Posts Tagged ‘AArch64’

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin is Another Marvell ARMADA 8040 Networking Mini-ITX Board

October 11th, 2016 31 comments

We’ve already seen SolidRun is working on a Marvell ARMADA 8040 quad core Cortex A72 community board for networking and storage applications, but based on a picture taken at Linaro Connect, the company is also working on a similar board with extra connectivity options called MACCHIATOBin.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Apart from the picture, there’s no info on the web about this board, so we’ll have to derive specs from the photo, the community board features, and info provided by Marcin Juszkiewicz, so all details are preliminary and subject to change:

  • SoC – ARMADA 8040 (88F8040) quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 1x DDR4 DIMM up to 16GB RAM
  • Storage – 3x SATA 3.0 port + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit RJ45 port, 1x SFP SGMII @ 2.5Gbps, 2x 10Gbps copper (RJ45) with auto switchover to dual SFP+
  • Expansion – 1x PCIe-x4 3.0 slot, Marvell TDM module header
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB-C port
  • Debugging – 20-pin Connector for CPU JTAG debugger
  • Power Supply – 12V DC via power jack or ATX power supply
  • Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor (170 mm x 170 mm)

That board is said to be SBSA compliant, meaning any ARM SBSA server distributions (like Red Hat) should work with mainlined kernel and bootloaders (U-Boot and UEFI). The price is said to be $350 with 4GB RAM, exactly what the community board is supposed to sell for, so MACCHIATOBin could also be the latest revision of the community board with a layout change, and most of the same features.

How to Run Ubuntu 16.04 Aarch64 (64-bit ARM) Cloud Images on Your Intel/AMD Linux Computer with QEMU

May 10th, 2016 24 comments

With the recent launch of several low cost Cortex A53 development boards, 64-bit ARM hardware is now pretty common and inexpensive, but if you want to run 64-bit ARM code on your x86 Linux computer, Riku Voipio, a software engineer working for Linaro, wrote some instructions to run Ubuntu 16.04 Aarch64 Cloud image in QEMU. Ubuntu cloud images are “the official Ubuntu images and are pre-installed disk images that have been customized by Ubuntu engineering to run on public clouds that provide Ubuntu Certified Images, Openstack, LXD, and more. ”  So the instructions are also useful if you want to easily try such packages on 64-bit ARM platform.


Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.4 Running on a Dual Core Cortex A57 Processor in QEMU

I’ve tried those instructions myself on my Ubuntu 14.04 machine with and AMD FX8350 processor, and they worked pretty well, and the only things I had to find out by myself was to install a recent version of qemu.

First, we’ll need to install qemu & cloud-utils, and download QEMU EFI firmware  as well as the Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial server Cloud image:

The instructions require qemu-system-aarch64 version 2.5, and my system only comes with qemu 2.0.0

So I had to find a qemu ppa to install a more recent version:

I now have version 2.5:

Since the Cloud images don’t come with default username and password, they need to configured with cloud-utils. To do so, I created cloud-utils as follows:

You simply need to change the file with your username, and RSA key, which should be in ~/.ssh/ If you don’t have that file you may want to read my post  showing how to create the SSH key and login without password. Cloud config can take many arguments, including packages to install during the first boot, and you can learn all about it on Cloud-init documentation.

Now you can initialize the cloud image, and run it:

The boot until the login prompt tool about 3 minutes on my machine. Here’s the boot log:

