Linux 3.18 Released

Linus Torvalds released Linux Kernel 3.18 last Sunday: It’s been a quiet week, and the patch from rc7 is tiny, so 3.18 is out. I’d love to say that we’ve figured out the problem that plagues 3.17 for a couple of people, but we haven’t. At the same time, there’s absolutely no point in having everybody else twiddling their thumbs when a couple of people are actively trying to bisect an older issue, so holding up the release just didn’t make sense. Especially since that would just have then held things up entirely over the holiday break. So the merge window for 3.19 is open, and DaveJ will hopefully get his bisection done (or at least narrow things down sufficiently that we have that “Ahaa” moment) over the next week. But in solidarity with Dave (and to make my life easier too 😉 let’s try to avoid introducing any _new_ […]

Linaro 14.11 Release with Kernel 3.18, Android 5.0, & Ubuntu Utopic. Debian 8.0 Gets ARM64 Port

Linaro 14.11 has been released with Linux kernel 3.18-rc5 (baseline), Linux 3.10.61 & 3.14.25 (LSK, same versions as last month), and Android 4.4.2, 4.4.4, and for the first time Android 5.0 Lollipop. There’s also been some news with regards to Linux desktop distributions, as Ubuntu baseline has been upgraded to Utopic (14.10), and Debian 8.0 (Jessie) will officially support ARM64 with 93% of packages built as of November 5th. Android Lollipop images are said to be built for TC2, Juno, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and FVP models, but I could not find the images. Finally, it’s the first time I’ve noticed Hisilicon X5HD2 development board with a dual core Cortex A9 processor, but apparently it’s the same as Hi3716cv200. Here are the highlights of this release: Linux Linaro 3.18-rc5-2014.11 updated GATOR to version 5.20 updated topic from Qualcomm LT (include IFC6410 board support) updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT (FVP […]

USB Armory is an Open Source Hardware Freescale i.MX53 Dongle for Security Applications

Most computers-on-a-stick come with an HDMI port, and a few USB ports, but Inverse Path’s dongle is quite different. USB Armory is a flash drive sized computer powered by Freescale i.MX53 Cortex A8 processor with only a USB port and a micro SD slot, that targets security applications such as mass storage devices with automatic encryption, virus scanning, host authentication and data self-destruct, VPN routers, electronic wallets, password managers, portable penetration testing platforms, and so on. USB Armory specifications: SoC – Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex-A8 @ 800Mhz with ARM TrustZone System Memory – 512MB DDR3 RAM Storage – microSD card slot USB – 1x USB host port. USB device emulation: CDC Ethernet, mass storage, HID, etc. Expansion Header – 5-pin breakout header with GPIOs and UART Misc – customizable LED, including secure mode detection Power – 5V via USB  (<500 mA power consumption) Dimensions – 65 x 19 x 6 […]

Android TV Overview – Linaro Connect US 2014

Google announced Android TV and ADT-1 devkit last June, as the company wants to bring user-friendly Android user-experience to TVs, set-top boxes and game consoles. Mark Gregotski, head of the Linaro Digital Home Group (LHG), has provided a technical overview of Android TV during the on-going Linaro Connect US 2014. You find a summary of yesterday sessions on Linaro’s blog, and the even will last until Friday, where several demos will be showcased. SoC companies currently involved in Android TV include Nvidia, Marvell, Qualcomm, Mediatek, Intel, Broadcom, and ST micro, so none of usual Chinese Android TV Box players (Rockchip, Amlogic, AllWinner…) are represented. Android (for smartphone) currently support video playback but you may experience dropped frame from time to time, where in the STB market requirements are not stringent. For example, NTT is said to only allow one frame dropped per month! So Android TV aims to improve video […]

A Quick Test Drive of Tails, a Privacy Focused Linux Distribution

Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is a Linux distribution that allows you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship via the Tor network. It leaves no trace, and is said to use “state-of-the-art” cryptographic tools to encrypt files, emails and instant messages. It’s distributed as a live image that boots from a DVD drive, a USB stick, or an SD card. Tails v1.0 has recently been released. so let’s give it a quick try. Tails is currently only available for x86 (32-bit), no ARM image yet. The source code is available via a git repo. Let’s download the ISO image (mirror), and signature. Alternatively you can download both via BitTorrent. To make sure the image is not compromised it’s recommend to verify the integrity of the ISO image with the signature we’ve just downloaded. You’ll also need a signing key The are several methods, but I’ve opened a terminal, […]

Linux.Darlloz Worm Targets Embedded Linux Devices

Symantec has recently discovered a new Linux worm, called Linux.Darlloz, that targets Internet-enabled devices running Linux in addition to traditional computers. That means devices such as home routers, set-top boxes and security cameras could be at risk of infection, although no attacks against non-PC devices have been confirmed yet. The worm exploits an “old” PHP vulnerability, which was patched in May 2012 (PHP 5.4.3, and PHP 5.3.13), and currently only affects Intel (x86) based systems. So you’d need an embedded system powered by an Intel processor, running Linux and PHP to be at risk. Having said that, Symantec also explains code for other architectures such as ARM, PPC, and MIPS, is also present in the worm, and these systems could potentially be at risk too with small modifications. Here’s how the worm operates: Upon execution, the worm generates IP addresses randomly, accesses a specific path on the machine with well-known […]

$49 Safeplug Tor Router Let You Browse the Net Anonymously

With the recent NSA leaks, more and more people have been be aware that there’s virtually no privacy online, especially with regards to their own or foreign governments. So people have looked into using secure emails, or find way to protect themselves against eavesdropping from criminals, advertisers, and politicians. For example, instructions have been posted to convert the Raspberry Pi into a Tor router, called Onion Pi, in order to hide your IP address, and browse the web anonymously from any of your devices. If you’re not the tinkerer type, and/or would just like to get something that works out of the box cheaply, people behind the Pogoplug, have introduced the Safeplug, a Tor enabled router, that sells for just $49, plus $9 shipping to the US. It does not seem to be available for the rest of the world. There’s absolutely no information about the hardware used, but it […]

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2013 Schedule – Build Systems, Security, Device Tree, Debugging & Profiling Techniques, and More

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2013 will conveniently start right after LinuxCon 2013, last 2 days (October 23-24), and take place at the same location: the Edinburgh International Conference Center, Edinburgh, United Kingdom. The Linux Foundation has published the schedule for the conference, so I’ll make my own virtual schedule with sessions that I find particularly interesting. Thursday – 24th of October 9:30 – 10:10 – Timeline For Embedded Linux by Chris Simmonds, Consultant, 2net Limited Today, Linux is woven into the fabric of our technology. Things such as printers, routers, TVs and phones all have their own “Inner Penguin”. Yet it was never originally intended to be used beyond desktop and server PCs. A lot of things had to happen before Linux could break out of the PC environment and make its way in the world as a jobbing jack-of-all-trades. Since the early beginnings of embedded Linux in the late 1990’s many people have contributed […]

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