Usb, Linux And Pandora


danboid

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I would like to alay an increasingly common misconception breeding on these boards relating to using USB devices with the Pandora, as I think the way things are portrayed in the Pandora FAQ ( http://pandorawiki.org/FAQ#Will_I_be_able_...h_my_Pandora.3F ) make things sound a lot worse than they really are. Here's my suggestion for an update to the FAQ, which I wanted to post here for refinement and approval by the forum first. This will hopefully end those posts like "...but of course we'll need Linux ARM drivers for my device" and by doing this they are demonstrating their lack of Linux kernel conception, but its not their fault if they've never ran Linux on an ARM device with USB host before.

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Theoretically, any USB2 host capable ARM device such as the Pandora enables you to use pretty much any and every USB(2) device that works with Linux on your desktop/laptop PC. That includes 99% of USB keyboards, mice, memory sticks, DVD burners, hard drives, memory card readers and joypads/sticks- all this sort of hardware usually just works without issue under any modern Linux distro- be it on ARM or intel or PPC or whatever. So, try a new version of Ubuntu, Mandriva or whatever on your PC (you could just boot it off the CD in most cases) and see if your USB device works on your PC. If so then chances are very good it'll work with your Pandora too. There are plenty of ways to interface your ipod with a Linux box, for example totally bypassing any need for itunes with a little python script you can simply click to run.

http://shuffle-db.sourceforge.net/

Printers and scanners are more selective with Linux. For printers, search for your model on the OpenPrinting database:

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/OpenPrin...e/DatabaseIntro

For Scanners, search for your model here:

http://www.sane-project.org/sane-supported-devices.html

DVB-T (USB TV Tuner) adaptors (IF Pandora has enough horsepower/ storage throughput for this task)

http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/DVB-T_USB_Devices

For a more complete list of miscellaneous USB device support under Linux see:

http://www.qbik.ch/usb/devices/devices.php

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Anyone know of a better link for a Linux kernel USB device support? I picked that last link at random.
 

Pickle

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danboid said:
So, try a new version of Ubuntu, Mandriva or whatever on your PC (you could just boot it off the CD in most cases) and see if your USB device works on your PC. If so then chances are very good it'll work with your Pandora too.
Consider changing this part, I think some could take it as that if they booted off a USB flash drive on their PC they can just plug it into Pandora and it would work the same. Which isnt entirly true, while the boot process is the same the OS being booted on the card needs to support the arch of the machine being plugged into.
 
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danboid

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Hi Pickle!

Thanks for your suggestion-I do get the point you are making about binary incompatibility (ie you can't run a PC/x86 distro on an ARM device) but IMO I don't see how what I wrote could be mistook for 'try booting a PC Linux distro on your Pandora' when I meant 'try plugging your USB device into a PC running Linux' - what do others think? Is it wrote in a potentially misleading way? I wasn't talking about ports, binary compatibility between different architectures, compiling or any such subject- strictly USB hardware and Linux here.

I think you're saying I need to add something like:

"Although Linux has the same appearance, programs, and USB hardware support across different hardware platforms (ie PC vs Pandora Linux) you cannot run Linux distributions or programs that haven't been compiled specifically for your platform. Under Linux, 99% of hardware drivers are built-into the kernel or come as an add-on package with your distro (ie xorg, sane etc.) so if you're hardware is supported it often work as soon as you attach the device."

??
 

nubie

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This should help, but the main problem is with people wanting TV Tuners and DVI video cards, this will not address them directly.

It is a good start. We sorely need some info on whether any ARM drivers exist for USB Tuners and Video Cards.
 

danboid

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Hi Nubie!

I have experimented with DVB-T (Digital TV) viewing and recording using Kaffeine under Linux on my PC and it works great. Seeing as Kaffeine is a KDE app we could do with an alternate app for use on the Pandora. I know xawdecode is also supposedly capable of viewing and recording DVB streams but I haven't tested it out.

I bought an MSI Mega Sky USB DVB-T adaptor because they work under (x86) Linux without having to download or install any special firmware files, as you do for many other chipsets. Whats even better is that it only cost me £8 new!

http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/DVB-...01_DVB-T_USB2.0

Not only does my Zaurus lack USB2 but it is also totally incapable of even playing back an unmodified DVB MPEG stream and so I cannot tell you if my adaptor works under ARM Linux. This is a question only someone with a beagleboard or Pandora dev board who also has a USB DVB-T dongle can answer I'm afraid but I've updated my USB FAQ above with the necessary link now anyway.
 

danboid

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Chip said:
I modified that section of the FAQ to be a little less ominous.
Thanks chip- it better represents Linux's mainly excellent USB support now than it did before. Previously the FAQ made it sound like Pandora users would be lucky to get anything working when that will not be the case at all.

Didja know Linux was the first OS/kernel to have USB2 support?
 
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