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Screencasts of CentOS 8.2 and the New Linux Mint

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Raspberry Pi-like Zynq-7020 SBC sells for $72

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Sipeed has launched a $72, open-spec “Sipeed TANG Hex” SBC that runs Linux on an FPGA-enabled Zynq-7020 with 1GB RAM, 256MB flash, 10/100 Ethernet, 4x USB 2.0 ports, and an early RPi-like 26-pin GPIO header.

Chinese vendor Sipeed, which recently launched a Sipeed MaixCube dev kit based on a Kendryte K210 RISC-V chip, has returned with a Raspberry Pi-like SBC that runs Linux on a Xilinx Zynq-7020. The Sipeed TANG Hex is also referred to as the “Lychee HEX ZYNQ7020 FPGA Development Board Raspberry Pie Edition ZEDBOARD” on AliExpress, where it is selling for $72.47, and the “Taidacent HEX ZYNQ 7020 FPGA Development Board Raspberry Pi Edition ZEDBOARD XILINX FPGA Kit” on Amazon for $124.13.

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Stable Kernels: 5.7.6, 5.4.49, 4.19.130, and 4.14.186

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  • Linux 5.7.6

    I'm announcing the release of the 5.7.6 kernel.

    All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at:
    git:// linux-5.7.y
    and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:

  • Linux 5.4.49
  • Linux 4.19.130
  • Linux 4.14.186

Open Firmware at System76

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  • System76 Oryx Pro Linux laptop gets Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and Open Firmware

    We recently told you that the thin and light Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition has finally started shipping with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. While that is certainly cool, the reality is, Linux-focused companies like System76 were shipping out computers with the newest Ubuntu LTS pre-installed way before that. In fact, System76 even offers the option of its own operating system that is based on Ubuntu 20.04. Called "Pop!_OS," the Linux distribution adds many beneficial tweaks and enhancements to improve the overall user experience.

    Today, System76 refreshes its popular Oryx Pro laptop, and you can choose between Ubuntu 20.04 and Pop!_OS 20.04 (I would recommend the latter). The powerful notebook (with 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch display options) now comes with a cutting-edge 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H CPU which offers an impressive 8 cores and 16 threads. You also get an NVIDIA RTX 20-series GPU which can work in conjunction with the Intel graphics thanks to the smart graphic-switching capabilities baked into Pop!_OS.

  • Oryx Pro is the first System76 laptop with Coreboot, Open Controller Firmware and NVIDIA

    System76 have today revealed a refreshed Oryx Pro laptop. The first to come from System76 that features both their System76 Open Firmware, System76 Embedded Controller Firmware and NVIDIA together. This was hinted at recently, when System76 engineer Jeremy Soller had mentioned they were working on it on Twitter.

    Quite an exciting development, having a top Linux hardware vendor bring open source firmware that's built from coreboot and the EDK boot-loader to more models and with an NVIDIA GPU too so there's plenty of power involved. System76 said it "means that users get lightning fast boot times, enhanced security, and firmware updates accessible through their operating system" plus "open source firmware gives a look inside the
    code, so users can keep track of what’s happening with their data".

Tracealyzer diagnostics software adds Linux support, offers free beta download

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Percepio announced 45-day free evaluation version of its Tracealyzer 4.4 trace diagnostics program, its first release to support embedded Linux.

At Embedded World in February, Percepio announced that its latest Tracealyzer 4.4 visual trace diagnostics release added support for embedded Linux. Two weeks before, Wind River announced it was making the software available with its latest version of Wind River Linux. As we read in Embedded Computing Design this week, Percepio has now launched an open beta test program for Tracealyzer 4.4.

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Devices/Embedded: MontaVista, Silicon Labs, Bamboo Systems

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  • MontaVista Launches Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX) 3.1 and Steps Up Yocto Alignment

    MontaVista® Software, LLC,, a leader in commercial Embedded Linux® products and services, today announced the availability of MontaVista's Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX) 3.1 in Q3 of 2020. The CGX 3.1 release will include the baseline of components from Yocto 3.1, commercialized by MontaVista's Carrier-Grade build and test infrastructure.

