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Old 09-23-2014, 11:45 PM   #1
louigi600
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Inforce6410 IFC6410 single board computer


I got this email:
Code:
Dear Inforce Platform Developers,

Inforce Computing is offering the Inforce6410 (IFC6410) single board computer (SBC) for a great discounted
price of $75 for a limited time (normally sells for $149). This offer can be redeemed with the coupon code 
"6410linaro" and is valid until mid-night PDT, September 25, 2014. Please note that you can use this coupon 
code to order the board pre-loaded with either Android or Linaro®, Ubuntu® Linux® builds.
Here's the link

The features, price and available pre-installed Linux image got me. I'm assuming that I can use the kernel it's shipped with to run a slackware arm userland. More on this when I receive the thing.

Last edited by louigi600; 09-24-2014 at 10:15 PM.
 
Old 09-29-2014, 01:57 AM   #2
louigi600
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I've been trying to get hold of Fedora 20 installation app note but contrarily to all the other documentation downloading this one requires you to have the serial number of an Inforce Computing board.
Well you are required to be a registered user but in order to complete registration you do need a valid board serial number.

I've been thinking: "Why the hell is it like this ?"
What's the reason for hiding procedure for having arbitrary linux distribution on the device ? while making most of the other documentation available.
I think anyone wanting to run an ARM Linux distribution different from the one that comes stock would want to read such documentation prior to receiving the board: would you not be prepared to do what you want with it as soon as you receive it ?
Would it not be a commercial success to let everybody know how easy it is to run whatever ARM Linux distribution on their products ?

Well the only reason I could think of would only make sense if the content would discourage you from buying an Inforce board. I've no idea whether it's technically difficult or there are severe limitation factors or what else but I really suspect that the content may be so discouraging that Inforce is hiding it not only till you buy a board but until after you receive it.

I've been asking their tech support to anticipate me that documentation via email so that I can put to good use the shipping delay but they have been refusing: this really strengthens my suspects.

Code:
Dear David,

Thank you for the email. Unfortunately, we only are able to provide the resources and support with the completion of the registration. We sincerely apologize for 
the inconvenience and the waiting time. Please complete the registration with the product serial number when you receive the product. Kindly let us know if there's 
any concern. We truly appreciate your support and patience.
So they are not ABLE to show me a document that was probably drafted by some dude that figured it out for himself and the decided to let Inforce know about it ?
That's damm silly !

I'll see it there's more info on the Fedora Community but in the mean time be warned that this board may be a NO GO.
 
Old 10-24-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
louigi600
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Today I got the board ... 1 month to deliver for a 36 dollar international Fedex shipping ... I was warned that Fedex sucks: I can now confirm.

As for the board:
the label on the back says it's an engineering sample not for sale or release (but they are selling them on their store as a finished product)
It boots and I can login via ssh to the preinstalled libaro 14.04,
I get nothing on my HDMI monitor ... it only works on my TV (with an annoying flicker at the top of the screen) and the linaro GUI provided is dreadful,
The kernel ring buffer gets constantly cluttered with DRM errors and cannot be used for any diagnose of what's going on,
The bluetooth is not working at all while the network manager reports incompatibility for about 5 minutes from boot then misteriously starts to work,
The wifi NIC stops working after some odd 15 minutes usage
The ethernet nic seems to pick up random mac addres every time Slackware ARM boots (using the kernel that kame with linaro)

Now that I've the serial number I still cannot complete the registration because the form complains that my email is in use because the user is invalid. I've tried several user names but I think it's the email it does not like. Friday 24 October I reported the problem to Inforce but all I got back from them is: "We are working on it". I've even asked them to give me just the document I'm looking (installing Fedora on the IFC6410) for but they replied that they cannot do that.
I just wnated that official document to make sure I do things right without risking to brick the brand new thing. I read in one of their wiki's that a user was told to install fedora following their document, discarding information fom other sources .... why then make it difficult to have that document ?
Damm it I don't even want fedora on the thing ... I just want to get ideas on how to safely get slackware on it !!!

Also the power supply has a US only plug and is useless in europe without an adapter ... Inforce is shipping international : they should supply a multi plug power supply if not something adequate for the destination. If they cannot then sell it without the power supply at a reduced price might be an alternative.

Last edited by louigi600; 10-31-2014 at 03:26 AM.
 
Old 10-29-2014, 04:17 AM   #4
louigi600
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I'm fed up waiting on answers from Inforce: anyone have a link to some good and reliable documentation on fastboot usage ?
I want to make a full backup in a way that it can be used from fastboot to reflash the relevant partitions ... if that's possible ?

Would it also be possible to use fastboot to buut a kernel and mount root on a rescue media (usb or uSD) and then use that to brutally dd the original content of the partitions or would that make mints of OOB data in the ware leveling .

On the AC100's internal emmc a brutal dd seems to work ... anyone know it it's safe on the IFC6410's internal emmc ?
I'm asking because I bricked the rk3066 device by using dd directly on the flash partitions ... even attempting to restore the initial content of the rescue system did not restore the rescue system ... and then something bust android on it making it bricked (until I manage to correctly flash it again).

