No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

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quartexNOR
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No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by quartexNOR » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:13 pm

For the past 7 months I have been working on a cluster design (5 x ODroid XU4 + 1 x ODroid N2).
The purpose of the system is to implement a complete cluster system using nothing but web technology.
Services etc. are implemented using node.js, and the N2 is allocated for rendering the desktop environment for the system via HTML5 (chrome in kiosk mode).

The project was features in ODroid Magazine, it even made the front cover!
https://magazine.odroid.com/article/ami ... 4-cluster/

It became clear quite early that the ODroid XU4 would not be able to handle some of the more intensive web applications.
Games are fine, like Quake.js, but this "web desktop" is not a simple mock system, I run compilers etc via webassembly, it implements a filesystem over websocket etc.
Thankfully, the ODroid N2 just came out and the specs were through the roof. I went out and bought 3 N2 boards + eMMc (300€ worth of gear just for the N2s).

The problems started when i went to download the disk-images, noticing that only the minimal-image supported HW acceleration.
What I cannot for the life of me understand, is why didnt Hardkernel bother to setup a disk-image with fbdev pre-initialized?
And yes, i know there are posts outlining how to do that -- but when you spend close to 1000€ on hardware, i bloody well expect the provider to deliver the best they have.

But ok, i figured HardKernel would fix that shortly, and that you were busy doing drivers.
I mean, the XU4 likewise lacked drivers on release, so it's not uncommon to push the HW out the door and then focus on software.

But then the shock came, because earlier this week I was told that there are no drivers for X from Mali at all!
That is an utter disaster for my business, because now I have to re-design the whole bloody cluster system and find a substitute board!
The whole point of this project was to use ODroid products exclusively, to help promote Hardkernel's technology -- and then they release a monster SBC with no fricken drivers? Ever?
This is a Patreon project, with a fixed budget -- and I quite frankly cant afford to switch to another vendor at this point.

I was told yesterday that Hardkernel "might" be working on wayland support, and that the GPU will be fully utilized there.
But can anyone PLEASE take the time to clarify what the game plan is here? I have a business to run, I cannot waste time and money on SBCs that don't deliver.
I now have to use a raspberry PI v4 as the head, which has a completely different latency.
But what piss me off the most, is having spent so much money on ODroid's -- only to be told AFTERWARDS that there won't be any X drivers.
That should be in bold, italic and underline on the product website!
:oops:
Please, can anyone explain just what the plan is for the N2?
Will there be Wayland drivers?
Will all the GPU features be available there, especially for the browser / WebGL etc?

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odroid
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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by odroid » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:10 pm

Look into this wiki page first.
https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-n2/appli ... _drm_build
And this thread too.
viewtopic.php?f=177&t=35255

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by quartexNOR » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:43 am

Thank you, that at least gives me some hope that this will be addressed.
But please, bake a disk image. Not everyone is a linux guru and familiar with building kernels.
This is one of the factors that drew me to Hardkernel, the fact that they had good disk images to download, and that driver updates were swift and solid.

Is there any disk-image you know of that allows me to run chromium in kiosk mode with all the features enabled?
There is no doubt that the N2 is leaps and bounds more powerful than the RPI v4, and I really dont want to use a PI. It maxes out with quake.js + a 4k gif, while the N2 does that with just 2 cores and 4 more free for work.
I really hope there will be a disk image, because I wouldnt even know where to start (and yes i checked out the link, it looks simple enough, but should something fail - i will be stuck immediately).

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by odroid » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:59 am

We have no plan to make a Chromium kiosk dedicated OS image in near future.

Can you show me what errors you met when you followed the instruction?

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by quartexNOR » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:36 pm

odroid wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:59 am
We have no plan to make a Chromium kiosk dedicated OS image in near future.
I didnt mean that you should create a kiosk image, i meant a disk-image with wayland and ordinary apps + the prebuilt chrome binaries.
I would never bother you with kiosk stuff. I just need a starting point that i can shape; I get that wayland is the new desktop system, but i dont have a clue what packages i need etc.
i just started to learn Linux via ODroid XU4. I am a huge fan of Hardkernel, and I promote your products whenever i can :)

Thankfully, i learn fast - but there are some things that requires more experience. Linux is a massive system spanning decades.

I dont think I am the only one that wants a desktop on the N2 that supports hardware acceleration, and uses the GPU to it's full potential.
I mean, the N2 is a fantastic piece of engineering -- and not being able to use it as planned is a let down.
Like many others i waited for almost 3 years for the N2.

Just remember, many people that come to ODroid dont know linux. They need a safe place to start without having to spend months reading through man-pages, dig into C/C++ makefiles etc.

