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Khadas Captain / Edge SBC Review

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Orange Pi Development Boards

I acquired Khadas Edge Developer Package deal with Khadas Edge RK3399 module, Khadas Captain service board, and a number of other equipment a number of weeks in the past, and after checking the hardware within the first a part of the evaluation, I’ve now taken the time to evaluation software program help, specifically Ubuntu 18.04 on the board.

There are at present 4 important decisions of firmware for Khadas Edge / Khadas Captain:

I made a decision to concentrate on Ubuntu 18.04 for this assessment, and Karl who has he personal pattern will evaluate the secure Android Nougat firmware that has been launched a couple of days in the past.

Let’s join the board to an HDMI TV, Ethernet, and the USB type-C energy provide, to see if it boots simply effective.

Khadas Edge USB-C Power Supply, HDMI, Ethernet

After making use of energy, Android OS will boot inside a couple of seconds.

Khadas Edge AndroidClick on to Enlarge

However we need to improve the firmware, and it’s potential to take action with SDcard or USB type-C cable technique. I went with the USB technique in Ubuntu 18.04:

However initially there was only a small drawback:

Oops, so this is able to solely work with Ubuntu 16.04, so I attempted with docker:

However the set up wouldn’t full, after which tried to switch the script to drive it to work in Ubuntu 18.04, however it turned out to not be such a good suggestion with rigorously studying the code, as dangerous issues occurred with my file system on my laptop computer switching to read-only, and after rebooting to “solve the issue”, my pc wouldn’t boot anymore. It took me 6 hours to unravel… Oh properly.

I lastly switched to an Ubuntu 16.04 laptop computer with I picked to repair my principal laptop computer.

However fortunately, in case you run the newest LTS model of Ubuntu, you don’t should by means of the ache I skilled, as the corporate reacted, and ultimately added help for Ubuntu 18.04:

The brand new step is to obtain the firmware, extract it:

However earlier than flashing the firmware, you’ll have to enter Improve Mode with certainly one of 5 strategies. For those who don’t, the flash software will return an error:

I used to TST (Terry’s Sensible Tweezers) technique to enter firmware improve mode, and related related cables as proven under.

Khadas Edge Upgrade ModeIt doesn’t matter which USB type-C port is used for energy and knowledge connection. To enter firmware improve mode, I pressed the features key 3 times inside 2 seconds, and the Blue LED began to blink to point improve mode is activate. We will now run the command to flash the firmware:

The board will mechanically reboot, and boot to Ubuntu 18.04 with LXDE.

Khadas Edge Ubuntu 18.04

Use khadas /khadas username and password to login. I additionally related extra peripherals embrace a USB arduous drive, and a USB RF dongle for my keyboard and mouse.

Khadas Edge ReviewClick on to Enlarge

I additionally related by means of SSH from my laptop computer because it’s simpler to repeat/paste terminal output that means:

The board run Ubuntu 18.04 with Linux Four.Four.154, and since I’ve Khadas Edge Primary board fitted into Khadas Captain service board there’s 1.9GB RAM, and a 15 GB rootfs partition. Khadas workforce additionally determined to allow ZRAM by default which isn’t a nasty concept.

All of the 4 partitions in my arduous drive are detected, however solely EXT4 and NTFS partitions might be mounted, since BTRFS and exFAT will not be enabled within the kernel. That ought to be one thing straightforward sufficient to do by yourself.

Load kernel modules are principally for ZRAM help, apart from bcmdhd WiFi driver.

GPIO are enabled like in different RK3399 boards:

The GPIO definitions are a bit of totally different, and it doesn’t seem like all are enabled within the present Ubuntu picture:

es2_info and es2gears are already put in.

es2gears works OK, however the framerate is slightly on the low aspect.

Khadas Edge es2gears Ubuntu-18.04

I might run glmark2-es2 after putting in it:

khadas edge glmark2-es2Click on to Enlarge

The rating was 42 with a few of the benchmark maxing out at 50 fps as a result of video output was 720p50. However then I needed to repeat glmark2-es2 benchmark in offscreen  mode, and I made a decision to put in gimp as properly. After some time, the system logged out mechanically, and 3D GPU drivers didn’t work any extra:

I first via gimp might have messed with the GPU drivers by some means, and reinstalled the firmware with rk-flash-tool, however the ensuing remained the identical, and Khadas was unable to offer an answer in time for this evaluation. So I by some means completely misplaced accelerated 3D graphics on the board for the remainder of the assessment.

When making an attempt to play movies from the NTFS partition of the USB drive, or copy information from the USB to the eMMC flash the connection would typically fail, interrupting video playback or file copy. That’s what it might seem like within the kernel log:

Sooner or later, I lastly managed to play a 1080p60 video with mpv, nevertheless it depends on software program decoding at this level, and the video was very uneven.

Khadas Edge Ubuntu Video PlaybackClick on to Enlarge

It’s unclear easy methods to play 1080p or 4K movies easily in Ubuntu 18.04, so as an alternative you could have to make use of LibreELEC picture as an alternative if that’s one thing you want. Up to now, I’ve been unable to play movies in any of the RK3399 boards I examined with Ubuntu Desktop firmware.

