Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by mad_ady »

libhybris sounds great on paper. But there must be something wrong with it since I haven't heard about it in conjunction with odroids or other sbcs.
This, at least sounds promising with regard to Xorg, but doesn't mention performance: https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Hybris

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by rooted »

mad_ady wrote:libhybris sounds great on paper. But there must be something wrong with it since I haven't heard about it in conjunction with odroids or other sbcs.
This, at least sounds promising with regard to Xorg, but doesn't mention performance: https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Hybris
It's been tried with limited success

viewtopic.php?p=98021

viewtopic.php?p=96663


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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Libhybris might be a nice workaround, but the reverse might be a way out too.
The Android OS does actually get graphics/video supported by Arm and Hardkernel, and with the AOSP version and without the Gapps (without anything Google-ish), that might actually a viable alternative for my use case.

You get an accelerated environment capable of playing files (kodi, etc) and surfing the web (well, sorta, anyways, with firefox and perhaps opera).
And using a debian chroot + Xserver XSDL or a VNC-ish lookalike solution, you can run a Linux desktop when required for productivity work.
LinuxOnAndroid (Complete Linux Installer) and UserLAnd (GNURoot Debian), or alike, might be a way forward here.

So, that might be a way around the current problems on the Odroid N2 Linux desktop: anything related to video lags and has vsync issues.
And Hardkernel is really active supporting Android AOSP and based on what is said on this forum, Lineage OS seems to be pretty good!

Based on what I read about hardware acceleration on Linux ARM that seems to be a big headache kinda thing.
With all the variables, all the software packages, all the GL-standards... getting all those "ducks" in line seems a major undertaking.
Perhaps the Android route might be a nice workaround.

And perhaps it's even possible to run Xorg straight from the debian/linux chroot. With the right Xorg.conf... who knows.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by mad_ady »

Like this, you mean?
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... naH9UXvhtb
Too bad it's not free/open source :(

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

mad_ady wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:10 am
Like this, you mean?
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... naH9UXvhtb
Too bad it's not free/open source :(
Yeah, something like that. Not sure what the license situation on VolksPC is, but you don't need VolksPC specifically to chroot into a Linux environment on Android, obviously. Now, perhaps VolksPC makes this easy and user friendly, and more power to VolksPC, I don't know.

But chroot on Linux (kernels, so including Android) is real free, very open and just normal - all Linux livecd's function based on chroot, for example. [correction: technically they probably use a pivot_root, but never mind that difference] The livecd bootstrap loads/opens the actual Linux image from a file on the CD/USB-drive, then (functionally a bit like petitboot, though technically different) chroot into that to actually load the livecd desktop. And Android is no different. From Android, mount a Linux image as a loop device and chroot into it. You then continue to run the Android kernel as normal, just then with a GNU/Linux environment/image. This is process based, so Android continues to run in its own environment. And XServer XSDL (or lookalikes) then handles the graphics side of things as, well, an X Server, to integrate into Android.

And perhaps (probably, likely) it's even possible to start a normal X11/Xorg session on the chroot directly, just like how the chroot works on Chromebooks with Crouton. And given that Android is actually, decently maintained and supported to run on the Odroid N2...
Last edited by odroidn2user on Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by mad_ady »

VolksPC runs a custom XServer implementation that is designed to integrate (I think with egl acceleration) in the Android GUI. Also some other integrations allow you to play youtube from linux in the Youtube app for example.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by rooted »

mad_ady wrote:VolksPC runs a custom XServer implementation that is designed to integrate (I think with egl acceleration) in the Android GUI. Also some other integrations allow you to play youtube from linux in the Youtube app for example.
No EGL acceleration, but it's certainly more than chroot. It's nice but without acceleration it's uses are limited for desktop.
Last edited by rooted on Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

rooted wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:10 am
mad_ady wrote:VolksPC runs a custom XServer implementation that is designed to integrate (I think with egl acceleration) in the Android GUI. Also some other integrations allow you to play youtube from linux in the Youtube app for example.
No EGL acceleration, but it's certainly more than chroot.
Well, XServer XSDL is more than chroot. But I haven't checked out VolksPC yet.
rooted wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:10 am
It's nice but without acceleration it's uses are limited for desktop.
The normal linux desktop also doesn't have acceleration yet, so no loss there. Also if you could then Alt+TAB from a Linux Desktop to an Android window and use fully accelerated Kodi (and other apps) for multimedia/gaming there... Might be a nice workaround indeed. Just: Please, without anything Google! Privacy and freedom is worth a lot.
Last edited by odroidn2user on Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by rooted »


odroidn2user wrote: Also if you could then Alt+TAB from a Linux Desktop to an Android window and use fully accelerated Kodi (and other apps) for multimedia/gaming there... Might be a nice workaround indeed. Just: Please, without anything Google! Privacy and freedom is worth a lot.
It doesn't have VPU or GPU acceleration in Linux but does in Android

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

rooted wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:47 am
odroidn2user wrote: Also if you could then Alt+TAB from a Linux Desktop to an Android window and use fully accelerated Kodi (and other apps) for multimedia/gaming there... Might be a nice workaround indeed. Just: Please, without anything Google! Privacy and freedom is worth a lot.
It doesn't have VPU or GPU acceleration in Linux but does in Android
Exactly, so that fixes the issue of not having VPU and GPU acceleration on Linux. Just Alt+Tab from the Linux desktop to an Android window and use VPU and GPU there. Then, Alt+Tab back to Linux for normal productivity.

Can you run Android in a chroot from Linux? Now that would be awesome! Create a minimal image of Android that starts Android Kodi, and add a shortcut to the Linux desktop to chroot into it and voila! VPU and GPU accelerated Kodi (and other stuff) right from the Linux Desktop! In fact, this should be able to work on the 4.9 Linux kernels and images Hardkernel ships. It is the exact same kernel. Add an Android chroot to get the android user space going to interact with the 4.9 hardkernel kernels and load the Kodi apps (and others) to go. And this is all with minimum performance loss due to the way chroot works, does take a litte extra memory and drive space though. Just have to have Android overlay the Linux Desktop or open a different TTY and you're done...

Update, not the first person to think of this idea: https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions ... top_linux/

And apps as images, and loading images to start individual apps, is not that unusual: appimage, flatpaks, macos dmgs etc...

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by back2future »

[ That might revive combined kernels (configuration/source tree) for Android, gnu-based os's (Replicant) and posix-based distros and discussion about
upstream attempts for proprietary code https://itsfoss.com/mainline-linux-kernel-android/ on 5.x versions?
"So if google goes through with this it will likely be that the closest google will get to upstream is “take the LTS kernel, add “rejected” code, OEMs and ODMs add their kernel modules” which would still be better than the mess we have now. any closer will require open sourcing the drivers. But that will be a much bigger monumental task"


Android in Docker?
"To run Wayland applications in docker without X, you need a running wayland compositor like Gnome-Wayland or Weston. You have to share the Wayland socket. You find it in XDG_RUNTIME_DIR and its name is stored in WAYLAND_DISPLAY. As XDG_RUNTIME_DIR only allows access for its owner, you need the same user in container as on host. Example:

docker run -e XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=/tmp \
-e WAYLAND_DISPLAY=$WAYLAND_DISPLAY \
-v $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/$WAYLAND_DISPLAY:/tmp/$WAYLAND_DISPLAY \
--user=$(id -u):$(id -g) \
imagename waylandapplication
"
--device=/dev/nvidia0 -> --device=/dev/mali0 ?


