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Hardware

Devices: Fairphone, Amino, Nordija, Purism

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware
  • End of Support for Fairphone 1: Some Unanswered Questions

    I previously followed the goings-on at Fairphone a lot more closely than I have done recently, so after having mentioned the obsolescence risks of the first model in an earlier article, it was interesting to discover a Fairphone blog post explaining why the company will no longer support the Fairphone 1. Some of the reasons given are understandable: they went to market with an existing design, focusing instead on minimising the use of conflict minerals; as a result various parts are no longer manufactured or available; the manufacturer they used even stopped producing phones altogether!

    A mention of batteries is made in the article, and in community reaction to the announcement, a lot of concern has been expressed about how long the batteries will be good for, whether any kind of replacements might be found, and so on. With today’s bewildering proliferation of batteries of different shapes and sizes, often sealed into devices for guaranteed obsolescence, we are surely storing up a great deal of trouble for the future in this realm. But that is a topic for another time.

  • Amino and Nordija move between Android and Linux

    Amino and Nordija are to showcase a new dual mode platform that enables operators to seamlessly move between Android and Linux-based TV delivery.

    It’s designed to provide a consistent state-of-the-art user experience.

  • Purism and KDE to Work Together on World's First Truly Free Smartphone

Linux Hardware: Asustor, Advantech

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Devices: Purism’s Librem 5, ASUSTOR, and Tizen

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Linux: Jim Zemlin's Hypocrisy, Open Source Summit 2017 Roundup, AMD Graphics and CPU Failures/Bugs

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Devices: Congatec, Aaeon, Anavi

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux-ready module features Atom C3000 and 4x 10GbE ports

    Congatec’s “Conga-B7AC” is a Linux-friendly Type 7 COM with up to a 16-core Atom C3000, and support for 4x 10GbE, 32x PCIe, and industrial temperatures.

    Congatec delivered one of the first COM Express 3.0 Type 7 modules with its Conga-B7XD, based on Intel 5th Gen “Broadwell” Xeon D and Pentium processors. Now it has introduced the Conga-B7AC Type 7 module with the same 125 x 95mm dimensions, 10GbE support, Linux support, and an up to 16-core Intel Server-class SoC, but with a more power efficient Atom C3000 “Denverton” SoC. There’s also a Conga-X7/EVAL carrier board (see farther below)

  • COM Express modules build on Kaby Lake and Xeon E3

    Aaeon announced a “NanoCOM-KBU” COM Express Type 10 Mini module with Intel 7th Gen U-Series chips and a “COM-KBHB6” Type 6 Basic module with a Xeon E3.

  • pHAT adds IR to the Raspberry Pi

    Anavi has gone to Crowd Supply to launch a new run of its $16 “Anavi Infrared pHAT,” which adds IR remote control to the Pi, and offers optional sensors.

Devices: Canonical’s 'IoT' Ambitions, SensiEdge’s SensiBLE

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Meeting IoT challenges

    Founded 15 years ago, Canonical has been responsible for delivering the open source Ubuntu platform. “We work to ensure that Ubuntu is certified and can be used on PCs, servers and across cloud infrastructure,” Bell explains.

    “The rise of the IoT brings with it data and opportunities to monetise that data and one thing we can be sure about is that unpredicted methods of monetisation are sure to emerge.”

    Canonical’s approach to the IoT encourages the adoption of a single operating system and, crucially, one that can be upgradable over the air.

  • Tiny Bluetooth LE dev boards target IoT apps

    Two Cortex-M4 Bluetooth LE boards have gained wider distribution: Arrow is selling SensiEdge’s SensiBLE, and Mouser has Adafruit’s Feather Nrf52 Bluefruit.

    Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) continues to rise in importance as the wireless conduit for MCU-based IoT edge devices. Late last week Arrow Electronics announced it was launching the recently introduced SensiBLE IoT SoM, which is also referred to as the Simba-Pro, from Israel-based SensiEdge. (Mouser has already begun distributing the product, as has RS Components in the UK.)