So far I've managed to boot a slackware arm miniroot by reusing the stock linaro kernel:
From linaro I made a dd copy of the stock kernel in partition 7
Code:
dd if=/dev/mmcblk0p7 of=/mnt/usbstick/org_kernel.img bs=512
Then I made a tarball of lib/firmware to add tho the slackware arm miniroot
I put the miniroot on a uSD (first partition), added the firmware and configured fstab accordingly.
I then shorted pin 26 to ground and booted the IFC6410 into fastboot mode.
Then I used fastboot to boot the kernel I extracted form the onboarf emmc with modified parameters:
Code:
fastboot -c "console=ttyHSL0,115200,n8 console=/dev/console lpj=67677 root=/dev/mmcblk1p1 rootwait ro" boot org_kernel.img
This is not permanent ... but it's a starting point.

Last edited by louigi600; 10-29-2014 at 12:52 PM.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 04:18 AM   #5
Dunc.
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Hi David
I too have got one. I was shocked by the NDA and it explains the lack of community following of it. I have not actually done anything with my board yet but I have done the research.

The Freedreno web site by Rob Clark is Authorative. Herehttps://github.com/freedreno/freedreno/wiki/Ifc6410

That will tell you how to get Fedora going. It also has a working kernel and the drivers needed to get X11 going.

As for dd to the emmc it is not a good idea. For a first attempt I will be putting stuff on an SD card and booting that. See the Linaro wiki of info on booting. https://wiki.linaro.org/Boards/IFC6410

I am interested to see how you get on.

Regards

Duncan.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 05:21 AM   #6
louigi600
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I already came across https://github.com/freedreno/freedreno/wiki/Ifc6410 and I got ideas on how to run the slackware arm userland on uSD or SATA.
I'as I showed above I'm already running slackware arm on it by forcing different boot arguments to the stock kernel image (which is not much different from the Fedora one) to mount root from other media (uSD or SATA).

I want to keep linaro intact on the internal emmc as a last resourt if something goes wrong.

My goal would be to make the uSD bootable and set the dip switches to boot from there.

I've discovered that the kernel image is a standard abootimg (git clone git://gitorious.org/ac100/abootimg.git) so I can make permanent changes to the boot arguments (and possibly also boot a custom kernel with the aid of some other binary blob from freederno) ... but I'm not sure on how to make the uSH bootable:
Which are the partitions that are vital for booting ?
Are the sizes important or will any size suffice as long as it can fit the image that goes in it ?
How do I go about putting the content in the partitions if dd is a no go ?

Last edited by louigi600; 10-31-2014 at 07:40 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 06:09 AM   #7
Dunc.
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The second link answers which partitions are vital though I note it says it can be un-bricked. It says to leave mmcblk0p2 to mmcblk0p6 as they are. mmcblk0p7 can be resized and that is where you should put your kernel. fastboot flash boot MyKernel.img will write it to the flash partition.

Regards

Duncan
 
Old 10-31-2014, 07:39 AM   #8
louigi600
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Is there a way of telling which flash to target ? od having set the dip switches to boot from uSD then fastboot automatically will target that whatever flash device is the boot one ?
I don't want to alter the internal emmc so I want to be sure that fastboot willl not be writing there (Inforse are being silly so I'm not going to give them the chance of claiming that I did something wrong to the internal flash).
The second links is intresting: it says that booting from uSD is not supported yet (but possible) ...
I wonder what Inforce indend with these settings:
  1. 0 0 EMERGENCY BOOT (SDC3 FOLLOWED BY USB HS)
  2. 0 1 SDC3 FOLLOWED BY SDC1 (eMMC)
  3. 1 0 SDC3 FOLLOWED BY SDC2 (Invalid)
  4. 1 1 SDC1 (eMMC) DEFAULT

In particular 1 2 and 3 ?
I hope that at least the kernel can be loaded from there else their damm manual should state that the only working option is n. 4.

I've put the board on a piece of aluminum with a sata drive next to the board. See the picture.
It's running Slackware ARM 14.1 right now but still booted using fastboot and the kernel that was shipped with the board.

Last edited by louigi600; 10-31-2014 at 08:22 AM.
 
