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Aopen Chromebase Mini with Alpine Linux, Squeezelite and Jivelite

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    Aopen Chromebase Mini with Alpine Linux, Squeezelite and Jivelite

    Took me a little bit to get going but I managed to get Alpine Linux running on an Aopen Chromebase Mini, which is a nice quality all in one Rockchip rk3288 based device (veyron-tiger) with 10" touchscreen, built-in speaker, analog audio out, wifi, ethernet, USB, and HDMI out in a metal case. Right now it's booting off USB but booting and running off the internal flash _shouldn't_ be an issue, just haven't tested it yet. It also has a webcam that came with a sticker over it due to this being originally configured as some Google TV meter thing.
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    Last edited by sodface; 2021-04-17, 13:50.

    #2
    Out of interest, did you have to mess/replace coreboot to get this going?
    How do you find Alpine in terms of boot speed and hardware support?
    Do you have any of your patches anywhere?

    Used a few of the veyron RK3288 ChromeOS devices (mostly things like the ME4100) to repurpose as general Linux devices (straight Debian or modifications of the Armbian Rockchip work) in less then ideal conditions as they are fairly well made and seem to be pretty tolerant of cold/heat etc.
    It's been on my list to try one as a Squeezelite player with an external DAC but I never seem to get round to it as I have old Pi's and PcP is so easy .

    Would love to get my hands on one of these panels, but unfortunately in the UK they go for silly money when the come up .

    It looks like it makes a nice Joggler alternative with an external DAC and your setup. What is the touchscreen and screen performance like with the higher resolution?

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      #3
      Hi DJWillis, thanks for the reply!

      >> Out of interest, did you have to mess/replace coreboot to get this going?

      No, I'm still using the stock bootloader, so on power up there is the pause at the developer mode screen prior to boot which doesn't really bother me.

      >> How do you find Alpine in terms of boot speed and hardware support?

      Great on both counts. Fast boot and so far I haven't found anything not working. I just built the mainline 5.12-rc6 kernel (initial testing was with rc5) using clang and only patched two files (see below). I did a bit of flailing around at first as I've only messed with one other chromeos device prior to this and it's been awhile (Mr. Chromebox firmware on that one). I tried several other arm distros that had veyron support (though not specifically veyron-tiger) and a kernel rebuild using chromium sources matching the stock kernel version all with very limited success, Arch was the only one that initialized the screen and displayed some boot messages before looping on systemd trying to start a service.

      >> Do you have any of your patches anywhere?

      I made the comment above that running off the internal flash shouldn't be an issue and that turned out to actually be the main issue I had to deal with. The unpatched mainline kernel detected the internal emmc but not any of the multiple partitions under mmcblk1 so all I had was /dev/mmcblk1 no p1, p2, p3 etc. After much googling I ended up creating some patches for block/partitions/efi.c and efi.h based off the 5.4 branch from the chromium source, which fixed the issue and allowed me to partition and load to the internal flash. They are attached to this post but I've got a draft Alpine wiki page that I should have up shortly and will include download links to the files and boot images. I'll post the link in this thread when it's up.

      >> What is the touchscreen and screen performance like with the higher resolution?

      Works great! I need to do longer testing but so far I haven't had an issues.

      >> Would love to get my hands on one of these panels, but unfortunately in the UK they go for silly money when the come up

      That stinks. I got several of these on ebay in new condition for an average of $85 US which I think is pretty good for what you get.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by sodface; 2021-04-06, 13:54.

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        #4
        Here's the link to the Alpine Wiki how-to to get Alpine on the Chromebase Mini. I don't cover the squeezelite or jivelite config though:



        I'll add a download link to a pre-built USB stick image shortly.
        Last edited by sodface; 2021-05-04, 02:44.

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          #5
          Thanks for the patches and the details. Great bit of work.

          Inspired by you, I have managed to get hold of a couple of these for a reasonable price, hopefully showing up next week, so I'll give the image a try .

          My aim will be to get them working with LMS and my old Topping external DAC's as an alternative to the Joggler and use them alongside as panels to display Home Assistant dashboards.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by DJWillis View Post
            Thanks for the patches and the details. Great bit of work.

            Inspired by you, I have managed to get hold of a couple of these for a reasonable price, hopefully showing up next week, so I'll give the image a try .

            My aim will be to get them working with LMS and my old Topping external DAC's as an alternative to the Joggler and use them alongside as panels to display Home Assistant dashboards.
            Thanks DJWillis, that's great news! I'll be interested to see how you get on. I should have mentioned it earlier, I did have a warning notice at the top of the wiki page for a bit but then took it off, basically, 2 of the 6 of these I bought (3 from two different vendors) are stuck in forced Enterprise Enrollment. I'm still hopeful to get around that but it's a risk. I hope that yours are fine. I have exchanged emails with the vendors and they don't seem to understand the impact of that, eg. if you can't get around it, they are basically paperweights.
            Last edited by sodface; 2021-04-11, 15:22.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by sodface View Post
              Thanks DJWillis, that's great news! I'll be interested to see how you get on. I should have mentioned it earlier, I did have a warning notice at the top of the wiki page for a bit but then took it off, basically, 2 of the 6 of these I bought (3 from two different vendors) are stuck in forced Enterprise Enrollment. I'm still hopeful to get around that but it's a risk. I hope that yours are fine. I have exchanged emails with the vendors and they don't seem to understand the impact of that, eg. if you can't get around it, they are basically paperweights.
              Thanks for the warning, I have seen the same with the ChromeBox Mini and other ChomeOS stuff used in enterprises (hoping these are clear of that). I was lucky enough to get it sorted with the enterprise that controlled the gSuite profiles last time but now you have got me thinking ;-). Oh well, if it is locked, I like the odd challenge.

