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GCC: Optimizing Linux, the Internet, and Everything

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Development
GNU

Software is useless if computers can't run it. Even the most talented developer is at the mercy of the compiler when it comes to run-time performance - if you don’t have a reliable compiler toolchain you can’t build anything serious. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) provides a robust, mature and high performance partner to help you get the most out of your software. With decades of development by thousands of people GCC is one of the most respected compilers in the world. If you are building applications and not using GCC, you are missing out on the best possible solution.

GCC is the “de facto-standard open source compiler today” [1] according to LLVM.org and the foundation used to build complete systems - from the kernel upwards. GCC supports over 60 hardware platforms, including ARM, Intel, AMD, IBM POWER, SPARC, HP PA-RISC, and IBM Z, as well as a variety of operating environments, including GNU, Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and RTEMS. It offers highly compliant C/C++ compilers and support for popular C libraries, such as GNU C Library (glibc), Newlib, musl, and the C libraries included with various BSD operating systems, as well as front-ends for Fortran, Ada, and GO languages. GCC also functions as a cross compiler, creating executable code for a platform other than the one on which the compiler is running. GCC is the core component of the tightly integrated GNU toolchain, produced by the GNU Project, that includes glibc, Binutils, and the GNU Debugger (GDB).

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Also: AMDGPU Developer Proposes Array Register Files For LLVM - Would Help Performance

LLVM Lands Support For ARMv8.5's Branch Target Identification

  • LLVM Lands Support For ARMv8.5's Branch Target Identification (BTI)

    A bulk of the Linux/open-source enablement we have seen taking place for ARM's new ARMv8.5 architecture revision is around its new Spectre defenses to help SoCs that will begin shipping later in 2019.

    Back in September the first of the ARMv8.5 support began landing in the LLVM/Clang compiler and it's work to battle Spectre-style vulnerabilities. That work included speculation restriction system registers, a new speculation barrier, prediction invalidation instructions, and SSBB/PSSBB speculation barriers. ARMv8.5 also brings some additions outside of the Spectre/security space like new persistent memory instructions and random number instructions.

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Security Leftovers

NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor

  • NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor
    NVMM provides hardware-accelerated virtualization support for NetBSD. It is made of an ~MI frontend, to which MD backends can be plugged. A virtualization API is shipped via libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM. Two additional components are shipped as demonstrators, toyvirt and smallkern: the former is a toy virtualizer, that executes in a VM the 64bit ELF binary given as argument, the latter is an example of such binary.
  • NetBSD Gains Hardware Accelerated Virtualization
    NetBSD, the highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system known for its platform diversity, has gained hardware-accelerated virtualization support via an improved NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor (NVMM).

GNU Releases: mailutils, cflow, tar and parallel

Devices: AArch64, Siemens/Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL), Raspberry Pi and Xiaomi

  • We need Arm64 systems for developers. Again.
    Getting AArch64 hardware for developers is important. When it happen? One day. Maybe even before people forget that such architecture existed. We talk about it during each Linaro Connect. So far nothing serious came from it. We had some failed attempts like Cello or Husky. There is Synquacer with own set of issues. Some people use MACCHIATObin. Some still use Applied Micro Mustangs which should get a place in computer museums. It is chicken and egg issue. No one makes affordable AArch64 systems because no one buys them. Because no one makes them. Hardware vendors concentrate on server market — no chips to choose for developer systems.
  • Siemens PLM Software announces enterprise Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL) solution
    Siemens PLM Software announced an enterprise Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL) solution that provides electronics manufacturers secure, scalable and configurable distributions for industrial, medical, aerospace and defense applications. This MEL technology is a configurable distribution that provides an operating system platform for embedded systems development and is a result of the continued integration of the recently acquired embedded systems design capabilities from Mentor Graphics. The solution is based on Debian, an enterprise class, open source Linux operating system.
  • Siemens launches new enterprise class embedded Linux solution for embedded systems development
    With the growth of internet of things (IoT) and other smart devices, it is becoming increasingly complex and expensive for manufacturers to develop embedded distributions and applications for these devices based on the Linux® operating system. Siemens PLM Software today announced a new enterprise Mentor® Embedded Linux® (MEL) solution that provides electronics manufacturers secure, scalable and configurable distributions for industrial, medical, aerospace and defense applications. This new MEL technology is a configurable distribution that provides a robust operating system platform for embedded systems development and is a result of the continued integration of the recently acquired embedded systems design capabilities from Mentor Graphics. The solution is based on Debian, a broadly utilized, enterprise class, open source Linux operating system.
  • Raspberry Pi Begins Rolling Out The Linux 4.19 Kernel
    The Raspberry Pi folks have been working the past few months on upgrading their kernel in moving from Linux 4.14 to 4.19. That roll-out has now begun. Linux 4.19 has been the target of the Raspberry Pi Foundation due to this newer kernel being a Long-Term Support (LTS) release and thus will be maintained for the long-term. That large jump in the standard kernel version for Raspberry Pi ultimately means less work too for the developers involved: between 4.14 and 4,19, a lot of Raspberry Pi patches and other Broadcom improvements were upstreamed.
  • Raspberry Pi Updates Devices to Linux 4.19
  • Xiaomi’s 2019 goal is to release kernel source code more quickly for all its devices
    Just before MWC 2019, Xiaomi took to the stage at an event in China to launch the new Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi 9 SE. Both the devices represent the best of what OEM has to offer, bringing in a high value device at a fraction of the cost of a premium flagship. While this approach lets them appeal to the average consumer, Xiaomi has also been quite developer-friendly, which makes them a good purchase even for those who are looking for a device with a very good third party development community. Xiaomi does not void the warranty of devices (in India at least) if you unlock the bootloader, and they have worked on significantly bringing down the waiting times for bootloader unlock requests too.