Posts by buzzmarshall

    Personally depending on what your aim is i would just say buy something that is being actively developed for what you want. If your going to use Android a lot then you want someone that actively supports the firmware for that box, If your looking to make the use of LiberELEC or similar then make sure what you buy is being supported by one of the developers here or one of LibreELECs forks.


    Run LibreELEC off the sd card.

    $25 extra for DDR4 is only worth it if your gonna go about making sure the firmware timing is proper to take advantage of it and even then the gains may only be marginal.


    Just keep in mind that no matter what any dealer says if the box has a S912 in it then they are all basically in the same boat no matter what. so just make sure whatever you buy that someone is actually supporting.

    Kodi has been getting a lot of heat in the last year with the brunt of it from the canadian and american providers so theres probably a few things the kodi group bans more on just protecting themselves to be safe


    one thing for sure is anything from fusion or any of adam's other ventures is definitely on the hit list which is why here in Canada he's been tied up in litigation for well over a year and most of his known domains seized. its best to stick to Kodi's approved list if you really want to be safe. A good rule of thumb is if theres something you can openly stream from a providers own web site using something like a computer or laptop and if you can find a Kodi plugin for that stream it shouldn't be a problem because the providers already publicly exposing that stream that would be within the legal rights of the current laws at least here in Canada. when in doubt its best to go with Kodi's published list and don't ever ask on Kodi's forums as someone will probably kick ya.


    Enthusiasm for RK is understandable from anyone who's spent time in the Amlogic trenches, but in our experience switching from one SoC vendor to another doesn't solve development problems. It only results in different development problems :)

    from your point i agree as i realize your trying to support a pretty diverse set of SoC's and their associated platforms which is really tough for any single person or group of people, but in the environment you have created here your tapping into some pretty good people willing to give up their time to put their skills to good use.


    from my perspective i know how hard it was to unify the S812's and most of the current S9xx boxes on amlogic's own linux branch and then deal with writing working drivers for the missing parts for the S912's. All things considered though if they would have simply provided the same type of docs that i now see Rockchip openly providing pretty much everything people are working towards would be done. it took about 6 months of dumping running code from a S912 and using a program like IdaPro to create and model the actual S912 SoC in software and from there it was a couple months writing working drivers while not messing with anyones proprietary code, thank god we still live in a world where totally dismantling someone else product for learning reasons is legal as long as your not pilfering from the protected software. As hard as it was we only worked on a couple of specific boxes which was easier then what you guys are trying to do. i am currently already into the T860 code i see posted on the various githubs and once i lay my hands on a decent test board i am going to see how much of the existing T820 code i have will migrate up... i suspect a lot will but i am not sure of any differences between Amlogic which is where we worked and the current Rockchip and how each implement things.. things like symbol names and other things which if not provided by the SoC maker may be different. thats why its good to have a board running test code while using things like Jtag to watch and record things...


    anyways once again i digress , but your right as Rockchp has at least restored some of my skepticism in any of the manufacturers.

    Also i meant to add.


    After a lot of web surfing and talking to a few people behind the scenes i really truly think Rockchip has finally hit the nail on the head and products like Khadas and some others are going to pave the way as Rockchip finally realizes the potential in working with people to bring Linux to the for front helping to ensure future dominance in this box area and the SBC market thats growing.

    That may be somewhat true but sources involved have also been privately said the budget money paid by Amlogic to Baylibre was exhausted and its only because of the personal interest of a couple of the people involved that things are somewhat moving but not really with the type of help and support Amlogic could bring to bear if they so desired. And i agree that maybe back 3 years or so Amlogic's or even Rockchps interest in Linux was not of any real interest but these days neither one of those billion dollar empires are dumb enough now to ignore the impact linux is having and is going to continue having in moving forward with what they currently are selling and the new things they are about to bring to market so honestly lets not put Amlogic up on the being helpful pedestal with vague and half-truths... I spend most of my engineering career reverse engineering and developing secure platform devices and testing and understand the whole concepts involved in fab level and software development and understand pretty well the whole development cycle and no matter how you cut it , Amlogic really has spent not much more then whats pocket change and other things when the reality is it was only Amlogic's choice in the wafer and SoC hardware and the ip cores they decided to licence and its pretty crappy to push onto the public a product thats real only benefits are routed in firmware they for whatever reason just dumped on the market to maintain the release of new products to keep the growing market share...


