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Hardware

Open Hardware, Modding, and 3D Printing

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Hardware

Devices With Linux: Tesla Cars, 'Internet of Things', Intel Has a New Media SDK for Linux

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Linux
Hardware
  • Tesla starts pushing new Linux kernel update, hinting at upcoming UI improvements

    Albeit being about 6 months late, Tesla finally started pushing the new Linux kernel update to the center console in its vehicles this week.

    While it’s only a backend upgrade, Tesla CEO Elon Musk associated it with several long-awaited improvements to the vehicle’s user interface. Now that the kernel upgrade is here, those improvements shouldn’t be too far behind.

    Sources told Electrek that the latest 8.1 update (17.24.30), upgraded the Linux Kernel from the version 2.6.36 to the version 4.4.35.

  • Is Ubuntu set to be the OS for Internet of Things?

    The Internet of Things has enjoyed major growth in recent years, as more and more of the world around us gets smarter and more connected.

    But keeping all these new devices updated and online requires a reliable and robust software background, allowing for efficient and speedy monitoring and backup when needed.

    Software fragmentation has already become a significant issue across the mobile space, and may threaten to do so soon in the IoT.

    Luckily, Canonical believes it can solve this problem, with its IoT Ubuntu Core OS providing a major opportunity for manufacturers and developers across the world to begin fully monetising and realising the potential of the new connected ecosystem.

  • What's New in Intel Media SDK 2017 R2 for Embedded Linux

    Among the key features this release enables is the Region of Interest (ROI) for HEVC encoder in constant and variable bitrate modes.

    Developers can now control the compression rate of specific rectangular regions in input stream while keeping the bitrate target. This makes it possible, for example, to reduce compression of the areas where the viewer needs to see more details (e.g. faces or number plates), or to inrease it for the background with complicated texture that otherwise would consume majority of the bandwidth. ROI can also be used to put a privacy mask on certain regions that have to be blurred (e.g. logos or faces).

The beefy Dell Precision 7520 DE can out-muscle a growing Linux laptop field

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

Project Sputnik has done an admirable job over the years of bringing a "just works" Linux experience to Dell Ultrabooks like the XPS 13 Developer Edition—in fact, we've tested and largely enjoyed those experiences multiple times now. But while the XPS 13 is a great machine that I would not hesitate to recommend for most Linux users, it does have its shortcomings. The biggest problem in my view has long been the limited amount of RAM; the XPS 13 tops out at 16GB. While that's enough for most users, there are those (software developers compiling large projects, video editors, even photographers) who would easily benefit from more.

Read more

GNU/Linux Boards: Orange Pi, Le Potato, and Liteboard

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Linux
Hardware
  • Orange Pi Plus 2e OS Installation

    Similar to the Raspberry Pi is the Orange Pi series of single board systems.

    These single boards are not compatible with the Operating System (OS) images for Raspberry Pi. In this article we will cover installing and setting up an OS.

  • New Libre-Focused ARM Board Aims To Compete With Raspberry Pi 3, Offers 4K

    There's another ARM SBC (single board computer) trying to get crowdfunded that could compete with the Raspberry Pi 3 while being a quad-core 64-bit ARM board with 4K UHD display support, up to 2GB RAM, and should be working soon on the mainline Linux kernel.

    The "Libre Computer Board" by the Libre Computer Project is this new Kickstarter initiative, in turn is the work of Shenzhen Libre Technology Co. Through Kickstarter the project is hoping to raise $50k USD. The board is codenamed "Le Potato."

    Le Potato is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU while its graphics are backed by ARM Mali-450. Connectivity on the board includes HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 100Mb, eMMC, and microSD. Sadly, no Gigabit Ethernet or USB 3.0. Unlike the Raspberry Pi 3, it also goes without onboard WiFi/Bluetooth.

  • Open spec, sandwich-style SBC runs Linux on i.MX6UL based COM

    Grinn and RS Components unveiled a Linux-ready “Liteboard” SBC that uses an i.MX6 UL LiteSOM COM, with connectors compatible with Grinn Chiliboard add-ons.

    UK-based distributor RSA Components is offering a new sandwich-style SBC from Polish embedded firm Grinn. The 60-Pound ($78) Liteboard, which is available with schematics, but no community support site, is designed to work with the separately available, SODIMM-style LiteSOM computer-on-module. The LiteSOM sells for 25 Pounds ($32) or 30 Pounds ($39) with 2GB eMMC flash. It would appear that the 60-Pound Liteboard price includes the LiteSOM, but if so, it’s unclear which version. There are detailed specs on the module, but no schematics.

Devices: Ubuntu Core, Yocto, Microsoft, and Tizen

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Hardware
  • Ubuntu Core opens IoT possibilities for Raspberry Pi (CM3)

    Ubuntu Core running on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which is a micro-version of the Raspberry Pi 3 that slots into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector, means developers have a route to the production and can upgrade functionality through the addition of snaps- the universal Linux application packaging format.

    Device manufacturers can also develop their own app stores, all while benefiting from the additional security of Ubuntu Core.

