Linux 4.18 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architecture

Linux Changelog 4.18

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 4.18: One week late(r) and here we are – 4.18 is out there. It was a very calm week, and arguably I could just have released on schedule last week, but we did have some minor updates. Mostly networking, but some vfs race fixes (mentioned in the rc8 announment as “pending”) and a couple of driver fixes (scsi, networking, i2c). Some other minor random things (arm crypto fix, parisc memory ordering fix). Shortlog appended for the (few) details. Some of these I was almost ready to just delay to until the next merge window, but they were marked for stable anyway, so it would just have caused more backporting. The vfs fixes are for old races that  are really hard to hit (which is obviously why they are old and weren’t noticed earlier). Some of them _have_ been seen in real […]

ROC-RK3328-CC Board Review, or the Case for Fast Storage and Adequate Power Supply

Firefly team from T-chip company has send me some of their Rockchip development boards, and we’ve already checked the provided boards and accessories, so today I’ll report my experience with one of the board: ROC-RK3328-CC also known as Renegade. I won’t test it with Android, since I have already reviewed RK3328 Android TV boxes such as Zidoo X7, and I’ve been told the team is hard at work with Android 8.1 SDK, so an Oreo image should be released in a few weeks/months. So I had initially planned to report my experience with one of the Linux images,  then show how to install mainline Linux (currently 4.17) to the board, and reports what works. However, I encountered many issues, although likely not directly related to the board or its software support, so instead I’ll write about my experience getting started with the board, and list all the issues I had […]

Renegade Elite (ROC-RK3399-PC) RK3399 Single Board Computer Launched for $99 on Indiegogo

Libre Computer and Firefly Team previously collaborated on Renegade (ROC-RK3328-CC) board powered by a Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor and mostly following Raspberry Pi 3 form factor.  We already knew both companies worked again on another Rockchip RK3399 single board  computer, and were expected to launch it in July via a crowdfunding campaign. The good news is that Libre Computer has just launched Renegade Elite (aka ROC-RK3399-PC) SBC on Indiegogo. Renegade Elite board specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0 GHz + 4 Arm Cortex-A53, Arm Mali-T860MP4 with OpenGL ES 1.1 / 1.2 / 2.0 / 3.1 / 3.2 and OpenCL 1.2 support System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM Storage – eMMC 5.x interface for storage modules up to 128GB,  micro SD card slot, and 128Mbit SPI NOR flash Video Output / Display I/F HDMI 2.0 connector Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) […]

Firefly Team Mailbag – Rockchip Development Boards and Accessories

T-Chip Intelligent Technology Co. is a hardware and software technology services company, and a few years ago they setup the “Firefly Team” to provide development boards running Android and/or Linux distributions to the maker community. If I remember correctly the company started with Firefly-RK3288 development board powered, as its name implies, by Rockchip RK3288 processor. Since then they’ve launched several other Rockchip development boards and modules, which I’ve covered on this blog. The company decided to send me some of their recent boards and accessories, so let’s have a look at what I received in my “mailbag”. I’ve also taken a few photos for those who did not watch the video or prefer close up photos. ROC-RK3328-CC “Renegade” Development Board The first board is ROC-RK3328-CC “Renegade” board which was first launched via a crowdfunding campaign by Libre Computer.  Both companies have been collaborating on some boards, and Libre Computer makes […]

Hardkernel & Libre Computer Release Ubuntu 18.04 Images for ODROID-XU4/3 & AML-S905X-CC Boards

Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” LTS operating system was released just last week, and at least two Arm board companies have independently released Ubuntu 18.04 images for their boards. First, Hardkernel has released an Ubuntu 18.04 MATE image for their Exynos 5422 powered ODROID-XU4(Q), ODROID-XU3 (Lite), ODROID-HC1, and ODROID-MC1 boards/kits. The ODROID Ubuntu image comes with the following key features: Linux 4.14.37 LTS GPU hardware acceleration via OpenGL ES 3.1 and OpenCL 1.2 drivers for Mali T628MP6 GPU FFMPEG/ffplay with hardware accelerated H.264 decoder X11 armsoc display driver with 2D acceleration GPU accelerated Chromium browser (WebGL contents and YouTube 720p plays well) Kodi 17.6 can play H.264 1080p/60fps BigBuckBunny sample video. (Note: no h.265, no 4K in Exynos-5422 processor) WiringPi and other GPIO/SPI/I2C/ADC/I2S tinkering libraries are available. KVM & Docker More stable and performant USB 3.0 and Gbit Ethernet drivers The company sent me a kit based on ODROID-XU4Q board to […]

Shedbuilt Binary Blob-Free Linux Distribution Works with Allwinner H3/H5 Boards (Orange Pi, Libre Computer)

Most open source Linux distributions are only partially open source, as while most packages will be built from publicly available source code, they usually come with closed source binary blobs for GPU drivers,  wireless module firmware and so on. Shedbuilt is described as “a decentralized, self-hosting GNU/Linux for Arm devices built from the latest upstream sources”, and as the developer (Auston Stewart) explains – see comments section –  it does not contain any binary blob. Eventually the distribution may support more boards, but for now, the current System 1 “Amano” release supports four Allwinner H3/H5 boards: Orange Pi PC, Orange Pi One, Orange Pi PC 2, and Libre Computer ALL-H3-CC “Tritium”. Orange Pi Lite (with WiFi) and Libre Computer AML-S905X-CC “Le Potato” images are said to be coming soon. You can download the SD card images and access documentation on Shedbuilt.net. The Linux distribution relies on Shedmake script to automate […]

Linux 4.16 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.16: So the take from final week of the 4.16 release looks a lot like rc7, in that about half of it is networking. If it wasn’t for that, it would all be very small and calm. We had a number of fixes and cleanups elsewhere, but none of it made me go “uhhuh, better let this soak for another week”. And davem didn’t think the networking was a reason to delay the release, so I’m not. End result: 4.16 is out, and the merge window for 4.17 is open and I’ll start doing pull requests tomorrow. Outside of networking, most of the last week was various arch fixlets (powerpc, arm, x86, arm64), some driver fixes (mainly scsi and rdma) and misc other noise (documentation, vm, perf). The appended shortlog gives an overview of the details (again, this is only the small stuff in […]

Libre Computer Renegade SBC Features Rockchip RK3328 Processor with up to 4GB DDR4 RAM (Crowdfunding)

After Amlogic S905X based Le Potato board, and the on-going Kickstarter campaign for  Tritium Allwinner H2+/H3 boards, Libre Computer has now launched an Indiegogo campaign for their Renegade SBC (Single Board Computer) powered by Rockchip RK3328 SoC. The board follows Raspberry Pi 3 form factor like the two previous models, and three versions of the board are offered with 1, 2 or 4GB RAM, making Renegade SBC a direct competitor to Pine64 ROCK64 board. Renegade SBC specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 1, 2, or 4 GB DDR4 Storage – eMMC 5.x flash module socket (8 to 128 GB) + micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support, 3.5mm AV port (composite video + stereo audio) Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264, 1080p […]