    This really would be no different then if the big Auto makers decided to make cars without providing any downstream support in how to maintain or fix the motor or something. I mean does GM, FORD or CHRYSLER make it so your car cant be fixed because you decided to buy the repair parts from some 3rd party parts maker. I don't think so.


    Don't get me wrong as i realize that there are a LOT of great people that want to help and are doing their best to do so but everytime i see someone trying to blow sunshine about Amlogic actually helping just gets me going. I know pretty much what docs they provided as all of its been leaked and if you know where to go it can be found and if Amlogic truly was trying to help why did they make it be like that. And even if they actually are why does it continue to be behind basically closed doors from the public. Honestly there is probably MORE coders with Linux experience in these areas that could be tapped into as they are actually LINUX people and know how to fix the stuff if they had the materials.


    Rockchip at least to have seen the light and my quess is someplace down the road they will come to dominate as Amlogic continues to be this anal about things, and as speaking as someone that could put some serious help forward along with some others its this behaviour that makes us not willing to even give up the scripts that would at least bring the S812' and S9xx up to a unified kernel based on their own 4.9


    So be clear and honest lets just admit Amlogic is stone walling while they wait and depend on the public to fix what they will end up using in the future. Rockchip really is the way to go at this point as they deserve the public help and i am truly glad to see a few talented people start to work torwards that.

    As a general point i would say that if your budget is a factor then i wouldn't worry about a lot of the higher end boxes that cost more as most of the hardware features that drive those box prices up aren't really worth the extra money as there are still some key pieces of user space and other code to enable and take advantage of those features, people are working on them but theres no guarantee's of if and when, so those boxes are working but being done in various manners that negate the real hardware benefits of those boxes. Basically i am talking about the S912's.


    I would suggest at least 2 gig of ram and 16gig flash as a starting point and let the price point dictate. You cant' go wrong with more Sram and Flash.


    The S912's still are not a bad deal tho if you can find a good deal. just understand you will be waiting for the pieces that will really make the fly.


    I would stay away from any of the new 2nd generation of S9xx boxes that are starting to appear. the older units are still playing catch-up so the newer 2nd gen boxes will probably be further back in the support chain.


    If higher end performance is your wants then hopefully some of the others will post with actual experiences on a particular brand or model.


    Also my comments are strictly based on running something like LibreELEC (linux) as you won't find Android or any remnants of it on any of the dozen or more boxes i have running here at any given point in time. Android based comments i will leave to others.


    Also the newer Rockchip boxes appear to have a real bright future and i am sure theres some here that can make a solid recommendation on which particular one. I'm currently looking at the RK3399 boxes as well.

    ya i kinda noticed that as well but i am sure given time that can be cured as my interest in the chipset goes beyond the H94 type of tv box so i will probably disappear again and put some serious time into working into getting some form of kernel 5 series working for what i want to do with the board

    i ordered a Rock64 Pro with 4 gig and the sata extension board along with the wifi board so hopefully it don't take to long as i known the asian new years stuff is gonna be upon us.... friggen canadian dealer in montreal wants close to double the price so i just ordered it else where.


    i thru together another workstation last nite and started migrating the rockchip repos and toolchain stuff onto it and started looking at the panfrost stuff and ayufan's github as well... been putting together some of Arm's Mali stuff as well.

    Kodi on a full Linux install is either x11 or wayland depending on your compile choice but essentially Kodi is just another app sitting in a window that the already running server is providing. With the stripped down linux versions you see things like LibreELEC running on i think your probably running into issue with LibreELEC is not really a true server/client like a full blown install. instead you've kinda got a busy-box install with all the graphics extentions added to it for the hardware your installing and running on and Kodi itself is tightly intertwined in all the service startups and other stuff thats its hard to separate some things without heavily modifying some things which kinda defeat the whole intended idea behind LibreELEC and how its structure is laid out. I understand your interest in what you suggest but i think for the LibreELEC type of projects its just not the direction that their agenda is based on. Its been awhile but i used to use x11 on the boxes when running Jtag and other debug software while dumping cores and checking registers within the SoC and i had to setup kodi in a more real linux install to make it work, so i feel your pain.