Old 10-31-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
louigi600
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I got fed up ... what the hell I can use fastboot to put the original kernel back in place:
Code:
  Dump the original image from the stock linaro:
root@ifc6410:~# dd if=/dev/mmcblk0p7 of=/mnt/usbstick/org_kernel.img bs=512
  Take the usb stick to another linux pc with abootimg installed
root@r2d2:/tmp# cp /mnt/usbstick/org_kernel.img .
root@r2d2:/tmp# abootimg -x org_kernel.img
  Edit bootimg.cfg to look like this:
root@r2d2:/tmp# cat bootimg.cfg
bootsize = 0xa00000
pagesize = 0x800
kerneladdr = 0x80208000
ramdiskaddr = 0x83000000
secondaddr = 0x81100000
tagsaddr = 0x80200100
name = linaro-ifc6410
cmdline = console=ttyHSL0,115200,n8 console=/dev/console lpj=67677 root=/dev/sda3 rootwait ro androidboot.emmc=true androidboot.serialno=153cf69 androidboot.baseband=apq
root@r2d2:/tmp#
  Repackage the new image
root@r2d2:/tmp# abootimg -u slackware_kernel.img -f bootimg.cfg
  Flash the new image to the boot partition on the ifc6410 (needs to be in fastboot mode for this)
root@r2d2:/tmp# fastboot  flash boot slackware_kernel.img
root@r2d2:/tmp# fastboot reboot
Where slackware_kernel.img is just a copy of the original linaro kernel image shipped with the board. If your's came with android you could use the fedora kernel image.
Now I can run the Slackware ARM userland from sata drive every time I boot the thing.
Untill I get reliable wifi link and freederno stuff sorted out this will be my native build machine.

If for some reason you cannot go into fastboot mode you can try (at your own risk) to overwrite the boot patition with dd again.

Last edited by louigi600; 11-03-2014 at 07:54 AM.
 
Old 11-02-2014, 01:42 AM   #10
louigi600
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Anybody know ho to fix this ?
Code:
root@ifc6410:/usr/src# date
Sun Nov  2 06:38:52 GMT 2014
root@ifc6410:/usr/src# hwclock -r
Thu 01 Jan 1970 01:09:00 AM BST  -1.374755 seconds
root@ifc6410:/usr/src# hwclock -w
hwclock: ioctl(RTC_SET_TIME) to /dev/rtc to set the time failed.: Invalid argument
root@ifc6410:/usr/src#
The thinhg has a hardware clock and it works from linaro (at least I think it did for the short while I used it) ... but it's not working on Slackware ARM !
If I get it working I'll also connect a battery to it so it keeps time correctly.
 
Old 11-03-2014, 11:03 PM   #11
louigi600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunc. View Post
I too have got one. I was shocked by the NDA and it explains the lack of community following of it. I have not actually done anything with my board yet but I have done the research.
Inforce finally managed to have me registered on techweb ... and yeah teir NDA sucks !
Apparently it is possible to boot from uSD, or so they have images booting from there (need to check out how that's done because if they use initrd from emmc to mount root on uSD that would be a workaround that will not permit to leave the uriginal image on EMMC untouched).

Ok so even if they can really boot from uSD I cannot tell anyone how to use their stuff under NDA to do other useful stuff like preparing arbitrary distribution uSD bootable images. Sorry chaps ... it may be possible but you'll haveto find your own way. Maybe I can say that I'll be looking at how they use their uSD card image to recover bricked boards. There's more on this on the dragonboard forum.

If there are any lawyers reading here: I wonder if they are violating GPL licence in enforcing their (3. Restrictions) NDA on GPL'd software.

On the stuff I described a few posts above was not gotten from their techweb so it's not covered by their NDA so you can use that to get slackware on the ifc6410 (as a buld machine for the moment).

Last edited by louigi600; 11-09-2014 at 07:26 AM.
 
Old 01-13-2015, 04:53 AM   #12
louigi600
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Some issues have been solved and I've spun off in specific threads:
A multiboot workaround for having different userlansd on different devices: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...10-4175528906/
Freedreno : http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...10-4175525537/
RTC neaded some patches applied to the 3.4 kernel sources: http://mydragonboard.org/community/h...me-on-the-rtc/

Wifi and bluetooth are stil unusable on the 3.4 kernel (mainstream derived linaro kernels I still need to get round to completing the teste for these 2 issues).
Sill looking for a better solution to allow booting entirely from uSD instead of just selecting the userland from initrd.
I've still one HDMI monitor that fails to display anything from the IFC6410 (but works fine on my TV's hdmi input).
 
Old 01-27-2015, 02:38 AM   #14
louigi600
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Supposing all the stuff that takes place before LK is proprietary ... LK is not so from then on they cannot redistribute GPL's code under NDA and in fact they cannot even hide the source.

Ok who's going to write to license-violation@fsf.org ?

It's not going to salve all the problems because the tendency is to bundle up proprietary binary bolobs and have all the gory details in there leaving the GPL code with insufficient code to do any open source development.
We might get lucky and get LK to load and boot kernel from uSD and possibly also usb ... but it's not going to help much for the kernel drivers.

I had a chance to do more testing on the wifi driver (both Linaro's mainstream derived 3.18 and the stock 3.4) with firmware given to me by Inforce .. but it was a no go anyway as I still can't get a reliable wifi link over a couple of hours.

BTW: Linaro's mainstream derived 3.18 can's seem to get the CPU to run above 1Ghz ... hopefully the 15.1 release will address this hugely crippling issue !
 
Old 01-28-2015, 12:45 AM   #15
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You're the one who found it. You report it. You deserve the credit.
 
  


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