Should I attempt to mainline the kernel and write the drivers for linux?

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Fandroid Tech

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2018
85
14
Moto G 5G
Working ebuild for installing postmarketos on the Amazon Fire 7 HD (2017) codename Austin


Amazon Fire 7 (2017) postmarketOS Armv7l Mediatek MT8127 Mali-450MP4 600x1024 display 1GB RAM Linux 3.10.54

What seems to work:
Boot Touch screen Battery percentage Usb internet OTG usb Wayland, Mate, Xfce4, Lxde, Sxmo, i3wm

Does NOT work:

Wifi & Bluetooth (no drivers) GPU acceleration (drivers do not work) Audio Sleep and fully turning off the display Screen rotation Wifi adapter does not work even with drivers and kernel support, mobo support issue(?) FDE Cameras You tell me

Special options: *Must be flashed to USERDATA partition as system partition is too small

msm-fb-refresher packaged is added to the depends to make the screen refresh. After flashing the device must be booted into recovery once. From the recovery it is to be powered off and booted and then as normal. This is because the device depends on the AMONET exploit which is applied by twrp after every flash.

Flashing Instructions

This assumes that you already have linux installed and the bootloader on the tablet is unlocked. Don't worry if it looks complicated. If you are unsure of something ask on the postmarketos matrix or leave a comment for help.

Install pmbootstrap as stated in the postmarketos wiki, does not matter which options or device you pick.
Once that is done download and drag the two folders in the git repo into "/home/YOURUSER/.local/var/pmbootstrap/cache_git/pmaports/device/testing/" also displayed as "~/.local/var/pmbootstrap/cache_git/pmaports/device/testing".
Run pmbootstrap init and select amazon as manufacture and austin as the device, mate, lxde, xfde, are confirmed working.
Run pmbootstrap install
Boot into twrp and wipe all partitions including data
Boot into the hacked bootloader from the twrp options
Run pmbootstrap pmbootstrap flasher flash_rootfs --partition userdata (system partion is too small to flash!) and once it is done flashing run pmbootstrap flasher flash_kernel
Unplug the device, wait 10 seconds and then hold the power button. Once it is powered on YOU MUST boot it into twrp at least once as it needs to restore the AMONET exploit, until you do that the device will not boot.

Issues

If something does not work such as the display rotated wrong or device not booting just comment or open an issue, I changed the rotation of the display in the kernel options to horizontal but i did not test the effects as I already have android with books on it.

Reinstall android/lineage

Simple as cake, just boot into twrp wipe all partions(some will fail), you may need to resize and fix until it starts working. You just need the system and data partitions to be reformated to ext4 even if they already are. Then just flash the lineageos zip file and reboot the device normally(amonet is fine)
 

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Fandroid Tech

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2018
85
14
Moto G 5G
Is it wifi working? It'll awesome
Unfortunately the drivers for this SOC are nonexistent so nothing works. WIfi and hdmi adapters don't work, but OTG does. Hexdump made a Debian and Ubuntu image for this tablet, it is great but the tablet is mostly useless without WiFi and GPU support. You can also flash the main image to the userdata partition instead of using an SD Card, but if I remember correctly the rootfs won't auto extend. It would have been great to use this as a linux tablet, however this SOC is uncommon and is not supported by any Linux maintainer. https://github.com/hexdump0815/imagebuilder/releases/tag/211101-02
 
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Baonks81

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2020
78
19
Unfortunately the drivers for this SOC are nonexistent so nothing works. WIfi and hdmi adapters don't work, but OTG does. Hexdump made a Debian and Ubuntu image for this tablet, it is great but the tablet is mostly useless without WiFi and GPU support. You can also flash the main image to the userdata partition instead of using an SD Card, but if I remember correctly the rootfs won't auto extend. It would have been great to use this as a linux tablet, however this SOC is uncommon and is not supported by any Linux maintainer. https://github.com/hexdump0815/imagebuilder/releases/tag/211101-02
Thanks for new information. I'll searching around

I think we can find firmware it out on /dev/mmcblk---
 
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Fandroid Tech

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2018
85
14
Moto G 5G
Thanks for new information. I'll searching around

I think we can find firmware it out on /dev/mmcblk---
I looked at the firmware dump on github, it is all proprietary and seems to be compatible only on android. The closest I got to getting working wifi was moving the original libs and networkmanager bin to linux however it only showed wifi working for a few seconds without detecting anything.
 
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Worldblender

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2015
52
43
Moto G Power
I'm working on this device right now. I just downloaded the repository below, and I will make a pull/merge request upstream soon.
I have my own fork of the pmaports repository at https://gitlab.com/Worldblender/pmaports, where I will push your files (eventually with my changes) to. Maybe we can work together on getting this tablet supported upstream, if you still want to (anything else that isn't working, like the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, will have to come later).

UPDATE: Well, I'm going to use https://github.com/hexdump0815/pmaports-amazon for the config now, didn't notice it the first time around. I also noticethat it's possible to get Wi-Fi working with https://github.com/hexdump0815/imagebuilder-firmware/blob/main/tablet_amazon_austin-firmware.tar.gz, that I will try out with my builds soon.

