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today's howtos

More in Tux Machines

Rolando Blanco: Ubuntu Desktop Makeover

I must confess that since Ubuntu started, there have been a lot of changes that we have experienced on our desktop (each time for the better). However, I have always loved changing its appearance, to one more according to my particular tastes, sometimes up to 3 changes per year. This is one of the features that I like most about GNU / Linux, the freedom to adapt everything to my liking. This time, I wanted to make some slight changes in search of elegant minimalism. This is how I started testing a new icon pack and a tool that works as a widget and that animates my desktop, for this I used Conky. Read more

WiFi Goes Open

For most people, adding WiFi to a project means grabbing something like an ESP8266 or an ESP32. But if you are developing your own design on an FPGA, that means adding another package. If you are targeting Linux, the OpenWifi project has a good start at providing WiFi in Verilog. There are examples for many development boards and advice for porting to your own target on GitHub. You can also see one of the developers, [Xianjun Jiao], demonstrate the whole thing in the video below. The demo uses a Xilinx Zynq, so the Linux backend runs on the Arm processor that is on the same chip as the FPGA doing the software-defined radio. We’ll warn you that this project is not for the faint of heart. If you want to understand the code, you’ll have to dig into a lot of WiFi trivia. Read more

Kernel: Linux 5.8, Linux 5.7, FSGSBASE and HWMON

  • Improved EXT4 + XFS DAX Implementation Appears Ready To Go For Linux 5.8

    Adding to the expected changes for Linux 5.8 is improved EXT4 and XFS file-system direct access "DAX" support. DAX is the means of direct access to files backed by persistent memory (such as Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory) without needing to be copied via the page cache. Thus DAX bypasses that extra copy for reads/writes to the storage device and mapping the storage device directly into user-space.

  • The Top Linux 5.7 Features From Apple Fast Charge To Official Tiger Lake Graphics

    Assuming no last minute concerns, the Linux 5.7 kernel is set to debut as stable this weekend. Given all the weeks since the merge window and our many articles covering all the feature activity at that point (and not to be confused with our activity of new work being queued for the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle), here is a look back at some of the top features of the Linux 5.7 kernel. Among the most interesting new features and improvements for Linux 5.7 include: - Intel Tiger Lake "Gen12" graphics are now enabled by default in being deemed stable enough for out-of-the-box support where as on prior kernels the support at the time was hidden behind a kernel module parameter.

  • Performance-Helping FSGSBASE Patches Spun For Linux A 13th Time

    The FSGSBASE Linux kernel patches that have the potential of helping performance going back to Intel Ivy Bridge era CPUs in select workloads have now hit their 13th revision to the series in the long-running effort to getting this support mainlined.

  • Linux's Hardware Monitoring "HWMON" Picking Up Notification Support

    In addition to the AMD Zen "amd_energy" driver coming for Linux 5.8, another late change now queued into hwmon staging is introducing notification support for the hardware monitoring subsystem. HWMON subsystem maintainer and Google employee Guenter Roeck has queued up notification support for this subsystem. This serves as a generic notification mechanism not only to notify user-space but also the thermal subsystem for any HWMON driver events. In the HWMON context, these events could be important like warnings/critical alarms over detected temperatures or voltages for different components.

Linux on Devices and Open Hardware/Modding

  • Developing Qt5 applications natively on Wind River Linux

    Wind River Linux provides the technologies essential to building a flexible, stable, and secure platform for your embedded devices. Based on OpenEmbedded releases from the Yocto Project, it is designed to let you customize your platform to include only the packages and features you need. Powered by bitbake, it provides the ability to build an entire Linux distribution from source by following repeatable recipes. This is really powerful, but can be foreign to application developers that already have a workflow they are comfortable with. Developers building graphical user interfaces (GUI) have their own set of tools that they rely on. Often they prefer to use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) tailored to the language and frameworks they are working with. Typically this IDE and the tools it uses are running natively on the same platform they are building for. Fortunately, these developers can still do this on Wind River Linux. This tutorial describes building Wind River Linux with the GCC toolchain and Qt Creator included to enable native application development.

  • Udoo Bolt Gear mini-PC launches with Ryzen V1000 Udoo Bolt SBC

    Seco has launched a $399 “Udoo Bolt Gear” mini-PC kit built around its Ryzen Embedded V1000 based Udoo Bolt SBC. The $399 kit includes a metal case, 65W adapter, and a WiFi/BT M.2 card. A growing number of open-spec, community-backed SBCs ship with optional. and in some cases, standard enclosures, but most of these are simple plastic cases. Seco’s new Udoo Bolt Gear mini-PC, which is based on its Udoo Bolt SBC, provides a metal case, a power adapter, US and EU cables, a VESA mount, and a WiFi/BT kit. There are also plenty of vents to help the SBC’s standard fan cool AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. [...] The Bolt and the Bolt Gear are further equipped with an Arduino Leonardo compatible Microchip Atmega32U4 MCU. The MCU can be used for robotics and other real-time applications. It can also be configured to run while the system is turned off and then turn on the computer based on trigger input.

  • Ultra-narrow DipDuino Arduino Compatible Board is a Perfect Breadboard Companion

    We previously wrote about a uChip DIP-sized Arduino Zero compatible board with 0.3″ spacing between the two rows of pins making it perfect for breadboards as it left four rows on each side of the breadboard. There’s now another similar option with the appropriately named DipDuino board equipped with a Microchip Atmega328P MCU compatible with Arduino Pro or Pro Mini boards.

  • Using Photoresistor From Raspberry PI To Detect Light

    Photoresistor (also known as photocell) is a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR). As the name suggests, this components act just like a resistor, changing its resistance in response to how much light is falling on it. Ususally, photoresistors have a very high resistance in near darkness and a very low resistance in bright ligh. This component is used to manage electronic or electric devices to answer light conditions enabling or disabling functions. Photoresistors are analogic components. So it can be used with microcontrollers having analogic inputs (like Arduino) to read light level. Unfortunately, Raspberry PI has only digital inputs (with threshold between High and Low being around 1V). This means that, without specific analogic-to-digital hardware, we’ll be able only to read if light is high or low.