Anbox ]
Last edited by back2future on Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by meveric »

odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:51 am
rooted wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:47 am
odroidn2user wrote: Also if you could then Alt+TAB from a Linux Desktop to an Android window and use fully accelerated Kodi (and other apps) for multimedia/gaming there... Might be a nice workaround indeed. Just: Please, without anything Google! Privacy and freedom is worth a lot.
It doesn't have VPU or GPU acceleration in Linux but does in Android
Exactly, so that fixes the issue of not having VPU and GPU acceleration on Linux. Just Alt+Tab from the Linux desktop to an Android window and use VPU and GPU there. Then, Alt+Tab back to Linux for normal productivity.

Can you run Android in a chroot from Linux? Now that would be awesome! Create a minimal image of Android that starts Android Kodi, and add a shortcut to the Linux desktop to chroot into it and voila! VPU and GPU accelerated Kodi (and other stuff) right from the Linux Desktop! In fact, this should be able to work on the 4.9 Linux kernels and images Hardkernel ships. It is the exact same kernel. Add an Android chroot to get the android user space going to interact with the 4.9 hardkernel kernels and load the Kodi apps (and others) to go. And this is all with minimum performance loss due to the way chroot works, does take a litte extra memory and drive space though. Just have to have Android overlay the Linux Desktop or open a different TTY and you're done...

Update, not the first person to think of this idea: https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions ... top_linux/

And apps as images, and loading images to start individual apps, is not that unusual: appimage, flatpaks, macos dmgs etc...
If your goal is to have VPU and GPU acceleration for Kodi only, that's already working directly under Linux and you don't need android for it.
Kodi exists for Linux and runs under Debian or Ubuntu with hardware acceleration (both GPU and VPU).
But other applications may not have GPU acceleration, depending on what you want to run.
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by memeka »

Hybris - was actually very successful (on the original XU).
I could run a wayland server with support for hybris, then start other wayland servers that can run in nested mode - it was only Weston back then, but others should run now too. Also if you just want to run 1 wayland app (eg chrome in kiosk mode, kodi,..) it would nicely too.
I also wrote a sdl backend and a retroarch backend for hybris, so you could run sdl2 apps and retroarch directly on top of it (like gbm).
Wouldn’t work with big wayland compositors that don’t run nested tho (Kwin can but not mutter), but there was no bugs I could find... but you wouldn’t get a big desktop either, only good for specific apps or kiosk style...
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

memeka wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:54 am
Hybris - was actually very successful (on the original XU).
I could run a wayland server with support for hybris, then start other wayland servers that can run in nested mode - it was only Weston back then, but others should run now too. Also if you just want to run 1 wayland app (eg chrome in kiosk mode, kodi,..) it would nicely too.
I also wrote a sdl backend and a retroarch backend for hybris, so you could run sdl2 apps and retroarch directly on top of it (like gbm).
Wouldn’t work with big wayland compositors that don’t run nested tho (Kwin can but not mutter), but there was no bugs I could find... but you wouldn’t get a big desktop either, only good for specific apps or kiosk style...
That would work! (And saves running an Android kinda thing) The main problem is anything video related. So: mpv, vlc, kodi and indeed perhaps a chrome or firefox. If that could be run within an accelerated Wayland bubble, within the normal X11 Linux Desktop, and actually access the GPU and VPU...
It looks to me like this wouldn't integrate into the existing X11 environment in a window, so that would have to be full screen app then probably.

That said, if we could boot KDE Plasma / Kwin into a Hybris based Wayland server... We'd be have graphics acceleration and a working and feature complete Linux desktop right there. If Hybris also makes the VPU go...?
meveric wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:30 am
If your goal is to have VPU and GPU acceleration for Kodi only, that's already working directly under Linux and you don't need android for it.
Kodi exists for Linux and runs under Debian or Ubuntu with hardware acceleration (both GPU and VPU).
But other applications may not have GPU acceleration, depending on what you want to run.
Well, there aren't an awful lot of applications that require VPU and GPU. It's mostly gaming and video, perhaps some video streaming from web based services. And when thinking video and Android, Kodi obviously springs to mind first, though clearly there are other options like VLC and probably mplayer based options. And for surfing / video streaming web sites, Firefox and Opera on Android are pretty decent, Firefox has addons with block ads and stuff. So, that'd be useful.

I tried Kodi from the TTY/framebuffer on the normal HK (not minimal) Mate image. Didn't look so fine, it started but framebuffer text output was always overlayed over the video (i presume the minimal image doesn't do that). And skipping back and forward made it stop/crash/disfunction, can't remember exactly what it was. I searched quite a bit about ways to suppress the verbose logging / text output, couldn't find any documentation or usage guidelines. So I quickly gave up on running Kodi in a TTY from the HK Mate image. And then moved on to Manjaro to get a more complete and uptodate desktop, which very likely doesn't have a Kodi build that runs from TTY, though I never looked into that. Then fell in love with the N2 and started researching graphics acceleration for it and writing this topic.

But another thought about chrooting into Android...

Now running Linux, then Alt+F6-ing into Android to do Kodi, some games, some video streaming, etc, and then Alt+F7 back to the Linux desktop for productivity.... Now THAT would be awesome. And based on the HK Ubuntu 18 accelerated minimal image, with the supported kernel 4.9, technically that would be doable. You would be able to boot the shared (and well patched) 4.9 kernel and then use it to boot both. (Or perhaps better: Linux first and startx on one TTY, then load Android second on a different TTY). That would be best of both worlds.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

back2future wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:35 am
[ That might revive combined kernels (configuration/source tree) for Android, gnu-based os's (Replicant) and posix-based distros and discussion about
upstream attempts for proprietary code https://itsfoss.com/mainline-linux-kernel-android/ on 5.x versions?
Well, once we get a full working mainline kernel, we (and I say we implying not me) could use that to run Android on as well. Android is fixed to 4.9 for the N2, based on the fact it works with the hardware. Once mainline kernels catch up and support the hardware, you can run Android on that. I am not aware of any additional kernel patches specifically for Android, though, there might be, like extra kernel modules and such. Though I imagine a shared uptodate kernel wouldn't be that hard.
back2future wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:35 am
"So if google goes through with this it will likely be that the closest google will get to upstream is “take the LTS kernel, add “rejected” code, OEMs and ODMs add their kernel modules” which would still be better than the mess we have now. any closer will require open sourcing the drivers. But that will be a much bigger monumental task"
From what I understand, they would like the different hardware suppliers to bring their hardware drivers as kernel modules of some sort. That would make the kernel a default kernel and just insmod the kernel modules from the hardware suppliers. This would obviously be a big win for GNU/Linux desktops on ARM as well. And that would free Google and suppliers from all having to maintain hundreds of full Linux kernel forks for things like simple hardware drivers. Used a shared kernel base (and source tree) and just add modules. Would reduce the amount of work for all involved and work wonders for getting GNU/Linux going.
back2future wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:35 am
Android in Docker?
"To run Wayland applications in docker without X, you need a running wayland compositor like Gnome-Wayland or Weston. You have to share the Wayland socket. You find it in XDG_RUNTIME_DIR and its name is stored in WAYLAND_DISPLAY. As XDG_RUNTIME_DIR only allows access for its owner, you need the same user in container as on host. Example:
---8<---
Anbox ]
Wow, mind blown. Running Android in a docker container from the GNU/Linux environment. Man, if we could get this to run on the N2 with accelerated VPU and GPU, that would be something! Just imagine the possibilities...

