Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

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Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by tobetter » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:56 am

Background
I've built Netboot installers for ODROID-N2, Netboot installer is a tiny Linux system intended to install an OS while downloading all packages through a network. Therefore, your ODROID-N2must be able to connect to a public network. The installation time would depend on the network performance but you would be able to customize and update OS while installing.

The current installer will install Linux v4.9 with U-boot v2015.01, they are all official kernel and U-boot from Hardkernel but kernel configuration could be slightly different. The Linux kernel source to build the package is in my github, https://github.com/tobetter/linux/commi ... idn2-4.9.y. How to use the images to install OS to ODROID-N2
1. Download the installer image from the link and flash to SD card.
2. Attach eMMC or USB storage that you want to install an OS.
3. Attach an HDMI cable and USB keyboard.
3. Power up with Petitboot to select the installer on SD card and follow the installer menus

Known issues
Not installing the Linux kernel for ODROID-N2.
This happens when the timezone set up is failed due to the network latency. After the clock settings, system time can be checked by pressing the keys Ctrl-Alt-F2 on the installation screen and use date command. In order to back to the installation screen, press Ctrl-Alt-F1.

Buy me a coffee if you like my efforts and keep moving forward.
Last edited by tobetter on Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by rooted » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:00 pm

Very nice, thanks for sharing. This will help those looking for super minimal or just a customized installation.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by Sav » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:24 pm

tobetter wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:56 am
Background
I've built Netboot installers for ODROID-N2, Netboot installer is a tiny Linux system intended to install an OS while downloading all packages through a network. Therefore, your ODROID-N2must be able to connect to a public network. The installation time would depend on the network performance but you would be able to customize and update OS while installing.

The current installer will install Linux v4.9 with U-boot v2015.01, they are all official kernel and U-boot from Hardkernel but kernel configuration could be slightly different. The Linux kernel source to build the package is in my github, https://github.com/tobetter/linux/commi ... idn2-4.9.y. How to use the images to install OS to ODROID-N2
1. Download the installer image from the link and flash to SD card.
2. Attach eMMC or USB storage that you want to install an OS.
3. Attach an HDMI cable and USB keyboard.
3. Power up with Petitboot to select the installer on SD card and follow the installer menus

Known issues
Not installing the Linux kernel for ODROID-N2.
This happens when the timezone set up is failed due to the network latency. After the clock settings, system time can be checked by pressing the keys Ctrl-Alt-F2 on the installation screen and use date command. In order to back to the installation screen, press Ctrl-Alt-F1.
I created a minimal disco system, which boots, but without screen output (a known issue with my lcd tv). So I needed to edit the boot.ini file to set autodetect display to false.
I didn't find it. Instead there is a boot.scr file. I tried to edit it, but then the odroid n2 doesn't boot. I tried the original boot.scr file but it doesn't work.
Any clue?

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:24 pm

@tobetter has created an Ubuntu Disco (19.04) minimal netboot installer image for GPU hardware acceleration testing purposes using Wayland.
It is based on kernel 5.4.0, presumably with some additional patching.
It is now available for testing and installs a working Ubuntu 19.04 with Gnome 3.32 (setup in ubuntu configuration).
With an additional manual install (tobetter has a package for it in his ppa) of the ARM Mali Wayland drivers (blobs, both userspace and dkms) actually results in a working hardware (GPU) accelerated Gnome running on/with Wayland!
And with additional settings Firefox does Wayland as well.

See this article for a howto: https://medium.com/@tobetter/running-gn ... a187dff055

The installed system requires petitboot to boot.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:49 pm

I've installed the test netboot installer with Wayland to my Odroid N2's eMMC.
Booting it with Petitboot: It works, and Gnome Wayland is indeed accelerated!
Bravo! :)

Gnome and firefox (with a little help) really are accelerated.
And MPV showed a test x264 video file *smoothly*! (Even if perhaps the VPU is nog supported yet?)
Wonderful stuff: I want it, I want it now! ;)

Some Gnome 3 desktop effects really do go smoothly, though it's not a completely smooth flowing ride yet, perhaps something with the cpu governor reacting too slowly?

