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Linux 4.14 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architecture

November 13th, 2017 7 comments

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 development, but I put the first version in for 4.14 just so that people could see that initial state and start looking at the end result and perhaps ask themselves “should my code make these kernel addresses visible to user space”.

The actual changes will hopefully start percolating into 4.15, with one notable likely early change (which has been discussed extensively on the list) being to just hash any “%p” addresses by default. We used to have strict modes that just zeroed the address out, but that was actually counter-productive, in that often people use the address as a “kernel object identity” for debugging (or for cross-correlation -think network sockets), and so just clearing the pointer value makes those kinds of uses pointless. But using a secure hash allows for those kinds of identity uses, while not actually leaking the address itself.

(Other situations where the actual address is relevant then need other approaches – we’ll be restricting /proc/kallsyms only to entities that actually need them etc etc).

Anyway, apart from that one script, the rest of it really is one-liners or “few-liners”.

The most noticeable last-minute change is probably that we had to revert the code that showed a good MHz value in /proc/cpuinfo even for the modern “CPU picks frequency dynamically” case. It worked fine, but it was much too expensive on machines with tens or hundreds of CPU cores. There’s a cunning plan, but it didn’t make 4.14, so we’ll get it working and then back-port.

Anything else is pretty esoteric, you can just read the changelog..

And with this, the merge window for 4.15 is obviously open. As mentioned in the late rc announcements, the extra week for rc8 means that now Thanksgiving week ends up happening during the second half of the merge window, and I’ll be off on a family vacation.

We’ll see how that goes.

I might decide that I’ll extend the merge window if I feel that I can’t be responsive enough.

Or maybe you guys won’t even notice, because I _will_ have my laptop and Internet access.

Or maybe I will just decide that 4.14 was a painful release, and any late stragglers for 4.15 are not worth _another_ painful release, and I’ll just say “tough luck, you were late to the merge window, and I felt more like being out in the sun than taking your second-week pull request”.

Because it really would be lovely to have a smaller and calmer release for 4.15.

Anyway, go out and test the new 4.14 release, that is slated to be the next LTS kernel – and start sending me pull request for the 4.15 merge window.

Linux 4.13 brought us new features such as support for non-blocking buffered I/O operations at the block level, AppArmor security module’s “domain labeling” code, kernel-based TLS implementation for better performance, and CIFS/SAMBA default change to v3.0 for better security, among many other changes.

Some newsworthy changes in Linux 4.14 include:

  • Bigger memory limits – x86-64 used to be limited by 4-level paging to 256 TiB of virtual address space and 64 TiB of physical address space. Some vendors already reached the limit with servers equipped with 64 TiB of memory, so support for 5-level paging has been introduced, increasing the limits to 128 PiB of virtual address space and 4 PiB of physical address space.
  • Added AMD Secure Memory Encryption – Secure Memory Encryption can be used to protect the contents of DRAM from physical attacks on the system. Read LWN article or AMD whitepaper for details.
  • Better kernel traces with the ORC unwinder – An “unwinder” is what prints the list of functions (aka. stack trace, callgraph, call stack…) that have been executed before reaching a determinate point of the code. The new unwinder is called ORC (Oops Rewind Capability), works more reliably than the current unwinder, and does not require adding code anywhere, hence having not effect on text size or runtime performance
  • Compression in Btrfs and Squashfszstd compresses at speeds close to lz4 at compression ratio comparable to lzma. Support for zstd compression had been added to both Btrfs and Squash. See benchmarks in commit messages for Btrsfs and Squashfs.
  • Zero-copy from user memory to sockets – The MSG_ZEROCOPY socket flag enables zero copy mechanism to common socket send calls. It is generally only effective at writes over around 10 KB. Checkout the documentation for more details.

Linux 4.14 will be a long term support kernel with 6-years of support, so it will be found in devices for the years to come. [Update: While Linux 4.4 will be supported for 6 years until February 2022, the plan is to support Linux 4.14 until January 2020, right from the horse’s mouth]

The ARM architecture has gone through many changes as per usual. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of changes:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A10s – HDMI DDC I2C Adapter,HDMI CEC support
    • Allwinner A10/A20 – CCU Clock-ng support
    • Allwinner A64 – SRAM controller driver
    • Allwinner A83T –  SD/MMC support, AXP813 PMIC,USB support
    • Allwinner H3 – I2S support
    • Allwinner R40 –  CCU sunxi-ng style clock driver support,pinctrl support
  • Rockchip
    • Clock driver – Fixes for RK3128, added RK3126 support within RK3128 driver
    • Pinctrl – Rockchip RK3128 subdriver
    • Power domains for Rockchip RK3366
    • New power key driver for Rockchip RK805 PMIC
    • PCI driver – Added Rockchip per-lane PHY support for better power management
    • SPI driver – Explicit support for Rockchip RV1108
    • DRM driver – Added dw_hdmi support for RK3399
    • Added ROCK64 board, RK3399 Sapphire module on Excavator carrier-board, and Theobroma Systems RK3399-Q7 SoM
    • Device tree changes:
      • pinctrl typos
      • keep-power-in-suspend in non-sdio nodes
      • removal of the deprecated num-slots property from dwmmc nodes.
      • RK3328 – support for spdif, io-domains and usb (including enablement of usb on the evaluation board)
      • RK3368 – support for spdif.
      • RK3399 – pcie changes, support for the mali gpu, a new power-domain, sdmmc support on the firefly board and dynamic-power-coefficients.
      • Removal of the deprectated num-slots property from all Rockchip dw-mmc nodes
      • RV1108 – support for sd-cards on the evaluation board
      • RK3288 – EVB gains support saradc and the adc-key, mali gpu enabled in some boards (fennec, evb, tinker).
      • RK3228/RK3229 – Support for efuse, sdmmc, sdio, io-domans and spdif; separate rk3229.dtsi;  The evaluation board also gets regulators, io-domains, emmc, tsadc keys
  • Amlogic
    • Clock driver – Added gxbb CEC32 and sd_emmc clocks, meson8b reset controller
    • SoC info driver – “Amlogic SoCs have a SoC information register for SoC type, package type and revision information. This patchs adds support for this register decoding and exposing with the SoC bus infrastructure”
    • Added Amlogic Meson AO CEC Controller driver
    • Device tree changes:
      • Updates for new MMC driver features/fixes, support for high-speed modes
      • Clock updates
      • Add GPIO line names to a few boards
      • Update clock controler for use as reset controller
  • Samsung
    • Clock driver – suspend fix for Samsung Exynos SoCs where we need to keep clks on across suspend
    • Samsung Exynos5420/5422/5800 audio fixes
    • S3C24xx platform – Cleanup from non-existent CONFIG entries, fix unmet NET dependency when H1940 bluetooth chip is selected
    • Pinctrl driver – Fix NULL pointer dereference on S3C24XX, fix invalid register offset used for external interrupts on Exynos5433, consolidate between drivers and bindings the defines for pin mux functions, minor code improvements
    • Samsung DTS ARM64 changes
      • Remove deprecated and unneeded properties from Exynos boards.
      • Implement proper (working) support for USB On-The-Go on Exynos5433 TM2/TM2E boards.
    • Samsung defconfig changes
      • Enable some drivers useful on our boards (communication: Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, USB; codepages and crypto algorithms).
      • Enable debugging and lock testing options.
  • Qualcomm
    • IPQ8074 – Added SoC & HK01 board support, PCI driver
    • APQ8016 – Force USB host mode; jack detection support in ASoC
    • MSM8916 – Updated coresight nodes, added GPU, IOMMU, Venus video codec, and CEC clock nodes
    • MSM8996 – Add  support for USB, PCIE phy, RPM/GLink, and modem SMP2P; SMMU clks
    • Pinctrl driver – Qualcomm APQ8064 can handle general purpose clock muxing
    • NAND driver – Various fixes
    • Qualcomm GLINK SMEM driver – Fix memory leak, and unlock  on error
    • V4l – Update the Qualcomm Camera Subsystem driver document with a media controller pipeline graph diagram, VFE scale and crop modules support, and PIX interface and format conversion support.
    • Added DB820c PM8994 regulator node
    • Add PMI8994 gpios
    • Device tree changes:
      • Fixup XO, timer nodes, and pinctrl on IPQ4019
      • Add IPQ4019 RNG and wifi blocks
      • Update MSM8974 coresight node
      • Add IPQ8074 bindings
  • Mediatek
    • Pinctrl driver – Mediatek MT7623 PCIe mux data fixed up.
    • PCI Driver – Added MediaTek MT2712 and MT7622 support
    • Thermal driver – Added Mediatek thermal driver for mt2712
    • Added support for MediaTek MT2712 SoC and avaluation board
    • New board – Mediatek mt7623-based Banana Pi R2
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • Broadcom – Stingray communication processor, Raspberry Pi Zero W
    • Marvell – ARMADA 8080 SoC
    • Microchip/Atmel – SAMA5D28 SoM1 EK
    • NXP – Toradex Apalis module + Apalis and Ixora carrier boards, Engicam GEAM6UL Starter Kit, Beckhoff CX9020 Embedded PC (i.MX53)
    • Renesas – R-Car D3 board (R8A77995)
    • Storlink/Cortina –
    • Texas Instruments – TI DT76x, TI AM335x Moxa UC-8100-ME-T open platform, TI AM57xx Beaglebone X15 Rev C
    • Uniphier – PXs3 STB SoC and development board
    • ZTE – ZX296718 PCBOX Board