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by meveric »

odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:11 pm
I tried Kodi from the TTY/framebuffer on the normal HK (not minimal) Mate image. Didn't look so fine, it started but framebuffer text output was always overlayed over the video (i presume the minimal image doesn't do that).
I bet it does as well, as this would be handled in Kodi not on the OS.
My version for Kodi for example does turn off terminal (framebuffer how you called it) output when you start Kodi, and with that you have a "clean" Kodi experience.
I did the same on retroarch and PPSSPP. So it is POSSIBLE but if people don't do it you see stuff messing up your screen.
But it just means people would actually have to consider this in writing software for the N2 under Linux.
And that's the big woop woop around fbdev GPU drivers for the N2. While under X11 you don't need to care about this stuff, for fbdev drivers you have so much more to consider and fix.
Doesn't mean it's not working, just means it's a pain in the ass.
odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:11 pm
And skipping back and forward made it stop/crash/disfunction, can't remember exactly what it was. I searched quite a bit about ways to suppress the verbose logging / text output, couldn't find any documentation or usage guidelines. So I quickly gave up on running Kodi in a TTY from the HK Mate image.
Can't remember that happening when I last tried Kodi on the N2, but I also don't use HKs Ubuntu image, therefore I can't say anything to it.
I don't use the N2 that often anyway. I prefer the XU4 and other boards I have.
odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:11 pm
Now running Linux, then Alt+F6-ing into Android to do Kodi, some games, some video streaming, etc, and then Alt+F7 back to the Linux desktop for productivity.... Now THAT would be awesome. And based on the HK Ubuntu 18 accelerated minimal image, with the supported kernel 4.9, technically that would be doable. You would be able to boot the shared (and well patched) 4.9 kernel and then use it to boot both. (Or perhaps better: Linux first and startx on one TTY, then load Android second on a different TTY). That would be best of both worlds.
You can not chroot into android.
Android uses a compete different display manager than Linux (look up at "SurfaceFlinger"), it even uses a different binary mode which makes it impossible to chroot into Android.
The only feasible way to run Android under Linux would be to run it as a VM using KVM or XEN as it was done on the XU3/XU4:
https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/appl ... ualization
viewtopic.php?f=98&t=6643 --> here you can see running Linux, ANDROID, and ChromeOS as a VM on an XU3
https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/appl ... ftware/kvm
Or an Android Emulator, but the later normally requires to have working X11 acceleration as well.
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

meveric wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:58 pm
odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:11 pm
Now running Linux, then Alt+F6-ing into Android to do Kodi, some games, some video streaming, etc, and then Alt+F7 back to the Linux desktop for productivity.... Now THAT would be awesome. And based on the HK Ubuntu 18 accelerated minimal image, with the supported kernel 4.9, technically that would be doable. You would be able to boot the shared (and well patched) 4.9 kernel and then use it to boot both. (Or perhaps better: Linux first and startx on one TTY, then load Android second on a different TTY). That would be best of both worlds.
You can not chroot into android.
Android uses a compete different display manager than Linux (look up at "SurfaceFlinger"), it even uses a different binary mode which makes it impossible to chroot into Android.
The only feasible way to run Android under Linux would be to run it as a VM using KVM or XEN as it was done on the XU3/XU4:
https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/appl ... ualization
viewtopic.php?f=98&t=6643 --> here you can see running Linux, ANDROID, and ChromeOS as a VM on an XU3
https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/appl ... ftware/kvm
Or an Android Emulator, but the later normally requires to have working X11 acceleration as well.
Ah, many thanks for the explanation. Not possible then.
I figured kernel processes are kernel processes and the Android display manager would be able to load on a TTY.
If it works one way, it'll work the other way. So, not then.
I'll look into SurfaceFlinger, thx.

Android in a dual boot kinda deal still works, obviously. As is the Debian chroot from Android to Linux possible.
VM's won't do hardware acceleration, I imagine, if the host doesn't do hardware acceleration.

This screenshot really is something though: viewtopic.php?f=98&t=6643
I do wonder how suriyan managed his 2GB of memory for the XU3 over 3 OSes AND a VNC!?
One Linux OS is already ~500mb, then opening a couple of Firefox tabs already fills the 2GB quickly with just one OS!
I imagine swap is running overtime on this scenario.

I added the Android and Hybris routes to the opening post.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by meveric »

odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:35 pm
VM's won't do hardware acceleration, I imagine, if the host doesn't do hardware acceleration.
1. the host DOES hardware acceleration, it might not be the one you WANT but it DOES.
2. VMs do not require the host to have hardware acceleration, if that were the case all VMs running on VMware, Xen, KVM or whatever would not have hardware acceleration.
They run on "bare metal" most of the time with no GPU drivers installed. The GUEST, needs to have drivers for the HARDWARE, not the HOST.
If the Guest running in a VM has access to an NVIDIA GPU connected to it, and has NVIDIA GPU drivers installed, then the guest can access the GPU and use hardware acceleration.
No matter if the host has GPU drivers installed or not.
odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:35 pm
This screenshot really is something though: viewtopic.php?f=98&t=6643
I do wonder how suriyan managed his 2GB of memory for the XU3 over 3 OSes AND a VNC!?
One Linux OS is already ~500mb, then opening a couple of Firefox tabs already fills the 2GB quickly with just one OS!
I imagine swap is running overtime on this scenario.
Running Ubuntu/Debian with LXDE, or XFCE can be done with about 200 MB of RAM, even MATE can easily fit in 200~300 MB of RAM.
500 MB is a wide stretch for just running a simple desktop without anything on it (unless you run it in gnome3 where you'll loose about 1GB and more).
If you check the screenshot the chrome that is running, also only has one (or two if you want to count the empty new tab) tabs open, that's barely using any RAM at all.
The most amount of RAM is probably be used by Android, although an older version you could assume it to be around 300~500 MB.
My guess: each VM 500MB, with 500MB left for the host itself.
Doesn't sound like it's impossible. OSes in 2014 where much less demanding.
I have at home still running an ODROID U3 with two X11 sessions (one is a vnc server) that uses less than 250 MB
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by back2future »

Running Android in a docker container from the GNU/Linux environment. Man, if we could get this to run on the N2 with accelerated VPU and GPU, that would be something! Just imagine the possibilities...
Waiting for
1) libhybris evolving to 64bit
2) shared kernel for Android and posixLinux and kvm or xen enabled
Last edited by back2future on Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by memeka »

Actually you can run android for games/video/desktop and run Linux in chroot for server apps. This has been done a lot on odroids.
But my experience was that Android is not great as a desktop :)

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Just a quick update on what is happening elsewhere, for readers of this thread.

Developers on this forum, showing awesome skill, have gotten the kernel 5.4 working.
Early examples of Gnome working on Wayland on mainline(ish) kernel 5.4, with (presumably) the official Mali Bifrost Wayland drivers seems to at least start and go as of the end of december of 2019:
viewtopic.php?f=176&t=33993&start=550#p275997

They are now ironing out wrinkles with regards to the execution speed of different hardware components, wayland graphics acceleration (GL), video acceleration (vpu) and audio to get to a fully working state.
It's not there yet, but it's in real and actual development showing excellent progress.

So, who are these wonderful people getting things to work?
memeka, Neil Armstrong, tobetter, brad, elatllat, sav and others.
A big warm thanks to them for their ongoing effort!

And to quote tobetter: "I think N2 mainline kernel debugging party could be started in a good shape for 2020"
The game is afoot!

