A13-OLinuXino running Debian preview


Many people ask what is the situation with the Linux support on A13. Last Friday Dimitar Gamishev came to our office to show us what he did.

He uses the “community” Uboot and the Kernel from http://linux-sunxi.org/Main_Page and made boot-able SD-card with Debian and made small show to us:



you even have Gimp






Libre office:



Needless to say USB keyboard, mouse, USB-to Ethernet based on AX77882 dongles and the RTL8188CU WIFI adapters are supported, so you got small board consuming 2W with desktop perfrormance.

Unfortunately the video accelerator is not supported by the “community” Linux image as they are available only as binaries and not GPL compliant, let’s hope Allwinner will release proper GPL sources soon, they promissed this to XBMC group but it’s hard to say when this will be available.

Meantime we ran Linaro video test at @30 fps and here you can see that even without video accelerator A13 is capable to play the video without any slow down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHMCGD59t54

With this Linux bootable SD-card you can keep your Android image in the NAND flash and experiment with Linux on A13.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lori
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 19:29:10

    What version of Debian is this? Is it Wheezy?
    Wheezy is the first version of Debian to support Gtk+3 so it would be great if you got it to work!


  2. Nghia Phan
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 21:09:41

    Any plan to have Linux to boot from NAND?


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Sep 25, 2012 @ 22:25:14

      yes, this is possible too, linux can boot both from sd card or nand depend on where the image is burned


      • Jlumme
        Sep 27, 2012 @ 03:33:06

        I know this is little off topic, but I thought still I’ll give it a try.
        We bought your maxi board as a reference, since it pretty much hits all the sweet spots for us, except boot target..
        You guys obviously know your stuff, and I hope you help me bridge a gap in my knowledge of boot process..
        How should we connect flash chip itself to mx233, and make boot loader boot from it? We wouldnt mind documenting our solution for others as well, once we get it running.
        There is a bit longer topic in your forums as well, where I’ve been asking these questions (imx233 bitburner): https://www.olimex.com/forum/index.php?topic=5.0

        Thanks for any possible tips!

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Sep 27, 2012 @ 09:29:39

        If I knew the answer I would answer directly on our forum as I saw your question there, but we never did such configuration – booting from external flash
        I’m sure this is possible, but someone have to read the datasheets and experiment, also you should think for some kind of tool which to program this flash, A13 have such tool which program which can erase and re-program the flash, I’m not sure for iMX233

      • ric.rug
        Oct 12, 2012 @ 16:05:40

        How should be prepared the NAND flash?
        Is there a step-by-step guide?

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Oct 12, 2012 @ 16:23:10

        not yet, but we will do this soon 🙂

  3. Dimitar Gamishev
    Sep 25, 2012 @ 22:18:51

    Lori, yes it is wheezy 🙂


  4. Roberto Navoni
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 01:50:02

    Great News , where is possible to download the immage for doing first test ?


  5. Bobby
    Sep 26, 2012 @ 20:45:26

    What is the default memory split between the CPU and GPU and is there a way to change it?


  6. vuminh
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 05:13:02

    I has developed an custom beagebone, i has adding VGA modul for my board follow your solution used r/2r ladder, but i thing it is not best solutions, i has test another solutions used r/2r lader and get better video graphic, if you attention on my sotution please note me by email, i want help you get better video graphic with your board, i ‘m like your board!


  7. octapod
    Sep 27, 2012 @ 13:30:05

    BTW, can’t the binary (proprietary) video drivers be used ?


  8. cherva
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 16:44:36

    Can Dimitar Gamishev make an image from his sd card and publish it so we can all see the epicnes of his work 🙂


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