MIPS had a huge changelog this time, summarized below:

  • CM – Rename mips_cm_base to mips_gcr_base; Specify register size when generating accessors; Use BIT/GENMASK for register fields, order & drop shifts; Add cluster & block args to mips_cm_lock_other()
  • CPC – Use common CPS accessor generation macros; Use BIT/GENMASK for register fields, order & drop shifts; Introduce register modify (set/clear/change) ; Use change_*, set_* & clear_* where appropriate, etc…
  • CPS – Read GIC_VL_IDENT directly, not via irqchip driver
  • DMA – Consolidate coherent and non-coherent dma_alloc code, Don’t use dma_cache_sync to implement fd_cacheflush
  • FPU emulation / FP assist code – Corner cases fixes such as NaN propagation and other special input values; Zero bits 32-63 of the result for a CLASS.D instruction; enhanced statics via debugfs; do not use bools for arithmetic. GCC 7.1 moans about this; correct user fault_addr type
  • Generic MIPS
    • Enhancement of stack backtraces
    • Cleanup from non-existing options
    • Handle non word sized instructions when examining frame
    • Fix detection and decoding of ADDIUSP instruction
    • Fix decoding of SWSP16 instruction
    • Refactor handling of stack pointer in get_frame_info
    • Remove unreachable code from force_fcr31_sig()
    • Many more fixes and cleanups
  • GIC – Introduce asm/mips-gic.h with accessor functions; Use new GIC accessor functions in mips-gic-timer; Remove counter access functions from irq-mips-gic.c; Remove gic_read_local_vp_id() from irq-mips-gic.c, etc…
  • microMIPS – Fix microMIPS stack unwinding on big endian systems
  • MIPS-GIC – SYNC after enabling GIC region
  • NUMA – Remove the unused parent_node() macro
  • R6 – Constify r2_decoder_tables; add accessor & bit definitions for GlobalNumber
  • SMP – Constify smp ops, allow boot_secondary SMP op to return errors
  • VDSO – Drop gic_get_usm_range() usage, avoid use of linux/irqchip/mips-gic.h
  • Platform changes
    • Alchemy – Add devboard machine type to cpuinfo, update cpu feature overrides,threaded carddetect irqs for devboards
    • AR7 – allow NULL clock for clk_get_rate
    • BCM63xx – Fix ENETDMA_6345_MAXBURST_REG offset, allow NULL clock for clk_get_rate
    • CI20 – Enable GPIO and RTC drivers in defconfig; add ethernet and fixed-regulator nodes to DTS
    • Generic platform
      • Move Boston and NI 169445 FIT image source to their own files
      • Include asm/bootinfo.h for plat_fdt_relocated()
      • Include asm/time.h for get_c0_*_int()
      • Include asm/bootinfo.h for plat_fdt_relocated()
      • Include asm/time.h for get_c0_*_int()
      • Allow filtering enabled boards by requirements
      • Don’t explicitly disable CONFIG_USB_SUPPORT
      • Bump default NR_CPUS to 16
    • JZ4700 – Probe the jz4740-rtc driver from devicetree
    • Lantiq – Drop check of boot select from the spi-falcon and lantiq-flash MTD drivers, access boot cause register in the watchdog driver through regmap, add device tree binding documentation for the watchdog driver, add docs for the RCU DT bindings, etc…
    • Loongson 2F – Allow NULL clock for clk_get_rate
    • Malta – Use new GIC accessor functions
    • NI 169445 – Add support for NI 169445 board; only include in 32r2el kernels
    • Octeon – Add support for watchdog of 78XX SOCs, add support for watchdog of CN68XX SOCs, expose support for mips32r1, mips32r2 and mips64r1, enable more drivers in config file, etc…
    • Omega2+ – New board, add support and defconfig
    • Pistachio – Enable Root FS on NFS in defconfig
    • Mediatek/Ralink – Add Mediatek MT7628A SoC, allow NULL clock for clk_get_rate, explicitly request exclusive reset control in the pci-mt7620 PCI driver.
    • SEAD3 – Only include in 32 bit kernels by default
    • VoCore board – Add VoCore as a vendor t0 dt-bindings, add defconfig file

For the complete details, you could check out the full Linux 4.14 changelog – with comments only – generated using git log v4.13..v4.14 --stat, or – kinder to your eyes – read kernelnewsbies’s Linux 4.14 changelog.

AMBE+2 Vocoder Promises High Voice Quality at Low (2.0 to 9.6 Kbps) Data Rates

October 24th, 2017 4 comments

Opus 1.2 open source audio codec was release a few months ago with the ability to deliver low power low high-quality audio bitrate for speech with bitrates as low as  12 Kbps. Digital Voice Systems (DVSI) claims to have gone even lower thanks to their AMBE+2 vocoder (Advanced MultiBand Excitation) providing high-quality speech at data rates from 2.0 to 9.6 kilobytes per second.

