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Former Administrator
Posts: 8,592
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: US
Message 71 of 155 (2,542 Views)

Re: Android Source Code




Thanks for the additional feedback.  We made some progress on the A1 but still don't have everything ready to update the package in the download link.   Hopefully early next week .




I'll pass along your feedback on the K1.   Probably will be at least Tuesday before I know anything more on this.







What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-20-2012
Location: Srbija
Message 72 of 155 (2,161 Views)

Re: Android Source Code

Any news?
Paper Tape
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-06-2012
Location: USA
Message 73 of 155 (2,109 Views)

Re: Android Source Code

Any updates?

Former Administrator
Posts: 8,592
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: US
Message 74 of 155 (2,047 Views)

Re: Android Source Code




What I'm hearing back from the team is the thought that  you may be using tools for version 4 of android rather than the honeycomb tools and it was thought that might be the issue.  Are some others you have checked with using the same sdk?  Are there others you could try to see if the result differ?  Do you have the honeycomb specific tools?


Any more details you can provide ?  


I think someone also asked about the bootloader on K1 - unfortunately, it turns out (so I'm told) that this is proprietary to one of our suppliers and can't be released.  Not open source.


gmarkall and others interested in A1,


Still working on the missing items and the boot loaders - x-loader and U-boot.   Probably several more days to get a complete package and update the link for download. 


Sorry for the delay.   Please bear with us a bit longer.



Punch Card
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎12-31-2011
Location: USA
Message 75 of 155 (2,033 Views)

Re: Android Source Code


I have used every arm-eabi- toolchain going back to the beginning of time (ok, slight exaggeration). I have tried every toolchain I can find, along with different versions of gcc. I get the same results no matter the toolchain or gcc version. The toolchains I am using are not android 4.0.X specific and have been used by MANY other developers to compile a 2.6.36 honeycomb kernel for other devices, from the kernel source their manufacturer provided.


I fail to accept that the issue is with my toolchain or build machine. I am requesting the exact version of the toolchain that the dev team is using along with the gcc version they are using. I will then duplicate the setup on my build machine and see if the kernel will boot. 


Thanks for your help Mark, but the runaround we're getting from the development team is ridiculous. I don't understand why it's so hard for them to provide a definite response or proper working kernel source code. 



Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-27-2011
Location: GB
Message 76 of 155 (1,970 Views)

Re: Android Source Code



Thanks for the status update - looking forward to receiving the updated kernel/bootloaders package when it becomes available.




What about posting a log of the exact steps you used to configure and build the kernel, and the output of the build process? That way Mark will have something to pass on to the development team, and they might be able to suggest any additional steps that need to be taken.


Geoponer and Tinybeetle,


Demanding that Lenovo provide the source code for everything used to build the software on the A1 is excessive. As well as them not being required to provide all this, it's very likely that there are other proprietary components in their repositories that they don't have source distribution rights for (TI libraries, bundled apps, etc). Unpicking the sources they could distribute from the sources they couldn't would likely be a time-consuming process, and the benefit to the community of having the entire distributable source tree wouldn't be worth the wait for it.


Let's just keep our focus on the GPL components instead - it will be better for everyone.

Serial Port
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
Location: Athens, Greece
Message 77 of 155 (1,922 Views)

Re: Android Source Code

Dear Graham,


I totally understand what you are saying and I know that you have the technical background and knowledge to fully understand these concepts. On the other hand, I have to admit that I cannot fully explain what GPL, boot loaders etc., as I lack the knowledge. I am only speaking as a customer/user who is expecting the things that are supposed to be delivered, in order for the community to obtain the required tools in order to start the development of new, revised ROMs, removing unwanted pieces of software and adding new, useful features (for example USB-OTG support) that can be implemented. As I mentioned earlier, I believe that the current software of A1 does not make justice to the existing hardware; I expect to see much more things from A1 with the appropriate software developments from the community.


Thank you for clearing things up for me. I respect the time and effort you dedicated so far in the development of CM7 for A1, despite the fact that you had no access to this critical mass of code and be sure that I will follow your next steps in future developments.


Let us all wait and see when are the missing pieces of this puzzle going to be available to the community. 

Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-27-2011
Location: GB
Message 78 of 155 (1,909 Views)

Re: Android Source Code

[ Edited ]

Hi Geoponer, 


Thanks for responding. I agree with you that we can definitely push the A1 hardware further than it currently is being used, and I share your excitement for being able to use the source to exploit the hardware more.


Just to clarify things, GPL is the GNU General Public Licence [1]. In essence, any developer who takes software that is licensed under the GPL, makes modifications to it, and then distributes compiled versions of this modified code, is also obliged to make their modified sources available to those who receive the modified software. There are some other conditions to the GPL, but this is the relevant one for us in this discussion. 


The pieces of software that are in the A1 that are licensed under the GPL version 2 are (amongst others, but these are the ones I'm specifically aware of and interested in)


  • The Linux kernel (I believe this is well-known :-) )
  • The X-Loader [2]. This is a simple first stage bootloader that is small and simple enough to be loaded by the processor's internal ROM. It sets up the processor and a couple of other bits of hardware, and then loads the next stage bootloader, which is;
  • The U-Boot bootloader [2]. This is a more complete bootloader. It does a bit more setting up of the hardware, displays the Lenovo logo (the static one without the lens flare), and then loads the Linux kernel and a Ramdisk that contains some initial binaries and settings that the kernel runs in order to start bringing up the rest of the system.

Having access to the Linux kernel will (assuming there's no technical reason the hardware doesn't support it) allow us to provide USB-OTG support, touchscreen support for unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich builds, amongst other things. 


Having the sources to X-loader and U-Boot will mainly allow us to make changes that make development easier - the benefit to the community will most likely be some changes we can make that make it easier to test different kernel builds on the device. It'll also allow us to change the first Lenovo splash screen if we want to (Obviously a top priority! :-P) 


With the release of these three items, we really will have everything we need to be able to do anything (software-wise) that we want with the device, within the bounds of the hardware possibilities. The majority of the Android source code is open-source but licensed under the Apache Software Licence [3], which means that Lenovo do not have to provide us with their modified sources. Although there's no legal reason for Lenovo to give us the source for the ASL-licensed code, there's no technical need either - we can get the sources that we need from the Android Open Source Project [4], or, as I have been doing, the Cyanogenmod repositories [5].


Like you, I'm very much looking forward to the release of these GPL components, which hopefully won't be too long from now.




[1] I tried to find a concise summary of the GPL, but failed. In ascending order of readability, these are reliable (but lengthy) resources: - the GPL Licence version 2 text. - The GPL version 2 FAQ. - Wikipedia GPL entry (looks reasonable to me, obviously anyone can edit it!).


[2] - A description of the boot process on OMAP devices, of the the A1 is one of. It describes X-loader and U-Boot, and how the boot process works in detail. 


[3] - A brief description of why AOSP uses the Apache Software Licence.


[4] - The Android Open Source Project.


[5] - The Cyanogenmod repositories.


Fanfold Paper
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎11-13-2011
Location: USA
Message 79 of 155 (1,698 Views)

Release the Source Code for the Kernel

Dear Lenovo:


Do everyone, especially your customers, a huge favor by releasing the source code to the kernel for the A1 and K1 tablets so that the development community at xda-developers can complete a masterful revision of the fundamental Android software. You'll sell far more tablets and we'll be much happier instead of complaining here endlessly about all the stuff that doesn't work, that should have worked and you still don't have working.


I am an early adopter. Some of the issues are truly ridiculous and could have been solved. These people will do it for you at no cost. Don't be stupid. Don't worry about your egos. Nobody cares. You're not going to make a dime extra in your own private marketplace, drummed up by executives in an ivory tower in every major corporation. We know it's not happening. Don't be tempted. Make that revenue in hardware since once word gets out, people will buy up the remaining inventory just to root it. You know it. We know. Just do it! Smiley Happy

Token Ring
Posts: 296
Registered: ‎12-26-2011
Location: Philippines
Message 80 of 155 (1,679 Views)

Re: Release the Source Code for the Kernel

Lol. I am now really pessimistic about this releasing the source code comittment. It took asus only two weeks to release the ics code branch for tf. But it takes lenovo to release the honeycomb code branch almost 8 months, which in my understanding no one able to compile it because of obscurities. There is a clear line of just releasing just to say you released something. And releasing something that can be actually useful and can be used by the persons interested.
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