  • Rugged marine computer runs Linux on Skylake-U

    Avalue’s “EMS-SKLU-Marine” is an IEC EN60945 certified computer with 6th Gen Core CPUs, -20 to 60°C support, plus 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, M2, and mini-PCIe.

    The EMS-SKLU-Marine is designed for maritime applications such as control room or engine room, integrated bridge systems, propulsion control or safety systems, and boat entertainment systems. Avalue touts the 240 x 151 x 75mm box computer for being smaller than typical boat computers while complying with IEC EN60945 ruggedization standards.

  • Module runs Yocto Linux on 16-core 2GHz Atom C3000 SoC

    DFI’s rugged, Linux-ready “DV970” COM Express Basic Type 7 module debuts the server-class, 16-core Atom C3000, and supports 4x 10GbE-KR and 16x PCIe 3.0.

    DFI promotes the DV970 as the first COM Express Basic Type 7 module based on the Intel Atom C3000 “Denverton” SoC, but it’s the first product of any kind that we’ve seen that uses the SoC. Intel quietly announced the server class, 16-core Atom C3000 in late February, with a target of low-end storage servers, NAS appliances, and autonomous vehicles, but it has yet to publicly document the SoC. The C3000 follows other server-oriented Atom spin-offs such as the flawed, up to 8-core Atom C2000 “Rangeley” and earlier Atom D400 and D500 SoCs.

  • Why Microsoft's Snapdragon Windows 10 Cellular PC Is Walking Dead

    Intel's veiled threat to file patent infringement suit against any company emulating x86 Win32 software on ARM-based computers has probably slayed Microsoft's Cellular PC dream.

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  • New BMW X3 brings latest digital and driver assistance tech, connects to your Gear S2 / S3

AMD Graphics and Processors (for Linux, LLVM, Coreboot...)

Filed under
Development
Linux
Hardware
  • AMD/nVidia: The Share of Free and Proprietary Drivers

    Following our survey conducted back in the end of March 2017, we have collected a wealth of information regarding the usage pattern of Linux gamers from the Reddit communities (hopefully a representative sample of the larger Linux gaming audience). You can refer to last year’s survey results from 2016, and a couple of recent articles about the 2017 survey results (the wheels used by Linux gamers, or the top 20 games Linux gamers want to see ported). This time we will focus on the GPU market, and first, here are some figures about the share of each GPU Brand...

    [...]

    Among Linux AMD gamers, as you can the situation is almost the reverse of nVidia’s. 90% of them use Free Software drivers, and only 10% use Proprietary ones. Mesa has grown from leaps and bounds since the past few years, and it’s apparently what most AMD gamers use nowadays. I must admit I did not expect that figure to be so high, but then again Feral among others is mainly supporting the Mesa drivers when it comes to their ports (for example Dirt Rally).

  • 92 Patches Later: Experimental NIR Backend For RadeonSI
  • AMD Still Planning For Zen Scheduler In LLVM 5.0
  • AMD's Plans For ARB_gl_spirv Support In RadeonSI
  • More AMD Stoney Ridge Code Lands In Coreboot

Raspberry Pi Foundation's Raspbian OS to Soon Be Rebased on Debian 9 "Stretch"

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Hardware
Debian

Raspberry Pi Foundation UX engineer Simon Long is reporting on the availability of a new stable update to the project's Debian-based Raspbian operating system for Raspberry Pi and x86 computers.

The Raspbian 2017-06-21 images are now available for download, and besides being synced with the upstream Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" repositories to include all the latest security and software updates, they add a couple of big new changes, such as the inclusion of an offline version of Scratch 2.0 and Thonny Python IDE.

Read more

Linux on Devices: Linaro, Raspberry Pi, Joule, Edison, and Galileo

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • ARM-Android open source platform for Linaro

    Huawei is backing an initiative for an AOSP (Android open source project) using ARM-based hardware and the Linaro open source collaborative engineering organization to develop the software. Their common aim: an ARM ecosystem.

    The new HiKey 960 dev platform from Huawei is now listed on the 96Boards website and will become available through global distribution channels. It is expected to be of interest to mobile developers and product design for markets like digital signage, point of sale (POS) and robotics.

  • Intel pulls the plug on its Joule, Edison, and Galileo boards

    Intel is discontinuing its Linux-ready, Atom-based Intel Joule and Intel Edison COMs, its Quark-based Galileo Gen 2 SBC, and its Recon Jet sports eyewear.

  • 3 reasons to turn your Raspberry Pi into a DNS server with dnsmasq

    By making DNS requests from a local Raspberry Pi instead of a remote server, you can realize a few advantages. Fetching any kind of data from a local area network will always be faster than fetching something from the Internet.

Raspberry Pi News: Smart Kitchen, Best Raspberry Pi Distros, and Adding Alexa to a Raspberry Pi

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Linux
Hardware
  • Small but Powerful: Automating the Smart Kitchen with the Raspberry Pi

    Ever since the first credit-card sized model was released in 2012, the Raspberry Pi line of sub-$100 Linux devices has defied all expectations. Its owners have chained the devices together to construct powerful supercomputers and used single devices to drive home automation and security systems. The Raspberry Pi is also a great way to inexpensively automate a smart kitchen, and there are easy-to-follow DIY recipes for doing so online.

