The preinstaled Android
The Vin would be far better of without Android and as I see would much better with the 18,1 mint preinstaled.
So hopefully i can see that in the future!
The preinstaled Android
Or, from my point of view, a version of arch arm installed. They already support one Amlogic S905 device with a Mali 450 gpu. I would think that to use this for the vim should not be too hard. My guess is that it would need a u-boot and a kernel built with the vim board config file.
I very much perfer Arch vs Ubuntu or Mint.
People who write in to say that Android should be replaced by Mint, or that firmware X would be preferable to firmware Y may be missing the point. We should be free to choose among ALL the options that this board can support. I, for one, am very happy with the Android MM build you have provided, and trust that you will never remove it from the menu. Indeed, I’m looking forward to your Nougat build, which I hope will follow soon.
Ideally you would be able to order with your firmware of preference loaded. Think the point is not that Android should be eliminated but that a Linux build should be included - which is exactly what Khadas is working on. Its not that easy though.
Reading on the arch arm site (they probably best overall Linux arm support) it looks like the 905 chipset is still in the process of being supported by the mainline kernel. The base support was added a few releases back (mainline linux releases a new version every 10 weeks or so) but mainline support for usb and networking is still a work in process. Not everything will be there for 4.10, maybe 4.11… Unless someone reverse engineers drivers for the Mali 450 we are going to need to use a binary blob for it (not great, but not the end of the world either).
Why is all this important? If you want to create an internet facing box you want to use the latest kernel & user space. This will tend to include the latest security fixes, optimizations, bug fixes & new features. The kernel the Vim uses now is no longer supported by mainline - impacting android too. Meaning no automatic security fixes - its already missing years of optimizations, bug fixes & features. Someone could port them, but it does not happen for free as part of the Linux development process.
That’s an excellent clarification of intent, thanks! And yes, ideally, a strong, contemporary Linux build would be part of the array available. As you note, this would position the Vim for growth on several fronts.