Running Netflix on iMX6 Android Marshmallow

2 minute read

This post explains how to setup Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and install Netflix on i.MX6 boards. It covers all the required steps to prepare a android SD card, install an APK through ADB, add the necessary codecs and configure the system to reproduce it on 1920x1080p@60.

The video below is an example on a i.MX6DL SabreSD board:

Downloading required software packages:

if you prefer the simg2img it can be downloaded by using the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev

Setting up ADB:

In order to install an apk without Google Play it’s necessary to install and setup ADB (Android Debug Bridge)

  • Setup ADB udev Rule
$ sudo wget -O /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules
$ sudo chmod a+r /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules
$ sudo service udev restart
  • Install ADB
$ sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

Preparing Android SD card:

  • Format a SD card and create following store partitions:

Adding AAC Plus Codec in the prebuilt image:

  • Unpack the downloaded packets and modify the system_raw.img:
$ tar xzvf android_M6.0.1_2.1.0_image_6dqpsabresd.tar.gz &
$ cd android_M6.0.1_2.1.0_image_6dqpsabresd/SD
$ simg2img system.img system_raw.img
$ sudo mount -t ext4 -o loop system_raw.img /mnt
$ cd /PATH/TO/YOUR/CODEC/fsl_aacp_dec
$ sudo cp *.so /mnt/lib
$ sudo umount /mnt

Flashing the images:

  • Once your system_raw image contains the necessary codecs the images can be flashed on the SD card:
$ cd android_M6.0.1_2.1.0_image_6dqpsabresd/SD
$ sudo dd if=u-boot-imx6q.imx of=/dev/sdX bs=1K seek=1; sync
$ cd SD
$ sudo dd if=boot-imx6q.img of=/dev/sdX1; sync
$ sudo dd if=system_raw.img of=/dev/sdX5; sync
$ sudo dd if=recovery-imx6q.img of=/dev/sdX2; sync

Configuring the first boot (LVDS):

We are going to use lvds just for setup and install the Netflix APK, it’s not possible to connect a mouse while using adb.

  • Plug your SD on SD3, set your SW6 to 01000010 and stop on u-boot:
$ setenv bootargs
$ setenv fastboot_dev mmc1
$ setenv bootcmd boota mmc1
$ setenv bootargs console=ttymxc0,115200 init=/init video=mxcfb0:dev=ldb,bpp=32 video=mxcfb1:off video=mxcfb2:off video=mxcfb3:off vmalloc=256M androidboot.console=ttymxc0 androidboot.dm_verity=disabled consoleblank=0 androidboot.hardware=freescale cma=384M
$ saveenv

Installing APK with ADB:

  • In order to install APK thorough ADB is necessary to enable the developer mode:
  • On your device Go to settings → About tablet
  • Click in build number 7 times
  • Once this step is done, go to settings → developer options and enable the USB Debugging and stay awake options.
  • On your PC go to the apk directory and install it through ADB:
$ sudo adb install netflix4.9.4.apk

Running netflix (HDMI):

  • Reboot your device and stop on u-boot
  • Set your bootargs in order to use HDMI
$ setenv bootargs console=ttymxc0,115200 init=/init video=mxcfb1:off
video=mxcfb2:off video=mxcfb3:off vmalloc=256M
androidboot.console=ttymxc0 androidboot.dm_verity=disabled
consoleblank=0 androidboot.selinux=disabled
androidboot.hardware=freescale cma=384M
$ saveenv
  • Reboot your device.
  • Check your Ethernet connection and setup the date and time.
  • Run Netflix.

Testing system performance:

In order to check the board performance the following commands can be used:

  • CPU usage:
$ top | grep netflix
1339  2  10% S    66 1697016K 141236K  fg u0_a49
  • RAM usage:
$ vmstat
procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- -system-- ----cpu----
 r  b   swpd   free   buff  cache   si   so    bi    bo   in   cs us sy id wa
 2  0      0 246876   3208 300180    0    0    95     4    0  238  1  1 97  0
  • VPU interrupts:
$ cat proc/interrupts | grep VPU
28:          0          0          0          0       GPC   3 Edge      VPU_JPG_IRQ
29:       7075          0          0          0       GPC  12 Level     VPU_CODEC_IRQ