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Posts Tagged ‘kernel’

Linux 3.16 Released

August 6th, 2014 3 comments

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.16 over the week-end:

So nothing particularly exciting happened this week, and 3.16 is out there.

And as usual (previous release being the exception) that means that the merge window for 3.17 is obviously open. And for the third time in a row, the timing sucks for me, as I have travel coming up the second week of the merge window. Many other core developers will be traveling too, since it’s just before the kernel summit in Chicago.

So we’ll see how the next merge window goes, but I’m not going to worry about it overmuch. If I end up not having time to do all the merges, I might delay things into the week of the kernel summit, but I’ll hope to get most of the big merging done this upcoming week before any travel takes place, so maybe it won’t come to that. So this is just a heads-up that the merge window *might* be extended.

Anyway, back to the changes since -rc7: it’s really fairly small stuff randomly all over, with a third being architecture updates, a third drivers, and a third “misc” (mainly mm and networking). The architecture stuff is small ARM updates (mostly DT), some x86 Xen fixups, some random small powerpc things. The shortlog gives a good idea of what kind of stuff it all is, but it’s really just 83 commits (plus merges and the release commit) and about a third of them are marked for stable.

So while 3.16 looked a bit iffy for a while, things cleared up nicely, and there was no reason to do extra release candidates like I feared just a couple of weeks ago.

Linus

Kernel 3.15 brought various file systems improvements, faster resume from suspend, etc… Some of Linux 3.16 main changes include:

  • Various KVM improvements: optimizations, support for migration, and GDB support for s390, little-endian support for POWER8, as well as MIPS improvements.
  • Xen – Virtual network interfaces now have multi-queue support for much better performance.
  • Goldfish virtual platform now has 64-bit support.
  • Hugepage migration has been turned off for all architectures except x86_64 since it is only tested on that architecture and there are bugs for some of the others.
  • Automatic NUMA balancing has been turned off for 32-bit x86. Existing 32-bit NUMA systems are not well supported by the code and the developers did not think the effort to support them would be worthwhile.
  • EFI – The kernel EFI code will now handle Unicode characters, and initial support for ARM64 (aarch64) had been added.
  • NFS – Patches to make loopback NFS mounts work reliably have been merged through the NFS tree.  External data representation (XDR) handling in NFS has been reworked to support access control lists (ACLs) larger than 4KB. It also returns readdir() results in chunks larger than 4KB giving better performance on large directories.
  • Modules now have the read-only (RO) and no-execute (NX) bits set on their data sections much earlier in the loading process, before parsing any module arguments. This will further reduce the time window in which a misbehaving (or malicious) module can modify or execute its data.
  • Support for TCP fast open over IPv6 has been added.
  • Support for busy polling on stream control transmission protocol (SCTP) sockets has been added. Busy polling is set on a socket using the SO_BUSY_POLL socket option; it can reduce the latency of receives on high-traffic interfaces that support the option.

New features and improvements specific to the ARM architecture include:

  • AllWinner – All platforms: AXP20x PMIC and MMC support, 5 drivers + SMP reworked for AllWinner A31, touchscreen drivers for AllWinner A10. DTS added for Mele M9 and R7. You can read details about AllWinner changes here.
  • Rockchip – RK3xxx SoC I2C drivers
  • Xen on ARM systems now supports suspend and resume.
  • Hibernation support added for ARM targets.
  • Initial support for ARM64 (aarch64) had been added
  • SMP support has been added for Marvell Armada 375 and 38x SoCs. SMP has been reworked for the Allwinner A31 SoC.
  • New ARM SoC added: ST Microelectronics STiH407; Freescale i.MX6SX; Samsung Exynos 3250, 5260, 5410, 5420, and 5800; and LSI Axxia AXM55xx.
  • Nouveau driver has initial support for NVIDIA Tegra K1 GK20A devices.
  • Various changes for Atmel AT91, Marvell Armada, Fresscale i.MX, Samsung Exynos, and TI AM43xx SoCs.

