Linux -  Can you release a Kodi for the super cheap OrangePi PC?
#1
Hello, Kodi developers. I bought a super cheap Allwinner H3 based dev-board called OrangePi PC, it can run ported Debian Jessie and Ubuntu Vivid. It has kernel 3.4.39 but mainline kernel patches are ready. It would be great if you can support this board. The Xunlong company will send free samples for developing Kodi on this cheap board and also reward 1000 dollars for the developers. You can visit their website and forum then contact Steven Zhao for the free sample and resources like Linux SDK.
Webpage
Forum
Kernel Source code
GPU driver efforts
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#2
yet another allwinner soc brrr gives me the creeps Big Grin
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#3
(2015-11-06, 17:53)jacer Wrote: Hello, Kodi developers. I bought a super cheap Allwinner H3 based dev-board called OrangePi PC, it can run ported Debian Jessie and Ubuntu Vivid. It has kernel 3.4.39 but mainline kernel patches are ready. It would be great if you can support this board. The Xunlong company will send free samples for developing Kodi on this cheap board and also reward 1000 dollars for the developers. You can visit their website and forum then contact Steven Zhao for the free sample and resources like Linux SDK.
Webpage
Forum
Kernel Source code
GPU driver efforts

Sadly as the OrangePi is an Allwinner-based product it is unlikely to get any support. Allwinner have yet to release decent Open Source drivers for the hardware accelerated video portions of their SoC - and without decent driver support there is not much development that can be done. Over the last few years Allwinner have promised support, but it has never properly materialised. There were some very buggy drivers released at one point - but they were a dead end ISTR. There was some third-party work based on hacked Android drivers, but ISTR that these are not GPL-friendly.

Sadly Allwinner also have a reputation for violating GPL software, and Kodi is GPL and thus not a fan of violators...

You are much better with an AMLogic (as used in the $37 ODroid C1+) or Broadcom (as used in the £30 Raspberry Pi 2) based device - as there is much better Open Source and developer driver support for these platforms from manufacturers with a commitment to Open Source development. Allwinner appear to have zero interest in supporting the Open Source community... (The Exynos and i.MX6 also has some support)
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#4
TL;DR: Allwinner can die in a fire
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#5
Allwinner has given Xunlong the closed source code diver of Mali400, is it possible to make Kodi working with the driver?
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#6
(2015-11-07, 00:54)jacer Wrote: Allwinner has given Xunlong the closed source code diver of Mali400, is it possible to make Kodi working with the driver?

It's not the GPU, it's the CedarX VPU that is key. The Mali400 doesn't do the video decoding, the CedarX VPU does. For hardware acceleration there needs to be decent Open Source driver support for the video hardware acceleration in CedarX? And Open Source support is required, not Closed Source.
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#7
What about RK3288? VSmart Q8 box based on RK3288 is cheap btw.
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#8
Forget about Rockchip too.
AMlogic stuff is the most sorted out Android SoC in the price bracket you are considering. NVIDIA is good too.
AMlogic Devices from MINIX, WeTeK and HardKernel will get you after sales support with regular Firmware updates. And guess what 3 out of the 4 mentioned are also Kodi Diamond sponsors so they also care about Kodi compatibility.

Firmware is the most important consideration in an Android device. Buy dirt cheap and you will very likely get a rubbish device with a bunch of Kodi incompatibilities. It's that simple.

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#9
Two devices I mentioned runs Kodi perfectly on Android. What I mean is Kodi on Linux, Sir.
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#10
(2015-11-08, 01:34)jacer Wrote: Two devices I mentioned runs Kodi perfectly on Android. What I mean is Kodi on Linux, Sir.

