Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

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ducalex
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Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:26 am

Hello!

This is a mod/fork of the stock odroid-go-firmware by @crashoverride that allows to install multiple applications in the flash and switch between them very quickly.

There are more details on the github so I'll keep it short.

The recommended installation method is to follow these instructions: https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid_go/firmware_update but use the .img provided here. Then to access the boot menu / firmware you hold **B** while booting, as you normally would.

Here's a demonstration:



I'd very much appreciate any feedback and bug reports!


And the source code:
https://github.com/ducalex/odroid-go-firmware-multi
Attachments
odroid-go-firmware-20190731.zip
(Newest)
- Each application has its own NVS partition now to avoid conflicts and crashes in some applications. Unfortunately this change is incompatible with the .fw version so it will no longer be provided :(
(184.34 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
odroid-go-firmware-20190614.zip
- Sorting. Press SELECT to cycle through the modes
- Battery and page indicators in the top bar.
- Press B twice to reboot to last active app (if any)
- Improved detection of corrupted firmware files
- No longer locks up if you don't have an SD Card
- Experimental build to always show the firmware on power up
(534.83 KiB) Downloaded 39 times
odroid-go-firmware-20190605.zip
- Defrag happens only when running out of space (instant deletes/less flash wear)
- MENU key now opens the menu instead of START
(330.89 KiB) Downloaded 18 times
odroid-go-firmware-20190604.zip
(Newest)
- Fixed partition alignment issue in some applications.
- Builds changed to not overwrite the apptable.
(330.44 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
odroid-go-firmware-20190603.zip
- Faster delete and flash.
(332.46 KiB) Downloaded 12 times
Last edited by ducalex on Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:14 am, edited 17 times in total.
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mad_ady » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:05 pm

Wow! It's a great feature! Will make tinkering on the go easier :)
Should reduce flash wear too

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by pmprog » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:46 pm

That does look pretty handy, will have to download it later.

How come nobody uses holding Menu button to open the flash menu? ;-)

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 am

pmprog wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:46 pm
That does look pretty handy, will have to download it later.

How come nobody uses holding Menu button to open the flash menu? ;-)
I'm open to changing the button but I think maintaining the behavior of the stock firmware might be more intuitive!
It is not possible to change the button if you choose the .fw install method, as the bootloader is part of the .img.

One thing I'd like is to have an option to get rid of the button holding and be asked what app to boot directly on power up. I've tried many methods but they all had problems so I've put that plan on hold for now.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Nemo1984 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:30 am

This is so great, it should be pinned and the default firmware from now on! Thanks! That's perfect!

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by pmprog » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:53 am

ducalex wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 am
I'm open to changing the button but I think maintaining the behavior of the stock firmware might be more intuitive!
I'm not really that bothered, it was just more an observation than a request ;-)
ducalex wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 am
It is not possible to change the button if you choose the .fw install method, as the bootloader is part of the .img.
Could you hot-patch the bootloader when you read it from SD for flashing? I don't know if it's as simple as that

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:31 am

pmprog wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:53 am
Could you hot-patch the bootloader when you read it from SD for flashing? I don't know if it's as simple as that
That is certainly possible. Hell the .fw version could have an option to overwrite the default firmware, essentially becoming the .img version but without the trouble of using the flashing tool.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:05 am

Very impressive idea indeed. :o

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by surpryse » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:28 am

Great job.
In my case it's enough to launch 3 apps.
I'm looking forward to a new version.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mameise » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:55 am

Looks good :) However i have Trouble installing it.
I put the .fw into Firmware Folder and try to install via normal Firmware (Pressing B etc) - i also get that boot error you Mention.
So i Restart the device but it just starts into normal "old" Firmware. Pressing A seems to have no effect at all. When i press Menu i get a boot set error blinking blue led but after Restart still old Firmware.
Can you help me what i do wrong?

