Updating kernel and U-Boot to latest versions, updating software packages, new servers

November 24, 2020


Three months have passed and here is another summary of our work.  As usual[0], this is a software release, however there have also been some exciting infrastructure changes worth mentioning.

The primary focus of development remains on the most difficult areas:

  • low-level support
  • basic device functionality
  • stability

[0] The Armbian project has been following a quarterly release schedule since late 2019.

Infrastructure Improvements

New Build Server Crowd Funding Campaign Success

In less than three weeks we hit our goal of sum needed to purchase new, powerful (x86 based, Threadripper) build server, to replace the aging Dual Xeon which previously filled that role for some 4-5 years.  The new server has already earned the nickname "Beast" based upon some testing that NicoD performed.

A big and heart-felt Thank You to all who contributed!

In addition to the direct financial support, for many of us this also served as an indication of the appreciation that the community has for our work, which is very validating for us.

ARM Server Donation

We also received a 32 core ARM server as a donation from WorksOnArm, so another special thanks to them!

The (long term) goal here will be to explore building natively.  Cross compilation will of course remain supported.

Update kernel and U-Boot

Linux kernel support is hardware family specific.  Most kernels were updated to 5.9.y, however not on sunxi and mvebu, where we ran into some issues.  Those will be updated as soon as we can fix some critical problems.

U-Boot was updated to latest version 2020.10.  Note that U-Boot needs to be manually updated!  However it is easy to do so using armbian-config tool.

Ubuntu "Groovy Gorilla" preview

It is now possible to build Ubuntu "Groovy Gorilla" based images, using the Armbian build tools. Groovy was added for experimenting purposes and comes with community support only.


Forum improvements

We upgraded our forum software to version 4.5 and started to utilize the Clubs feature to create some new, dedicated homes:

  • TV Boxes now have their own club, to accentuate some level of separation from the main project, and the fact that many are not officially supported devices.
  • Kobol also now have their own club, to provide Support for their own devices (currently Helios4 and Helios64), which are based on Armbian.
  • A few others have also been created in the meantime, which can be explored from the new Clubs summary page.

We also created new perks for donators including dark forum themes.

Detailed Changelog

Finished projects

  • [AR-2] - Improving download infrastructure Phase 1
  • [AR-151] - Integrate JMCCs Multimedia script
  • [AR-230] - Decide what to do with TVboxes
  • [AR-412] - Update Odroid XU4 kernels
  • [AR-424] - Improve HTOP config
  • [AR-456] - Upgrading Allwinner u-boot to 2020.10
  • [AR-476] - Add sound to Odroid N2
  • [AR-485] - Improve multicore compilation
  • [AR-508] - Add Odroid HC4
  • [AR-509] - Upgrade meson64 to 5.9.y
  • [AR-510] - Move meson (Odroid C1) to 5.9.y
  • [AR-532] - Move Odroid C4 from legacy u-boot toward mainline

Solved bugs

  • [AR-314] - Links to SHA files at download pages are wrong
  • [AR-372] - Meson64 Reboot failure kernel 5.7
  • [AR-373] - Rock64 no HDMI (must be unplugged)
  • [AR-382] - Fix zram creation on bigger memory devices
  • [AR-391] - Warning a reboot is needed doesn't go away after reboot
  • [AR-407] - Bug in first login script
  • [AR-417] - HTOP in Bullseye needs higher package version
  • [AR-420] - GPIO SPI patch is failing on Rockchip64
  • [AR-422] - Improper version showing at upgrade
  • [AR-425] - Resize is finished but message doesn't disappear
  • [AR-428] - Firefox initial config has different location then ESR variant
  • [AR-436] - Rockpi S reports some error in postinst scripts
  • [AR-437] - MOTD cosmetic issue
  • [AR-439] - Automated rebuilds set image status to USER_BUILT
  • [AR-441] - Odroid C4 legacy bootscript problem
  • [AR-452] - Fix first boot locales selection and add desktop lang switching
  • [AR-459] - Missing package libreoffice-style-tango from Bullseye desktop
  • [AR-471] - Mitigate Git server failures
  • [AR-482] - Htop doesn't show CPU speed to normal user but shows properly to root
  • [AR-484] - Odroid C4 refuse to boot
  • [AR-491] - LEDs on Helios4 not working
  • [AR-493] - Patches are not creating
  • [AR-494] - Fix armbian-hardware-opitimization not being run
  • [AR-505] - armbian-hardware-optimization: eth0 tweak applied before it is appear on /proc/interrupts
  • [AR-527] - Rockchip 32bit sources were removed
  • [AR-528] - Improve creating images from repository
  • [AR-529] - Z28 PRO device tree doesn't exists in mainline

