Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.3 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it’s very annoying, it’s perhaps also instructive. What’s instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn’t actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that …

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ODROID-N2 CoreELEC Edition Media Center Launched for $65 and Up

ODROID-N2 CoreELEC Edition

ODROID-N2 is an Amlogic S922X single board computer with 2GB or 4GB  RAM that’s fairly popular thanks to its great performance/price ratio, good cooling, and decent support from Hardkernel. Hardkernel have worked in collaboration with CoreELEC, and have just introduced ODROID-N2 CoreELEC Edition media center featuring the SBC. The company offers the media center at introductory prices of $65 for the 2GB RAM model, and $75 for the 4GB model with limited stocks at those discounted prices. ODROID-N2 CoreELEC Edition media center includes the following: ODROID-N2 SBC with either 2GB or 4GB RAM ODROID-N2 Case Black An 8GB Industrial MicroSD UHS-1 card pre-loaded with CoreELEC for ODROID-N2 preinstalled 12V/2A Power Supply (with chosen type of plug) CoreELEC Logo Sticker CoreELEC for ODROID-N2 supports 4K HDR10 and HLG high dynamic-range, Auto frame rate switching & dynamic range matching,  DTS-HD & Dolby-HD audio pass-through including DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. The firmware is based on the Kodi Leia and ODROID-N2 is said to …

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Checking Out Machine Check Exception (MCE) Errors in Linux

Machine Check Exception Error Linux

I recently reviewed ODROID-H2 with Ubuntu 19.04, and noticed some errors messages in the kernel log of the Intel Celeron J4105 single board computer while running SBC-Bench benchmark: I did not know what do make of those errors, but I was told I would get more details with mcelog which can be installed as follows: There’s just one little problem: it’s not in Ubuntu 19.04 repository, and a bug report mentions mcelog is not deprecated, and remove from Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic onwards. Instead, we’re being told the mcelog package functionality has been replaced by rasdaemon. But before looking into the utilities, let’s find out what Machine Check Exception (MCE) is all about from ArchLinux Wiki: A machine check exception (MCE) is an error generated by the CPU when the CPU detects that a hardware error or failure has occurred. Machine check exceptions (MCEs) can occur for a variety of reasons ranging from undesired or out-of-spec voltages from the power supply, …

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ODROID-H2 Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 19.04

ODROID-H2 Review

After many months of delays due to Intel not mass-producing Gemini Lake processors, Hardkernel started selling ODROID-H2 again, more exactly ODROID-H2 Rev. B, and the end of last month, and the company sent me a full kit for evaluation. You can check out ODROID-H Rev. B with Type 3 case and the assembly instructions in the first part of the review. I’ve now had time to play with the board using the pre-installed Ubuntu 19.04 operating systems so I’ll report my experience in this second part. Note that ODROID-H2 does not rely on a custom version of Ubuntu, and instead you can download and flash Ubuntu 18.04 or 19.04 ISO directly from Ubuntu website. First Boot and System Information I had already connected two SATA drives inside the enclosure, one SSD and one HDD, but before booting the device I connected an HDMI cable, one Ethernet cable, USB keyboard & mouse, as well as the power supply. The board booted …

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Linux 5.2 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.2 Changelog

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 5.2 last Sunday: So I was somewhat pre-disposed towards making an rc8, simply because of my travels and being entirely off the internet for a few days last week, and with spotty internet for a few days before that [*]. But there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for another rc, since it’s been very quiet. Yes, I had a few pull requests since rc7, but they were all small, and I had many more that are for the upcoming merge window. Part of it may be due to the July 4th week, of course, but whatever – I’ll take the quiet week as a good sign. So despite a fairly late core revert, I don’t see any real reason for another week of rc, and so we have a v5.2 with the normal release timing. There’s no particular area that stands out there – the changes are sosmall that the appended …

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ODROID-H2 Rev B Review – Part 1: Kit Unboxing and Assembly

ODROID-H2 Case Type 3 Assembled

ODROID-H2 was announced in October 2018 as the first x86 SBC from Hardkernel. The board features an Intel Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake processor, two SO-DIMM slots for memory, two SATA ports and M.2 NVMe slot for storage, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a mix of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, as well as HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs. The board went for sale the following month for $111, and the first batch of 2,000 boards was sold within 24 hours. In normal cases, this should not be a big problem, and in a few weeks, the company should have been able to produce more boards to fulfill the demand. But Intel decided to prioritize higher-end processors, and Gemini Lake SoCs’ manufacturing was put on the back foot. That means Hardkernel had to wait over 6 months to get supply of the Celeron J4150 processors. In the meantime, the company slightly redesign the board, now called ODROID-H2 Rev B, and the good …

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Linux 5.1 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.1 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.1: So it’s a bit later in the day than I usually do this, just because I was waffling about the release. Partly because I got some small pull requests today, but mostly just because I wasn’t looking forward to the timing of this upcoming 5.2 merge window. But the last-minute pull requests really weren’t big enough to justify delaying things over, and hopefully the merge window timing won’t be all that painful either. I just happen to have the college graduation of my oldest happen right smack dab in the middle of the upcoming merge window, so I might be effectively offline for a few days there. If worst comes to worst, I’ll extend it to make it all work, but I don’t think it will be needed. Anyway, on to 5.1 itself. The past week has been pretty calm, and the final patch from rc6 is not all that …

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Giggle Score Says ODROID-N2 Best Value, Raspberry Pi Zero Worst Value

Giggle Score

[Update May 7, 2019: Giggle Score has been updated to use 7-zip to benchmark the boards instead of sysbench, and the “best value” rankings are now quite different] People like to compare single board computers, and usually want to have a simple answer as to which is better than the others. But in practice it’s impossible, because the beauty of SBCs is that they are so versatile and can be used in a wide variety of project, and that means in some cases the “best board” may be completely useless to you since it lacks a critical feature and interface for YOUR project be it H.265 video encoding or a MIPI DSI display interface. Still, it’s still always fun to look at benchmark scores and trying to compare SBCs, and for projects that mostly require CPU processing power it may also be useful. Robbie Ferguson has been developing and maintaining NEMS (Nagios Enterprise Monitoring Server) Linux for single board computers …

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