    First-generation Raspberry Pi devices were nowhere near as powerful and flexible as today’s models. The first generation had no Wi-Fi capabilities, minimal memory and a mid-range CPU. Fast-forward to today, though, and Raspberry Pi devices are as powerful and capable as many personal computers, but available at a fraction of the cost. Their low cost is partly due to the fact that these devices run free and open source Linux distributions instead of expensive, proprietary operating systems.

  • 5 of the best Raspberry Pi distros in 2017 [Ed: recently-updated old article]

    Believe it or not, the Raspberry Pi is now five years old. In its relatively short life the Pi has ushered in a new revolution in computing that stretches far beyond its original remit which was to promote basic computer science education in schools.

  • How to Add Alexa to a Raspberry Pi (Or Any Linux Device)

2017 hacker board survey: Raspberry Pi still rules, but x86 SBCs make gains

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

The results are in: The Raspberry Pi 3 is the most desired maker SBC by a 4-to-1 margin. In other trends: x86 SBCs and Linux/Arduino hybrids get a boost.

More than ever, it’s a Raspberry Pi world, and other Linux hacker boards are just living in it. Our 2017 hacker board survey gives the Raspberry Pi 3 a total of 2,583 votes — four times the number of the second-ranked board, the Raspberry Pi Zero W.

Our total of 1,705 survey respondents is just shy of the 1,721 voters in the 2015 survey and about four times more than in our 2016 survey. Our voters — 27 of whom won community-backed Linux and Android single board computers as prizes — selected their favorite community-backed single board computers that run Linux or Android from a catalog of 98 open-spec SBCs. Only 23 of the 98 boards received at least 100 votes (by Borda ranking).

Read more

Also: Btrfs for the Pi

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Welcome To The (Ubuntu) Bionic Age: Nautilus, a LTS and desktop icons

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Programming: Perl, JavaScript, Ick, PowerFake, pylint-django, nbdkit filters

  • An Open Letter to the Perl Community

    Some consider Perl 6 to be a sister language to Perl 5. Personally, I consider Perl 6 more of a genetically engineered daughter language with the best genes from many parents. A daughter with a difficult childhood, in which she alienated many, who is now getting out of puberty into early adulthood. But I digress.

  • Long Live Perl 5!

    While not mentioned in the original Letter, a frequent theme in the comments was that Perl 6 should be renamed, as the name is inaccurate or is damaging.

    This is the topic on which I wrote more than once and those who have been following closely know that, yes, many (but by no means all) in the Perl 6 community acknowledge the name is detrimental to both Perl 6 and Perl 5 projects.

    This is why with a nod of approval from Larry we're moving to create an alias to Perl 6 name during 6.d language release, to be available for marketing in areas where "Perl 6" is not a desirable name.

  • JavaScript Trends for 2018
    Trying to bet on how many new JavaScript frameworks will be released each month, is, the best software engineer’s game in the past 5 years.
  • Ick: a continuous integration system
    TL;DR: Ick is a continuous integration or CI system. See http://ick.liw.fi/ for more information.
  • Introducing PowerFake for C++
    PowerFake is a new mini-framework/tool to make it possible to fake/mock free functions and static & non-virtual member functions in C++. It requires no change to the code under test, but it might need some structural changes, like moving some parts of the code to a different .cpp file; or making inline functions non-inline when built for testing. It is useful for writing unit tests and faking/mocking functions which should not/cannot be run during a test case. Some say that such a feature is useful for existing code, but should not be needed for a code which is written testable from the beginning. But, personally I don’t agree that it is always appropriate to inject such dependencies using virtual interfaces or templates. Currently, it is not supposed to become a mocking framework on its own. I hope that I can integrate PowerFake into at least one existing C++ mocking framework. Therefore, currently it doesn’t provide anything beyond faking existing functions.
  • Introducing pylint-django 0.8.0
    Since my previous post was about writing pylint plugins I figured I'd let you know that I've released pylint-django version 0.8.0 over the weekend. This release merges all pull requests which were pending till now so make sure to read the change log.
  • nbdkit filters
    nbdkit is our toolkit for creating Network Block Device (NBD) servers from “unusual” data sources. nbdkit was already configurable by writing simple plugins in several programming languages. Last week Eric Blake and I added a nice new feature: You can now modify existing plugins by placing “filters” in front of them.

Moving to Linux from dated Windows machines

Every day, while working in the marketing department at ONLYOFFICE, I see Linux users discussing our office productivity software on the internet. Our products are popular among Linux users, which made me curious about using Linux as an everyday work tool. My old Windows XP-powered computer was an obstacle to performance, so I started reading about Linux systems (particularly Ubuntu) and decided to try it out as an experiment. Two of my colleagues joined me. Read more