Canonical Livepatch Service Automatically Updates Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (and later) with the Latest Kernel without Rebooting

Installing or upgrading packages in Linux distributions does not normally require rebooting your system, except for the Linux kernel and drivers. But since Linux 4.0 kernel, Live Kernel patching is possible, meaning Linux kernel updates can be performed without having to reboot your server or computer. Canonical is now taking advantage of this new feature with their Livepatch Service available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and greater. If you want to enable it on your machine, you’ll have to authenticate to Livepatch portal to get a key / token for the service as shown in the screenshot above. Now you can install the service:

and enable it with your token:

That’s it. Your can check Livepatch service status with the command:

In my case, an update was not necessary, but if there’s one you should see something like:

That way you can make sure your system always […]

Linux 4.8 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has officially released Linux 4.8 last Sunday: So the last week was really quiet, which maybe means that I could probably just have skipped rc8 after all. Oh well, no real harm done. This obviously means that the merge window for 4.9 is open, and I appreciate the people who already sent in some pull requests early due to upcoming travel or other reasons. I’ll start pulling things tomorrow, and have even the most eager developers and testers hopefully test the final 4.8 release before the next development kernels start coming 😉 Anyway, there’s a few stragging fixes since rc8 listed below: it’s a mixture of arch fixes (arm, mips, sparc, x86), drivers (networking, nvdimm, gpu) and generic code (some core networking, with a few filesystem, cgroup and and vm things). All of it pretty small, and there really aren’t that many of them. Go forth and test, […]

Linux 4.7 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

Linux 4.7 is out: So, after a slight delay due to my travels, I’m back, and 4.7 is out. Despite it being two weeks since rc7, the final patch wasn’t all that big, and much of it is trivial one- and few-liners. There’s a couple of network drivers that got a bit more loving. Appended is the shortlog since rc7 for people who care: it’s fairly spread out, with networking and some intel Kabylake GPU fixes being the most noticeable ones. But there’s random small noise spread all over. And obviously, this means that the merge window for 4.8 is open.Judging by the linux-next contents, that’s going to be a bigger release than the current one (4.7 really was fairly calm, I blame at least partly summer in the northern hemisphere). Linus Linux 4.6 brought USB 3.1 superspeed, OrangeFS distributed file system, 802.1AE MAC-level encryption (MACsec), and BATMAN V protocol support, improved […]

Updating Star Cloud PCG02U to Ubuntu 16.04 with WiFi and HDMI Audio Support

I completed my review of PCG02U Ubuntu TV stick a few days ago, and I was quite satisfied with the device, but since Ubuntu 16.04 was released last month, I thought it might be fun to upgrade to the latest version of Ubuntu. I’m go through the complete steps including building a new kernel for HDMI audio, and the drivers for WiFi, but you should be able to install Ubuntu 16.04 for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processor with the image made by Linuxium and a USB stick. Star Cloud PCG02U OS Support and Warranty Before I go through the instructions, you may want to read the conditions on MeLE’s Aliexpress PCG02U page. They meant Ubuntu 14.04 instead of 14.0.4, but the important part is that if something goes wrong trying alternative OS, you may lose your warranty. Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04 Upgrading from one LTS version to […]

Embedded Linux Conference 2016 and OpenIoT Summit 2016 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference 2016 and the OpenIoT summit 2016 will take place on April 4 – 6, 2016 in San Diego, California, and over 800 attended will meet including kernel & system developers, userspace developers, and product vendors. The Linux Foundation has recently published the schedule, so I’ve had a look at some of the talks, and designed my own virtual schedule to find out more the current development focus although I won’t attend. Monday April 4 10:40am – 11:30am – Linux Connectivity for IoT by Marcel Holtmann, Intel OTC There are many connectivity solutions that available for IoT. For example Bluetooth Low Energy, 802.15.4, Zigbee, OIC, Thread and others. This presentation will provide and overview of the existing technology and upcoming standard and how they tie into the Linux kernel and its ecosystem. 11:40 – 12:30 – BoF: A Million Kernel Boots and Counting by Kevin Hilman, […]

FOSDEM 2016 Schedule – Open Source Hardware and Software Event in Europe

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) is a 2-day event that usually takes place on the first week-end of February in Brussels, but this year it will be on January 30-31. The event brings thousands of developers, hackers, and other person interested in open source technology who present their projects and share ideas. FOSDEM 2016 schedule is now available, and There will be 557 speakers, 612 events, and 50 tracks this year including 7 main tracks: Distros, Enterprise, Hardware, Communications, Miscellaneous, Office, Systems Administration, and Virtualization. So I’ve had a look at some of the talks, especially out of  “Embedded, Mobile and Automotive” and “IoT” devrooms, and prepared my own virtual schedule although I won’t be able to attend. Saturday 10:30 – 10:55 – MIPS, the other side of the embedded by Alexjan Carraturo For many years MIPS processors have been involved in the embedded market, particularly […]

Light Biz OS Firmware, Android and Ubuntu Image, and Android SDK Released for GeekBox (RK3368)

GeekBox is an upcoming Android TV box based on Rockchip RK3368 octa-core processor that doubles as a system-on-module and development board. The company has now uploaded the Android 5.1 SDK, including Linux 3.10.79 kernel, on github. It’s not for the Android SDK for RK3368, but at least it’s not just an outdated tarball, and will hopefully be regularly updated directly on github. Beside the source code, the company also released three firmware image including Rockchip’s Light Biz OS desktop operating system based on Lollipop: Biz OS for GeekBox – V151208 (8th of December 2015) Android and Lubuntu dual boot image  – V151129 (29th of November 2015) Android 5.1 image – V151129 (29th of November 2015) It’s quite possible those images will also work on other Rockchip RK3368 platform with some modifications, e.g. an updated device tree file for a given hardware. I’ve downloaded Biz OS adn the dual boot image, […]

How to extract kernel.img with mkboot script

As I tried instructions to install Linux on Amlogic S905 Android TV boxes yesterday, I wanted to extract kernel.img file found in Android firmware, but Google did not help that much until I found mkboot part of mkbootimg_tools scripts. But first let’s see how kernel.img is created… Google provide a Python script called mkbootimg that combine the kernel image (e,.g. zImage), a rootfs/ramdisk and the device tree (DTB) file with a command line that looks like:

However, AFAIK the company does not provide a “unmkbootimg” script, and mkbootimg can only be used to create kernel.img, not decompile it. But that’s what mkboot does, and it works for kernel.img and recovery.img. Let’s retrieve the necessary files first:

mkboot is a bash script so we can use it right away:

So it can be used both for unpacking and repacking kernel.img to/from the output directory. Let’s run the command […]

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