FatdogArm Beta3 Release Notes

FatdogArm Beta3 was released on 14 April 2015.

FatdogArm Linux is a small yet versatile operating system for ARM platform, targeted for desktop-style operations. It was originally conceived as a port from its bigger and more well-known Fatdog64 Linux: the Alpha version of FatdogArm (of which the latest version was Alpha4) is a direct port from Fatdog64, as documented here).

The beta series is a native build (on top of Alpha4). For more information on beta series, please see Beta1 Release Notes.

Beta3 changes

Beta3 is a minor release. It is mainly for updated packages, bugfixes, updated script from upstream (Fatdog64 700 series), and updated platform support.

Beta3 adds platform support for Google Nexus 7 2012 tablet (grouper/tilapia). In addition, it also enhances touch-support on OLPC XO-4.

Nexus7 support provides working sound, network, wifi, bluetooth, and touchscreen. It comes with Linux 3.1 kernel (Ubuntu Nexus7 kernel).

Updated touch screen support includes gesture recognition using easystroke, online keyboard using both cellwriter and matchbox-keyboard, as well as right-click emulation using two-fingers tap from xorg mtev driver. These are available for both Nexus7 and OLPC XO-4 platform.

These platforms continue to be supported: Mele A1000 (Allwinner A10), Cubieboard2 (Allwinner A20), OLPC XO-1.75 (Marvell Armada 610), OLPC XO-4 (Marvell PXA2128), Odroid U2/U3 (Samsung Exynos 4412), and Cubox-i (both variant: i2/i4pro, Freescale i.MX6DL and i.MX6Q).

OLPC XO-1.75, OLPC XO-4, and Nexus7 features the latest available kernels. Odroid and Cubox-i feature the same kernel versions as beta2. A10 (Mele) and Cubieboard2 feature the same version as beta1.

All kernels are rebuilt using cross-gcc 4.8.1 compiler which is the same version and patch-level as the native compiler FatdogArm compiler. This compiler is available as an SFS package for Fatdog64 700, located here. They have also been patched to fix a bug in aufs that causes crash if a lot of file operations are done in the aufs (=root) filesystem. All users are recommended to upgrade.

Please refer to Beta2 Release Notes for the details of the support.

Nexus7 platform notes

Nexus7 support requires you to install Multirom. A step-by-step guide to install Multirom on plain vanilla un-rooted Nexus7 is available here.

To install FatdogArm on Nexus7, you need to:

  1. Download the n7.mrom package and install it using Multirom installer, as follows:
    1. Upload n7.mrom to your device (adb push or other means).
    2. Boot to recovery
    3. Select "Advanced", then select "Install an mrom
    4. Then select n7.mrom from the location where you uploaded it.
    5. Wait, then reboot when done.
  2. Then put a copy of fd-arm.sfs into your /sdcard/ directory (you can use popular file managers like ES Explorer or you can just use adb push).

Only internal installation has been tested. You can have hybrid installation: have n7.mrom installed internally, but have the fd-arm.sfs in a USB drive. In this case, fd-arm.sfs must be put under the path named /media/0. If you want to attempt external instalation to a USB flash drive, make sure the partition that contains FatdogArm is formatted as a Linux partition (ext2/3/4).

Rotation is possible but it must be done by editing (either manually or programmatically) /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-gpudriver.conf, as xrandr is not supported by the framebuffer driver. And then Xorg will have to be restarted for it to take effect. On-the-fly rotation is possible with accelerated xorg driver (see below) but unfortunately at this time the driver has its own problems.

Hardware accelerated drivers are available in the repository (accelerated xorg driver with GPU, and video playback), but they are not recommended for general use. The accelerated video driver is known to cause display corruptions, and the video playback acceleration (which comes as a gstreamer-0.10 library) is not tested.

Camera, accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer, and compass are not usable at this time (and probably never will unless someone contributes patches to Ubuntu Nexus7 kernel).

OLPC XO-4 platform notes

OLPC XO-4 now features SMP support. Both cores of the PXA218 SoC can now be used, improving responsivitiy. To be able to use this, you will need to update your firmware to at least version q7c04, as documented here. If you don't update, the kernel will not boot and you will be stuck at the firmware boot-up page.

Please be aware that once the firmware is updated, the old kernel will no longer run. This includes the original OS that is in the laptop. Thus the recommended way to do an upgrade is to actually update both the internal OS and the firmware at the same time.

You can do this by upgrading the OS to version 13.2.3, as documented here.

OLPC XO-1.75 platform notes

Beta3 version features the latest kernel for OLPC XO-1.75, thus it should support the updated webcam camera as well as the new battery type as well. You may need to update your firmware to support these; and in fact, if you do that, you may as well upgrade the entire OS base to version 13.2.3 as noted for XO-4 above.

All other FatdogArm features remain identical as beta1/beta2.

Touch features

Beta3 comes with some pre-programmed strokes to help you to get started. An "up gesture" (drawing a line from bottom to top of screen) recalls the virtual keyboard. An "down gesture" (drawing a line from the top to bottom) will hide the keyboard. A small letter "e" will show the easystroke configuration window.

A small letter "s" will enable scroll; to do this, draw the "s" letter, lift your finger, then touch and move your finger in the direction of the scroll. When done, lift your finger.

Right-click emulation is done by two-finger clicking. Tap the first finger, and then (without lifting that finger), tap the second finger. The right-click will be done at the location of the first finger.

For Nexus7, both cellwriter and matchbox-keyboard are activated at boot. Matchbox-keyboard can be launched by tapping its tray icon; cellwriter can be activated either with the gestures above, or by tapping its tray icon too.

For OLPC XO-4, matchbox-keyboard is not enabled because the tray icon at the bottom of the screen is unaccessible by te fingers. Gestures is only enabled when XO-4 is in tablet mode (i.e., when the screen is flipped) so they don't interfere with normal mouse/touchpad operation.

Distribution Notes

FatdogArm is distributed in two components:

The SFS packages are split into three components:

You can them from the main repository - best for US, or one if ibiblio's mirrors. There mirrors are popular:

Previous release notes: beta2 beta1 alpha4 alpha3 alpha2 alpha

(Note: Only alpha4 binaries are still available; the rest have been removed).