From https://github.com/hexdump0815/imagebuilder/tree/main/systems/tablet_amazon_austin:
wifi seems to work by using the android firmware and tools in a minimal android bionic chroot env
  • wifi can be stated via /scripts/start-wifi.sh
  • uncomment the start of this script in /etc/rc.local in case wifi should be enabled by default
  • wifi support was added in february 2022, so all images from before do not have it yet but it can be added easily afterwards
 
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Fandroid Tech

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2018
85
14
Moto G 5G
I'm working on this device right now. I just downloaded the repository below, and I will make a pull/merge request upstream soon.

I have my own fork of the pmaports repository at https://gitlab.com/Worldblender/pmaports, where I will push your files (eventually with my changes) to. Maybe we can work together on getting this tablet supported upstream, if you still want to (anything else that isn't working, like the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, will have to come later).

UPDATE: Well, I'm going to use https://github.com/hexdump0815/pmaports-amazon for the config now, didn't notice it the first time around. I also noticethat it's possible to get Wi-Fi working with https://github.com/hexdump0815/imagebuilder-firmware/blob/main/tablet_amazon_austin-firmware.tar.gz, that I will try out with my builds soon.

From https://github.com/hexdump0815/imagebuilder/tree/main/systems/tablet_amazon_austin:
You could package the wifi hack into an Alpine Linux for firmware package if you want. Debian 11 runs really well, to bad we can't get everything working.
 

Worldblender

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2015
52
43
Moto G Power
You could package the wifi hack into an Alpine Linux for firmware package if you want. Debian 11 runs really well, to bad we can't get everything working.
Will work on that soon. I just got a build to boot today, and basic functionality seems to be working. I'm going to try a different distro for accessing more functionality (likely Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04) I just opened up a merge request at https://gitlab.com/postmarketOS/pmaports/-/merge_requests/3251 for the progress on upstreaming.
 

Fandroid Tech

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2018
85
14
Moto G 5G
I'm thinking about using the exact same kernel that the LineageOS image uses:
This kernel has been updated to 3.10.108, and it's the last one for the 3.10 branch. I'm going to try creating a new build using this kernel, and see how it goes.

UPDATE: Three patches would not apply successfully for this kernel:
  • fix-host-card-inserted.patch
  • silence-power-logspam.patch
  • silence-thermal-logspam.patch
After building without these patches, the kernel boots, but it stays stuck without being able to process further, with some kernel messages displayed. I wonder what I should do to get this kernel working, or if this one shouldn't be used.
Use any kernel you want. It literally does not matter as it cannot be mainliner in the future anyways. It makes no difference what you use.
 

Worldblender

Senior Member
Feb 17, 2015
52
43
Moto G Power
Use any kernel you want. It literally does not matter as it cannot be mainliner in the future anyways. It makes no difference what you use.
Here's my results after building and boot it:
There are some kernel messages that pop up, and the splash screen never appears. It doesn't matter whether there is a microSD card inserted or not; there seems to be too many changes made to it from 3.10.54 to 3.10.108, along with additional changes that are designed more for Android/LineageOS usage. Finding every one of them is too much work for me.

Three patches would not apply successfully for this kernel:
  • fix-host-card-inserted.patch (will apply successfully once the entry for line 271 is removed)
  • silence-power-logspam.patch
  • silence-thermal-logspam.patch
Again, after building without these patches, the kernel boots, but it stays stuck without being able to proceed further, with some kernel messages displayed. I tried building without any of the patches shipped, but the end result is still the same. I need some help as to what what I should do to get this kernel working, or else I will go back to the 3.10.54 kernel that I know is actually booting to the splash screen. Here, I don't care whether I use a mainline kernel here, since I know the SOC is not supported by mainline. I simply care that I can get a newer kernel version working (from 3.10.54 to 3.10.108), unless there's too many changes for me to go through.
 

Fandroid Tech

Senior Member
Jan 23, 2018
85
14
Moto G 5G
Here's my results after building and boot it:
There are some kernel messages that pop up, and the splash screen never appears. It doesn't matter whether there is a microSD card inserted or not; there seems to be too many changes made to it from 3.10.54 to 3.10.108, along with additional changes that are designed more for Android/LineageOS usage. Finding every one of them is too much work for me.

Three patches would not apply successfully for this kernel:
  • fix-host-card-inserted.patch (will apply successfully once the entry for line 271 is removed)
  • silence-power-logspam.patch
  • silence-thermal-logspam.patch
Again, after building without these patches, the kernel boots, but it stays stuck without being able to proceed further, with some kernel messages displayed. I tried building without any of the patches shipped, but the end result is still the same. I need some help as to what what I should do to get this kernel working, or else I will go back to the 3.10.54 kernel that I know is actually booting to the splash screen. Here, I don't care whether I use a mainline kernel here, since I know the SOC is not supported by mainline. I simply care that I can get a newer kernel version working (from 3.10.54 to 3.10.108), unless there's too many changes for me to go through.
Just use the stock 3.10.54 kernel. Both versions have long since been EOL. It does not matter what is used as functionality will still the same, both now and any future development. I would not bother upgrading the kernel to 3.10.108. Hexdump told me a while back that somebody else maintaining a similar soc on the mainline branch told him that mainlining the device is almost impossible due to some proprietary components by Amazon. I am not entirely sure as to the validity of this claim but I think that it is not worth the effort of upgrading the kernel of this device. Check this page for more info, I found it to be very helpful to my port. https://wiki.postmarketos.org/wiki/Amazon_Fire_7_2015_(amazon-ford)
 

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