I need some summary information about hardware support by OS for a newbie
#1
Hello. I'm just waiting for my Pinebook. But I have some disappointment after I have read about hardware support. One linux distro doesn't support one of component, another distribution doesn't support another one.

As I see in this table, the most usable distro is KDE neon. But HDMI is not supported and GPU acceleration is marked with "?". Is there any solution to fix HDMI output on KDE Neon? Does GPU work? If yes what driver does it use: from ARM or reverse-engineered?
#2
Well, if you need everything working as soon as possible, you could go with KDE neon. It works, but GPU acceleration doesn't really seems to work right now. It's apparently uses llvmpipe to do software rendering (even though supposedly ARM binary driver should be there).

But if you don't mind waiting a little bit - I would recommend Armbian personally. First, it works MUCH faster than Neon, consumes significantly less memory, and it really does have GPU acceleration. Driver is reverse-engineered "lima" driver. Even though it's still in works - it already works very well (I had not a single problem with it). There are some problems (e.g. sound doesn't work yet). But kernel 4.20 would bring a lot of missing mainline hardware support (including sound). 4.20 kernel should come in around a month, so it's shouldn't be a long wait.
#3
(12-04-2018, 02:15 PM)UltraBloxX Wrote: Well, if you need everything working as soon as possible, you could go with KDE neon. It works, but GPU acceleration doesn't really seems to work right now. It's apparently uses llvmpipe to do software rendering (even though supposedly ARM binary driver should be there).

But if you don't mind waiting a little bit - I would recommend Armbian personally. First, it works MUCH faster than Neon, consumes significantly less memory, and it really does have GPU acceleration. Driver is reverse-engineered "lima" driver. Even though it's still in works - it already works very well (I had not a single problem with it). There are some problems (e.g. sound doesn't work yet). But kernel 4.20 would bring a lot of missing mainline hardware support (including sound). 4.20 kernel should come in around a month, so it's shouldn't be a long wait.

Pretty much this. Same is true for Manjaro. Anyways, when kernel 4.20 is out BSP will be obsolete (finally) - and only suspend will need to be patched. Also, you can always use the a64 mali blob with mainline.
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#4
(12-04-2018, 02:15 PM)UltraBloxX Wrote: Well, if you need everything working as soon as possible, you could go with KDE neon. It works, but GPU acceleration doesn't really seems to work right now. It's apparently uses llvmpipe to do software rendering (even though supposedly ARM binary driver should be there).
Is any solution to make GPU work? And does HDMI output work?
#5
Am I right that it is planned that in a month all hardware and functions (suspend as example) will work with 4.20 kernel, and I can choose between proprietary and free mali driver?
#6
I would go with Armbian. As a previous poster said - it uses less memory, mostly works just fine, and I'm sure they'll get everything working well.

At present Chromium does tend to lag out so the GPU support needs some work - or at least I hope it needs some work and this isn't the best it'll do.

D.
#7
(12-04-2018, 04:51 PM)tahf Wrote:
(12-04-2018, 02:15 PM)UltraBloxX Wrote: Well, if you need everything working as soon as possible, you could go with KDE neon. It works, but GPU acceleration doesn't really seems to work right now. It's apparently uses llvmpipe to do software rendering (even though supposedly ARM binary driver should be there).
Is any solution to make GPU work? And does HDMI output work?

Not sure, didn't try it myself, but I assume not at this moment - didn't see anyone do it on the forum. And when 4.20 is released, KDE Neon would drop the BSP anyway. As for HDMI - I suppose it works only on mainline distros, not on BSP.

(12-04-2018, 06:02 PM)tahf Wrote: Am I right that it is planned that in a month all hardware and functions (suspend as example) will work with 4.20 kernel, and I can choose between proprietary and free mali driver?

Mostly all. Suspend will be patched in at a later date. And also, hardware video decoding acceleration (Video Engine) support is still Work-in-Progress, it's probably won't make it into 4.20 kernel.

Regarding proprietary mali blob/open-source lima driver - yes, you could use either one.

Don't be disappointed with the hardware support yet, it's all eventually coming. After all, this is an open-source project. Sadly, AllWinner is not being helpful (even hostile to open-source), so community had to either stay with outdated BSP kernel, or to mainline hardware support on their own. Mainlining effort has come a long way and now it's in final stages.

(12-04-2018, 09:19 PM)damosan Wrote: I would go with Armbian.  As a previous poster said - it uses less memory, mostly works just fine, and I'm sure they'll get everything working well.

At present Chromium does tend to lag out so the GPU support needs some work - or at least I hope it needs some work and this isn't the best it'll do.

D.

Yes, I use Armbian for day-to-day work and actually replaced Neon by installing it to eMMC. It just works and allows to get more from the hardware.

Chromium in Armbian feels slower than Firefox in KDE Neon. But I assumed it's not about GPU support. I thought Chromium is overall slower, bloated and poorly optimized for low-end devices than Firefox (I mean, even on Raspberry Pi with official GPU drivers, browsers feel laggy). Need to install Firefox on Armbian and see if it's performance is better (similar to KDE Neon's Firefox build). Will do this and then post results to this thread.
#8
Well, I've installed firefox-esr on Armbian. Like I've expected, performance is much better and smooth with it than with Chromium. So it's doesn't seem to be about open-source GPU driver - it's good. It's just Chromium that's not optimized for single-board computers and is heavy.
#9
Quote: Suspend will be patched in at a later date.
Do you have any supposed date? Because suspend is critical for me.
#10
(12-05-2018, 12:25 AM)UltraBlox Wrote: Chromium in Armbian feels slower...

Firefox-esr seems to run a lot better than Chromium.

d.


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