About U-Boot bootloader

  • Hello.

    I'm trying to build bootloader for my Omega 2. I don't like Omega2's stock bootloader because it does not allow me to flash using TFTP over Ethernet or other various features exists in Ralink U-Boot (i.e. Linkit 7688's one, various Mediatek based home wrts, etc). Since bootloader flashing is quite dangerous (possible to "hard brick" it -- need heat gun and SOIC clip to re-flash it), I want to minimize my mistake. So I looked for Omega2's hacked Ralink U-Boot source code but I couldn't find any.

    My question is:

    • Ralink U-Boot is based on U-Boot (GPLv2). Also, Omega2's bootloader seems to based on Ralink U-Boot (It clearly states "Onion Omega2 UBoot Version:" in their bootloader UART output), so it is subjected to GPLv2. So Onion MUST release its source code. but I cannot find one. Are they violating GPL?
    • Whether Onion keeps violating GPL or not, I'm going to compile Linkit bootloader or Padavan bootloader for my Omega. Is there any major chip list (SPI flash, DRAM, etc) available? I just don't want hurting Omega2's EMI shield to read part numbers.

  • @perillamint- Without a JTAG port on the Omegas, makes sense to me.

    Lazar (@Lazar-Demin) is the guy to ask, he did say this here a few days ago.

    We hear what you guys are saying in terms of the community working [to] make the firmware better, so we will be open sourcing the firmware sometime in March as well :)

    Thank you all for your continued patience and support for a young company <3

  • Omega 2+ Flash is an MX25L25645GM2I-10G, which incidentally is a fatally erroneous choice for an MT7688 system, as due to its stateful addressing mode with power-on default of 3-byte mode cannot be operated to utilize its full capacity in a way that will allow the system to reliably restart after unexpected resets. Macronix's alternative MX25L25735F with permanent 4-byte addressing, or another vendor's chip with stateless addressing or configurable power-on default would have been a suitable choice. Note the U-Boot is typically imprecise in software differentiation of Macronix parts in terms of the messages printed.

    DDR is an NT5TU64M16HG

    The plain Omega2 will of course use different flash and RAM, and would not appear to have the same reset issue with flash selection.

  • Any news about the Omega2+ u-boot source code?

  • As much as I like the Omega2, so annoying it is to see what a terribly hard time the onion devs seem to have to fulfill their GPL obligations, be it for the full LEDE setup, be it for the modified U-Boot :-(

    The latest changes in the published LEDE clone in Onion's github are from January.

    Come on, even Apple has learnt to develop in the open! Please @Lazar-Demin just push that LEDE tree of yours, including the .config, /files/* and possibly patches! And UBoot! As is!

    Nobody expects an untagged master branch to be anything but work in progress! If it does not build as-is, if some packages are missing because they are copyright issues (proprietary Wifi driver?) - still much better than months and months of void!

    And it would really be sad if you were working hard (I'm sure you are!) for the next Omega2 firmware without giving the community a chance to contribute to it!

  • such good belief in fellow man, luz. myself i have become sardonic when concerns this omega2. i can imagine they are busy with omega3 to get it ready for kickstarter and indiegogo. i'd be surprised actually if they released anything related to omega2 since it has been almost 5 months since 160 released.

  • @Douglas-Kryder yes, I tend to believe in good intentions until proven otherwise.
    You can call me naive ;-)

    But really doing open source is not easy - it's already not trivial to get the feel for open source as a developer, but it's unbelievable to see again and again how difficult it seems to be for decision makers. There's still a deeply ingrained anxiety that opening means giving options away, and thus could be a bad business decision. So even with good intentions, things tend to get stranded midway - instead of pushing through into the profit zone of real open source, which is free development resources!

    Had the firmware build been available for improvement (rather than replacement by stock LEDE as it is now), I bet the community would long have fixed many general Linux/LEDE/chipset issues and many questions on this forum could be answered by a simple link to a improved/fixed firmware image.

    BTW: I would prefer Onion spending time for developing cool new hardware they can sell for profit and sustain the company, rather than struggling with the tedious maintainance of a private LEDE tree!

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