Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

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lancer
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Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

Hi everyone,

I am into retrogaming (both older console and PC games from 1980s to about ~2012) and am looking to purchase an N2+. I am also looking into buying another N2+ to run Home Assistant.
I will be sure to have questions for you all. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by L67GS »

Welcome to the community
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lancer (Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:58 pm)

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

Thank you! I am very happy to be here!
I had a couple of newbie questions..

1) If I wish to run old PC RPGs (say Baldur's Gate 2, Fallout 1-2 and the like) what Linux distro would be able to work with those games on the N2+?
2) Also, can Ubuntu forks (like Linux Mint, Manjaro or Pop!_OS) run on the N2+ or is it limited in some way?

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by rooted »

Not sure about the games but there needs to be a compatible distro for it to just work, there is definitely one for Manjaro but I don't think Mint has one.

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by igorpec »

Not sure how good or bad opensource 3D support is ATM (for gaming)

https://forum.armbian.com/topic/18942-a ... n-hirsute/

but for HA, Armbian will run perfectly.
ARMBIAN
Linux for ARM development boards
What is Armbian?

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mctom »

Hi,

Not sure if you are aware that Odroid N2+ is an ARM computer, just like Raspberry Pi and most of the other SBCs. It's not an x86 compatible PC.
So first of all, you cannot take for granted that all Linux distros support Odroid (or another way round, depends how you look at it). I've never heard of ARM-based Mint, nor Pop!, but I wasn't interested either.
Your selection is limited to whatever is explicitly described as working with N2. That includes Ubuntu images delivered by the makers of N2, or Armbian as the maker of Armbian has already pointed out, or maybe Manjaro, which sounds like a good option too. There are also Android images that I don't know anything about.

Secondly, the games you mentioned are for 32-bit Windows, so you'll need two things: An x86 emulator (slow), and Wine compatibility layer on top of it (not that bad actually). The emulator is a problem - in order to emulate 32-bit x86 with Box86 you need 32-bit Linux, which I don't think you'll find that easily.
For the record, I have never made a serious attempt to make it work.

Your best bet is to try running an open source reimplementation of classic games. I see there is a Baldur's Gate engine and Fallout engine. But you'd have to assess their completeness on any already owned Linux machine on your own.

Pre-1993 DOS games, and almost all handheld console games will work fine though. :)
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

Thanks everyone for all of your comments, suggestions, and links!
Ok, so only certain distros are ARM-compatible...That clarifies some things for me. I'd have to think how to get these 32-bit games working on the ARM processor.
However, I am happy to hear that HA will work with its native OS as well as with Armbian!

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by tobetter »

lancer wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:17 am
Thanks everyone for all of your comments, suggestions, and links!
Ok, so only certain distros are ARM-compatible...That clarifies some things for me. I'd have to think how to get these 32-bit games working on the ARM processor.
However, I am happy to hear that HA will work with its native OS as well as with Armbian!
For HomeAssistant, please visit their official site for futher help and to download their official image.
https://www.home-assistant.io/installation/odroid/
https://www.home-assistant.io/common-ta ... -odroid-n2

For Gaming, I guess you should try TwisterOS rather than other distro since their developers are very active and supportive.
viewtopic.php?f=179&t=42709
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mctom »

Hey yeah, Twister OS sounds perfect for you. Completely forgot about that one.
I'm not sure how it handles 32-bit Windows games, though. There are videos of NikoD playing X86 games on Twister OS, but on Raspberry Pi 4, where it uses RasPi OS as the base (which is 32-bit). For N2+, it seems 64-bit Armbian is used instead.
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

Ahh.. Twister OS looks interesting. Thanks again!

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by tokawit »

welcome

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

Thanks for all of the tips everyone. Ultimately, I decided to purchase an RPI 4 8 GB RAM for gaming and the Odroid N2+ for running Home Assistant. :)

One other question for now. Is the battery coin cell needed for running HA on the Odroid or (as I suspect) is it meant to protect data/info against power failure? Thanks!

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by tobetter »

lancer wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:28 am
Thanks for all of the tips everyone. Ultimately, I decided to purchase an RPI 4 8 GB RAM for gaming and the Odroid N2+ for running Home Assistant. :)

One other question for now. Is the battery coin cell needed for running HA on the Odroid or (as I suspect) is it meant to protect data/info against power failure? Thanks!
The coin battery (CR2032) on ODROID-N2/N2Plus is only to keep date on-board RTC.
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mctom »

Someone recently posted on this board that both x86 and x64 emulators apparently work on TwisterOS and N2+. Can't find it now, and I'm still curious how on earth is that even possible. That would have to be a decision from TwisterOS maintainers side to include both versions of userspace libraries or something.