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:27 am

mameise wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:55 am
Looks good :) However i have Trouble installing it.
I put the .fw into Firmware Folder and try to install via normal Firmware (Pressing B etc) - i also get that boot error you Mention.
So i Restart the device but it just starts into normal "old" Firmware. Pressing A seems to have no effect at all. When i press Menu i get a boot set error blinking blue led but after Restart still old Firmware.
Can you help me what i do wrong?
When you power on the device, are you holding A? You need to hold A *while powering on*. It should start the modified firmware or show a black screen if it fails but it should not boot the stock firmware.

Otherwise perhaps you have an older stock firmware with test mode not enabled, I have only tested on the latest :(.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mameise » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:36 am

Well i thought i had the last installed. Yes i was holding A on power on - same like B in normal firmware i assume ;) it got stuck on writing 2 with the boot error. Nevermind i have installed it now as firmware and it works like a charm. Really impressive! Should be the new official firmware if i could vote :)

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:31 am

mameise wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:36 am
Well i thought i had the last installed. Yes i was holding A on power on - same like B in normal firmware i assume ;) it got stuck on writing 2 with the boot error. Nevermind i have installed it now as firmware and it works like a charm. Really impressive! Should be the new official firmware if i could vote :)
Thanks for the report! I'll do more testing on the .fw version and I added a notice in my post that it might not work for everybody.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mameise » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:53 pm

One thing i noticed (not sure if fixed already with your latest release):

Let‘s say i install an app in 0x10000000
When i then install the next app there is still the old installation address shown as new installation path.
So i have to go back to the installed apps overview and enter the menu again, then the next free slot is chosen. No big deal at all but maybe something you can fix.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:41 pm

mameise wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:53 pm
One thing i noticed (not sure if fixed already with your latest release):

Let‘s say i install an app in 0x10000000
When i then install the next app there is still the old installation address shown as new installation path.
So i have to go back to the installed apps overview and enter the menu again, then the next free slot is chosen. No big deal at all but maybe something you can fix.
That was fixed in the most recent release :) . I'll try to make a changelog in the future releases.

You will have to reflash all your applications after upgrading the firmware. I've tried a few things to avoid that but so far no luck.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mad_ady » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:22 pm

There might be problems for apps (if there are any left) that have an additional data partition - like micropython and old doom.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:49 am

mad_ady wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:22 pm
There might be problems for apps (if there are any left) that have an additional data partition - like micropython and old doom.
They both work fine. (But Old doom needs an additional reboot because the LCD isn't initialized correctly for some reason.)

Edit: I did manage to package a .fw that would be corrupted by my firmware. I think it is now fixed, the firmware is no longer aligning partitions (except the first) and it respects the .fw layout like the official firmware does.
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Nemo1984 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:11 am

I have been testing it and the interface looks more robust. Last version, sometimes after multiple "app" installs, when I went to install the next one I had an error. This seems fixed in this one.

Thanks!

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:57 am

I've just added a new release. I have achieved all my main goals so it will be the last for a while (unless there is a bug, I will fix that quickly).

There isn't any bugfix from 20190604, so update only if you want to help me test or if you want one of those features:

Changes in the new version:
- Defrag happens only when running out of space, meaning instant deletes
- MENU key now opens the menu instead of START

Note: Applications are sorted by the order they appear in flash. So if you flash something and the firmware finds a free space between two apps, it will appear there instead of at the end of the list. If it's too annoying please tell me, otherwise I planned sorting options for later on. (SubNote: To mitigate that you can press SELECT after deleting an app. It will defrag and preserve the list order as it is on screen and install the next app at the end).

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by pmprog » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:11 pm

Finally just tried to flash this, and my odroid just gives me a gray blacklit display. I tried the 04 and 05 img files, and even crashoverride's original...

So I guess for now I've got a soft-bricked unit :(

Edit: Ignore that... Perhaps somebody can update the wiki to say that you need to disconnect the GO from USB as well as power cycling. I was leaving it connected, and thus I think it was remaining in the upload stub

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:06 am

pmprog wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:11 pm
Finally just tried to flash this, and my odroid just gives me a gray blacklit display. I tried the 04 and 05 img files, and even crashoverride's original...

