Where is the current version of Mali g72 driver?

Using a different graphics card is certainly a possibility.
If the card comes with binary drivers for x86 that would not be a good idea.
To get the right graphics card it should be fully supported using open source drivers. The specific connector you showed is something I have been looking for too. Most important should be that the driver can be compiled on the hikey970 and that the PCI bus can properly communicate over that bus. Some mini PCI implementations have reduced the PCI memory window to something like 32MB or less and make it impossible to really use the graphics card over the external PCI.
So in short, it requires careful selection of the graphics card and there is no guarantee that the PCI bus can support the card.

I am willing to try the same here. Does the adapter fit on the hikey970?

Yes the Cards Do Fit. There are 2 types.

1 for Mini Pcie

1 for M.2 Key M Slot

The first one i think would be best for the GPU.
But i think the M.2 Key M slot has more channels than the Mini PCIe.

There is this card also that will allow us to expand further.

I think its going to come down to weather we can get the PCIE ports functioning correctly on the Hikey. But if we can do that I’m thinking we can add in any cards we want.

I wonder which one driver is these images, X11 or Wayland?


Its not X11 as noted above.
The lebain with tensorflow has the mali driver compiled in the kernel and one library file.
It then uses open cl to access the gpu.

Ive been working on a ubuntu 18 build and i havent figured out how to get the hdmi port working correctly yet.

Well, this is awful. Unless it’s possible to make Panfrost work on this board, lack of GPU acceleration makes is much less useful.

Was there some answer from company that produced board?

I don’t think anyone ever messaged them. One of the individuals above in a previous post mentioned that Arm would not be releasing or supporting the X-11 driver for the mail g72.

I agree i am a bit upset about this board myself.
They definitely hyped it up and it has the hardware but the lack of drivers is a shame.

I purchased this board specifically because it has the Mini Pcie Slot and the M.2 Key M Pcie slot. I can’t find much documentation on getting cards to work in these slots though. I have a 512 Gb ssd in the M.2 slot but its not functioning yet.

In my mind the slots are the biggest asset of the board. If we can get them working correctly then we can use the expansion cards I posted above to add a Graphics Card.

If i can add a graphics card and get the NVME SSD Working I will be happy. Ive spent the last week or so building Ubuntu 18.04 and the kernel. I have been unable to get the display working properly. It just remains black. It flashes back and fourth between Analog and Hdmi on my monitor a couple times but never comes up.

I am going to try using the custom EDID.bin loaded by the kernel to try and resolve the issue. It’s disappointing to have so much trouble just getting the display to work.

My monitor is fine and with the Leubuntu 16.04 it works to some degree. Everything displays normal until i drag a Browser window then it freezes and glitches out.

If i leave the system on and it goes into power save to turn off the display then after that the display will not come back on. I have to reboot the board. Even more interesting If i leave it on overnight after the screen goes to sleep even rebooting wont get the display back up. I have to actually re-install ubuntu again for the screen to work again.

It’s sad that the most basic thing of all The Display wont work right.
I spent $75 on the dragonboard and no problems with display at all.

I spend $350 on hikey 970 and expected it to be supported enough to get things working right but unfortunately unless you can fix everything yourself your out of luck.

I have not given up yet but i’m not positive i can get this thing working correctly on my own. Seems we need to get a few of us together and work together on fixing the problems and bringing up the pci slots.

I did come across this patch set for DRM and i am hoping it will help with the display problems.

All together there are a lot of changes made here.
25 files changed, 475 insertions(+), 95 deletions(-)

He didnt put up the modified files or it would be easy.
Only the diff.
So all the patches have to be done by hand.

I’m working on this patch and going to try setting the EDID like is done here.

Best i can figure to get the X 11 driver is to find some other phone or tablet or anything with the same chip and cherry pick it.

I’ll let you know how the kernel patch works out.
At thispoint i’d be happy just to get the display working right.

Which shouldn’t prevent them from releasing binaries for Wayland support. Who we could try to contact to make this happen?

I suggest.

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I did send support a question about the pcie and they responded in a day.
But i’m not sure if they have any developers.
I really thought this is the place 96 Boards <<-- To get support.

I’ve not been able to test it out myself but I understood the theory is that the drivers without wayland or X11 do provide graphics support via EGL. The idea is that they can support a wayland compositor that uses EGL for was that they work with a wayland compositor whose backend renders using EGL.

Having said that I don’t recall seeing any success reports with this approach…

I just came across this.

It explains the status of the drivers.
ARM dropped support for X in their releases after r16 (Jan 2017). This is a massive pain as that’s what we all still use. Only wayland, fbdev and android are supported after that

I haven’t found any wayland driver either.

I guess that we are using fbdev ?

I just wonder if this is the SDK you are talking about.


ARM has a Mali-SDK. It is only available to their B2B clients.

i just tried starting wayland using libmali.so
It fails with a EGL_EXT_device_base missing. Which seems to indicate that the mali.so library is compiled with some missing flags.

It looks like it is compiled with the flags:


The reason I ask about the Mali-SDK is there may be a small possibility I could get my hands on it. The galaxy s9 has the mali G72 GPU and i know someone that may be able to get the source.

Other than that I have been wondering if we can cherry pick the Mali Driver out the the Starlight Kernel. (Galaxy s9). The sources are available and we could pick the userspace binaries from the firmware. Only problem is it is android based and not linux.

Anyway i think the Kernel Driver could have some potential.

As far as i can see the kernel driver is there but no libmali.so that supports wayland or X11.

the libmali for other devices can be found here.

None for Hikey970 and apparently only fbdev for Hikey960, perhaps we should take a peek at how the people with hikey960 cope with having no drivers for X11 or Wayland.

As you have noted Arm is not releasing the g72 Driver.
The Galaxy s9 hast the Mali G72 and thats why i wonder if we can use it.

I have looked at the drivers for the hikey 960.
It looks to me like they are using DRM.

hikey 970 kernel and Xorg uses DRM too.
If the Galaxy S9 has a libmali.so (and not some Android blob) we could test that.
Also if someone has the sources perhaps a build with the right flags would suffice.

Time went by and we are now looking at a Kirin990 and soon 1000…yet, not source for the 970 nor any proper drivers…

According to my knowledge, The Arm Mali-G76 GPU is the
upgraded and the Bifrost-based GPU for the technical market.
However, Mali-G-72 is one of the Bifrost based GPU which is
is the second generation one and it isfacebooknot available.