Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

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Vasant
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Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Thu May 04, 2017 2:40 am

Hi,

You can now buy our VOLKSPC distribution (http://www.volkspc.org) for ODROID-C2.
Here is a clip of how this works:



We continue to provide free download for ODROID-C1+.
Our XFCE implementation is faster than any stand alone Ubuntu/Debian.
Still Firefox on Odroid-C2 is a bit sluggish. But if you install Chrome browser on Android you
end with a very usable system.

Regards
Vasant

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by mad_ady » Wed May 10, 2017 2:16 am

Great release! Have you tried if things like c2play works under your debian instance?

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Wed May 10, 2017 9:51 am

I am not too familiar with c2play, I just googled for it. I am sure it can be made to work with our version of Debian. Right now the Debian root fs doesn't have any device specific acceleration libraries. Android has many applications capable of playing HD videos and they are all easy to install and run on VOLKSPC OS.

Vasant

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by odroid » Wed May 10, 2017 10:12 am

Nice development! Tons of Debian packages can run with Android in parallel. :o
Consider writing an article on our Magazine.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by rooted » Wed May 10, 2017 11:26 am

I have a question regarding the price, does this include updates and if so for how long?

It is very nice and I know you have worked on it for years, the price is good I'm just wondering about support and updates.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by mad_ady » Wed May 10, 2017 2:36 pm

If you're writing an article, I'd love to hear about the technical bits - how is linux's display manager integrated in android. And also - what kind of kernel you are using and what is the update procedure

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by rooted » Wed May 10, 2017 4:20 pm

microxwin, not sure, me too :)

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Thu May 11, 2017 4:02 am

September, 2015 issue of ODROID magazine has an article about our implementation on ODROID-C1. We use our graphics stack (microxwin) instead of X11. The ODROID-C2 port is similar except that being a faster platform with more memory the user experience is very good.

Regarding upgrades, the current Debian root fs is based on Jessie. We will provide a free update to Stretch when it gets released. It is easy to update from Android VOLKSPC installer.
Also from within Debian you should be able to always update to the latest via apt-get upgrade command. Since Debian root fs is shared between all platforms, we will always keep it updated and available for download.

Android on the other hand needs a complete reinstall. If there is a critical issue we will provide a free update and we will also do the same if HK ever implements Noughat on ODROID-C2.

Vasant

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by mad_ady » Thu May 11, 2017 1:27 pm

I'm guessing the rootfs (and Android) run armhf code - not arm64, right?

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Fri May 12, 2017 12:31 am

That is correct. It is 32 bit user space and 64 bit kernel.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:26 am

In case some of you are wondering how VOLKSPC desktop compares against the official Ubuntu Mate desktop, here is a video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jmvYryz2hw&t=11s

I have summarized the results here.
Ubuntu 16.0.4.2 AARCH64 Mate desktop.
After boot up lxtask shows 392MB free from available 1717MB. Gtkperf takes 13.89 seconds for 100 iterations.

VOLKSPC Jessie 8.8 ARMHF XFCE desktop.
After boot up lxtask shows 390MB free from available 1717MB. Gtkperf takes 7.89 seconds for 100 iterations.

So as expected, our 2D graphics performance is much faster while memory usage is about the same. In case of VOLKPC OS after boot up Android is also running.
Another thing to take note is that client-server X11 runs on 2 core when running gtkperf benchmark while in case of MicroXwin gtkperf is rendering directly on one core.

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Vasant

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:19 am

We have updated the Debian XFCE image.
1. It is now based on the latest 8.9 Jessie release.
2. Default theme has been modernized to use Faenza Icons and Whisker menu plugin. It is still configurable by user.
3. Fixed problems with running applications based on WxGTK3 toolkit.