Updated the opening post with some additional information.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by mxmilkb »

https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mes ... uests/1686 - four months ago - "panfrost: Check in Bifrost compiler."

from #panfrost a few days ago:

<B1oHazard> hi, can somebody say current status of bifrost gpus in panfrost? thanks
<@alyssa> B1oHazard: Not supported at this time :-(
<@alyssa> We know enough to write a driver but there hasn't been the interest so we've been focusing on advancing Midgard
<B1oHazard> any chance to get bifrost support it this year?
<@alyssa> Chance? Anything can happen, look where Panfrost was a year ago ;)
<@alyssa> If I nop out a lot of RA cleverness, R11 blending works and STK is in slightly less terrible shape
<@alyssa> Total hack but that tells us where to focus for that. and that there are way more bugs creeping beneath the surface.
<B1oHazard> your work for panfrost is great :) will waiting when u focus on bifrost development, thanks
<@alyssa> Thank you :)
<@alyssa> My focus has been ES3 on midgard
- {Day changed to Saturday, 4 January 2020}
<endrift> bifrost is newer than midgard, right?
<chrisf> yes
<@HdkR> endrift: Utgard < Midgard < Bifrost < Valhall
<endrift> Thanks, I can never remember the order
<endrift> Valhall? Not Valhalla?
<@HdkR> Valhall yea
<@HdkR> Exynos 990 will probably be the first SoC shipping it
<endrift> Are there any easy-to-get dev boards with bifrost? Maybe I could start work on a driver if I got it (I'm being idealistic, I've not even unpacked my Pine H64)
<@HdkR> Hardkernel's ODROID-N2
<@HdkR> Also the ODROID-Go Advance will have Bifrost
<@HdkR> Also Panfrost has my beginning Bifrost compiler code. You could technically work on it without a Bifrost board atm
<chrisf> hikey960/970 are easy to get and have bifrost gpus
<@HdkR> Oh right, I have one of those as well
<@HdkR> Or..both?
<endrift> hmm those look a little pricier
<@HdkR> Yea, that's why the N2 is nice since it is cheaper
<@HdkR> N2 also has Linux Mali blobs that you can poke at

...

<@HdkR> Alright, let's get familiar with this bifrost compiler again
... 2 hours later ...
<@HdkR> There we go. Dropped my small amount of infrastructure code for Bifrost in to an MR
<@HdkR> I've got an idea of how I want to go about it
<@alyssa> HdkR: ....Christmas came early! Will review as soon as I have a free moment (maybe Tuesday?)
<@alyssa> ....Or I guess it came two weeks late
<@alyssa> But let's be optimistic and say it came 50 weeks early
- {Day changed to Monday, 6 January 2020}
<@HdkR> alyssa: It's also only a tiny amoutn of code. Not much logic happening there
<@HdkR> Only spent about an hour or so getting familiar with the code again

and the related MR - https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mes ... uests/3289

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Sav »

It looks promising.
By the way, in a scenario like this I can feel the difference between raspberry and any other development boards.
Raspberry has a poor hardware, but an army of developers. The other boards the opposite.
Some days ago a watched a video from EtaPrime, testing the N64 emulation on the raspberry's raspbian OS (debian). The performances where the same (more or less) of the N2 running dolphin on android 64 bit. So, even running the best driver we have at the moment (mali for android with vulkan support), the N2 is rivaled by raspberry pi 4.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

@tobetter has created an Ubuntu Disco (19.04) minimal net installer image for testing purposes, based on kernel 5.4.0, presumably with some additional patching.
It is now available for testing and installs a working Ubuntu 19.04 with Gnome 3.32 (setup in ubuntu configuration).
See this article: https://medium.com/@tobetter/running-gn ... a187dff055

Now: With a manual additional install (tobetter has a package for it in his ppa) of the ARM Mali Wayland drivers (blobs, both userspace and dkms) actually results in a working hardware (GPU) accelerated Gnome running on/with Wayland!
And with additional settings Firefox does Wayland as well, not sure about noticeable performance performance improvements here yet (i didn't test and compare any web gl stuff or anything), but still!

And based on a short test, using mpv, using a very normal 1080p x264 video file, video appears to play smoothly, like real smooth.
I am not sure if there is VPU support yet, but there is a significant improvement in video playing smoothness on my test.
Wonderful to see, and a big promise for things ahead.

Now, no audio support yet as far as I can see, but this is very significant progress!

More in the topic here: Projects - Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Tassadar »

meveric wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:30 am
odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:51 am
rooted wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:47 am
odroidn2user wrote: Also if you could then Alt+TAB from a Linux Desktop to an Android window and use fully accelerated Kodi (and other apps) for multimedia/gaming there... Might be a nice workaround indeed. Just: Please, without anything Google! Privacy and freedom is worth a lot.
It doesn't have VPU or GPU acceleration in Linux but does in Android
Exactly, so that fixes the issue of not having VPU and GPU acceleration on Linux. Just Alt+Tab from the Linux desktop to an Android window and use VPU and GPU there. Then, Alt+Tab back to Linux for normal productivity.

Can you run Android in a chroot from Linux? Now that would be awesome! Create a minimal image of Android that starts Android Kodi, and add a shortcut to the Linux desktop to chroot into it and voila! VPU and GPU accelerated Kodi (and other stuff) right from the Linux Desktop! In fact, this should be able to work on the 4.9 Linux kernels and images Hardkernel ships. It is the exact same kernel. Add an Android chroot to get the android user space going to interact with the 4.9 hardkernel kernels and load the Kodi apps (and others) to go. And this is all with minimum performance loss due to the way chroot works, does take a litte extra memory and drive space though. Just have to have Android overlay the Linux Desktop or open a different TTY and you're done...

Update, not the first person to think of this idea: https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions ... top_linux/

And apps as images, and loading images to start individual apps, is not that unusual: appimage, flatpaks, macos dmgs etc...
If your goal is to have VPU and GPU acceleration for Kodi only, that's already working directly under Linux and you don't need android for it.
Kodi exists for Linux and runs under Debian or Ubuntu with hardware acceleration (both GPU and VPU).
But other applications may not have GPU acceleration, depending on what you want to run.
Framebuffer Mali accelerated graphics output which you are talking about still has an issue of screen tearing, see my thread (viewtopic.php?f=176&t=37453)

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

I keep being amazed at how difficult it appears to be to get kernels booting on ARM devices reliably, let alone fully functioning graphics drivers.
This isn't a critique on Odroid N2 or developers here, but I see reports on problems getting images and kernels going everywhere.
This just appears to be a really tricky issue to solve.

Armbian is trying to get Ubuntu 20.x going, and having a difficult time getting all the hardware supported, but well done to them for starting this important task! (more here)
Manjaro can't make kernel 5.4 and 5.5 boot on the Odroid N2 reliably yet, by their going mainline they basically pulled support for the Odroid N2 after their 19.08 release.
Hardkernel themselves don't go near anything other than the official patched 4.9 kernel, and only venture Ubuntu 18.
It appears mainline kernels and Odroid N2 offer currently no sound, if they boot at all? What else is not actually, fully working? Well, the VPU clearly.
Working hardware drivers for graphics for Mali gpu's are virtually non-existent and basically unsupported, though using some workarounds ARM GPU drivers are actually working! (And that is good news!)
Then there is the whole different versions of OpenGL, which basically seem to me to be a big mess to get going in a desktop setting, with all the different versions and requirements.
And the Linux community seems to redo/overhaul the video4linux specs, which means, well, apparently mostly breaking a lot of VPU acceleration stuff making video players unreliable.
And devs here, while both awesome and active, don't appear to be able to deliver a fully working desktop package based on kernel 5.4 or 5.5 either as of yet (it sure is getting close now, but still).
And over in the Raspberry world, the 3d driver is in development there as well, isn't enabled by default and no accelerated Xorg, video and stuff like browsers there either as far as I can tell. In fact, they appear to have a difficult time even transitioning to 64 bit ARM, and mainline kernels are not working here either. And even with acceleration it appears too slow to be usable as a real, usable daily driver desktop.
And over in the RK3399 world, there are X11 drivers with Panfrost, but an actually working image with a full, accelerated, up-to-date (non-legacy) desktop, I can't find that either.

