First off, Canonical emphasized to Ars multiple times that it is not getting into the hardware business. If you really want to buy one of these things, you can have Tranquil PC build one for you (for £7,575, or about $12,700), but Canonical won’t sell you an Orange Box for your lab—there are too many partner relationships it could jeopardize by wading into the hardware game. But what Canonical does want to do is let you fiddle with an Orange Box. It makes for an amazing demo platform—a cloud-in-a-box that Canonical can use to show off the fancy services and tools it offers.
Inside the custom orange chassis are ten stripped Intel Ivy Bridge D53427RKE NUCs. Each comes with 16GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD, and they’re all connected to a gigabit Ethernet switch. One of the NUCs is the control node; its USB and HDMI ports are wired to the Orange Box’s rear panel, and that particular node also runs Canonical’s MAAS software. Its single unified internal 320W power supply runs on a single 110v outlet—even when all ten nodes are going flat-out, it doesn't require a second power plug.
Marvell has posted detailed datasheets on its previously opaque Armada 370 SoC, used in Linux-based NAS systems from Buffalo, Netgear, and Synology.
Until now, datasheets and other details about the ARM-based Armada 370 system-on-chips have been available only under NDA to Marvell customers and partners. Last week, however, the chipmaker released two detailed datasheets on the SoC, with no restriction or registration required. Both a functional spec datasheet and hardware spec datasheet were released, each of which is more like a manual than a typical datasheet.
We were tipped to the Marvell Armada 370 datasheet release by Linux training firm Free Electrons. The company is known here for its regular contributions of videos and slide decks from shows like the Embedded Linux Conference, released under a Creative Commons license.
Right now Linux gamers only have OpenGL renderers to exploit and recently OpenGL has come under a lot of scrutiny with one of the complaints being that it's too high-level compared to Mantle, DirectX 12, or even Apple's Metal. In terms of Mantle support on Linux, AMD has said in the past that it could come and they would like to see it come, but there are no active plans with no engineering resources being devoted to the process of actually porting it over to their Catalyst Linux driver but its feasibility is still being determined. This latest AMD Gaming blog post gives a bit more of a renewed hope that we could see Mantle on Linux given the reference and AMD's continued investment into this proprietary graphics API.
I’m not a big hardware guy. At all. Specs mean very little to me. However, Sean’s hardware is interesting, as it’s a Novena, something he developed himself. And of course, because he’s working with Linux, he’s able to get things to run pretty well. I have no idea what the future of the Novena is, but I love that people can make new devices that will be able to access familiar software and interfaces. Microsoft is making Windows cost-free for certain devices. It’s a smarter strategy than charging manufacturers, but until they let people get under the hood of the code, they’re going to have a hard time reaching new, experimental devices. Which is actually OK with me, since I’m happy to have Linux in as many places as possible.
AMD announced six new Embedded G-Series SoCs, featuring improved performance-per-Watt, on-chip security processors, and Mentor Embedded Linux support.
Following up on last month’s announcement of a new “Bald Eagle” generation of R-Series processors for high-end, multimedia-focused embedded processors, AMD unveiled new Embedded G-Series SoCs including what AMD classifies as “CPU solutions,” which are SoCs that include CPUs and I/O controllers, but without the GPUs of AMD’s earlier SoCs. The new parts are labeled with codenames “Steppe Eagle” and “Crowned Eagle,” respectively, for the SoCs with and without integrated GPUs. These new, more power-efficient embedded processors are pin-compatible with earlier models, which are still available.
Aaeon announced a compact, wireless IoT gateway that runs Linux on an Intel Quark X1000 Series SoC, and works in conjunction with an Asus Cloud Service.
The Aaeon “AIOT-X1000″ IoT gateway supports the Gateway Solutions for IoT architecture (aka “Moon Island”) unveiled by Intel in April. Aaeon’s product joins other “Moon Island capable” gateway systems previously announced by ADI, Adlink, Advantech, Eurotech, and Portwell, not to mention Intel’s own Gateway Solutions for IoT reference design. Although Intel’s reference design supports a choice of either Atom or Quark processors, Aaeon’s device, introduced this week at Computex in Taipei, casts its lot squarely with Quark.
When I set out to find a new laptop, I was looking for an ultrabook --a 13-inch powerhouse with plenty of battery life and a gorgeous screen. On top of everything, it had to run Linux.
That search led me to the System76 Galago UltraPro. Although not technically an ultrabook (it's too big, doesn't have ultrabook-level battery life, and doesn't contain a solid state drive). What it does have is elegance and power to spare...to the tune of besting most currently available ultrabooks. And, like all System76 devices, it runs Ubuntu Linux.
Let's take a look at what's good and bad with the Galago UltraPro.
The ultimate Linux gaming machine - aka Valve's Steam Machine won't be available until 2015. That's not good news.
The Steam Machines effort is a Linux powered gaming machine that could revolutionize console gaming and take on Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, if it ever gets out the door. Valve will have multiple hardware vendors partners building Steam Machines, but that's not the problem behind the latest delay.
Valve has just posted an update to the Steam Universe community. Long story short, they're back to experimenting with wireless controllers and are conducting live play tests with these new controllers. These play tests are generating a lot of useful feedback, but now with the time to incorporate these improvements, "we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014." Though it's a bit unclear whether this will hold back a majority (all?) of the Steam Machines or whether just the top-tier, best units are now a year away.