Closed tasks

  • [AR-284] - Discuss if there is a cleaner way to install Chromium
  • [AR-350] - Switch rock64 to mainline u-boot
  • [AR-351] - Switch rockpro64 to mainline u-boot
  • [AR-363] - Switch mvebu current to K5.8.y
  • [AR-380] - Revisit RTL8812AU driver
  • [AR-387] - Switch from rk3399-bluetooth service to btbcm for loading firmware/patchram in dev/current
  • [AR-388] - XU4 - Introduce new Mem freq scaling patch and re-enable
  • [AR-390] - Add Radxa Rockpi 4C
  • [AR-400] - Enable overlays in rockchip64-legacy
  • [AR-401] - Enable creation of SPI flash u-boot image for ROCK Pi 4
  • [AR-403] - Enable overlays in rk3399-legacy
  • [AR-404] - Switch renegade to mainline u-boot
  • [AR-409] - Move imx6 current kernels to 5.8.y
  • [AR-413] - Improve reliability of Helios64's eMMC module
  • [AR-415] - Improve reboot reliability for Helios64
  • [AR-416] - Move Rockchip 32bit to 5.8.y
  • [AR-419] - Add dedicated DT for Nanopi Neo3
  • [AR-445] - systemd-journal not rotated with armbian-ramlog
  • [AR-458] - Update board support statuses
  • [AR-461] - Add Armbian to Neofetch
  • [AR-462] - Adapt helios64 device tree name to match upstream Linux
  • [AR-464] - Move Libre Computer Renegade to mainline u-boot
  • [AR-472] - Added support for Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy
  • [AR-473] - Add interactive option to use precompiled packages from Armbian repository
  • [AR-477] - Advanced recovery options for rockchip64 boards
  • [AR-483] - Fix analog (3.5 jack) audio on ROCK Pi 4C
  • [AR-490] - Enable RTC on Odroid N2
  • [AR-495] - Allow building images with kernels 5.8.17+ and 5.9.2+
  • [AR-499] - Enable Watchdog for G12/Odroidn2
  • [AR-504] - Helios64: Switch fusb302 driver to mainline and enable DP over TypeC
  • [AR-511] - Switch rockchip64-current to linux 5.9.y
  • [AR-513] - Move Odroid XU4 kernels up
  • [AR-515] - Upgrade imx6 to 5.9.y
  • [AR-521] - Exchange mv with rsync
  • [AR-522] - Allow setting MTU for Rockchip64's dwmac interface
  • [AR-523] - enable CONFIG_TARGET_CORE for iSCSI target support
  • [AR-524] - Upgrade rockpis legacy kernel
  • [AR-531] - Check why disabling one update-initramfs breaks Ubuntu initrd making on update

Still Open


Major projects which are currently in-progress:

The next planned release is February 2021 (minor bug fix point releases as needed until then).

Get Involved!

There is no company (large or small), no "business model", behind Armbian.  We are a true community driven project.  There are many issues, tasks and wishes opened by community, by you.  There are still only a handful of (part time, volunteer) developers, and their time is very limited.  We can't possibly solve all problems, wishes or help people in trouble, without your help: