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Hardware

Arduino from the Command Line: Break Free from the GUI with Git and Vim!

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The word "Arduino" often invokes a wide range of opinions and sometimes emotion. For many, it represents a very low bar to entry into the world of microcontrollers. This world before 2003 often required costly, obscure and closed-source development tools. Arduino has been a great equalizer, blowing the doors off the walled garden. Arduino now represents a huge ecosystem of hardware that speaks a (mostly) common language and eases transition from one hardware platform to another. Today, if you are a company that sells microcontrollers, it's in your best interest to get your dev boards working with Arduino. It offers a low-friction path to getting your products into lots of hands quickly.

It's also important to note that Arduino's simplicity does not inhibit digging deep into the microcontroller. Nothing stops you from directly twiddling registers and using advanced features. It does, however, decrease your portability between boards.

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Also: First the E-Bike, Next the Flying Car

AMD's Linux Graphics Driver Patches

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware
  • AMD resolves Destiny 2, Linux crashes via AGESA update

    AMD has confirmed that a bug causing Destiny 2 and selected Linux distributions to fail to run on its latest Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 series processors will need a microcode update to resolve - but claims it has distributed the necessary code to its motherboard partners already.

    AMD's third-generation Ryzen processors, based on the company's Zen 2 microarchitecture, are undeniably impressive - but users of some software packages have been reporting incompatibility issues. For gamers, the headline was Destiny 2 refusing to run when running on any system with a Ryzen 3000 series processor installed; for Linux users, an incompatibility between the chips and selected versions of the systemd init system and related software suite. In both cases, the issue was the same: a complete inability to use the software without reverting to older hardware.

  • AMD Sends Out Linux Graphics Driver Patches For "Arcturus" As New Vega Derived GPU

    Remember last September when that AMD Arcturus codename dropped in our forums for what at first appeared to be a successor to Navi but later clarified to be used as a Linux driver enablement codename? Well, the Linux kernel driver patches for this "Arcturus" GPU have just been posted.

    This Radeon Arcturus support comes just a few weeks after the Radeon RX 5000 "Navi" Linux driver support was posted. But indeed this "Arcturus" part isn't based on Navi but rather a new swing on Vega based on Vega 20 in part. And we haven't heard of "Arcturus" at any recent AMD events nor from leaks on the more Windows focused sites.

If You Are a Linux User, Make Your Next PC Powered By AMD

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

While I was searching for a new on-budget laptop to buy, especially after my Lenovo Thinkpad x260 almost died, I did a lot of research specifically about what CPU & GPU vendors to choose, mainly because I use Linux only and I was worried about some rumors of compatibility and other issues.

At the end I chose AMD, and I bought a laptop powered by AMD. My experience with it on Linux has been wonderful so far. This is my story, and why I think that you should go with AMD for your next PC too.

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I2Som PanGu, an STM32MP1 powered Raspberry Pi Linux alternative that costs ~US$72.50

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Linux
Hardware

The 105.5 x 70 mm SBC is based on the STMicroelectronics STM32MP1, a dual-core MPU that integrates two ARM Cortex A7 cores, along with a Cortex M4 chip. I2Som has included 512 MB RAM too, which it complements with 4 GB of eMMC flash storage. You could expand upon this with a microSD card though, should 4 GB not be enough for your needs.

The PanGu also has several USB ports, HDMI, a parallel port and a MIPI DSI. Moreover, the board has a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, an 80-pin board-to-board connector and a 30-pin 2.0 mm pin with support for ADC, CAN, FMC, GPIO, I2C, SDIO, SPI, TIM, UART and USB. The PanGu has an Ethernet port too.

The board runs Debian Jesse and Yocto Linux, with Stephen Vicinanza of CNX Software stressing that it offers features that are "lighter, more robust and have the developer in mind with multilanguage capabilities" than other comparable SBCs. I2Som has a wiki for the board, although this is currently only available in Chinese. You can order the PanGu from Taobao for 499 RMB (~US$72.50).

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Also: Solectrix SX Mobile Device Kit Runs Linux or Android on NXP i.MX8M Mini Processor

CHIPS Alliance Brings Powerful Players into Open Source Hardware Collaboration

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Will open source hardware become as ubiquitous as open-source software, such as Linux and Android?
Linux changed the world with its open approach to operating systems. The Linux Foundation has now partnered with a new initiative, CHIPS Alliance, to bring the same open source ethos to hardware design.

All About Circuits had a chance to speak to Ted Marena, Interim Director of CHIPS Alliance, about CHIPS Alliance, its mission, and its inaugural event this June, which was hosted by Linux, itself.

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Hardware/Modding: Fuchsia OS, ODROID, RISC-V Foundation, and SHAOS

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Hardware
  • Fuchsia adds official Snapdragon 835 support, same chip as in Google Pixel 2

    In the past few months, especially during Google I/O, we’ve learned a great deal about Google’s Fuchsia OS and the types of devices it’s currently expected to run on. While Hiroshi Lockheimer urged fans to consider the possibility that Fuchsia may not necessarily be for smartphones, new evidence has come to light indicating that the Fuchsia team is working to support the Snapdragon 835 processor, found in phones like the Google Pixel 2.