So I guess for now I've got a soft-bricked unit :(

Edit: Ignore that... Perhaps somebody can update the wiki to say that you need to disconnect the GO from USB as well as power cycling. I was leaving it connected, and thus I think it was remaining in the upload stub
Have you resolved your issue? Do you think I should add clearer instructions? I don't think it's possible to brick the GO but I got scared at my first black screen too ;).

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by pmprog » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:41 pm

Yes, everything's running, thanks. Though I've not really touched it since i flashed your firmware. What i did play with all looked good though. Nice work!

I think the wiki page on flashing firmware should probably note that you won't see the new firmware until the USB cable is unplugged.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:13 am

New release day!

Nothing groundbreaking but some nice features:
  • Sorting. Press SELECT to cycle through the modes
  • Battery and page indicators in the top bar.
  • Press B twice to reboot to last active app (if any)
  • Improved detection of corrupted firmware files
  • No longer locks up if you don't have an SD Card
  • Experimental build to always show the firmware on power up
The experimental build will boot applications only once, then on next boot it will be in firmware. No more holding B. It can cause compatibility issues with some applications and the flash read/writes haven't been optimized as much as they could be yet, hence experimental.
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by pelle7 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:47 am

Awesome! I have installed multi-boot loader and I have installed different emulators and programs'

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by tmihai20 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:31 pm

I just flashed odroid-go-firmware-20190614.fw on my oDroid GO using the internal method and I cannot see the firmware (I keep A key pressed and I am booting it). Am I doing something wrong?
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mameise » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:14 pm

Do you have latest main firmware for go? Did not work for me also in first try so i directly flashed it via PC as permanent firmware and am more than happy with it. Higly recommended as main firmware.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Cralex » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:51 am

Really loving this for how fast you can switch between firmwares. (I actually found this on YouTube first, and my jaw dropped when I saw it working!) Quick question: what is the NUS and what would cause it to need erasing? I ask because, after trying some different firmwares, I tried booting Super Go Play up again but it just stayed on a black screen with the backlight on. I tried erasing and reinstalling Super Go Play, then erasing all apps, but still nothing. Finally, with nothing left to lose, I erased the NUS, which caused Super Go Play to boot again.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:40 am

Cralex wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:51 am
Really loving this for how fast you can switch between firmwares. (I actually found this on YouTube first, and my jaw dropped when I saw it working!) Quick question: what is the NUS and what would cause it to need erasing? I ask because, after trying some different firmwares, I tried booting Super Go Play up again but it just stayed on a black screen with the backlight on. I tried erasing and reinstalling Super Go Play, then erasing all apps, but still nothing. Finally, with nothing left to lose, I erased the NUS, which caused Super Go Play to boot again.
The NVS is non volatile storage. It can be used to store things like high scores and settings and the emulators use it to store the name of the rom to load. It can be safely erased at any time.
The official firmware erases it every time you boot into the firmware.

The problem is that the NVS format can change depending on which version of esp-idf (the esp32 framework) was used to build the app, and as the NVS partition is shared it can causes issues.

Most applications handle this gracefully and simply reformat it if they don't understand the existing NVS. But others do not handle errors at all, which is the case of Springboard (the official rom launcher in Go-Play and its forks).

I've been working on a way of giving each application its own NVS partition so there is never a conflict but it isn't well tested so I have not released it yet.

I attached a build to this post if you want to help me test it! Make sure to erase everything when flashing this update.
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ripper121 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:45 pm

Could you please push the latest FW also to a Github Release.
The Github release is outdated.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:48 pm

ripper121 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:45 pm
Could you please push the latest FW also to a Github Release.
The Github release is outdated.
The code is there but for the release I was waiting for anyone to confirm that it's working correctly as I did not have time to test it extensively myself.

If you confirm that it works fine for you I will add odroid-go-firmware-20190727 to the release page tonight!

Thanks

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Nemo1984 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:53 pm

I will do some extensive test tonight. I know that the Web File Browser and Go IR Cam are causing this behavior with Super Go and Triforce. For me, it is problematic to erase NVS every time because it also deletes my Arduventure saved game, so I will be happy to help testing.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Cralex » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:01 pm

Yeah, my work schedule changed this week, so I haven’t had time to do much testing. I think the firmware that caused Super Go Play to not boot on mine was the WiFi Firmware Updater.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Nemo1984 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:29 am

I have tested the NVS separation and it works good. I tested "Erase selected NVS" too. It works good IF THERE IS A NVS SELECTED. If there is none (eg nothing flashed yet), it kills the multi-boot and it has to be reflashed from the pc again.It is the only major bug I have found so far.

