Linux 5.0 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.0 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.0: Ok, so the last week of the 5.0 release wasn’t entirely quiet, but it’s a lot smaller than rc8 was, and on the whole I’m happy that I delayed a week and did an rc8. It turns out that the actual patch that I talked about in the rc8 release wasn’t the worrisome bug I had thought: yes, we had an uninitialized variable, but the reason we hadn’t immediately noticed it due to a warning was that the way gcc works, the compiler had basically initialized it for us to the right value. So the same thing that caused not the lack of warning, also effectively meant that the fix was a no-op in practice. But hey, we had other bug fixes come in that actually did matter, and the uninitialized variable _could_ have been a problem with another compiler. Regardless – all […]

Orange Pi Software Releases – Android 9.0 Firmware, Linux Source Code for RK3399 / MT6737

Orange Pi One Plus Android 9.0

Shenzhen Xunlong Software is used to release many different variations of their Orange Pi boards, and more often than not they tend to launch their boards fairly early before the software is fully ready. Many of their boards get supported by the community thanks to Armbian, linux-sunxi, etc… but sometimes the company does release firmware or source code themselves, as they did in the last two days with Android 9.0 firmware for one of their Allwinner H6 board, and Linux source code for Orange Pi 4G-IoT and Orange Pi RK3399. Android 9.0 for Orange Pi One Plus Launched in 2017, Orange Pi One Plus was the very first Allwinner H6 SBC launched on the market, and supported Android 7.0 at the time.  But following the release of Android 9.0 for Allwinner H6 TV boxes a few weeks ago,  you can now also upgrade your Orange Pi One Plus to Android […]

Linux 4.20 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linux 4.20 Changelog

After Greg K-H handling Linux 4.19 release, Linus Torvalds is back at the helm, and released Linux 4.20 just before Christmas: Let’s face it, last week wasn’t quite as quiet as I would have hoped for, but there really doesn’t seem to be any point to delay 4.20 because everybody is already taking a break. And it’s not like there are any known issues, it’s just that the shortlog below is a bit longer than I would have wished for. Nothing screams “oh, that’s scary”, though. And as part of the “everybody is already taking a break”, I can happily report that I already have quite a few early pull requests in my inbox. I encouraged people to get it over and done with, so that people can just relax over the year-end holidays. In fact, I probably won’t start pulling for a couple of days, but otherwise let’s just […]

Mainline Linux on Amlogic S905/S905X/S912 SoCs – 2018 Status Update

BayLibre is working on mainline Linux for Amlogic SoC, and in February of last year, Neil Armstrong gave a presentation entitled “Mainline Linux on AmLogic SoCs” at the Embedded Linux Conference 2017. Neil has recently (actually yesterday) given another presentation about the status of mainline Linux on Amlogic processor at 2018, so we have some updated information now. He goes through the whole history of upstreaming Linux for Amlogic SoCs, but I’ll provided summary of the new features, and if you have time you can watch the video (25 minutes) embed below, or the slides. Early last year, Linux 4.10 already supported general I/Os, USB host (for S905), Gigabit Ethernet, eMMC/SD/SDIO, PSCI for SMP, and SCPI for DVFS for Amlogic processor, and BayLibre was said to be working on HDMI display support, Mali (as external module), audio input/output, and high-speed eMMC modes. Based on the slide above, with Linux […]

Linux 4.14 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architecture

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux 4.14: No surprises this week, although it is probably worth pointing out how the 0day robot has been getting even better (it was very useful before, but Fengguang has been working on making it even better, and reporting the problems it has found). Sure, some of the new reports turned out to be just 0day doing things that just don’t work (ie KASAN with old gcc versions, but also doing things like loading old ISA drivers in situations that just don’t make sense – remember when you couldn’t even ask if the hardware existed or not, and just had to know), but even then it’s been all good. The appended shortlog is obviously only for the (small) haul since rc8, and it really is tiny. Not very many commits, and they are small. The biggest thing that stands out in the diffstat […]

Lab in a Box Concept Embeds x86 Server and 6 ARM Boards into a PC Case for Automated Software Testing

The Linux kernel now has about 20 millions line of code, Arm has hundreds of licensees making thousands of processors and micro-controllers, which end up in maybe hundreds of thousands of different designs, many of which are not using Linux, but for those that do, Linux must be tested to make sure it works. The same stands true for any large software used on multiple hardware platforms. Manual testing is one way to do it, but it’s time consuming and expensive, so there are software and hardware continuous integration solutions to automate testing such as Linaro LAVA (Linaro Automated Validation Architecture), KernelCI automated Linux kernel testing, and Automotive Grade Linux CIAT that automatically test incoming patch series. Both CIAT and KernelCI focus on Linux, and rely on LAVA, with KernelCI leveraging hardware contributed by the community, and proven to be effective as since it’s been implemented, failed build configs dropped […]

Allwinner SoCs with Mali GPU Get Mainline Linux OpenGL ES Support

OpenGL ES support in Linux for ARM SoC is usually pretty hard to get because of closed source binary blobs coupled with the manufacturers focus on Android. Workarounds include open driver projects such as Freedreno for Qualcomm Adreno GPU, Nouveau for Tegra, or Etnaviv for Vivante GPUs, as well as libhybris library that converts Linux calls into Android calls in order to leverage existing Android GPU binary blobs. Allwinner processors relies on either PoverVR or ARM Mali GPU, and the former does not have any open source project, while some work is still being going for the latter with Lima project, but it’s not ready yet. That means so far, you’re only option was to use libhybris for either GPU family. The good news is that Free Electrons engineers have been working on OpenGL ES support for ARM Mali GPU for Allwinner processor, and have been allowed to release the […]

Linux 4.9 Kernel Source Code Released for Phoenix OS Android Desktop Operating System

Phoenix OS is one of the last options left for people wanting to run Android with desktop optimizations on their computer. The problem is that so far, it was fully closed source, and the company refused to comply with the Linux kernel’s GPLv2 license, despite part of the project being based on Android-x86 work. The community also wanted to get involved to improve hardware compatibility with graphics cards, wireless modules / dongles, and other peripherals. However, without source code, nothing could be done, and a petition was launched on asking Chaozhuo, the company behind the project, to release the Linux kernel code. After over 300 signatures was reached in the petition, the company did push Linux 4.9.24 to Github, and after verifying there was indeed some changes compared to Android x86 kernel, the community declared victory. They are however trying to make the company develop the kernel in the […]