Linux 5.10 LTS release – Main changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.10: Ok, here it is – 5.10 is tagged and pushed out. I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that’s true here too. There’s a fair amount of fixes in here, including a few last-minute reverts for things that didn’t get fixed, but nothing makes me go “we need another week”. Things look fairly normal. It’s mostly drivers – as it should be – with a smattering of fixes all over: networking, architectures, filesystems, tooling.. The shortlog is appended, and scanning it gives a good idea of what kind of things are there. Nothing that looks scary: most of the patches are very small, and the biggest one is fixing pin mapping definitions for a pincontrol driver. This also obviously means that the merge window for 5.11 will start tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests pending – you guys know who you […]

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[email protected] ARM64 Linux Beta Release for COVID-19 Vaccine Research

A few months ago, we reported that [email protected] supported 64-bit Arm SBC’s and Servers in the Fight against COVID-19. But Foldi[email protected] did not support Arm hardware just yet, but thanks to work from Neocortix, Linaro, Arm, miniNodes, and Packet.com, we now get support for [email protected] on ARM64 meaning you can help researchers studying SARS-CoV-2 virus and help them develop a COVID-19 vaccine with Raspberry Pi 3/4 boards, or other 64-bit Arm SBC’s and servers. The solution relies on Neocortix Cloud Services Platform allowing the unused capacity of large numbers of individual mobile phones or other connected nodes to be harnessed into a single, unified computational engine. The very first application that made use of the platform was Neocortix PhonePaycheck were users get paid to let businesses perform calculations on their phones at night while charging and connected to WiFi. That way users of premium phones like Galaxy S10 or S20 can make around $80 a year when used for 8 […]

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Linux 5.8 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.8: So I considered making an rc8 all the way to the last minute, but decided it’s not just worth waiting another week when there aren’t  any big looming worries around. Because despite the merge window having been very large, there really hasn’t been anything scary going on in the release candidates. Yeah, we had some annoying noise with header file dependencies this week, but that’s not a new annoyance, and it’s also not the kind of subtle bug that keeps me up at night worrying about it. It did reinforce how nice it would be if we had some kind of tooling support to break nasty header file dependencies automatically, but if wishes were horses.. Maybe some day we’ll have some kind of SAT-solver for symbol dependencies that can handle all our different architectures and configurations, but right now it’s just a manual pain that occasionally bites us. Anyway.. Aside from silly header […]

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Linux 5.7 Released – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

OK… I’m a bit late on that one. Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.7 last week: So we had a fairly calm last week, with nothing really screaming “let’s delay one more rc”. Knock wood – let’s hope we don’t have anything silly lurking this time, like the last-minute wifi regression we had in 5.6.. But embarrassing regressions last time notwithstanding, it all looks fine. And most of the discussion I’ve seen the last week or two has been about upcoming features, so the merge window is now open  and I’ll start processing pull requests tomorrow as usual. But in the meantime, please give this a whirl. We’ve got a lot of changes in 5.7 as usual (all the stats look normal – but “normal” for us obviously pretty big and means “almost 14 thousand non-merge commits all over, from close to two thousand developers”), So the appended shortlog is only the small stuff that came in this last week since […]

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[email protected] Now Supports 64-bit Arm SBC’s and Servers in the Fight against COVID-19

[email protected] and [email protected] projects aim to perform biomedical research using the computing power of volunteers. Basically, you just need to install a program on your computer, and it will use idle computing power to perform complex calculations without slowing down your computer as long as you are not short in RAM. The projects are now working on COVID-19 to understand how SARS-CoV-2 protein is structured which could help find a cure. The programs have been available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 targets for years, but very recently [email protected] has been made available for 64-bit ARM targets so people can also run BOINC program on Arm Linux SBCs such as Raspberry Pi 4, NVIDIA Jetson Nano, or Rock64, or even powerful Arm servers to help with [email protected] project’s COVID-19 research. As explained in an article on miniNodes, you’ll need a board with at least 2GB RAM and running a 64-bit operating system. That means Raspbian […]

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AWS EC2 6th Gen Instances are 7x Faster thanks to Graviton 2 Arm Neoverse N1 Custom Processor

AWS ECS2 Graviton 2 Instances

Last year Amazon introduced their first 64-bit Arm-based ECS2 “A1” instances which were found to deliver up to 45% cost savings over x86 Instances for the right workloads. A few months ago, AWS (Amazon Web Services) provides a new offering with bare-metal A1 instances, and with re:invent 2019 now taking place the company has unveiled AWS ECS2 6th generation Arm instances (which they did not call A2 instances yet) powered by Graviton 2 processor comprised of custom Arm Neoverse N1 cores and promising up to 7x the performance of the original A1 instances. There will be three types of Graviton2-powered EC2 instances with the d suffix indicating NVMe local storage: M6g and M6gd for General Purpose workloads (application servers, mid-size data stores, microservices, and cluster computing) with 1 to 64 vCPUs and up to 256 GB of memory. C6g and C6gd for Compute-Optimized workloads (high-performance computing, video encoding, gaming, and CPU-based machine learning inference acceleration) with 1 to 64 vCPUs […]

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Changing Ubuntu Apt Mirror from the Command Line, and the Lack of Arm64 Mirrors

When you install Ubuntu on a computer, you’d normally go through the installation ISO which guides you through a wizard where you select your location among other things, and that means you get connected to the mirror closest to your location allowing timely updates. But for those of us who flash Ubuntu images on Arm SBC’s, the mirror is normally fixed to the one set by the developer be it in China or Slovakia, or defaults to the US mirror. It still works, but it can be slower than necessary. In a computer, an easy way to change that from Ubuntu desktop to launch Software & Update program and change the download from field to a mirror in your country or neighboring country as shown below. But I’ve found myself mostly connecting to boards over SSH since it’s easier that way for reviews. One way to change the mirror would be to edit /etc/apt/sources.list manually, or just not bother, but […]

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How to Sandbox an arm64 GCC on aarch64 Hardware with armv7 Userspace

Arm64 GCC Armv7 Userspace

CNXSoft: Guest post by Blu about setting up arm64 toolchain on 64-bit Arm hardware running a 32-bit Arm (Armv7) rootfs. Life is short and industry progress is never fast enough in areas we care about. That’s an observation most of us are familiar with. One would think that by now most aarch64 desktops would be running arm64 environments, with multi-arch support when needed. Alas, as of late 2019, chromeOS on aarch64 is still shipping an aarch64 kernel and an armhf userspace. And despite the fine job by the good folks at chromebrew, an aarch64 chromeOS machine in dev mode ‒ an otherwise excellent road-warrior ride, is stuck with 32-bit armhf. Is that a problem, some may ask? Yes, it is ‒ aarch64 is the objectively better arm ISA outside of MCUs, from gen-purpose code to all kinds of ISA extensions, SIMD in particular. That shows in contemporary compiler support and in the difference in quality of codegen. Particularly with the […]

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