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Hardware

Devices: CompuLab, Festive Lights, Aaeon, NXP's OpenIL

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Coreboot Picks Up Support For CompuLab's Intense-PC

    If you have one of the industrial-grade Intense-PC computers manufactured by CompuLab, there is now mainline Coreboot support!

    Hitting Coreboot just minutes ago was initial support for the CompuLab Intense-PC. Though this isn't for the newer CompuLab IPC3 that we recently tested at Phoronix but rather the original Intense-PC models.

  • Holiday lights that harmonize around the globe

    Make this festive season one to remember with a project you can build for around $25 over a weekend and share in with your your friends and family.

    Grab a mince pie and a cup of coffee as we build your very own Festive Lights decoration that is powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero W and Docker containers. It'll synchronise its colour globally across the world in real-time and is controllable through Twitter using the Cheerlights platform.

  • Compact IoT gateway duo includes x86-based LoRa gateway

    Aaeon’s Linux-ready, Cherry Trail based “AIOT” gateways include an industrial model with serial, GPIO, and ADC, and the other is a LoRa gateway.

    Aaeon’s industrial automation focused “AIOT-IGWS01” and LoRa-ready “AIOT-ILRA01” IoT gateways replace a line of earlier Intel Quark based AIOT gateways that included last year’s AIOT-QA, AIOT-QG, and AIOT-QM. (Intel appears to have at least temporarily halted further development of the low-power Quark CPUs and MCUs.)

  • NXP launches new version of the Linux operating system customised for industrial operations

    Open Industrial Linux, or OpenIL, provides immediate access to industrial time-sensitive networking technology, says NXP.

    NXP Semiconductors is best known for making computing chips but also has a big business in connectivity solutions, which is what Industry 4.0 is about – connecting machines to the internet.

System76 Shuts Off Intel Back Doors, But Will Continue to Pay Intel

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Security
  • System76 Will Begin Disabling Intel ME In Their Linux Laptops

    Following the recent Intel Management Engine (ME) vulnerabilities combined with some engineering work the past few months on their end, System76 will begin disabling ME on their laptops.

  • Linux hardware vendor outlines Intel Management Engine firmware plan

    The Linux-equipped computer maker, System76, has detailed plans to update the Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware on its computers in line with Intel’s November 20th vulnerability announcement. In July, System76 began work on a project to automatically deliver firmware to System76 laptops which works in a similar fashion to how software is usually delivered through the operating system.

  • System76 to disable Intel Management Engine on its notebooks

    Intel has recently confirmed the earlier findings of third parties who revealed that its Management Engine firmware has some serious security issues. Since we talked about this recently, we should now move to System76's approach in handling this situation.

Devices: AGL, Raspberry Pi, Eurotech

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Inside AGL: Familiar Open Source Components Ease Learning Curve

    Among the sessions at the recent Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) — 57 of which are available on YouTube -- are several reports on the Linux Foundation’s Automotive Grade Linux project. These include an overview from AGL Community Manager Walt Miner showing how AGL’s Unified Code Base (UCB) Linux distribution is expanding from in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) to ADAS. There was even a presentation on using AGL to build a remote-controlled robot (see links below).

    Here we look at the “State of AGL: Plumbing and Services,” from Konsulko Group’s CTO Matt Porter and senior staff software engineer Scott Murray. Porter and Murray ran through the components of the current UCB 4.0 “Daring Dab” and detailed major upstream components and API bindings, many of which will be appear in the Electric Eel release due in Jan. 2018.

    Despite the automotive focus of the AGL stack, most of the components are already familiar to Linux developers. “It looks a lot like a desktop distro,” Porter told the ELCE attendees in Prague. “All these familiar friends.”

  • Wide Reach

    Router coverage gaps often have different causes, which repeaters and access points (APs) can remedy. A repeater usually connects to the router over WiFi and amplifies the signal into areas where the router alone is not sufficient, whereas an AP wired to the router by cable sets up a private WiFi network with its own network identifier (SSID). The AP therefore provides additional access to the local network.

    A highly portable Raspberry Pi is ideal for setting up a small and cheap WiFi AP suitable for many applications. For example, you could stretch a network into the back garden or provide Internet to an awkwardly located conference room.

    The easiest route is to use a Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3), which already has a WiFi module. Previous models can be prepared for the new task with a dongle, available for just a few dollars. Even the Rasp Pi 3 could benefit from a WiFi stick, because the internal connections of the installed module do not deliver the performance of a good dongle.

    In this article, you'll see how to set up a wireless AP, and then I will show you how to provide an additional entry into your local area network through the integration of Nextcloud on an external disk connected to the Rasp Pi.