AMBE+2 vocoder is said to outperform the company’s previous generation AMBE+ Vocoder as well as the G.729 and G.726 vocoders, while operating at only 4.0 Kbps. The vocoder is suitable for mobile radio, secure voice, satellite communication, computer telephony, digital voice and storage applications

AMBE+2 Vocoder Chips

The solution can be integrated into product either using software licensing, or through Vocoder chips, and the company lists the following key benefits:

  • Maintains speech intelligibility and speaker recognition at rates as low as 2.0 kbps
  • Resistant to background noise and channel bit errors
  • Customizable data from 2.0 to 9.6 kbps
  • Uses fewer computations than CELP (Code-excited linear prediction) as used in G.729
  • Does not require the use of a residual signal
  • Eliminates fixed data-rate and codebook problems
  • Low complexity reduces implementation costs

You can listen to male and female samples at different bitrate for your own evaluation. DVIC claims the technology is already used in digital mobile radio and satellite telephony solutions such as Inmarsat, Iridium, DMR Communication PBX, etc…

AMBE-4020 HDK

AMBE+2 voice compression algorithm is available for DSPs and CPUs from Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, ARM, MIPS, Intel, NXP, and others, and runtime environments are available for Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, VxWorks, uC/OS, and other operating systems on request. The company can also provide hardware development kits (HDK) based either on AMBE-3000 or AMBE-4020 AMBE+2 chip, USB based products from a single channel dongle to a the 12 full-duplex channel USB-3012 product, as well as Net-2000 VCUs (Voice Connect Unit) that bridge analog speech I/O to an Ethernet network for example for VoIP or voice-monitoring / recording products (for the CIA? :)).

More details can be found on DVSI’s AMBE+2 product page.

Linux 4.13 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

September 4th, 2017 6 comments

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 Glisse for jumping on it, and implementing the fix.

What’s nice to see is that the regression pointed out a nasty and not very well documented (or thought out) part of the mmu notifiers, and the fix not only fixed the problem, but did so by cleaning up and documenting what the right behavior should be, and furthermore did so by getting rid of the problematic notifier and actually removing almost two hundred lines in the process.

I love seeing those kinds of fixes. Better, smaller, code.

The other excitement this week was purely personal, consisting of seven hours of pure agony due to a kidney stone. I’m all good, but it sure _felt_ a lot longer than seven hours, and I don’t even want to imagine what it is for people that have had the experience drag out for longer. Ugh.

Anyway, on to actual 4.13 issues.

While we’ve had lots of changes all over (4.13 was not particularly big, but even a “solidly average” release is not exactly small), one very _small_ change merits some extra attention, because it’s one of those very rare changes where we change behavior due to security issues, and where people may need to be aware of that behavior change when upgrading.

This time it’s not really a kernel security issue, but a generic protocol security issue.

The change in question is simply changing the default cifs behavior: instead of defaulting to SMB 1.0 (which you really should not use: just google for “stop using SMB1” or similar), the default cifs mount now defaults to a rather more modern SMB 3.0.

Now, because you shouldn’t have been using SMB1 anyway, this shouldn’t affect anybody. But guess what? It almost certainly does affect some people, because they blithely continued using SMB1 without really thinking about it.

And you certainly _can_ continue to use SMB1, but due to the default change, now you need to be *aware* of it. You may need to add an explicit “vers=1.0” to your mount options in /etc/fstab or similar if you *really* want SMB1.

But if the new default of 3.0 doesn’t work (because you still use a pterodactyl as a windshield wiper), before you go all the way back to the bad old days and use that “vers=1.0”, you might want to try “vers=2.1”. Because let’s face it, SMB1 is just bad, bad, bad.

Anyway, most people won’t notice at all. And the ones that do notice can check their current situation (just look at the output of “mount” and see if you have any cifs things there), and you really should update from the default even if you are *not* upgrading kernels.

Ok, enough about that. It was literally a two-liner change top defaults – out of the million or so lines of the full 4.13 patch changing real code.

Go get the new kernel,

Linus

Two months ago, Linux 4.12 was released with initial support for AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU, BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) and Kyber block I/O schedulers, AnalyzeBoot tool for the kernel, “hybrid consistency model” implementation for live kernel patching, but disabled the Open Sound System, and removed AVR32 support, among many other changes.

Some interesting changes in Linux 4.13 – mostly based on LWN 4.13 Merge Window part 1 & part 2 – include:

  • Support for non-blocking buffered I/O operations added at the block level, which should also improve asynchronous I/O support when used with buffered I/O.
  • AppArmor security module’s “domain labeling” code has been merged into the mainline. It was maintained by Ubuntu out of tree previously.
  • Kernel-based TLS implementation that should deliver better performance for HTTPS, and other protocol relying on TLS.
  • CIFS/SAMBA now defaults to v3.0 instead of v1.0 due to security issues
  • File System Changes – EXT-4: support for to ~2 billion files per directory with largedir option, extended attributes up to 64KB, new deduplication feature; f2fs: supports disk quotas; overlayfs union: new “index directory” feature that makes copy-up operations work without breaking hard links.

Changes specific to ARM include:

  • Rockchip:
    • Added support for RV1108 SoC for camera applications
    • Rockchip IOMMU driver is now available on ARM64
    • PCIe – configure Rockchip MPS and reorganize + use normal register bank
    • Clock driver for Rockchip RK3128 SoC
    • Rockchip pinctrl driver now supports iomux-route switching for RK3228, RK3328 and RK3399
    • Sound driver – Support for Rockchip PDM controllers
    • Device tree
      • Added RK3399-Firefly SBC
      • Added ARM Mali GPU
      • Added cru
      • Added sdmmc, sdio, emmc nodes for Rockchip RK3328
  • Amlogic
    • Updated CEC EE clock support
    • Enabled clock controller for 32-bit Meson8
    • Device tree changes
      • Meson UARTs
      • new SPI controller driver
      • HDMI & CVBS for multiple boards
      • new pinctrl pins for SPI, HDMI CEC, PWM
      • Ethernet Link and Activity LEDs pin nodes
      • SAR ADC support for Meson8 & Meson8b
    • Defconfig changes – Meson SPICC enabled as module; IR core, decoders and Meson IR device enabled;
    • New boards & devices: NanoPi K2, Libre Computer SBC, R-Box Pro
  • Samsung
    • Clock driver updated for Samsung Exynos 5420 audio clocks, and converted code to clk_hw registration APIs
    • Pinctrl drivers split per ARMv7 and ARMv8 since there’s no need to compile everything on each of them
    • ARM DT updates:
      • Add HDMI CEC to Exynos5 SoCs + needed property for CEC on Odroid U3
      • Fix reset GPIO polarity on Rinato
      • Minor cleanups and readability improvements.
    • ARM64 DT updates:
      • Remove unneeded TE interrupt gpio property
    • Defconfig changes – Some cleanups, enabled Exynos PRNG along with user-space crypto API.
  • Qualcomm
    • Clock & pinctrl drivers for Qualcomm IPQ8074
    • Add debug UART addresses for IPQ4019
    • Improve QCOM SMSM error handling
    • Defconfig
      • Enable HWSPINLOCK & RPMSG_QCOM_SMD to get some Qualcomm boards to work out of the box/again
      • Enable IPQ4019 clock and pinctrl
    • Mailbox – New controller driver for Qualcomm’s APCS IPC
    • RPMsg – Qualcomm GLINK protocol driver and DeviceTree-based modalias support, as well as a number of smaller fixes
    • Qualcomm Device Tree Changes
      • Fix IPQ4019 i2c0 node
      •  Add GSBI7 on IPQ8064
      • Add misc APQ8060 devices
      • Fixup USB related devices on APQ8064 and MSM8974
    • Qualcomm ARM64 Updates for v4.12
      • Fix APQ8016 SBC WLAN LED
      • Add MSM8996 CPU node
      • Add MSM8992 SMEM and fixed regulator
      • Fixup MSM8916 USB support
  • Mediatek
    • CPU clks for Mediatek MT8173/MT2701/MT7623 SoCs
    • Pinctrl – Serious code size cut for MT7623
    • Mediatek “scpsys” system controller support for MT6797
    • Device tree
      • Added support for MT6797 (Helio X20) mobile SoC and evaluation board
      • Extended MT7623 support significantly
      • Added MT2701 i2c device & JPEG decoder nodes
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • STM32 – stm32h743-disco, stm32f746-disco, and stm32f769-disco boards; Drivers for digital audio interfaces, S/PDIF receiver, digital camera interfaces, HDMI CEC, watchdog timer
    • NXP – Gateworks Ventana GW5600 SBC;  Technexion Pico i.MX7D board; i.MX5/6 image processing units & camera sensor interfaces
    • Realtek – Initial support for Realtek RTD1295 SoC and Zidoo X9S set-top-box
    • Actions Semi – Initial support for Actions Semi S900 / S500, and corresponding LeMaker Guitar & Bubblegum-96 SBCs
    • Renesas – Salvator-XS and H3ULCB automotive development systems; GR-Peach board, iWave G20D-Q7 System-on-Module plus
    • Socionext- Support for Uniphier board support for LD11-global and LD20-global
    • Broadcom – Stingray communication processor and two reference boards;
    • Marvell – Linksys WRT3200ACM router
    • Texas Instruments – BeagleBone Blue
    • Microchip / Atmel – MMU-less ARM Cortex-M7 SoCs (SAME70/V71/S70/V70)

