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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

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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.

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Purism Librem 13 v2 privacy-focused Linux laptop -- great hardware, frustrating software [Review]

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

As a computer user in 2017, privacy is always on my mind -- as it should be. I suppose I have always cared about securing my information and data, but in recent years, we have learned so many troubling things about government hackers -- including the USA -- that it seems more important than ever. Patriot Edward Snowden really shone a light on the unfortunate state of privacy, or lack thereof, in modern days.

This is why I was very intrigued by the Purism line of laptops. These are computers that are designed with privacy in mind. The Librem 13 v2, which I have been testing, features two hardware kill-switches -- one will cut the webcam and microphone, while the other kills the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios. By cutting access on the hardware level, hackers cannot access these things when switched off. Instead of using a traditional bios system for booting, it even leverages Coreboot. It runs a Linux-based operating system called "Pure OS" which aims to be very secure and private. Unfortunately, the OS ends up being a little too secure, and the weak link of the overall package. But does that really matter?

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Raspberry Pi CM3 fuels touch panel and network media player

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Linux
Hardware

Distec’s 10.1-inch “POS-Line IoT” touch-panel PC is built on its RPi CM3 based “Artista-Iot” board, which also drives a VideoPoster IV media player.

In February, Germany based Distec announced its Artista-IoT touchscreen controller board based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, and has now announced a POS-Line IoT touch-panel computer built on the sandwich-style board combo. Primarily aimed at Point-of-Sale (PoS) applications, the touch-panel can also be used for HMI devices, digital whiteboard and production visualization, medical, aerospace, and signage applications.

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Another Dead Microsoft Product

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Hardware
Microsoft

Success! Beelink S1 Running Linux – Courtesy of the Open Source Community

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

We recently published a post summarizing why the Beelink S1’s hardware specs look so promising for an inexpensive Linux mini PC. But I hit a brick wall when trying to install any flavour of Linux on the machine. I simply could not get the machine to boot a live Linux distro, either from a USB DVD or USB key.

I contacted Shenzhen AZW Technology Co. Ltd., the manufacturer of the Beelink S1, twice to see if they could offer any support. They replied recommending I get used to running Windows 10, as they contend Ubuntu is difficult to install on this mini PC. The second email has yet to elicit a response. I must have exhausted my support quota. Undeterred, I made a call for help to Linux enthusiasts. And half a dozen good folk promptly stepped forward to offer a simple solution, which I’ll detail below. This is one reason why I love Linux; the community.

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NODE Handheld Linux Terminal Version 3

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

YouTuber NODE has released a new video unveiling his third generation Handheld Linux Terminal which builds on the features from the previous creations and is once again fantastically awesome.

Check out the video below to learn more about the Handheld Linux Terminal Version 3 powered by a Raspberry Pi 3 mini PC. Great job NODE.

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Linux Tiny Box PCs and DeX

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux Tiny Box PCs: Quad-core i.MX6 Dual Lite

    Kingdy's new ultra-compact tiny embedded platform for space limited solution, based on the ARM Cortex-A9TM iMX6 Dual Lite / Quad Core processor, delivers optimum I/O design for maximum connectivity with Pre-install Yocto 1.8 on eMMC.

  • Samsung to Give Linux Desktop Experience to Smartphone Users

    Samsung on Thursday announced a new app, Linux on Galaxy, designed to work with its DeX docking station to bring a full Linux desktop experience to Galaxy Note8, Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphone users.

    Samsung earlier this year introduced DeX, a docking station that connects to a monitor to give Galaxy smartphone users a desktop experience.

Devices: Beelink S1 Mini PC, Aaeon’s SBC, Kobo and LEDE

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • Beelink S1 Mini PC and Linux – Comedy Gold

    The Beelink S1 is a small, silent mini PC released in August 2017 retailing for around 300 dollars (250 euros). It’s produced by Shenzhen AZW Technology Co Ltd, a Chinese company that focuses on Android smart TV boxes, Intel mini PCs, and home cloud TV boxes.

    The S1 ships with an activated copy of Windows 10. But what makes this mini PC interesting? For starters, it purports to run Ubuntu. Combined with a quad core Celeron CPU, dual monitor support (HDMI and VGA), 4K video, expansion options, together with a raft of other features, the machine looks a mouthwatering prospect compared to many other mini PCs.