              Comment


                #8
                I got the two that were stuck in Enterprise Enrollment... unstuck So those have been wiped and reloaded with Alpine tonight. There's a (harmless?) warning on boot

                Code:
                /lib/rc/sh/openrc-run.sh: line 21: can't create /proc/sys/kernel/hotplug: nonexistent directory
                And I think the fix is here:
                I wrote http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.11/releases/aarch64/alpine-rpi-3.11.0_rc2-aarch64.tar.gz to SD card and booted on Raspberry Pi 3B+. On boot I see this warning:


                A couple of kernel config options to check on the next build.

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                  #9
                  I updated the Alpine wiki entry a bit and built the newly released 5.12 kernel last night on the Chromebase Mini instead of the RPI4. I added the config settings from the previous post which fixed the error message on boot. I also tweaked the base package set for the rootfs. The link in the wiki for the pre-built image is still the older one, I hope to get an updated image posted later today.

                  // new image url posted at the wiki page
                  Last edited by sodface; 2021-04-28, 01:05.

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                    #10
                    Kernel build time was 1:20:00 on the Chromebase Mini and 3:00:00 on the RPi4.

                    I had another form factor of the Aopen hardware on the way from Ebay, the Chromebox Mini. It was marked as delivered yesterday except I was home all day, nothing was outside the door. Urggh. That was going to be my armv7 builder. Maybe it'll turn up but I'm not holding my breath.
                    Last edited by sodface; 2021-07-17, 23:03.

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                      #11
                      Been ebaying... here's a shot of the choir.
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                        #12
                        Meant to post that 6 of these started life as the TV meter thing and came with the wire adjustable kickstand pictured on the right and one of them was a full retail version with the fixed angle metal stand on the left. Both seem to work ok though the fixed angle one feels sturdier.
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                          #13
                          After FedEx ate the first used Aopen Chromebox I bought on Ebay, I reluctantly bought another used one at roughly twice the price. I have filed a claim with FedEx but they want me to jump through some hoops, provide them info about the sender that I'm sure they already have and that I don't know, and snail mail or fax (fax!) paperwork to them. I'm sure this is all purposely designed to persuade people like me to give up and just move on with life, which is probably what I'll end up doing.

                          Anyway, I've updated the wiki entry and made a few changes to add the device tree for the Chromebox Mini (veyron-fievel) which is the same hardware minus the touchscreen. No issues with enterprise enrollment or anything on this one, just restored the stock chromeos image to blow away the special purpose signage software it was loaded with, put it in developer mode, and loaded the Alpine image. It's a nice little box and will be my armv7 builder. Pictured below with my aarch64 RPi4 builder for size comparison.
                          Attached Files

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                            #14
                            Awesome,

                            So I have 3 now, all retail style CB Mini's. One I am keeping as a ChromeOS device (to mess with kiosk for another project).

                            One will shortly be moving to your Alpine setup and I want to add Jive* to that to see if it is viable as a Joggler replacement for day to day music playback (the key is getting the Good Lady Approval Factor (tm) high enough), the other will either go to Alpine or Debian or OpenEmbedded depending on what appeals ;-).

                            SqueezeBox aside, having some active development around the veyron devices is great.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              @DJWillis, sounds like some fun projects ahead. I understand the importance of a high GLAF score, I've struggled getting good marks in the past.

                              I've been rearranging my little build setup and cleaning up the repo at sodface.com. I had a brief snafu with the --delete option on an rsync last night and deleted some of the files in the root of /repo that were being pointed at by urls I've posted here and elsewhere. I think I have those all restored and working again.

                              In the armv7 repo I currently only have:

                              Code:
                              cxxopts-2.2.1-r0.apk
                              jivelite-20200419-r0.apk
                              lms-8-r0.apk
                              lms-modules-8-r0.apk
                              lms-nocpan-8.2.0.1620395888-r0.apk
                              lms-openrc-8-r0.apk
                              lms-utils-8-r0.apk
                              sdl_gfx-2.0.26-r1.apk
                              sdl_gfx-dev-2.0.26-r1.apk
                              sdl_ttf-2.0.11-r0.apk
                              sdl_ttf-dev-2.0.11-r0.apk
                              signal-estimator-20201221-r0.apk
                              squeezelite-1.9.9.1384-r0.apk
                              squeezelite-doc-1.9.9.1384-r0.apk
                              squeezelite-openrc-1.9.9.1384-r0.apk
                              vpd-202104280251-r0.apk
                              I have an init script created for ts_calibrate and another for jivelite borrowed and slightly modified from one Ralphy had posted on Github. I'll post them in this thread in a few. Let me know if you need anything specific built for Alpine. Between the above, and what's in the official repos, that should be everything needed for running a barebones squeezelite / jivelite setup.

                              Here's the post I did for adding the sodface.com/repo

                              Last edited by sodface; 2021-05-09, 13:16.

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