  • ODROID-H2 Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 19.04

    ODROID-H2 Review - We've thoroughly tested Ubuntu 19.04 on Hardkernel's Intel Celeron J4105 single board computer.

  • The RISC-V Foundation Receives Donation from Arduino to Further Strengthen its Open Source Community

    The RISC-V Foundation, a non-profit corporation controlled by its members to drive the adoption and implementation of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), today announced that it received a donation of $5,000 USD from Arduino to advance the RISC-V ecosystem and efforts focused on open source hardware and software development. The RISC-V Foundation is laser focused on accelerating the RISC-V ecosystem, driving tech innovation forward and fostering industry-wide collaboration. This donation will further support the Foundation’s mission in delivering future developments of open silicon and hardware implementations.

  • A PDP Laptop, For Various Definitions Of A Laptop

    Digital Equipment Corp.’s PDP-11 is one of the most important computers in history. It’s the home of Unix, although that’s arguable, and it’s still being used in every application, from handling nuclear control rods to selling Ed Sheeran tickets on Ticketmaster. As the timeline of PDP-11 machines progressed, the hardware did as well, and by the time the PDP was eclipsed by the VAXxen, there were PDP-11s on a single chip. The Eastern Bloc took notice and produced their own PDP-11 on a chip. This is the 1801-series CPU, and like most soviet electronics from the Cold War, they’re readily available on eBay.

    [SHAOS] has an interesting project in mind for this PDP-on-a-chip. It’s a standalone computer built around the Soviet re-implementation of the PDP-11, built into a form factor that could be described as a single board computer.

    This project is the outgrowth of [SHAOS]’ project for last year’s Hackaday Prize, the PDPii. This was a computer built around a backplane that replicated the PDP-11 using a KR1801VM2 CPU, the Soviet not-a-clone clone of the PDP-11. This project is basically a PDP-11/03 system, except it was made in this century, and you can put it in any computer case, with bonus points awarded for RGB lighting and liquid cooling.

AMD Defects Impact Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • AMD Releases BIOS Fix To Motherboard Partners For Booting Newer Linux Distributions

    AMD has just alerted us that they have released a BIOS fix to their motherboard partners that takes care of the issue around booting newer Linux distributions on the new Zen 2 processors.

    Earlier this week I mentioned AMD would be working on a BIOS fix to address the fundamental problem with booting newer systemd-using Linux distributions on their new Ryzen 3000 series processors. However, I hadn't expected the fix to make it to motherboard vendors in less than one week!

  • AMD: Patch On The Way For Ryzen 3000 Customers Affected By 'Destiny 2' And Linux Boot Problems

    AMD says it was able to root cause and resolve both issues fairly quickly in its BIOS code with a patch, and the company expects motherboard vendors to distribute the patch (potentially in beta BIOS form) by next week.

    Earlier this week a growing number of complaints amassed from Windows gamers concerning the inability to launch Activision's Destiny 2 with various Ryzen 3000 CPUs. On the Linux side of the fence, a fairly critical bug emerged that straight up prevented a system from booting with 5.0 or newer Linux kernels.

    It's nice to have these both addressed and resolved within the first week of launch, and hopefully the motherboard vendors will act quickly to seed this patch to their users. Keep an eye on those BIOS updates!

Ultra low-power i.MX7 ULP SoC ships on NXP EVK and two compute modules

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

NXP’s 28nm, FD-SOI fabbed i.MX7 ULP SoC has arrived along with a Linux-powered eval board. The power-sipping SoC is also being showcased in F&S’ PicoCore MX7ULP and SoMLabs’ ActionSOM-7ULP modules.

In June, NXP began volume shipments of its super power-efficient i.MX7 ULP, which it announced in 2017. The SoC is billed as the most power-efficient processor on the market that also includes a 3D GPU.

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WinSystems and Beelink With GNU/Linux Options

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Beelink L55 Review – An Intel Core i3-5005U Mini PC Tested with Windows 10 & Ubuntu 18.04

    With the shortage of Gemini Lake processors, some manufacturers have taken to releasing new mini PCs using older CPUs.

  • Bay Trail mini-PC supports extended temperatures

    WinSystems’ Linux-friendly “SYS-ITX-N-3800” is an Intel Bay Trail based industrial mini-PC with dual GbE ports, SATA, DP, USB 3.0, mini-PCIe, and -25 to 60°C support.

    WinSystems has launched a fanless, Nano-ITX form-factor industrial computer that runs Linux, Windows 10, or Windows 10 IoT on Intel’s dual-core, 1.75GHz Atom E3827 or quad-core, 1.91GHz Atom E3845 Bay Trail processors. The specs don’t match up perfectly, but the SYS-ITX-N-3800 mini-PC might be built around a variation of the company’s SBC35-CC405 Nano-ITX SBC.

AMD Defects, Linux Affected Also

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Security
  • AMD's SEV tech that protects cloud VMs from rogue servers may as well stand for... Still Extremely Vulnerable

    Five boffins from four US universities have explored AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology – and found its defenses can be, in certain circumstances, bypassed with a bit of effort.

