The most useful, versatile development platform possible

So, open source software is what enables the entire business of building development boards. If it wasn’t for OSS, there wouldn’t be any software to run on our beloved boards. So, it is with no futher ado that I now post my description of the ideal embedded linux software development hardware:

  • Full support for linux-mainline including:
  • GPU
  • networking
  • stability
  • Modular
  • The physical module must be made with only one thought in mind and one as a prayer: Size reduction.
  • Smaller marketing comments

Open source hardware designs are optional, the real key here is ensuring that users can run linux to its fullest. Of course, when you take that to its fullest, you end up with open hardware that ships with its schematics. But I digress.

Once a device has been mainlined to the kernel tree, software patches occur forever, at no cost to the authors of the original patches. Unfortunately for everyone, I have seen mostly incomplete device additions to the mainline kernel. They’re incomplete because of poor chipset vendor support for users actual needs. The user doesn’t care if Qualcomm’s IP rights have been protected, the user simply wants a device that functions as it should. The user doesn’t care that their phone’s manufacturer’s intellectual property rights. They care about how enjoyable their phone is, they care about their privacy.

Binary-blob linux implementations provide no cover whatsoever to the user. They must by their nature be assumed to be riddled with backdoors. Would you jump from an airplane without first inspecting the parachute?



So, my key questions regarding Khadas are as follows:

  • Does it support Linux-mainline?
  • To what degree does it support linux-mainline? Can I use Khadas for running Gnome on Wayland using MALI?
  • Will there be a future version of Khadas that comes in the smallest module-size possible, with the interface specification made extremely clear for users?
  • Are there linux-mainline compatible build directions for Khadas that install the MALI binaries? How about build directions that will operate 100% OSS and therefore cannot use the GPU?

Hi, Faddat:
Yes, our team are porting Linux-4.9 on Khadas VIM now, and will do full supporting of GPU/MALI. But we didn’t test to run Gnome yet, instead we run buildroot.
I think we will design a high-end product based on a high performance processor and launch next year, with the same size of Khadas VIM.

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At least for the use cases I’d be targeting higher performance wouldn’t be a concern, what Khadas provides now (if Linux 4.9 runs well) will be completely fine. The kinds of use cases I am targeting are larger scale and look towards modular / infrastructure deployments. So, I think that there will be a few buying priorities for the customers:

  • Linux-Mainline support

    • Has it been merged into torvalds/linux?
    • Will it automatically inherit support for future revisions of linux?
    • Are there binary blobs needed? Which ones? (Technically it is preferred if there are zero blobs but most will accept a GPU blob.)
  • Price

    • I think that most of the people I am in touch with would like to see a reduced-featureset, reduced-price version of Khadas.
  • Size

    • The smaller that Khadas can be made, the more people will be interested in it.

Anyway the news about LInux 4.9 would take me off the fence for buying one, and straight into “Shut up and take my money!” territory :).

Yes, it’s linux-4.9, and following are some of the infos:

  • the bootloader(u-boot) can success load the linux mainline kernel u-image now
  • after booting the linux kernel image, we still need load the rootfs, and now we are testing on buildroot
  • we will release the source code when we done the work @Terry

about the future product plan of Khadas, we need more research about small sized models, but what we can can confirmed is that, there will be a high-end product with the same size with Khadas VIM in the next year.

About the price: we will provide ODM service based on VIM, and can also provide other lower cost models, check the link and note the specs table for more infos.

Since AMLOGIC are said to be working on Linux 4.4 / Android 7 it is a pity both companies cannot combine resources, since you use their SOC.


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I’m sure that we’ll be working towards that in coming months :).

Goal is 100% mainline support across the board, preferably (but not super-likely for the default ROM :/) without binary blobs. SInce those blobs unleash great power especially in the GPU department, figure they’re sadly under the “sane defaults umbrella”