X96 MAX

https://monitorsanywhere.com/ has moved to an Android device for its video walls.

Here is a link to a review (sorry about its advertising) https://androidpctv.com/review-x96-max/#PRODUCT_DETAILS

Windows only software for extending desktop to this Android device. https://spacedesk.net/


Android sits on top of a Linux base OS. You can replace the provided OS with Debian Buster installed on a MicroSD card. https://docs.armbian.com/ You can download Armbian_20.02.0-rc1.037_Aml-s9xxx_buster_current_5.5.0-rc6_desktop_20200205 from https://yadi.sk/d/pHxaRAs-tZiei/20.02/20200205 After flashing microSD card, be sure to open the BOOT partition and to copy u-boot.sd to a new file called u-boot.ext otherwise the display colors will be odd and nearly unreadable You must also edit uEnv.txt to comment out lines referring to different hardware, and uncomment lines near the bottom for the x96max hardware.

To get the x96 Max to boot from this microSD card, use a nonconducting probe inserted into the AV port to press a little micro switch before and while turning on power. Once you have booted once this way, this will be the default when a micros SD card is inserted, but the x96 Max will boot normally into Android without the microSD card.

Wow! one x96 MAX supporting 3 independent workstations. The central monitor is connected directly to the x96 Max, while the two silver boxes are HP T150 USB 2.0 zero clients which I have plugged into a USB 3.0 hub connected to the USB 3.0 port of the x96 Max. Their monitors are showing login forms for other users. See my home page for configuring these zero clients as separate workstations.


Turning now to a newer version which has become available, Armbian_20.08.0_Arm-64_bullseye_current_5.7.0-rc7_desktop_20200531.img.xz which can be downloaded from https://yadi.sk/d/_rQgn_FosYuW0g/20.05.6/20200531

This is missing the drivers for DisplayLink that were in the earlier version (buster). I don’t envision using the x96 Max for multiple workstations, but it would be nice to be able to extend the desktop across multiple displays, at least one using the second USB port on the unit..

My main interest for the x96 Max is to use as a networked attached zero client. It is approximately 1/3 the hardware cost of currently manufactured alternative network attached zero clients based on the Elite Silicone Technology chip. I have successfully installed the raspberry pi version of x2goclient. The x96 Max is a little cheaper than the Raspberry Pi because of the scale of production as an Android TV box. It is also a thinner package which is attractive mounted on the back of a monitor. It boots more quickly and reliably than the raspberry pi because it has an internal eMMC that the OS can be installed to. With a secondary USB monitor, you can use one display for locally running apps and the other display for a remote computer running x2goserver or remotely run two remote server desktops full screen at the same time.

The following devices did not work for me.

  1. The built in wired ethernet. I used an external USB network adapter which did work.
  2. The built in Wifi saw access points and I was able to configure it for preshared password, but the browser does not see the internet through Wifi.
  3. The LED clock does not display
  4. The AV port does not have analog audio.

    Any advise on solving these 4 issues would be welcome! Please use my contact form to communicate.