Linux 5.11 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.11 release

Linus Torvalds has released Linux 5.11 just in time for… “Valentine’s Day”: Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are – with 5.11 tagged and pushed out. In fact, it’s a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we’re all set for the merge window to start. But in the meantime – and yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day here in the US – maybe give this release a good testing before you go back and play with development kernels. All right? Because I’m sure your SO will understand. Linus Last time around, Linux 5.10 was an LTS release that added EXT-4 performance enhancements, improved post-Spectre performance, as well as the enablement of BCM2711 (Raspberry Pi 4) display pipeline, among other many changes. Some of the notable changes in […]

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

Linux 5.10 release

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 […]

NanoPi R4S SBC preview with OpenWrt and Ubuntu Core

NanoPi R4S review

Rockchip RK3399 powered NanoPi R4S router SBC launched at the beginning of the month, and FriendlyELEC kindly sent a review sample to CNX Software. I intended to test thermally performance, Ethernet, and USB like I did for NanoPi R2S and NanoPi NEO3,  but Armbian is not available right now, so I could not use some of the tools I normally used right now. So instead, I tested the board/gateway with the image from FriendlyELEC. First FriendlyCore based on Ubuntu Core 20.04, but there some issues which we’ll detail in this preview, so I then switch to FriendlyWrt built upon OpenWrt 19.07 which works better, but I still encountered some problems. That’s just to say it might be better to wait a little longer until Armbian images are released, or until FriendlyELEC fixes some of the shortcomings. NanoPi R4S gateway unboxing Before testing the software, let’s see what I’ve received. NanoPi […]

NanoPi R4S SBC launched with optional metal case for $45 and up

NanoPi R4S metal case

We found NanoPi R4S board in a work-in-progress Wiki last month. The tiny single board computer is designed for headless applications but comes with much better specifications compared to similar boards with a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with up to 4GB RAM, dual Gigabit Ethernet, and USB 3.0 ports. At the time we had limited information, but FriendlyELEC has now started selling the board for $45 and up, together with an optional metal case for a fanless operation that should ensure very good cooling. Here’s a reminder of NanoPi R4S specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with dual-Core Cortex-A72 up to 2.0GHz,  quad-core Cortex-A53 up to 1.5GHz, Mali-T864 GPU with OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenCL, DX11, and AFBC support, 4K VP9 and 4K 10-bit H265/H264 60fps video decoder System Memory – 1GB DDR3 or 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – MicroSD card slot Networking – 2x GbE, including one native Gigabit Ethernet, and […]

NanoPi R4S headless RK3399 SBC features up to 4GB RAM, dual Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports

NanoPi R4S

We’ve seen several tiny ultra-cheap boards for headless applications over the last few years with products Orange Pi Zero Plus or NanoPi R2S which are usually based on 32-bit Cortex-A7 or low power 64-bit Cortex-A53 processors, coupled with up to 512MB to 2GB, and may have some limitations when it comes to Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 speeds. If you’d like something similar but more powerful, FriendlyELEC is working on NanoPi R4S headless SBC powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core Cortex-A72/A53 processor with up to 4GB RAM, dual Gigabit Ethernet, and two USB 3.0 ports. NanoPi R4S preliminary specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with dual-Core Cortex-A72 up to 2.0GHz,  quad-core Cortex-A53 up to 1.5GHz, Mali-T864 GPU with OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenCL, DX11, and AFBC support, 4K VP9 and 4K 10-bit H265/H264 60fps video decoder System Memory – 1GB DDR3 or 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – MicroSD card slot Networking – […]

NanoPi R2S & NanoPi NEO3 tested with Armbian – Thermal test, Ethernet and USB performance

NanoPi R2S NanoPi NEO3 Review

In the first part of the review of NanoPi NEO3 and Nano R2S I checked out the hardware, with both tiny gateways powered by a Rockchip RK3328 processor but a different features as NEO3 includes a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB 3.0 port, while R2S comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port. I’ve now had time to test both gateways using Armbian 20.08.1 release based on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal. Note that while NanoPi R2S is officially supported by Armbian, NanoPi NEO3 images are currently tagged as “suitable for testing“. Having that said I did not come across any specific issues on NEO3, and it may mostly mean it’s easier to get support on the forums with R2S. I flashed two microSD cards using USBImager with: Armbian_20.08.1_Nanopi-r2s_focal_current_5.8.6_minimal.img.xz Armbian_20.08.1_Nanopineo3_focal_current_5.8.6_minimal.img.xz That means Ubuntu 20.04 with Linux 5.8.6, but since Armbian is always updated, I ended the review with […]

NanoPi NEO3 and NanoPi R2S Gateways Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Teardown

NanoPi NEO3 & NanoPi R2S Review

This morning I received a message from DHL informing me of an incoming package from Hong Kong and sent by a company (i.e. an agent) I had never heard of. My first reaction was “Ah” shortly followed by “Why?!”. But in any case, I’ve just received the package, and after tearing the plastic out, I found a FriendlyELEC branded package. So I thought to myself it must be a NanoPi board for review. Wrong! I actually got two NanoPi “boards” namely NanoPi NEO3 with 2GB RAM, and NanoPi R2S both of which are Rockchip RK3328 powered SBC’s designed for Linux headless applications. Unboxing After opening both packages, I realized I did not get the SBC versions, but instead the complete gateways with their respective enclosure. NEO3 is really light since the case is in plastic, while R2S is a bit heavier due to the metal case.  NanoPi NEO3 gateway comes […]

NanoPi NEO3 Headless SBC Launched for $20 and up

buy nanopi neo3

Last month, we found out FriendlyELEC was working on NanoPi NEO3, a tiny SBC powered by Rockchip RK3328 processor and made for headless applications and networked storage thanks to Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports, as well as a 26-pin GPIO header. At the time, the board was still been finalized, but the company has now started to take orders for $20 and up depending on options which include a cute white enclosure.. Here’s a quick reminder of NanoPi NEO3 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB or 2GB DDR4 Storage – MicroSD Slot for system boot and storage Video Output – N/A Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet with unique MAC via RTL8211E PHY USB – 1x USB3.0 Type-A port, 2x USB2.0 on 2.54mm 8-pin header Expansion – 26-pin header with I2C, UART, SPI, I2S, GPIO Debugging – 3-pin header for […]