Further details on Linux 3.16 will eventually be available on Kernelnewbies.org. For more details about ARM changes, remember to also check ARM architecture and drivers sections.

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Linaro 14.06 Release with Linux Kernel 3.15 and Android 4.4.3

July 1st, 2014 No comments

Linaro 14.06 has been released last week with Linux Kernel 3.15 (baseline), Linux Kernel 3.10.44 (LSK), and Android has been updated to 4.4.3.

One interesting development this month is that Android for ARMv8 (64-bit ARM) is booting on the fast models using ARM Trusted firmware and U-Boot.  SELinux has been enabled in Android. I could not see much new member hardware, except possibly B2120 (HDK) reference board for STMicro STiH407 “Monaco” STB SoC.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 3.15-2014.06
    • GATOR version 5.18 (same version as in 2014.04)
    • updated basic Capri board support from Broadcom LT
    • cortex-strings-arm64 topic (same as in 2014.02)
    • updated Versatile Express ARM64 support (FVP Base and Foundation models, Juno) from ARM LT.
    • updated Versatile Express patches from ARM LT
    • more HiP0x Cortex A15 family updates from HiSilicon LT (hip04_eth, hip04_defconfig)
    • updated LLVM topic
    • Big endian support (same as in 2014.05)
    • ftrace_audit topic from the Kernel WG (same as in 2014.05)
    • config fragments changes – android: Enable SELinux related configurations
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.06
    • based on GCC 4.9 and updated to latest Linaro TCWG releases
    • Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.06
    • Linaro Binutils 2.24.0-2014.06
    • Linaro GDB 7.7.1-2014.06
  • Linaro Android 14.06 – Built with Linaro GCC 4.8-2014.05, upgraded to Android 4.4.3
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.06
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2014.06
    • integrated Linaro EGLIBC 2.19-2014.06
    • integrated Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.06
    • integrated Linaro GDB 7.7.1-2014.06
    • integrated powerdebug 0.7.3
    • several ODP updates
    • upstreaming: fixed hwlatdetect metadata,  fixed recipes related to oe-core binconfig changes: apache2, php and swig, and updated PM QA to 0.4.11
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.06
    • added openssh-server to the images, SSH keys are generated on first boot.
    • updated packages: ARM trusted firmware (0.7), openssl (1.0.1h), PM QA (0.4.11), powerdebug (0.7.3), powertop (2.6.1), LSK 3.10.44 and linux-linaro 3.15 kernels.
  • ARMv8 Ubuntu engineering build for Enterprise
  • Android for ARMv8 is booting with ARM Trusted firmware and U-Boot on Models
  • CI loop has been setup for Juno Android member build
  • CI bring up: ST B2120 engineering build
  • Build rootfs image for toolchain benchmarking
  • CI bring up: HiSilicon Hi3716cv200
  • CI bring up: ARM64 kexec build and regression test setup
  • CI bring up: Juno OpenEmbedded member build
  • LSK: add RT patchset CI loop
  • LSK: add Juno CI loop
  • Build Ubuntu rootfs image for toolchain automation framework
  • SELinux is enabled on LSK with Android 4.4.3 for ARMv7

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1406/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB and community builds, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

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Emtrion DIMM-AM335x SoM Supports Mainline Linux Kernel

June 30th, 2014 1 comment

When I cover system-on-modules (SoM), companies will usually provide some BSP (Board Support Packages) for older kernels, and did not submit their changes to mailine kernel, so I was interested in a news from Emtrion entitled “DIMM-AM335x: Linux mainline support ready“, which actually means they’ve done the work to support a recent Linux kernel (3.14) and provides instructions and code (device tree files), but did not submit patches to the linux-arm-kernel mailing list to get their changes added to kernel.org.