    As some others have said tho for it be done properly so it works within the pervue of something like LibreELEC it really needs to be handled by the Kodi guys and good luck getting them to do anything outside whatever their direction is at any given time as there is always so much social drama between some of them its not even worth bring up. If its important to you then its something that i think you will have to take the bull by the horns and wrangle that one on your own. Years ago there were a few threads over on Freaktab by a couple of guys working at this but they eventually moved the group of them off to a IRC channel and i am not sure where it ended and that channel is now gone but who knows they may have just moved as theres always a ton of stuff going on in IRC at any given point in time, there and the news feeds (uucp). I don't have the time to go back and look at the subject anymore as all my S812's are fully supported and the only time i revisit them these days is to recompile and install the newest kodi versions. The other suggestion i would make is rather then going for a full blown current level browser if your just looking for basic surfing ability would be to find a simpler open source linux browser and start there.

    I understand the neutrality of your position as i realize your driving force is to get the LibreELEC project better supported looking forward to ensure its own longevity. Others going back to the 1st boxes at a time when there was no OpenELEC's or forks who were trying to put Linux on a box were basically told to by Amlogic reps to buzz off as there was no interest in the subject. Even a few factory techs back then while working for major downstream factory had the door slammed shut when they attempted to show there was a developing market interest in Linux. Thank god most hackers never give up and eventually things started to appear and continue to appear while growing. Eventually Amlogic partially caved and put up a server for openlinux support but theres really not much of any real value on it and its old but a choosen few were allowed access or shared some info with while the rest had to hone the hacking skills and invade the asian factories looking for protected or leaked docs. Here it is years and millions of boxes later and its still pretty much the same.


    After about a year of not really bothering with whats out in the public i started looking around while playing catchup and found this place to be a good place to read and chat and was nicely suprised to see at least Rockchips attitude has somewhat changed. From what i currently see at least Rockchip is openly providing decent information and not just to the choosen few but anyone that wants to download it which proves to me that Rockchip is light years ahead in at least providing some basic help and info, so on that point i guess you and i will have to agree to disagree.


    Lets not be naive as we all know money makes the world go around and neither one of these billion dollar company's give much away for free, At least Rockchip has proven its helping no matter what the skill set is of anyone wanting to mess with their products while Amlogic is still sitting behind controlled access providing very little, When the reality is both of these billion dollar companies are trying to hedge their bet for the future by leveraging against the growing group of FREE smart coders that are interested in helping because of a willingness to want to help for a variety of well meaning reasons. Going forward both companies are going to need better Linux support as that part of the market develops and you can see it already in their opening up to fuel the much smaller manufactured products not coming out of one of their bread and butter mainstream factories. So why not leverage development time against the free labor pool i get it and really have no issue with it as thats the way the world now works but come on Amlogic at least open up the vaults and provide some basic docs.


    As i said at the top tho, i understand your position based on the LibreELEC project which is community driven and depends on better support going into the future. I respect your thoughts and hopefully nothing i have said offends anyone as i always look at things from the big picture.

    It means right now we are focussed on core video/audio support more than figuring out some of the packaging mess required for WiFi/BT firmware and nvram files. It's something we need to align for Allwinner, Amlogic and Rockchip.


    RockPro64 is a popular RK3399 board among a variety of RK developers.

    k... i was looking at that and wondering... I need something to setup a working jtag and some other interfaces on and a open form factor like that is probably easier to retrofit then destroying the H96.


    the reasons i ask about the linux and driver stuff is my intention is to try and do the same thing we did with the S812 in creating all the missing stuff to get it up and into Amlogics own 4.9 open linux. I was going to start on the S912's but since looking around here and reading have come to the conclusion of going back to Rockchip as they seem more open with support then Amlogic ever will be. Its a lot of work and a fair bit of reverse engineering to gain the knowledge of how things work but the RK3399 seems like a neat SoC and my interests in it actually go outside just another tv box and i would need to tackle some issues for that to happen anyways so i think its were i will dig in and start. thanx tho as i always find your posts interesting and informative

    LE has zero interest in supporting X11 on ARM hardware. In fact we're going to remove X11 from x86/64 hardware in the future too (which kills the current browser support there). So the remaining approach/solution which also works today is to run a browser like Chrome via docker. In essence you're going to run some kind of desktop distro (with X11 and the stuff it depends upon) in a container in the background. That probably doesn't do any favours for performance, but you get a working browser.


    Before you ask, there is no nicely typed up guide on how to run a browser in a container. It's been done before though.

