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Hardware

Devices: Librem 5, Raspbian OS, Renegade Elite Mini PC

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Hardware
  • Librem 5 progress report #15

    These last few weeks, the Librem 5 team has been hard at work improving the current software stack as well as making great strides towards finalizing the development kit schematic. Here are the highlights of the exciting progress that has been made.

  • Librem 5 Development Boards Won't Be Shipping Now Until At Least August

    Purism has offered a status update on their software/hardware efforts around the Librem 5 smart-phone they have been working on that is security-minded, open-source, and that they plan to begin shipping in January of 2019.

    Among the highlights from their latest update include:

    - The i.MX6 experimental software images now use their Phosh Wayland Shell and are experimenting with the PureOS base rather than Debian Buster testing.

    - In terms of the support for the i.MX8 hardware they actually want to use for the finished phone, at this stage they can now get their i.MX8 software image booting "a very basic mainline kernel" over the vendor-supplied kernel.

  • Raspbian OS And Why Everyone Is So Attached To It

    ​The Raspberry is a Debian based Linux distribution created for the Raspberry Pi. It is worth to mention that the Raspberry is designed to only function with the raspberry, however, to account for the rest of alternatives out there, it is all about competition and making the PI more adaptable and flexible.

  • Renegade Elite Mini PC Hits Indiegogo From $99

    After first being unveiled back in June 2018, the Renegade Elite single-board mini PC crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo is now underway, offering pledges from $99. The Renegade Elite mini PC is a low-profile high-performance 4K capable 64-bit ARM computer with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM capable of running desktop-class Linux based operating systems like Debian, Arch, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Android 8.1, and more.

AMD Graphics: AMDKFD, AMDGPU

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
  • Raven Ridge Support Posted For AMDKFD Compute Driver

    Felix Kuehling of AMD sent out the remaining six patches for getting the AMD Raven Ridge (Ryzen APUs) working with the AMDKFD kernel compute driver so that the ROCm/OpenCL user-space compute stack can be run on these new APUs.

  • Radeon RX Vega Display Regression Fix Heading To Linux 4.18 Git

    If you have been part of the group of Radeon RX Vega Linux users trying out Linux 4.18 and finding your display no longer lights up, heading to Linux 4.18 Git should be a fix for at least some of the users.

    Sent out on Friday was a batch of AMDGPU DRM-Fixes-4.18. It's just three fixes, but two of them are pertaining to display problems and the other a segmentation fault if the GPU does not power up properly when resuming the system.

ARM Takes Down Its Website That Attacked Open-Source Rival

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Hardware

ARM, the incredibly successful developer of CPU designs, appears to be getting a little nervous about an open-source rival that’s gaining traction. At the end of June, ARM launched a website outlining why it’s better than its competitor’s offerings and it quickly blew up in its face. Realising the site was a bad look, ARM has now taken it down.

For the uninitiated, ARM Holdings designs various architectures and cores that it licenses to major chipmakers around the world. Its tech can be found in over 100 billion chips manufactured by huge names like Apple and Nvidia as well as many other lesser-known players in the low-power market. If ARM is Windows, you can think of RISC-V as an early Linux. Like ARM, it’s an architecture based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC), but it’s free to use and open to anyone to contribute or modify. While ARM has been around since 1991, RISC-V just got started in 2010 but it’s gaining a lot of ground and ARM’s pitiful website could easily be seen as a legitimising moment for the tech.

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Fedora on the UDOO Neo

Filed under
Red Hat
Hardware
HowTos

The core support for the i.MX6SX SoC and the UDOO Neo is pretty reasonable, with the MMC fixes it’s been very stable, all the core bits are working as expected, included wired and wireless network, thermal, cpufreq, crypto and it looks like the display should work fine. There’s a few quirks that I need to investigate further which should provide for a fun evening or weekend hacking. There has also been recently merged support for the i.MX6SX Cortex-M4 land upstream in Zephyr upstream for the 1.13 release, so getting that running and communication using Open-AMP between Fedora and Zephyr should also be an interesting addition. I think this will be a welcome addition to Fedora 29, and not a moment too soon!!