Mobile Devices: Purism 5 Linux Phone, New in Tizen

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Vorke V2 Plus Mini PC – Ubuntu PC with Impressive Features

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

The Vorke V2 Mini PC is the latest to hit the market to compete with other mini PCs in the mini arena.

If you are looking for a mini PC that can get the job done, then take a look at the Vorke V2 Plus PC. This mini PC packs a lot of premium components into an ultra-portable housing that can fix right in the palm of your hand.
The Vorke V2 Plus has support for stunning 4K resolution thanks to the onboard Intel HD 620 graphics which deliver 1.5x better pixel production over the previous model. You can even tuck Vorke securely behind any monitor or TV that supports a VESA bracket.

Read more

Also: Ubuntu devs look at making apt index files smaller

Laptops That Ship Pre-installed With Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

​In the past, to get Linux on your laptop, you needed to get a laptop that shipped with Windows and then install your Linux distro on top of them. This usually means two main issues. The first being that you paid about $100 extra for Windows and then also, support in terms of drivers for the laptop were up in the air as your hardware may be supported fully, partially or not at all. But these days things are changing. There are many laptops that ship with Linux preinstalled. Meaning you get better hardware support and then save some bucks off for not paying for Windows. THANK YOU! So what are your options if you wanted a laptop with Linux preinstalled? Read along.

Read more

Devices: Raspberry Pi. AutoPi, Purism's Librem 5, Tizen-Based Z4 and Artik

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
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More in Tux Machines

LWN on Linux: LTS, API, Pointer Leaks and Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC)

  • Cramming features into LTS kernel releases
    While the 4.14 development cycle has not been the busiest ever (12,500 changesets merged as of this writing, slightly more than 4.13 at this stage of the cycle), it has been seen as a rougher experience than its predecessors. There are all kinds of reasons why one cycle might be smoother than another, but it is not unreasonable to wonder whether the fact that 4.14 is a long-term support (LTS) release has affected how this cycle has gone. Indeed, when he released 4.14-rc3, Linus Torvalds complained that this cycle was more painful than most, and suggested that the long-term support status may be a part of the problem. A couple of recent pulls into the mainline highlight the pressures that, increasingly, apply to LTS releases. As was discussed in this article, the 4.14 kernel will include some changes to the kernel timer API aimed at making it more efficient, more like contemporary in-kernel APIs, and easier to harden. While API changes are normally confined to the merge window, this change was pulled into the mainline for the 4.14-rc3 release. The late merge has led to a small amount of grumbling in the community.
  • Improving the kernel timers API
    The kernel's timer interface has been around for a long time, and its API shows it. Beyond a lack of conformance with current in-kernel interface patterns, the timer API is not as efficient as it could be and stands in the way of ongoing kernel-hardening efforts. A late addition to the 4.14 kernel paves the way toward a wholesale change of this API to address these problems.
  • What's the best way to prevent kernel pointer leaks?
    An attacker who seeks to compromise a running kernel by overwriting kernel data structures or forcing a jump to specific kernel code must, in either case, have some idea of where the target objects are in memory. Techniques like kernel address-space layout randomization have been created in the hope of denying that knowledge, but that effort is wasted if the kernel leaks information about where it has been placed in memory. Developers have been plugging pointer leaks for years but, as a recent discussion shows, there is still some disagreement over the best way to prevent attackers from learning about the kernel's address-space layout. There are a number of ways for a kernel pointer value to find its way out to user space, but the most common path by far is the printk() function. There are on the order of 50,000 printk() calls in the kernel, any of which might include the value of a kernel pointer. Other places in the kernel use the underlying vsprintf() mechanism to format data for virtual files; they, too, often leak pointer values. A blanket ban on printing pointer values could solve this problem — if it could be properly enforced — but it would also prevent printing such values when they are really needed. Debugging kernel problems is one obvious use case for printing pointers, but there are others.
  • Continuous-integration testing for Intel graphics
    Two separate talks, at two different venues, give us a look into the kinds of testing that the Intel graphics team is doing. Daniel Vetter had a short presentation as part of the Testing and Fuzzing microconference at the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC). His colleague, Martin Peres, gave a somewhat longer talk, complete with demos, at the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC). The picture they paint is a pleasing one: there is lots of testing going on there. But there are problems as well; that amount of testing runs afoul of bugs elsewhere in the kernel, which makes the job harder. Developing for upstream requires good testing, Peres said. If the development team is not doing that, features that land in the upstream kernel will be broken, which is not desirable. Using continuous-integration (CI) along with pre-merge testing allows the person making a change to make sure they did not break anything else in the process of landing their feature. That scales better as the number of developers grows and it allows developers to concentrate on feature development, rather than bug fixing when someone else finds the problem. It also promotes a better understanding of the code base; developers learn more "by breaking stuff", which lets them see the connections and dependencies between different parts of the code.

