Author Topic: CuBox-i from SolidRun  (Read 460 times)

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
CuBox-i from SolidRun
« on: August 09, 2014, 10:40:06 pm »
Hi,

I've ordered one of these to play with.

Just wondering if anyone else has tried to use one as a MD.

Cheers.

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 06:03:46 pm »
Hi,

Been playing with it.  Installed Kit Kat, Fedora 20 on microSD, bootp sees tftboot/pxelinux.0 it loads but stalls.

I guess I'll have to look at the various environments for dhcp, tftp and NFS servers.

Cheers.

phenigma

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 976
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 06:43:55 pm »
I'm assuming this is an ARM based device and the existing pxe boot environment only supports i386/amd64 based systems.  Can you provide some information or links about the device?

J.

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 07:40:23 pm »
Hi,

This is an ARM device.

I thought that maybe I needed to investigate i.MX6 ARM support in Ubuntu.

http://www.solid-run.com/products/cubox-i-mini-computer/

I have the quad core CuBox-i4Pro.

Cheers.

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 07:43:13 pm »
Hi,

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/DeviceSupport

You might like to look at this.

Cheers.

phenigma

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 976
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 12:27:58 am »
Hmm.  Nice device all in all.  Certainly seems like it could be much more capable than any pi.  There's a bunch of things that are required to make it work:
  • u-boot for cu-box with pxe patches
  • kernel built (with appropriate patches)
  • default initrd to interact the the NewMD_Interactor
  • lmce MD packages built for ubuntu armhf
  • changes to Diskless_CreateTBZ.sh (as required)
  • other specific changes (as required) to config files
  • media player created to utilize whatever accelerates video playback
  • anything else that comes up along the way

Some of the above is easy, some not so easy. ;)  As I don't have one there's not a lot I can do here with the device.  #1 requires patching and building u-boot, I can provide the pxe patch for u-boot.  #3 is easy after #2 is done, by following the raspbian example.  #4 I'm planning on doing already generally for ubuntu armhf... someday.  #5 I'm planning on doing already generally for ubuntu armhf after #4 is done.  #7 is not as hard as some might think if you have even a minor amount of programming knowledge, it just takes time.  #8 can be the kicker as obstacles are difficult to predict.

The 2 majors:
Question:  What kind of video acceleration support does it have?  What codecs can it support playing?
Question:  Does it have CEC control built in?  If so, do you know if it is libcec compatible?

There are an army of arm devices out there, and since it takes effort to support each one, choosing what to support may be difficult.  The most ideal situation is one where libxine2 works on the device for video acceleration.  I don't know of any arm devices where that is the case yet.  rpi has omxplayer, I have leveraged that to provide media on the rpi.  The Cubox certainly has the potential to live up to what is neccesary but I have no way of testing it myself.  Best thing to do is likely to install ubuntu through the netinstall method, or perhaps fedora if you have issues with ubuntu, and see what it can do on the video playback side initially.

J.

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 03:24:24 pm »
Hi phenigma,

I haven't had much time to play with the CuBox since I posted. 

I have installed Fedora 20 on it with Xfce4 and LXDE Desktops.  They ran fine.

Cinnamon Desktop went into a software rendering mode for video and I didn't spend time (yet) trying to figure out why.

The box is HDMI 1080p with CEC 1.4 with 3D support using a GC2000 GPU .

3D GPU Type is OpenGL ES1.1, 2.0 Quad Shader.

Video Engine is a multi format video decoder and encoder.  I'll need to look around the forums to see what's runable.

fbdev driver works.  For Fedora look at the following.

https://github.com/jmontleon/fedora-20-cubox-i_hb/blob/master/README.md

This weekend I am going to try to install a Fedora ARM spin with the MATE desktop manager.

http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora#arm

I guess if you really wanted to play with it I could drop it off to you sometime when I go up to the Big City.

Cheers.

I have started to look at how to possibly PXE boot the box using the raspberry pi as an example but I haven't tried anything yet.

I'm contemplating trying Win 8.1 RT software, but I haven't really looked into it yet.

http://www.solid-run.com/community/topic9.html a start for the GPU.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 03:33:45 pm by pigdog »

cfernandes

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 290
    • View Profile
    • my company web site
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 05:13:22 pm »
HI ,

this also seems to be good

http://www.bananapi.org/p/product.html


pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2014, 06:57:12 pm »
Hi,

Here are instructions for PXE booting the cubox.

http://www.solid-run.com/archive/mw/index.php/Setup_PXE_boot


Cheers.

phenigma

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 976
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2014, 09:27:11 pm »
I have a bananapi on the way, although I'm not extremely hopeful about it at the moment.