Some of the changes specific to MIPS include:

  • Boston platform support – Document DT bindings; Add CLK driver for board clocks
  • CM – Avoid per-core locking with CM3 & higher; WARN on attempt to lock invalid VP, not BUG
  • CPS – Select CONFIG_SYS_SUPPORTS_SCHED_SMT for MIPSr6; Prevent multi-core with dcache aliasing; Handle cores not powering down more gracefully; Handle spurious VP starts more gracefully
  • DSP – Add lwx & lhx missaligned access support
  • eBPF – Add MIPS support along with many supporting change to add the required infrastructure
  • Generic arch code:
    • Misc sysmips MIPS_ATOMIC_SET fixes
    • Drop duplicate HAVE_SYSCALL_TRACEPOINTS
    • Negate error syscall return in trace
    • Correct forced syscall errors
    • Traced negative syscalls should return -ENOSYS
    • Allow samples/bpf/tracex5 to access syscall arguments for sane
      traces
    • Cleanup from old Kconfig options in defconfigs
    • Fix PREF instruction usage by memcpy for MIPS R6
    • Fix various special cases in the FPU eulation
    • Fix some special cases in MIPS16e2 support
    • Fix MIPS I ISA /proc/cpuinfo reporting
    • Sort MIPS Kconfig alphabetically
    • Fix minimum alignment requirement of IRQ stack as required by ABI / GCC
    • Fix special cases in the module loader
    • Perform post-DMA cache flushes on systems with MAARs
    • Probe the I6500 CPU
    • Cleanup cmpxchg and add support for 1 and 2 byte operations
    • Use queued read/write locks (qrwlock)
    • Use queued spinlocks (qspinlock)
    • Add CPU shared FTLB feature detection
    • Handle tlbex-tlbp race condition
    • Allow storing pgd in C0_CONTEXT for MIPSr6
    • Use current_cpu_type() in m4kc_tlbp_war()
    • Support Boston in the generic kernel
  • Generic platform:
    • yamon-dt: Pull YAMON DT shim code out of SEAD-3 board;  Support > 256MB of RAM;  Use serial* rather than uart* aliases
    • Abstract FDT fixup application
    • Set RTC_ALWAYS_BCD to 0
    • Add a MAINTAINERS entry
  • core kernel – qspinlock.c: include linux/prefetch.h
  • Add support for Loongson 3
  • Perf – Add I6500 support
  • SEAD-3 – Remove GIC timer from DT; set interrupt-parent per-device, not at root node; fix GIC interrupt specifiers
  • SMP – Skip IPI setup if we only have a single CPU
  • VDSO – Make comment match reality; improvements to time code in VDSO”
  • Various fixes:
    • compressed boot: Ignore a generated .c file
    • VDSO: Fix a register clobber list
    • DECstation: Fix an int-handler.S CPU_DADDI_WORKAROUNDS regression
    • Octeon: Fix recent cleanups that cleaned away a bit too much thus breaking the arch side of the EDAC and USB drivers.
    • uasm: Fix duplicate const in “const struct foo const bar[]” which GCC 7.1 no longer accepts.
    • Fix race on setting and getting cpu_online_mask
    • Fix preemption issue. To do so cleanly introduce macro to get the size of L3 cache line.
    • Revert include cleanup that sometimes results in build error
    • MicroMIPS uses bit 0 of the PC to indicate microMIPS mode. Make sure this bit is set for kernel entry as well.
    • Prevent configuring the kernel for both microMIPS and MT. There are no such CPUs currently and thus the combination is unsupported and results in build errors.
    • ralink: mt7620: Add missing header

You can read the full Linux 4.13 changelog – with comments only – generated using git log v4.12..v4.13 --stat for the full details, and eventually kernelnewsbies’s Linux 4.13 changelog will be updated with an extensive list of chances.

Linux 4.12 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

July 3rd, 2017 6 comments

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 bulk of the patch, in fact, and partly as a result of that the driver side dominates  everything else at 85+% of the release patch (it’s not all the AMD Vega headers – the Intel IPU driver in staging is big too, for example).

But aside from just being large, and a blip in size around rc5, the rc’s stabilized pretty nicely, so I think we’re all good to go.

Go out and use it.

Oh, and obviously this means that the merge window for 4.13 is thus open. You know the drill.

Linus

Linux 4.11 provided various improvements for Intel Bay Trail and Cherry Trail targets, OPAL drive support, pluggable IO schedulers framework, and plenty of ARM and MIPS changes.

Some of the most notable changes in Linux 4.12 include:

  • Initial AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU support
  • BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) and Kyber block I/O schedulers have been merged, meaning the kernel now has two multiqueue I/O schedulers suitable for various use cases that should improve the responsiveness of systems.
  • Added AnalyzeBoot tool to create a timeline of the kernel’s bootstrap process in HTML format.
  • Implemented “hybrid consistency model” for live kernel patching in order to enable the applications patchsets that change function or data semantics. See here for details.
  • Build of Open Sound System (OSS) audio drivers has been disabled, and will likely be removed in future Linux releases
  • AVR32 support has been removed