error: no suitable video mode found.
EFI stub: Booting Linux Kernel…
EFI stub: Using DTB from configuration table
EFI stub: Exiting boot services and installing virtual address map…
[ 0.000000] Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0
[ 0.000000] Initializing cgroup subsys cpuset
[ 0.000000] Initializing cgroup subsys cpu
[ 0.000000] Initializing cgroup subsys cpuacct
[ 0.000000] Linux version 4.4.0-22-generic (buildd@magic) (gcc version 5.3.1 20160413 (Ubuntu/Linaro 5.3.1-14ubuntu2) ) #39-Ubuntu SMP Thu May 5 16:54:53 UTC 2016 (Ubuntu 4.4.0-22.39-generic 4.4.8)
[ 0.000000] Boot CPU: AArch64 Processor [411fd070]
[ 0.000000] efi: Getting EFI parameters from FDT:
[ 0.000000] EFI v2.50 by EDK II
[ 0.000000] efi: SMBIOS=0x7c020000 SMBIOS 3.0=0x7bf90000 PROP=0x7f7b8d78 ACPI=0x7c040000 ACPI 2.0=0x7c040014
[ 0.000000] No NUMA configuration found
[ 0.000000] NUMA: Faking a node at [mem 0x0000000000000000-0x000000007fffffff]
[ 0.000000] NUMA: Adding memblock [0x40000000 – 0x7fffffff] on node 0
[ 0.000000] NUMA: Initmem setup node 0 [mem 0x40000000-0x7fffffff]
[ 0.000000] NUMA: NODE_DATA [mem 0x7fff2280-0x7fff3fff]
[ 0.000000] Zone ranges:
[ 0.000000] DMA [mem 0x0000000040000000-0x000000007fffffff]
[ 0.000000] Normal empty
[ 0.000000] Movable zone start for each node
[ 0.000000] Early memory node ranges
[ 0.000000] node 0: [mem 0x0000000040000000-0x000000007fffffff]
[ 0.000000] Initmem setup node 0 [mem 0x0000000040000000-0x000000007fffffff]
[ 0.000000] psci: probing for conduit method from DT.
[ 0.000000] psci: PSCIv0.2 detected in firmware.
[ 0.000000] psci: Using standard PSCI v0.2 function IDs
[ 0.000000] psci: Trusted OS migration not required
[ 0.000000] PERCPU: Embedded 17 pages/cpu @ffff80003ffc7000 s31128 r8192 d30312 u69632
[ 0.000000] Detected PIPT I-cache on CPU0
[ 0.000000] CPU features: enabling workaround for ARM erratum 832075
[ 0.000000] CPU features: enabling workaround for ARM erratum 834220
[ 0.000000] Built 1 zonelists in Node order, mobility grouping on. Total pages: 258048
[ 0.000000] Policy zone: DMA
[ 0.000000] Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.4.0-22-generic root=LABEL=cloudimg-rootfs vt.handoff=7
[ 0.000000] PID hash table entries: 4096 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
[ 0.000000] software IO TLB [mem 0x77dc0000-0x7bdc0000] (64MB) mapped at [ffff800037dc0000-ffff80003bdbffff]
[ 0.000000] Memory: 923168K/1048576K available (8720K kernel code, 1006K rwdata, 3772K rodata, 760K init, 786K bss, 125408K reserved, 0K cma-reserved)
[ 0.000000] Virtual kernel memory layout:
[ 0.000000] vmalloc : 0xffff000000000000 – 0xffff7bffbfff0000 (126974 GB)
[ 0.000000] vmemmap : 0xffff7bffc0000000 – 0xffff7fffc0000000 ( 4096 GB maximum)
[ 0.000000] 0xffff7bffc0000000 – 0xffff7bffc1000000 ( 16 MB actual)
[ 0.000000] fixed : 0xffff7ffffa7fd000 – 0xffff7ffffac00000 ( 4108 KB)
[ 0.000000] PCI I/O : 0xffff7ffffae00000 – 0xffff7ffffbe00000 ( 16 MB)
[ 0.000000] modules : 0xffff7ffffc000000 – 0xffff800000000000 ( 64 MB)
[ 0.000000] memory : 0xffff800000000000 – 0xffff800040000000 ( 1024 MB)
[ 0.000000] .init : 0xffff800000cb5000 – 0xffff800000d73000 ( 760 KB)
[ 0.000000] .text : 0xffff800000080000 – 0xffff800000cb5000 ( 12500 KB)
[ 0.000000] .data : 0xffff800000d84000 – 0xffff800000e7fa00 ( 1007 KB)
[ 0.000000] SLUB: HWalign=64, Order=0-3, MinObjects=0, CPUs=2, Nodes=1
[ 0.000000] Hierarchical RCU implementation.
[ 0.000000] Build-time adjustment of leaf fanout to 64.
[ 0.000000] RCU restricting CPUs from NR_CPUS=128 to nr_cpu_ids=2.
[ 0.000000] RCU: Adjusting geometry for rcu_fanout_leaf=64, nr_cpu_ids=2
[ 0.000000] NR_IRQS:64 nr_irqs:64 0
[ 0.000000] GICv2m: range[0x8020000:0x8020fff], SPI[80:144]
[ 0.000000] Architected cp15 timer(s) running at 62.50MHz (virt).
[ 0.000000] clocksource: arch_sys_counter: mask: 0xffffffffffffff max_cycles: 0x1cd42e208c, max_idle_ns: 881590405314 ns
[ 0.000135] sched_clock: 56 bits at 62MHz, resolution 16ns, wraps every 4398046511096ns
[ 0.006123] vt handoff: transparent VT on vt#7
[ 0.006565] Console: colour dummy device 80×25
[ 0.007325] console [tty0] enabled
[ 0.008449] Calibrating delay loop (skipped), value calculated using timer frequency.. 125.00 BogoMIPS (lpj=250000)
[ 0.008599] pid_max: default: 32768 minimum: 301
[ 0.009541] Security Framework initialized
[ 0.009610] Yama: becoming mindful.
[ 0.011833] AppArmor: AppArmor initialized
[ 0.015594] Dentry cache hash table entries: 131072 (order: 8, 1048576 bytes)
[ 0.017840] Inode-cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 7, 524288 bytes)
[ 0.018889] Mount-cache hash table entries: 2048 (order: 2, 16384 bytes)
[ 0.018992] Mountpoint-cache hash table entries: 2048 (order: 2, 16384 bytes)
[ 0.029386] Initializing cgroup subsys io
[ 0.029795] Initializing cgroup subsys memory
[ 0.030134] Initializing cgroup subsys devices
[ 0.030245] Initializing cgroup subsys freezer
[ 0.030346] Initializing cgroup subsys net_cls
[ 0.030421] Initializing cgroup subsys perf_event
[ 0.030490] Initializing cgroup subsys net_prio
[ 0.030574] Initializing cgroup subsys hugetlb
[ 0.030676] Initializing cgroup subsys pids
[ 0.031176] ftrace: allocating 30291 entries in 119 pages
[ 0.725663] Remapping and enabling EFI services.
[ 0.726171] EFI remap 0x0000000004000000 => 0000000040000000
[ 0.726421] EFI remap 0x0000000009010000 => 0000000044000000
[ 0.726500] EFI remap 0x000000007be40000 => 0000000044010000
[ 0.726557] EFI remap 0x000000007bea0000 => 0000000044070000
[ 0.726576] EFI remap 0x000000007beb0000 => 0000000044080000
[ 0.726597] EFI remap 0x000000007bf30000 => 0000000044100000
[ 0.726615] EFI remap 0x000000007bf40000 => 0000000044110000
[ 0.726632] EFI remap 0x000000007bf50000 => 0000000044120000
[ 0.726656] EFI remap 0x000000007c020000 => 00000000441d0000
[ 0.726673] EFI remap 0x000000007c050000 => 00000000441e0000
[ 0.726689] EFI remap 0x000000007c060000 => 00000000441f0000
[ 0.726706] EFI remap 0x000000007c070000 => 0000000044200000
[ 0.726771] EFI remap 0x000000007c0f0000 => 0000000044280000
[ 0.726802] EFI remap 0x000000007c100000 => 0000000044290000
[ 0.726819] EFI remap 0x000000007c110000 => 00000000442a0000
[ 0.726842] EFI remap 0x000000007c1e0000 => 0000000044370000
[ 0.726858] EFI remap 0x000000007c1f0000 => 0000000044380000
[ 0.726876] EFI remap 0x000000007c200000 => 0000000044390000
[ 0.726951] EFI remap 0x000000007c280000 => 0000000044410000
[ 0.726981] EFI remap 0x000000007c290000 => 0000000044420000
[ 0.726998] EFI remap 0x000000007c2a0000 => 0000000044430000
[ 0.727016] EFI remap 0x000000007f5b0000 => 0000000044460000
[ 0.727036] EFI remap 0x000000007f600000 => 00000000444b0000
[ 0.727053] EFI remap 0x000000007f610000 => 00000000444c0000
[ 0.727071] EFI remap 0x000000007f650000 => 00000000444f0000
[ 0.727618] ASID allocator initialised with 65536 entries
[ 0.746070] Detected PIPT I-cache on CPU1
[ 0.747515] CPU1: Booted secondary processor [411fd070]
[ 0.749129] Brought up 2 CPUs
[ 0.749201] SMP: Total of 2 processors activated.
[ 0.749430] CPU: All CPU(s) started at EL1
[ 0.750222] alternatives: patching kernel code
[ 0.766144] devtmpfs: initialized
[ 0.775039] evm: security.selinux
[ 0.775075] evm: security.SMACK64
[ 0.775089] evm: security.SMACK64EXEC
[ 0.775102] evm: security.SMACK64TRANSMUTE
[ 0.775116] evm: security.SMACK64MMAP
[ 0.775129] evm: security.ima
[ 0.775142] evm: security.capability
[ 0.778658] SMBIOS 3.0.0 present.
[ 0.779858] clocksource: jiffies: mask: 0xffffffff max_cycles: 0xffffffff, max_idle_ns: 7645041785100000 ns
[ 0.782640] pinctrl core: initialized pinctrl subsystem
[ 0.794894] NET: Registered protocol family 16
[ 0.810548] cpuidle: using governor ladder
[ 0.823124] cpuidle: using governor menu
[ 0.823790] vdso: 2 pages (1 code @ ffff800000d89000, 1 data @ ffff800000d88000)
[ 0.824292] hw-breakpoint: found 6 breakpoint and 4 watchpoint registers.
[ 0.826321] DMA: preallocated 256 KiB pool for atomic allocations
[ 0.827846] Serial: AMBA PL011 UART driver
[ 0.855107] 9000000.pl011: ttyAMA0 at MMIO 0x9000000 (irq = 37, base_baud = 0) is a PL011 rev1
[ 0.893760] console [ttyAMA0] enabled
[ 0.946328] ACPI: Interpreter disabled.
[ 0.949605] vgaarb: loaded
[ 0.955849] SCSI subsystem initialized
[ 0.958552] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs
[ 0.959246] usbcore: registered new interface driver hub
[ 0.959790] usbcore: registered new device driver usb
[ 0.971932] NetLabel: Initializing
[ 0.972153] NetLabel: domain hash size = 128
[ 0.972377] NetLabel: protocols = UNLABELED CIPSOv4
[ 0.973808] NetLabel: unlabeled traffic allowed by default
[ 0.976092] clocksource: Switched to clocksource arch_sys_counter
[ 1.099009] AppArmor: AppArmor Filesystem Enabled
[ 1.100738] pnp: PnP ACPI: disabled
[ 1.149920] NET: Registered protocol family 2
[ 1.157502] TCP established hash table entries: 8192 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
[ 1.158260] TCP bind hash table entries: 8192 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
[ 1.158865] TCP: Hash tables configured (established 8192 bind 8192)
[ 1.160369] UDP hash table entries: 512 (order: 2, 16384 bytes)
[ 1.160845] UDP-Lite hash table entries: 512 (order: 2, 16384 bytes)
[ 1.162945] NET: Registered protocol family 1
[ 1.169176] Trying to unpack rootfs image as initramfs…
[ 38.466085] Freeing initrd memory: 20908K (ffff80002a69a000 – ffff80002bb05000)
[ 38.467445] kvm [1]: HYP mode not available
[ 38.471688] futex hash table entries: 512 (order: 4, 65536 bytes)
[ 38.472992] audit: initializing netlink subsys (disabled)
[ 38.474139] audit: type=2000 audit(37.848:1): initialized
[ 38.480527] Initialise system trusted keyring
[ 38.485484] HugeTLB registered 2 MB page size, pre-allocated 0 pages
[ 38.510331] zbud: loaded
[ 38.516406] VFS: Disk quotas dquot_6.6.0
[ 38.517291] VFS: Dquot-cache hash table entries: 512 (order 0, 4096 bytes)
[ 38.528806] fuse init (API version 7.23)
[ 38.532598] Key type big_key registered
[ 38.533202] Allocating IMA MOK and blacklist keyrings.
[ 38.546907] Key type asymmetric registered
[ 38.547225] Asymmetric key parser ‘x509’ registered
[ 38.548522] Block layer SCSI generic (bsg) driver version 0.4 loaded (major 249)
[ 38.549875] io scheduler noop registered
[ 38.550151] io scheduler deadline registered (default)
[ 38.551097] io scheduler cfq registered
[ 38.557770] pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
[ 38.558156] pciehp: PCI Express Hot Plug Controller Driver version: 0.4
[ 38.559066] PCI host bridge /pcie@10000000 ranges:
[ 38.559706] IO 0x3eff0000..0x3effffff -> 0x00000000
[ 38.560395] MEM 0x10000000..0x3efeffff -> 0x10000000
[ 38.560672] MEM 0x8000000000..0xffffffffff -> 0x8000000000
[ 38.563045] pci-host-generic 3f000000.pcie: PCI host bridge to bus 0000:00
[ 38.563709] pci_bus 0000:00: root bus resource [bus 00-0f]
[ 38.564346] pci_bus 0000:00: root bus resource [io 0x0000-0xffff]
[ 38.564681] pci_bus 0000:00: root bus resource [mem 0x10000000-0x3efeffff]
[ 38.565020] pci_bus 0000:00: root bus resource [mem 0x8000000000-0xffffffffff]
[ 38.585136] Serial: 8250/16550 driver, 32 ports, IRQ sharing enabled
[ 38.615449] msm_serial: driver initialized
[ 38.620995] Unable to detect cache hierarchy from DT for CPU 0
[ 38.681657] brd: module loaded
[ 38.707298] loop: module loaded
[ 38.744265] vdb: vdb1 vdb15
[ 38.755415] libphy: Fixed MDIO Bus: probed
[ 38.755791] tun: Universal TUN/TAP device driver, 1.6
[ 38.756571] tun: (C) 1999-2004 Max Krasnyansky <>
[ 38.769050] PPP generic driver version 2.4.2
[ 38.772339] ehci_hcd: USB 2.0 ‘Enhanced’ Host Controller (EHCI) Driver
[ 38.772918] ehci-pci: EHCI PCI platform driver
[ 38.773577] ohci_hcd: USB 1.1 ‘Open’ Host Controller (OHCI) Driver
[ 38.774282] ohci-pci: OHCI PCI platform driver
[ 38.775318] uhci_hcd: USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver
[ 38.781025] mousedev: PS/2 mouse device common for all mice
[ 38.785156] i2c /dev entries driver
[ 38.790822] device-mapper: uevent: version 1.0.3
[ 38.793082] device-mapper: ioctl: 4.34.0-ioctl (2015-10-28) initialised:
[ 38.795243] ledtrig-cpu: registered to indicate activity on CPUs
[ 38.795611] EFI Variables Facility v0.08 2004-May-17
[ 38.808496] NET: Registered protocol family 10
[ 38.816988] NET: Registered protocol family 17
[ 38.817611] Key type dns_resolver registered
[ 38.818458] Registered cp15_barrier emulation handler
[ 38.818815] Registered setend emulation handler
[ 38.822549] registered taskstats version 1
[ 38.823009] Loading compiled-in X.509 certificates
[ 38.833206] Loaded X.509 cert ‘Build time autogenerated kernel key: a959bfeeeafa5217003d029b713b4f3761d43036’
[ 38.834712] zswap: loaded using pool lzo/zbud
[ 38.939508] Key type trusted registered
[ 39.135319] Key type encrypted registered
[ 39.135696] AppArmor: AppArmor sha1 policy hashing enabled
[ 39.136679] ima: No TPM chip found, activating TPM-bypass!
[ 39.138753] evm: HMAC attrs: 0x1
[ 39.141193] hctosys: unable to open rtc device (rtc0)
[ 39.146796] uart-pl011 9000000.pl011: no DMA platform data
[ 39.194827] Freeing unused kernel memory: 760K (ffff800000cb5000 – ffff800000d73000)
[ 39.195339] Freeing alternatives memory: 48K (ffff800000d73000 – ffff800000d7f000)
Loading, please wait…
starting version 229
[ 39.750435] random: systemd-udevd urandom read with 1 bits of entropy available
Begin: Loading essential drivers … [ 46.415344] md: linear personality registered for level -1
[ 46.515772] md: multipath personality registered for level -4
[ 46.620934] md: raid0 personality registered for level 0
[ 46.726240] md: raid1 personality registered for level 1
[ 46.926037] raid6: int64x1 gen() 474 MB/s
[ 46.992135] raid6: int64x1 xor() 397 MB/s
[ 47.060108] raid6: int64x2 gen() 892 MB/s
[ 47.128118] raid6: int64x2 xor() 588 MB/s
[ 47.196003] raid6: int64x4 gen() 1156 MB/s
[ 47.264122] raid6: int64x4 xor() 777 MB/s
[ 47.332052] raid6: int64x8 gen() 538 MB/s
[ 47.400093] raid6: int64x8 xor() 450 MB/s
[ 47.468291] raid6: neonx1 gen() 330 MB/s
[ 47.536209] raid6: neonx1 xor() 189 MB/s
[ 47.604233] raid6: neonx2 gen() 398 MB/s
[ 47.672095] raid6: neonx2 xor() 163 MB/s
[ 47.740157] raid6: neonx4 gen() 440 MB/s
[ 47.808224] raid6: neonx4 xor() 238 MB/s
[ 47.876048] raid6: neonx8 gen() 385 MB/s
[ 47.944072] raid6: neonx8 xor() 230 MB/s
[ 47.944350] raid6: using algorithm int64x4 gen() 1156 MB/s
[ 47.944628] raid6: …. xor() 777 MB/s, rmw enabled
[ 47.944939] raid6: using intx1 recovery algorithm
[ 47.952791] xor: measuring software checksum speed
[ 47.996241] 8regs : 1440.000 MB/sec
[ 48.036207] 8regs_prefetch: 1445.000 MB/sec
[ 48.076186] 32regs : 1336.000 MB/sec
[ 48.116043] 32regs_prefetch: 1343.000 MB/sec
[ 48.116350] xor: using function: 8regs_prefetch (1445.000 MB/sec)
[ 48.123591] async_tx: api initialized (async)
[ 48.216579] md: raid6 personality registered for level 6
[ 48.216952] md: raid5 personality registered for level 5
[ 48.217259] md: raid4 personality registered for level 4
[ 48.475262] md: raid10 personality registered for level 10
Begin: Running /scripts/init-premount … done.
Begin: Mounting root file system … Begin: Running /scripts/local-top … done.
Begin: Running /scripts/local-premount … [ 49.365334] Btrfs loaded
Scanning for Btrfs filesystems
Warning: fsck not present, so skipping root file system
[ 50.489875] EXT4-fs (vdb1): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
Begin: Running /scripts/local-bottom … done.
Begin: Running /scripts/init-bottom … Warning: overlayroot: debug is busted
[ 52.425729] systemd[1]: System time before build time, advancing clock.
[ 52.602459] systemd[1]: Detected virtualization qemu.
[ 52.602901] systemd[1]: Detected architecture arm64.Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS![ 52.615513] systemd[1]: Set hostname to .
[ 52.631062] systemd[1]: Initializing machine ID from random generator.
[ 52.633892] systemd[1]: Installed transient /etc/machine-id file.