Regards
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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:21 pm

The Debian XFCE image has been updated to the latest and some issues fixed.
- xmodmap was not installed on the rootfs even though we use it for non US keyboard configuration.
- added script (installcups) to simplify installation of CUPS.
- on startup we show message to force user to read the release notes. It is amazing how many users
don't read the release notes and then complain about not knowing how to switch between Linux and Android.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by rooted » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:36 pm

It's great that you continue updating this thread, thanks.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:40 am

The Debian XFCE image has been updated to Stretch. You can download it from http://volkspc.org/installation/
Let me know if you run into issue.

Vasant

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Tue May 15, 2018 6:55 am

The Android image has been synced to the latest release. Also the VOLKSPC installer has been updated. It has the option now to resize the Debian partition.

Vasant

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by davidwkerr » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:14 pm

Product sounds great.

Any thoughts of running it on XU4? More memory, more power, more cores......

Regards,Dave

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by rooted » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:17 pm

It would be nice for the XU4.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:07 am

rooted wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:17 pm
It would be nice for the XU4.
XU4 is a nice and fast SBC. The only problem is that Android uses an ancient 3.10 kernel.
I was looking forward to do a port for N1 but looks like HK discontinued it and will do a N2 instead.
So I am waiting for N2 and hopefully it will use at least a 4.4 kernel.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:46 am

The latest Firefox release on Stretch ARMHF is broken. Fortunately Debian Buster works very well and at this point is in freeze getting ready for release in a few months. So we have decide to migrate VolksPC OS to Buster. You can download it form our installation page.

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:09 am

Hi,

We have a new release of VolksPC OS based on Debian Buster XFCE. Unlike our older release
this release is completely portable and runs as a pair of Android applications. It does require root access.
Here is a clip of VolksPC OS running on ODROID-N2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbVtqfnRhwI&t=13s

And on ODROID-C2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNzru9WAoYg&t=17s

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by mad_ady » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:27 pm

Great work, as usual Vassant!

I have a few technical questions:
1. Since Android is stock - would it run on android tv as well? Any limitation about 32bit vs 64bit android?
2. Is your custom video driver for Xorg and doing the streaming between Xorg and Android? Is it based on VNC or Xpra or other off-the-shelf technology or is it just custom? Does it depend on the hardware it's running on (e.g. on the kernel version/features)?
3. Is the linux rootfs sharing the android /sys mountpoint? I'd like to hook up some sensors to gpio pins (a pir sensor and a 1wire temperature sensor) and I'd like to be able to read them from linux
4. Can linux auto-start in the background on boot? What happens when it's in the background? Does it get killed by Android?
5. Is the driver portable to other distros (e.g. ubuntu or others)? Would you provide porting steps for users that want some other distro?

Thanks!

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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by Vasant » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:52 am

My answers are in line.

1. Since Android is stock - would it run on android tv as well? Any limitation about 32bit vs 64bit android?
It should work on Android TV and other variants as long as the kernel version is the same.

2. Is your custom video driver for Xorg and doing the streaming between Xorg and Android? ...
It is a custom graphics stack that provides Xlib and some XCB compatibility so that most Debian apps will run. In the past we had some dependence on
the hardware which required porting. The only requirement now is that the driver is matched to the kernel version of the Android system. The driver
is actually a pseudo-driver as it doesn't touch any hardware. It just keeps state information.

3. Is the linux rootfs sharing the android /sys mountpoint? ...
The /sys,/dev, /proc etc is bind mounted into linux so it is available for all linux application. However I am not sure if Android linux kernel has all the
required drivers.

4. Can linux auto-start in the background on boot?...
This is what we did in the past and it works. The only problem is we have to create a special boot.img which runs our startup
script on boot up. Android doesn't provide a standard way to run custom startup scripts.

5. Is the driver portable to other distros (e.g. ubuntu or others)?..
It is portable to other distributions, but is not straight forward. So providing it to end user would be a support night mare -(:.

Hope this helps.
Vasant
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Re: Unified OS runs Debian and Android applications

Unread post by rooted » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:36 am

Thanks Vasant, it's nice to see you have it down to an installable application vs and entire OS image. Nice progession.

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