radxa? ;) - sinovoip is great ;)

I am software developer for a hardware manufacturer and here software is not the core business, therefore it is hard to be a software developer in such a company...



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Sorry, I fail to understand why your board 'runs faster' due to more CPU cores. Have you been bottlenecked by CPU before (all the time 200% utilization) or is this just a wild guess since you wasted too much money for no reason?


Regarding playing with dirt (crappy BSP mess): http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/11/16/banana-pi-m2-ultra-allwinner-r40-development-board-with-sata-gbe-sells-for-46/#comment-537408


Everyone following Linux-sunxi IRC knows that the board already boots with u-boot 2017.01-rc1 and kernel 4.9. Not that much works though.

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Sorry, I fail to understand why your board 'runs faster' due to more CPU cores.

If the two cores are busy with other tasks it slows down nas performance... since my kids really love minidlna ;) 1 core of BPi M1 keeps busy from time to time... so now sata and eth have a seperate core which brings up performance to normal again...


Sorry, as a windows guy I am not familiar with all linux community and knowledge bases... i keep on learning... so i am not following Linux-sunxi IRC...


Thank you for the hints, I guess you are talking about:





but in case of kernel 4.9 is there a device tree for this board available?

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Hello Community,


first I want to thank Daniel for a very great Job (see https://github.com/dan-and/BPI-M2U-bsp) :thumbup: . His kernel is working at least as good as the one from sinovoip, it is based on this... ;)


Since I could not find any real experiences to this board in www, here are mine...


The BPi-M1 replaced by BPi-M2U...called NAS2

NAS2 is running:

- Web-Server

- Dokuwiki

- minidlna

- doing backup of NAS1 as complete rsync (mirror)

- doing backup of itself via rsnapshot

NAS2 has connected:

- WD red on sata, continuously running

- WD USB HDD as backup drive via USB HUB due to power reasons

- SanDisk USB Stick as mirror of NAS1 via USB HUB


BPi-M2U booting from SD Card (8GB Transcend Ultimate, my favourite)

- board does not like USB HUB, allways reports "possible bad connection"

- does not boot from time to time in case a device is connected to USB e.g. USB Stick

- heavy access on USB drive results into "reconnect as read only"

+ SATA is running without any issues


BPi-M2U booting from eMMC:

- board does not like USB HUB, allways reports "possible bad Connection"

- in case of more then one USB device is connected, heavy access on USB drive results into "reconnect as read only"

+ 1 USB HDD can be used without any issues so far (moved USB Stick to different server)

+ SATA is still running without any issues


+ both configurations running stable, nothing like kernel panic ;) so far


Since my servers are running headless, playing with the original image shows audio via HDMI is working too...


I don't care about on board Bluetooth and Wifi...



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Hi, I have bought a m2 ultra and had reliability problems with freezing and USB disconnects since using Ubuntu mate supplied on the bpi forum.


Luckily I have the sata cable ready to connect to my drive and set up as a NAS box. Thinking the mate image isn't that stable so need help getting the one mentioned in this thread. Do I have to compile it...? I'm a complete newbie so need basic help. Have a raspberry Pi 3 with raspbian running but network and USB performance is poor for my needs, hence the bpi.



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Thinking the mate image isn't that stable


Well, in case you don't want to return your mostly unsupported board to the seller you have to understand how your vendor of choice does software. These folks have some base OS images around and a set of ugly scripts called bpi-tools. When they add a new device they throw blobs in a github repo and then let their scripts replace bootloader, initrd, kernel and basic settings. Everything else is the same on each image.


So when you experience stability problems with their Mate image then most probably it's not related to this image but to kernel + settings used. This is the first R40 device around, Allwinner normally ships with brain-dead defaults so maybe you're just suffering from wrong DVFS settings (undervoltage at specific DVFS operating points). Who knows? This device is not interesting at all so not that much developers will waste their time on improving software for it.


Apart from that please look into my signature for 'usual' sources of problems and try to follow Armbian advices with BPi OS images too (no idea whether they now manage to provide at least correct MD5 checksums and so on, gave up a long time ago trying to help them since usually they never correct any mistake made even when told a hundred times).

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Thanks for the information tkaiser.. Looks like I should have done some more research before buying this board... the forums are pretty quiet , but I hope more people will get this board and sort out the bugs.


I'll use  https://github.com/dan-and/BPI-M2U-bsp kernel once I figure out how to build and install it on my m2 U.


Holsteiner, can you confirm if your NAS box is still running well?  Any other feedback?



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BTW: People who want to give mainline linux a try on BPi M2 Ultra find here the branches to play with:

Please note that if you're not a developer then this is nothing for you, this is WiP and in a very early stage.

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Things are evolving really fast, she is doing a great job.

I don't have much experience with u-boot mainline but i think it is time to test it.


@tkaiser, sorry to ask, is this the same kernel OPI PC2 is based and already running?

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Why do we waste our time with this board (which will most likely be the same shit show as M2+ was/is -- at least that's the device I lost most time with due to vendor even too stupid to provide correct schematic).


Why not spending our time on improving things with other boards or Armbian in general (Wi-Fi firmware situation, refactoring to deal better with more and more boards and installation variants, preparing Debian Stretch and so on)?

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2 hours ago, rexxster said:

The sata, 2Gig ram, and 16G emmc appeal to me.


  • SATA: as slow/crappy as with A20 today
  • 2 GB RAM: http://www.linuxatemyram.com
  • 16GB eMMC? It's only 8 GB and maybe the slowest modules you can buy from Samsung (just search the forum, sequential writes on this eMMC is as low as 6MB/s, almost every SD card out there is faster)
  • The vendor is famous for not being able to provide even correct schematic so trying to support their hardware is both an excercise in stupidity and a great way to waste your own time
  • The vendor is also famous for providing best support possible: Look here for example how their official support account @sinovoip is actively helping countless users affected by the same problem: instability with this great M2 Ultra: http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/frequent-freeze-ups-of-m2u/2823


Edit: Also an excellent example of 'vendor support': http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/bpi-m2-ultra-pmp-support/3096. PMP support should only be tried with mainline kernel and relying on Icenowy's latest commit it should already be possible to use PMs with R40 (using the usual ahci_sunxi.enable_pmp=1 addition to kernel cmdline). But using port multipliers with those crappy SATA implementations is a bad idea anyway :)

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