A good desktop experience on Rock64
#11
(03-07-2018, 09:53 PM)pytheas Wrote:
(03-07-2018, 02:53 PM)dan1972 Wrote: so i installed bionic minimal from this repo and ran the script in usr/local/sbin/ but it errored out due to mpv/ffmpeg dependencies. so i tried the minimal xenial and managed to install lxde but after restarting all i get is a black screen. anybody have any tips or perhaps a short tutorial on installing lxde in a minimal linux install? also big thanks to ayufan for all the hard work.

I could install lxde (and gnome) ok a few days ago from bionic minimal. I bricked the system so I started all over again. But I can no longer install anything, with the same error. Has the bionic repo changed in the meantime ?

For gnome, one way out is to install the previous image (191) and upgrade to 193...
I "THINK" that you can install lxde later (you will be asked to choose between gnome and lxde). I've found lxde a bit basic to my taste, coming from Unity...
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#12
How is the experience with gnome ?
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#13
(03-08-2018, 06:24 AM)Luke Wrote: How is the experience with gnome ?

From the strict point of view of a desktop user...
Gnome has the look and feel of Unity (which will die pretty soon now, as we all (?) know).
The installed version is pretty basic, and you must enrich it. Firefox will be included in the next relase (this forum tips for making it responsive is very welcome), but you still need to install a decent mail reader (e.g. Thunderbird).
Synaptic is missing (would swap that for games), as well as the gnome terminal (those available are dismal). Gnome software must also be installed.
I like VLC, leafpad (much easier than Vim if you're not into developing), application finder, gnome system monitor (to check on e.g. download speed) redshift (the built-in gnome app does not seem to work on my monitor) and xscreensaver...
Good point is that favorites (launchers) can be installed in one click, and Software updater is present.
Little bugs: I cannot seem to change my password: whatever I try, the answer is 'try to avoid common words'.
I've been unable to disable screen locking...
I understand that the rtl8812au driver for the superb USB3 wifi antenna sold by Pine is making it into the next release.
I've found that 4 GB of RAM is overkill even when strongly multitasking. There is a large performance increase when compared to the Rpi3
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#14
(03-09-2018, 04:26 AM)pytheas Wrote:
(03-08-2018, 06:24 AM)Luke Wrote: How is the experience with gnome ?

From the strict point of view of a desktop user...
Gnome has the look and feel of Unity (which will die pretty soon now, as we all (?) know).
The installed version is pretty basic, and you must enrich it. Firefox will be included in the next relase (this forum tips for making it responsive is very welcome), but you still need to install a decent mail reader (e.g. Thunderbird).
Synaptic is missing (would swap that for games), as well as the gnome terminal (those available are dismal). Gnome software must also be installed.
I like VLC, leafpad (much easier than Vim if you're not into developing), application finder, gnome system monitor (to check on e.g. download speed) redshift (the built-in gnome app does not seem to work on my monitor) and xscreensaver...
Good point is that favorites (launchers) can be installed in one click, and Software updater is present.
Little bugs: I cannot seem to change my password: whatever I try, the answer is 'try to avoid common words'.
I've been unable to disable screen locking...
I understand that the rtl8812au driver for the superb USB3 wifi antenna sold by Pine is making it into the next release.
I've found that 4 GB of RAM is overkill even when strongly multitasking. There is a large performance increase when compared to the Rpi3

Thanks for the detailed response, especially since all I was looking for was: fast; alright; slow Wink

[edit] as for the rtl8812au driver, please see this thread. I have a 2GB board + the WiFi dongle running as a router with blacklisting and VPN + TOR for weeks now without any issues. 
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


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#15
Hi Luke, thank you for that thread. I am also someone who want to use the rock64 board for a desktop experience. I installed already a minimal linux image with i3, hardware acceleration enabled. For this small low powered device it is good but android performs better. Do you know why?

I have also a odroid c2 board, the situation is the same.

Perhaps, android is optimized for low powered devices and stock gnu/linux like debian, ubuntu and arch linux not, they are build for desktop computers. The user space of android is optimized for mobile phones, so its fast. The user space of gnu/linux is not optimized for that.

So my idea is to use a mobile, low powered device optimized os for the rock64 and tweak the os for a desktop experience. With android it is possilbe but there you have the problem to be up to date.

