Firefox OS on Snowball
The goal of this project is to make Firefox OS run on the Snowball single board computer from a Micro SD memory card.
This project has been started and being maintained by MERA, international corporation with headquarters and offshore software R&D center in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (more information is available on http://www.meranetworks.com).
About Firefox OS
Firefox OS (early named as Boot to Gecko (B2G)) is an open source project with the goal of building a complete, standalone mobile operating system for the Web. It offers mobile users all the power of HTML5, extended with device capabilities like Bluetooth and SMS, a richer capability model for interaction with the filesystem, and a way to tie these "native HTML5 apps" together. Firefox OS is developed by Mozilla Org.
Features and limitations
- Tested on Snowball development kit
- Mali hardware acceleration is enabled
- HDMI/DVI support, there is a workaround for using DVI-D display: do "echo 2 > /sys/devices/av8100_hdmi.0/hdmisdtvswitch" after the framebuffer has been created
- Mouse and cursor pointer support (added additionally by this project)
- Working network (Ethernet and WiFi)
- Kernel 3.3.0+ (Linaro build)
- Runs from Micro SD memory card
- Console and Android Debug Bridge (ADB) are enabled
- 2012-06-05 Initial release of Firefox OS for snowball (B2G_M3_Snowball), based on B2G release Milestone 3 (working Mali 400 GPU acceleration, HDMI/DVI, Ethernet/WiFi, mouse and pointer cursor).
Download the zipped eMMC image file from here:
The image is suitable for flashing on the device with the riff tool. That includes the firmware and u-boot configured for booting Firefox OS from Micro SD card.
Download the zipped Micro SD image file from here:
You will need a Micro SD card with at least 4GB of memory. The image contains kernel (3.3.0+) and Firefox OS filesystem.
Firmware and u-boot
Note: the installation process requires rewriting eMMC memory on Snowball. It is suggested to make a backup copy of eMMC memory (using riff tool) before starting.
Firmware and u-boot are only required to be flashed once. All subsequent releases of Firefox OS could be installed directly to Micro SD without any eMMC reflashing.
Unzip the eMMC image and browse to its location. Install the image with the riff command in the terminal (flashing howto).
gzip -d boot_tools_Snowball_riff.img.gz riff -m flash -f boot_tools_Snowball_riff.img
Firefox OS filesystem
Unzip the Micro SD image and browse to its location. Install the image with the dd command in the terminal.
Make sure that you have a Micro SD memory card connected to your computer.
gzip -d B2G_M3_Snowball_dd.img.gz dd if=B2G_M3_Snowball_dd.img of=/dev/sdX bs=64K
Where /dev/sdX is the path-name to the Micro SD card, it may be different on you machine. It takes some time to install depending on the speed of your Mirco SD card.
Insert the Micro SD memory card into the Snowball development board and start it up. Lock screen PIN code is 0000.
Here is the instruction how to connect the Snowball board to the PC via USB (using the USB OTG port on the Snowball board).