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Kickstarter Live: La Frite – Open Source Fries

La Frite is our latest product offering starting at just $5 on Kickstarter! This quad-core 64-bit ARM board has great open source software support since it is based on Le Potato. It features 1080P video output and decode of H.265, H.264, and VP9 on a 6.4cm (~2.5 inches) x 5.5cm (~2.2 inches) board. La Frite can run the latest upstream Linux as well as Android 8 Oreo for the 1GB model. Other open source software support include LibreELEC, Kodi, RetroPie, RetroArch, and more. Back now on Kickstarter!

 

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RetroPie Released for Le Potato and Coming Soon to Tritium!

Fresh off the tasty build server is some RetroPie for Le Potato! After a 10 day hiatus in the software trenches, we have modified the RetroPie installer to utilize the latest software technologies we’ve enabled upstream. Some big terms like Kernel Mode Setting, Display Rendering Manager, EGL, and SDL2 were used. But solder on we did through undefined references, missing packages, blank screens, and more to bestow this wonderful img after six hours of build time.

This image runs on MicroSD cards and eMMC since it uses our upstream software foundation. It stays away from proprietary APIs like dispmanx like the Raspberry Pi does and is probably the first images for RetroPie to utilize the latest Linux display infrastructure APIs instead of the fbdev hack. Yes, standards are important! You can use lc_redetect_emmc and lc_distro_transfer to move the factory image from MicroSD card to eMMC just like our regular images.

With this image, we must let people know that they can really give back to the community with time and money. The libretro project is one much similar to ours with a community ethos. They have spent 8 years building the foundational layers necessary to preserving gaming history. They are the basis for RetroPie and Lakka but don’t receive as much press. Without them, it would be difficult for there to be a retro community. We have been a patron of the libretro project and have donated more than $5000 to their effort. If you really enjoy retrogaming, we highly recommend supporting these guys through Patreon.

We should have the Tritium image up within two days after some building and testing. The H2+ and H3 variants of Tritium will support more emulators since the 32-bit armhf dynarec engines for various architectures are in better shape than their 64-bit aarch64 equivalents. There are efforts to build a new dynarec for aarch64 for N64 and this is where you can help too by contributing either time or money. Needless to say, we have contributed monetary funds as well since we have no ability in this respect. You can also support this type of funding through purchasing our boards!

Look out for our La Frite Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday! It shares the same architectural basis as Le Potato in a smaller form factor.

You can get the image here. We hope you have a joyous Columbus day.

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Android Release for Tritium and Le Potato

Fresh off the build server are new image releases for Tritium and Le Potato. H3 and H5 variants of Tritium are receiving Android 7 Nougat while Le Potato is receiving Android 8 Oreo. These images require eMMC modules in order to work so make sure to grab the right eMMC modules for each respective platform.

Please note that Google does not license Google Apps such as the Play Store for single board computers. There are alternative app ecosystems such as Aptoide which you can use. The images come rooted so you have unrestricted access to the underlying OS for tweaking and installing APKs.

Make sure to follow the README.txt and use the appropriate vendor tools to flash the images. Android ROM flashing is not standardized so everyone has to rely on these proprietary tools unlike normal Linux images.

You can look for new Raspbian, Lakka, and RetroPie images coming for these two platforms in the next month.

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Tritium and Le Potato Ubuntu and Debian on Linux 4.18.8 and eMMC Support

With the completion of phase 1 of our image infrastructure, we have pushed out eight new images for Tritium and Le Potato based on the latest mainline Linux 4.18.8. These images include headless and desktop images of Debian and Ubuntu with LXDE, XFCE, and MATE flavors on X11 with OpenGL ES 2.0 and 4K support (even on Tritium H2+).

Please note that Tritium H2+/H3 images are named all-h3-cc-h3 and H5 images are named all-h3-cc-h5. If you are using the incorrect image, your board will not boot. Tritium H2+ does not have enough memory to run MATE desktop or full 4K desktop. It will work with static 4K content.

We reworked the filesystem layout as well as added a new tool for assisting flashing eMMC modules. The new tool is called lc_redetect_emmc and it re-detect the eMMC module by unbinding and rebinding the driver. You can do the following to flash the eMMC modules with the operating system you are currently running.

  1. Flash a MicroSD card with the desired image using Win32DiskManager or Etcher
  2. Boot up the boards via MicroSD card and without the eMMC module attached
  3. Attach the eMMC module while the board is running and be careful of short circuit
  4. Run sudo lc_redetect_emmc
  5. Run sudo lc_distro_transfer and follow the prompts for appropriate flags
  6. Shutdown and remove MicroSD card

This process only works on the Ubuntu and Debian images we release. This is not for flashing Android, Armbian, or anything else and it will not work on Armbian since it is not using our systems. We did not release the Gnome 3 Wayland variant for this release cycle.

You can find the download links under the Downloads tab for Tritium and Le Potato product pages.

Below is our software roadmap for the next 4 months. This is a guideline and not set in stone.

  • Phase 2 – October 2018: Raspbian and RetroPie images for Tritium and Le Potato
  • Phase 3 – November 2018: Automatic Update Infrastructure, Linux 4.19 LTS
  • Phase 4 – December 2018: Android 9 and Linux V4L2 for Le Potato and La Frite
  • Phase 5 – January 2018: Linux V4L2 for Tritium, Overlay Support for HATs

There are some interesting software efforts making the community more interesting including our sponsorship of the Amlogic V4L2 upstream work by BayLibre and Allwinner V4L2 upstream work by Bootlin, LibreELEC/Kodi 18 based on the aforementioned V4L2 work, RetroArch/Lakka, and PanFrost. We highly encourage people to look into those efforts and find ways to contribute.

