How open can an ODROID get?

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How open can an ODROID get?

Unread postby DodoDude700 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:49 am

I know some models can be run without binary blobs for drivers if you give up 3D acceleration for framebuffer only, but what about bootloaders? I've heard that the U3 goes through two black box signed bootloader stages before reaching u-boot. What about other models? Is there any ODROID that can be used in a reasonable state (graphics may be unaccelerated but must be present, must boot to Linux, etc) without ever running nonfree/non-replacable code? I suspect an XU4 could not be used because of the Samsung SOC, but what about a C1 or C2? I don't know much about free initialization for Amlogic chips. An ODROID of some sort seems like the best bet for an open SBC, barring Novena which is too expensive and too large.

Thanks!
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Re: How open can an ODROID get?

Unread postby indium » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:34 am

if not having "non-free, non-replaceable blobs" is everything you need, then almost every ARM board is a no go for you. Because every such a board has a Security Extension architectural thing. Which is meant to be "non-replaceable" by design. Providing "dat security" for normal people. There is not only Secure Mode, in which every such a board starts to run and hence - has "non-replaceable" boot loaders, but also, there is Security Monitor, which can run everytime it wants, and even your main OS has no impact on that. Just like internal firmwares inside peripherals, they are non replaceable. this must be a nightmare for the Stallman religion, I understand, but maybe the thing you really want with these boards is getting some functionality of them? media player, self made NAS, robot, number crunching for the good of science, searching for extraterrestrial intelligence? some sane and productive use cases and reasons? If so, then everything is not that bad, because all those TrustZone things in no way will interfere with those mentioned use cases. just forget about those "non free blobs" and use the board of your choice calmly, without bothering your mind with absolutely irrelevant stuff. you never had a complete control on devices your own and never will. because you don't make them. only that thing could give you such a possibility.
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Re: How open can an ODROID get?

Unread postby DodoDude700 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:21 am

This is only for experimental purposes. Heck, I'm typing this from macOS. I'm just trying to see how free it's possible to make a computer, that's all. It wouldn't even be a daily driver, I suspect.
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Re: How open can an ODROID get?

Unread postby meveric » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:28 am

on the Exynos boards (ODROID X,X2,U2/U3,XU,XU3/XU4) only the BL1 binary blob from Samsung is closed, the BL2 can be altered by user, but need to be signed by HardKernel as seen here: viewtopic.php?f=98&t=6147

Therefore only the BL1 part is actually closed and needed to get a system to boot and an OS to run (if you can live without 3D).
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
Check out the Games and Emulators section to find some of my work or check the files in my repository to find the software i build for ODROIDs.
If you want to add my repository to your image read my HOWTO integrate my repo into your image.
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Re: How open can an ODROID get?

Unread postby DodoDude700 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:17 am

OK. What about on Amlogic boards like the C1 and C2? Similar story there (two stages, second signed by HardKernel)?
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Re: How open can an ODROID get?

Unread postby meveric » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:32 am

apparently C2 (and I assume C1 as well) only have bl1 before booting u-boot.
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
Check out the Games and Emulators section to find some of my work or check the files in my repository to find the software i build for ODROIDs.
If you want to add my repository to your image read my HOWTO integrate my repo into your image.
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