  • $99 EFR32xG22 Wireless Gecko Starter Kit Offers Low-Cost Zigbee Development Platform

    Silicon Labs has just launched a low-cost Bluetooth, Zigbee, and proprietary wireless development kit with the $99 EFR32xG22 Wireless Gecko Starter Kit (WSTK).

    This WSTK includes two +6 dBm radio boards, matching network, and PCB antennas for +6 dBm output power in the 2.4 GHz band, as well as on-board J-Link debugger. Previously you had to purchase the $479 EFR32xG21 Wireless Gecko Starter Kit to get access to the Zigbee SDK in order to get started with development, and the new starter kit makes it possible to get access to the same software resources and documentation for around $100.

  • Bamboo Systems B1000N 1U Server Features up to 128 64-bit Arm Cores, 512GB RAM

    SolidRun CEx7-LX2160A COM Express module with NXP LX2160A 16-core Arm Cortex A72 processor has been found in the company’s Janux GS31 Edge AI server in combination with several Gyrfalcon AI accelerators. But now another company – Bamboo Systems – has now launched its own servers based on up to eight CEx7-LX2160A module providing 128 Arm Cortex-A72 cores, support for up to 512GB DDR4 ECC, up to 64TB NVMe SSD storage, and delivering a maximum of 160Gb/s network bandwidth in a single rack unit.


    B1008N costs about $80,000 to operate over 3 years, against around $155,000 for the AWS and over $250,000 for the Intel Xeon servers. The server costs are quite straightforward as it’s the one-time cost of the hardware or AWS subscriptions over three years. Bamboo Systems explains B1008N network costs are 50% less than Intel as traffic is contained within the system thanks to the built-in Layer 3 switches. However, I don’t understand the higher storage costs for the Intel servers.

  • ZOTAC ZBOX CI622 Nano Barebone, Fanless Comet Lake Mini PC Launched for $400

    The mini PC ships with a WiFi antenna, a 65W power adapter, a VESA mount, a USB flash drive with OS drivers, a warranty card, a user manual, and a quick install guide. There’s no OS since the system is barebone meaning you’d have to buy RAM and storage separately, then install your own preferred operating system. The company only lists Windows 10 as being supported, so Linux would have to be tested first.

Mesa 20.2 RADV Driver Flips On ACO By Default For Quicker Game Load Times, Better Performance

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As we have been expecting, as of a few minutes ago in Mesa 20.2-devel Git, the Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver has enabled the Valve-backed ACO shader compiler by default rather than AMD's official AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler back-end.

With the last of the blockers cleared for reaching feature parity with the AMDGPU LLVM back-end, RADV is now defaulting to using ACO in place of the AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler that is currently used by RadeonSI, ROCm, and other AMD graphics driver components. RADV though being developed outside of AMD by the community and stakeholders at Valve / Red Hat / Google have the flexibility of changing the default to this AMD compiler back-end that was funded by Valve over the past year, merged for Mesa 20.0, and in good enough shape that it's now the default with next quarter's Mesa 20.2.

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Testing Intel FSGSBASE Patches For Helping Elevate Linux Performance

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After covering the Linux patches for FSGSBASE for years, it's looking like Linux 5.9 will finally land the support for this CPU capability present since Ivy Bridge on the Intel side and more recently on AMD CPUs with Bulldozer and Zen. Here are benchmarks looking at some of the performance benefits the Linux FSGSBASE patches can provide for an Intel Xeon Cascade Lake Refresh server.

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9 Best File Systems for Big Data and Software to Install on GNU/Linux

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  • 9 Best File Systems for Big Data

    Big Data is an all-inclusive term that refers to data sets so large and complex that they need to be processed by specially designed hardware and software tools. The data sets are typically of the order of tera or exabytes in size. These data sets are created from a diverse range of sources: sensors that gather climate information, publicly available information such as magazines, newspapers, articles. Other examples where big data is generated include purchase transaction records, web logs, medical records, military surveillance, video and image archives, and large-scale e-commerce.

    There is a heightened interest in Big Data. Oceans of digital data are being created from the interaction between individuals, businesses, and government agencies. There are enormous benefits open to organisations providing they effectively identify, access, filter, analyze and select parts of this data.

