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Old 06-11-2017, 04:32 PM   #1
bifferos
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Banana Pi M2+


I made the mistake of purchasing a Banana Pi as it was supposed to be a supported platform, without reading the details on the Slackware site: My M2+ model doesn't support SATA, and I wouldn't want a SATA drive for this application even if I could use it.

The RPi Slackware OTOH was a very easy install, and it seems to run flawlessly.

I'm now wondering if I should just not bother with the Banana Pi and buy a Raspberry Pi instead.

The application is a USB camera server, and I think I may need the hardware float for motion sensing. I'd prefer not to use anything other than Slackware for this, but if it's just not viable I suppose I will have to look at another OS.

Thanks for any advice on this!

Biff.
 
Old 06-12-2017, 04:54 AM   #2
drmozes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bifferos View Post
I made the mistake of purchasing a Banana Pi as it was supposed to be a supported platform, without reading the details on the Slackware site: My M2+ model doesn't support SATA, and I wouldn't want a SATA drive for this application even if I could use it.
The issue isn't that it does not support SATA - you can install on to other mediums, they just aren't documented for the Banana Pi.
The issue is that the Banana Pi MK2 has no installation or support (documentation, u-boot binaries, testing) within Slackware ARM. The A31 CPU _is_ supported ('MACH_SUN6I' is set) in the armv7 Kernel since Slackware 14.2, but that's as far as it goes.

Having a cursory look around, the support for the A31 is mostly maintained by 3rd party distributions such as "Armbian", rather than being in Debian directly, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bifferos View Post
The RPi Slackware OTOH was a very easy install, and it seems to run flawlessly.
So's the Banana Pi when you have the right hardware ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bifferos View Post
I'm now wondering if I should just not bother with the Banana Pi and buy a Raspberry Pi instead.

The application is a USB camera server, and I think I may need the hardware float for motion sensing.
What makes you think that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bifferos View Post
I'd prefer not to use anything other than Slackware for this, but if it's just not viable I suppose I will have to look at another OS.
You could send back the Banana Pi if you can, and maybe get an Orange Pi - but you'd need -current for that.

I don't have an answer for you, apart from how much time do you want to spend on getting the OS running, as distinct from making the OS do what you want to use the device for. The Slackware ARM documentation and installation methods suit my needs of server installations, so that's what I write. If I was more of an embedded guy, they'd have a different angle.

If it's easier to use another distribution, download one of the ones for the BPi Mk2.
 
Old 06-12-2017, 06:07 AM   #3
bifferos
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You are right, but it's all about the documentation for me. I hope you don't interpret my post as some kind of complaint, it's really nothing like that. I think I'll just stick the BPi in a drawer with the other 'spare' boards and get a RPi instead, and wait to see if someone adds BPi SD-install docs in the future. I can't really be bothered to send it back.

thanks,
Biff.
 
Old 06-12-2017, 08:35 PM   #4
jefro
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If I read this correctly then I'd have to say there is a lot of mainstream support. http://www.banana-pi.org/m2plus-download.html

As to having full hardware for your project I can't say.
 
Old 06-13-2017, 02:26 AM   #5
drmozes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
If I read this correctly then I'd have to say there is a lot of mainstream support. http://www.banana-pi.org/m2plus-download.html

As to having full hardware for your project I can't say.
The images there aren't upstream images, they're taken by the vendor of the ARM device and modified to suit the needs of the vendor.
What I'm talking about is support for the device in the upstream OS.
This is normal practice as the vendor wants to claim that a variety of OS's support their device, but the reality tends to be that unless the device is widely supported upstream (e.g. kernel.org mainline has support) and the distributions themselves support it, the device gets left behind as the OS images become stale quickly.
The firm behind Orange Pi did the same for Slackware- took the ARM miniroot, put their own Kernel in to it, modified it and uploaded it to google drive. Almost three years later, the support for the H3 still isn't entirely in mainline (the H3 support is currently in -current through patches).