The Ubuntu 18.04 photographs comes with Chromium pre-installed.

Khadas Edge Ubuntu ScreenshotClick on for Unique Measurement

Nevertheless, Thai fonts  are lacking, so characters will present as blocks with this language when accessing Google and Fb from my location, so I put in Thai fonts:

I needed to put in Thai language help and the corresponding keyboard, nevertheless it failed resulting from permissions points:

Khadas Captain Ubuntu Language Support

Adopted by extra error messages:

You aren’t allowed to carry out this motion You don’t have the required privileges to carry out this motion.

That’s a minor difficulty that must be straightforward to repair.

General “standard” net shopping labored nicely, identical to on different RK3399 boards and I edited a number of this evaluate on the board itself. Nevertheless, I couldn’t play Sweet Crush Saga in Fb as flash participant is lacking:

No Flash Participant discovered. 11.Zero.Zero model required.   


YouTube movies can play at 720p with only a few dropped frames, however some tearing is clearly seen. 3D graphics acceleration is damaged on my board, however I went to go to WelGL Quake demo anyway, and unsurpringsly was greeted with an error message:

Sorry, however your browser doesn’t help WebGL or doesn’t have it enabled.

eMMC flash and USB Storage Efficiency 

Let’s run the standard iozone benchmark within the eMMC flash:

As much as 300MB/s sequential learn velocity, as much as round 50MB/s sequential write velocity, and random I/O values additionally look fairly good right here.

However then I switched to USB storage efficiency, and the NTFS check efficiency wouldn’t full:

After two extra tries, I switched to EXT-Four and that was OK, so perhaps I actually do have a hardware challenge on the NTFS partition…

The values are actually low at about 33MB/s for learn and write, after which I noticed oops… The USB port on one of many edges of the board is USB 2.Zero, so I moved the drive to the  USB three.Zero port, and outcomes have been inline with expectations for a mechanical drive:

Round  93MB/s sequential learn velocity, and 91 MB/s sequential write velocity.

As a aspect notice, because the checks take time on the onerous drive I attempted to do some debugging/monitoring, first by checking syslog however it’s crammed with message associated to IR distant management:

and iotop – used to see whether or not any I/O occured – didn’t work both:

However this one appears to be a bug with iotop whereas utilizing the newest model of Python. A method may need been to downgrade Python model, however as an alternative I used:

with a purpose to monitor I/Os to partitions.

Let’s check Gigabit Ethernet efficiency with iperf beginning with a full duplex knowledge switch:

That’s pretty typical for a Rockchip RK3399 platform. Add solely outcome seems high-quality…

and obtain solely is even nearer to the restrict:

So Gigabit Ethernet is working simply as anticipated.

Time to check WiFi 5 (802.11ac) efficiency. Please notice that I’ve the Khadas Edge Primary board with AP6356S module, whereas Edge Professional and Max boards include AP6398S that help RSDB (Actual Simulataneous Twin Band) , and will supply even higher efficiency.

802.11ac WiFi add outcome:

802.11ac WiFi obtain outcome:

I’ve ceaselessly discovered asymmetries between add and obtain, however often that’s at the good thing about the obtain half. That’s someway the other with Khadas Edge, and I needed to double verify it to verify. 222 Mbps add is excellent with the router I exploit, however 104 Mbps obtain could possibly be higher, as another platforms might obtain a bit over 250 Mbps.

Khadas-Captain-AC-WiFi-PerformanceWiFi Knowledge Throughput in Mbps – Click on to Enlarge

Once I related MINIX NEO-C plus USB-C adapter to RockPro64 RK3399 board to be able to make use of USB-C DisplayPort Alternate mode over HDMI it didn’t work fairly as anticipated (though it might be fastened now), however I didn’t have such situation with Khadas Edge.

Khadas Edge USB-C DisplayPort / HDMIClick on to Enlarge

I simply transfer the HDMI cable that I had related to the HDMI port of Khadas Edge to the HDMI port within the MINIX USB-C adapter, and inside a number of seconds the picture was up and operating. I solely have entry to at least one TV proper now, so I used to be not capable of check twin monitor setups, and issues like prolonged desktop.

The hardware design appears strong with a quick eMMC flash, wonderful Gigabit Ethernet efficiency, and acceptable WiFi AC efficiency, twin video output, and extra.

However whereas Ubuntu 18.04 LXDE picture is usually usable, there have been a number of points similar to accelerated 3D graphics help breaking after some time, even after reinstalling the firmware, and the shortage of hardware video decoding is a recurring points on RK3399 platforms no less than on desktop Linux pictures, as LibreELEC is one other story. I additionally encountered a number of much less essential software program solely points like failure to put in language packs, in addition to some potential (energy?) points when connecting the USB exhausting drive that may disconnect every now and then when related to the USB 2.Zero port. 

However keep in mind Khadas Edge and Captain boards will not be delivery but, so what I did right here was actually beta testing, and I’m fairly positive Shenzhen Wesion will look into the problems and repair lots of them earlier than the rewards ship to backers later in January.

Khadas Edge crowdfunding marketing campaign continues to be on-going, and you may again the undertaking on Indiegogo in case you are .