How to Run Ubuntu 16.04 Aarch64 (64-bit ARM) Cloud Images on Your Intel/AMD Linux Computer with QEMU

With the recent launch of several low cost Cortex A53 development boards, 64-bit ARM hardware is now pretty common and inexpensive, but if you want to run 64-bit ARM code on your x86 Linux computer, Riku Voipio, a software engineer working for Linaro, wrote some instructions to run Ubuntu 16.04 Aarch64 Cloud image in QEMU. Ubuntu cloud images are “the official Ubuntu images and are pre-installed disk images that have been customized by Ubuntu engineering to run on public clouds that provide Ubuntu Certified Images, Openstack, LXD, and more. ”  So the instructions are also useful if you want to easily try such packages on 64-bit ARM platform. I’ve tried those instructions myself on my Ubuntu 14.04 machine with and AMD FX8350 processor, and they worked pretty well, and the only things I had to find out by myself was to install a recent version of qemu. First, we’ll need to install qemu & cloud-utils, and download QEMU EFI firmware  …

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64-bit ARM (Aarch64) Instructions Boost Performance by 15 to 30% Compared to 32-bit ARM (Aarch32) Instructions

Yesterday was quite an eventful day with the launch of two low cost 64-bit ARM development boards, namely Raspberry Pi 3 and ODROID-C2, and as usual there were some pretty interesting discussions related to the launch of the boards in the comments section. One of the subject that came is that while Raspberry Pi 3 board is using a 64-bit processor, the operating systems are still compiled with 32-bit instructions (Aarch32) and even optimized for ARMv6, and they intend to keep it that way according to Eben Upton interview: Eben readily admits that not all the capabilities of the new parts are going to be used at launch, however. “Although it is a 64‑bit core, we’re using it as just a faster 32-bit core,” he reveals about the Pi 3’s central processing unit. “I can imagine there’d be some real benefits [to 64-bit code]. The downside is that you do really create a separate world. To access that benefit, you’d …

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Amlogic S905 Source Code Published – Linux, U-Boot, Mali-450 GPU and Other Drivers

Amlogic has an open linux website where they regurlarly release GPL source code, and with Amlogic S905 devices coming to market, they’ve released a few tarballs at the beginning of the month including Linux 3.14 source code, U-boot source code, and Mali-450MP GPU kernel source code (obviously not userspace), as well as some other drivers for WiFi, NAND flash, PMU, TVIN, etc… Let’s get to the download links: Linux 3.14.29 source code U-boot 2015.01 GPU drivers for ARM Mali-450MP Broadcom and Realtek Wifi drivers and firmware (November 4, 2015) can be found @ http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/wifi/. Other kernel modules (November 4, 2015) @ http://openlinux.amlogic.com:8000/download/ARM/modules/. I quickly tried to build the Linux source. If you’ve never build a 64-bit ARM kernel or app before, you’ll fist need to install the toolchain. I installed the one provided with Ubuntu 14.04: Now extract the tarball and enter the source directory: At first I had a build failure due to a missing directory, so I created …

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Google Releases Android L (Lollipop?) Developer Preview

Google I/O is taking place right now in San Francisco, and the company made several announcements. Although they have not announced the full codename of Android 5.0, referring to the next version as “Android L” (Lollipop would be nice though), but they’ve already documented the key changes made to Android L, and a developer preview will be released later today (26 June), together with binary images for Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Beside the smartphone and tablet developer preview, there will be 3 other SDKs for Android L: Android Wear SDK – Android for wearables with sync notifications, wearable apps, data transfer APIs, and voice actions, e.g. “Ok Google, call mum”. Android TV Preview SDK – Android for TVs with pre-built fragments for browsing and interacting with media catalogs, in-app search, and recommendations. Android Auto SDK – Android for the car with apps featuring consistent user experience between vehicles, and minimizing distractions. I’ll go through various software and hardware …

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A Selection of FOSDEM 2013 Events

FOSDEM is a 2-day (or 3 if you include Friday beer event) event where over 5,000 members of open source communities meet, share ideas and collaborate. It’s free to attend, and there’s no registration, so you just show up to attend. FOSDEM 2013 takes place on Feb 2-3 (yep, this week-end) in Brussels There are 7 main tracks where sessions are organized: Operating systems Open source challenges Security Janson Beyond operating systems Web development Miscellaneous Robotics There are also keynotes and devroom for a total of 488 sessions. Developers rooms that may particularly be of interest to readers of this blog are: Cross Desktop devroom – e.g. Wayland, gstreamer, razor-qt, Qt Project, Plasma Active, etc… Cross Distro devroom – e.g. Linux on Android, suse on ARM, ARMv8, systemd, etc… Embedded and mobile devroom – e.g. Baserock Embedded Linux, Guacamayo (Yocto), Nemo Mobile/ Mer project, arduino… All in all that’s a lot of sessions, and even though I won’t attend, I’m …

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Linux 3.7 Release

Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux Kernel 3.7: Whee. After an extra rc release, 3.7 is now out. After a few more trials at fixing things, in the end we ended up reverting the kswapd changes that caused problems. And with the extra rc, I had decided to risk doing the buffer.c cleanups that would otherwise have just been marked for stable during the next merge window, and had enough time to fix a few problems that people found there too. There’s also a fix for a SCSI driver bug that was exposed by the last-minute workqueue fixes in rc8. Other than that, there’s a few networking fixes, and some trivial fixes for sparc and MIPS. Anyway, it’s been a somewhat drawn out release despite the 3.7 merge window having otherwise appeared pretty straightforward, and none of the rc’s were all that big either. But we’re done, and this means that the merge window will close on Christmas …

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