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Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

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Posted at 2/21/2015 00:50:01     

Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Hello everyone

I wanted the opinion of the people who have used the firefly for a few weeks/months: is ubuntu stable/usable enough to be used as a desktop replacement? i.e. office apps, email, internet, dropboxing, some image editing etc?


I don't mind the occasional bug/problem of course but I would want to be productive using it for my daily tasks

Thanks!

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Posted at 2/21/2015 01:16:10     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Yes

But not for any 3D or Video related stuff at the moment.

ARM said they will release new Mali r5p1 driver before end of March together with X11 driver support based on 3.14 kernel.

Then above will also work and Firefly can then be used as a PC Ubuntu replacement.

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Posted at 2/21/2015 01:59:56     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

"ARM said they will release new Mali r5p1 driver before end of March together with X11 driver support based on 3.14 kernel.

Then above will also work and Firefly can then be used as a PC Ubuntu replacement."


Unfortunately the above statement is partially incorrect. The X11 driver will provide graphics acceleration to those application supporting EGL/GLES, these applications are in the minority under X11. You won't get a full accelerated graphical desktop experience as per x86, unfortunately it's myth that this is achievable in the short/media term. One of the benefits of the X11 drivers are for those wanting to port an existing GLES/OpenCL application to run on the FireFly or those wanting to develop a new application.


The Mali driver don't cover Video acceleration as this is covered by another set of drivers which haven't been ported across.

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Posted at 2/21/2015 02:34:23     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Thanks for the input guys.

When you say for the 3D or video related stuff do you mean 3D games or watching videos online either flash through a browser or via XBMC?

Would I be able to watch the occasional youtube video or watch something on vlc?


Thanks

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Posted at 2/21/2015 10:43:42     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Thanks for the input guys.

When you say for the 3D or video related stuff do you mean 3D games or watching videos online either flash through a browser or via XBMC?

Would I be able to watch the occasional youtube video or watch something on vlc?


Thanks


You will only be able to watch Youtube or VLC videos in a small window, not fullscreen until the drivers are ready.

Also XBMC won't work until the drivers are released.

XBMC and VLC can then use GLES acceleration from the GPU to playback videos.

The VPU drivers from 3.14 ChromeOS will then probably also get ported to Firefly but not certain.

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Posted at 2/21/2015 17:06:04     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

OK thanks - I guess it's a bit early to use this board as a desktop replacement...
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Posted at 2/24/2015 02:53:23     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Kalimera Yiorgo.

It's still early to use this board as desktop replacement. I own this board a few months now. You can use Android on this board but you have to read the forum to root the device, install google play, etc. And then not all the video players work well. On Ubuntu, as it's already said, you can't watch movies on full screen because there are no released drivers for video acceleration yet. It may take months or year until the video acceleration work and when it happen you will be probably able to buy more advanced boards. I don't want to blame Firefly. The hardware is very good, especially if you are a developer. But it is very early for the software. It will need time and a very big community to grow. I also own raspberry pi b+, i'm waiting for raspberry pi 2, i own an android tv stick, Arduinos, a windows mini pc etc.

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Posted at 2/24/2015 13:24:16     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Everyone speaks the truth here.  And if you add up users you will still find a split of 2 to 1, Linux to Android users.  One person here has shown some knowledge and is not chasing that golden Linux 3.29.r53+++  here.  jas-rk has figured it out that,  that  3.14 will be the next 3.0.8 -> 3.0.36.  Yet these Linux chasers keep chasing when they haven't even finished on Linux 12.04 which isn't even supported anymore (Video Support never Solved).  I myself have come to the solution that 3.14 Linux and Android (L&M) 3.14 should be everyones concern before we try to advance any further.  Sorry but, if the chip companies won't cooperate slowing down future developments for lack of completing what should be surrendered, particularly now with MicroSoft  getting involved.


---cappybob

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Posted at 2/24/2015 23:39:55     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

A little here and a little there.  Another Mali release and again more promises, with a change of support for the RK3288 board.  More on this from CNXSoft.


http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/02/23/ ... t76x-gpus/


----cappybob

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Posted at 3/3/2015 06:03:31     

Re: Usability/Stability as a desktop replacement in Ubuntu

Thank you everyone for their input. Rikomagic makes a mini PC with the RK3288 and linux. Do they develop their own linux versions?

I've looked into all of the popular dev boards (like odroid, beagleboard, cubietrack, Radxa etc) and even though they look promising, they always lack something.

In any case, even though I wanted to give ARM a chance and own one of these tiny PC's (with all their benefits), I think I'll just opt for an x86 mini pc platform for 50 euros more and avoid any productivity issues

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