Making the desktop / userspace environment accelerated sure seems to be quite tricky, let alone with up-to-date mainline kernels, and then given all the (changing) standards, components, OSes en packages and the limited OpenGL support, it... clearly... is not an easy task.
So much respect for anyone helping to sort out these issues!!
And how amazing is it, to actually see progress being made left and right.
And what an amazing victory is ahead if and when this actually all comes together in the coming months!

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by elatllat »

> Manjaro can't make kernel 5.4 and 5.5 boot on the Odroid N2 reliably
I have booted every version since 5.2.0 without issue, whatever issue they have is more likely driver, or packaging.

> mainline kernels and Odroid N2 offer currently no sound
chewitt added sound to the Kodi branch, once he cleans it up I'll use the patches.

> Working hardware drivers
This is the common theme; vendors make closed-source drivers for 1 kernel / Android version and leave consumers without security / feature updates.

> the Linux community seems to redo/overhaul the video4linux specs,
4.4 is a ~6 year LTS, That's about as stable as it resonably gets for the fastest moving project on the planet.

If the 4.9 branch were not so far from mainline it would be good until 2023. because 5.4 is so short HK may be waiting for the next LTS idono.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Sav »

I noticed that the mali g52 is equipped by mediatek SoC Helio G70 and G80: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/02/04 ... helio-g70/
I hope that a better software support will come if more and more devices have the same GPU.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

elatllat wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:58 am
> Manjaro can't make kernel 5.4 and 5.5 boot on the Odroid N2 reliably
I have booted every version since 5.2.0 without issue, whatever issue they have is more likely driver, or packaging.
Thanks for your reply, I keep learning everyday. :)

I'm not yet sure what Manjaro are doing, but they haven't found the magic formula for the 5.x kernel series yet, for the Odroid N2. Which is a shame, because they have a really nice distro and very workable kde configuration, working quite swiftly on the N2 - other than the GPU situation. It is, however, good to now that mainline 5.2+ is actually booting reliably elsewhere! I have not seen much reports about that fact, at least not with fully working hardware.
elatllat wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:58 am
> Working hardware drivers
This is the common theme; vendors make closed-source drivers for 1 kernel / Android version and leave consumers without security / feature updates.

> the Linux community seems to redo/overhaul the video4linux specs,
4.4 is a ~6 year LTS, That's about as stable as it resonably gets for the fastest moving project on the planet.

If the 4.9 branch were not so far from mainline it would be good until 2023. because 5.4 is so short HK may be waiting for the next LTS idono.
The thing is, the 4.9 kernel from HK with closed source drivers included doesn't actually fully support the hardware. It supports the hardware, obviously, just not the GPU in any productive, usable fashion. And through no fault of Hardkernel. But: no accelerated X11, no accelerated Wayland and no usable working kernel space software to run the existing ARM Wayland user space drivers on. And that's the current state of the closed-source user space drivers running on the closed-sourced kernel drivers. I am not telling anything new, but that basically makes the 4.9 branch very, very limited for Linux productivity as daily driver.

The common theme, indeed, is hardware drivers from manufacturers! And workarounds appear to be coming with kernel 5.x. And that certainly is good news. And everybody's work on that is much appreciated!

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by meveric »

odroidn2user wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:25 pm
...And that's the current state of the closed-source user space drivers running on the closed-sourced kernel drivers.
The Kernel space drivers are open source. They are part of the Kernel that you can download from HardKernel and they are available both directly from AmLogics build root as well as ARM directly:
https://github.com/hardkernel/linux/com ... ef47286980
https://developer.arm.com/tools-and-sof ... ost-kernel
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by elatllat »

meveric wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:29 pm
...The Kernel space drivers are...
"...not a complete driver stack. To build a functional OpenGL ES you need..."
a blob. So lets call it a shim (not a driver).

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by meveric »

The Kernel Space driver is complete, but it doesn't work without the correct user-space driver and that one is a binary blob.
But saying that the Kernel Space driver is a closed source driver is incorrect.
The closed source part is the binary blob "libmali.so".

And by your definition nearly all "drivers" in the Kernel are "shim" (not a driver) as most of them require libraries which are in the lib folder of your OS in order to work.
Take the default Intel GPU open source driver... Remove libGL.so from your system and see how far you get with your "Kernel driver".
So that would make nearly everything "a shim".
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

meveric wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:26 am
The Kernel Space driver is complete, but it doesn't work without the correct user-space driver and that one is a binary blob.
But saying that the Kernel Space driver is a closed source driver is incorrect.
The closed source part is the binary blob "libmali.so".
Clearly, I stand corrected. The official kernel driver appears to be open, and that's a good thing. Even if it is bound to a user space blob.

The point I was trying to make, however, remains an issue: the official kernel software combined with the official user space software didn't / doesn't do Wayland in a way that actually works for a desktop.
So, that makes the official hardware support not all that great.
But, as said, things are improving over time, which is a good thing to see as well.

Manjaro ARM seems to be getting ready to release an Odroid N2 image with a bootable 5.x kernel, which appears to be largely mainline.
viewtopic.php?f=179&t=35218&start=100#p280428
And it being a rolling distro is a nice promise for future support of fresh, up-to-date software, including new mesa releases and that whole thing.

Armbian is doing the same with kernel 5.x for ARM hardware and Odroid N2 appears to boot, even if some hardware support might still be an issue, with 5.4.y downloads available for testing from armbian.com/odroid-n2/.
And they appear to start to look at booting it with Ubuntu 20.04, so that's a step in the right direction as well.
At least anecdotally we are looking good here: balbes150 reports "For reference u-boot-2019 and kernel 5.x have been working at N2 with Armbian (Including sound.)."

And tobetter's netinst Ubuntu 19.04 202001 image clearly shows that an accelerated Wayland on top of a 5.x kernel really can and does work. And very well so.
viewtopic.php?f=182&t=37109#p278046
Even if there are a few remaining issues, not the least of which is audio/sound output, for which there appears to be a solution elsewhere.

And with meson project hardware support keeps getting better and better, including work on the VPU for hardware video decoding.

Even if my Odroid N2 - awaiting fresh software - is now used more as paperweight than as Linux desktop.
It seems the puzzle pieces really are coming together, and that's a good thing.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by jgmdev »

odroidn2user wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:02 pm
...
Even if my Odroid N2 - awaiting fresh software - is now used more as paperweight than as Linux desktop. It seems the puzzle pieces really are coming together, and that's a good thing.
That is a valid point... Sadly ARM and those who license their cpu's are focusing most of their resources on supporting mobile platforms (Android/IOS, that is where the fat cash is), but there is an increasing community of people that is willing to use ARM cpu's (SBC) as workstations using desktop linux and not only for NAS, Media Centers, Robotics, etc... In my case my country went into crisis after a huge hurricane hit us. The whole country had to live without electric power for more than a year, so lots of people installed solar panels (my self included). I wanted to reduce power consumption in case I had to depend solely on my solar system and decided to get an ARM SBC for my computer needs (in case of emergency) due to its low power consumption (also having a computer where I can code, that is energy efficient and small is kind of sexy).