    Big Data demands the storage of a massive amount of data. This makes it a necessity for advanced storage infrastructure; a need to have a storage solution which is designed to scale out on multiple servers.

    This is the third article in a series identifying the finest open source software for Big Data. This feature highlights the finest open source file systems designed to cope with the demands imposed by Big Data. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who needs to support high performance data and offer consistent access to a common set of data from multiple servers.

  • Software To Install Every Time With Lubuntu 20.04

    Lubuntu 20.04, the latest LTS version of Ubuntu using LXQt, is quite a great operating system. While the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, Gnome, is nice, LXQt is designed to be light and fast. This article will discuss the best software to install every time with Lubuntu 20.04 to give you the best experience using it.

  • Software To Install Every Time With Debian Buster

    If you love Debian as much as I do and frequently install it, then here a list of software that I install every time with my Debian Buster installs.

Kernel News: Security, Battery Life and Sway 1.5-RC1 Wayland Compositor

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  • Linux To Begin Tightening Up Ability To Write To CPU MSRs From User-Space

    The Linux 5.9 kernel is slated to begin introducing new restrictions on allowing writes to CPU model specific registers (MSRs) from user-space.

    Via the Linux kernel x86 MSR driver, writes to arbitrary model specific registers from user-space is allowed -- assuming you have root permissions. But even with requiring root access, there are security implications and other issues in allowing any CPU MSRs to be written to from user-space without the intervention of the kernel via /dev/cpu/[CPU-number]/msr.

  • Intel Squaring Away "Hours of Battery Life" Feature For New Notebooks On Linux

    Intel's open-source Linux developers have got the Tiger Lake and Gen12 graphics support largely squared away at this point, but a few remaining features remain. One of the features new to Tigerlake/Gen12+ on the graphics side is HOBL, or "Hours of Battery Life", while the Linux support there is still being tidied up.

    As confirmed via patches earlier this month for implementing the support in Intel's DRM kernel driver, HOBL is for "Hours of Battery Life." This is a power-savings feature where supported laptops can take advantage of an optimized voltage swing table that uses less power in conjunction with motherboards and embedded DisplayPort (eDP) panels able to operate at the lower voltage.

  • Sway 1.5-RC1 Wayland Compositor Brings VRR / Adaptive-Sync, New Protocol Support

    The first release candidate of the Sway 1.5 Wayland compositor is now available for testing that continues to be inspired by the i3 design while being at the forefront of Wayland capabilities.


    - Support for the wlr-foreign-toplevel-management protocol that can be used for creating custom docks and window switchers. This protocol exposes a list of opened applications and actions can then be performed on them such as maximizing windows or switching between these windows.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

XFS / EXT4 / Btrfs / F2FS / NILFS2 Performance On Linux 5.8

Given the reignited discussions this week over Btrfs file-system performance stemming from a proposal to switch Fedora on the desktop to using Btrfs, here are some fresh benchmarks of not only Btrfs but alongside XFS, EXT4, F2FS, and for kicks NILFS2 was also tossed into the mix for these mainline file-system tests off the in-development Linux 5.8 kernel. With the yet-to-be-approved proposal specifically to use Btrfs for desktop installations, for this testing a single NVMe solid-state drive was used for testing in jiving with conventional desktop use-cases rather than any elaborate RAID setups, etc. Each of the tested file-systems were carried out with the default mount options in an out-of-the-box manner. Read more

Proprietary Software Leftovers

  • Ransomware Gangs Don’t Need PR Help

    Overall, I’ve tried to use each story to call attention to key failures that frequently give rise to ransomware infections, and to offer information about how other companies can avoid a similar fate.

    But simply parroting what professional extortionists have posted on their blog about victims of cybercrime smacks of providing aid and comfort to an enemy that needs and deserves neither.

  • Ransomware gangs are doing their homework before encrypting corporate data

    In the last three months, the criminal hackers behind the Maze ransomware have attacked two big IT service providers, one of which is a Fortune 500 company. Other ransomware gangs have hit big corporate targets, and in so doing are first locking computer systems and then publicly shaming companies that don’t pay up by dumping their data.

