Support for NanoPi Fire3

This forum is for supported devices using an ARMv7 Samsung SoC.

Support for NanoPi Fire3

Postby Oleg » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:02 pm

Hi all!

I was interested to play around with ARMv8 so I got hold of NanoPi Fire3-LTS board ( ... uct_id=206), it's a tiny octa-core (8!!!) Cortex-A53 board, it uses Samsung's S6P6818 processor.

The board comes with some kind of Ubuntu. I prefer Arch Linux.

I got kernel and bootloader. The kernel version is 4.4.x. Is it to old for use with Arch Linux ARM? Any possible implications if I will use this kernel?

I would like to run some benchmarks on this board and compare it to ODROID-MC1 Solo (My Cluster One) to see which board performs better for cluster computing, Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, etc. It is not quite clear to me which platform performs better for scientific computing ARMv7 or ARMv8, so I would like to figure that out.

Thank you in advance for your kind comments and suggestions!
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:28 pm

Re: Support for NanoPi Fire3

Postby dertseha » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:46 am

Hello there! I've just registered to post here :)
I ordered the value pack which contains a Fire3 together with a 4" touch screen and some mounting.
FriendlyArm provides a few images, including the Lubuntu variant. It comes with the mentioned 4.4 kernel (uImage) and some Lubuntu package set that seems half-curated. You have packages such as OpenOffice on there as well. And since package management had some issues (couldn't upgrade...) and I couldn't get OpenGL to run, I opted to get my favorite distribution working :)

As it turned out, it was quite simple: Of the two partitions I only reformatted the rootfs one (ext4) and extracted the "Generic" ARMv8 archive into it.The whole thing booted fine, including support of the hardware, such as the touchscreen!
Setting up pacman as described worked as well, and I soon got an LXDE running.

The final hurdle was to get USB sound working. The 4.4 kernel from the uImage has audio USB support via modules, which were lost in the format above. I extracted the necessary .ko files from the original image and copied them into the machine, added some startup script, and it's working (for my purposes)!
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:35 am

Re: Support for NanoPi Fire3

Postby TheSaint » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:53 pm

Definitely impossible to upgrade. The kernel will tie all the dependencies to itself.
Have you tried to update the kernel?
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:57 am

Re: Support for NanoPi Fire3

Postby dertseha » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:28 pm

I didn't attempt to upgrade the kernel. Most likely I'd lose all the FriendlyArm specific extensions, as they have their own kernel repo.

For my usecase I'm not anticipating to do any upgrade. That thing is running a bedside clock and plays music from a NAS. Its predecessor (similar setup, NanoPi2 board) was running for almost two years until the screen (that's no longer available) broke. These screens don't seem to hold up for 24/7 usage ;)
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:35 am

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