There would be alternatives to android:

luneos is a webos-port, there are already images for the raspberry pi: webos-ports.org

postmarketos, it is based on alpine linux: postmarketos.org

alpine linux has already arm64 support and there are builds for raspberry pi, so perhaps alpine linux and postmarketos could be a real option. But for that the kernel has to be compiled to have hardware acceleration, or? I have not the experience to port alpine linux/postmarketos to the rock64, but perhaps someone has interests to do so ... ?

Here from the alpine linux website:

"Alpine Linux is built around musl libc and busybox. This makes it smaller and more resource efficient than traditional GNU/Linux distributions."
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#16
I tried alpine linux on my raspberry pi 2 and it performs really fast. I think it is the fastest distro for soc boards out there. It would be really great if it would run also on the rock64.

Here from the raspberry pi forum:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt...56&t=60569

An extract:

--------------------------------------------------
Here are some distro's I compared and the minimal memory they need for still giving you a desktop (without nearly anything running!):
Puppy: 80Mb
Debian 6.03 standard: 64Mb
AntiX: 64Mb
Connochaet: 64Mb
Tiny Core Linux: 48Mb
Slitaz LowRam-CD: 48Mb
Alpine Linux: 28Mb (still able to open and run mc and more !)
Delicate: 16Mb (unable to open xterm)
------------------------------------------------------

And here from the alpine linux website:

https://alpinelinux.org/about/

ABOUT
Alpine Linux is an independent, non-commercial, general purpose Linux distribution designed for power users who appreciate security, simplicity and resource efficiency.

SMALL
Alpine Linux is built around musl libc and busybox. This makes it smaller and more resource efficient than traditional GNU/Linux distributions. A container requires no more than 8 MB and a minimal installation to disk requires around 130 MB of storage. Not only do you get a fully-fledged Linux environment but a large selection of packages from the repository.

Binary packages are thinned out and split, giving you even more control over what you install, which in turn keeps your environment as small and efficient as possible.

SIMPLE
Alpine Linux is a very simple distribution that will try to stay out of your way. It uses its own package manager called apk, the OpenRC init system, script driven set-ups and that’s it! This provides you with a simple, crystal-clear Linux environment without all the noise. You can then add on top of that just the packages you need for your project, so whether it’s building a home PVR, or an iSCSI storage controller, a wafer-thin mail server container, or a rock-solid embedded switch, nothing else will get in the way.

SECURE
Alpine Linux was designed with security in mind. The kernel is patched with an unofficial port of grsecurity/PaX, and all userland binaries are compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) with stack smashing protection. These proactive security features prevent exploitation of entire classes of zero-day and other vulnerabilities.

So, from what i know, alpine linux would be ideal for soc boards to run a fast desktop.
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#17
Just tested a few mins ago the armbian rock64 desktop image and its a very good and complete build, good for the people that need a desktop env for this marvel of technology:
https://www.armbian.com/rock64/
direct link to the image:
https://dl.armbian.com/rock64/Debian_str...desktop.7z
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#18
(03-16-2018, 09:05 PM)Trash_Can_Man Wrote: Just tested a few mins ago the armbian rock64 desktop image and its a very good and complete build, good for the people that need a desktop env for this marvel of technology:
https://www.armbian.com/rock64/
direct link to the image:
https://dl.armbian.com/rock64/Debian_str...desktop.7z

That Debian desktop OS image is new, interesting that they chose Debian for desktop and Ubuntu for headless ...
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#19
I tested already armbian on my odroid c2 and it has the same performance like ubuntu minimal. I tested alpine linux on my raspberry pi 2 and it performs even faster on that older board than armbian on the newer one. I think on the rock64 it is the same.
 
For example the user case of a kiosk system, there is no need of a full desktop, you only need the browser running. But the browser experience has to be fast. For the rock64, the only os with a good browser performance is android. But a kiosk system has to be secure, so alpine linux would be the best solution.

Alpine linux comes with armhf and aarch64 images, so perhaps it boots also with the mainline kernel. On the odroid c2 it is already working, but there is already a good mainline kernel support. How good is the mainline kernel support for the rock64?

But for a good browser experience i think the kernel has to be compiled. Is there a good tutorial how to compile the kernel?
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#20
(03-05-2018, 02:47 AM)Luke Wrote:
Code:
sudo ./install install_desktop.sh lxde


is it possible this command is wrong?

sudo ./install_desktop.sh lxde

is correct?
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