    For corporations that do pay the ransom, the pain sometimes isn’t over. There is no guarantee that the decryption key handed over by the attacker works, said Wendi Whitmore, global lead at IBM Security X-Force.

  • Zoom Will Offer End-To-End Encryption To All Its Users [Ed: But no. You cannot trust proprietary software to do what it claims to do.]

    The pandemic has moved more activities online--and specifically onto Zoom--than ever before. For an enterprise tool like Zoom, that means new users that the company never expected and did not design for, and all the unanticipated security and privacy problems that come with that sudden growth. Zoom's decision to offer end-to-end encryption more widely is especially important because the people who cannot afford enterprise subscriptions are often the ones who need strong security and privacy protections the most. For example, many activists rely on Zoom as an organizing tool, including the Black-led movement against police violence. To use Zoom's end-to-end encryption, free users will have to provide additional information, like a phone number, to authenticate. As Zoom notes, this is a common method for mitigating abuse, but phone numbers were never designed to be persistent all-purpose individual identifiers, and using them as such creates new risks for users. In different contexts, Signal, Facebook, and Twitter have all encountered disclosure and abuse problems with user phone numbers. At the very least, the phone numbers that users give Zoom should be used only for authentication, and only by Zoom. Zoom should not use these phone numbers for any other purpose, and should never require users to reveal them to other parties.

  • Desklab Portable USB-C Monitor

    I bought a mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter and for my first test ran it from my laptop, it was seen as a 1920*1080 DisplayPort monitor. The adaptor is specified as supporting 4K so I don’t know why I didn’t get 4K to work, my laptop has done 4K with other monitors. The next thing I plan to get is a VGA to HDMI converter so I can use this on servers, it can be a real pain getting a monitor and power cable to a rack mounted server and this portable monitor can be powered by one of the USB ports in the server. A quick search indicates that such devices start at about $12US. The Desklab monitor has no markings to indicate what resolution it supports, no part number, and no serial number. The only documentation I could find about how to recognise the difference between the FullHD and 4K versions is that the FullHD version supposedly draws 2A and the 4K version draws 4A. I connected my USB Ammeter and it reported that between 0.6 and 1.0A were drawn. If they meant to say 2W and 4W instead of 2A and 4A (I’ve seen worse errors in manuals) then the current drawn would indicate the 4K version. Otherwise the stated current requirements don’t come close to matching what I’ve measured.

Raspberry Pi 4's Vulkan Driver and More

  • Alejandro Piñeiro: v3dv status update 2020-07-01

    Input attachment is one of the main sub-features for Vulkan multipass, and we’ve gained support since the announcement. On Vulkan the support for multipass is more tightly supported by the API. Renderpasses can have multiple subpasses. These can have dependencies between each other, and each subpass define a subset of “attachments”. One attachment that is easy to understand is the color attachment: This is where a given subpass writes a given color. Another, input attachment, is an attachment that was updated in a previous subpass (for example, it was the color attachment on such previous subpass), and you get as a input on following subpasses. From the shader POV, you interact with it as a texture, with some restrictions. One important restriction is that you can only read the input attachment at the current pixel location. The main reason for this restriction is because on tile-based GPUs (like rpi4) all primitives are batched on tiles and fragment processing is rendered one tile at a time. In general, if you can live with those restrictions, Vulkan multipass and input attachment will provide better performance than traditional multipass solutions. If you are interested in reading more details on this, you can check out ARM’s very nice presentation “Vulkan Multipass mobile deferred done right”, or Sascha Willems’ post “Vulkan input attachments and sub passes”. The latter also includes information about how to use them and code snippets of one of his demos. For reference, this is how the input attachment demos looks on the rpi4...

  • Raspberry Pi 4's Vulkan Driver Is Now More Usable - Supporting More Features

    The "V3DV" Vulkan driver being developed by Igalia under contract with the Raspberry Pi Foundation has offered a status update on this official driver for the Raspberry Pi 4. The V3DV effort is the modern, official Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4 and not to be confused with the third-party Vulkan driver for pre-RPi4 hardware or the former Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan effort. This is the new driver being developed and what ultimately will be the official driver option moving forward.

  • Code Jetpac’s rocket building action | Wireframe #40