There is no audio yet though.
Gnome says 'dummy audio'.

Now aplay -l does list audio devices

Code: Select all

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: G12AODROIDN2 [G12A-ODROIDN2], device 0: fe.dai-link-0 (*) []
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: G12AODROIDN2 [G12A-ODROIDN2], device 1: fe.dai-link-1 (*) []
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: G12AODROIDN2 [G12A-ODROIDN2], device 2: fe.dai-link-2 (*) []
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
and aplay -L lists

Code: Select all

default
    Playback/recording through the PulseAudio sound server
null
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
jack
    JACK Audio Connection Kit
pulse
    PulseAudio Sound Server
sysdefault:CARD=G12AODROIDN2
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Default Audio Device
dmix:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=0
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=1
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=2
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct sample mixing device
dsnoop:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=0
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=1
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=2
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct sample snooping device
hw:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=0
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=1
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=2
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Direct hardware device without any conversions
plughw:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=0
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=1
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=G12AODROIDN2,DEV=2
    G12A-ODROIDN2, 
    Hardware device with all software conversions
usbstream:CARD=G12AODROIDN2
    G12A-ODROIDN2
    USB Stream Output
No sound, but close?

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by tobetter » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:57 am

I've asked my workmate for looking into the audio issue and he would start soon but need some time to be familiar with new OS image. Cross finger!!

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by tobetter » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:21 am

I would be wrong but my research to run KDE on Ubuntu 19.04 for ODROID-N2 is like this:
1. Ubuntu PPA provides the KDE/Plasma packages (5.15.x) and they are pretty much based on X11, but what I found in Google is that 5.17.x turns to Wayland by default.
2. The current problem is that default KDE is built to run with X11 and Qt5 modules are built to use OpenGL, not ES or EGL. I've built Qt5 and they are already uploaded to my PPA, other modules like Qt5Quick or Qt5QML are required to be built and linked with my Qt5 libraries since the default Qt5Quick from Ubuntu PPA uses the symbols from Qt5 which is built to run with OpenGL.
3. After stitching the libraries to run Plasma, I've also experienced that SDDM which is KDE display manager does not offer Wayland session while GNOME Wayland and Weston works. This seems to me that SDDM also to be customized to use Wayland and not found to clue yet. From Ubuntu Disco without GDM or SDDM, I could manually start startplasmacompositor but it gives a random image of KDE background/wallpaper.

So...shortly...no luck to run KDE yet. As I mentioned above, other Qt5 modules must be rebuilt and I am going to queue them and test in the coming weekend. If this does not help, the option I could have is to queue KDE/Plasma 5.17 to my build firm or something else. This is much more that I think...like building a new Ubuntu clone. :lol:

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by Sav » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:38 am

I think that manjaro's users can have more luck with Kde, because one of the greatest benefit of manjaro is the rolling release system. So every package is (or could be) updated to the latest version.

Inviato dal mio GM1913 utilizzando Tapatalk


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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:23 am

On the 19.04 netboot installation using kernel 5.4, to turn off the blue heartbeat led:

As root execute:

Code: Select all

echo none > /sys/class/leds/n2:blue/trigger
To automatically do this during boot, see additional instructions: viewtopic.php?f=179&t=35218#p275653

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by blondu » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:15 pm

I installed in Odroid N2 with 4Gb ram according to the instructions but I do not have network and I cannot install the driver.
Which is the solution?
Last edited by blondu on Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by tobetter » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:18 pm

blondu wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:15 pm
I installed in Odroid N2 with 4Mb ram according to the instructions but I do not have network and I cannot install the driver.
Which is the solution?
Which version of Netboot Installer are you trying?
Do you mean the network is not available after OS is installed or you can not proceed since the network is missing?
If the network circuit is not damaged, you don't need to install the driver since the Linux kernel already has the driver. Have you tried to boot with another OS to check the network?

