Author Topic: booting Linux on the GPD XD?  (Read 8936 times)

CommanderKitler (OP)

  • Posts: 129
booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« on: May 02, 2016, 12:25:11 am »
I have tried to get Linux running on the GPD before but with not so great results. There is a way to run a Linux image inside an Android terminal and then accessing it with a remote desktop app but thats not really useful because of the extreme overhead caused by that method and the missing hardware accelleration. The RK3288 board does support booting a linux or android image from a microSD card with the "RK3288Loader_uboot_V2.17.02" bootloader. So if that bootloader version is installed it should be possible to run any compatible rom or linux version.


With a lightweight version of archlinux or debian you could be able to install Retroarch and play tons of games with a (probably) better performance than on android and you could run lots of free emulators missing on android. Also I'd like to see if I could get PS2 emulation running on the GPD XD using PCSX2. Of course some changes need to be made to the linux image: you'd need to install the MALI driver, get the controls working, configure it to boot into the xserver and into retroarch so you won't need a keyboard for every startup.

I have build some small MAME Arcade machines machines using a raspberry pi and linux in the past and I have enough experience with linux to configure a linux Image that will work on the GPD but it seems my experience with android is a bit lacking. I flashed one or the other rom and played around a bit with it but when it comes to playing around with the bootloader and possibly hard-bricking a 150 dollar device... yeah kinda don't feel like doin that.



The big problem is the following:
when i put an android image or a linux image on a microSD card, put it into the GPD XD and reboot one of the following things should happen:

1. the bootloader version is not the right one/ an older one and the GPD boots into the Android OS on the eMMC.

2. the bootloader version is uboot 2.17.02 (or newer) and it should boot the image on the microSD card

What actually happens: when booting with the prepared SD card inside it won't boot at all. The LED lights up green but the screen stays black. Happens with every Image i've prepared  even when I used the original firmware to prepare the SD card. So at first i thought maybe the screen does not work with the Linux image but the same thing happened with the original firmware image when booting from the microSD.



I could try to fix it by just flashing the uboot bootloader but that might just brick the device and i don't have the cash right now to buy a new one if something goes wrong. Another way to get it to work might be to install TWRP but again I do not know if the standard rk3288 version will work and i don't want to hardbrick the device.
I also tried to find out what bootloader version installed on the XD but it won't display it no matter what I try.


Anyone got any experience with android bootloaders or TWRP or maybe knows the solution to this problem?

skelton

  • Posts: 6894
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 09:44:50 am »
The bootloader in rk3288 tablets is different from rk3288 tvboxes. If you flash the wrong bootloader from a tvbox you will brick it. Unfortunately, bootloader is close source, so nothing you can do. You would also need to make a ramdisk for linux, the one included in the xd won't work. But you don't.miss anything, i have run ubuntu in a tvbox and runs very poorly, bad performance and bad GPU Support, so cannot be used to emulate anything better than Android.

The bootloader in the xd is the allminiloader versi?n 2.2.5
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 09:48:36 am by skelton »
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CommanderKitler (OP)

  • Posts: 129
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 04:42:07 pm »
Darn. The Ramdisk shouldn't be too big of a problem for me should work with tmpfs might have a detrimental impact on the overall performance though but that might be countered by changing the swapiness of the OS .

I've heard performance has been better recently since ARM released the  driver for the the Mali gpu on the rk3288. Thats why I got the idea in the first place

 I kinda expected that the gpd wouldn't have the same bootloader as the set-top boxes but I kinda hoped that a generic bootloader would be installed or something opensource. I'd love to get my hands on the bootloader sourcecode because there is certainly something happening when booting with a bootable sd inside the XD just hard to say what it does and why.

Thanks anyway though.

skelton

  • Posts: 6894
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 05:44:48 pm »
I tried ubuntu with the supposed good drivers from mali fornlinux, but relieve, performance is poor. Rk3288 runs much better in android than under linux.
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CommanderKitler (OP)

  • Posts: 129
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 09:15:42 pm »
Its a shame really :( I hope that at least the GPD WIN will have a pretty standard bootloader and bios/efi. I like the idea of having a handheld device with intel architecture and a desktop os but I really don't need win10 in my life.
The Pyra would be an interesting device for that too but it's kinda inferior compared to the GPD WIN when talkin about raw power and it seems to be even more pricey than the GPD . Guess i have to wait and see.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 09:18:22 pm by CommanderKitler »

yoyz

  • Posts: 3
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2016, 10:38:59 pm »
Any news oon this side ?
Nobody was able to have a native bash on gpd xd ?
And skeleton, it was me on your github which had submit an issue.

eragon2890

  • Posts: 1887
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2016, 10:46:42 pm »
Its a shame really :( I hope that at least the GPD WIN will have a pretty standard bootloader and bios/efi. I like the idea of having a handheld device with intel architecture and a desktop os but I really don't need win10 in my life.
The Pyra would be an interesting device for that too but it's kinda inferior compared to the GPD WIN when talkin about raw power and it seems to be even more pricey than the GPD . Guess i have to wait and see.

