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Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi

Posted by MalteseBippy 
MalteseBippy
Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 15, 2014 06:09PM
Has anyone here tried anything on an Allwinner A20 like the Banana Pi? I can't find anything here nor at Archlinuxarm except for the cubieboards.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 16, 2014 02:04PM
Cubieboard 2 is an A20. Apparently you missed that.
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 16, 2014 08:06PM
Actually I said "except for the cubieboards" - plural. As in cubieboard, cubie2, and the cubietruck. I was actually hoping for information for the Banana Pi since they don't have much info at lemaker.org, their support site. I guess I should have specified my query better but any information would be good. They're distributing their own Archlinux image but no plain jane vanilla Debian image unless you debootstrap on your desktop. They have images for Raspbian and LUbuntu, but no plain vanilla Debian. The cubietruck is close to a Banana Pi but the compiled kernel doesn't work too well on the BPi with the Gbit Ethernet among other things. Probably the way they configured the RTL8211E PHY to the Allwinner GMAC on that one. The Archlinux image, I would probably go for that, but the kernel wasn't built by the Archlinuxarm guys and with the Lemaker guys not releasing the actual source code, I don't know if I could trust it.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 17, 2014 09:29AM
Yeah, we're not liking these guys much, because of this dickery. They aren't making PR's to linux-sunxi, and one person even attempted to slap a patch over the top of our uboot-sunxi & linux-sun7i packages. We declined immediately when we saw the quality of the code.

If they are distributing an ALARM, it is far from official, but they can do that. Sadly, we can't support that kernel at all.
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 17, 2014 10:14PM
Thanks for the info. At least I now have an understanding of my situation. This weekend, I'll see if I can download the Archlinuxarm cubie2 image and play with script.bin to see what I can do if any. If not, I'll continue fiddling around with the kernel code for the cubietruck some more and see what progress I can achieve. What's go me stymied is that the lemaker kernel is 500k larger than what I last built and I had a bunch of drivers built in instead of modules so they must have added a bunch of code. Strange since looking through the forums, this kernel with the cubietruck achieves Gbit speed with same SOC and PHY.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 18, 2014 02:21PM
Huh?
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 18, 2014 04:47PM
OK, I guess I need to explain more since English is not my first language. I want an install I can trust with a properly working kernel that has accessible source code, so I can make and modify modules. A GPL compliant kernel, which I assume Archlinuxarm distributes. If your latest install for the Cubie2 contains the latest kernel, It should work also for the Cubietruck. It should include the sunxi-gmac module. The Cubietruck, Cubie2, and the BPi all use the A20 SOC. The Cubietruck and the BPi use the same A20 SOC and RTL8211E. There may be just some configurational differences between them. How many ways is there to hook up these 2 ICs together? So, your installation for the Cubie2 should work also for the Cubietruck, with maybe only some configuration changes in the script.bin. Maybe the same goes for the BPi. I don't know, I haven't tried it yet.
Let this all sink in.
So I plan to download you Cubie2 install, see what is in the script.bin, which is used by the kernel to configure some parameters, and see if I can make it work for the BananaPi. If that works, great, I will just keep your install of Cubie2 Archlinuxarm, because I'm lazy, and you will know that the standard Archlinuxarm install for the Cubie2 will also work for the BPi with only some minor alterations.
If that doesn't work, the I will play with the patwood kernel source code for the Cubie2 and Cubietruck and try to make it work on the BPi. I don't know if it is the same kernel as the standard Cubie2 kernel that you distribute, but from what I read on the cubie forum, It seems to work reliably on the Cubietruck at Gbit speed . I've been playing with it already and with some changes in script.bin and reconfiguring the kernel, such as making the sunxi-gmac driver built in, I've gotten reliable communications but only at 100 Mbits. I'd like to get it working at Gbits speed.
The kernel I built with a fair amount of drivers built in come to about 4.55 Mbytes. The Lemaker kernels come to about 5.07 to 5.14 Mbytes approximately. I don't know what the difference is and that worries me. This may take some time.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 18, 2014 05:48PM
Ah, well our kernels are entirely available online: the build/package scripts, the links to the github sources we're built on, etc. I can however see where there might be a difference between the CB2 and the CT in which bring up they use. But they'd need to cleanly identify the difference.
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 20, 2014 09:42PM
Okay I thought so. Anyway the stock CB2 Archlinux kernel boots up on the BPi, but after loading the sunxi-gmac module, I still get only 100 Mbps. That's after ethtool adjustments. Manipulating the script.bin doesn't get me Gbit speed so far. Will continue to tinker around with it. Seems like maybe an interrupt problem. Whenever I press a key while doing a ping test, packets are dropped.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 21, 2014 09:32AM
MalteseBippy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Whenever I press a key while doing a ping test, packets are dropped.