[ 54.777420] systemd[1]: Created slice System Slice.
[ OK ] Created slice System Slice.
[ 54.787015] systemd[1]: Created slice system-getty.slice.
[ OK ] Created slice system-getty.slice.
[ 54.791265] systemd[1]: Listening on Journal Socket.
[ OK ] Listening on Journal Socket.
[ 54.827391] systemd[1]: Starting Create list of required static device nodes for the current kernel…
Starting Create list of required st… nodes for the current kernel…
[ 54.839431] systemd[1]: Reached target User and Group Name Lookups.
[ OK ] Reached target User and Group Name Lookups.
[ 54.900677] systemd[1]: Listening on Journal Audit Socket.
[ OK ] Listening on Journal Audit Socket.
[ 54.937520] systemd[1]: Listening on Syslog Socket.
[ OK ] Listening on Syslog Socket.
[ 55.061147] systemd[1]: Mounting Debug File System…
Mounting Debug File System…
[ 55.125920] systemd[1]: Created slice system-serial\x2dgetty.slice.
[ OK ] Created slice system-serial\x2dgetty.slice.
[ 55.130335] systemd[1]: Listening on udev Control Socket.
[ OK ] Listening on udev Control Socket.
[ 55.166043] systemd[1]: Listening on /dev/initctl Compatibility Named Pipe.
[ OK ] Listening on /dev/initctl Compatibility Named Pipe.
[ 55.203000] systemd[1]: Created slice User and Session Slice.
[ OK ] Created slice User and Session Slice.
[ 55.230696] systemd[1]: Started Forward Password Requests to Wall Directory Watch.
[ OK ] Started Forward Password Requests to Wall Directory Watch.
[ 55.270726] systemd[1]: Starting Uncomplicated firewall…
Starting Uncomplicated firewall…
[ 55.302712] systemd[1]: Set up automount Arbitrary Executable File Formats File System Automount Point.
[ OK ] Set up automount Arbitrary Executab…ats File System Automount Point.
[ 55.342570] systemd[1]: Listening on LVM2 metadata daemon socket.
[ OK ] Listening on LVM2 metadata daemon socket.
[ 55.437727] systemd[1]: Mounting Huge Pages File System…
Mounting Huge Pages File System…
[ 55.478207] systemd[1]: Reached target Swap.
[ OK ] Reached target Swap.
[ 55.505859] systemd[1]: Reached target Slices.
[ OK ] Reached target Slices.
[ 55.653438] systemd[1]: Mounting POSIX Message Queue File System…
Mounting POSIX Message Queue File System…
[ 55.671273] systemd[1]: Reached target Encrypted Volumes.
[ OK ] Reached target Encrypted Volumes.
[ 55.826639] systemd[1]: Starting Remount Root and Kernel File Systems…
Starting Remount Root and Kernel File Systems…
[ 55.895229] systemd[1]: Listening on Journal Socket (/dev/log).
[ OK ] Listening on Journal Socket (/dev/log).
[ 55.978436] systemd[1]: Listening on Device-mapper event daemon FIFOs.
[ OK ] Listening on Device-mapper event daemon FIFOs.
[ 56.039144] systemd[1]: Listening on udev Kernel Socket.
[ OK ] Listening on udev Kernel Socket.
[ 56.338358] systemd[1]: Starting Load Kernel Modules…
Starting Load Kernel Modules…
[ 56.393745] systemd[1]: Listening on LVM2 poll daemon socket.
[ OK ] Listening on LVM2 poll daemon socket.
[ 56.554266] systemd[1]: Starting Nameserver information manager…
Starting Nameserver information manager…
[ 56.634591] systemd[1]: Starting Monitoring of LVM2 mirrors, snapshots etc. using dmeventd or progress polling…
Starting Monitoring of LVM2 mirrors… dmeventd or progress polling…
[ 56.742477] systemd[1]: Starting Journal Service…
Starting Journal Service…
[ 57.001027] systemd[1]: Mounted POSIX Message Queue File System.
[ OK ] Mounted POSIX Message Queue File System.
[ 57.064715] systemd[1]: Mounted Debug File System.
[ OK ] Mounted Debug File System.
[ 57.101124] systemd[1]: Mounted Huge Pages File System.
[ OK ] Mounted Huge Pages File System.
[ 57.227288] systemd[1]: Started Create list of required static device nodes for the current kernel.
[ OK ] Started Create list of required sta…ce nodes for the current kernel.
[ 57.258454] systemd[1]: Started Uncomplicated firewall.
[ OK ] Started Uncomplicated firewall.
[ 57.304651] EXT4-fs (vdb1): re-mounted. Opts: (null)
[ 57.527628] systemd[1]: Started Remount Root and Kernel File Systems.
[ OK ] Started Remount Root and Kernel File Systems.
[ 58.358611] systemd[1]: Started Nameserver information manager.
[ OK ] Started Nameserver information manager.
[ 59.850589] Loading iSCSI transport class v2.0-870.
[ 60.059388] systemd[1]: Started LVM2 metadata daemon.
[ OK ] Started LVM2 metadata daemon.
[ 60.205315] systemd[1]: Starting Load/Save Random Seed…
Starting Load/Save Random Seed…
[ 60.467673] iscsi: registered transport (tcp)
[ 60.479537] systemd[1]: Starting udev Coldplug all Devices…
Starting udev Coldplug all Devices…
[ 60.566825] systemd[1]: Starting Create Static Device Nodes in /dev…
Starting Create Static Device Nodes in /dev…
[ 60.630029] systemd[1]: Started Journal Service.
[ OK ] Started Journal Service.
Starting Flush Journal to Persistent Storage…
[ OK ] Started Load/Save Random Seed.
[ 62.065118] systemd-journald[368]: Received request to flush runtime journal from PID 1
[ OK ] Started Flush Journal to Persistent Storage.
[ 62.627589] iscsi: registered transport (iser)
[ OK ] Started Load Kernel Modules.
[ OK ] Started Monitoring of LVM2 mirrors,…ng dmeventd or progress polling.
Starting Apply Kernel Variables…
Mounting FUSE Control File System…
[ OK ] Mounted FUSE Control File System.
[ OK ] Started Create Static Device Nodes in /dev.
Starting udev Kernel Device Manager…
[ OK ] Started Apply Kernel Variables.
[ OK ] Started udev Coldplug all Devices.
[ OK ] Started udev Kernel Device Manager.
[ OK ] Reached target Local File Systems (Pre).
[ OK ] Started Dispatch Password Requests to Console Directory Watch.
[ OK ] Found device /dev/ttyAMA0.
[ OK ] Found device /dev/disk/by-label/UEFI.
Mounting /boot/efi…
[ OK ] Mounted /boot/efi.
[ OK ] Reached target Local File Systems.
Starting Initial cloud-init job (pre-networking)…
Starting Tell Plymouth To Write Out Runtime Data…
Starting Set console keymap…
Starting Create Volatile Files and Directories…
Starting LSB: AppArmor initialization…
Starting Commit a transient machine-id on disk…
[ OK ] Started Tell Plymouth To Write Out Runtime Data.
[FAILED] Failed to start Set console keymap.
See ‘systemctl status console-setup.service’ for details.
[ OK ] Started Commit a transient machine-id on disk.
[ OK ] Listening on Load/Save RF Kill Switch Status /dev/rfkill Watch.
[ OK ] Started Create Volatile Files and Directories.
Starting Network Time Synchronization…
Starting Update UTMP about System Boot/Shutdown…
[ OK ] Started Update UTMP about System Boot/Shutdown.
[ OK ] Started Network Time Synchronization.
[ OK ] Reached target System Time Synchronized.
[ OK ] Started LSB: AppArmor initialization.
[ OK ] Reached target System Initialization.
[ OK ] Started Trigger resolvconf update for networkd DNS.
[ OK ] Listening on ACPID Listen Socket.
[ OK ] Listening on D-Bus System Message Bus Socket.
Starting Socket activation for snappy daemon.
Starting Seed the pseudo random number generator on first boot…
Starting LXD – unix socket.
[ OK ] Started Daily Cleanup of Temporary Directories.
[ OK ] Started Daily apt activities.
[ OK ] Reached target Timers.
[ OK ] Listening on UUID daemon activation socket.
[ OK ] Started ACPI Events Check.
[ OK ] Reached target Paths.
[ OK ] Listening on Socket activation for snappy daemon.
[ OK ] Listening on LXD – unix socket.
[ OK ] Reached target Sockets.
[ OK ] Reached target Basic System.
Starting LXD – container startup/shutdown…
[ OK ] Started Deferred execution scheduler.
[ OK ] Started Regular background program processing daemon.
[ OK ] Started D-Bus System Message Bus.
[ OK ] Started ACPI event daemon.
Starting System Logging Service…
Starting Login Service…
Starting Accounts Service…
[ OK ] Started FUSE filesystem for LXC.
Starting LSB: Record successful boot for GRUB…
Starting LSB: MD monitoring daemon…
[ OK ] Started Login Service.
[ OK ] Started System Logging Service.
Starting Authenticate and Authorize Users to Run Privileged Tasks…