An update on GnuPG

The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is one of the fundamental tools that allows a distributed group to have trust in its communications. Werner Koch, lead developer of GnuPG, spoke about it at Kernel Recipes: what's in the new 2.2 version, when older versions will reach their end of life, and how development will proceed going forward. He also spoke at some length on the issue of best-practice key management and how GnuPG is evolving to assist. It is less than three years since attention was focused on the perilous position of GnuPG; because of systematic failure of the community to fund its development, Koch was considering packing it all in. The Snowden revelations persuaded him to keep going a little longer, then in the wake of Heartbleed there was a resurgent interest in funding the things we all rely on. Heartbleed led to the founding of the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII). A grant from CII joined commitments from several companies and other organizations and an upsurge in community funding has put GnuPG on a more secure footing going forward. Read more

Ubuntu: GNOME, New Video, Ubuntu Podcast, Refreshing the Xubuntu Logo

  • Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails
    Ubuntu has done a good job of integrating a few plugins that improve GNOME's user experience compared to stock GNOME – most notably a modified version of the Dash-to-Dock and the App Indicator extensions, which go a long way toward making GNOME a bit more like Unity. It's worth noting that Ubuntu's fork of Dash-to-Dock lacks some features of the original, but you can uninstall the Ubuntu version in favour of the original if you prefer. In fact you can really revert to a pretty stock GNOME desktop with just a few tweaks. Canonical said it wasn't going to heavily modify GNOME and indeed it hasn't.
  • What’s New in Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S10E33 – Aggressive Judicious Frame
    This week we’ve been protecting our privacy with LineageOS and playing Rust. Telegram get fined, your cloud is being used to mine BitCoin, Google announces a new privacy focused product tier, North Korea hacks a UK TV studio, a new fully branded attack vector is unveiled and Purism reach their funding goal for the Librem 5.
  • Refreshing the Xubuntu logo
    Earlier this year I worked a bit with our logo to propose a small change to it – first change to the logo in 5 years. The team approved, but for various reasons the new logo did not make it to 17.10. Now we’re ready to push it out to the world.

Intel Linux and GCC Work

  • Intel Begins Landing GFNI Support In GCC 8
    Intel compiler engineers have begun landing "GFNI" support within the GNU Compiler Collection as one of the new ISA extensions not expected until the Icelake processor debut.
  • Control-Flow Enforcement Technology Begins To Land In GCC 8
    Intel Control-flow Enforcement Technology (CET) support has begun landing within the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) for this code safety feature. Patches have been in the works for several months while now the start of the patches are being merged to mainline. Coincidentally, at the same time Intel is also landing their GFNI instruction patches in GCC as well.
  • Intel Continues Landing New i915 DRM Features For Linux 4.15
    Jani Nikula has sent in another drm-intel-next update for David Airlie's DRM-Next tree. They continue prepping more updates to their Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) for targeting the upcoming Linux 4.15 cycle. There have already been several Intel "i915" DRM driver updates queued in DRM-Next for this new kernel version. Past pulls have included marking Coffeelake graphics as stable, continued Cannonlake "Gen 10" graphics enablement, various display improvements, and quite a lot of other low-level code improvements.