PXE booting the cubox looks very straightforward, especially if they already include a working u-boot (hopefully it doesn't need patches).  So a filesystem on the core is required.  It is possible to shoehorn a test system into lmce for pxe booting, you would need to create the filesystem and create all the pxe configs, but most of the server config is already odne with lmce as that's how we boot MDs already.

J.

cfernandes

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 290
    • View Profile
    • my company web site
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2014, 12:46:26 pm »

phenigma

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 976
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2014, 09:13:42 pm »
Everything arm pretty much uses u-boot and the procedure is the same for each, but each needs it own targeted build of u-boot to work.  Booting is the easy part.  Generating the diskless image should be fairly straightforward, kernel may be a bit difficult to nail down if it is not available in a repository, then it's media.  The cubox has a crapload of kernel patches that need to be applied to get the device to work.  There is no current repository that holds them all in an already buildable (ie patches applied) state, so that's a fair amount of manual work.

Each of these devices will ultimately succeed or fail on their capbilbity to deliver media and control their connected devices.  Accelerated video playback (including licensed codecs which could be iffy on a lot of arm) & HDMI-CEC are pretty much mandatory going forward.  The cubox dual seems to have ok video support, a new lmce media playing device will be required.  The banana pi seems to have some accelerated playback but I haven't really found much realiable information, regardless a new lmce media player is likely required.

With the rpi, and every other arm device at the moment, we lose the ability to play .dvd files, and real dvds, as we have nothing to deal with menu systems in the existing arm based players.  Xine handles this nicely on intel architectures.  I can sacrifice that as it is trivial to create playable versions, depending on laws in your local area. 

The rpi is maxed out running basic MD software, orbiter & photoscreensaver use ~80%cpu with the pi @ 950Mhz.  That's one whole core.  qOrbiter is much better, it consumes ~40%cpu on the pi @ 950Mhz, and leaves room to launch other applications.  Squeezelite takes 15-40% cpu on the rpi @950Mhz and cannot co-exist with a standard obiter & PSS.  RS232 is horrible on arm as it doesn't have the same hardware access that intel hardware does.  Serial control with GSD is a pig on resources and kills the rpi for nearly every other task.

Anyways, I'm not trying to discourage anyone here, completely the contrary.  I am looking for 'THE DEVICE' to support going forward.  We need something that is inexpensive and 'Just Works (tm)' when you plug it in.  Almost anything that is dual or quad core in a 1ghz (or better) arm device and *has* good media support is likely a great device to investigate.

J.

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2014, 08:39:46 pm »
Hi,

Some Kernel information.

There are currently two supported kernels for the CuBox-i and HummingBoard -

Kernel 3.14 LTS - The current kernel for CuBox-i and HummingBoard. The drive is that all projects focus on this kernel as much as possible.

Kernel 3.10 LTS - This kernel announced here (https://plus.google.com/+JonNettleton/posts/PJm24HodU4V).
It is based on Linaro kernel 3.10 LTS, i.MX6 Freescale patches and patches from Russell King, Jon Nettleton and various other developers.
This kernel is the main kernel to be used for end users and general availability.



phenigma

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 976
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2014, 06:23:17 pm »
So it appears that the dual core has video support, not sure of any acceleration yet, the quad core does not.  Video driver development appears to have been stalled for about a year now, that is not promising at all.  :(

With accelerated video this could be a great device.  Without, it's a paperweight for our needs.  :(  I'm interested in what you find out with the fedora install and the current state of things though.

J.

pigdog

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1006
    • View Profile
Re: CuBox-i from SolidRun
« Reply #14 on: Today at 01:29:25 pm »
Hi,

I've had some hardware issues to sort out before I could get back to looking at this. (Also no time.)

I was trying to do some testing on my LMCE box because it had a card reader in it (my Fedora box had a card reader but you need to build against kubuntu.)

For some reason lshw would not show the card reader.  Gee, it was working.

I tried the following commands

sudo modprobe -r r852; sudo modprobe -r sdhci_pci; sudo modprobe r852; sudo modprobe sdhci_pci

This uses modprobe to unload and reload the device drivers inorder for the kernel to automatically redetect the sd card.

It didn't change the lshw output.

I bought a new card reader (same model as in my Fedora box).

Plug it in and when I rebooted my HDD's were detected and the s.m.a.r.t. status was displayed and the system/display froze.

Turned out my power supply wasn't up to the task of handling all the peripherals I had in the system.

I put in a 500 watt supply (fortunately spare) and everything booted up.

I've tried lightdm as a desktop on the cu-box but it goes into software rendering mode for video.

So, not to mess up my main LMCE box (3 hdd's with 10.04, 12.04, 14.04) I build a box to compile cu-box.  It's slow but so am I.

I hope to get some things done over the next week, between raking leaves.

Cheers.