[ OK ] Started LSB: Record successful boot for GRUB.
[ OK ] Started LSB: MD monitoring daemon.
[ OK ] Started Authenticate and Authorize Users to Run Privileged Tasks.
[ OK ] Started Accounts Service.
[ OK ] Started Seed the pseudo random number generator on first boot.
[ OK ] Started LXD – container startup/shutdown.
[ 137.551732] cloud-init[502]: Cloud-init v. 0.7.7 running ‘init-local’ at Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:29:14 +0000. Up 126.47 seconds.
[ OK ] Started Initial cloud-init job (pre-networking).
[ OK ] Reached target Network (Pre).
Starting Raise network interfaces…
[ OK ] Started Raise network interfaces.
Starting Initial cloud-init job (metadata service crawler)…
[ OK ] Reached target Network.
[ 183.824988] cloud-init[984]: Cloud-init v. 0.7.7 running ‘init’ at Tue, 10 May 2016 13:09:14 +0000. Up 162.17 seconds.
[ 183.856568] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Net device info++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
[ 183.896700] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +——–+——+—————————-+—————+——-+——————-+
[ 183.944499] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | Device | Up | Address | Mask | Scope | Hw-Address |
[ 183.979733] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +——–+——+—————————-+—————+——-+——————-+
[ 184.003937] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | lo | True | | | . | . |
[ 184.024728] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | lo | True | ::1/128 | . | host | . |
[ 184.040806] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | eth0 | True | | | . | 52:54:00:12:34:56 |
[ 184.059981] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | eth0 | True | fe80::5054:ff:fe12:3456/64 | . | link | 52:54:00:12:34:56 |
[ 184.076902] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +——–+——+—————————-+—————+——-+——————-+
[ 184.096749] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++Route IPv4 info++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
[ 184.119901] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +——-+————-+———-+—————+———–+——-+
[ 184.135772] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | Route | Destination | Gateway | Genmask | Interface | Flags |
[ 184.159764] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +——-+————-+———-+—————+———–+——-+
[ 184.183873] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | 0 | | | | eth0 | UG |
[ 184.221910] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: | 1 | | | | eth0 | U |
[ 184.235614] cloud-init[984]: ci-info: +——-+————-+———-+—————+———–+——-+
[ 184.251771] cloud-init[984]: Generating public/private rsa key pair.
[ 184.267717] cloud-init[984]: Your identification has been saved in /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key.
[ 184.287923] cloud-init[984]: Your public key has been saved in /etc/ssh/
[ 184.299763] cloud-init[984]: The key fingerprint is:
[ 184.319922] cloud-init[984]: SHA256:5nfgM60p9uPLbYwOS9asle9xORwZn8f2w1Wn1/jxyv8 root@ubuntu
[ 184.347770] cloud-init[984]: The key’s randomart image is:
[ 184.368899] cloud-init[984]: +—[RSA 2048]—-+
[ 184.387884] cloud-init[984]: | |
[ 184.421722] cloud-init[984]: | |
[ 184.460441] cloud-init[984]: | . o|
[ 184.501071] cloud-init[984]: | B=|
[ 184.544642] cloud-init[984]: | S . =oO|
[ 184.575731] cloud-init[984]: | o + + ..**|
[ 184.607402] cloud-init[984]: | = Xo+ =o+|
[ 184.652524] cloud-init[984]: | ooBoOo+ o.|
[ 184.679908] cloud-init[984]: | .o=O=+ o.E|
[ 184.699730] cloud-init[984]: +—-[SHA256]—–+
[ 184.723963] cloud-init[984]: Generating public/private dsa key pair.
[ 184.747842] cloud-init[984]: Your identification has been saved in /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key.
[ 184.768001] cloud-init[984]: Your public key has been saved in /etc/ssh/
[ 184.787953] cloud-init[984]: The key fingerprint is:
[ 184.806946] cloud-init[984]: SHA256:KzpBU/Zr4F1VzPQL/SjCTZudKOk1n4AXjCVEx8sgc8g root@ubuntu
[ 184.815690] cloud-init[984]: The key’s randomart image is:
[ 184.827854] cloud-init[984]: +—[DSA 1024]—-+
[ 184.855475] cloud-init[984]: | . ++.o=o |
[ 184.866056] cloud-init[984]: | o E o*o +. |
[ 184.875487] cloud-init[984]: | o . +.++o ..|
[ OK ] Started Initial cloud-init job (metadata service crawler).
[ 184.897020] cloud-init[984]: | o . …=o*.oo|
[ OK ] Reached target Network is Online.
Starting /etc/rc.local Compatibility…
[ 185.021564] cloud-init[984]: | . o oSo* @ +..|
[ 185.051657] cloud-init[984]: | . . +o = = . |
Starting iSCSI initiator daemon (iscsid)…
[ OK ] Reached target Cloud-config availability.
Starting Apply the settings specified in cloud-config…
Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server…
[ 185.504541] cloud-init[984]: | …. . o |
[ OK ] Started /etc/rc.local Compatibility.
[ 186.110577] cloud-init[984]: | .. . |
[ 186.542021] cloud-init[984]: | .. |
[ 186.557503] cloud-init[984]: +—-[SHA256]—–+
[ 186.585582] cloud-init[984]: Generating public/private ecdsa key pair.
[ 186.609651] cloud-init[984]: Your identification has been saved in /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key.
[ 186.625636] cloud-init[984]: Your public key has been saved in /etc/ssh/
[ 186.657904] cloud-init[984]: The key fingerprint is:
[ 186.801267] cloud-init[984]: SHA256:8AlCHJTqwT2ZHsSrQWYCamH0IP6rI1DR9rXcGPckoms root@ubuntu
[ 186.909225] cloud-init[984]: The key’s randomart image is:
[ 187.041113] cloud-init[984]: +—[ECDSA 256]—+
[ 187.093113] cloud-init[984]: |== =+o |
[ 187.173249] cloud-init[984]: |* O.B + o . |
[ 187.305466] cloud-init[984]: |.O B.=o+ B + |
[ 187.461236] cloud-init[984]: |. B B.o++.. . |
[ 187.601078] cloud-init[984]: | o * o .S |
[ 187.647573] cloud-init[984]: |. o o E |
[ 187.972585] cloud-init[984]: |. . . |
[ 188.117766] cloud-init[984]: |… |
[ 188.313919] cloud-init[984]: |… |
[ 188.425282] cloud-init[984]: +—-[SHA256]—–+
[ 188.540492] cloud-init[984]: Generating public/private ed25519 key pair.
[ OK ] Started iSCSI initiator daemon (iscsid).
[ 188.655394] cloud-init[984]: Your identification has been saved in /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ed25519_key.
Starting Login to default iSCSI targets…
[ 188.804741] cloud-init[984]: Your public key has been saved in /etc/ssh/
[ 189.156485] cloud-init[984]: The key fingerprint is:
[ 189.274441] cloud-init[984]: SHA256:1nftC58SMDp4u2HEzdOJT0TQNGvLqgv2INuYUBnlgAs root@ubuntu
[ 189.362913] cloud-init[984]: The key’s randomart image is:
[ 189.410176] cloud-init[984]: +–[ED25519 256]–+
[ 189.821593] cloud-init[984]: | .. . .++ |
[ 189.965319] cloud-init[984]: | E . + ..o |
[ 190.016843] cloud-init[984]: | . .. . + |
[ 190.084884] cloud-init[984]: | . o ..oo* o. |
[ 190.137893] cloud-init[984]: | o Soo=+*. .|
[ 190.235385] cloud-init[984]: | . o.+ .=o . |
[ 190.504702] cloud-init[984]: | . . +.oo. o. .|
[ 190.680403] cloud-init[984]: | . B =.o .o o|
[ OK ] Started OpenBSD Secure Shell server.
[ 190.832058] cloud-init[984]: | + . =o .+ |
[ 190.897369] cloud-init[984]: +—-[SHA256]—–+
[ OK ] Started Login to default iSCSI targets.
[ OK ] Reached target Remote File Systems (Pre).
[ OK ] Reached target Remote File Systems.
Starting LSB: automatic crash report generation…
Starting LSB: Set the CPU Frequency Scaling governor to “ondemand”…
Starting Permit User Sessions…
Starting LSB: daemon to balance interrupts for SMP systems…
[ OK ] Started Permit User Sessions.
Starting Terminate Plymouth Boot Screen…
Starting Hold until boot process finishes up…
[ OK ] Started Hold until boot process finishes up.
[ OK ] Started Serial Getty on ttyAMA0.
[ OK ] Started Getty on tty1.
[ OK ] Reached target Login Prompts.
[ OK ] Started Terminate Plymouth Boot Screen.
[ OK ] Started LSB: Set the CPU Frequency Scaling governor to “ondemand”.
[ OK ] Started LSB: daemon to balance interrupts for SMP systems.
[ OK ] Started LSB: automatic crash report generation.Ubuntu 16.04 LTS ubuntu ttyAMA0ubuntu login:

You won’t be able to login there however, so instead you can access the emulated server via ssh:

No password will be asked since we’re using an ssh key.

A few commands confirm we are indeed running Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.4 on a dual core Cortex A57 processor:

I’ve also run linpack benchmark:

Emulation from x86 to ARM is affecting the results quite a bit here. For reference, a Raspberry Pi 2 achieves about 113300 KFLOPS for the same benchmark. You’ll also noticed specifically compiling for Cortex-A57 CPU improves the performance by about 10%, even in qemu.

64-bit ARM (Aarch64) Instructions Boost Performance by 15 to 30% Compared to 32-bit ARM (Aarch32) Instructions

March 1st, 2016 12 comments

Yesterday was quite an eventful day with the launch of two low cost 64-bit ARM development boards, namely Raspberry Pi 3 and ODROID-C2, and as usual there were some pretty interesting discussions related to the launch of the boards in the comments section. One of the subject that came is that while Raspberry Pi 3 board is using a 64-bit processor, the operating systems are still compiled with 32-bit instructions (Aarch32) and even optimized for ARMv6, and they intend to keep it that way according to Eben Upton interview:

Eben readily admits that not all the capabilities of the new parts are going to be used at launch, however. “Although it is a 64‑bit core, we’re using it as just a faster 32-bit core,” he reveals about the Pi 3’s central processing unit. “I can imagine there’d be some real benefits [to 64-bit code]. The downside is that you do really create a separate world. To access that benefit, you’d have to have two operating systems. I’m hoping that someone will come and demonstrate to me that this is a good idea. But there are some really compelling advantages to still being basically ARMv6, and because it’s [Cortex-]A53 it’s a really good 32‑bit processor.”

So the clear advantage of running ARMv6 32-bit code is that a single image can be used for all Raspberry Pi boards, while of they had to optimize code for each board, they’d have one image for Raspberry Pi (ARMv6), one for Raspberry Pi 2 (ARMv7), and a final one for Raspberry Pi 3 (ARMv8), and obviously that would require a lot of work behind the scene. In theory, there should be a performance advantage of running 64-bit ARM instructions, but the question is how much?