Some of the bug fixes and improvements for the ARM architecture include:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner H3 –  USB OTG support
    • Allwinner H5 – pinctrl driver, CCU (sunxi-ng) driver, USB OTG support
    • Allwinner A31/H3 SPI driver – Support transfers larger than 64 bytes
    • AXP PMICs – AXP803 basic support, ACIN Power Supply driver, ADC IIO driver, Battery Power Supply driver
    • Added support for: FriendlyARM NanoPi NEO Air, Xunlong Orange Pi PC 2
  • Rockchip:
    • Updates to Rockchip clock drivers
    • Modification for Rockchip PCI driver
    • RK3328 pinctrl driver
    • Sound support for Radxa Rock2
    • USB 3.0 controllers for RK3399
    • Various changes for RK3368 (dma, i2s, disable mailbox per default, mmc-resets)
    • Added Samsung Chromebook Plus (Kevin) and the other RK3399 “Gru family” of ChromeOS devices.
    • Added Rockchip RK3288 support for ASUS Tinker board, Phytec phyCORE-RK3288 SoM and RDK; added Rockchip RK3328 evaluation board
  • Amlogic
    • New clock drivers for I2S and SPDIF audio, and Mali GPU
    • DRM/HDMI support for Amlogic GX SoC
    • Add GPIO reset to Ethernet driver
    • Enable PWM LEDs and LEDs default-on trigger
    • New boards: Khadas VIM, HwaCom AmazeTV
  • Samsung
    • Split building of the PMU driver between ARMv7 and ARMv8
    • Various Samsung pincrl drivers updates
    • ARM DT updates:
      • Enhancements to PCIe nodes on Exynos5440.
      • Fix thermal values on some of Exynos5420 boards like Odroid XU3.
      • Add proper clock frequency properties to DSI nodes.
      • Fix watchdog reset on Exynos4412.
      • Fix watchdog infinite interrupt in soft mode on Exynos4210, Exynos5440, S3C64xx and S5Pv210.
      • Enable watchdog on Exynos4 and S3C SoCs.
      • Enable DYNAMIC_DEBUG because it is useful for debugging
      • Increase CMA memory region to allow handling H.264 1080p videos.
    • ARM64 DT updates:
      • Exynos power management drivers support now ARMv8 SoC – Exynos5433 – so select them in ARCH_EXYNOS
      • Enable few Exynos drivers (video, DRM and LPASS drivers) for supported ARMv8 SoCs (Exynos5433 and Exynos7)
      • Add IR, touchscreen and panel to TM2/TM2E boards
      • Add proper clock frequency properties to DSI nodes
  • Qualcomm
    • Enable options needed for QCom DB410c board in defconfig
    • Added new PHY driver for Qualcomm’s QMP PHY (used by PCIe, UFS and USB), and Qualcomm’s QUSB2 PHY
    • Qualcomm Device Tree Changes
      • Add Coresight components for MSM8974
      • Fixup MSM8974 ADSP XO clk and add RPMCC node
      • Fix typo in APQ8060
      • Add SDCs on MSM8660
      • Revert MSM8974 USB gadget change due to issues
      • Add SCM APIs for restore_sec_cfg and iommu secure page table
      • Enable QCOM remoteproc and related drivers
    • Qualcomm ARM64 Updates for v4.12
      • Fixup MSM8996 SMP2P and add ADSP PIL / SLPI SMP2P node
      • Replace PMU compatible w/ A53 specific one
      • Add APQ8016 ramoops
      • Update MSM8916 hexagon node
      • Add PM8994 RTC
  • Mediatek
    • New clock drivers for MT6797, and hi655x PMIC
    • Fix Mediatek SPI (flash) controller driver
    • Add DRM driver and thermal driver for Mediatek MT2701 SoC
    • Add support for MT8176 and MT817x to the Mediatek cpufreq driver
    • Add driver for hardware random generator on MT7623 SoC
    • Add DSA support to Mediatek MT7530 7-port GbE switch
    • Add v4l2 driver for Mediatek JPEG Decoder
  • Misc
    • Added ARM TEE framework to support trusted execution environments on processors with that capability (e.g. ARM CPUs with TrustZone)
    • ARM64 architecture now has kernel crash-dump functionality.
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • NXP – NXP/Freescale LS2088A and LKS1088A SoC, I2SE’s i.MX28 Duckbill-2 boards, Gateworks Ventana i.MX6 GW5903/GW5904, Zodiac Inflight Innovations RDU2 board, Engicam i.CoreM6 Quad/Dual OpenFrame modules, Boundary Device i.MX6 Quad Plus SoM.
    • Nvidia – Expanded support for Tegra186 and Jetson TX2
    • Spreadtrum – Device tree for SP9860G
    • Marvell – Crypto engine for Armada 8040/7040
    • Hisilicon – Device tree bindings for Hi3798CV200 and Poplar board
    • Texas Instruments – Motorola Droid4 (OMAP processor)
    • ST Micro – STM32H743 Cortex-M7 MCU support
    • Various Linksys platforms,  Synology DS116

The MIPS architecture also had its share of changes:

  • Fix misordered instructions in assembly code making kenel startup via UHB unreliable.
  • Fix special case of MADDF and MADDF emulation.
  • Fix alignment issue in address calculation in pm-cps on 64 bit.
  • Fix IRQ tracing & lockdep when rescheduling
  • Systems with MAARs require post-DMA cache flushes.
  • Fix build with KVM, DYNAMIC_DEBUG and JUMP_LABEL
  • Three highmem fixes:
    • Fixed mapping initialization
    • Adjust the pkmap location
    • Ensure we use at most one page for PTEs
  • Fix makefile dependencies for .its targets to depend on vmlinux
  • Fix reversed condition in BNEZC and JIALC software branch emulation
  • Only flush initialized flush_insn_slot to avoid NULL pointer dereference
  • perf: Remove incorrect odd/even counter handling for I6400
  • ftrace: Fix init functions tracing
  • math-emu – Add missing clearing of BLTZALL and BGEZALL emulation counters; Fix BC1EQZ and BC1NEZ condition handling; Fix BLEZL and BGTZL identification
  • BPF – Add JIT support for SKF_AD_HATYPE;  use unsigned access for unsigned SKB fields; quit clobbering callee saved registers in JIT code; fix multiple problems in JIT skb access helpers
  • Loongson 3 – Select MIPS_L1_CACHE_SHIFT_6
  • Octeon – Remove vestiges of CONFIG_CAVIUM_OCTEON_2ND_KERNEL, as well as PCIERCX, L2C  & SLI types and macros;  Fix compile error when USB is not enabled; Clean up platform code.
  • SNI – Remove recursive include of cpu-feature-overrides.h
  • Sibyte – Export symbol periph_rev to sb1250-mac network driver; fix Kconfig warning.
  • Generic platform – Enable Root FS on NFS in generic_defconfig
  • SMP-MT – Use CPU interrupt controller IPI IRQ domain support
  • UASM – Add support for LHU for uasm; remove needless ISA abstraction
  • mm – Add 48-bit VA space and 4-level page tables for 4K pages.
  • PCI – Add controllers before the specified head
  • irqchip driver for MIPS CPU – Replace magic 0x100 with IE_SW0; prepare for non-legacy IRQ domains;  introduce IPI IRQ domain support
  • NET – sb1250-mac: Add missing MODULE_LICENSE()
  • CPUFREQ – Loongson2: drop set_cpus_allowed_ptr()
  • Other misc changes, and code cleanups…

For further details, you could read the full Linux 4.12 changelog – with comments only – generated using git log v4.11..v4.12 --stat. You may also want to ead kernelnewsbies’s Linux 4.12 changelog once it is up.

Linux 4.11 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architecture

May 1st, 2017 9 comments

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.11:

So after that extra week with an rc8, things were pretty calm, and I’m much happier releasing a final 4.11 now.

We still had various smaller fixes the last week, but nothing that made me go “hmm..”. Shortlog appended for people who want to peruse the details, but it’s a mix all over, with about half being drivers (networking dominates, but some sound fixlets too), with the rest being some arch updates, generic networking, and filesystem (nfs[d]) fixes. But it’s all really small, which is what I like to see the last week of the release cycle.

And with this, the merge window is obviously open. I already have two pull request for 4.12 in my inbox, I expect that overnight I’ll get a lot more.

Linux 4.10 added Virtual GPU support, perf c2c’ tool, improved writeback management, a faster initial WiFi connection (802.11ai), and more.