Ouch.
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 21, 2014 04:44PM
That's about the same result as the source code lemaker released, which is actually from linux-sunxi. Interestingly, today lemaker released a new image based on an what appears to be an older kernel of theirs http://forum.lemaker.org/viewthread.php?tid=1256&extra=page%3D1 and refers to archlinux.org instead of archlinuxarm.og (probably a good thing for archlinuxarm). All their kernels are 3.4.90 but the newer ones allow shutting off of the power using shutdown. They disable OTG to keep cpu load down, if not, it appears to be max load. This can be adjusted in script.bin. I believe patwood mentions this also for the cubietruck. Will go back to playing with patwood/cubietruck source code and see if that's any better. May be taking a while since I'm being given the evil eye for "spending too much time on a small board instead of the honeydo list which has increased steadily lately".
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 22, 2014 04:26AM
Hoorah! They released the kernel source https://github.com/LeMaker/linux-bananapi.git , at least the Gbit ethernet works.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
July 22, 2014 12:08PM
I see his patches, and.. well, some of them make sense, but there are other things I am not a fan of, but whatever. He'll still need to get them into the linux-sunxi main trees for ALARM to have them "supported"
shv
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
August 02, 2014 04:14PM
As far I read the GBit is connected to USB2.0 which limits the speed to 30MB/s.

-shv
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
August 03, 2014 05:42PM
shv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As far I read the GBit is connected to USB2.0
> which limits the speed to 30MB/s.
>
> -shv


I think you're getting the BPi confused with the Raspberry Pi, see:
http://hardware-libre.fr/2014/06/raspberry-vs-banana-hardware-duel/

Or to quote from that page:

Quote

"One of the things that annoys me the most on the Raspberry is the network and/or usb speed / reliability. Remember, on the Raspberry Pi model B, ethernet bandwith is shared with the 2 USB2.0. So, the network performance is not fantastic.

On the Banana, the 2 USB2.0 ports are direct from the Allwinner A20 chip, and there’s a dedicated chip for the Gigabit ethernet."
judyhuang
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
August 03, 2014 11:30PM
Banana PI, very excellent development board

jUDY
MalteseBippy
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
August 04, 2014 07:54PM
judyhuang Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Banana PI, very excellent development board
>
> jUDY


It would be a good development board since performance/price is ok, but the claim that it is open source is a little tenuous. The developers only released working source code recently after much demand at the official web site. This source lags behind the kernels supplied in the official released images. The current kernel in the images provide cpu temperature info, while the source doesn't. Also, there seems to be competing sources at github.com, lemaker and bananapi-dev. I'm assuming lemaker is the official one and bananapi-dev seems to be an older clone. What would be good is what WarheadsSE mentioned earlier and have it in the linux-sunxi tree so that someday if A20 support somehow makes it into the mainline kernel, the BPi will be well supported. Other than the software, in terms of hardware, its hard to find the schematics.
Otherwise, it's been pretty good replacing my old atom bitcoin server with about the same performance.
Re: Allwinner A20 like Banana Pi
June 29, 2015 09:36PM
I'm running Gentoo Linux on a BananaPI with cubieboard overlay
and OpenWrt Chaos Calmer
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