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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:15 pm
Posts: 2
If you scroll down on the wiki page it somewhere near the bottom (!) it says
Quote:
This last image efikamx-armhf-20120226.xz does not yet include 2D/3D drivers.
Ironically X in Wheezy works faster for me than in Squeeze with acceleration (I think, it is on by default, right?)

Anyway, it would be nice to have one single page with all the necessary information. For example everywhere is the URL of the old repository and http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/vi ... 389#p17389 seems to be the only place where there is the new URL. Is nobody else bothered that the wiki is not updated?

I understand the developers are not going to update the kernel. It's sad but at least there is source code.

But, I have other questions.

1. Some time ago I googled a bit and found some repositories where some people were working on mainline support. But except the information that the HDMI port wasn't working some time ago I do not really find anything about the progress of this. Does anyone know anything about the status? E.g. the debian wiki has some links: https://wiki.debian.org/EfikaMX#Mainline

All the stuff about the current status is along the lines of "yea, we are working on it" from 2 years ago... like this one: http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/vi ... f=2&t=2287

2. What about Debian Wheezy and newer? It's my understanding that everything before Wheezy does not have armhf support. But do you get any gpu drivers for anything newer than Wheezy like the x.org driver? It's my understanding that it is not in the armhf.powerdeveloper.org repository for Wheezy because it doesn't work with its X.org Server. Would I think correctly here?

Has someone thought about making a Debian Unstable image and pack only the legacy X.org stuff + the kernel + necessary libraries on it?

3. What is the intention regarding gpu acceleration? There is some stuff on github like https://github.com/genesi/xorg-video-imxng. How complete is this driver (with the other components on github) in regards to 2d and 3d acceleration? For what X.org versions does it work? Is there any README anywhere?

4. I understand the product is discontinued, but does everything need to be so outdated only these few years after the release? The latest updates from genesi are 3 years after the release of the desktop and 2 years (!!) after the release of their netbook. The gpg key for the repository is expired, half the reference urls in the debian wiki are non existent anymore, if you run the install script by default "Debian Unstable" refers now to a debian version that does not support the kernel on the images anymore and it doesn't say so in the wiki (!) etc.

Tl;dr:
Will this be usable at all in the future or can we just throw it away as something that has never worked well and never will?

Sorry, if I sound a bit unappreciative, but this probably comes from reading buzzword corporate language like this on the website:
Quote:
We design testability and optimization options into our solutions that are used to validate system requirements upon manufacturing and enable support once our solutions are in use. These capabilities can also be used to empower performance or security upgrades, monitor and/or collect data about the products themselves or the environment in which they function, and add new capabilities. As technologies evolve or emerge, our solutions are designed to incorporate change as a feature.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:07 am 
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Genesi

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am
Posts: 1422
Hi haagch,

We developed and shipped the Efika MX products with a Ubuntu based image - not Debian. Nevertheless, work we supported for the Debian community included armhf which Genesi initiated and sustained. armhf became an industry standard. Over 50 Smartbooks and Smarttops were donated to the Debian Community alone. We also donated more than 60 Smartbooks to Linaro Developers as well as supporting a number of development communities (Gentoo, SUSE, AROS, FreeBSD, Bodhi, Doudoulinx, etc.), educational efforts (Powering Potential, SA Reads, Global Outreach, etc.) and other notable and charitable causes. All source code not encumbered by intellectual property agreements by component suppliers was released while the product was manufactured and sold to customers. The last Smartbooks sold through the website were sold in 2012. We supported the platform until June 2013. We think we have done our part. That said, we continue to support hardware we have developed and ship today to our licensees and corporate customers.

We have been using open source for more than 15 years - Genesi Community webpage. Open source software has shipped on every product we have sold. In that time, the "Community" has changed dramatically. Linux today is not the Linux it was at these events: Linux Developers Meeting 2003 - Oldenburg, Germany, or Southern California Linux Expo 2003, or even these some time later at DebConf5, and with Gentoo at FOSDEM 2005. We could provide links to document our support (financial and otherwise) and involvement in many, many more such events. Have you ever heard of BeGeistert or OpenSolaris? We have donated hundreds of machines and supported hundreds of developers, but we are only a part of each Community. Today's Linux 'Community' is much more driven by corporate oriented objectives. It is another world.