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by blondu » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:41 pm

Works perfectly in other OS.
At eth0 I don't have MAC so I think he doesn't see the network face
So after installing the boot but it has no network.
I installed on USB Stik

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by tobetter » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:49 pm

blondu wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:41 pm
Works perfectly in other OS.
At eth0 I don't have MAC so I think he doesn't see the network face
So after installing the boot but it has no network.
I installed on USB Stik
If you have seen the network and installed perfectly, the network circuit is ok. Maybe netplan or DHCP must be not working.
Or you have to run ifconfig eth0.
Which OS version did you install?

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by congo » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:24 pm

odroidn2user wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:24 pm
@tobetter has created an Ubuntu Disco (19.04) minimal netboot installer image for GPU hardware acceleration testing purposes using Wayland.
It is based on kernel 5.4.0, presumably with some additional patching.
It is now available for testing and installs a working Ubuntu 19.04 with Gnome 3.32 (setup in ubuntu configuration).
With an additional manual install (tobetter has a package for it in his ppa) of the ARM Mali Wayland drivers (blobs, both userspace and dkms) actually results in a working hardware (GPU) accelerated Gnome running on/with Wayland!
And with additional settings Firefox does Wayland as well.

See this article for a howto: https://medium.com/@tobetter/running-gn ... a187dff055

The installed system requires petitboot to boot.
I have tested installation to sda and uSD.
Installation to sda works.
Installation to uSD does not. Looks like kernel has some issues with uSD. Logs are lost if needed i can try to reinstall.
Congo

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:35 pm

On the netboot 19.04 kernel 5.4 test netinst installation:
- MPV works, quite smoothly, though without window decorations.
- VLC, Gnome-MPV and SMPlayer all crash when starting the application.

When playing video, the video seems to freeze every now and then, sometimes real short, sometimes it seems to wait until I move the mouse cursor..?
I've seen this before on an x86 x11 linux installation, so it's probably not specific to Odroid or Wayland, not sure how to fix it though.

Using the desktop, every now and then, there is a screen-wide, fullscreen flash on my monitor. Perhaps a distorted frame flashes full screen or something, goes away within a blink of the eye and leaves no traces, but there are flashes of something or other. This happens more often when playing video, but also happens at other times.

Also, as a positive note: having the full Ubuntu desktop going really gives it a 'real desktop' kinda vibe, like you have a real desktop computer at your hands. Way more so than Ubuntu Mate image (like that from Hardkernel), that always seems to shout 'developer SBC', sorry-not-quite-there-yet, enter at your own risk.
Funny how that works.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:09 pm

The 19.04 kernel 5.4 net installer might just be one of the first images for current generation ARM boards to support hardware acceleration by default in a desktop image.

Raspberry Pi 4 has a V3D driver still currently in development, and as far as I can see (I don't have one yet) it's not really enabled by default anywhere yet that I can find.
Rockpro64 / RK3399 has the Panfrost thing, which is still currently in development and I've not seen a completely accelerated desktop image for that yet.
And the Odroid N2 is nowhere near Panfrost support, but with tobetter's net installer does actually install an accelerated environment with Wayland.

So, with current gen Linux ARM systems, that might well (need to do more research) actually be a first, even though it is not near stable quite yet.
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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:47 pm

tobetter wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:21 am
2. The current problem is that default KDE is built to run with X11 and Qt5 modules are built to use OpenGL, not ES or EGL. I've built Qt5 and they are already uploaded to my PPA, other modules like Qt5Quick or Qt5QML are required to be built and linked with my Qt5 libraries since the default Qt5Quick from Ubuntu PPA uses the symbols from Qt5 which is built to run with OpenGL.
At risk of status the obvious here, and I guess you've probably experimented with it already, but there is a package called GL4ES which translates GL calls to GL ES.
E.g.:
https://github.com/ptitSeb/gl4es
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/8352-tu ... -es-gl4es/

I've seen it used as 'X11 driver' (not sure what that exactly is, but still) on a MrFixIt2001 image for the RK3399 chipped RockPro64, using their heavily patched default 4.4 kernel on a Mate image.
So, just in the very small chance you've not ran into it yet...