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Open Hardware: RISC-V FUD and DIY Guns

Filed under
Hardware
  • ARM Takes Down Boneheaded Website Attacking Open-Source Rival

    ARM, the incredibly successful developer of CPU designs, appears to be getting a little nervous about an open-source rival that’s gaining traction. At the end of June, ARM launched a website outlining why it’s better than its competitor’s offerings and it quickly blew up in its face. Realizing the site was a bad look, ARM has now taken it down.

    For the uninitiated, ARM Holdings designs various architectures and cores that it licenses to major chipmakers around the world. Its tech can be found in over 100 billion chips manufactured by huge names like Apple and Nvidia as well as many other lesser-known players in the low-power market. If ARM is Windows, you can think of RISC-V as an early Linux. Like ARM, it’s an architecture based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC), but it’s free to use and open to anyone to contribute or modify. While ARM has been around since 1991, RISC-V just got started in 2010 but it’s gaining a lot of ground and ARM’s pitiful website could easily be seen as a legitimizing moment for the tech.

  • A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns

     

    Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered Wilson a settlement to end a lawsuit he and a group of co-plaintiffs have pursued since 2015 against the United States government. Wilson and his team of lawyers focused their legal argument on a free speech claim: They pointed out that by forbidding Wilson from posting his 3-D-printable data, the State Department was not only violating his right to bear arms but his right to freely share information. By blurring the line between a gun and a digital file, Wilson had also successfully blurred the lines between the Second Amendment and the First.

     

    "If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident," Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. "So what if this code is a gun?”

Linux module and dev board showcase Arm/FPGA Stratix 10 SX

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Reflex CES has launched a “COMXpressSX Stratix 10” Basic Type 7 module that runs Linux on Intel’s Stratix 10 SX SoC and offers 56GB DDR4, 32GB eMMC, and 32x PCIe. An optional PCIe carrier supplies 10GbE, GbE, SATA, and more.

Paris-based Reflex CES, which sells a variety on FPGA-based PCIe boards and development kits, last year released a Linux-driven, 95 x 86mm Arria 10 SoC SoM based on Intel PSG’s FPGA- and dual Cortex-A9 enabled Arria 10 SoC. Now it has returned with a COM Express Basic Type 7 module and development kit that runs Linux on Intel PSG’s more powerful, 14nm fabricated Stratix 10 SX SoC. The COMXpressSX Stratix 10 supports high performance computing & analytics, acceleration, intelligent vision, and video processing applications.

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Also: Intel Core based EPIC SBC targets retail applications

ARM Launches "Facts" Campaign Against RISC-V

Filed under
Hardware

It looks like Arm Limited is going on the offensive against the RISC-V open-source processor instruction set architecture.

ARM has launched RISCV-Basics.com as a site to "understanding the facts" about the RISC-V architecture.

Their five points they try to make before designing a SoC is that the ISA accounts for only a small portion of the total investment to creating a commercial processor, RISC-V doesn't yet have an a large developer ecosystem, there is the risk of fragmentation with this open-source ISA, RISC-V is new and thus not yet as mature in terms of being a proven architecture around security, and greater design costs with RISC-V due to potential re-validation if modifying the ISA.

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Dell's GNU/Linux Offerings

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Precision Developer Editions 7530/7730 now online — Welcome the power pair

    These new thinner, lighter, premium-built Precision mobile workstations come preloaded with Ubuntu and have been RHEL certified. The 7530 and 7730 feature the latest Intel Core and Xeon processors, blazing-fast memory and professional graphics.

    Of particular note is the increased core count and memory. In fact the maximum memory has doubled to 128GB which helps with cloud developer local workloads. In the case of the 7730, it supports up to 8TB of PCIe NVME storage, the most PCIe storage on the market today. The 7730 is also the first AI/ML ready mobile workstation available.

