Free Electrons’ Michael Opdenacker summed up the latest kernel shrinkage schemes as well as future possibilities at the Embedded Linux Conference.
Given the increasing malware attacks against Linux-based IoT devices, there is growing interest in integrity protection schemes, as well as system update mechanisms that support over-the-air (OTA) field upgrades. At the recent Embedded Linux Conference, Patrick Ohly, a software engineer at Intel GmbH, Germany, who works on the Yocto Project and the IoT Reference OS Kit for Intel(r) architecture, surveyed both topics and explained how they interrelate.
With attacks on the rise, embedded developers need a combination of proactive hardening with integrity protection schemes and regular system updates, among other security precautions. “Integrity protection ensures that your device only runs software that has been verified to be unmodified,” said Ohly. “But you can’t count on catching everything in advance, and there will be new vulnerabilities and attack methods, so that’s why you need system updates.”
Even if you're a newcomer to Linux, you've probably figured out that it is not a single, monolithic operating system, but a constellation of projects. The different "stars" in this constellation take the form of "distributions," or "distros." Each offers its own take on the Linux model.
To gain an appreciation of the plethora of options offered by the range of distributions, it helps to understand how Linux started out and subsequently proliferated. With that in mind, here's a brief introduction to Linux's history.
I'm announcing the release of the 4.10.13 kernel.
All users of the 4.10 kernel series must upgrade.
The updated 4.10.y git tree can be found at:
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
Also: Linux 4.4.64
VS Vision Systems has launched a trio of embedded systems that run Debian or OpenWrt on a TI AM3352. and offer mini-PCIe wireless options and optional VPN.
VS Vision Systems GmbH has tapped the tried-but-true, low-power Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352 SoC for its new line of fanless, Linux-driven Baltos iR embedded computers. The 154 × 104 × 50mm Baltos iR 5221 has two more Fast Ethernet ports than the Baltos iR 3220, and adds a USB 2.0 OTG port and CANBus port, but is otherwise identical. The 115 × 73 × 25mm Baltos iR 2110 is a more stripped down version that lacks the other devices’ mini-PCIe and SIM card slots, among other features. The systems are said to support remote monitoring and control applications, as well as general embedded computing.
In a recent announcement, the Linux Foundation project to build an open framework for IoT edge computing has said it’s added 135 members to its Hyperledger open blockchain initiative and 50 to its new EdgeX Foundry to unify the IoT Marketplace.
One of the most exciting advances in the Chromebook world was Google's announcement that certain Chrome OS devices would support Android apps. Google first started experimenting with Android apps on Chromebooks in 2014, but fully brought the Google Play Store to certain models in summer 2016.
KDE Plasma is getting web-browser integration initially for Google Chrome and is expected to be followed by Mozilla Firefox support.
A group of developers hope to unite several Linux-based mobile distributions with a common Android base that will make it easier for them to run on Android hardware.
The developers are aiming to create a better way for non-Android GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS, Plasma Mobile, and others to make progress in the context of porting an OS to Android hardware.
Raspberry WebKiosk 6.0 has been released today with a complete update of its underlying operating system, from Raspbian Wheezy to Raspbian Jessie Lite (a Debian Jessie derived OS for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer).
Raspberry WebKiosk is designed for the cheapest possible web kiosks and multi-user web workstations (think about using it in cafès, offices, schools, hotels, hospitals, libraries) with the Raspberry Pi base, where people can surf the web with a normal browser. It’s a port of the more powerful Instant WebKoisk system for PCs.
Gaming in Linux has evolved a lot in the past few years. Now, you have dozens of distros pre-optimized for gaming and gamers. We tested all of them and hand-picked the best. There are a few other articles and lists of this type out there, but they don’t really go into detail and they are pretty outdated. This is an up-to-date list with any info you’d need.
New forks of GNU/Linux come out all the time, but some, like the newly unveiled Project Halium, actively seek to unite a given landscape. In this case the mobile world. Rather than being yet another version of Linux on mobile devices, like SailfishOS or Ubuntu Touch, Project Halium’s goal is to create a base that anybody can work off of to integrate all sorts of Linux code into the Android stack smoothly. Ideally, Project Halium wants to not only build out a base framework that anybody can use to hook their Linux project into Android’s soft underbelly of code and run it on an Android device, but they want to be the de facto example of such, in much the same way that saying the word “Linux” out in public will make many people immediately think of Ubuntu.
In the last The Queue, I flipped the script and asked you questions as opposed to answering them. It was so well received, I'm going to keep it going with three more questions this month. I'll resume answering next month, so don't forget you can fill the queue with your questions about Linux, building and maintaining communities, contributing to an open source project, and anything else you'd like to know. While the previous two questions were a bit philosophical, this month we'll keep it fun.