(Also, that specific MrFixIt2001 image for the RockPro64, might be the first, though it was version fixed and somewhat limited release and didn't update all to nicely, but still. And I guess that is a 'default' image for the Pinebook Pro as well. Though it didn't do 'it' for me.)

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by tobetter » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:01 pm

odroidn2user wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:47 pm
tobetter wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:21 am
2. The current problem is that default KDE is built to run with X11 and Qt5 modules are built to use OpenGL, not ES or EGL. I've built Qt5 and they are already uploaded to my PPA, other modules like Qt5Quick or Qt5QML are required to be built and linked with my Qt5 libraries since the default Qt5Quick from Ubuntu PPA uses the symbols from Qt5 which is built to run with OpenGL.
At risk of status the obvious here, and I guess you've probably experimented with it already, but there is a package called GL4ES which translates GL calls to GL ES.
E.g.:
https://github.com/ptitSeb/gl4es
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/8352-tu ... -es-gl4es/

I've seen it used as 'X11 driver' (not sure what that exactly is, but still) on a MrFixIt2001 image for the RK3399 chipped RockPro64, using their heavily patched default 4.4 kernel.
So, just in the very small chance you've not ran into it yet...

(Also, that specific MrFixIt2001 image for the RockPro64, might be the first, though it was fixed release and didn't update all to nicely, but still. And I guess that is a 'default' image for the Pinebook Pro as well. Though it didn't do 'it' for me.)
Thank you for sharing, I have not intended this yet although I've seen about GL4ES. I was trying to compile and package Qt5 modules from time to time to make them link with ES libraries from GL...still many of them do not work. For GL4ES, what I wondering is that how much it is reliable and if there is huge performance regression. Obviously this library could help to run most if it works, let me look into it again if it can work. I always appreciate your inputs.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:08 pm

tobetter wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:01 pm
Thank you for sharing, I have not intended this yet although I've seen about GL4ES. I was trying to compile and package Qt5 modules from time to time to make them link with ES libraries from GL...still many of them do not work. For GL4ES, what I wondering is that how much it is reliable and if there is huge performance regression. Obviously this library could help to run most if it works, let me look into it again if it can work.
I've evaluated the MrFixIt RockPro64 image, and if I remember correctly (I can recheck if that helps) they used it (specifically the ptitSeb driver) as their main X11 driver. It reported ptitSeb (something thereabouts) as the main X/Glxinfo driver, which I thought at the time was somewhat weird. But they got the Mate desktop going on it smoothly. Even though they made it actually work, and that was impressive, I personally wasn't all that impressed with the image as a whole, it felt way to restrictive, and moved on. (It felt nowhere near as good as your 19.04 net inst image!) But that's another thing altogether.

So, I'm guessing the performance hit really wasn't that bad, they use it for an accelerated desktop, and that worked smoothly on reasonably comparable hardware. I can retest the image for more experience info / review.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by istanbulls » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:21 am

odroidn2user wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:47 pm
tobetter wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:21 am
2. The current problem is that default KDE is built to run with X11 and Qt5 modules are built to use OpenGL, not ES or EGL. I've built Qt5 and they are already uploaded to my PPA, other modules like Qt5Quick or Qt5QML are required to be built and linked with my Qt5 libraries since the default Qt5Quick from Ubuntu PPA uses the symbols from Qt5 which is built to run with OpenGL.
At risk of status the obvious here, and I guess you've probably experimented with it already, but there is a package called GL4ES which translates GL calls to GL ES.
E.g.:
https://github.com/ptitSeb/gl4es
https://forum.armbian.com/topic/8352-tu ... -es-gl4es/

I've seen it used as 'X11 driver' (not sure what that exactly is, but still) on a MrFixIt2001 image for the RK3399 chipped RockPro64, using their heavily patched default 4.4 kernel on a Mate image.
So, just in the very small chance you've not ran into it yet...