Some notable changes for Linux 4.11 include:

  • Pluggable IO schedulers framework in the multiqueue block layer – The Linux block layer is know to have different IO schedulers (deadline, cfq, noop, etc). In Linux 3.13, the block layer added a new multiqueue design that performs better with modern hardware (eg. SSD, NVM). However, this new multiqueue design didn’t include support for pluggable IO schedulers. This release solves that problem with the merge of a multiqueue-ready IO scheduling framework. A port of the deadline scheduler has also been added (more IO schedulers will be added in the future)
  • Support for OPAL drives – The Opal Storage Specification is a set of specifications for features of data storage devices that enhance their security. For example, it defines a way of encrypting the stored data so that an unauthorized person who gains possession of the device cannot see the data. This release adds Linux support for Opal nvme enabled controllers. It enables users to setup/unlock/lock locking ranges for SED devices using the Opal protocol.
  • Support for the SMC-R protocol (RFC7609) – This release includes the initial part of the implementation of the “Shared Memory Communications-RDMA” (SMC-R) protocol as defined in RFC7609. SMC-R is an IBM protocol that provides RDMA capabilities over RoCE transparently for applications exploiting TCP sockets. While SMC-R does not aim to replace TCP, it taps a wealth of existing data center TCP socket applications to become more efficient without the need for rewriting them. A new socket protocol family PF_SMC is introduced. There are no changes required to applications using the sockets API for TCP stream sockets other than the specification of the new socket family AF_SMC. Unmodified applications can be used by means of a dynamic preload shared library.
  • Intel Bay Trail (and Cherry Trail) improvements – Intel HDMI audio support, patchsets for AXP288 PMIC, I2C driver, and C-state support to avoid freezes.

New features and bug fixes specific to ARM architecture:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A23 –  Audio codec device tree changes
    • Allwinner A31 – SPDIF output support
    • Allwinner A33 – cpufreq support, Audio codec support
    • Allwinner A64 – MMC Support, USB support
    • Allwinner A80 – sunxi-ng style clock support
    • Allwinner H2+ – New SoC variant, similar to H3 (mostly with a different, lower end VPU)
    • Allwinner H3 – Audio codec device tree changes, SPDIF output support
    • Allwinner V3s – New SoC support, USB PHY driver, pinctrl driver, CCU driver
    • New boards & devices – LicheePi One, Orange Pi Zero, LicheePi Zero, Banana Pi M64, Beelink X2
  • Rockchip:
    • Renamed RK1108 to RV1108
    • Clock drivers – New driver for RK3328, and non-critical fixes and clk id additions
    • Tweaks for Rockchip GRF (General Register File) usage (kitchensink misc register range on the SoCs)
    • thermal, eDP, pinctrl enhancements
    • PCI – add Rockchip system power management support
    • Add machine driver for RK3288 boards that use analog/HDMI audio
  • Amlogic
    • Add support for Amlogic Meson I2C controller
    • Add SAR ADC driver
    • Add ADC laddered keys to meson-gxbb-p200 board
    • Add configurable RGMII TX delay to fix/improve Gigabit Ethernet performance on some boards
    • Add pinctrl nodes for HDMI HPD and DDC pins modes for Amlogic Meson GXL and GXBB SoCs
    • New hardware: WeTek TV boxes
  • Samsung
    • Add USB 3.0 support in Exynos 5433
    • Removed clock driver for Samsung Exynos4415 SoCs
    • TM2 touchkey, Exynos5433 HDMI and power management improvements
    • Added Samsung Exynos4412 Prime SoC
    • Removed Samsung Exynos 4412 SoC
    • Added audio on Odroid-X board
    • Samsung Device Tree updates:
      • Add necessary initial configuration for clocks of display subsystem. Till now it worked mostly thanks to bootloader.
      • Use macro definitions instead of hard-coded values for pinctrl on Exynos7.
      • Enable USB 3.0 (DWC3) on Exynos7.
      • Add descriptive user-friendly label names for power domains. This  makes debugging easier
      • Use proper drive strengths on Exynos7.
      • Use bigger reserved memory region for Multi Format Codec on all Exynos chipsets so it could decode FullHD easily
      • Cleanup from old MACHs in s5pv210.
      • Enable IP_MULTICAST for libnss-mdns
      • Add bus frequency and voltage scalling on Exynos5433 TM2 device (along with  necessary bus nodes and Platform Performance Monitoring Unit on Exynos5433).
      • Use macros for pinctrl settings on Exynos5433.
      • Create common DTSI between Exynos5433 TM2E and TM2E.
  • Qualcomm
    • Added coresight, gyro/accelerometer, hdmi to Qualcomm MSM8916 SoC
    • Clock drivers – Updates to Qualcomm IPQ4019 CPU clks and general PLL support, Qualcomm MSM8974 RPM
    • Errata workarounds for Qualcomm’s Falkor CPU
    • Qualcomm L2 Cache PMU driver
    • Qualcomm SMCCC firmware quirk
    • Qualcomm PM8xxx ADC bindings
    • Add USB HSIC and HS phy driver for Qualcomm’s SoC
    • Device Tree Changes:
      • Add Coresight components for APQ8064
      • Fixup PM8058 nodes
      • Add APQ8060 gyro and accel support
      • Enable SD600 HDMI support
      • Add RIVA supprort for Sony Yuga and SD600
      • Add PM8821 support
      • Add MSM8974 ADSP, USB gadget, SMD, and SMP2P support
      • Fix IPQ8064 clock frequencies
      • Enable APQ8060 Dragonboard related devices
      • Add Vol+ support for DB820C and APQ8016
      • Add HDMI audio support for APQ8016
      • Fix DB820C GPIO pinctrl name
      • etc…
  • Mediatek
    • Mediatek MT2701 – Added clocks, iommu, spi, nand, adc, thermal
    • Added Mediatek MT8173 thermal
    • Added Mediatek IR remote receiver
  • GPU – Add Mali Utgard bindings;  the ARM Mali Utgard GPU family is embedded into a number of SoCs from Allwinner, Amlogic, Mediatek or Rockchip
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • Marvell – SolidRun MACCHIATOBin board, Marvell Prestera DX packet processors
    • Broadcom – BCM958712DxXMC NorthStar2 reference board
    • HiSilicon – Kirin960/Hi3660 SoC, and HiKey960 development board
    • NXP – LS1012a SoC with three reference board; SoMs: Is.IoT MX6UL, SavageBoard, Engicam i.Core; Liebherr (LWN) monitor 6;
    • Microchip/Atmel – SAMA5d36ek Reference platform
    • Texas Instruments – Beaglebone Green Wireless and Black Wireless, phyCORE-AM335x System on Module
    • Lego Mindstorms EV3
    • “Romulus” baseboard management controller for OpenPower
    • Axentia TSE-850 Data Radio Channel (DARC) encoder
    • Luxul XAP-1410 and XWR-1200 wireless access points
    • New revision of “vf610-zii” Zodiac Inflight Innovations board

Finally here are some of the change made to MIPS architecture in Linux 4.11:

  • PCI: Register controllers in the right order to avoid a PCI error
  • KGDB: Use kernel context for sleeping threads
  • smp-cps: Fix potentially uninitialised value of core
  • KASLR: Fix build
  • ELF: Fix BUG() warning in arch_check_elf
  • Fix modversioning of _mcount symbol
  • fix out-of-tree defconfig target builds
  • cevt-r4k: Fix out-of-bounds array access
  • perf: fix deadlock
  • Malta: Fix i8259 irqchip setup
  • Lantiq – Fix adding xbar resoures causing a panic
  • Loongson3
    • Some Loongson 3A don’t identify themselves as having an FTLB so hardwire that knowledge into CPU probing.
    • Handle Loongson 3 TLB peculiarities in the fast path of the RDHWR  emulation.
    • Fix invalid FTLB entries with huge page on VTLB+FTLB platforms
    • Add missing calculation of S-cache and V-cache cache-way size
  • Ralink – Fix typos in rt3883 pinctrl data
  • Generic:
    • Force o32 fp64 support on 32bit MIPS64r6 kernels
    • Yet another build fix after the linux/sched.h changes
    • Wire up statx system call
    • Fix stack unwinding after introduction of IRQ stack
    • Fix spinlock code to build even for microMIPS with recent binutils
  • SMP-CPS: Fix retrieval of VPE mask on big endian CPUs”

Read Linux 4.11 changelog – with comments only – generated using git log v4.10..v4.11 --stat, to get the full list of changes. You may also want to checkout Linux 4.11 changelog on kernelnewbies.org.

