Computing > Embedded Computing

Allwinner's H3, which Linux kernel?

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DiTBho:
Anyone is using the HC3 chip? OragnePI or NanoPI?

I need to develop my own kernel driver for a couple of USB-devices, and I need to recompile/patch the kernel.

I am a bit confused because there are too many forks, branches and repo around.

The Sunxi/Legacy Kernel, basically kernel v3.4
Which hasn't yet any official Allwinner's git repository ?!?
The Siarhei Siamashka's branch, the Yann Dirson's fork, The Boris Lovosevic's one.

Then you have "Mainline kernels", but again too many forks, branches, etc, and it seems the Ondřej Jirman's branch (basically kernel v4.19) is the most solid.

Any feedback?   :-//

Whales:
Purist: only bother with mainline, because everything else is a PITA (not always possible).
Practicalist: you have to port to every goddam fork that's popular if you want your stuff to be used on existing boards (not always possible).
Cheater: skip needing a custom USB driver and use a USB UART chip on your product instead (not always possible).

Every distro that supports an ARM board goes about sourcing the kernel differently.  Many Linux distros will ship with their kernel's header files (eg in /usr/src) so things like DKMS can work.  DKMS may or may not be useful for your goals (keep in mind that some SBC vendors provide a single distro snapshot with a single version of a kernel that never gets updated).

Side rant: Operating systems and kernels on ARM devices are a mess.  As buggy and annoying as x86 BIOSs and other standards like ACPI can be: they're still 1000x better than what we have in the SBC world (where some standards do exist, but they're not commonly utilised).  I can boot basically any version of x86 Windows or *nix on any x86 system, but I need unique specialist magic versions of Windows or *nix to run on any particular Arm board.  EDIT: I am very glad that ARM SoCs have been backwards compatible to older ARM ISAs however!  That's something.

DiTBho:

--- Quote from: Whales on June 27, 2021, 10:10:51 am ---skip needing a custom USB driver and use a USB UART chip on your product instead (not always possible).

--- End quote ---

That's the funny thing: i bought the H3 board specifically for a project where there is a custom USB device. It's a Cypress FX2 one, but the protocol is completely custom.

I also bought an old Atheros5 MIPS32r2 SoC, it comes with EHCI, and it's very very simple. The kernel is not mainline but rather only supported by OpenWRT, hence I installed it only to grab the patches, then I applied them to a Vanilla kernel, and compiled it manually.

Result? In 45 minus, everything works and I didn't have to look into several forks, repositories, whereas with bloody H3 SoC ... I have been struggling for two weeks, even because I destroyed the previous chip due to a kernel bad support for the CPU freq auto scaling, and had to buy a new one.

But again I am lost with the "proprietary" device tree file, and with too many forks, patch, and unclear comments.

I'd rather use the Atheros5 chip, but it's clocked at 180-200Mhz, it only provides one EHCI port (H3 has 3  ports) and it cannot address more than 128Mbyte of ram.

DiTBho:
Currently, I am with the official linux-sunxi git repository, it's Kernel v3.4.104

Whales:

--- Quote ---That's the funny thing: i bought the H3 board specifically for a project where there is a custom USB device. It's a Cypress FX2 one, but the protocol is completely custom.
--- End quote ---

May I ask: what's your project?  The desire for Allwinner H3 (cheap) makes me assume it's something you plan to make a lot of; so I presume using SFF x86 computers is not an option.  Raspi's have much better support in the Linux ecosystem, could using them be an option?

My personal experiences: SBC hardware features and speed tend not to be as important as the SBC being well supported by the rest of the world.



--- Quote from: DiTBho on June 27, 2021, 11:41:09 am ---Currently, I am with the official linux-sunxi git repository, it's Kernel v3.4.104

--- End quote ---

5 years or so old.  Keep in mind this often means sticking with period userspace too, this can be annoying depending on what software you or your clients use.

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