    I realized based on your origins from OpenELEC that there was no interest in any thing like that and since you guys started LibreELEC which i think was a great idea as OpenELEC became more routed in the WeTek product it was nice to see this place really take off and even inspire others like CoreELEC.


    my comments were more routed in the back and forth banter between a couple of the posters over what can or can't be done when the reality is whatever directions things go here is up to what you guys want to support, irrelevant of the reasons why one way or another. posts like that over technical issues make me want to point out that really no one is right or wrong as its a moot point.


    I also realize that sites like this attract a lot of people looking for information and some will have other ideas on things and coming to site like here is a good start to see whats going on and its easy for things outside the interests of the project coders and owner to come up.


    I think over time as you guys have excelled at moving forward theres so many things the project now supports that people start to expect other things that really are of as you say no interest to the ones running the show here, which is cool...


    I'm glad you chimed in and clarified the goals and forward looking intentions tho, it makes it easier for guys like me to know what not to waste your time on which is one of the reasons i recently crawled out of the hole to see what others are up to as an example i have aware of all the S912 issues since the SoC was introduced years ago when i got a sample from a factory, but by that time a few of us had already had to tackle all the issues with the S812's we were using at that point, and for me its been great coming here and seeing yours and others feedback on the current state of whats being worked on. Ive been off the planet for awhile and your info on Panfrost has been great and appreciated.


    In the end tho i agree with the sentiment if you want a browser then either stick with the native Android that comes on the box or install a fuller set of linux support then a basic busybox on steriods with graphics... lol

    k... whats the issue tho with the WiFi and BT support and the mainline kernel switch... you kind of lost me there... you meaning that when the box switches to mainline kernel then things will be fixed? I kinda figured you would be fishing the hardware information from the intended OS in Android in this case so i am all good with that.


    how bout the boot/reset vector on the box? by that i mean are they protecting that in anyway or can you adapt something like u-boot to just pick up the reset vector on the boot core and then pull the whole system up on Linux in this case and just do away with Android totally?

    To be honest... its not that it Can't be done, its more of a matter of finding enough of the right people to take a interest and give up their time to cross and fix all the bridges involved.


    I hate the word "can't" its just easier for some to use it because its beyond their own abilities.(not meaning that in a negative way) but my thinking has always been that if a person or group of people make something then someone else can always come along and make it do things it wasn't intended to do. In fact the firmware that this site was built to support and cultivate is based on that premise supporting Linux and a box that the manufacturer never originally intended it to be. Even Googles Android OS is a touch screen OS that until some smart none-google coders created and got working a remote control that enabled the reality of a box outputting to a tv as a usable appliance. Up tile that point most other methods of doing that were proprietary and not Android.


    They need to strike the word Can't from the dictionary.


    People have managed to get working browsers on boxes like this but it requires a fair amount of work to be done that is outside the whole premise of a stripped down Linux platform basically built to run Kodi. For the ones i know it was a personal or pet project that never went any further then the people involved. There is tons of private guys and groups constantly playing and creating things that never appear in the public and in a lot of cases its like that because the ones involved don't have the time or want the headache of dealing with the public and the stuff that goes with that part. Anyone thats been around long enough to go back to the days of XBMP and moving forward thru XBMC to Kodi know the social time and good and bad that lead to pretty much all of the original guys being gone because they had other things to do.


    just my 2 cents on the word "CAN'T" haha

    I have a H96 Max coming from the factory and should be here soon but the deeper i get into looking at the 3399 i am curious to if you guys have a better recommended different form factor board based more as a development board where more of the gpio's are exposed?


    Something along the lines of a beaglebone or raspberry layout. been looking around seen a few different ones. things like the Rock64 and some other Pine made boards.


    Its kinda a shame for me to wreck the H96 Max jury rigging it with interfaces where as a different form of the board. I need to get Jtag up and running on the cores to see whats going on in some areas...


    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Actually that is a good question and someone with more experience on the platform can provide a exact answer...


    So far from the as i start to go thru the SoC's docs i see they keep saying up to 10-bit but so far in what little i have gotten into i have not come across the specifics of how it works. The Rk3399 looks interesting especially the idea of coupling i higher performance A72 cores and the A53 cores on the SoC.


    Hopefully someone in the know will provide a better answer and i definitely agree i can see a bright future with this board.