  • Rugged 10GbE- and PCIe-rich module runs Linux on Xeon-D

    Eurotech’s “CPU-162-23” COM Express Type 7 module runs Linux on Xeon and Pentium D-1500 CPUs with 2x 10GbE, up to x32 PCIe, and up to 64GB DDR4 ECC RAM.

Open Hardware Rising: RISC-V

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Hardware
  • Western Digital To Begin Shipping Devices Using RISC-V

    RISC-V has a big new hardware backer... Western Digital.

    Western Digital just announced at the RISC-V Workshop conference that they will be getting behind RISC-V for the next generation of big data and fast data. They plan to switch over "one billion cores per year to RISC-V." By the time their transition is complete, they anticipate to be shipping two billion RISC-V cores per year.

  • SiFive and Microsemi Expand Relationship with Strategic Roadmap Alignment and a Linux-Capable, RISC-V Development Board

    SiFive, the first fabless provider of customized, open-source-enabled semiconductors, and Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, at the 7th RISC-V Workshop today announced the companies have formed a strategic relationship to meet the growing interest and demand in the RISC-V instruction set architecture. The companies have previously collaborated to provide RISC-V soft CPU cores for Microsemi's PolarFire® FPGAs, IGLOO™2 FPGAs, SmartFusion™2 system-on-chip (SoC) FPGAs and RTG4™ FPGAs, currently available as part of the Microsemi Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem.

Tiny IoT gateway built on Raspberry Pi Compute Module wears HATs

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

CompuLab’s IOT-GATE-RPi mini-PC/gateway builds on the RPi CM3 with 2x GbE, RPi HAT expansion, and optional WiFi, BT, 3G, LTE, and -40 to 80°C support.

CompuLab has added another Linux-friendly member to its IOT-GATE family of ultra-compact mini-PCs, following the IOT-GATE-iMX7, which is built around its NXP i.MX7 based CL-SOM-iMX7 computer-on-module. For the new IOT-GATE-RPi, CompuLab opted for a third-party COM: the popular Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, a COM version of the Raspberry Pi 3.

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Atari’s Linux Games Console Now Has a Controller

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gaming

Back in September we wrote about the Ataribox, a new Linux-powered console from Atari — today we get a look at its new joystick.

Over on Facebook Atari shows off the new Ataribox Joystick that will (presumably) come bundled with the video games (and home entertainment) machine when it goes on sale next year

If you’ve been sleeping under a pile of E.T. carts, the Ataribox is pitched as the “ultimate video game & entertainment box”, offering classic Atari games, thousands of PC & indie games, and streaming apps from major content providers.

Read more

Also: The Linux-powered Ataribox Joystick has been revealed, looks delightfully retro and rather stylish

First Renesas based Raspberry Pi clone runs Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

iWave’s “iW-RainboW-G23S” SBC runs Linux on a Renesas RZ/G1C, and offers -20 to 85°C support and expansion headers including a RPi-compatible 40-pin link.

iWave’s iW-RainboW-G23S is the first board we’ve seen to tap the Renesas RZ/G1C SoC, which debuted earlier this year. It’s also the first Renesas based SBC we’ve seen that features the increasingly ubiquitous Raspberry Pi 85 x 56mm footprint, layout, and RPi-compatible 40-pin expansion connector. The board is also notable for providing -20 to 85°C temperature support.

Read more

Also: GameShell Is An Open Source And Linux-powered Retro Game Console That You’ll Love

Linux/Android hacker SBC with hexa-core Rockchip SoC debuts at $75

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware

The Vamrs “RK3399 Sapphire” SBC is on sale for $75, or $349 for a full kit. Vamrs is also prepping an RK3399-based “Rock960” 96Boards SBC.

Rockchip’s RK3399 is one of the most powerful ARM-based system-on-chips available on hacker boards, featuring two server-class Cortex-A72 cores clocked to up to 2.0GHz, as well as four Cortex-A53 at up to 1.42GHz and a quad-core Mali-T864 GPU. The hexa-core SoC has appeared on T-Firefly’s Firefly-RK3399 SBC and RK3399 Coreboard computer-on-module, as well as Videostrong’s VS-RD-RK3399 SBC and Theobroma’s RK3399-Q7 Qseven module. Now we have a new contender: Shenzhen based Vamrs, which built the limited edition Rockchip RK3399 Sapphire SBC as the official RK3399 dev board for Rockchip, is now re-launching the board, which features a 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible connector, with “many in stock” for a discounted price of $75.