Azul Systems’ Zulu Embedded is a Build of OpenJDK for ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and x86 Compliant with Java SE standard

April 6th, 2017 3 comments

Yesterday as I wrote about the Embedded Systems Conference 2017 schedule I came across a potentially interesting talk entitled “Building A Brain With Raspberry Pi and Zulu Embedded JVM” by Azul Systems that will explain how to build a brain emulator using a cluster of Raspberry Pi boards. I wanted to find more about it, but I have not been able to find any details about the project/demo at this stage. However, I could still learn a bit more about Zulu Embedded, which is said to be an open source Java Virtual Machine based on OpenJDK, compliant with Java SE standard, working on 32-bit & 64-bit ARM & x86, MIPS, and PowerPC, as well as  multiple operating systems.

Some of the key features of Zulu Embedded include:

  • Java Support – Java 6, 7, 8, and 9 when available
  • Java Configurations – Headless, headful, or compact Java Compact Profiles
  • Hardware – ARMv7 and 32-bit ARMv8, ARM64, Intel/AMD x86, 32-bit and 64-bit, MIPS, and PowerPC
  • Platforms & Operating Systems
    • Linux 32/64-bit – RHEL 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, SLES 11 sp1/2/3, 12, CentOS 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, Ubuntu 10.04, 12.04, 14.04 & 16.04, Debian Wheezy & Jessie, Wind River Linux, and Oracle Linux
    • Windows 32/64-bit – Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10/IoT/Mobile, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012R2, Nano
    • Mac OS X
    • Hypervisors – VMware, Hyper-V, KVM
    • Cloud – Azure, AWS, Google, Snappy, Docker
  • Packages – ZIP, MSI and DEB are available. Custom packages on request.
  • Memory Footprint – 11 MB to 250+ MB

Some of the advantage of Zulu Embedded is that it is 100% open source released under GPLv2 with Classpath Exception (I could not find the source code however), and fully certified and compliant with OpenJDK community technology compatibility kit (TCK) from Oracle.

Zulu Embedded is free to download for ARM Linux 32-bit (hard and soft float), and x86 Windows & Linux 64-bit, as well as x86 Windows 10 IoT Core 32-bit for MinnowBoard MAX. You’ll need to contact the company for other configurations.

It’s been used in program such as openHab 2.0, which replaced Oracle JDK with Zulu Embedded JDK, since it can be freely redistributed (no licenses required), and performance and stability feels exactly the same according to comments on Github. One person explained how to install it on the Raspberry Pi board (note: early access program is not needed anymore, since the binary has been publicly released), and the installation procedure is just the same as with OpenJDK.

You can visit Zulu Embedded product page for more information.

Linux 4.10 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

February 20th, 2017 3 comments

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.10:

So there it is, the final 4.10 release. It’s been quiet since rc8, but we did end up fixing several small issues, so the extra week was all good.

On the whole, 4.10 didn’t end up as small as it initially looked. After the huge release that was 4.9, I expected things to be pretty quiet, but it ended up very much a fairly average release by modern kernel standards. So we have about 13,000 commits (not counting merges – that would be another 1200+ commits if you count those). The work is all over, obviously – the shortlog below is just the changes in the last week, since rc8.

Go out and verify that it’s all good, and I’ll obviously start pulling stuff for 4.11 on Monday. Linus

Linux 4.9 added Greybus staging support, improved security thanks to virtually mapped kernel stacks, and memory protection keys, included various file systems improvements, and many more changes.

Some newsworthy changes for Linux 4.10 include:

  • Virtual GPU support – Intel GVT-g for KVM (KVMGT) is a full GPU virtualization solution with mediated pass-through, starting from 4th generation Intel Core processors with Intel Graphics. Unlike direct pass-through alternatives, the mediated device framework allows KVMGT to offer a complete virtualized GPU with full GPU features to each one of the virtualized guests, with part of performance critical resources directly assigned, while still having performance close to native.
  • New ‘perf c2c’ tool, for cacheline contention analysis – perf c2c (for “cache to cache”) is a new tool designed to analyse and track down performance problems caused by false sharing on NUMA systems. The tool is based on x86’s load latency and precise store facility events provided by Intel CPUs. Visit C2C – False Sharing Detection in Linux Perf for more details about the tool.
  • Improved writeback management – Linux 4.10 release adds a mechanism that throttles back buffered writeback, which makes more difficult for heavy writers to monopolize the I/O requests queue, and thus provides a smoother experience in Linux desktops and shells than what people was used to. The algorithm for when to throttle can monitor the latencies of requests, and shrinks or grows the request queue depth accordingly, which means that it’s auto-tunable, and generally, a user would not have to touch the settings. Read Toward less-annoying background writeback for more details about this improvement.
  • FAILFAST support –  This release also adds “failfast” support. RAID disk with failed IOs are marked as broken quickly, and avoided in the future, which can improve latency.
  • Faster Initial WiFi Connection – Linux 4.10 adds support for using drivers with Fast Initial Link Setup as defined in IEEE 802.11ai. It enables a wireless LAN client to achieve a secure link setup within 100ms. This release covers only the FILS authentication/association functionality from IEEE 802.11ai, i.e., the other changes like scanning optimizations are not included.