It's one of the few things that I find irritating about how the ARM ecosystem ended up - because the userland (OS) is almost always going to be fine (no matter the OS distribution); it's just the initial hurdle of the boot loader, kernel and drivers for the hardware.
 
Old 06-13-2017, 05:08 AM   #6
bifferos
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drmozes: Is it possible to ride on the back of the OpenWrt project for some of this, or are they too far behind?
https://dev.openwrt.org/browser/trun...aspberryPi3.mk

They are claiming hard-float: https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/raspber...n/raspberry_pi

I'll try this out when my RPi 3 arrives (now on order). If that works it should be possible to create some scripts that manually install the key packages in the A series into a rootfs on the cross-compiling machine, then rely on slapt-get to do the rest at run-time.
 
Old 06-13-2017, 05:59 AM   #7
drmozes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bifferos View Post
drmozes: Is it possible to ride on the back of the OpenWrt project for some of this, or are they too far behind?
https://dev.openwrt.org/browser/trun...aspberryPi3.mk

They are claiming hard-float: https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/raspber...n/raspberry_pi

I'll try this out when my RPi 3 arrives (now on order). If that works it should be possible to create some scripts that manually install the key packages in the A series into a rootfs on the cross-compiling machine, then rely on slapt-get to do the rest at run-time.
I don't get the link between the Raspberry Pi 3 and Banana PI Mk2 ?
What I'm interested in is Kernel upstream support for the device, that has existing testing and where the device is in a known-good state. I'm not in a position to be an early adopter. The Slackware ARM community covers the gaps - the poster child being the RPi support that Phil maintains.

There's already a bare bones root file system for Slackware ARM that's aimed at developers: ftp://ftp.arm.slackware.com/slackwar...ls/minirootfs/

Last edited by drmozes; 06-13-2017 at 06:07 AM.
 
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
Penthux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
The Slackware ARM community covers the gaps - the poster child being the RPi support that Phil maintains.
<3

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmozes View Post
There's already a bare bones root file system for Slackware ARM that's aimed at developers: ftp://ftp.arm.slackware.com/slackwar...ls/minirootfs/
... and it rocks! Without your minirootfs there would be no SARPi and we wouldn't be able to install Slackware ARM so easily on other platforms, like the Orange Pi.
 
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:22 PM   #9
justwantin
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I'm sorry to read about your problem. A couple years ago I made the mistake of purchasing a Banana Pi M2 and had a similar experience. Lemaker made/makes a Bananapi and a Banana Pro both of which will happily run Slackwarearm. Sinovoip made/makes a Banana Pi on which I believe SCerovec, in this forum, successfully installed Slackwarearm. However, I could not successfully get Slackwarearm going on the M2. I had another go earlier this year but put it in the don't want to waste any more time on it basket. I had a version of Armbian running on it but that was 64 bit. Had a go at building a 32 bit kernel to run Slackwarearm installer with but eventually set it all aside and purchased another Lemaker Banana Pro, I now have 3.

Actually, I was not impressed with the Banana Pi M2. Packaging was very poor compared to Lemaker's packaging and the first time I tried to connect a UART cable to it I pushed the TX pin out the bottom of the board. Luckily I was able to solder up a connection again. I would have purchased a Lemaker Banana Pi this time around but neither that or the Pro are sold here in Oz anymore. The latest purchase was made on Aliexpress and one has to drill down a bit to get past all the Sinovoip gear to find any Lemaker gear. I don't know if Lemaker has been pushed out of the market or Sinovoip has the clout and money to dominate sales on the web
 
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:19 PM   #10
SCerovec
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Arrow


SinovoIP is the owner of Banana PI brand, Lemaker was part of team when it was engineered. Since they split, each seems to make their own "cookies", but SinovoIP seems to have won the legal issue over Bpi, so only they have the right to deal with it at the moment.

The BPi, although more expensive and less powerfull than the H3 SBC seems to have quite few aces down the sleeve yet - it seems capable of running off an single lipo cell and has a BMC on-board for doing so.
A feature that has to be beaten yet by any of the contenders?