ARM brings some perspective to performance improvement in their presentation “ARMv8: Advantages for Android”  where they compare performance improvements of Aarch64 (64-bit ARM instructions) over  Aarch32 (32-bit ARM instructions) running benchmarks compiled with either instructions set on Juno development board.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The first charts show native (C/C++ code) performance is between 15% to about 20% faster in bionic benchmarks, and Antutu 5.0 single thread and multi-thread CPU tests.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The second chart shows ART (Java runtime) performance is also about 15% better with Aarch64 using Quadrant 2.0 CPU score, and close to 30% faster with Linpack multi-threaded benchmark.

Broadcom BCM2837 processor’s Cortex A53 cores are likely to be further impacted since they are running a code compiled for the older ARMv6, which is slower than ARMv7. Let’s take another fun example. Raspberry Pi 3 benchmarks released on MagPi reveal sysbench completes in 49.02 seconds for multi-threaded CPU test, and tkaiser, an active developer for armbian project, ran sysbench on Pine A64 development on Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit, and the results are quite surprising considered Allwinner A64 is also a quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz:

So it took only 3.25 seconds on Pine A64 with ARMv8 instructions compared to 49.02 seconds on Raspberry Pi 3 with ARMv6 instructions, so it appears that if you are specifically looking for prime numbers it does pay big time (15 times faster) to switch to Aarch64 instructions. Bear in mind that Sysbench command line benchmark has options that can affect the results, and sadly we don’t have  the exact command line use for Raspberry Pi 3, but they’ve most likely used the default options as above (maximum prime number: 10,000), since another person ran the benchmark with 20,000 max on RPi3, which completed in around 119 seconds.

Which specific improvements of ARMv8 may bring the extra performance? Reader and commenter “Blu” explains:

Well, for one, compiler’s autovectorization actually works with aarch64 NEON, whereas in armv7 you had mostly to rely on manual vectorization via inline asm. Another big win is the twice-larger GPR & FPR files (when it comes to fp64: D16 -> D32), largely reducing register pressure in compiled (and not only) code. Last but not least, recent compilers have been more focused on AArch64, where they could produce better code vs armv7 not so much because of hw resource discrepancies, but because more man-effort went into AArch64 backends (and the arch provides a bunch of small tweaks that make compiler writer’s lives easier).

To sum it up, one can observe a significant speedup from armv7 to AArch64 for both objective (i.e. larger hw resources) and subjective (i.e. greater man-effort) reasons.

Now the Raspberry Pi 3 is not the only platform to use 32-bit operating systems, as most Android devices and boards I’ve tested so far, excluding DragonBoard 410c combine a 64-bit kernel with 32-bit user space. ODROID-C2 board, however, will support with Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit ARM (aka ARM64).

There’s however a side effect of compiling code with 64-bit instructions, the size gets bigger. Another reader “Jon” compiled code for Rockchip RK3128 Cortex A7 processor (ARMv7/32-bit) and Pine A64 Cortex A53 processor (ARMv8/64-bit), and found some large differences in memory size.

Binary ARMv7 Size (Bytes) ARMv8 Size (Bytes) Ratio  1,052,920  1,673,400  1.59x
toolbox Android 5.1  150,836  255,280  1.69x

So in case you are really tight on storage or memory, 32-bit code might be a better option.

Amlogic S905 Source Code Published – Linux, U-Boot, Mali-450 GPU and Other Drivers

November 19th, 2015 43 comments

Amlogic has an open linux website where they regurlarly release GPL source code, and with Amlogic S905 devices coming to market, they’ve released a few tarballs at the beginning of the month including Linux 3.14 source code, U-boot source code, and Mali-450MP GPU kernel source code (obviously not userspace), as well as some other drivers for WiFi, NAND flash, PMU, TVIN, etc…
Amlogic_S905_Linux_MenuconfigLet’s get to the download links:

I quickly tried to build the Linux source. If you’ve never build a 64-bit ARM kernel or app before, you’ll fist need to install the toolchain. I installed the one provided with Ubuntu 14.04:

Now extract the tarball and enter the source directory:

At first I had a build failure due to a missing directory, so I created it, and use the default config for Amlogic S905/S912 (in arch/arm64/configs), before building the Linux kernel.

and it ended well:

So that’s a good starting for anybody wanting to work on the Android or Linux kernel…

Unrelated to Amlogic S905/Meson64, but I’ve also noticed some OpenWRT packages and rootfs  on Amlogic website that was released a little earlier this year. So either some people are using Amlogic Sxxx processors with OpenWRT, or Amlogic is working on a router chip that I missed. Probably the former.

Thanks to Olin.

Google Releases Android L (Lollipop?) Developer Preview

June 26th, 2014 2 comments

Google I/O is taking place right now in San Francisco, and the company made several announcements. Although they have not announced the full codename of Android 5.0, referring to the next version as “Android L” (Lollipop would be nice though), but they’ve already documented the key changes made to Android L, and a developer preview will be released later today (26 June), together with binary images for Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.


Beside the smartphone and tablet developer preview, there will be 3 other SDKs for Android L:

  • Android Wear SDK – Android for wearables with sync notifications, wearable apps, data transfer APIs, and voice actions, e.g. “Ok Google, call mum”.
  • Android TV Preview SDK – Android for TVs with pre-built fragments for browsing and interacting with media catalogs, in-app search, and recommendations.
  • Android Auto SDK – Android for the car with apps featuring consistent user experience between vehicles, and minimizing distractions.

I’ll go through various software and hardware announcements for Android Wear and TV in separate blog posts, and probably skip Android Auto for now.

So what’s new in Android L Developer Preview?

Material Design

Material Design is is a new design language that will let developer create app which look similar to Google Now. Google chose the name “Material” as it is apparently inspired from real materials such as paper and ink. Android L user interface will be entirely designed with Material Design. The best is to look at an example.

Gmail Now vs Gmail "L"

Gmail Now vs Gmail “L”

On the left, we’ve got the current Gmail app, and on the right the newly designed app for Android L. Lots of it looks like cosmetic changes, but you’ll have noticed the three dot and new mail icons are gone, and all menu will be accessible via the top left icon. There are also some light and shadow effects that will make users feel like they’re touching real elements.

More details can be found in this Material Design presentation (PDF).

Improved Notifications

Notifications have also changed with a new design based on Material, and the ability to display notifications on the lock screen.


I understand lockscreen notifications are optional, and if you don’t like to show them in the lock screen using visibility controls. As you can see from the screenshot above it works very similar to Google Now which cards that you can discard once you’re done. Notifications will also be able to pop-up in games or other full screen apps, and you’ll be able o take action within the notification, for example by declining or accepting a video call request.


The list of recent apps will become the list of recent everything, simply called “Recents”, as it will include both apps, web pages, and documents.

Better Tools for Improving Battery Life

As devices become more powerful, they also become more power hungry despite efforts by SoC designers to reduce energy usage. Badly programmed apps are however the main culprit of short battery life, so Google has introduced Project Volta to help user and developers optimize power consumption. Developers can use “Battery Historian” tool to monitor power consumption of different processes, and which hardware block (e.g. Cellular radio) is currently being used.

