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Debian Jessie with 4.x.y kernel and complete hardware support?
#1
Question 
Hi Community,

First, hello everyone and good to see some activity here.  I've been playing with my Pine64+ 2GB board and I really like the hardware capability.  I want to use it for openHAB and other embedded projects and with all the GPIO, battery charger, camera, etc. it seems really great for that.  However, I have some concerns about the software support.  

It seems that, for a while now, there still isn't a current Debian Jessie image with 4.x.y kernel supporting all the hardware (ethernet, WiFi, bluetooth, etc.) "out of the box".  For me, and probably others who just want to use the board without having to debug the hardware/software, it's a bit of a worry.  I'd love to use this board but it's hard to justify spending time on it without updated software that completely supports the hardware.

I've looked around and I'm seeing "curated" images provided by other communities (Sunxi or Armbian) or forum members -- this is a terrific contribution but I don't think it's reliable long term.  And, not to fault these voluntary contributions, but they don't appear to completely support all the hardware either.

Are the Pine64 developers planning to get behind the hardware and put together official (meaning not "community contributions") images that are up-to-date (Debian Jessie with 4.x.y kernel) and provide full support for all hardware?  Is there any intention to provide such support?  A roadmap or timeline for getting it done?

Just curious.  Am hoping for some positive news...
Spark
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#2
Hello

I feel like I can shed some light on a few of the things you're inquiring about. For starters, sometime later this year we expect Allwinner to deliver BSP with kernel 4.4. From what I understand, this is more likely to happen in the latter half of the year. 

More importantly however, mainline Linux will likely happen later this year too. Mainlining is a community effort of the Sunxi community, and has nothing to do with Allwinner (the vendor of the A64 SOC). You would have to check in with Sunxi to see exactly how far along they are at this point with support for the A64. 

Regarding Armbian -- they have a long and well established history of supporting Allwinner (but not only) SOCs and their builds are very polished. I wouldn't worry about them vanishing or dropping support for the A64.
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#3
(04-23-2017, 04:30 PM)Luke Wrote: Hello

I feel like I can shed some light on a few of the things you're inquiring about. For starters, sometime later this year we expect Allwinner to deliver BSP with kernel 4.4. From what I understand, this is more likely to happen in the latter half of the year. 

More importantly however, mainline Linux will likely happen later this year too. Mainlining is a community effort of the Sunxi community, and has nothing to do with Allwinner (the vendor of the A64 SOC). You would have to check in with Sunxi to see exactly how far along they are at this point with support for the A64. 

Regarding Armbian -- they have a long and well established history of supporting Allwinner (but not only) SOCs and their builds are very polished. I wouldn't worry about them vanishing or dropping support for the A64.

Thanks for the explanations, Luke.  I really appreciate it because it gives me a better understanding that Pine64 is dependent on some things from upstream SOC vendor (Allwinner prvides the BSP with 4.x kernel) before they can really get to work and deliver a custom image for the hardware.

Hopefully things will go well for Pine64 this year and see some big leaps forward in terms of updated images.
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