(Also, that specific MrFixIt2001 image for the RockPro64, might be the first, though it was version fixed and somewhat limited release and didn't update all to nicely, but still. And I guess that is a 'default' image for the Pinebook Pro as well. Though it didn't do 'it' for me.)
I was using the RockPro64 board very fondly before I burned it.
I found the chromium version running Netflix and Spotify, and Lukas included it in the OS.
I was having a fluent, non-blocking browser experience.
I do not have experience with new developments, but I follow from a distance.
There was an mpv media player running 4K videos 1 year ago.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:18 pm

istanbulls wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:21 am
I was using the RockPro64 board very fondly before I burned it.
I found the chromium version running Netflix and Spotify, and Lukas included it in the OS.
I was having a fluent, non-blocking browser experience.
I do not have experience with new developments, but I follow from a distance.
There was an mpv media player running 4K videos 1 year ago.
Running 4K means no real performance hit by GL4ES on mpv, clearly. Well, maybe I should test it again, but I found it to be very restrictive. No up to date Firefox, was one thing. From what I remember, it all felt somewhat hackish, including the ugly (that is subjective, but still) big red debian logo during bootup. That didn't feel professional and production like to me. It felt to me as: 'look at my hacking abilities', instead of: this is an environment for productive work. Yes, it sorta worked: they stuck all available hacks together and it worked. Don't get me wrong, Lukas an MrFixIt did a good job with it, and we should thank them for it, but that is clearly not the way to go forward. That is making the best of a bad situation, and they got far with it. Good on them, still: not the way to go forward. (Also, I really don't enjoy Mate as a desktop environment for real work, but that is a subjective thing as well, obviously.)

I'm still of the mind that the route @tobetter chose for his installer, actually *is* the way forward! Mainstream(ish) kernel, mainstream(ish) kernel drivers, no dependency on an old android kernel, graphics drivers from the hardware supplier, some magic touches from @tobetter as glue, actual desktop acceleration. That does seem to me to be way forward. Now, ideally the graphics drivers would be open source, but hey, it's not that unusual, DKMS is proven technology around it, I'll take it. And in time Panfrost might get up to speed, so that's all good.

This tobetter image is a clear step in the right direction, showing actual working results. So, that is why I feel that his image was a first. A first (even though clearly not finished) normal image using actual hardware acceleration. I haven't yet seen any other image of this type, for this generation of ARM SBC's, that has actual, working hardware acceleration out of the box. So yeah, no doubt @tobetter pulled in some patches and hacks to get it all going, and it clearly isn't production ready as of yet, but it is a very clear step in the right direction! And the first image I can find to actually make it happen AND actually available as working image. There are some bugs, clearly, but having the full gnome desktop there means (when you add some extensions) you can quickly be productive with it and have a real, accelerated, up-to-date, modern Linux desktop at your hands. Now that is awesome.

That's a clear step forward and a first image I can find that does it right(ish).
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istanbulls (Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:04 pm)

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by Sav » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:52 pm

odroidn2user wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:18 pm
I'm still of the mind that the route @tobetter chose for his installer, actually *is* the way forward! Mainstream(ish) kernel, mainstream(ish) kernel drivers, graphics drivers from the hardware supplier, some magic touches from @tobetter as glue, actual desktop acceleration. That does seem to me to be way forward. Now, ideally the graphics drivers would be open source, but hey, it's not that unusual, DKMS is proven technology around it, I'll take it. And in time Panfrost might get up to speed, so that's all good.

This tobetter image doesn't seem to me to be a stagnant collection of hacks that sorta, kinda make it all work, until you do something wrong (like run an upgrade) and break everything. @tobetter's image probably is, but that's not what it is aimed to be. It's a clear step in the right direction, showing actual working results. So, that is why I feel that his image was a first. A first (even though clearly not finished) normal image using actual hardware acceleration. I haven't yet seen any other image of this type, for this generation of ARM SBC's, that has actual, working hardware acceleration out of the box. So yeah, no doubt @tobetter pulled in some patches and hacks to get it all going, and it clearly isn't production ready as of yet, but it is a very clear step in the right direction! And the first image I can find to actually make it happen AND actually available as working image. There are some bugs, clearly, but having the full gnome desktop there means (when you add some extensions) you can quickly be productive with it and have a real, accelerated, linux desktop at your hands.