Emtrion_DIMM-AM335xLet’s look at the hardware specs first:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex A8 processor @ 720Mhz to 1GHz (AM3354 or AM3359)
  • System Memory – onboard 512 MB SDRAM/optional 256 MB
  • Storage – 512 MB NAND Flash (managed) + 2 SD card interfaces
  • Display – LCDs I/F with resolution up to SVGA, with 4-wire touch interface
  • Audio – Analog Audio with SSI I/F
  • USB – USB 2.0 Host and Device
  • Connectivity – 100BaseTX Ethernet
  • Other I/Os:
    • 2x CAN
    • 4x serial interfaces
    • 4x analog inputs
    • 1x SPI, 1x I²C
    • 10x GPIOs
  • Misc – RTC (Battery buffered)
  • Temperature range – 0°C to 70°C (optional from – 40°C to 85°C)
  • Dimensions – 67,6 x 45 mm

The company provide four different baseboard for development. You can find more details about the hardware on Emtrion DIMM-AM335x page.

The company provides BSP and development kit for Linux 3.2.0 (via Yocto 1.5.1), and QNX 6.5, but you can also get BSPs for Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows 2013, and Android 4.0 on request. To make there SoM “Linux mainline ready” they’ve provided a tarball file with documentation and files namely:

  • DIMM-AM335x-Mainline-Support-v001en.pdf – Documentation for Linux mainline support for DIMM-AM335x
  • am335x-dimm.dts – Device tree file with the SoM
  • am335x_mainline_defconfig – Kernel config
  • uboot_script – Uboot script

And apparently that’s all what’s needed to support a Sitara AM335x SoM in mainline kernel. They have tested it against Linux 3.14.y from kernel.org, but it should also work with the latest version. They also have added this to Yocto in the FTP (see PDF). I’m not sure why they’ve have gone the extra steps and submitted a patch to add their module to mainline.

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Marvell Armada 370 Processor Datasheet Released, Mainline Linux Kernel Supported on Netgear ReadyNAS 102/104

June 13th, 2014 4 comments

Free Electrons has been working on porting several ARM SoC to the Linux kernel (mainline), including Marvell XP and 370 SoCs, and they’ve been informed by Marvell that the company finally released Marvell Armada 370 processor publicly without requiring NDA nor registration. Marvell Armada XP dual and quad core processors datasheet found in higher-end NAS and cloud servers has not been released (yet), but we’ve been told many peripheral blocks are very similar, so Marvell Armada 370 datasheet can also be used for Armada XP processors to some extend.

Marvell Armada 370 () Block Diagram

Marvell Armada 370 (88F6710) Block Diagram

Two documents have actually been released for Marvell Armada 370: the functional specification and the hardware specification (datasheet). The first document is actually the one with the most information with 1148 pages providing details about peripherals, against 164 pages for the latter providing details about pins and electrical characteristics.

So we’ve got an ARM SoC with mainline kernel support, and decent documentation. That’s already good, but there’s more as at least three devices based on Marvell Armada 370 are supported in mainline:

So you could just download the kernel from kernel.org, build it with your needed/required features, and use the relevant DTS files (armada-370-mirabox.dts, armada-370-netgear-rn102.dts, or armada-370-netgear-rn104.dts) to run the latest Linux kernel on your device.

Let’s just check the hardware specs of Netgear RM10200:Netgear_ReadyNAS_102

  • CPU – Marvell Armada 370 ARMv7 processor @ 1.2GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB
  • Storage – Some flash for firmware, 2x bays for 2.5″or 3.5″ SATA/SSD supporting up to 8GB in total, 1x eSATA expansion port
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit LAN port
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Misc – 2-Line LCD display, 92mm fan
  • Power Supply – 12V, 5A External 60W: input 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
  • Power Consumption – 31W during operating, 1W on Waker on LAN mode, and 210 mW in power off mode.
  • Dimensions – 220 x 101 x 142 mm
  • Weight – 2.12 kg

If you want to see more technical details including pictures of internals, details about the chips inside the NAS, instructions to get access to the serial console via a USB to TTL debug board, and step by step instructions to build the kernel and install Debian, you can visit natisbad blog.