Since I got the Odroid N2 (one for me and one for my wife) have been using it as my work machine everyday with ArchLinux installed from a SSD to see how far I can go without the need of turning on my beefier x86_64 desktop computer... I can use a laptop for the same but these small single board computers are kind of exotic :-) So far I have been able to work on the Odroid N2 and have my occasional dose of YouTube (I do miss spotify because EME isn't supported yet on aarch64 by Firefox or Chromium, I could switch to arm32 userspace with a 64bits kernel and work around it but I prefer to stay on full arm64)

My only complains are not having video acceleration which is noticeable. I switched to kernel 5.4 in order to give wayland a whirl (sacrificing my beloved XFCE which doesn't supports wayland yet), but usb support on 5.4 was kind of wonky and the binary libmali.so wasn't stable when running all of the wayland environments I tested (weston, sway and wayfire), I don't understand why is so hard to have updated Kernel and Binary drivers for the Odroid N2, maybe the $6,000-$10,000 dollar subscription for the ARM Mali GPU DDK needed to build the userspace binary blobs? The kernel side drivers are open source but the binary blob (libmali.so) isn't which is sad because one can compile a newer kernel driver but without the libraries to make use of it is useless because the blobs are tied to a specific kernel driver, making the r16p0 version of libmali.so released by HardKernel unsuitable if wanting to use newer kernel drivers... If all the Odroid N2 owners donated the money needed for the Mali GPU DDK sources, would HardKernel be able to provide updated binary drivers?

My other complain is petitboot which doesn't works with all displays. In my case I'm using a 32gb emmc as emergency boot and swap RAM, so I never run out of ram, but been able to boot from SD, USB and EMMC at boot time makes this board feel like a real computer. If these 2 issues are squared away the Odroid N2 would be perfect and could compete with cheap Intel Nuc's that are also selling like hot cakes do to its small form factor! And now with eGPU the need for a big desktop case for gaming and any kind of graphics is going to disappear, the sbc just needs to expose a high speed port and decent enough CPU/RAM.

Anyways, is incredible how this single board computers consume so little energy while still packing lots of power. The Odroid N2 just needs the same quality of video support for Desktop Linux that it has for Android and it would be perfect!
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

jgmdev wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:33 am
That is a valid point... Sadly ARM and those who license their cpu's are focusing most of their resources on supporting mobile platforms (Android/IOS, that is where the fat cash is), but there is an increasing community of people that is willing to use ARM cpu's (SBC) as workstations using desktop linux

My only complains are not having video acceleration which is noticeable.

My other complain is petitboot which doesn't works with all displays.
Completely agree with your posting. ARM licensing is an issue, and the availability of mediocre official drivers is in large part due to that. It is a wonderful device, and I keep being amazed how quickly it reacts and functions, how quickly application starts from the MMC, etc. But the moment you play a video, the magic is gone.

And devices like the RockPro64 with RK3399 at least have the VPU going somewhat. So, that's become my go to device for my ARM desktop over the past half a year. They have a script around MPV, called RKMPV, which opens an overlay (framebuffer of some sort?) over Xorg and plays even 4k video smoothly. (though I haven't tested that many 4K video, at 1080p it does well.) It's weird, but it works. So, for now, RK3399 seems to be the best bet. It's slower, more expensive, some hardware choices seems somewhat unfortunate to me, but hey, it works. And it plays video and it actually works with my 1400x1050 monitor. And it seems to be going places futurewise. So until things radically change (and the tobetter's image seems to suggest that can happen, and perhaps even soon-ish) the RK3399 seems to have quite a bit of momentum going. Rockchip..! Who would've guessed that a couple of years ago.

The chances for the N2 becoming what we hope are somewhat smallish, I'd say. Despite having the different puzzle pieces required, I'm having a hard time believing HardKernel can pull this off. It's a tricky and difficult thing and we're stuck having that rather unfortunate Mali graphics chip. I am (honestly) having a hard time believing HardKernel even wants to have this. They seem rather pleased with it not doing desktop environment things. Luckily, there are quite a few very knowledgeable and capable people here! So who knows! It's still a young device, plenty thing can and will happen. The puzzle pieces are becoming available slowly but surely.
jgmdev wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:33 am
And now with eGPU the need for a big desktop case for gaming and any kind of graphics is going to disappear, the sbc just needs to expose a high speed port and decent enough CPU/RAM.

Anyways, is incredible how this single board computers consume so little energy while still packing lots of power. The Odroid N2 just needs the same quality of video support for Desktop Linux that it has for Android and it would be perfect!
I didn't think of external GPU's yet. Was thinking about an external usb audio card, but that feels silly the audio chip seems to be a software fix away. But indeed, that's a nice idea. The USB3 on the N2 is rather iffy as well, so, that'll probably won't go and cost a lot. But that's an interesting idea and concept indeed. Low energy devices do web good as is, and most of our work and productivity involves the web these days, so that is covered. And the eGPU is a good option for heavy graphics stuff. Just add a fully working G52 for basic graphics and video and you'd have all your bases covered.

Yeah, I love the concept of this little device as well. Affordable, low energy requirements, good speed, linux, well implemented eMMC as far as I can tell, awesome silent cooling. Tobetter's petitboot shows awesome promise for multiboot, especially given the only 8mb to work with, but is largely incompatible with my hardware as well. And the ARM graphics chip seems to be a burden rather than a blessing. So, it's a mixed package, showing a truly awesome lot of potential! And it's getting closer and closer.

It seems ARM goes rather far out of its way NOT to become what we want it to become, a desktop capable alternative. It indeed has to be dragged kicking and screaming into a position that it can be an alternative. And that's weird to see. I can clearly understand why this is what it is. There are billions of dollars at play, a lot of political power in action and -no doubt- intelligence organizations invested in making sure we have as little alternatives as possible. But it is weird to see happen even so. ARM seems to do all it can to prevent itself from entering the desktop market.
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by rooted »

Hardkernel isn't in the position you guys seem to think, they don't have any influence on the state of libmali. It's more Amlogic that is the problem, and to a greater extent it's ARM.
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istanbulls (Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:32 pm)

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Sav »

I agree with you all. I think that in the future we will get a new kernel which will support every hardware component except the GPU. It would be great for many projects, but not for desktop replacement. For example, the raspberry foundation doesn't use mali hardware, because it want full control over its hardware and therefore in every day use the raspberry 4 seems to outperform the N2, even if the N2 has much more raw power.
In short, the prlobems described in this topic should be adressed in the design phase of the sbc production and not after.
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Sav wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:09 pm
I agree with you all. I think that in the future we will get a new kernel which will support every hardware component except the GPU. It would be great for many projects, but not for desktop replacement. For example, the raspberry foundation doesn't use mali hardware, because it want full control over its hardware and therefore in every day use the raspberry 4 seems to outperform the N2, even if the N2 has much more raw power.
Well, maybe I really should get a Raspberry 4 then and see for myself, because I'm not seeing it perform based on video's on youtube and reviews on the web. Yeah, there are some edge cases, but on general usage, I'm not seeing any of that *yet*. Rather, it seems painfully slow. Clearly when Raspberry sorts all of its issues out (and there are plenty) and gets a 64bit environment and gets V3D driver sorted, and VPU working, and get all the OpenGL issues sorted, the promised USB booting, and mainline going, etc, etc, yeah, there might. But for normal usage, right now, the N2 clearly has the performance edge. (Just don't do much video, or use video *streaming*, that does work rather well.)

