Dropbear: Lightweight SSH Server / Client

You may need to remotely access your embedded device, or your embedded systems is simply headless. You could use telnet, but this is insecure. A secure way to access a device remotly is to use SSH protocol. OpenSSH is one implementation but this is relatively too large and may use uncesary space on a device with limited storage. That’s where Dropbear comes into play. Dropbear is a lightweight implementation of an SSH client and server and is ideal for embedded systems. Dropbear ARM executable is only 200 KB. Here’s how it’s described on its website: Dropbear is a relatively small SSH 2 server and client. It runs on a variety of POSIX-based platforms. Dropbear is open source software, distributed under a MIT-style license. Dropbear is particularly useful for “embedded”-type Linux (or other Unix) systems, such as wireless routers. The main features of dropbear: A small memory footprint suitable for memory-constrained […]

Cross-comping zlib for ARM target

Zlib is defind as “A Massively Spiffy Yet Delicately Unobtrusive Compression Library” and used in many projects requiring compression. Here are the instructions cross-compile zlib for ARM: Download zlib1.25 wget http://cdnetworks-kr-2.dl.sourceforge.net/project/libpng/zlib/1.2.5/zlib-1.2.5.tar.gz Extract it tar xzvf zlib-1.2.5.tar.gz cd zlib-1.2.5 Configure, build and install zlib. CC=armv5tel-redhat-linux-gnueabi-gcc ./configure –prefix=/home/jaufranc/edev/rootfs make make install This will install libz.a (static library) and libz.so (dynamic library) in /home/jaufranc/edev/rootfs/lib and copy the header files to /home/jaufranc/edev/rootfs/include. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

Installing an ARM Toolchain in Fedora

You can easily install an arm cross-compiler on Fedora as follows: cd /etc/yum.repos.d/ sudo wget http://ftp.linux.org.uk/pub/linux/arm/fedora/cross/cross.repo sudo yum install armv5tel-redhat-linux-gnueabi-gcc You can check the installation worked by checking the cross-compiler version [jaufranc@localhost ~]$ armv5tel-redhat-linux-gnueabi-gcc -v Using built-in specs. Target: armv5tel-redhat-linux-gnueabi Configured with: ../configure –prefix=/usr –mandir=/usr/share/man –infodir=/usr/share/info –enable-shared –enable-threads=posix –enable-checking=release –with-system-zlib –enable-__cxa_atexit –disable-libunwind-exceptions –enable-languages=c,c++ –disable-libgcj –with-sysroot=yes –enable-version-specific-runtime-libs –target=armv5tel-redhat-linux-gnueabi Thread model: posix gcc version 4.1.2 20070925 (Red Hat 4.1.2-33.fa1) This will only install the C compiler (gcc), to install the C++ compiler, run the following command: sudo yum install armv5tel-redhat-linux-gnueabi-gcc-c++ Tested in Fedora 12. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

AMD G-Series QSeven Module Conga-QAF by Congatec

Congatec announced the Conga-QAF, a Qseven module powered by AMD G-Series embedded processors. The module will come with either the AMD G-T40R single core or the AMD G-T40E dual core processor, with 2 GB DRAM by default (expandable to 4GB), numerous I/O interfaces and an optional on-board SSD with a capacity of up to 32 GB. If you are not familiar with the QSeven Form Factor and why it is used, please read the beginning of the blog post entitled “QSeven Form Factor Embedded Boards by Seco“. To summarize, this is a standard to allow developers to use modules (based on QSeven specs) to test their software on several processors by inserting those modules in a common main board. Here are the specification of the Conga-QAF Qseven module: CPU AMD G-T40E 1.0 GHz Dual Core (L1 cache 64KB, L2 cache 512kB x2, 6.4 W) AMD G-T40R 1.0 GHz Single Core […]

60 USD Android Tablet: Aakash UbiSlate 7 Tablet

After much delay, the low cost tablet promised by the Indian government is finally released. The Aakash UbiSlate 7 is designed primarily for Indian students and will be sold to them at a discount. The tablet will be manufactured by Datawind in Hyderabad, India. The retail price will be 2,999 Rupees (~61 USD), but it will be sold to the government for 2250 Rupees (~46 USD) and will end up in the hands of students for a sponsored price of 1300 Rupees (~26 USD). Here are Aakash UbiSlate 7 Tablet Specifications: Processor: 366MHz Conexant Processor Memory: 256MB RAM Storage: 2GB Flash memory + 2GB Micro SD card (expandable to 32GB) OS: Android 2.2 with Getjar Marketplace (not the default Android Marketplace) Display: 7″ resistive touchscreen Network: Wifi only. Later models will be GPRS and SIM enabled. USB: 2 x ports Audio out: 3.5mm jack / Audio in: 3.5mm jack Battery: […]

NFC Smart Meter Demo by NXP and Landis-Gyr

NXP and Landis+Gyr are showcasing smart meters equipped with NFC technology at the Metering Europe 2011 event in Amsterdam this week. The companies are demonstrating how utility companies will be able to use NFC smart meters to: Save money by removing the need to include an LCD display in a smart meter. Meter readers will instead use an NFC-enabled phone to take a reading from the meter and then use their handset to collect and view current and historical energy consumption. Use an embedded secure element in the smart meter to increase customer privacy while at the same time providing the necessary level of access to installation and service technicians. Enable authorised maintenance technicians to download metering information to handsets or tablets as well as upload firmware updates to the meter via NFC. Use secure device pairing to deliver home area network (HAN) capabilities. Provide secure and convenient pre-payment of […]

Disable Auto-Update for Thunderbird and Firefox

Mozilla has decided to speed up the release cycle of Thunderbird and Firefox. This is all good except that it often breaks Add-ons. If you want to do the update manually, when you feel like it or when you know the all important plugins you use are compatible with the new version,  you may follow the instructions to disable automatic update of Thunderbird and Firefox. Disabling Automatic Update in Firefox Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter. You should get a page trying to scare you off with a message starting with “This might void you warranty!”, just click “I’ll be careful I promise!“. Then in the Filter filed type app.update.enabled. It should be set to true, double-click on the line to set it to false. Disabling Automatic Update in Thunderbird On the top menu, click on Tools->Options to enter the Options window, then click on Advanced and […]

AMD G-Series based iBase SI-08 Digital Signage

Ibase announced the SI-08, a digital signage player with an AMD G-Series processor and a DVI output. The device features a 1.6GHz dual-core T56N processor, up to 2GB of RAM and 1TB of disk storage, gigabit Ethernet,  a serial port, 2 USB port, an audio jack (in or out) as well as a Mini PCI slot for optional Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Here are the specifications and features of the iBase SI-08 digital signage player: System Mainboard EB900-16-SI CPU Type AMD G-Series Dual-Core APU (Accelerated Processing Unit): T56N=1.65GHz @ 18W TDP CPU Package 413-BGA Chipset AMD A55M Controller Hub Memory DDR3-1333, up to 4GB Graphics ATi Radeon HD6320 series graphics processing system integrated in APU • DirectX 11 • Direct Compute 11 • Open GL 4.0 • OpenCL 1.1 • UVD3 Hardware Video Decoder – MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264, VC-1, WMV9 • Hybrid-DVI connector supporting CRT, DVI, or HDMI devices LAN 1x […]