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 linux.conf.au 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 4.14, the (e)MMC driver now support HS200 @ 50 MHz, …

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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 is the “leaking_addresses” perl script, which is actually under active …

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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 from 51 with Linux 3.14 to zero today. However, settings …

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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 userspace binary blobs. Not quite as exciting as an actual …

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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 Change.org 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 open on Github, and accept contributions from the community. Another …

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Linux 4.13 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 4.13 and a kidney stone…: So last week was actually somewhat eventful, but not enough to push me to delay 4.13. Most of the changes since rc7 are actually networking fixes, the bulk of them to various drivers. With apologies to the authors of said patches, they don’t look all that interesting (which is definitely exactly what you want just before a release). Details in the appended shortlog. Note that the shortlog below is obviously only since rc7 – the _full_4.13 log is much too big to post and nobody sane would read it. So if you’re interested in all the rest of it, get the git tree and limit the logs to the files you are interested in if you crave details. No, the excitement was largely in the mmu notification layer, where we had a fairly last-minute regression and some discussion about the problem. Lots of kudos to Jérôme …

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Linux 4.12 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.12: Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn’t have any real reason to delay the 4.12 release. As mentioned over the various rc announcements, 4.12 is one of the bigger releases historically, and I think only 4.9 ends up having had more commits. And 4.9 was big at least partly because Greg announced it was an LTS kernel. But 4.12 is just plain big. There’s also nothing particularly odd going on in the tree – it’s all just normal development, just more of it that usual. The shortlog below is obviously just the minor changes since rc7 – the whole 4.12 shortlog is much too large to post. In the diff department, 4.12 is also very big, although the reason there isn’t just that there’s a lot of development, we have the added bulk of a lot of new  header files for the AMD Vega support. That’s almost exactly half the …

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Open Source Code Released for Hisilicon Kirin 960 Based Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P10 Smartphones

Manufacturers of products using open source software are normally required to release the source code with their modifications to follow licenses such as the GPL, but not all comply with the license. Huawei has now released the source code with Linux and other open source libraries and programs for their Huawei Mate 9 / Mate 9 Pro and Huawei P10 / P10 Plus models powered by Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor. With the release of Hikey 960 development board most of the source code for Kirin 960 should already be available, but it’s possible some drivers/modules specific to Huawei phones may be found instead of in the Huawei release.  You’ll find the download in Huawei’s open source page for: Huawei Mate 9 (MHA) / Mate 9 Pro (LON) –  Link to downloads Huawei P10 (Victoria) / P10 Plus (Vicky) – Link to downloads I picked up the LON-NG_EMUI5.0_opensource.tar.gz tarball for Mate 9 Pro (442 MB), and it comes with three directories: …

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