That's a clear step forward and a first image I can find that does it right(ish).
I agree, but I think there are some big obstacles that tobetter and the other wonderfull people of this forum can hardly overcome. I'm talking about the arm closed drivers and wayland, just to mention 2 of them.
Now we have a driver that works but has limitations.
Wayland is still in heavy development. Canonical said that wayland is the future and X11 the past, but years have passed and we are stil far away from a stable version.
I'm not a coder, so I can't help, but I'd like to see a community driven to develop a common standard for the desktop interface (for example a complete support for GL ES) but I understand that everyone has different goals in the SBC world, and most of the coders are focused on the services and less on the desktop experience.
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istanbulls (Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:05 pm)

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by istanbulls » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:18 pm

odroidn2user wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:18 pm
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:21 am
I was using the RockPro64 board very fondly before I burned it.
I found the chromium version running Netflix and Spotify, and Lukas included it in the OS.
I was having a fluent, non-blocking browser experience.
I do not have experience with new developments, but I follow from a distance.
There was an mpv media player running 4K videos 1 year ago.
Running 4K means no real performance hit by GL4ES on mpv, clearly. Well, maybe I should test it again, but I found it to be very restrictive. No up to date Firefox, was one thing. From what I remember, it all felt somewhat hackish, including the ugly (that is subjective, but still) big red debian logo during bootup. That didn't feel professional and production like to me. It felt to me as: 'look at my hacking abilities', instead of: this is an environment for productive work. Yes, it sorta worked: they stuck all available hacks together and it worked. Don't get me wrong, Lukas an MrFixIt did a good job with it, and we should thank them for it, but that is clearly not the way to go forward. That is making the best of a bad situation, and they got far with it. Good on them, still: not the way to go forward. (Also, I really don't enjoy Mate as a desktop environment for real work, but that is a subjective thing as well, obviously.)

I'm still of the mind that the route @tobetter chose for his installer, actually *is* the way forward! Mainstream(ish) kernel, mainstream(ish) kernel drivers, no dependency on an old android kernel, graphics drivers from the hardware supplier, some magic touches from @tobetter as glue, actual desktop acceleration. That does seem to me to be way forward. Now, ideally the graphics drivers would be open source, but hey, it's not that unusual, DKMS is proven technology around it, I'll take it. And in time Panfrost might get up to speed, so that's all good.

This tobetter image is a clear step in the right direction, showing actual working results. So, that is why I feel that his image was a first. A first (even though clearly not finished) normal image using actual hardware acceleration. I haven't yet seen any other image of this type, for this generation of ARM SBC's, that has actual, working hardware acceleration out of the box. So yeah, no doubt @tobetter pulled in some patches and hacks to get it all going, and it clearly isn't production ready as of yet, but it is a very clear step in the right direction! And the first image I can find to actually make it happen AND actually available as working image. There are some bugs, clearly, but having the full gnome desktop there means (when you add some extensions) you can quickly be productive with it and have a real, accelerated, up-to-date, modern Linux desktop at your hands. Now that is awesome.

That's a clear step forward and a first image I can find that does it right(ish).
I agree with all his words about RockPro64. They offered a good experience for a year ago. But they are not enough for now. The days are advancing and developing, they prefer to shift the energy of development to another field.
They sell hardware and software doesn't save them money. The software for them brings money indirectly.

We have to think of life and what happened in our lives like chess. After 1-2 moves and after 10-20 moves.