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Linux 3.15 Released

June 11th, 2014 2 comments

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.15 last Sunday:

So I ended up doing an rc8 because I was a bit worried about some last-minute dcache fixes, but it turns out that nobody seemed to even notice those. We did have other issues during the week, though, so it was just as well. The futex fixes and cleanups may stand out, but as usual there’s various other random fixes since rc8 in there too: mainly drivers (drm, networking, sound, usb etc), networking, scheduling and perf tooling.

But it’s all been fairly small and quiet, which *may* of course be due to the fact that last week was also the first week of the merge window for 3.16. That might have distracted some developers. I’m not entirely convinced I liked the overlap, but it seemed to work ok, and unless people scream really loudly (“Please don’t _ever_ do that again”) and give good reasons for doing so, I might end up doing that overlapping merge window in the future too if it ends up helping out with some particular timing issue.

That said, I also don’t think it was such a wonderful experience that I’d want to necessarily do the overlap every time, without a good specific reason for doing so. It was kind of nice being productive during the last week or rc (which is usually quite boring and dead), but I think it might be a distraction when people should be worrying about the stability of the rc.

Of course, maybe the overlap ends up meaning that we get less noise during the last week of stabilization, and it actually helps. It could go either way. I’d be interested to hear what people thought, although I _suspect_ most people don’t feel strongly either way.

Anyway, with 3.15 released, my “master” branch has already merged the work in my “next” branch on my local machine, and I’ll be decommissioning the “next” branch once I push that all out. After that, any future merge window work will happen on “master”, and we’ll be back to the normal single-branch model for my tree.

Kernel 3.14 brought a file systems (btrfs) and networking improvements, zram was considered stable, etc. Linux 3.15 main changes include:

  • Faster resume from power suspend in systems with hard disks - Resuming a system from suspend used to take a long time in systems with traditional hard disks, because the system blocks the resume process until the hard disk finish powering up. In this release, commands are sent to the hard disk asynchronously, so the entire resuming process isn’t paused by the hard disk. The end result is that systems with hard disks will resume several seconds faster with this Linux release. For more details, read this blog post.
  • Improved working set size detection –  When there is not enough room for all memory in RAM, the Linux kernel is in charge of deciding which memory must be kept in RAM, and which must be sent to swap or discarded. In this release, Linux does more advanced tracking of how memory gets used and can balance better the size of the lists, which makes Linux perform better in certain workloads, adapt better to workload size changes, and creates a foundation to build improved policies in the future. Read LWN article Better active/inactive list balancing for details.
  • EFI 64 bit kernels can be booted from 32 bit firmware - Most modern x86 CPUs are 64bit, yet many systems ship with a 32 bit EFI implementation. This didn’t allow to boot a Linux 64 bit EFI kernel from these 32 bit EFI systems. This limitation has been removed, a 64-bit kernel can be booted on 32-bit firmware that runs on 64 bit CPUs.
  • New file locking scheme: file private locks - Due to some unfortunate history, POSIX locks have very strange and unhelpful semantics: they are dropped whenever the process closes any file descriptor associated with the inode, and locks taken between threads within the same process won’t conflict with one another, which renders them useless for synchronization between threads. This release adds a new type of lock that attempts to address these issues. These locks will conflict with classic POSIX read/write locks, but have semantics that are more like BSD locks with respect to inheritance and behavior on close.Read LWN article File-private POSIX locks to get more information.
  • Faster erasing and zeroing of parts of a file –  This release adds two new fallocate(2) mode flags: FALLOC_FL_COLLAPSE_RANGE which allows to remove a range of a file without leaving holes, improving the performance of these operations that previously needed to be done with workarounds, and  FALLOC_FL_ZERO_RANGE which allows to set a range of a file to zero, much faster than it would take to do it manually. Only XFS and Ext4 have added support for these new flags in this release, and other filesystems will follow in the future. You can read Finding the proper scope of a file collapse operation for details
  • File cross-renaming support – Cross-rename, a variant of rename which exchanges the two files, has been added. This allows use cases which were not possible before, for instance atomically replacing a directory tree with a symlink. It also allows overlayfs and friends to operate on whiteouts atomically. More information can be found in LWN article Exchanging two files.
  • zram: LZ4 compression support, improved performance - Zram memory compression mechanism added support for the LZ4 compression algorithm, which is better than the current available LZO in some cases, as well as come performance improvements to concurrent compression of multiple compression streams, and the ability to switch the compression algorithm in /sys/block/zram0/comp_algorithm.
  • Intel AVX-512 vector instructions support - AVX-512 are 512-bit extensions to the 256-bit Advanced Vector Extensions SIMD instructions for x86 instruction set architecture proposed by Intel, and scheduled to be supported in 2015 with Intel’s Knights Landing processor. Read the documentation on Intel website for more information about AVX-512.
  • FUSE: improved write performance - FUSE can now use cached writeback support to fuse, which improves write throughput.