EDIT: Maybe an option to delete all NVS as well?

Thanks!

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:13 am

Nemo1984 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:29 am
It works good IF THERE IS A NVS SELECTED. If there is none (eg nothing flashed yet), it kills the multi-boot and it has to be reflashed from the pc again.It is the only major bug I have found so far.
Wow that was a real oversight from my part! The app-specific menu options are now disabled when the list is empty, it should prevent further issues.
Nemo1984 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:29 am
EDIT: Maybe an option to delete all NVS as well?
Agreed, but I do not have time to add it to this release at the moment.

I have attached the new build to the first post here, as well as on github: https://github.com/ducalex/odroid-go-fi ... g/20190731

Thanks for testing
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Nemo1984 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:58 pm

It is my concern than maybe the NVS could get full if I have a lot of firmwares saving a lot of thing? I'm not experienced in all this but is NVS a partition?

BTW, the revision works flawlessly! Thank you very much!

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:55 pm

Nemo1984 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:58 pm
It is my concern than maybe the NVS could get full if I have a lot of firmwares saving a lot of thing? I'm not experienced in all this but is NVS a partition?

BTW, the revision works flawlessly! Thank you very much!
Yes, the official GO firmware has a 16KB NVS partition and all the GO applications I know about use very little of it, typically 0 to 1KB (about 5KB if they need Wifi). The NVS was designed by Espressif (the maker of the chip in the GO) to be easily shared, which is why it mostly works in my earlier releases. However all applications have to use the same format and here lies the problem, not all GO apps do.

In my (latest) firmware each application has its own 12KB NVS partition, but it is invisible to all other applications so that only the selected app's NVS partition is visible at one time.

In most cases my firmware can fit that 12KB in space that would be wasted by the .fw layout so the actual usage is no more than before, and in the most extreme case up to 64 additional KB (NVS+padding) will be needed. To put that into perspective the Odroid GO has 15,728 KB of user accessible flash. Also when you erase an application the NVS space is reclaimed.


As a side note: In a future release I'll replace the hexadecimal numbers in the main screen by the app's size (like in the install screen), that would probably be more useful to most people!
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Nemo1984 (Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:28 pm)

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by mad_ady » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:52 pm

The only limit would be that you won't retain some settings like screen brightness or volume level between different apps (not sure if they use the same API to set/retrieve them). It's a very small limit, but worth knowing.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by tmihai20 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:01 pm

@ducalex: can you please create fw files instead of img? I gave up on using the PC to flash stuff on my oDroid GO.
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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ripper121 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:41 pm

Thats not possible.

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by Nemo1984 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Thanks for clearing that up. If the NVS is also clear when I deleted an app, then personally I won't need a "Clear all NVS" option. I thought that if I deleted an app, the NVS might remain.

Thanks again for your work, it makes the Odroid Go so much more usefull!

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Re: Multi-app installer/multi-boot loader (odroid-go-firmware mod)

Unread post by ducalex » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:56 am

mad_ady wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:52 pm
The only limit would be that you won't retain some settings like screen brightness or volume level between different apps (not sure if they use the same API to set/retrieve them). It's a very small limit, but worth knowing.
There doesn't seem to be a universal way for the GO, many application store those under many names. It would affect mostly forks I assume, for example Go-Play and all its forks all use these names.
tmihai20 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:01 pm
@ducalex: can you please create fw files instead of img? I gave up on using the PC to flash stuff on my oDroid GO.
There are issues with this new version and the .fw, I recommend you use a previous version if you must use the .fw installation method.
That being said, I have attached a .fw of the current version (20190731) and you are free to try anyway if you want! Remember to boot into this version you need to hold A instead of B.
Attachments
odroid-go-firmware-20190731-fw.zip
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