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by odroid » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:03 pm

If you felt our WiKi instruction was really hard to follow, that page seems not to be well documented probably.
We will try to improve it.

BTW, what do you want to make with the GPU accelerated Chromium browser?

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by quartexNOR » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:42 am

I am building a clustered desktop system rendering via HTML5 on any platform.
The challenge was to only use web technology, never native code (native would have been so much easier).

I have cluster design with:

-- 5 x ODroid XU4 (slaves)
-- 1 x ODroid N2 (master, GUI)

This is not some "mock" desktop. The system implements a distributed filesystem over websocket, with process management handled as a part of the core services.
In short, it provides for JS/WebAssembly applications what Windows/Linux does for native apps.

Image

--Filesystem
--Icon services
--REXX app routing
--Requester API (open-file, save-file etc dialogs)
--System wide menu API (so hosted JS apps can register menu items etc)
--Shell over socket
--Video call and chat services
--License management (Serial number minting, ttl non-reductive algorithms)
--Appstore with custom package format
--ZConfig (services on the slaves find the host regardless of IP etc)
--Unified message framework, used between hosted apps and desktop, and also between services running on the slaves and "master" server)
--Support for bytecode compilation
--Support for x86, ARM and mips compilation

Image

Use cases are:
--Routers
--NAS boxes
--Alarm systems
--Developer community hub

The compilers and development tools are likewise compiled to JS/wasm and run directly on the "desktop".
So you can write full iphone, Android, Windows etc. applications -- with only a webbrowser installed (chromium).

--Clang for C/C++
--C# support via the elements compiler
--Freepascal compiled to asm.js
--BlitzBasic implemented as asm.js

Image

The system runs in two modes: as a self-contained "os like" system, where the SBCs boot up and present a complete desktop.
More or less identical to Google ChromeOS, except open source and truly free. There is no closed native core.

The second mode is as a dedicated service-provider, where people rent an account and can login via any webbrowser.
Teams can do development in their own instance of the system, with nothing to install. You just need a browser.

Image

I had to build a special compiler to make this a reality, and write a full RTL from scratch before i could begin on the actual project.
Think of it as your own cloud, but with proper application support.

It uses everything node.js has to offer - and then some! I had to implement the codecs from scratch since everything has to be non-native (and thus universal and portable).
Everything from MP3 to video encoding is done by me in this project.

So it's not that i don't understand technical things -- its that i am very pressed for time.
Most HW vendors help by providing ready-to-use disk images, which shaves weeks off R&D. My needs are very small, i just need to start some node.js services on boot, then run chrome in kiosk mode and point it to 127.0.0.1.
Then you are essentially in a similar environment to ChromeOS.

There is more info on my blog:
https://jonlennartaasenden.wordpress.co ... akes-form/
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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by odroid » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:10 am

Thank you for the very detail explanation about your project. I've enjoyed reading your blog articles.

We will try to make a trial minimal OS image which can run the Chromium + GPU acceleration + WebGL out of the box after long holiday in Korea.
But current problem is what we don't know how to enable the mouse input on the Wayland/Weston desktop due to our limited knowledge about the new graphics system.
Let's try to find what's wrong.

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by crashoverride » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:48 am

odroid wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:10 am
how to enable the mouse input on the Wayland/Weston desktop
I ran into this problem in X11 also. Its a bug in the DRM kernel driver that I documented in the DRM discussion thread. The primary plane works, but the secondary plane used for mouse pointers does not. In X11 armsoc, it is easy to force the use of the primary plane for the mouse pointer. I have no idea if Weston is capable of the same.

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by quartexNOR » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:53 pm

Thank you, that means a lot!
I spend a considerable amount of time promoting you -- good to see you got our (customers) back.
Respect.

Thank you!

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Re: No X drivers? Are you flipping kidding me!!!

Unread post by memeka » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:34 am

I am curious why you found xu4 slow.
Was it slow for the tasks, or was the interface slow? FYI, I found chrome under wayland to be much more faster and smoother than under X11. This is some old videos I made with chrome under wayland a few years back:
https://youtu.be/nT5XLdSAylU
https://youtu.be/F5atp58gGQM
https://youtu.be/euB1ZRPpFgs

Afair, the latest chrome build I did last year had issues only with chrome crashing on exit, but for kiosk mode you don’t care about that. Also you can start it with no desktop either via Weston or via Cage (https://github.com/Hjdskes/cage). I will play a bit later towards Xmas with chrome on xu4 and n2 too, chrome had a lot of fixes for wayland in the last year and I’m curios to see if the bugs I had last time are fixed... but again performance-wise under wayland is much more faster and smoother than under X11. (Ps I had it running under N2 as well a few months back with a testing mainline 5.0 kernel, hope to test it again with 5.4...)

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