The pyra's hardware is pure junk, it does not run windows (no x86 cpu hahahahahahahahahahahaha) it's analogs are flat nubs and it's 600 euros. I don't know if it has 5 ghz wifi for good gamestreaming, not that debian on an ARM could do that anyway, I do know the win has that.

The win is the pyra's worst nightmare.

GPD had said AFAIK months ago on indiegogo that it would be possible to install linux or anything you want on it with open bootloader, and in general their firmware is really good + they cooperate really well apparently with firmware developers. And off course intel actually has decent open source linux 3d drivers. So I am 99.9999% certain you can just dual boot windows 10 and ubuntu on the win and because it actually has a x86 cpu as opposed to the pyfail, that means you can run windows games on the go and linux. With , you know, all applications~!

skelton

  • Posts: 6894
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 08:35:50 am »
Any news oon this side ?
Nobody was able to have a native bash on gpd xd ?
And skeleton, it was me on your github which had submit an issue.
.

Booting linux is only available for tvboxes, not for tablets due to bootloader. I tried linux in my rk3288 box and run very bad.
Retired

yoyz

  • Posts: 3
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 09:49:21 am »
Thank you Skeleton

CommanderKitler (OP)

  • Posts: 129
Re: booting Linux on the GPD XD?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 06:55:35 pm »
Its a shame really :( I hope that at least the GPD WIN will have a pretty standard bootloader and bios/efi. I like the idea of having a handheld device with intel architecture and a desktop os but I really don't need win10 in my life.
The Pyra would be an interesting device for that too but it's kinda inferior compared to the GPD WIN when talkin about raw power and it seems to be even more pricey than the GPD . Guess i have to wait and see.

The pyra's hardware is pure junk, it does not run windows (no x86 cpu hahahahahahahahahahahaha) it's analogs are flat nubs and it's 600 euros. I don't know if it has 5 ghz wifi for good gamestreaming, not that debian on an ARM could do that anyway, I do know the win has that.

The win is the pyra's worst nightmare.

GPD had said AFAIK months ago on indiegogo that it would be possible to install linux or anything you want on it with open bootloader, and in general their firmware is really good + they cooperate really well apparently with firmware developers. And off course intel actually has decent open source linux 3d drivers. So I am 99.9999% certain you can just dual boot windows 10 and ubuntu on the win and because it actually has a x86 cpu as opposed to the pyfail, that means you can run windows games on the go and linux. With , you know, all applications~!

The problem with the pyra is that it is produced in the EU in really small batches. It also caters to a small niche market:

It is a nice small linux PC but because it is basically just one guy running production it will always be outdated at release and it will cost a pretty high sum because of the before mentioned small batches.
The pyra is supposed to be upgradeable but it will still be an ARM system which means you will be limited to using linux with less applications and emulators than on a x86-64 machine no matter how much power the device has (that could change in the future but this is how the situation is now).

GPD has the key advantage that it is a corporation with experience in making handheld gaming devices operating out of and producing in china. Also they got a good kickstart by using indiegogo. Evildragon (the pyra guy) will still make enough of a profit because there are still Pyra/Pandora fans that will buy the device no matter what and he will probably be the main retailer for the GPD WIN in germany (just like he was with the GPD XD).

I couldn't care less about win10 but if the bootloader is really open and I can slap a linux/android or linux/win7
multiboot on it, this thing could be really interesting. PS2 emulation for instance (dunno if it will have enough power for that) and if that won't work you could install win7 which would be enough to play older PC games. Guess we have to wait and see how this will work out.

Any news oon this side ?
Nobody was able to have a native bash on gpd xd ?
And skeleton, it was me on your github which had submit an issue.

For linux on the GPD XD: you could try "lil' debi" for running a (kinda) native linux terminal and bash but running a X-Server is a bit more complicated and openGL and hardware accelleration won't work at all.

 

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