Kernel/bootloader source code

Discussion in 'ZIDOO X9S' started by Bob Ham, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

  2. cobra78

    cobra78 Member

    Zidoo does not release the source code for the firmwares of their devices.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  3. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    The X9S runs Android. Android only runs on top of the kernel named Linux. Therefore the kernel for the X9S must necessarily be Linux. Linux is free software (sometimes referred to as "open source") and released under the terms of the GNU GPL, version 2. The terms of this license require anybody distributing binary versions of software, such as on the flash memory of a device like the X9S, to also offer copies of the software source code to anyone receiving the binary. If Zidoo are not providing the source code for the version of Linux running on their X9S devices, to users of those devices, then they are violating the terms of their license and infringing copyright. They would be GPL violators.

    Are Zidoo refusing to provide the source code for the version of Linux running on their X9S devices?
  4. cobra78

    cobra78 Member

    If you want to have the source code of the Android OS & Linux kernel you have to look at buying a
    development board from eg. Odroid/Hardkernel or Firefly, you won't get it here for any tv box.
  5. tomeeli

    tomeeli Member

    Why do you need it?
  6. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    In that case Zidoo are GPL violators. I wonder if there are any Zidoo employees here who can shed some light on the situation? freeroc? mirror? spring? zidoo?
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  7. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    I was looking at buying an X9S. If I were to have bought one, then I would have used the Linux source to compile my own binaries, which is pretty much a prerequisite to porting Debian to the machine. If I have Debian on a machine then I'm no longer beholden to the manufacturer and I can use a variety of very excellent media players. I can also continue keeping the machine up to date after the manufacturer either stops supporting the device or goes bust. I also would have helped upstream the X9S-specific parts of Linux so that mainline worked with the X9S out of the box, a separate kernel tree would not need to be maintained and basically the machine would be very widely supported by a very large number of distributions and software for a very long time.

    Obviously though, I'm not going to buy a machine like the X9S if I can't get access to the kernel source code. And I'm certainly not going to support a GPL violator by buying one of their GPL-violating products :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  8. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    To be clear, Android is licensed under different terms to Linux; the Apache license rather than the GPL. The Apache license permits distribution of binaries without having to provide the source code whereas the GPL specifically requires that the source code is made available to anyone receiving binaries.

    I'm not asking Zidoo for the source code to the version of Android on the X9S. I'm asking Zidoo for the source code to the version of Linux on the X9S.

    I'm also asking Zidoo for the source code to the bootloader, which I'm presuming will be U-Boot. U-Boot is licensed under the same terms as Linux, the GPL. However, I don't know for sure that the bootloader is U-Boot whereas I do know that the kernel is Linux; the kernel must necessarily be Linux if the machine is running Android.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  9. HaoSs

    HaoSs Well-Known Member Beta test group Contributor

    i hope you get it. having linux on this baby should be golden.
  10. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

  11. cobra78

    cobra78 Member

    The Realtek chipset used in the device has almost no Linux support, only Openwrt, no mainline Linux OS.
    Even if you could get a Linux OS like Debian running there would be no drivers for the GPU, VPU and 90% of the other hardware.
    If you want Opensource Android, Linux and mainline kernel support, it's better to go for a Firefly RK3399 that support all that.
    They work directly with the chipset manufacturer to upstream any Linux changes.
    This box is an Android one and marketed as one, don't expect mainline Linux to ever run on it.
    Lony likes this.
  12. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    There are two different things here. Firstly there is Linux support. That means that there is a version of Linux which supports the hardware, in some fashion. The kernel contains drivers for the hardware. This is useful. In order for either OpenWRT or Android to run on a device, there must necessarily be a working Linux kernel. This is the kernel whose source code I want. And not only do I want the source code, but the GPL gives owners of the X9S a right to that source code.

    Secondly, there is mainline Linux support. All that means is that the drivers for the hardware have been submitted to the Linux developers and accepted. This is a code management issue and nothing to do with hardware support.

    Again, there needs to be some clarification. There must necessarily be drivers in the version of Linux running on the machine, otherwise Linux cannot drive the hardware and the machine won't work :) There is some hardware whose Linux drivers are proprietary, or which require proprietary libraries in userspace in order to make use of a free software driver in the kernel. However, those kinds of drivers are generally for peripherals such as the GPU, a GPS chip, etc. A machine can be, and usually is useful even without such proprietary blobs. See, for example, the Replicant project.

    The GPU in the Realtek RTD1295 SoC is an ARM Mali T820. There is a project to create a free software driver for the Mali hardware acceleration called Lima.

    As for the other hardware, the number "90%" is pulled out of the air. It could be 90%. It could be 0%. Without the source code, we cannot know. And again, the GPL gives owners of the X9S a right to that source code.

    Zidoo are obliged by the GPL to offer the complete and corresponding source code for the version of Linux running on their machines, to everyone who buys one. Zidoo obliged themselves to do this when they first started using Linux. The only way that Linux is licensed is under those terms. If Zidoo doesn't abide by the license then they are violating the intellectual property rights of the Linux developers.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  13. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    Could someone from Zidoo please comment on this thread?

    Alternatively, can anyone tell me how else I might contact Zidoo? I've emailed as per but I haven't had any response. I've also started a private Conversation on this forum with the users freeroc, mirror, spring and zidoo but again, no response.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  14. nemeth

    nemeth New Member

    I think Zidoo received Realtek ASDK for firmware development and Linux kernel is a part of it. And violating NDA is a much bigger trouble than violating GPL.
  15. Bob Ham

    Bob Ham New Member

    Do you work for Zidoo?
  16. freeroc

    freeroc Active Member SUPER Administrator Zidoo TECH Supporter Beta test group

    No,he don't.But he got a point there.
  17. computerguru

    computerguru New Member

    If the Banana Pi dev team can release the kernel source code (which contains the device tree for RTD129x chips), Zidoo can too:

    The fact that Zidoo hasn't released the source to their u-boot and kernel implementations is a blatant violation of the GPL.
    Pelayo likes this.
  18. danman

    danman Member

    I second this. Zidoo, provide the sources! At least the u-boot config.
    Pelayo likes this.

Share This Page