You might want to have a look at power2people.org. A very impressive Community has been built around this site and the effort it cultivates. That Community remains vibrant to this day. We feel priviledged to be involved.

If we can help you accomplish something specifically, please email us.

Best regards,
R&B

_________________
http://bbrv.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:01 am 
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Genesi

Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:05 am
Posts: 9
We have all the sources for everything on http://github.com/genesi , any person is more than welcome to go compile those parts for an updated distro or even a completely new Linux distro.

The xorg driver sources are also there.

A community based approach should mean that so long as the sources are available the community should be able to get involved in updating/changing the distro. Go for it!

The issue with the keys is annoying but isn't a show stopper if you just tell the package manager to ignore it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:26 am
Posts: 348
Hi all,

I've been silently reading powerdeveloper for the past couple of years. Although I'm not employed by Genesi anymore, the time I worked with Genesi was great fun for me and I still consider it one of the most productive periods of my life (I still think my month in UIW/FTF in 2011 was the best hackfest I've ever had). After all it's because of Genesi that we even have armhf in Debian/Ubuntu and people still undervalue that involvement, if Bill didn't think it would be worth it, you'd still be waiting for Canonical to provide an arm hardfloat port, and that's a fact.

Plus, I'm still using my efikas and would love to have them supported by Debian again.

In order to get Debian working on the Efikas properly we have to surpass 2 major problems:

1. recent kernels require Device Tree support in u-boot (actually they don't *require* it, but having it makes things easier). Recent upstream u-boot works on the Efika, but I would like to port Marek Vasut's patches that provide display and keyboard support in recent u-boot. Marek's tree is based on an ancient u-boot version which doesn't support things like zImage support, DeviceTree, etc. I've forward ported his patches to a recent u-boot, but since I'm not that well versed in u-boot myself, I'm getting problems initializing display via i2c. My porting effort can be found in github:

https://github.com/markos/u-boot

2. Efika support has sadly been completely removed from recent mainline kernels, because they removed all platforms that didn't have Device Tree implemented. That makes the job of integrating into Debian properly even harder, but not impossible.

After support is back in recent kernels, we can focus on 2 things: integrate siihdmi and mtl (Smartbook LCD driver) properly this time.

Finally, in order to get proper 3d acceleration, forget closed source binaries, freedreno/gallium3d is the way to go, Rob Clark has already done the work for Adreno A2xx/A3xx (iMX5 is basically the same GPU), so we'd only need to modify the gpu kernel driver to work for our GPU.

With those issues solved, getting the Efikas supported in Debian is something trivial and not more than a few days' work. Just as in the past, the main thing I was complaining about getting the Efikas into Debian was kernel support. And it still remains the #1 issue.

For that I've been thinking about crowdfunding to create either an indiegogo project (with several phases) or a bountysource fundraiser (personally I prefer bountysource, as it attaches to github trees/commits, anyone basically with a github account can send a patch and claim a bounty for a fixed issue, it doesn't have to be a single person). I realistically think that getting a bounty of ~$10k would be enough to close all these issues (that's approximately 3 man-months).

Even without 3d support, the first two issues (u-boot/kernel) are doable. I don't have enough free time to work on this pro-bono, hence the idea for crowdfunding. I personally hope that Genesi will endorse this idea and perhaps promote this initiative. But, and that's the greatness of Free/Open Source Software, it *doesn't* have to. If enough people find this idea great, it would become a reality and it's easily monitored.

What I said doesn't really solve anything, but at least I wanted to let people know that there are others that have the same issues and worries.

I intend to start an initiative in the following days.