We could indeed get a kernel with hardware sorted except for the GPU. And we're getting close. But clearly, there is some 3D support and VPU support to be had. I mean, all components works somewhere, just bring it together in the desktop setting. And tobetter's Wayland image, clearly in need of debugging, shows this board *really* *can* work as an accelerated desktop. And work quite well so. So, I am not giving up on the vision here. It can be made to work, it does work, whether it comes together to be made to work right... who knows. Depends on volunteer effort. I'd gladly support such a cause, by the way.
Sav wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:09 pm
In short, the prlobems described in this topic should be adressed in the design phase of the sbc production and not after.
It should, and the ARM environment is running far behind the x86 environment, but projects like Armbian and Manjaro really do seem to do the right thing to catch us all up. And, well, Raspberry 4 clearly didn't get their software sorted out in a timely fashion. And I am thinking there are quite a few forces out there that would rather see the large majority of us continue to rely solely on Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, CIA, Intel, NSA and AMD solutions. They would rather see we have no real alternatives for the Surveillance Valley / Surveillance Capitalism route. And the ARM alternatives that are coming - and they are - are firmly in Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon's (a.k.a. US intelligence) hands. But, clearly there *are* alternatives. And *well* within reach. Well within reach. Now, if enough people would wake up to that fact...

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Sav »

odroidn2user wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:31 pm
Well, maybe I really should get a Raspberry 4 then and see for myself, because I'm not seeing it perform based on video's on youtube and reviews on the web. Yeah, there are some edge cases, but on general usage, I'm not seeing any of that *yet*. Rather, it seems painfully slow. Clearly when Raspberry sorts all of its issues out (and there are plenty) and gets a 64bit environment and gets V3D driver sorted, and VPU working, and get all the OpenGL issues sorted, the promised USB booting, and mainline going, etc, etc, yeah, there might. But for normal usage, right now, the N2 clearly has the performance edge. (Just don't do much video, or use video *streaming*, that does work rather well.)
To be clear, when I refer to raspberry I have in mind the board properly cooled and overclocked.
And to be even more clear, I don't have one. My opinion is based on what I saw on-line:
https://youtu.be/U_EquUbavzQ
https://youtu.be/TwDbQ26_Mp8
https://youtu.be/uH98hfxnivg
https://youtu.be/qIPzLxPyCqY

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Sav wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:13 pm
To be clear, when I refer to raspberry I have in mind the board properly cooled and overclocked.
And to be even more clear, I don't have one. My opinion is based on what I saw on-line:
https://youtu.be/U_EquUbavzQ
https://youtu.be/TwDbQ26_Mp8
https://youtu.be/uH98hfxnivg
https://youtu.be/qIPzLxPyCqY
Nice selection of video's, much appreciated. The first one is indeed impressive, game streaming, and quite well so. Not what's I'd call general desktop use, but indeed: I wonder how the N2 would do. Likely not as good. And based on ETA Prime's reviews, with video 4, it seems the Pi4 does quite alright with Retro Gaming, especially given improving drivers. That said, Batocera and TheRetroArena / TheRA has hardware graphics supported on the N2, which, I'm thinking, is about on par performance wise with the Pi4. Which is surprising given the extra processing power the N2 has as compared to the Pi4. I haven't looked at gaming very long, but I'll give you that one.

The second video doesn't show anything: if you overclock the Pi4, it does better than if you don't. ETA Prime comments that even with the overclock, youtube watching isn't going to be a good experience. So.... No, the Pi4 not better for watching youtube over the N2.

The third video shows normal desktop computing the best, using Google docs and Word online. It shows browser usage: I am actually particularly happy with how Firefox performs on the N2, based on my research FF on N2 is better and smoother than Chrome on the Pi4. (And: No Google, big plus!) In normal usage there is no hardware support for browsers on the Pi4 quite yet either. So, here it comes down to raw power. And the N2 has quite a bit more of that. In the video, every time he scrolls the document, it tears heavily. You see the top start the scroll and the bottom waiting to catch up. That seems an awful lot like heavy tearing. This means for browser usage (and arguably, Google docs is heavy use) is not that great, in fact: it looks pretty awful. And the N2 does particularly well on that, the extra Amlogic S922 power works particularly well in that case.

OK, there was also the video encoding test from ExplainingComputers, where the Pi4 did surprisingly well (in fact, strangely and inexplicably so). OK, so edge cases and gaming, there most certainly are cases where Pi4 does well. But for normal desktop work, it really does seem slower to me. And painfully so, judging by youtube clips. Things might well improve indeed if and when the software issues for the Raspberry gets cleared up, but then you could say the same for the N2.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by wallyz21 »

Latest update (12-Feb-2020) on the OpenSuse site regarding Bifrost support.

https://en.opensuse.org/ARM_Mali_GPU

from that source:

User-space

For user-space, you need Mesa 19.2+ (19.1.x is not very stable nor usable for lima/panfrost).
Mesa 19.2 panfrost supports Mali T760, T820 and T860, which are found on RK3288, RK3399, and S912 SoC. Mali Gxx (Bifrost) are not yet supported due to the lack of compiler.

So all we need is a compiler!

Does anyone know what that means/implies?
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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

wallyz21 wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:32 am
For user-space, you need Mesa 19.2+ (19.1.x is not very stable nor usable for lima/panfrost).
Mesa 19.2 panfrost supports Mali T760, T820 and T860, which are found on RK3288, RK3399, and S912 SoC. Mali Gxx (Bifrost) are not yet supported due to the lack of compiler.

So all we need is a compiler!

Does anyone know what that means/implies?
No one replied, so I'll do some guessing.
It seems to me user/client software do OpenGL requests / calls on the driver, to render stuff on the screen.
Now, all these requests have to be processed before they can be relayed to the hardware. (or: hardware drivers like the DRM, which we have.)
It seems to me that central processing part is called a compiler, where it compiles the received OpenGL requests into the actual instructions delivered to the hardware-driver (the DRM, direct rendering manager) which then uses the actual hardware to display it on the screen.
So, when I read that, when you posted it, it is not 'just' a compiler, it seems to me to be the main/central part of the 'driver'.
That said, i could be off a little on the reality of thing, so if anyone here knows better...

We do actually have a working compiler in the ARM Wayland driver package.
And that actually works. We have a Gnome 3 / Ubuntu 19.04 test image with mainline(-ish) kernel 5.4.x WITH a working DRM AND the ARM Wayland driver package WITH hardware acceleration. This post is written from that image. (See: viewtopic.php?f=182&t=37109#p280618)
It works, but now: there is no sound. Mainline linux kernels don't support the sound chipset used on the Odroid N2 just yet.

Also, Gnome 3 isn't light and easy on the resources, but the N2 seems to be going quite alright anyways. So that'll be fine.

But then getting all software working on Wayland with the Wayland driver package from ARM, that's another question all together.
With all the software packages, partial OpenGL support, differing standards, etc, etc...
That's a huge ask, a whole lot of stuff will not function correctly as of yet.

And as ARM shot itself deliberately in the foot by stopping their X11-support for Bifrost/Gxx gpu's, the 'compiler' in the Wayland package is not usable for X11/xorg. Also, it is not free or open source, so ... yeah. People have to reverse engineer all that to get it going with xorg. That said, the Wayland package really seems to work well. So, things are looking good with (the partially) closed sourced drivers. Just a whole lot of debugging to do.