Some notable ARM architecture improvements and new features:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A23 – Audio codec driver
    • Allwinner A31/A31s – Display Driver (first pipeline), audio codec support
    • Allwinner A64 – clock driver
    • Allwinner A80 – External SDIO WiFi
    • Allwinner H3 – Audio codec driver, SPI
    • New boards support: NextThingCo CHIP Pro, Pine A64, NanoPi M1
  • Rockchip:
    • Initial support for Rockchip PX5 & PX3 automotive platforms
    • Added Rockchip RK1108 evaluation board
    • Added support for Rikomagic MK808 Android TV stick based on Rockchip RK3066
    • Update Rockchip PCI driver to support for max-link-speed
    • Rockchip rk3399,rk3066 PLL clock optimizations
  • Amlogic
    • Support for the pre-release “SCPI” firmware protocol shipped by Amlogic in their GXBB SoC
    • Initial support for Amlogic S905D, and S912 (GXM) SoCs
    • Added support for Nexbox A1 and A95X Android TV boxes
    • Cleanup for the Amlogic Meson PWM driver
    • New Amlogic Meson Graphic Controller GXBB (S905)/GXL (S905X/S905D)/GXM (S912) SoCs (meson)
    • Resets for 2nd USB PHY
    • Initial support for the SD/eMMC controller in the Amlogic S905/GX* family of SoCs
    • Updated DTS to enable support for USB, I2C, SPI, maibox/MHU, PWM, ethernet MAC & PHY, secure monitor, IR, and watchdog.
  • Samsung
    • Device Tree for Samsung Exynos5433 mobile phone platform, including an (almost) fully supported phone reference board
    • Added support for TOPEET itop/elite board based on exynos4412
    • DeviceTree  updates:
      • Add Performance Monitor Unit to Exynos7.
      • Add MFC, JPEG and Gscaler to Exynos5433 based TM2 board.
      • Cleanups and fixes for recently added TM2 and TM2E boards.
      • Enable ADC on Odroid boards
      • Remove unused Exynos4415 DTSI
  • Qualcomm
    • Add support for Qualcomm MSM8992 (Snapdragon 808) and MSM8994 (Snapdragon 810) mobile phone SoCs
    • Added support for Huawei Nexus 6P (Angler) and LG Nexus 5X (Bullhead) smartphones
    • Support for Qualcomm MDM9615 LTE baseband
    • Support for WP8548 MangOH Open Hardware platform for IOT, based on Qualcomm MDM9615
    • Other device tree changes:
      • Added SDHC xo clk and 1.8V DDR support
      • Add EBI2 support to MSM8660
      • Add SMSC ethernet support to APQ8060
      • Add support for display, pstore, iommu, and hdmi to APQ8064
      • Add SDHCI node to MSM8974 Hammerhead
      • Add Hexagon SMD/PIL nodes
      • Add DB820c PMIC pins
      • Fixup APQ8016 voltage ranges
      • Add various MSM8996 nodes to support SMD/SMEM/SMP2P
  • Mediatek
    • Added clock for Mediatek MT2701 SoCs
    • New Mediatek drivers: mtk-mdp and mtk-vcodec (VP8/VP9/H.264) for MT8173
    • Updated the Mediatek IOMMU driver to use the new struct device->iommu_fwspec member
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • Hisilicon – Hip07 server platform and D05 board
    • NXP – LS1046A Communication processor, i.MX 6ULL SoC, UDOO Neo board, Boundary Devices Nitrogen6_SOM2 (i.MX6), Engicam i.CoreM6, Grinn i.MX6UL liteSOM/liteBoard,  Toradex Colibri iMX6 module
    • Nvidia – Early support for the Nvidia Tegra Tegra186 SoC, NVIDIA P2771 board, and NVIDIA P3310 processor module
    • Marvell – Globalscale Marvell ESPRESSOBin community board based on Armada 3700, Turris Omnia open source hardware router based on Armada 385
    • Renesas “R-Car Starter Kit Pro” (M3ULCB) low-cost automotive board, Renesas RZ/G (r8a7743 and r8a7745) application processors
    • Oxford semiconductor (now Broadcom) OX820 SoC for NAS devices, Cloud Engines PogoPlug v3 based on OX820
    • Broadcom – Various wireless devices: Netgear R8500 router, Tenda AC9 router, TP-LINK Archer C9 V1, Luxul XAP-1510 Access point
    • STMicro  – stm32f746 Cortex-M7 based microcontroller
    • Texas Instruments – DRA71x automotive processors, AM571x-IDK industrial board based on TI AM5718
    • Altera – Macnica Sodia development platform for Altera socfpga (Cyclone V)
    • Xilinx – MicroZed board based on Xilinx Zynq FPGA platforms

That’s a long list of changes and new boards and devices… Linux 4.10 only brings few MIPS changes however:

  • KVM fixes: fix host kernel crashes when receiving a signal with 64-bit userspace,  flush instruction cache on all vcpus after generating entry code (both for stable)
  • uprobes: Fix uprobes on MIPS, allow for a cache flush after ixol breakpoint creation
  • RTC updates:  Remove obsolete code and probe the jz4740-rtc driver from devicetree for jz4740, qi_lb60
  • microblaze/irqchip: Moved intc driver to irqchip. The Xilinx AXI Interrupt Controller IP block is used by the MIPS based xilfpga platform and a few PowerPC based platforms.
  • crypto: poly1305 – Use unaligned access where required, which speeds up performance on small MIPS routers.
  • MIPS: Wire up new pkey_{mprotect,alloc,free} syscalls

You can also read Linux 4.10 changelog with comments only, generated using git log v4.9..v4.10 --stat, in order to get a full list of changes. Alternatively, you could also read Linux 4.9 changelog on kernelnewbies.org.

Baikal T1 BFK 1.6 MIPS Development Board Tested with OpenWrt

February 10th, 2017 4 comments

Baikal Electronics is a Russian fabless semiconductor company specializing in ARM and MIPS-based SoC, and we’ve already covered their Baikal T1 MIPS SoC announcement, as well as Tavolga Terminal TP-T22BT Debian 8 All-in-One Computer based on the processor. The company also have Baikal T1 BFK 1.6 development board, which does not appear to be publicly available yet, but one member of Habrahabr.ru forums got hold of one sample, and tested the OpenWrt SDK in Debian 8 host computer.

First, we’ll have a look at the hardware they received.

I don’t have the full specs of the board, but we’ll learn a little more below, in the meantime we can see two USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet ports, a 10GbE SFP cage, an mPCIe slot (I think), and two DB9 connector, as well as a bunch of other headers and connectors with SATA, GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI…

I’ve then downloaded Baikal T1 BSP for Linux, and installed it in Ubuntu 16.04:

The good part is that everything appears to be in English, as the output from the installer shows:

Creating directory baikal
Verifying archive integrity… All good.
Uncompressing BAIKAL-T SoC BSP Pack. Version 4.08 build 84 (Fri Nov 11 14:50:17 MSK 2016)  100%

BAIKAL ELECTRONICS BAIKAL-T1 BFK BOARD BSP PACK
———————————————–
This package contains Board Support Package for Baikal Electronics BFK board including Software Development Kit (SDK) for Baikal-T series SoCs.
It provide our customers with a comprehensive starting point for their Linux development efforts on MIPS32 platform. These packages are developed and tested to support 34K, 74K and P5600 MIPS processors. This SDK is tested for use with a given processor and its supporting development system, ensuring an operational toolchain, kernel and specific peripherals that are ready to use together within a fixed configuration for specific hardware reference platforms.

Baikal Linux SDK typically include Linux kernel, device drivers, libraries, simulator, and GNU Tools like compilers, linkers, etc. The documentation will provide detailed information on the version of the kernel, glibc, gcc, etc., as well as information about simulator is included within a specific SDK.

For more information about BSP and Quick Start Guide please read README file.
For detailed information please read document “Software Development Kit for Baikal-T platform”.

That’s the directory structure of the BSP:

I don’t have the board, so I’m not going to go through all steps, but instead summarize what the user in the forum did after that.

  1. Create image to be flash with the board using build-boot-img.sh script
  2. Flash the image with dfu-util after having connected the board to your computer via USB.
  3. The board should now boot to a serial console, but you’ll want to get OpenWrt 15.05 source code, patch it, build the rootfs, and flash it again with dfu-util.
  4. Your Baikal T1 board should now be running OpenWrt

We can also get a few more details about the MIPS P5600 processor.

The reviewer also tested Gigabit performance using iperf, and data could be transferred at 830 Mbps. A Quick look at the source in the BSP reveals the Linux 4.4.24 is used on the board, together with Uboot 2014.10.

I could not find ways to buy the board online easily even in Russian. But if you represent a company interested in the solution, you might be able to get more information, and/or purchase the board by contacting the company via Baikal T1 product page.

Thanks to Leon for the tip.