Read more

Linux Boards with Intel (Back Doors)

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Arduino Create Expands to Support Linux on Intel Chips

    When we talk about open source hardware, we often think about the Raspberry Pi and other community-backed single board computers running Linux. Yet all these communities were modeled on the success of the 14-year-old Arduino project, in which Linux has been only tangentially involved, and only over the past four years. The two platforms should grow closer, however, now that Arduino has extended its Arduino Create development environment to support Linux on x86 platforms.

    With the new Linux support, “users are now able to program their Linux devices as if they were regular Arduinos,” says Arduino. Arduino Create works in concert with embedded Linux distributions – initially Ubuntu or Intel’s Wind River Pulsar Linux – to let developers load Arduino sketches to control lower level interfaces to sensors and other Internet of Things peripherals.

  • 3.5-inch SBC comes in 6th and 7th Gen Intel flavors

    Commell’s 3.5-inch “LS-37K” SBC supports 6th or 7th Gen Core S-series and Xeon-E3-1200 v5 CPUs with up to 16GB DDR4, triple displays, 2x SATA, and mSATA.

    Commell announced a 3.5-inch SBC with Intel’s 6th (“Skylake”) or 7th (“Kaby Lake”) Gen Core S-series and Xeon-E3-1200 v5 CPUs. The LS-37K’s layout and feature set are similar to that of its Skylake based LE-37I and LE-37G 3.5-inch boards. As usual, no OS support is listed, but Linux should run with no problem.

  • Apollo Lake DIN-rail computer packs a lot in a little

    Axiomtek’s Linux-friendly “ICO120-83D” IoT gateway runs on a dual-core Apollo Lake Celeron, and offers mini-PCIe expansion and extended temp support.

    Axiomtek has launched an ICO120-83D Internet of Things gateway that runs on Intel’s dual-core, 1.1GHz Celeron N3350 SoC with 6W TDP. The system has the same Apollo Lake processor and fanless DIN-rail design as the recent ICO300-83B gateway, but with a more compact 125 x 100 x 31mm. 0.3 k footprint and a reduced feature set.

MINIX: ​Intel's hidden in-chip operating system

Filed under
OS
Hardware
Security

Why? Let's start with what. Matthew Garrett, the well-known Linux and security developer who works for Google, explained recently that, "Intel chipsets for some years have included a Management Engine [ME], a small microprocessor that runs independently of the main CPU and operating system. Various pieces of software run on the ME, ranging from code to handle media DRM to an implementation of a TPM. AMT [Active Management Technology] is another piece of software running on the ME."

In May, we found out that AMT had a major security flaw, which had been in there for nine -- count 'em -- nine years.

"Fixing this requires a system firmware update in order to provide new ME firmware (including an updated copy of the AMT code)," Garrett wrote. "Many of the affected machines are no longer receiving firmware updates from their manufacturers, and so will probably never get a fix," he said. "Anyone who ever enables AMT on one of these devices will be vulnerable."

[...]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called for Intel to provide a way for users to disable ME. Russian researchers have found a way to disable ME after the hardware has initialized, and the main processor has started. That doesn't really help much. ME is already running by then.

But Minnich found that what's going on within the chip is even more troubling. At a presentation at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, he reported that systems using Intel chips that have AMT, are running MINIX.

If you learned about operating systems in the late '80s and early '90s, you knew MINIX as Andrew S Tanenbaum's educational Unix-like operating system. It was used to teach operating system principles. Today, it's best known as the OS that inspired Linus Torvalds to create Linux.

So, what's it doing in Intel chips? A lot. These processors are running a closed-source variation of the open-source MINIX 3. We don't know exactly what version or how it's been modified since we don't have the source code.

Read more

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Receive Important Mesa Linux Graphics Stack Update

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EXT4 vs. XFS vs. Btrfs vs. F2FS With Linux 4.15 Comparing KPTI/Retpoline

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Raspberry Pi HAT connects up to three Pmod modules at once

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KaOS 2018.01 KDE-focused Linux distro now available with Spectre and Meltdown fixes

It can be difficult to find a quality Linux distribution that meets your needs. This is partly because there are just too many operating systems from which to choose. My suggestion is to first find a desktop environment that you prefer, and then narrow down your distro search to one that focuses on that DE. For instance, if you like KDE, both Kubuntu and Netrunner are solid choices. With all of that said, there is another KDE-focused Linux distro that I highly recommend. Called "KaOS," it is rolling release, meaning you can alway be confident that your computer is running modern packages. Today, KaOS gets its first updated ISO for 2018, and you should definitely use it to upgrade your install media. Why? Because version 2018.01 has fixes for Spectre and Meltdown thanks to Linux kernel 4.14.14 with both AMD and Intel ucode. Read more