  • Kaby Lake Pico-ITX SBC features dual M.2 slots

    Aaeon’s “PICO-KBU1” SBC is built on Intel 7th Gen U-series CPUs with up to 16GB DDR4, dual GbE ports, and M.2 B-key and E-Key expansion.

    The PICO-KBU1 SBC is equipped with Intel’s dual-core, 15W TDP 7th Gen U-series CPUs from the latest Kaby Lake generation. Other 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX boards that run Kaby Lake U-Series processors include Axiomtek’s PICO512. As usual with Aaeon, no OS support is listed.

  • Kobo firmware 4.6.9995 mega update (KSM, nickel patch, ssh, fonts)

    It has been ages that I haven’t updated the MegaUpdate package for Kobo. Now that a new and seemingly rather bug-free and quick firmware release (4.6.9995) has been released, I finally took the time to update the whole package to the latest releases of all the included items. The update includes all my favorite patches and features: Kobo Start Menu, koreader, coolreader, pbchess, ssh access, custom dictionaries, and some side-loaded fonts.

  • LEDE v17.01.4 service release

    Version 17.01.4 of the LEDE router distribution is available with a number of important fixes. "While this release includes fixes for the bugs in the WPA Protocol disclosed earlier this week, these fixes do not fix the problem on the client-side. You still need to update all your client devices. As some client devices might never receive an update, an optional AP-side workaround was introduced in hostapd to complicate these attacks, slowing them down."

Intel Ads as 'Articles'

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Hardware
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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: Snapcraft, Intel, AMD Patches, and Telemetry

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Snapcraft
    Canonical, the company behind operating system and Linux distribution Ubuntu, is looking to help developers package, distribute and update apps for Linux and IoT with its open-source project Snapcraft. According to Evan Dandrea, engineering manager at Canonical, Snapcraft “is a platform for publishing applications to an audience of millions of Linux users.” The project was initially created in 2014, but recently underwent rebranding efforts.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Now Certified on Select Intel NUC Mini PCs and Boards for IoT Development, LibreOffice 6.0.5 Now Available, Git 2.8 Released and More
    Canonical yesterday announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is certified on select Intel NUC Mini PCs and boards for IoT development. According to the Ubuntu blog post, this pairing "provides benefits to device manufacturers at every stage of their development journey and accelerates time to market." You can download the certified image from here. In other Canonical news, yesterday the company released a microcode firmware update for Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the Spectre vulnerability, Softpedia reports. The updated amd64-microcode packages for AMD CPUs are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), "all AMD users are urged to update their systems."
  • Canonical issues Spectre v2 fix for all Ubuntu systems with AMD chips
    JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU'D HEARD THE END of Spectre, Canonical has released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users that have AMD processors in a bid to rid of the vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were made public at the beginning of this year, affecting literally billions of devices that had been made in the past two decades.
  • A first look at desktop metrics
    We first announced our intention to ask users to provide basic, not-personally-identifiable system data back in February. Since then we have built the Ubuntu Report tool and integrated it in to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS initial setup tool. You can see an example of the data being collected on the Ubuntu Report Github page.

Most secure Linux distros in 2018

Think of a Linux distribution as a bundle of software delivered together, based on the Linux kernel - a kernel being the core of a system that connects software to hardware and vice versa – with a GNU operating system and a desktop environment, giving the user a visual way to operate the system via a graphical user interface. Linux has a reputation as being more secure than Windows and Mac OS due to a combination of factors – not all of them about the software. Firstly, although desktop Linux users are on the up, Linux environments are far less common in the grand scheme of things than Windows devices on personal computers. The Linux community also tends to be more technical. There are technical reasons too, including fundamental differences in the way the distribution architecture tends to be structured. Nevertheless over the last decade security-focused distributions started to appear, which will appeal to the privacy-conscious user who wants to avoid the worldwide state-sanctioned internet spying that the west has pioneered and where it continues to innovate. Of course, none of these will guarantee your privacy, but they're a good start. Here we list some of them. It is worth noting that security best practices are often about process rather than the technology, avoiding careless mistakes like missing patches and updates, and using your common sense about which websites you visit, what you download, and what you plug into your computer. Read more

Red Hat and Fedora News

4MLinux 26.0 BETA released.

4MLinux 26.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages, including major changes in the core of the system, which now uses the GNU C Library 2.27 and the GNU Compiler Collection 7.3.0. Read more