Android isn't Linux though... Kodi on Android and Android driver implementation are one thing. Kodi on Linux and Linux driver implementation are another. They work differently - and have a different mix of OS and Application support for video playback. (On Android there is a Media Playback API that means you can play video using Android APIs, so don't need to rely on decent Open Source drivers. However you may find you don't get support for things like deinterlacing, MPEG2, VC-1 etc. as many only support H264 progressive content, and you may find you don't get decent refresh rate switching or 23.976/59.94 output)

As has been pointed out a few times in this thread, Allwinner's Linux support (and Rockchip's) for video playback with suitable Open Source drivers is lousy. Without Open Source Linux drivers for video acceleration there is no way for Kodi to use the video player hardware to play video. Therefore Linux support for Kodi on the Orange Pi is unlikely to be very good. The devs just aren't interested as the manufacturers aren't interested.

There have been attempts at reverse engineering the Allwinner VPU subsystems - but when AMLogic and Broadcom (who make the Raspberry Pi SoCs) provide decent support and engage with developers, you can see why there's no real reason to battle Allwinner's poor attitude. Why waste time on Allwinner stuff, reverse engineering drivers because the manufacturer won't release them, when other platforms have proper support from the manufacturer?

If it's a choice of coding Kodi for the Raspberry Pi, where there are developers writing and continuously updating firmware to improve video performance based on feedback from others here, and Allwinner who basically ignore you, why would you chose to support Allwinner?

Allwinner also have a VERY bad history of GPL misuse... They should have released full sources for some of their code after it became clear it contained GPL code. They haven't... You can't use GPL software and then pick and chose what you release. If you use it, you release. If you are found using it when you say you aren't, you make a full apology and release. They were and haven't.

If you want decent Linux support on ARM SoCs then AMLogic and Raspberry Pi are the only real games in town. There is some i.MX6 and Exynos support as well - but it is less polished, and there's no real reason to chose them over AMLogic and/or the Raspberry Pi.
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#11
Mali driver for Allwiner H3 based Orange Pi is available now. Now we need CedarX driver to play with.
https://github.com/WhiteWind/sunxi-mali
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#12
(2015-11-07, 08:27)wrxtasy Wrote: Forget about Rockchip too.
AMlogic stuff is the most sorted out Android SoC in the price bracket you are considering. NVIDIA is good too.
AMlogic Devices from MINIX, WeTeK and HardKernel will get you after sales support with regular Firmware updates. And guess what 3 out of the 4 mentioned are also Kodi Diamond sponsors so they also care about Kodi compatibility.

Firmware is the most important consideration in an Android device. Buy dirt cheap and you will very likely get a rubbish device with a bunch of Kodi incompatibilities. It's that simple.

Do you think S912 and S915 will be supported? I mean Kodi in Linux, if there is one.
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#13
(2015-11-12, 01:35)jacer Wrote: Mali driver for Allwiner H3 based Orange Pi is available now. Now we need CedarX driver to play with.
https://github.com/WhiteWind/sunxi-mali

Enjoy the wait for a decent, Open Source friendly, non-GPL abusing one...
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#14
(2015-11-12, 01:37)jacer Wrote:
(2015-11-07, 08:27)wrxtasy Wrote: Forget about Rockchip too.
AMlogic stuff is the most sorted out Android SoC in the price bracket you are considering. NVIDIA is good too.
AMlogic Devices from MINIX, WeTeK and HardKernel will get you after sales support with regular Firmware updates. And guess what 3 out of the 4 mentioned are also Kodi Diamond sponsors so they also care about Kodi compatibility.

Firmware is the most important consideration in an Android device. Buy dirt cheap and you will very likely get a rubbish device with a bunch of Kodi incompatibilities. It's that simple.

Do you think S912 and S915 will be supported? I mean Kodi in Linux, if there is one.
Yes there will very likely be AMLogic devices from MINIX, WeTeK and HardKernel with the S912 or S915 SoC's in them that will easily run OpenELEC / Linux. My AMLogic S812-H - test WeTek Core box already runs OpenELEC nicely indeed. Its quick and fluid.

The C1+ AMLogic S805 from HardKernel already runs numerous flavours of Linux:
http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=111&t=9656

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Can you release a Kodi for the super cheap OrangePi PC?00