  • Dell Launches World's Most Powerful 15" and 17" Laptops Powered by Ubuntu Linux

    The Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 Mobile Workstation Developer Editions are now available to order from Dell's online store with the Ubuntu Linux operating system pre-installed.

    At the end of May 2018, Dell's Project Sputnik leader George Barton announced the availability of four new Dell Precision Mobile Workstations running the open-source and free Ubuntu Linux operating system.

    While at the moment of the announcement only the Dell Precision 3530 was available to order, those interested in purchasing a powerful laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed can now order two other models, namely the Dell Precision 7530 and Dell Precision 7730.

  • Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed launched

    Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 Mobile Workstation Developer Editions are now open for order worldwide via the company’s online store. Both machines get powered by the open-source and free Ubuntu Linux operating system.

    Interested users who want a powerful machine with Ubuntu pre-installed, can now order the Dell Precision 7530 and Dell Precision 7730. Under the hood, both machines run the latest Intel Core or Xeon processors. The processor is further coupled with high-speed RAM, top-end NVidia or AMD graphics cards, and come pre-installed with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 operating system.

    Dell also plans to release professional drivers in the near future that’ll include features not offered by standard Inbox drivers of NVidia and AMD GPUs.

Hacker Boards

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware
  • Renegade Elite Mini PC Board Counters Raspberry Pi 3 With 4K Streaming And Hexa-Core CPU

    A new device called the Renegade Elite (ROC-RK3399-PC) has surfaced as a competitor to the Raspberry Pi 3 that is packing in much higher specifications and can stream 4K video. The Renegade Elite is made by Libre Computer and will soon surface for pre-order on Indiegogo.

  • Raspberry Pi's 'app store' lands with new Raspbian OS update

    The latest version of Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi's official OS, introduces a new set-up wizard to help beginners easily get over the first few hurdles after buying one of the $35 developer boards.

    The new version of Raspbian also introduces an equivalent of the App Store that recommends software that users can choose to install, alongside apps already bundled with Raspbian.

Raspbian wizard and app store toss a lifeline to newbies

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Debian

Raspbian has been updated with a a setup wizard and an app store. Meanwhile, Alpine Linux 3.8.0 adds RPi 3 B+ support, BusyBox 1.29 improves router support, and SUSE (as in Linux) was sold to EQT.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has updated the leading Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi, which may also be the most popular embedded Linux distro. The update to the Debian-based Raspbian adds a setup wizard and a catalog of free apps, among other features. Other Linux software news in recent days includes new Alpine Linux and BusyBox releases, and the sale of SUSE to EQT (see farther below).

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Today in Techrights

Security: SSL, Microsoft Windows TCO, Security Breach Detection and SIM Hijackers

