There was a time around two a long time ago, when the new hotness was having manage of dwelling routers to use as little Linux computer systems. An echo of this period lives on in the name of the OpenWrt negligible Linux distribution, in reference to the Linksys WRT54G router which started it all. Routers as smaller desktops were being displaced by compact affordable Linux equipment from the likes of Raspberry Pi, and the promise of discarded residence community equipment performing appealing things receded. Now it might just be back, as [Jasper Devreker] exhibits us an Android Tv set set-leading box from a cell provider repurposed as a Linux laptop or computer that can even run a desktop atmosphere.
The technique commences as you could anticipate, by pinpointing a secret connector as a debug serial port. This outputs all sorts of fascinating boot facts, but can be dropped into a uBoot shell. From listed here with a bit of effort the eMMC storage could be dumped, and from that the nature of the equipment could be deduced. The CPU is an Amlogic quad core ARM Cortex-A53 SoC, which by a stroke of luck is a concentrate on for which an Armbian create is available. From there a Linux set up could be assembled, and even an AFCE desktop.
These packing containers are handed out in the hundreds of countless numbers by household connectivity vendors, so there is benefit in this type of hack as they turn into obtainable for experimenters. Possibly it is more helpful as a little headless Linux machine than as a desktop, but we feeling there are far more machines to appear in this line.
If you’d like a small bit of heritage on hackable Linux units, have a browse of one of our earliest posts featuring the Linksys WRT54G.