 

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Le Potato Ubuntu and Debian with Linux 4.18

Linux 4.19 is a LTS release so we went ahead and created a spectrum of images for Le Potato based on Linux 4.18. These images come with three months of upstream Linux enablement by our partner @BayLibre. Some of this work will be showcased at @KernelRecipes and @EmbeddedRecipes along with free #LePotato boards for attendees.

These images are based on Linux 4.18.7, X11 up to 4K30, and Amlogic Mali (for non-Headless). When Linux 4.19 is tagged by Linus, we will work on final images with automatic package upgrade for Linux, u-boot, and user-space that is currently done through scripts.

  • Debian 9 Stretch Headless (Server)
  • Debian 9 Stretch LXDE
  • Debian 9 Stretch XFCE
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Headless (Server)
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic MATE (Gnome 2)
  • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic XFCE
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Headless (Server)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial MATE (Gnome 2)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial XFCE

You can grab them here: Ubuntu Debian

In other news, BayLibre is working with LibreELEC to get mainline hardware decoding working for Le Potato. This work will eventually make it into Kodi and we are very excited about it. The upstream V4L2 hardware video decoder work by Maxime Jourdan of BayLibre will not land in Linux 4.19 but will be backported. This work will coincide with two new products due in the following months: La Frite and Les Puree. These designs share the same underlying architecture as Le Potato to re-use the software technologies we have invested in.

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ROC-RK3399-PC (Renegade Elite) Crowdfunding Begins

Renegade Elite is the first mass-market SBC built specifically to tackle modern applications in artificial intelligence, stereo computer vision, neural-networks, robotics, and general purpose GPU compute. It also revolutionizes traditional markets like digital signage, high density micro-server, and connected edge devices at its $99 price point. All of this is enabled by a device slightly longer than a 2.5″ drive.

Together with revolutionary standards-compliant technologies like USB Type-C and Power-over-Ethernet, Renegade Elite offers what no other competitor can match.

Find out more @Indiegogo.

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Renegade Elite: Indiegogo Campaign Launch

The ROC-RK3399-PC (Renegade Elite) is the culmination of six months of development effort between the Libre Computer Project and Firefly teams to re-envision computing as we know it. We have analyzed almost all usage scenarios for the edge computing market to derive a design that enables usability of core high-performance features of the Rockchip RK3399 System-on-Chip.

Find out more on Indiegogo.

 

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Raspbian (Stretch) Desktop for ALL-H3-CC H5 2GB 64-bit Variant (Tritium) Preview Image 1

Announcing our first image for ALL-H3-CC (Tritium) H5 2GB 64-bit boards based on Linux 4.18rc3. We originally planned to release images for the H3 and H2+ variants as well but there’s some bugs that still need to be ironed out with the Linux 4.18rc kernel.

Like the Raspbian image for AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato) released yesterday, this image features a 64-bit kernel running 32-bit Raspbian user space. It has the same limitations as well. Give it a go and let us know!

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Raspbian (Stretch) Desktop for AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato) Preview Image 1

Raspbian is a highly optimized Debian-derived Linux-based distro made for Raspberry Pi boards. It supports all of Raspberry Pi’s products going back to the very first Raspberry Pi from 2012. The BCM2835 found on that first board is based on ARMv6 technology so it cannot run Debian ports or Ubuntu ports compiled for ARMv7 or ARMv8 (64-bit). Thus Raspbian was created from Debian packages compiled to target ARMv6 with VFPv2 instead of VFPv3+ and NEON float point support found in ARMv7+.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation and the community maintains this light operating system and suited it with a bundle of utilities for the education market including Scratch, Mathematica, Wolfram, and more. The custom desktop UI uses LXDE which uses very little RAM and processing power compared to traditional PC desktop environments like Gnome and KDE. This allows students, educators, and other people without Linux terminal knowledge to use the devices in a format that they are accustomed to.

Because Debian is FOSS and community-driven, it is very easy to run Raspbian on top of other hardware. We have mated our Linux 4.14 LTS kernel and bootloader for AML-S905X-CC to Raspbian. If you are coming from a Raspberry Pi board, this image should provide the same intuitiveness and tools that you are familiar with. There were two improvements made: automatic swap partition creation and localization to US English.

The kernel is compiled as 64-bit ARMv8 and running the 32-bit ARMv6 Raspbian user-space. This means that the full performance benefits of 64-bit ARMv8 architecture will not be in the native applications but you get significant in-kernel improvements. Raspbian also doesn’t support multiarch so it is not simple to run 64-bit ARMv8 applications with this image. This also prevents 3D acceleration by the GPU although the LXDE desktop environment is plenty fast without it.

We will spin our own fully 64-bit Ubuntu image based on LXDE as well in the near future. Look forward to a full suite of Tritium images including Raspbian in another week as Linux 4.18 stabilizes.

You can grab this image from the AML-S905X-CC product page under Downloads. There’s also a Google Drive share link in the README.txt. Please give it a spin and let us know what you think. Have a wonderful July 4th!