Early builds of XBMC for Linux ported to Allwinner A10 devices

One of the nice things about tablets, mini PCs, and other devices with Allwinner A10 processors is that it’s very easy to get Ubuntu, Fedora, or other Linux-based operating systems to run on them. And once of the nice things about those operating systems is that they make excellent media centers when you add the open source XBMC media center software.

Up until recently, though, XBMC didn’t play well with Allwinner A10 chips. But it looks like that’s starting to change.

XBMC splash screen

Neal Peacock has a build of XBMC that he plans to include with the PengPod tablets… if and when he brings them to market. And Jas-Hacks has compiled an Ubuntu-based operating system with a working XBMC app for the Hackberry A10 developer board.

Theoretically the Jas-Hacks software should run on other devices with Allwinner A10 processors, but it’s not quite ready for prime time yet. I took it for a spin on an MK802 mini PC today and while the operating system boots and I was able to get to the XBMC splash screen, the device rebooted before it fully loaded the media center software.

CNX-Software had similar results using the software on a Mele A1000 box.

But you can see what XBMC looks like on a HackBerry A10 in the video below.

Just about everything seems to be working, including smooth transitions from one menu to the next and 720p HD video playback. Theoretically 1080p HD video could work as well, but that hasn’t been tested yet.

The Allwinner A10 is a low power 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 chip with Mali 400 graphics. It’s used in a range of inexpensive Android tablets and stick-sized computers such as the MK802.

  • http://twitter.com/PengPod Neal Peacock

    Neal Peacock here, I want to give credit where it is due. My XBMC build is based on the software work of empat0 (I wish I knew his real name) and can be found here https://github.com/empatzero/xbmca10 . As far as I know he did all of the software.

    Also Rellla was a great help in compiling it, his work can be found here https://github.com/rellla . He is working on a video recording system for the A10 now.
    I do plan to finish packaging it soon for distribution and to provide access to updates as the software is improved.

  • Ryan Quinn

    Just wanted to say I just bought an mk802 for cheap ($40 SHIPPED!) and can’t wait for a working XBMC build! $40 for this small, good looking device sure beats the 35(though 40 shipped) for the raspberry pi.

    Thanks for all the work you guys have put into it!

  • http://nortonpeabody.blogspot.com/ Norton Peabody

    I just put XBMC on my old P4 desktop running Xubuntu and am really impressed. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work on this slick software.Being able to run this on my MK802II would be phenomenal….