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Problems with Firefly support

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Posted at 2/20/2016 07:04:58     
1) Why are the Linux images in the Firefly Google Drive are not updated?

2) Why developers don't include Linux GPU drivers in the Linux image? Not all of us know how to compile a kernel...

3) Why Firefly company advertises its GPU features and tell us that their products work with Linux as well but they don't mention that there are no working Linux drivers and GPU drivers are only available in Android? This is not honest business in my opinion.

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Posted at 3/6/2016 00:52:22     
Hi busybee,

My recommendation would be:

1) switch from ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 ASAP. when 16.04 is out there on some other hardware/devices (intel/amlogic/...) and you dont support 16.04 within a year or so, then linux on rk3288 is dead. this happened with all rk3188 linux releases/devices. then 14.04 is old news and not supported: from 2017 nobody wants to develop or release 14.04 based stuff anymore. just like nobody wants to use 12.04 right now anymore. just go to 16.04 ASAP! or you'll miss the future...

2) for that you probably need an updated linux kernel (4.4.1+), so upgrade and keep up with the mainstream kernel ASAP. or upgrade to mminds work for rk3288 device as he is following mainstream kernel - piggybacking. see https://github.com/mmind/linux-r ... vel/somewhat-stable.

3) get X11 with mali support working, just because it is possible: ARM has done its job by releasing its X11 user space drivers (OK, after a way too long time), so now it's up to others, like us (comunity devs, companies). you probably need step 2) for this, i.e. a more recent kernel 4.2+ or so. (mmind has X11 with GPU support working on rk3288 (veyron) working for a year or so: it is possible.)
if you get X11 with GPU support working, then you would be on par with most simple desktop pc's.

4) when X11 GPU support is available (step 3), it is a small step to get VPU decoding and encoding support done. I would be happy to do so. Also just because it is possible and very feasible. Using libhybris: either a complete ffmpeg library or even better a good v4l2 driver on kernel level for more generic decoding/encoding support.
if we get this working, firefly would be a great desktop PC, no compromise: a winner! the rk3288 has all the power inside, just like a ferrari! should just be unleashed, otherwise it is a shame.

my 2 cents,

cheers -- mac_l1
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Posted at 2/21/2016 22:42:30     
Hello

I'm a user of firefly too and I suffer from their lack of support too

1) I don't know. I had to make my own image many times because they don't support many Linux distributions. Like seriously, I'm just an engineering student and managed to make arch Linux run under firefly during my vacations and they are the company that builds this board and they don't at least update their images. If you guys want I can work for you and support many distributions and Linux versions !

2) I don't know. This GPUs sucks and usually to make it work you have to be a Linux guru. But here to problem is not of the firefly team, since GPUs sucks on other boards too and even on x86.
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Posted at 2/26/2016 06:48:30     
See, even after 5, FIVE days no answers yet !

Today I was surfing on google plus and I found a guy saying this board is dead since no-one talks anything on this forum. Then I open the firefly main webpage and what do I see ? A new, refresh version of the firefly rk3288. Why, instead of spending time and money building a new version firefly-rk3288 which is already really good, spend this money refreshing the outdated 3.10 linux kernel or making up-to-date images ?

Seriously, can anyone answer me ? We are not the only buyers who complains about the lack of support !
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Posted at 3/3/2016 16:27:00     
Hi, @tlgimenes , thanks for the feedback.

We'd like to enhance the support. Would you please list them for further discussion?
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Posted at 3/4/2016 11:56:49     
Hello busybee !

First of all, thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it !

I see some recuring problems with users and the support of the firefly. Here are the main problems that I can spot

1) Why are there just old Ubuntu 14.04 images on the official repository ? According to my view of the firefly, it is a really great performing chip that could easily be used as a desktop replacement, and, If we use it as such, sometimes we need new libraries and software that are only available on new versions of Ubuntu. You could answer this question saying that I could  build a new image of Ubuntu with any version I want, as explained on the wiki, but, as I've already read on this forum, there are some users that don't have the required knowledge to do it.

2) Why not support other linux distros ? Supporting other linux distros shouldn't be much different thant supporting Ubuntu, i.e, the process of building the Ubuntu image should be analogue to building any other linux distro. One example of this is that I've built an Arch Linux image following the firefly's Ubuntu wiki !

3) Why not create/update the kernel repository with at least a kernel 4.x ? Sometimes I have to use some functions and funcionalities that exists on kernel 4.x or plus and I couldn't still compile sucessfuly the mainline kernel using the VGA or HDMI output, so I'm still stucked with the stock kernel 3.10 of more than 3 years ago.

4) The forth point is more an advice. Generally, mali GPUs are a real pain in any arm based boards running linux. Why not use next time a more linux-friendly GPU, like the one Raspberry PI uses, which is well documented and the drivers are available ?!

Thank you, hope this discussion can give us better directions
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Posted at 3/4/2016 15:30:31     
Thanks for your reply.

The reason we currently stick to Ubuntu 14.04 and Kernel 3.10 as the official firmware is that stableness and function completeness.

And we do tried the mainline kernel, as written in the Wiki. We also tried other flavors of Linux too.

But as you know, there're many flavors of Linux, and we cannot afford to support all of them. We need help of the community. We're open to ears to how to combine the joint effort of community, like how to made the maintaince of the distribution more open and easy to cooperate.

Firefly-RK3288 is our first development board product. We're lack of experience, and we hope Linux support of Mali GPUs will be improved in the future.

Thank you for your advice. Do you have any suggestions for our forum, website, wiki ?
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Posted at 3/5/2016 11:24:10     
busybee Posted at 3/4/2016 15:30
Thanks for your reply.

The reason we currently stick to Ubuntu 14.04 and Kernel 3.10 as the offic ...

Hi

For forum guides

I added 'How to add extra partition for dual-booting'
I also add 'How to add RK Kodi 16 support to Firefly SDK'

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Posted at 3/7/2016 16:36:35     
Thank you very much, @mac_l1 .  Your 2 cents are very valuable for us.

We'll have a disussion of your suggestions internally.
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Posted at 3/12/2016 10:48:09     
Last edited by tlgimenes In 3/12/2016 10:50 Editor

Hello !!

I totally agree with mac_l1 and would like to say sorry for my previous posts because I was a little mad with things not working as they should with the firefly.
I also think that if we manage to accomplish untill step 3, firefly would be a winner. If we manage to achieve untill step 4, I can change all of the 15PCs in my company for firefly boards


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