My 2c.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:18 pm
Posts: 183
Location: Hornell, NY
Not so much Debian related as Ubuntu related but before I stopped working for Genesi I was working on a not completely fully tested precise image that appears to be mostly functional (accelerated video is a bit hit or miss but works pretty well when it finds a video file it likes and installing updates didn't seem to totally break the system)

I will be working with Andre over the next week to see if we can get a cleaned up version of my test image posted here on powerdeveloper. totally unsupported but as long as normal precise updates don't majorly break it it should be usable more or less until precise goes out of support. and considering it's an LTS release that may last people for a good long while.

That said I think Konstantinos's post is the right way to move forward and keep EfikaMX from being stuck in the past.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:03 am
Posts: 19
Hi Konstantinos,

I'll be happy to back and help you!

Mathieu


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Genesi

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:39 am
Posts: 1422
Quick note - we are going to support this effort. Details to follow...

R&B :)

_________________
http://bbrv.blogspot.com


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:15 pm
Posts: 2
Quote:
We think we have done our part.
Sorry if I did not make myself quite clear. This wasn't really meant to accuse genesi, I could have done that by email. :)

It was more to express a bit frustration that there's very little information. I do very much appreciate that there is source code released and to ask other people who might frequent this forum about the current status. As has been successful it seems.

My trouble is not with genesi's effort, my trouble is purely with this specific device on my table that proudly says "genesi" on its top:
Image

Quote:
We have all the sources for everything on http://github.com/genesi , any person is more than welcome to go compile those parts for an updated distro or even a completely new Linux distro.
Thanks for your reply too. I must admit that I haven't really tested it, but from the experience of proprietary drivers like fglrx X.org really likes to break their apis whenever they feel they gain something from it. Updating X.org drivers requires some familiarity that not everyone has, unfortunately. But it's reassuring hearing that people are working on it at the moment.

Quote:
and people still undervalue that involvement,
That was not my intention. If you are a user that doesn't know too much about the history of genesi's involvement, then all you know is that you have a piece of hardware with a 2.6.31 kernel and the only semi-current operating systems for it are unofficial from about 2 years ago... I do not doubt that genesi has done a lot, but unfortunately it doesn't translate too much to the user experience on genesi's own devices today.
Quote:
After support is back in recent kernels, we can focus on 2 things: integrate siihdmi and mtl
So it is still happening? This is good to hear. It could be my ineptitude at googling but as far as I know no efika specific upstream work has been mentioned anywhere in over a year. For all I knew it could have been long abandoned.
Quote:
Finally, in order to get proper 3d acceleration, forget closed source binaries, freedreno/gallium3d is the way to go, Rob Clark has already done the work for Adreno A2xx/A3xx (iMX5 is basically the same GPU), so we'd only need to modify the gpu kernel driver to work for our GPU.
Wow, this is getting very interesting.

As for crowdsourcing for $10k I would be skeptical. There is a lot of more recent new and hot ARM hardware that people probably pay more attention to. Well, you don't lose anything by trying.

Quote:
I will be working with Andre over the next week to see if we can get a cleaned up version of my test image posted here on powerdeveloper. totally unsupported
I'm not that concerned about support. Ubuntu 12.04 would be good. It's old, but at least it's not ancient. :)

So thanks all for these helpful answesers and I hope I didn't do http://bash.org/?152037 too much.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:03 am
Posts: 19
Any new about uboot support?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:26 am
Posts: 348
Quote:
Any new about uboot support?
I'm just done with a contract this week, so I'll have more spare time the next week to deal with this. Sorry for the delay.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:03 am
Posts: 19
Don't be sorry :)

It's good to know that you may have some time on that.

More over, I've been trying to find a way to help you (even if I got few knowledge) and :

I do not have a debug board, and they are very hard to get now (?).
So I would not be helpfull in debugging uboot...

The previous device tree made by steev, seems to not have screen support for the smartbook. So I don't will be able to test a early kernel ...

Let me know how can I help


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:26 am
Posts: 348
Hi all,

http://www.freevec.org/content/efikamx_ ... _available

Sorry for the delay.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:03 am
Posts: 19
Hi Markos,

Thanks you for this.

for other users:
Wireless device will be available as wlan1 .Remove/edit /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules so it will be wlan0 and configurable by wicd.


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