It took a bit longer than originally planned, but we’re finally able to announce the first Reference Software Platform release (alpha).

The Reference Software Platform Lead Project is part of the Linaro 96Boards initiative. The goal of the project is to deliver Linaro output for ARM SoCs using 96Boards products for use cases ranging from the Embedded to the Enterprise segments. This release includes bootloader, kernel, distributions (Debian) and AOSP. It comprise loadable software for the current 96Boards products (HiKey and Dragonboard410c), reference source code, and documentation on installing the images and building the source code.

In case you are unfamiliar with the project, we had a great session that was presented during Linaro Connect SFO15, and it can be found at LINK REMOVED

Goals we had for this release:

  • Bootstrap the CI jobs required to build and publish the components and images (more details at https://github.com/96boards/documentation/wiki/Reference-Software-CI)

  • Single Debian root file system that could be consumed by both HiKey and Dragonboard410c

  • Recent kernel, even if not yet fully functional, since the goal is to reduce maintenance and support overhead and accelerate ongoing development by focusing on upstream feature support

  • AOSP based on latest Android Release (6.0 Marshmallow), initially just HiKey

A lot was accomplished during last month, and we’re happy to announce that we’re using a 4.3 based kernel for both HiKey and Dragonboard410c (Debian). The builds are still not sharing the same branch (due conflicts at the adv7511 driver), but we hope to be able to get this fixed over the next few weeks (and published as part of our next release).

While the release supports many of the available hardware features for both Hikey and Dragonboard410c, it is in ALPHA state, so bugs are expected. For a better user experience, please use the previous releases available at https://builds.96boards.org/releases/dragonboard410c/ and https://builds.96boards.org/releases/hikey/.

Highlights for this release:

CE Debian RPBs:

  • Debian 8.2 “Jessie”

  • 4.3 kernel (with additional patches)

  • OpenJDK 8 included by default

  • 96Boards artworks and default settings

CE AOSP RPB:

  • AOSP Android Marshmallow 6.0

  • 3.18 based kernel

Install instructions, known issues, test reports and instructions to build from source are all published at https://github.com/96boards/documentation/wiki/ReferenceSoftware. We should also see more progress into a more complete set of documentation during the course of the next release.

For general questions or support requests, please go to the 96boards.org Community forum - https://discuss.96boards.org/. Please submit bugs to the 96Boards.org bugzilla (https://bugs.96boards.org/).  For IRC support, please go to the #96boards channel @Freeode.

Make sure to check https://github.com/96boards/documentation/wiki/ReferenceSoftware for more information about this project and the release.

Challenges for the next release (15.12 - official date to be announced):

  • Have both boards using a single kernel tree/branch and a single kernel binary

  • Better understanding about the upstream gaps

  • Adding support for CE AOSP for Dragonboard410c (with freedreno)

  • Adding support for CE OE/Yocto

  • Enterprise Edition

We hope you enjoy the release!

On behalf of the Linaro 96Boards team,

Ricardo Salveti