Starting with Linux 3.15 release, I’ll also point out some of the improvements and new features brought to the ARM architecture:

  • AllWinner – It’s now possible to boot a usable headless Linux OS using the mainline kernel on AllWinner A1x/A2X. Support have been added to LinkSprite pcDuino, Inet 97f, and A10-OLinuXino-LIME. You can read details about AllWinner changes here.
  • Device tree support added for various OMAP, Atmel, Broadcom, Marvell, Texas Instruments Keystone & Sitara, and Freescale i.MX based hardware platforms
  • Various perf modifications for ARM64, Cortex A12, and Qualcomm krait.
  • Rockchip – Added SMP support
  • SATA driver added for Applied Micro X-Gene and Exynos 5250

Further details on Linux 3.15 are available on Kernelnewbies.org. For more details about ARM changes, you can read the ARM architecture and drivers sections.

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Linaro 14.05 Released with Linux Kernel 3.15, Android 4.4.2, and Ubuntu Trusty

May 30th, 2014 4 comments

Linaro 14.05 has been released with Linux Kernel 3.15-rc5 (baseline), Linux Kernel 3.10.40 (LSK), Android 4.4.2, and Ubuntu has been switched from Saucy to Trusty.

More work has been done on big.LITTLE processing and ARMv8 support with notably completing bootstrapping with Debian 64-bit. New hardware platform have started to pop-up such as TI J6-Vayu which must be an evaluation board for Texas Instruments Jacinto 6 dual core Cortex A15 SoC for automotive application, as well as IFC6410, a Snapdragon 600 development board which got a Ubuntu LEB image. This month also marks the first release of Linaro GCC 4.9 toolchain.

Here are the highlights of this release:

