One of the biggest advantage of Radxa Rock the quad-core mini-pc over Raspberry Pi is that it supports dual-booting with support for both Linux and Google Android. In last tutorial we configured Samba file-sharing on Ubuntu based Linaro Linux image on the Rock, and today I am going to share an excellent custom Google Android 4.4.2 KitKat ROM for Radxa Rock which works well with everything working out of the box.
If you are thinking why Android when we have a full-desktop OS like Linaro (based on Ubuntu) running on some powerful hardware, then the answer is because Linux still lacks Hardware Acceleration support for Mali-400 GPU on RK3188 based devices like Rock. An experimental Ubuntu Desktop release with OpenGL ES acceleration for Radxa Rock is released but it is still experimental and XBMC still does not work with it. Radxa has also released a preview image of Android 4.4 KitKat but once again it is also half-baked and lacks Root support, luckily we do have an alternative custom Android 4.4 ROM for Radxa ROCK with features like - stock 4.4.0 recovery, CWM 22.214.171.124 recovery, system ext4 support, selinux kernel, ethernet support, init.d support, gameloft compatible, USB-Hub enabled, gamepad compatible (PS2, XBox, …), pre-built kernel modules (cifs, tun, lan, serial, audio), latest hosts, su, su-binary and busybox, Reboot Menu, sEFix, FX Sound, File Manager HD 0root), Google Now and Nova Launcher.
Simply download the ROM archive using the link shared below and follow the instructions as below or inside the Instructions.txt inside the archive.
Instructions (be aware: it is your own risk!) connect your RADXA ROCK to the power supply and to the PC via USB cable 1) installation of the usb-driver (skip if you have the driver installed already) a) boot your RADXA ROCK and set storage mode to MTP and debugging to USB b) run DriverInstall.exe 2) start the tab into flash-modus a) run RKAndroidTool.exe with admin rights b) press reset and power on until RKAndroidTool shows "found" 3) change the loader (skip when the firmware has the same loader generation) a) run RKDevelopTool.exe b) button with the 3 points: load the loader (gen1 = v1.24, gen 2 = v2.10) c) Erase ID Block d) Erase All Blocks e) Download 4) flash the firmware with RKAndroidTool (switch back if you are in RKDevelopTool) a) untick the loader b) Run c) stock recovery will format the NAND d) wait 4 min 5) flash the CWM recovery with RKAndroidTool a) go to app drawer, open RebootMenue and Reboot to Bootloader b) untick kernel, boot, system c) load recovery_CWM d) Run e) RADXA ROCK boots into CWM f) reboot system now (both answers are No) Have fun!