Pi4 8GB is definitely an overkill for retro gaming, you won't ever use more than 2G, or 4G tops. You'd need 8GB of RAM only if you wanted to browse Facebook with that :D
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:41 am
Someone recently posted on this board that both x86 and x64 emulators apparently work on TwisterOS and N2+. Can't find it now, and I'm still curious how on earth is that even possible. That would have to be a decision from TwisterOS maintainers side to include both versions of userspace libraries or something.
I haven't even been able to get both box64 and box86 emulators working simultaneously on the RPI4!..Apparently it's possible though.. If you or anyone finds that thread, please let me know!
Pi4 8GB is definitely an overkill for retro gaming, you won't ever use more than 2G, or 4G tops. You'd need 8GB of RAM only if you wanted to browse Facebook with that :D
I am hoping that my PI 4 will eventually grow into that extra 4 GB.. We'll see! :)

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

tobetter wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:42 am
lancer wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:28 am
Thanks for all of the tips everyone. Ultimately, I decided to purchase an RPI 4 8 GB RAM for gaming and the Odroid N2+ for running Home Assistant. :)

One other question for now. Is the battery coin cell needed for running HA on the Odroid or (as I suspect) is it meant to protect data/info against power failure? Thanks!
The coin battery (CR2032) on ODROID-N2/N2Plus is only to keep date on-board RTC.
For smart applications that require keeping track of time (e.g. lights turn off 2 hours after sunset),I would need the battery in that case. Do I have that right? Thanks!

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mctom »

Just to recap:

Box86 emulates 32-bit CPU, and essentially requires 32-bit Linux.
Box64 emulates 64-bit CPU, and requires 64-bit Linux.
These apparently may be worked around, but I don't know the details.
Box64 is not expected to support 32-bit apps.

RasPi OS is a 32-bit system (they have 64-bit beta circulating for years but still not ready).
Armbian is 64-bit OS for every board that supports it (including Odroid N2+)
Twister OS for RasPi is based on RasPi OS.
Twister OS for N2+ is based on Armbian.

Here, apparently, someone managed to get both boxes to work on Twister and N2+.
There are lots of videos on installing box86 on RasPi (both RasPiOS and Twister), and even some explaining box64. I have never tried any of those.

About the battery: Just pop one in and forget about it. The only thing it does is to keep the real time clock running when the computer is off. This is exactly the same battery as found on PC motherboards, and serves similar purpose.
When the computer is on, the battery is not in use.
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by lancer »

mctom wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:25 pm
Just to recap:

Box86 emulates 32-bit CPU, and essentially requires 32-bit Linux.
Box64 emulates 64-bit CPU, and requires 64-bit Linux.
These apparently may be worked around, but I don't know the details.
Box64 is not expected to support 32-bit apps.

RasPi OS is a 32-bit system (they have 64-bit beta circulating for years but still not ready).
Armbian is 64-bit OS for every board that supports it (including Odroid N2+)
Twister OS for RasPi is based on RasPi OS.
Twister OS for N2+ is based on Armbian.

Here, apparently, someone managed to get both boxes to work on Twister and N2+.
There are lots of videos on installing box86 on RasPi (both RasPiOS and Twister), and even some explaining box64. I have never tried any of those.
Thank for the recap, mctom!
About the battery: Just pop one in and forget about it. The only thing it does is to keep the real time clock running when the computer is off. This is exactly the same battery as found on PC motherboards, and serves similar purpose.
When the computer is on, the battery is not in use.
What is a typical battery life for one of these batteries on an Odroid N2 device? Is it months? years? I've recently purchased a 4-battery (Duracell) pack.

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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mctom »

lancer wrote:
Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:52 pm
What is a typical battery life for one of these batteries on an Odroid N2 device? Is it months? years? I've recently purchased a 4-battery (Duracell) pack.
You may expect longer than the life of N2+ itself. If you never replaced such battery in any PC, you know what I mean.

Keep your 4-pack for later. I use the very same batteries for bathroom scale, bluetooth keyboard, LED strip remote control and scientific calculator, to name a few.
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mad_ady »

For smart applications that require keeping track of time (e.g. lights turn off 2 hours after sunset),I would need the battery in that case. Do I have that right? Thanks!
The RTC battery is there to keep time when the N2 is off. When it's on, the CPU keeps time (and syncs it with the RTC). It's useful when the N2 is often off and when you don't have NTP. If the battery dies chances are you won't even notice.
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Re: Wanting to buy my first Odroid product!

Post by mctom »

If the distro of your choice syncs time with online server on each boot then indeed it might be easy to overlook.
RasPis have no such battery and sync time online on each boot - that is, if it has access to Internet, which happens to be default these days.
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