Most of the $ 500-1000 computers will be out of service when we have the desktop experience imagined on Odroid N2. My capitalism doesn't want it, it doesn't allow it. There will be an improvement, but not the time now. :)))

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:27 pm

Sav wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:52 pm
I think there are some big obstacles that tobetter and the other wonderfull people of this forum can hardly overcome. I'm talking about the arm closed drivers and wayland, just to mention 2 of them.
Now we have a driver that works but has limitations.
Wayland is still in heavy development. Canonical said that wayland is the future and X11 the past, but years have passed and we are stil far away from a stable version.
I'm not a coder, so I can't help, but I'd like to see a community driven to develop a common standard for the desktop interface (for example a complete support for GL ES) but I understand that everyone has different goals in the SBC world, and most of the coders are focused on the services and less on the desktop experience.
Oh, there are some big obstacles, no doubt. It seems to me that the software quality of ARM software is pretty atrocious, but then again: I haven't seen any of it, so who knows.

And we may just be pleasantly surprised, if ARM actually supports Wayland - and they apparently say they do - then they could well deliver a Wayland blob package that actually supports a desktop. For that's the whole idea behind the Wayland driver. And Wayland as a protocol/stack works with desktop Linux, as exemplified by Gnome on numerous installations (in the x86 world).

And the driver exists, so that should work. If it doesn't, that's a clear signal, and something ARM can work on. Why else would they have a Wayland driver?

I haven't seen an actually, fully working proof of concept from ARM, but @tobetter's net installer image effectively is exactly that. And I think we can learn from the tobetter netinstaller, that in fact this driver blob *does* work. Now, getting to a fully functioning, non-glitching desktop is something else... We'll quickly find out just how atrocious or wonderful the code from ARM really is and whether or not they debug and support their code.

This *can* work. Whether this *will* work all depends on quality of code of ARM software. That's the problem with closed sources drivers, obviously. But it is also a strength (somewhat), you know exactly who is responsible.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by odroidn2user » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:47 pm

istanbulls wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:18 pm
Most of the $ 500-1000 computers will be out of service when we have the desktop experience imagined on Odroid N2. My capitalism doesn't want it, it doesn't allow it. There will be an improvement, but not the time now. :)))
Well, that loses something in translation, I guess. But indeed, the Odroid N2 could indeed become a truly awesome value proposition! If and when mainline support comes, there could be a whole lot of years of official support. Affordable hardware with very capable and free (as in: freedom) desktop software, at least with Ubuntu 20.04 long term support, results in a true desktop computing revolution!
And: Free from Microsoft, AMD, Intel, Google, CIA, NSA, etc. (Well, Amlogic is US based, and ARM is UK, so perhaps not completely free of the CIA, NSA and GCHQ, but still!) That would indeed be a revolutionary situation.
Now if that actually happens somewhat depends on getting the graphics going a little bit better. As of now, watching video on the desktop isn't all that pretty yet and Android is clearly not the answer. But tobetter's image really promises something awesome to come.

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Re: Debian/Ubuntu Netboot Installer

Unread post by istanbulls » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:45 am

odroidn2user wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:47 pm
istanbulls wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:18 pm
Most of the $ 500-1000 computers will be out of service when we have the desktop experience imagined on Odroid N2. My capitalism doesn't want it, it doesn't allow it. There will be an improvement, but not the time now. :)))
Well, that loses something in translation, I guess. But indeed, the Odroid N2 could indeed become a truly awesome value proposition! If and when mainline support comes, there could be a whole lot of years of official support. Affordable hardware with very capable and free (as in: freedom) desktop software, at least with Ubuntu 20.04 long term support, results in a true desktop computing revolution!
And: Free from Microsoft, AMD, Intel, Google, CIA, NSA, etc. (Well, Amlogic is US based, and ARM is UK, so perhaps not completely free of the CIA, NSA and GCHQ, but still!) That would indeed be a revolutionary situation.
Now if that actually happens somewhat depends on getting the graphics going a little bit better. As of now, watching video on the desktop isn't all that pretty yet and Android is clearly not the answer. But tobetter's image really promises something awesome to come.
I repeat very often, sorry. English is not my native language.
This will be a real revolution when N2 and its variants get a real desktop.
I believe this heartily, I have never lost this belief.
It was a year ago that I discovered with SBCs. A light shone in my head when I met. The first thing I feel may be a revolution.
I am very happy with the developments, because this revolution is very close to us, I feel it.
But it won't be easy, I know.
Easy victory is not precious .. :)))

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