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Release Notes

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Welcome to Console OS with Android Lollipop

Welcome to Console OS with Android. These are the live release notes for Console OS Lollipop.

Currently, our Release Notes are in rolling release status, and match the current version of Console OS available on account.console.com.co as a free download. If there are release differences for Source Code builds, they will be noted.


Version History

  • v0.4.97 - Minor ART compilation routine changes, fixed Terminal and Gallery apps
  • v0.4.96 - Initial Release of Console OS Lollipop

Who Should Use Lollipop

Lollipop is a complete reboot of Console OS. We've rebuilt it with a focus on ease of use, and making it the easiest-to-install Android for PC distribution out there.

Console OS builds are available in two forms, Express and Standard. Console OS Express is designed to be easy to install, and run from a flash drive - offering the ability to store files and apps, without touching your internal hard drive.

Today, anyone can try Console OS - but we encourage most people to stick with Console OS Express builds, at least until the upcoming Marshmallow release cycle. That way, you can get up and running with Console OS in less than five minutes.

Standard Console OS builds are mostly for advanced users currently. Our goal is to make the install process easier in the Marshmallow cycle. As such, most people will want to use Console OS Express for now.


Warnings & Cautions

Please review the license agreement prior to use. It is posted at account.console.com.co in the Downloads area. We've worked hard to keep it as Plain English as possible.

As with any emerging operating system, if you choose to install it to your device's internal storage, be sure to backup all files first.


Hardware Support

We support most Intel processors built in the past five years. Specifically, we support second, third and fourth-generation Intel Core processors ("Sandy Bridge", "Ivy Bridge" and "Haswell" respectively).

We also support Intel Atom "Bay Trail" tablets and PCs, but support is still emerging. Some tablets do not work yet, but many do.

Support for older Intel Atom processors is not possible, due to their use of a PowerVR GPU. We also can't support Intel devices that ship with Android from the factory - we are attempting to work with Intel to resolve this limitation for future devices.

Support for fifth and sixth-generation Intel Core (and Core M) processors ("Broadwell" and "Skylake", respectively) are not yet available... but we're working non-stop on it!

The only major requirement is that your system have UEFI firmware, with Secure Boot disabled. Most Intel PCs sold since the Windows 7-era support UEFI, but you may have to follow the steps (outlined below) to turn Secure Boot off.

Finally, you really should update your PC's firmware. BIOS/UEFI firmware updates tend to improve Linux and Android more so than Windows, due to the pressure on PC makers to support Windows first at a device's launch. Check with your PC (tablet) manufacturer's web site for a list of available firmware and BIOS updates.

See the Devices section. Custom PCs, and Unsupported Systems pages for more information on device-specific hardware information, tips, tricks, and BIOS updates.


Installation

Installing - Disable Secure Boot

To disable Secure Boot, swipe to the right of the screen on your PC to access the Windows Settings button. From there, select "Change PC Settings" - then select Update and recovery. Finally, click the Recovery tab. Under the Advanced startup area there is an option "Restart now" - press that and your computer will reboot to a special screen.

From there, choose "Advanced Settings" and finally "UEFI Firmware Settings" - from there, you will have to locate the Secure Boot menu item. It's typically under the "Boot" tab or the "Security" tab.

We have noticed that some systems require you to set a BIOS administrator password before giving you the option to disable Secure Boot.

Once you have disabled Secure Boot, save settings and restart. You can now proceed with backing up your data and installing Console OS.

Optional: Disabling Windows Encryption

While not part of Secure Boot, this is an important step if you are installing alongside Windows. Starting with Windows 8.1, Microsoft began enabling full-device encryption... automatically. In many circumstances, this may have been turned on you fully being informed. This typically happens if you log into your Windows installation with a Microsoft Account, instead of a Local Account.

You can check the status of your device under PC Info, located in Windows Settings. Swipe from the right of the display, until the Windows Charms bar appears (it's that black, slide-out bar that everybody loves so much). Click Settings, and then Change PC settings at the bottom. Finally, go to the PC Info tab at the bottom. If it reports Encryption is On, turn it off.

We believe many installation errors stem from Windows 8.1 standard encryption being on, when trying to dual-boot. If you wish to leave it on, install to a different drive, such as a USB 3.0 external hard disk.

If you are using BitLocker, we have found that disabling BitLocker, and then re-enabling BitLocker after installation, has encountered far fewer issues than the Windows 8.1 standard encryption.

Finally, we recommend disabling Windows encryption, as in future releases we plan to allow Console OS to directly access your Windows file system - but this is not possible if Windows encryption is enabled, as Console OS cannot mount an encrypted Windows volume.


Installing - Backup your PC and Recovery Drive

As mentioned earlier, you should take a minute to backup all your files. We'll wait. It's important. Go do it.

Next, if you are installing alongside Windows, you should also create a Recovery Drive. Most Windows 8 & 8.1 PCs no longer include operating system restore discs. You have to make it yourself. We recommend this step just in case. We have tested Console OS alongside Windows thoroughly, but making a recovery drive will allow you to return your PC to its factory state.

To do this, swipe from the right of the screen and click the Search button. Type "create a recovery drive" and the matching application will appear. Follow the steps on screen, and be sure that the box to include the recovery partition on the recovery drive is selected.

If you are running Windows 10, you can download Windows 10 via the Media Creation Tool at any time, from another PC. This tool will also work for restoring a PC that has been previously upgraded to Windows 10, even from a blank disk drive. We recommend creating a recovery drive for all Windows users, as it can assist in repairing any Windows PC with filesystem issues.


Installing - Console OS Express

TBD


Installing - Creating the Console OS Install Flash Drive

This step is meant for Standard (advanced) releases of Console OS. The Console OS Express install method does not require any flash drive creation.

Console OS is typically installed via a USB flash drive. You can create an install flash drive using Windows, OS X, or Linux.

For Windows we recommend Win32DiskImager. We include a copy with Console OS currently.

When running Win32DiskImager be careful to select the flash drive that you wish to load the Console OS install image to. Select the install image applicable to your machine (from the Console OS Account downloads page).

From the Win32DiskImager tool, simply select the Console OS .img file that you downloaded, and the target flash drive. Then click the Write button. It will transfer the Console OS Installer to the USB Flash Drive of your choice.

Note that the flash drive you use will be completely erased, as cautioned by the utility.

Important: Some flash drives are cheap and lame. If the drive you created doesn't work, go back and make another one with a better flash drive.

Most traditional Linux distributions now include a USB image writer built-in. For example, in current versions of Ubuntu, you can simply double-click on the Console OS .img image, and it will launch the appropriate disk utility.


Known Issues & Workarounds

  • If you use Broadcom Wi-Fi, you may have better performance with 32-bit builds of Console OS.
    • This is due to Broadcom's closed source driver, and interactions with the Android kernel we are building today. We can't fix this ourselves.
  • Console OS Express will only allow 2GB of file storage on the flash drive. You can work around this by storing files on a second flash drive (or SD card) that is either FAT or ExtFS formatted.
    • We are testing a solution to increase this in the near future.

Source Code

As part of going completely open-source, kernel and other source code postings have been moved to our dedicated Source Code page.


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