Linux 5.15 LTS release – Main Changes, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.15

Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.15, an LTS version, this past Sunday: It’s been calm, and I have no excuse to add an extra rc, so here we are, with v5.15 pushed out, and the merge window starting tomorrow. Which is going to be a bit inconvenient for me, since I also have some conference travel coming up. But it’s only a couple of days and I’ll have my laptop with me. Sometimes the release timing works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.. Anyway, the last week of 5.15 was mainly networking and gpu fixes, with some random sprinkling of other things (a few btrfs reverts, some kvm updates, minor other fixes here and there – a few architecture fixes, couple of tracing, small driver fixes etc). Full shortlog appended. This release may have started out with some -Werror pain, but it calmed down fairly quickly and on the whole 5.15 was […]

Pocket P.C. devkits ship, U-blox GNSS module replaced by SIMCom SIM33ELA

Popcorn Computer Shipping

The Pocket P.C. (aka Popcorn Computer) is a handheld Linux computer based on Allwinner A64 with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 4.95-inch Full HD display, and a QWERTY keyboard that was introduced in 2019, and reminds me of PocketCHIP from a few years also with an Allwinner processor, a display, a keyboard, and a battery. The initial plan was to start shipping the device by May 2020, and there are been delays for reasons we’ll explain below, but the good news is that Source Parts has just announced the developer units had been shipped. So what happened exactly, besides the COVID-19 pandemic, government lockdowns, and supply chain disruptions? Source Parts first encountered issues with the quality of PCBs delivered by the manufacturer, which ended up with them having to switch to a new manufacturer. Getting the display to work was also a challenge, and Icenowy, a developer involved with linux-sunxi […]

Armbian 21.08 for Arm boards ships with latest Linux 5.10 LTS

Armbian 21.08

Armbian provides stable releases four times a year, and Armbian 21.08 has just been released offering minimal, server or XFCE, Cinnamon and Budgie desktop Linux 5.10 LTS images for Arm boards, as well as a build system to customize your own image. If you’ve been using an Arm SBC that is NOT a Raspberry Pi board, you’ve probably been told to use Armbian, as the community is providing Debian and Ubuntu images for over 100 Arm boards that are either “Supported”, “WIP” (suitable for testing), or “CSC” (no official support, aka you’re on your own). Armbian 21.08 highlights (Note: EDGE are daily builds following daily builds of the Linux kernel and fresh packages from Debian sid, Ubuntu 21.04 “hirsute” or Ubuntu 21.10 “impish” userland): Based on Linux 5.10.59 released on August 15, 2021 Minimal, server or XFCE, Cinnamon, and Budgie desktop Fast automated language selection on the first run Regular […]

Linux 5.14 Release – Main changes, Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V architectures

Linux 5.14 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced Linux 5.14 release which happens to almost coincide with the anniversary of the initial announcement of the “small” project on August 25, 1991, about 30 years ago. Here’s Linux 5.14’s announcement: So I realize you must all still be busy with all the galas and fancy balls and all the other 30th anniversary events, but at some point you must be getting tired of the constant glitz, the fireworks, and the champagne. That ball gown or tailcoat isn’t the most comfortable thing, either. The celebrations will go on for a few more weeks yet, but you all may just need a breather from them. And when that happens, I have just the thing for you – a new kernel release to test and enjoy. Because 5.14 is out there, just waiting for you to kick the tires and remind yourself what all the festivities are […]

LibreELEC 10.0 minimal Linux OS for media playback released with Kodi 19.1

LibreELEC 10.0

While most TV boxes and SBCs nowadays ship with or support a version of Android, people who just want the best viewing experience may prefer to switch to a Linux distribution such as LibreELEC or CoreELEC. The good news is that LibreELEC 10.0 has just been released with Kodi 19.1 and Linux 5.10 LTS. LibreELEC 10.0 is said to work well for Allwinner, Rockchip, and “Generic” Intel/AMD devices, while the Raspberry Pi 4 release’s codebase is rather new, and there may still be a few rough edges. Support for the previous generation Raspberry Pi boards has been dropped, and there’s no support for Amlogic platforms as CoreELEC already provides good support. Since LibreELEC 10.0 is based on Kodi 19.1, it benefits from the same features as Kodi 19 “Matrix” release including AV1 video decoding, a new skin, HDR support, and more. LibreELEC 10.1 support a wide range of single board […]

How to use PinePhone as a mobile hotspot

PinePhone SIM Card MicroSD Card

I’ve recently started using my Android phone as a mobile hotspot with mixed results so instead, I’ve switched to using PinePhone as a hotspot with Manjaro Arm Linux with Plasma Mobile instead, and performance seems much more stable now. Early this year, I received Pinephone with PostMarketOS beta, and after playing with it a bit I did not do much with it so far. But in recent times, I’ve been staying in various places without WiFi, so I purchased a lost cost SIM card with a one-year cellular data plan to be able to work from any location using my Android 10 smartphone (Huawei Y9 Prime 2019) as a mobile hotspot. It works most of the time, but sometimes I have massive packet loss, and the only way to recover is to turn off and on the hotspot, and in some cases even reboot the phone. Playing with settings on […]

3D printer board leverages Allwinner A64’s AR100 core for real-time control

Recore Allwinner A64 3D printer board

Elias Bakken has been working on Recore 3D printer control board based on Allwinner A64 processor since 2019 and with revision “A5” of the PCB,  Recore is now considered stable and will ship to customers. But wait? Isn’t Allwinner A64 just a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor meant to run Linux? But 3D printer control boards require real-time I/O and that’s why many are designed with STM32, Arduino compatible Microchip MCU or other microcontrollers. The trick here is that Elias did not use the Cortex-A53 cores for real-time control, but instead the 300 MHz AR100 32-bit OpenRISC 1000 core found in Allwinner A64 SoC. Recore specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor running at 1 GHz, with AR100 32-bit core @ 300 MHz, Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 RAM Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI output to connect a display Networking – Gigabit Ethernet […]

PineDio indoor LoRa gateway to combine Pine A64-LTS SBC with RAK2287 LoRaWAN concentrator module

Pine64 indoor LoRa gateway

RAKwireless has offered Raspberry Pi-based indoor LoRaWAN gateways for development/evaluation purposes for several years, including the more recent RAK7246 LoRaWAN developer gateway equipped with Raspberry Pi Zero W SBC. But there’s will soon be another option, also not directly from RAKwireless, as Pine64 PineDio indoor LoRa gateway will feature RAK2287 LoRaWAN concentrator module connected to Pine A64-LTS single board computer via a custom-designed adapter board. PineDio indoor LoRa gateway preliminary specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – Up to 2GB LPDDR3 Storage – 128Mb SPI boot Flash, MicroSD card slot, optional eMMC flash module Video Output – HDMI 1.4 up to 4K resolution @ 30 Hz Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet Optional WiFi & Bluetooth module LoRaWAN via RAK2287 mini PCIe concentrator module based on Semtech SX1302 with support for RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, AS923; external antenna GNSS […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative