PicUntu-4.5-nand-BasicGUI installer - One file, few click install.


Close on the heals of release of 4.4.3, we are happy to present
PicUntu 4.5-nand-BasicGUI, A complete Linux distribution all images (yes kernel, system, boot et all) AND the installer. The zipped file and a few clicks, will be all it takes, to get your own PicUntu.

Link to the file is here
--- > PicUntu 4.5-nand-BasicGUI

PicUntu 4.5 Basic Installer kit aims to make the installation, configuration and operations easy and convenient for end user to be able to use it, without worrying about the technology behind it.

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All this packed in less than 247 MB !! - that's PicUntu 4.5-NAND-BasicGUI-kit

What does it do?
One click (actually 4 ) install of PicUntu on Android stick.

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Who is it for?

  1. Home use, multimedia users - even with 720p video files, the average load on CPU does not go beyond 30-35%.
  2. Small servers, linux desktops, linux webservers (http://picuntu.g8.net is a web-server running on PicUntu 2.2 since Feb 2013)
  3. In addition to the home users for the multi-media PicUntu-4.5 is the first business device that works out-of-the box for business users as well.
  4. It is snappy, fast and robust.

What does it have?

  • It has PicUntu 4.5 - kernels, boot, system file, with basic GUI.
  • It is based on Ubuntu 13.04, with xfce4.
  • I have added support for more than 200+ drivers, it should be a breeze to connect peripherals to this. If not, let me know with a pointer to source and I will try to get the driver compiled.
  • File system support - nfs, ntfs, cramfs, cifsutils, smb... - several remote controls, external usb ethernet, external usb wifi, vpn, pptp, vtun, Serial port - FTD, usb serial, UART, GPS-Garmin, sound card, touch screen... and many more (more than 200.)
  • Built in RDP application - run it like a powerful and hybrid thin client - to run and access Windows/Linux/Other OS.
  • Lot of tweaking has been done on the system level to make it responsive and blazing fast - Give it a spin, you would see the difference yourself.
  • Sound/Video work off the first boot.
  • Wlan0 should be pre-loaded, just click on the wicd-network to configure for your network.

*** WARNING ***

  • This package deletes all data from the your device. Your ANDROID will be gone !!
  • MOST manufacturers will void their warranty, if you flash un-authorized ROMs
  • I have heard of people bricking their device permanently, though I have yet to witness this.
  • So please be careful, you would be responsible for your own loss - or loads of fun.

*** WARNING ****

How do I install this?

  1. Use Windows machine, Download picuntu-4.5-nand-complete.zip. Unzip at any location.
  2. Click on rk_flash_1.37--> RKAndroidtool.exe
  3. At this time you need to get the device in bootloader mode. Use a pin to press the button on the device (this is explained on the forums) or run reboot bootloader in android.
  4. On your windows PC, when the application is launched, you should see at the bottom - "Device Found for Flashing"
  5. ** If you get that message go ahead, if not go back to step 5 and 6 till you get the message "Device Found for Flashing" ***
  6. Make sure that the following options are CHECKED
    1. binloader
    2. parameter
    3. kernel
    4. boot
    5. system
  7. Basically the following have to be UNCECKED (NOT SELECTED)
    1. misc
    2. recovery
    3. backup
    4. (I don't yet know how to configure the flashtool, once I do, step 7 can be eliminated - if some kind soul can share with me - I will be obliged)
  8. First Erase NAND
  9. Select Flash ROM

The device should now boot into a fresh new PicUntu.

* IMPORTANT NOTE * - The first boot

  • The first time, it boots, it will take a while to come up... lot of work goes on , filesystem is resized, wifi module is modprobed. and other minor optimization. It might even appear to have stalled, wait for it to come back. It will come back.
  • If it does not boot into the GUI the first time - after having waited for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Reboot the device. This time it should be faster.
  • The login user is "picuntu" the password is "12qwaszx" (please change this password asap)

What does not work (yet)
- Hardware video acceleration
- Bluetooth.
- My Lenovo Touchscreen :-(

Some key people who deserve credit for this work
- mmm123 (for sharing his learning)
- leolas (always eager to help)
- linuxium (for the nand configuration file, partition schema, rkwifi.ko insertion.. and many more things...)
- Galland - (for his nice work on framebuffers, video and basically everything hardware)
- Omegamoon and Astralix have been instrumental in getting the PicUntu going on the 3188 devices. Including the latest 3.0.72+ sources, which is available for use on his github.
- I used Finless ROMs parameter files and his postings to learn about the basics of boot.img
- I used rk3xxmodtools to zip/unzip create boot image files... (have a shell script file now)
- Borrowed from several users on the forums - the small tips of things they have solved various issues - from time, to sound, to many other...
- Andrew Kirby, Perry Kivolowitz have been extra-ordinarily generous with their support by sponsoring development devices. Many devices were received.
- Several people have contributed for documenting
- many more who I may have missed above, but their work deserves accolades.

Source + .Config
The source used is from the original Linux3188 source code released - this is where it is
All kernels, I create have
/proc/config.gz enabled, just use any of the devices to use the same for your own kernels.
EDIT: This one does NOT have the /proc/gz - My bad, I have updated the config file on the github, you can get the same here. The next updated version will carry this.

Linux users
Can you use Linux to flash this into your stick. You can theoritically flash the images - boot, kernel, system at the respective places using Linux desktop. There are also some very awesome tools created by linuxerwang, galland that help you flash the files.

However, for large file transfers, there is always a scope of errors to creep in. And hence, more often than not it fails. Perry was working on this, and he put in some checks at each write and read - but, I am not sure, if the final files have been working (specially for large files - system.img decompresses to 1.2Gb)

What happens, if I want my android back
Worry not, you can always switch back to andrioid, by flashing back the stock rom or the various - very nice android custom roms available across various forums. Ofcourse, you would have to let go of PicUntu.

I have never been a fan of the LZMA format, even though I knew they give a higher compression settings... Tar/gz was working great for me. BUT... seeing others use this format, I wondered if it would give enough reasons for the shift. And sure enough, it shaved off about 25% of the file size in compression. (another learning from the forums). WinRAR will be a good option to uncompress this.

What's Next

  • Other devices to be supported - I am keen on R42, TronSmart T428, MK908, RADXA..
  • Release a 'full' gui version, with complete processing world - gimp, libreoffice, media players, editors etc. Even now, you can manually do this by add the specific applications.
  • Release a 'server' version to run headless. You can pretty much install any server even today (available from Ubuntu 13.04) repos. We will make it pre-loaded and pre-configured.
  • More drivers.
  • But most importantly, we would continue to make it more and more simple for the end user.