    In a paper [PDF] presented Tuesday at the ACM Asia Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Auckland, New Zealand, computer scientists Jan Werner (UNC Chapel Hill), Joshua Mason (University of Illinois), Manos Antonakakis (Georgia Tech), Michalis Polychronakis (Stony Brook University), and Fabian Monrose (UNC Chapel Hill) detail two novel attacks that can undo the privacy of protected processor enclaves.

    The paper, "The SEVerESt Of Them All: Inference Attacks Against Secure Virtual Enclaves," describes techniques that can be exploited by rogue cloud server administrators, or hypervisors hijacked by hackers, to figure out what applications are running within an SEV-protected guest virtual machine, even when its RAM is encrypted, and also extract or even inject data within those VMs.

  • AMD Ryzen 3000 is experiencing problems with some Linux distributions

    Ryzen 3000 seems to have boot problems with the most modern Linux distributions. The problem affects all operating systems using a 2019 Linux distribution with Linux 5.0/5.1/5.2 kernels.

    This problem is now known to be related to the RdRand command. Remember that the previous Ryzen processors were also not friendly when they used the RNG hardware command, which caused problems on the platform. However, now with Zen2, this is even worse supported, and AMD has not yet officially detected the problem.

  • AMD Posts New CPUFreq Driver For CPPC Support With Zen 2 CPUs

    AMD Zen 2 CPUs support ACPI's Collaborative Processor Performance Control (CPPC) for tuning the system to energy and/or performance requirements. AMD has now published a new CPUfreq driver for handling their CPPC implementation and the new controls found with their new processors.

    The AMD CPPC support with Zen 2 desktop/server/mobile CPUs can be optionally enabled and allows setting min/maximum performance along with desired performance and other knobs for tuning via sysfs.

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More in Tux Machines

Debian: Introducing Noir, miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus and New FAI.me Feature

  • Introducing Noir

    Noir is a drop-in replacement for Black (the uncompromising code formatter), with the default line length set to PEP-8's preferred 79 characters. If you want to use it, just replace black with noir in your requirements.txt and/or setup.py and you're good to go. Black is a Python code formatter that reformats your code to make it more PEP-8 compliant. It implements a subset of PEP-8, most notably it deliberately ignores PEP-8's suggestion for a line length of 79 characters and defaults to a length of 88. I find the decision and the reasoning behind that somewhat arbitrary. PEP-8 is a good standard and there's a lot of value in having a style guide that is generally accepted and has a lot of tooling to support it. When people ask to change Black's default line length to 79, the issue is usually closed with a reference to the reasoning in the README. But Black's developers are at least aware of this controversial decision, as Black's only option that allows to configure the (otherwise uncompromising) code formatter, is in fact the line length. Apart from that, Black is a good formatter that's gaining more and more popularity. And, of course, the developers have every right to follow their own taste. However, since Black is licensed under the terms of the MIT license, I tried to see what needs to be done in order to fix the line length issue.

  • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Registration is open

    The Vaumarcus miniDebConf19 is happening! Come see the fantastic view from the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, in Switzerland! We’re going to have two-and-a-half days of presentations and hacking in this marvelous venue and anybody interested in Debian development is welcome.

  • New FAI.me feature

    FAI.me, the build service for installation and cloud images has a new feature. When building an installation images, you can enable automatic reboot or shutdown at the end of the installation in the advanced options. This was implemented due to request by users, that are using the service for their VM instances or computers without any keyboard connected.

FreeBSD's Executive Director Calls For Linux + BSD Devs To Work Together

While called the Open-Source Summit, the event is primarily about Linux as after all it's hosted by the Linux Foundation. But at this week's Open-Source Summit in San Diego, Deb Goodkin as the executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation presented. Deb's talk was of course on FreeBSD but also why FreeBSD and Linux developers should work together. The presentation covered FreeBSD's development workflow and various features of this open-source operating system project for those unfamiliar as well as some of the companies utilizing FreeBSD and their different use-cases. It's a good overview for those not familiar with FreeBSD. Read more

Enlightenment DR 0.23.0 Release

Highlights: New padded screenshot option Meson build now is the build system Music Control now supports rage mpris dbus protocol Add Bluez5 support with totally new and redone module and gadget Add dpms option to turn it off or on Alt-tab window switcher allows moving of windows while alt-tabbing Lots of bug fixes, compile warning fixes etc. Massive improvements to Wayland support Read more Also: Enlightenment 0.23 Released With Massive Wayland Improvements

LG Has Been Working On Reduced Boot Times With Hibernation Optimizations

LG Electronics has been exploring improvements around hibernation/suspend-to-disk to speed-up the Linux boot process for consumer electronics rather than performing cold boots and as part of that is working towards upstream optimizations. While hibernation-based booting is generally quicker than performing cold boots, suspending to disk does yield extra writes to the NAND flash memory on these consumer devices and that is one of the things they are seeking to avoid. So it's been an effort not only to speed-up the hibernation boot process but also reducing the amount of data that needs to be written out to the flash storage. Read more