Linux 6.9 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.9 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 6.9 on LKML: So Thorsten is still reporting a few regression fixes that haven’t made it to me yet, but none of them look big or worrisome enough to delay the release for another week. We’ll have to backport them when they get resolved and hit upstream. So 6.9 is now out, and last week has looked quite stable (and the whole release has felt pretty normal). Below is the shortlog for the last week, with the changes mostly being dominated by some driver updates (gpu and networking being the big ones, but “big” is still pretty small, and there’s various other driver noise in there too). Outside of drivers, it’s some filesystem fixes (bcachefs still stands out, but ksmbd shows up too), some late selftest fixes, and some core networking fixes. And I now have a more powerful arm64 machine […]

Linux 6.6 LTS release – Highlights, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.6 release

The Linux 6.6 release has just been announced by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML): So this last week has been pretty calm, and I have absolutely no excuses to delay the v6.6 release any more, so here it is. There’s a random smattering of fixes all over, and apart from some bigger fixes to the r8152 driver, it’s all fairly small. Below is the shortlog for last week for anybody who really wants to get a flavor of the details. It’s short enough to scroll through. This obviously means that the merge window for 6.7 opens tomorrow, and I appreciate how many early pull requests I have lined up, with 40+ ready to go. That will make it a bit easier for me to deal with it, since I’ll be on the road for the first week of the merge window. Linus About two months ago, […]

Linux 6.4 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.4 release

Linux 6.4 has just been released by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML): Hmm. Final week of 6.4 is done, and we’ve mainly got some netfilter fixes, some mm reverts, and a few tracing updates. There’s random small changes elsewhere: the usual architecture noise, a number of selftest updates, some filesystem fixes (btrfs, ksmb), etc. Most of the stuff in my mailbox the last week has been about upcoming things for 6.5, and I already have 15 pull requests pending. I appreciate all you proactive people. But that’s for tomorrow. Today we’re all busy build-testing the newest kernel release, and checking that it’s all good. Right? Released around two months ago, Linux 6.3 brought us AMD’s “automatic IBRS” Spectre defense mechanism, additional progress on the Rust front with User-mode Linux support (on x86-64 systems only), the NFS filesystem (both the client and server sides) gained support for […]

Panfrost now offers a fully-conformant OpenGL ES 3.1 implementation for Mali-G57 (Valhall) GPU

Panfrost Mali-G57 OpenGL ES 3.1

The Mali-G57 GPU part of the Valhall family, and found in several Arm processors such as MediaTek MT8192 and MT8195 SoC powering some Chromebooks, is now supported by the Panfrost open-source driver with a fully-conformant OpenGL ES 3.1 implementation. Last year, Collabora updated Panfrost with support for OpenGL ES 3.1 on Midgard (Mali T760 and newer) and Bifrost (Mali G31, G52, G76) GPUs, and also announced having started working on Valhall GPUs. One part of the work was done in the summer of 2021 with some reverse-engineering work on Mali-G78 GPU’s instruction set, and this has culminated with a fully-conformant OpenGL3.1 for Mali-G57 GPU. Interestingly, it’s not been released by Collabora directly, but through an organization called “Software in the Public Intenerest, Inc.” (or SPI for shorts) which happens to be a non-profit organization incorporated on June 16, 1997, and described as: a non-profit corporation registered in the state of […]

Linux 5.18 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.18 release arm risc-v mips

Linux 5.18 is out! Linus Torvalds has just announced the release on lkml: No unexpected nasty surprises this last week, so here we go with the 5.18 release right on schedule. That obviously means that the merge window for 5.19 will open tomorrow, and I already have a few pull requests pending. Thank you everybody. I’d still like people to run boring old plain 5.18 just to check, before we start with the excitement of all the new features for the merge window. The full shortlog for the last week is below, and nothing really odd stands out. The diffstat looks a bit funny – unusually we have parsic architecture patches being a big part of it due to some last-minute cache flushing fixes, but that is probably more indicative of everything else being pretty small. So outside of the parisc fixes, there’s random driver updates (mellanox mlx5 stands out, […]

Speeding up open-source GPU driver development with unit tests, drm-shim, and code reuse

Open source GPU driver Linux

Getting an Arm platform that works with mainline Linux may take several years as the work is often done by third parties, and the silicon vendor has its own Linux tree. That means in many cases, the software is ready when the platform is obsolete or soon will be. It would be nice to start software development before the hardware is ready. It may seem like a crazy idea, but that’s what the team at Collabora has done to add support for Arm “Valhall” GPUs (Mali-G57, Mali-G78) to the Panfrost open-source GPU driver. The result is that it only took the team a few days to successfully pass tests using data structures prepared by their Mesa driver and shaders compiled by their Valhall compiler after receiving the actual hardware thanks to the work done in the last six months. So how did they achieve this feat exactly? We have to […]

Linux 5.16 Release – Main Changes, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.16 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.16: Not a lot here since -rc8, which is not unexpected. We had that extra week due to the holidays, and it’s not like we had lots of last-minute things that needed to be sorted out. So this mainly contains some driver fixes (mainly networking and rdma), a cgroup credential use fix, a few core networking fixes, a couple of last-minute reverts, and some other random noise. The appended shortlog is so small that you might as well scroll through it. This obviously means that the merge window for 5.17 opens tomorrow, and I’m happy to say I already have several pending early pull requests. I wish I had even more, because this merge window is going to be somewhat painful due to unfortunate travel for family reasons. So I’ll be doing most of it on the road on a laptop […]

Rock Pi X Review – An Atom x5 SBC running Windows 10 or Ubuntu 20.04

Rock Pi X Review

The ROCK Pi X is the first x86 SBC (single board computer) from Radxa and resulted from repeated enquiries about running Windows on their earlier ROCK Pi 4. The ROCK Pi X comes in two models (Model A and Model B) with each model having either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM and either 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of eMMC storage. Additionally, the Model B includes WiFi and Bluetooth together with supporting Power over Ethernet (PoE) although this requires an additional HAT. Both Seeed Studio and Radxa provided samples and in this review, I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu and also discuss the thermals. Rock Pi X Hardware Overview The ROCK Pi X is similar in size to a Raspberry Pi board… but with slightly different ports and port locations even when compared to the Raspberry Pi 4. It is physically slightly larger than its […]

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