well I wanted to like this so much, the little $11 quad core has so much potential, and its really there, but its not ready for public release. The little board is fussy with the SD cards it has, I tried 3 before it booted, and its twin, was just as fussy.
Also when getting it to boot to a gui involves a coin toss you need to worry. Sometimes it goes to a log in screen, and btw Friendly Arm have not listed the login/passwords anywhere I can find them,
and sometimes it will boot to the Rasbian Gui
The console boot won't startx and sometimes even fails to recognize reboot. Though when it does it tends to then go to the GUI...but not always!!
I can't figure out how to resize the partition, since it fails to resolve the directory path, I really have no clue about Linux so trying to work out login and password info its a mystery t me.
The Gui when it gets there is great, but nothing much works. It did recognize my wifi dongle, but when attempting to enter the pass key the simple act of pressing the OK button to then let it connect...was met with....nothing...it just does nothing...this could be due to lack of store space because of the lack of partition space though
What is very exciting is that in a terminal you can run GLMark for ES2 and sure enough there in all its glory is the OpenGL ES test demo, and confirmation that this is a Mali 400 MP GPU
Also, it seems to have its .SO drivers in the lib directory, this could well be the easiest machine to actually get code working on...Now that is the potential
If I can get the passwords for it, there are hints on the site of root/fa and it logs in with those but fails after that.
Wired networking also is a little odd, it need to be plugged in on power up, but that still does not allow networking since the machine does not have a valid mac address
The Wiki here
Suggested adding a valid Mac address, so I found an old network unit that I no longer used and copied its mac address, but the file is read only and I was unable to save (perhaps another resize issue?) I know Linux protects some important files but I don't know.
I just tried ifconfig after a log in, when it didn't go to the GUI and root/fa worked and ifconfig returned an address which allowed me to make an SSH connection
which VisualGDB was able to use, it returned an error though
/usr/bin/xauth: error in locking authority file /root/.Xauthority
Which again I assume is due to partition issues....
So for now this machine has to stay in the box, until either I get some help with understanding the Linux needed to make it functional, or the suppliers provide passwords and instructions on how to resize.
Shame....this could be a real cool little Mali machine if only I could get past the assumption the makers have that everyone knows linux!!!!
Using a 4th SD, this time an 8G, the others being 16gb, I tried again and finally able to re size followg these instructions
yeahhhh finally, ok now SSH works, console opens and returns no error, boot is still hit and miss, but I have a full 8G SD working...wifi does at least now save the properties when I click ok, but does not manage to connect.
so a little progress, I will try to get some mali 400 graphic code running this weekend.
Final edit... it does seem that the 16Gb sd's I was using were faulty, which won't have helped things at all. The branded 8Gb in there now seems stable and aside from never being sure if the gui is going to fire up I'm happy with the beast now.
I will re-review this at a later date when I come back to it.