  • Why Does Google Chrome Say Websites Are “Not Secure”?
    Starting with Chrome 68, Google Chrome labels all non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure.” Nothing else has changed—HTTP websites are just as secure as they’ve always been—but Google is giving the entire web a shove towards secure, encrypted connections.
  • Biggest Voting Machine Maker Admits -- Ooops -- That It Installed Remote Access Software After First Denying It [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]
    We've been covering the mess that is electronic voting machines for nearly two decades on Techdirt, and the one thing that still flummoxes me is how are they so bad at this after all these years? And I don't mean "bad at security" -- though, that's part of it -- but I really mean "bad at understanding how insecure their machines really are." For a while everyone focused on Diebold, but Election Systems and Software (ES&S) has long been a bigger player in the space, and had just as many issues. It just got less attention. There was even a brief period of time where ES&S bought what remained of Diebold's flailing e-voting business before having to sell off the assets to deal with an antitrust lawsuit by the DOJ. What's incredible, though, is that every credible computer security person has said that it is literally impossible to build a secure fully electronic voting system -- and if you must have one at all, it must have a printed paper audit trail and not be accessible from the internet. Now, as Kim Zetter at Motherboard has reported, ES&S -- under questioning from Senator Ron Wyden -- has now admitted that it installed remote access software on its voting machines, something the company had vehemently denied to the same reporter just a few months ago.
  • Bringing cybersecurity to the DNC [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO. Microsoft Exchange was used.]
    When Raffi Krikorian joined the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as chief technology officer, the party was still reeling from its devastating loss in 2016 — and the stunning cyberattacks that resulted in high-level officials’ emails being embarrassingly leaked online.
  • Getting Started with Successful Security Breach Detection
    Organizations historically believed that security software and tools were effective at protecting them from hackers. Today, this is no longer the case, as modern businesses are now connected in a digital global supply ecosystem with a web of connections to customers and suppliers. Often, organizations are attacked as part of a larger attack on one of their customers or suppliers. They represent low hanging fruit for hackers, as many organizations have not invested in operationalizing security breach detection. As this new reality takes hold in the marketplace, many will be tempted to invest in new technology tools to plug the perceived security hole and move on with their current activities. However, this approach is doomed to fail. Security is not a "set it and forget it" type of thing. Defending an organization from a breach requires a careful balance of tools and operational practices -- operational practices being the more important element.
  • The SIM Hijackers

    By hijacking Rachel’s phone number, the hackers were able to seize not only Rachel’s Instagram, but her Amazon, Ebay, Paypal, Netflix, and Hulu accounts too. None of the security measures Rachel took to secure some of those accounts, including two-factor authentication, mattered once the hackers took control of her phone number.

GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops and Windows Spying

  • Changes [Pop!_OS]

    For the last 12 years, my main development machine has been a Mac. As of last week, it’s a Dell XPS 13 running Pop!_OS 18.04.

    [...]

    Take note: this is the first operating system I’ve used that is simpler, more elegant, and does certain things better than macOS.

  • System76 Opens Manufacturing Facility to Build Linux Laptops
    As it turns out, System76 is making the transition from a Linux-based computer seller, into a complete Linux-based computer manufacturer. The Twitter photos are from their new manufacturing facility. This means that System76 will no longer be slapping their logo on other company’s laptops and shipping them out, but making their own in-house laptops for consumers.
  • Extension adding Windows Timeline support to third-party browsers should have raised more privacy questions
    Windows Timeline is a unified activity history explorer that received a prominent placement next to the Start menu button in Windows 10 earlier this year. You can see all your activities including your web browser history and app activity across all your Windows devices in one place; and pickup and resume activities you were doing on other devices. This is a useful and cool feature, but it’s also a privacy nightmare. You may have read about a cool new browser extension that adds your web browsing history from third-party web browsers — including Firefox, Google Chrome, Vivaldi, and others — to Windows Timeline. The extension attracted some media attention from outlets like MSPoweruser, Neowin, The Verge, and Windows Central.

Public money, public code? FSFE spearheads open-source initiative

Last September, the non-profit Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) launched a new campaign that calls for EU-wide legislation that requires publicly financed software developed for the public sector to be made publicly available under a free and open-source software license. According to the ‘Public Money, Public Code’ open letter, free and open-source software in the public sector would enable anyone to “use, study, share, and improve applications used on a daily basis”. The initiative, says the non-profit, would provide safeguards against public sector organizations being locked into services from specific companies that use “restrictive licenses” to hinder competition. The FSFE also says the open-source model would help improve security in the public sector, as it would allow backdoors and other vulnerabilities to fixed quickly, without depending on one single service provider. Since its launch, the Public Money, Public Code initiative has gained the support of 150 organizations, including WordPress Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, and Tor, along with nearly 18,000 individuals. With the initiative now approaching its first anniversary, The Daily Swig caught up with FSFE spokesperson Paul Brown, who discussed the campaign’s progress. Read more