And when I say we, that's not me. A whole lot of people contributed to getting the N2 supported. And tobetter packaged it all into a nice ubuntu 19.04 net installer package (make sure you get the 202001 version) to get it into the hands of testers / users. So many thanks to all who contributed.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Sav wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:13 pm
odroidn2user wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:31 pm
Well, maybe I really should get a Raspberry 4 then and see for myself, because I'm not seeing it perform based on video's on youtube and reviews on the web. Yeah, there are some edge cases, but on general usage, I'm not seeing any of that *yet*. Rather, it seems painfully slow. Clearly when Raspberry sorts all of its issues out (and there are plenty) and gets a 64bit environment and gets V3D driver sorted, and VPU working, and get all the OpenGL issues sorted, the promised USB booting, and mainline going, etc, etc, yeah, there might. But for normal usage, right now, the N2 clearly has the performance edge. (Just don't do much video, or use video *streaming*, that does work rather well.)
To be clear, when I refer to raspberry I have in mind the board properly cooled and overclocked.
And to be even more clear, I don't have one. My opinion is based on what I saw on-line:
Well, I got myself a raspberry pi 4. I didn't overclock it, but did cool it properly (flirc case).
I've tested both the Rpi4 and the Odroid N2 (kernel 4.9) with a fully updated Manjaro ARM, both using KDE Plasma 5.18.1.
As far as I can see, Manjaro ARM KDE is one of the best options for a modern, supported, up-to-date desktop on ARM.

Conclusions:
- The Rpi4 does better than it looks in video's! It is also smaller than it looks in video's.
- The Rpi4 does youtube in Firefox, and it even does 1080p reasonably well in Firefox. But on heavy movement in the video (such as panning) there is micro-stuttering and tearing.
- It does not do youtube at 1080p60hz at all, not in Firefox. It does do 60hz in 720p, but h264ify is an addon to consider when using the Rpi4.
- What surprised me a lot, is that Rpi4 does claim to do V3D and X11 on V3D. So, hardware GPU is supported.
- I couldn't set the compositor to OpenGL though. Well, I could, but it was noticeably slow. So: XRender
- Using MPV, I could play x264 and x265 smoothly. Not 4k files (not the one tested though), but 1080p and 720p. And without tearing when fullscreen.
- Also surprisingly, the Rpi mainline kernel works rather well on it.
- You actually can use it as a desktop, for actual productivity, this surprised me a lot.
- When you hook up two monitors, audio stops working and video playing only show paused images. This is a bug, clearly, because otherwise two monitors work rather well.

- The Odroid N2 is rather more responsive, noticeably so, with almost everything you do.
- The Odroid N2 doesn't play video files quite like the raspberry pi 4 does, in fact: don't even bother.
- The Odroid N2 does do - for example - youtube in Firefox better than the Rpi4, also in 1080p60hz.
- The Odroid N2 also does normal 1080p in Firefox better than the rpi, a bit more fluent.

Ymmv.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Sav »

Thanks for the comparison.
Did you test the raspberry with a full update raspbian?

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Sav wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:06 pm
Did you test the raspberry with a full update raspbian?
I didn't like what I saw, user interface wise, with raspbian, so no raspbian yet.
Went straight with Manjaro ARM for the Rpi4.
Repeated the test on an Ubuntu 18.04, which was based on a raspbian firmware kinda thing.
Results were comparable, if perhaps it seems slightly less responsive.
Should probably try Raspbian itself, even if just to update the Rpi4 firmware.

As to playing video files on the Odroid N2:
I usually play video with MPV and variants of it, for better video playing results....
But, I just tried VLC, and... surprise, surprise... With the VLC video output set to "X11 video output (XCB)", fullscreen actually plays somewhat comparable to Rpi4!
So, a big improvement. Pleasantly surprised!

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by IgaBiva »

When you compare N2 and Pi4, please don't forget that there is army of developers that is supporting Pi. Although (imho) N2 is much better device, Pi4 will sooner or later reach its full potential but I am not sure if this will ever happen with N2.

This is sad but true. Nevertheless, I would always take N2 before Pi4, especially because desktop usage is not at all important to me.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by Sav »

I've stumbled in this thread in the Khadas VIM3 forum https://forum.khadas.com/t/manjaro-arm- ... m3/4664/65.
For those who doesn't know, the VIM3 use pretty much the same chipset of the N2, but with an higher clock rate.
They're talking about manjaro and the mainline kernel.
The focus in the latest messages is on the future mainline kernels: in the 5.6 we will get hardware acceleration over llvmpile, and I think is the best we will get till someone will manage to write an opensource driver for the mali g52 GPU.
Chewitt wrote also this:
The last “stable” kernel I made was ~5.3 and everything since has been shades of awkward due to there being overlapping dependencies on audio/video patch series. Linux 5.7 is the first point that most of it will come together so until then everyhing is a bit “best efforts” … but you can built the LE 5.5 patchset (it does build)

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by odroidn2user »

Sav wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:33 pm
I've stumbled in this thread in the Khadas VIM3 forum https://forum.khadas.com/t/manjaro-arm- ... m3/4664/65.
For those who doesn't know, the VIM3 use pretty much the same chipset of the N2, but with an higher clock rate.
They're talking about manjaro and the mainline kernel.
The focus in the latest messages is on the future mainline kernels: in the 5.6 we will get hardware acceleration over llvmpile, and I think is the best we will get till someone will manage to write an opensource driver for the mali g52 GPU.
Chewitt wrote also this:
The last “stable” kernel I made was ~5.3 and everything since has been shades of awkward due to there being overlapping dependencies on audio/video patch series. Linux 5.7 is the first point that most of it will come together so until then everyhing is a bit “best efforts” … but you can built the LE 5.5 patchset (it does build)
Thanks for posting the link and the info update.
I'm increasingly amazed and surprised these things even work and people can keep track of what's what.
Much respect to Strit, Chewitt, Balbes, Neil and all the others that make these things work.

And it appears kernel 5.7 is april somewhere thereabouts.

Also:
Good news for the hardware accelerated desktop...
The 202001 ubuntu 19.04 net installer with hardware accelerated Wayland drivers (see https://medium.com/@tobetter/running-gn ... a187dff055) now actually has working sound over HDMI:
viewtopic.php?f=182&p=283171#p282938
So, there are a lot of issues yet to solve, but there now actually is a full, modern Linux desktop (Ubuntu Gnome), with kernel 5.x, with hardware accelerated Wayland, with working audio.
And it actually works. And given the right extensions (plural), themes and tweaks (gnome tweak tool), it really works pleasantly.
Much respect to tobetter for his effort in collecting the patches, packaging it all and releasing images for all of us.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by CoolGames »

Please help Musicians discover the Odroid N2 as inexpensive and usable.

I am replying everywhere I can about the Mixxx app that is missing in 18.04 LTS but is in this 19.04 without ALSA Midi.
I use the Ubuntu Studio Installer to add audio apps that include Mixxx.
Then I use Numark Party Mix as a cheap work in progress DJ control (experiment for me).
I also use Graphics choice to try Blender with BMW27 benchmark.

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Re: Demystifying Odroid N2 hardware acceleration

Post by skeetre »

Panfrost Gallium3D Driver Adds Experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 For Open-Source Arm Mali
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... D-GLES-3.0
Friends don't let friends use Spectre/Meltdown/Zombieload mitigations.

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