FWIW I have stalled on Beagle Bone Black (needs separate boot), Orange Pi PC (H3; waiting /dev/fb to "appear by auto magic" (Santa, roger? over and out...)), and await my next BPi to arrive (for an cordless project I plan).

The 1st Bpi is happily serving as a NAS with an 1TB 3.5" HDD (old school mass storage)...
 
Old 06-27-2017, 04:53 AM   #11
justwantin
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Quote:
SinovoIP is the owner of Banana PI brand, Lemaker was part of team when it was engineered
In Nov. 2014, Lemaker claimed that Sinovoip was "a manufacturer and dealer for the BananaPi"
Quote:
Parenthetically, it should be pointed out that SINOVOIP is only one of the manufacturers and dealers for Banana Pi. With the goal to ensure users could get the maximum benefit, we do not expect that the production be controlled by only one manufacturer
Link to above quote

Sinovoip appears to own the domain banana-pi.org and banana-pi.com, however I have not been able to find anything in an hour's search that indicates that they have exclusive rights to the trademark bananapi. It is very difficult to find anyone selling Lemaker (brand) Bananapi's. There are still Lemaker Bannanpi Pro's to be found for sale on the net but most of the sellers list the Pro but then note that they are out of stock.

Lemaker still lists BananaPi and Bananapi Pro boards on their website. I would have expected if the trademark belonged to Sinovoip that Lemaker would have been forced by now to remove these products from their website. Each company presented differing claims about their relationship back in 2014. There are two linked references to the outcome of the trademark dispute on the Sunxi.org bananapi page which seem to indicate that as of 08/2015 nothing had been conclusively resolved.

It was noted by Sinovoip that Foxconn Technology Group was going to be the final arbiter on the issue. Foxconn is the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world and in all probability contracts work out to Sinovoip. Perhaps some behind the scene pressure was applied to Lemaker but to me the whole dispute would most likely have been considered very trivial by Foxconn. Interestingly, according to Sunxi.org, there is/was a Foxconn Super Pi, to quote: "The overall design shows clear relationship with the Banana Pi but the PCB layout and onboard connector positions are mostly different".

My guess is that Lemaker just moved on with or without trademark resolution. As of 06/2015 Lemaker became a memeber of the Linaro Community Boards Group (LCG) and recent releases have been 96Boards compliant, with no Bpi or bananas in the name and for the most part "next generation" compared to the Bananapi/Pros. Sinovoip is still cranking out Bpi this and that.

My Pros work with Slackwarearm, your BPi does too, that's probably most important. Dunno about the trademark ownership though probably not important. My next purchases if any will probably be 64 bit sometime in the future should Slackwarearm travel in that direction.
 
Old 06-27-2017, 06:59 AM   #12
SCerovec
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This seems to be the "older brothers(?) final word?

I think this concludes the case:
1. Bad light is shed on an excellent product
2. The product suffered of it by directing potential buyers elsewhere
3. The whole "affair" brought more damage than gain to each involved party
4. The thing is brought to an end.

Let's all learn from this in the future?


(eagerly awaiting my Bpi_M1 to arrive)

Last edited by SCerovec; 06-27-2017 at 07:01 AM. Reason: yikes! - Bpi is M1 not PC (Orpi is) :^]
 
Old 06-27-2017, 01:59 PM   #13
justwantin
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This announcement from Sinovoipo came after the one you linked above. Some of it makes no sense to me and the last part doesn't seem relevant but the first sentence indicates that Lemaker had registered the name as a trademark.
 
Old 06-27-2017, 03:39 PM   #14
SCerovec
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So, apparently when it "broke" it broke so bad, that it still "ripples" the waters?

The BPi_M1 is an excellent piece of engineering, it saddens me to learn the backstory.
 
Old 06-28-2017, 02:02 AM   #15
justwantin
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Quote:
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Neither here nor there for you or eye.
Cheers
 
  


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