  • Linux Linaro 3.15-rc5-2014.05
    • new Android topic (linaro-android-3.15-experimental) uses the resent AOSP code base
    • GATOR version 5.18 (same version as in 2014.04)
    • uprobes topic removed as all patches have been accepted into mainline
    • updated big-LITTLE-pmu topic from ARM LT
    • updated basic Capri board support from Broadcom LT (SMP support enabled for bcm21664 and bcm28155, mmc updates, more bcm590xx regulators enabled)
    • cortex-strings-arm64 topic (same as in 2014.02)
    • updated Versatile Express arm64 support (FVP Base and Foundation models, Juno (ethernet, USB)) from ARM LT
    • updated Versatile Express patches from ARM LT
    • updated Arndale_Octa/Arndale/Origen patches from Samsung LT
    • more HiP0x Cortex A15 family updates from HiSilicon LT. All the CPU cores enabled
    • new ftrace_audit topic from the Kernel WG (ftrace, audit and seccomp patches)
    • Big endian topic updated for 3.15
    • updated llvm topic. The “spinlock” commit is reverted to let armv8 kernel to compile
    • config fragments changes – uprobes: CONFIG_NAMESPACES and CONFIG_USER_NS enabled (for systemtap), arndale_octa: Enable Generic Phy support, arndale: Enable IOMMU/USB3/Generic Phy, vexpress: updated for 3.15 kernel (CONFIG_ARM_BIG_LITTLE_CPUFREQ enabled), THUMB2 disabled for arndale, arndale_octa, and origen to work around arch/arm/mach-exynos/sleep.S compilation error
  • Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2014.05
    • updated to latest Linaro TCWG releases, this is the first binary release based on GCC 4.9.
      • Linaro GCC 4.9 2014.05 includes performance improvements and bug fixes
      • Linaro Binutils 2.24.0 2014.05 features aarch64 improvements
      • Linaro GDB 7.7 2014.05
  • Linaro Android 14.05
    • built with Linaro GCC 4.8-2014.05
    • TI J6-Vayu member build has been setup (Evaluation module based on Texas Instruments Jacinto 6 for automotive application)
    • Android build system is using VPS build slaves, reducing the build time by 40% compared to the current EC2 slaves
    • Multinode job submission support is added to linaro-android-build-tools
  • Linaro OpenEmbedded 2014.05
    • integrated Linaro GCC 4.8 and 4.9 2014.05
    • integrated Linaro EGLIBC 2.19-2014.05
    • integrated Linaro binutils 2.24-2014.05
    • improved Linaro’s meta layer layout for 3rd parties usage
    • added toolchain benchmark image
    • update GATOR recipe to latest release and fixed build issues
    • improved python module support in images
    • upstreaming:
    • fixed separate build directory issues for mariadb, openldap, libmcrypt, netperf, fwts, php, tmux, gpm and rrdtool
    • updated recipes: acpitests, acpica, fwts, libhugetlbfs, pm-qa, systemtap and GRUB
    • enabled PM and RT tests in LTP
    • fixed GRUB build issue
  • Linaro Ubuntu 14.05 is released:
    • baseline migrated from Saucy to Trusty
    • added packages:
      • alsa-lib, added HDMI UCM profile for IFC6410
      • mesa, enabled freedreno gallium driver
    • updated packages: linaro-edk2, ARM trusted firmware, linaro-meta (added git to developer rootfs), xf86-video-freedreno (Add xorg configuration file), and linux-linaro 3.15-rc5 kernels.
  • ARMv8 Debian bootstrap effort is completed
  • Linaro U-Boot is updated to 2014.04 release
  • Linaro EDK2 CI is setup
  • Linaro kernels build support is added to Linaro OpenEmbedded
  • IFC6410 member build is delivered and released this cycle

You can visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1405/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB and community builds, Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain (GCC / Qemu) components.

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Linux Kernel 3.10.33 Source Code Released for Amlogic S802 (Part of Tronsmart Vega S89 SDK)

May 18th, 2014 18 comments

We already had the kernel source for Amlogic S802. The previous code found on Amlogic website, and based on Linux 3.10.10. I’ve been informed there’s a new release based on Linux 3.10.33, and apparently the code based used for Tronsmart Vega S89 (aka Beelink M8, S82), and the new Tronsmart Vega S89-H with proper Dolby & DTS support.

Linux 3.10.33 vs Linux 3.10.10

Linux 3.10.33 vs Linux 3.10.10

Beside a new version, the kernel adds support for a new platform called “meson8 baby” and HDMI IN support, as well a several changes in AMlogic source such as GPU cooling.. All device tree files also seem to have been amended mostly with I2C and thermal settings. It is not a full release, and the hardware directory with GPU, TVIN, Wi-Fi, and NAND drivers is not included. Having said that, it should be possible to use the drivers from the previous release. Meson6 (Amlogic AML8726-MX) source code is also included, and appears to have fixed Ethernet issues people had with the previous kernel 3.10 release.

If you want to give it a try, the source code has been uploaded on github.

Thanks to gizmomelb for the tip.

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