I must admit, i really hate sbc… Since i bought the vim3 this board is seriously driving in the edge of insanity.
I mean as i tried this thing with the different firmware, i discover nothing is working fine. So a little background of my (many) (yes i say many) problems :
First i bought the vim to be a SIMPLE mpd server, so i don’t need any DE, don’t need X or graphical interface, so all i need is an ubuntu or debian minimal/server. To be clear, no ubuntu or debian image are working… and it become worse with the most recent version to the point of being completely unusable. In fact the only one that is barely usable is the very first ubuntu with kernel 4.whatever.
Also for an unknown reason, when ubuntu is installed the vim sometimes get completely lost and do not recognize the emmc partition, and wait endlessly for some kind of net boot. After 40 or 50 time to reboot the vim it finish by boot again ubuntu. But as i said ubuntu by itself is so rubbish so it’s not a great lost. For example i want to compile the last mpd, except the ffmpeg dev library are broken and it’s impossible to compile.
Last thing to complete a great ubuntu experience, ethernet is often not working, don’t ask me why, reboot several times and to make it finally work.
But hey, it’s not only ubuntu. I mean, try to use krescue for example. I tried so many times the wizard function : ethernet is plug in. Well it doesn’t recognize my Ethernet connection… unplug and plug again and not much change, same for the wifi, sometimes is doesn’t work, who know why. But i would say ethernet work 1 time over 10, wifi 6 time over 10, so i use wifi.
So more recently the great manjaro linux come to the vim3. I was very pleased because it’s my daily distro in all my pc so it was most probably my savor. And i wasn’t disappointed, no more net boot loop of the death, i could compile mpd and mympd easily with aur, no more broken dependency, ethernet is working (kind of, see next). So i used manjaro for the last month as my mpd server.
But there is still strange things and incomplete function that ended to bore me.
First the WOL do not work, and know i can call khadas a liar. It is a supported function, it is in the datasheet of the board, i bought the vim3l because i wanted this function. And this function doesn’t work, thx khadas. I would even say this function is related to other extremely buggy things in the boot loader of the vim.
When i was running ubuntu, i activate the wol in krescue. When the vim is off, if you plug the power cable, the led turn blue. WOL is working, you can turn on the device. Then in ubuntu, just power off with a shutdown now command. The vim shutdown, but the led did not turn to blue, it’s off (or white i don’t remember, but i think it was off). WOL do not work anymore, do whatever you want… The only thing to make it work again is to unplug and plug again the power cable.
With more recent version of krescue, things seems to have changes. Now when krescue boot it asks to disable WOL for some obscure reason, and if i remember i tried to keep it on but got a ton of problem to install manjaro.
In a previous topic khadas vaguely explain an history of uboot from khadas vs a uboot mainline. But again, no explanation whatsoever anywhere, only one uboot image in the khadas repo, and no answer to my solicitation to give me a link have convinced me to stop bothering for this WOL thing.
However what is still strange is the behavior of the vim, even with manjaro. When i plug the power cable, power on and boot manjaro i never had any problem. If i do a sudo reboot, it works… but not always. The vim reboot, but often i wait for him to appear in the network to connect with my mpd client. Nothing. Hell ! I never tried to plug an hdmi cable to know exactly where the problem is, if this is a problem with the ethernet that doesn’t work of the system that fail to boot. I just unplug the power to have this blue light, it always work with the blue light… In the contrary, when the system was power down once, no more blue light, and powering it again is a gamble… So i gave up trying, when i power off i just always unplug and plug again the power cable if i want to power on again. You can say anything khadas, this behavior is strange and not normal for your product. A end user like me shouldn’t battle your product that hard.
So all these little things convince me to curse the name of vim for ten generation and sacrify some young and beautiful girl in the moonlight to curse the name of khadas (told you this thing is driving me insane).
My mother just needed a new box to watch tv, i found here the perfect solution to get rid of the evil thing and regain some sanity.
So i decide to give android tv a try, as it was suppose to be the right OS for tv. I flash krescue again, boot it and as always ethernet do not work (almost forgotten, after all i didn’t had to flash the vim for several month…). After setting up the wifi there is two choice of OS for android TV. Again some end user like me would really (REALLY) appreciate to have an explanation somewhere… After searching in internet i tried the CE version. Seems to be a rom by a forum user, but it is a little outdated. I don’t know if the other version is official and if it can be updated, but as again there is no explanation anywhere…
After installing the CE ATV, well it works… even if the horrible interface of ATV and the fact that all app design to watch the specific tv provider for my mom are complete garbage. I ended trying to install kodi on ATV, and it appear there is a kodi extension that is the only usable thing.
As i won’t keep ATV when only kodi is needed, i tried to flash coreelec or whatever. So after this novel we finally arrive to the subject of this topic. Problem now it is just impossible to boot again to krescue.
If i insert the sd card with krescue everything just go to complete garbage. First i tried to plug the vim into a monitor, no image. I tried to plug to a tv or another monitor, there is an image that appear a few second, the first androidtv with CE logo, then it just glitch and nothing happend, no video output.
I tried everything to boot to the sd card, and none of the very few entry in the doc are working : keep pressing the power button until it enter whatever-mode ; press several time the function button ; or press power, plug the cable, press reboot one time, wait two second and release power = nothing is working.
Funnily i arrive, i don’t know how, to enter the recovery mode of the ATV, but as i didn’t know what are the key to navigate i press the function button that appear to be an enter key. A shame but i don’t know if the other recovery option would have helped whatsoever.