Battery_HistorianUsers will also have their own app / feature dubbed “Battery Saver” to improve battery life, and Google claims their Nexus 5 should be able to last an extra 90 minutes on a charge with Battery Saver enabled. This is achieved by reducing the performance of the device once the battery has dropped below 20% charge. At that time, a notification would pop-up to let the user select he wants to enable Battery Saver mode.

Under the hood improvements

As as been widely reported, Google recently killed Dalvik in a recent commit in AOSP, and ART will become the default JAVA runtime using ahead-of-time compilation for speedier application loading time, and memory usage improvements. Google also claims it provides true cross platform support for ARM, MIPS and x86.

Android L will support 64-bit instructions including ARMv8, x86-64 and MIPS64. This will provide a larger number of registers, and increased addressable memory space. Java developers won’t needto change their apps for 64-bit support. One the first Android64 devices is likely to be the Nexus 9 tablet powered by Nvidia Tegra K1 Denver as previously reported.

On the graphics side, Android L adds support for OpenGL ES 3.1, and includes Android Extension Pack for developers with tesselation and geometry shaders and other features that should bring PC and console class graphics to Android games according to Google.

Via Anandtech and Liliputing

A Selection of FOSDEM 2013 Events

February 1st, 2013 No comments

FOSDEM is a 2-day (or 3 if you include Friday beer event) event where over 5,000 members of open source communities meet, share ideas and collaborate. It’s free to attend, and there’s no registration, so you just show up to attend. FOSDEM 2013 takes place on Feb 2-3 (yep, this week-end) in Brussels

There are 7 main tracks where sessions are organized:

  • fosdem logoOperating systems
  • Open source challenges
  • Security Janson
  • Beyond operating systems
  • Web development
  • Miscellaneous
  • Robotics

There are also keynotes and devroom for a total of 488 sessions. Developers rooms that may particularly be of interest to readers of this blog are:

All in all that’s a lot of sessions, and even though I won’t attend, I’m going to select a few from the main tracks:

This talk introduces the Fedora ARM Project and in particular the work we are doing to bring Fedora to emerging 64-bit ARM server systems.

Where are we today, one year after the unveiling of the Lima driver. This talk will cover the Lima driver (ARM Mali 200/400), but also other open source GPU driver projects such as the freedreno driver (Qualcomm Adreno), open source driver for Nvidia Tegra, etnaviv project (Vivante GC) and cover the status for Broadcoms Videocore and Imaginations PowerVR GPUs.

Based on the speaker’s experience of getting the support for the new Armada 370 and Armada XP ARM processors from Marvell into the mainline Linux kernel, this talk will detail the most important steps involved in this effort, and through this, give an overview of those changes and summarize the new rules for ARM Linux support.

  • Sunday 11:00 – 11:50 – Firefox OS by Jonas Sicking

Firefox OS is the next product being developed by Mozilla. It’s an open source OS based on the web and following the principals which have made the web a success. A phone running recent builds of Firefox OS (it’s not a finished product yet) will be demoed, and  the technologies and ideas behind Firefox OS will be discussed.

The systemd project is now two years old (almost three). It found adoption as the core of many big community and commercial Linux distributions. It’s time to look back what we achieved, what we didn’t achieve, how we dealt with the various controversies, and what’s to come next.

How Aldebaran Robotics is using open source on their NAO robot.

This talk will provide an overview of the Robot Operating System (ROS), an open software integration framework for robots.

This talk describes how the automotive industry has moved to embedded Linux and Open Source to develop the next generation of In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) and how it has met the challenges along the way.

What, why, when, where and how SecureBoot changes the way we build F/LOSS


Linux 3.7 Release

December 11th, 2012 No comments

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.7:

Whee. After an extra rc release, 3.7 is now out. After a few more trials at fixing things, in the end we ended up reverting the kswapd changes that caused problems. And with the extra rc, I had decided to risk doing the buffer.c cleanups that would otherwise have just been marked for stable during the next merge window, and had enough time to fix a few problems that people found there too.

There’s also a fix for a SCSI driver bug that was exposed by the last-minute workqueue fixes in rc8.

Other than that, there’s a few networking fixes, and some trivial fixes for sparc and MIPS.

Anyway, it’s been a somewhat drawn out release despite the 3.7 merge window having otherwise appeared pretty straightforward, and none of the rc’s were all that big either. But we’re done, and this means that the merge window will close on Christmas eve.

Or rather, I’ll probably close it a couple of days early. For obvious reasons. It’s the main commercial holiday of the year, after all.

So aim for winter solstice, and no later. Deal? And even then, I might be deep into the glögg.

Linux 3.6 brought updates to Btrfs & ext4 file system, some initial work for SMBv2 protocol, networking improvements, safe swap over NFS/NBD and VFIO driver for device access from userspace drivers.

Linux 3.7 brings the following key changes:

  • ARM multi-platform support –  The Linux ARM implementation has added “multi-platform” support – the ability to build a unified ARM kernel image that can boot multiple hardware.  Read Supporting multi-platform ARM kernels for details.
  • ARM 64 bit support –  The new 64 bit ARM CPUs (ARMv8 architecture – AArch64) can run 32 bits code, but the 64 bit instruction set is completely new, and the Linux support has been implemented as a completely new architecture. For details, read Supporting 64-bit ARM systems.
  • Cryptographically signed kernel modules –  Linux 3.7 allows to optionally sign kernel modules, in order to completely disable the load of modules that have not been signed with the correct key. This feature is useful for security purposes, as an attacker who gains root user access will not be able to install a rootkit using the module loading routines. You may want to check out Loading signed kernel modules for more information.
  • Btrfs updates – fsync() speedups, Rrmove the hard link limits inside a single directory (from 20 to 65K), hole punching and chattr per-file NOCOW support.
  • Preliminary version of perf trace –  This tool looks somewhat like ‘strace’, but instead of using ptrace(), it uses the Linux tracing infrastructure. “pert trace” shows the events associated with the target, initially syscalls, but other system events like pagefaults, task lifetime events, scheduling events, etc. .
  • TCP Fast Open (Server Side) –  Linux aadded TCP Fast Open support for clients in Kernel 3.6, and this release adds Fast Open support for the server side. “Fast Open” is a optimization technique that can result in speed improvements of between 4% and 41% in the page load times on popular web sites. You can read TCP Fast Open: expediting web services for more information.
  • Experimental SMBv2 protocol support –   The cifs networking filesystem has added support for the version 2 of the SMB protocol. The SMBv2 protocol is the successor to the CIFS/SAMBA network file sharing protocols, and is the native file sharing mechanism for Windows OSs since Windows Vista. SMBv2 enablement will eventually allow users better performance, security and features, than would not be possible with previous protocols.
  • NFS v4.1 support no longer experimental –  NFS v4.1 (RFC 5661) has been part of the kernel as an experimental feature for a while, but has now been “upgraded” to a stable release. The main feature of NFS v4.1 is pNFS (parallel NFS) which can take advantage of clustered server deployments.
  • Virtual extensible LAN tunneling protocol –  vxlan (RFC draft) is a tunneling protocol that allows to transfer Layer 2 ethernet packets over UDP that is often used to tunnel virtual network infrastructure in virtualized environments. See VXLAN for Linux for details.
  • Intel “supervisor mode access prevention” support –  Supervisor Mode Access Prevention (SMAP) is a new security feature that will be available in future Intel processors.

Further details on Linux 3.7 are available on