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AMD and Intel (x86) in Linux

  • Linux 5.10 Adding Support For AMD Zen 3 CPU Temperature Monitoring

    The next version of the Linux kernel will allow monitoring temperatures of the upcoming AMD Zen 3 processors. While CPU temperature monitoring support may seem mundane and not newsworthy, what makes this Zen 3 support genuinely interesting is that it's coming pre-launch... This is the first time in the AMD Zen era we are seeing CPU temperature reporting added to the Linux driver pre-launch. Not only is it coming ahead of the CPUs hitting retail channels but the support was added by AMD engineers.

  • FFmpeg Now Supports GPU Inference With Intel's OpenVINO

    Earlier this summer Intel engineers added an OpenVINO back-end to the FFmpeg multimedia framework. OpenVINO as a toolkit for optimized neural network performance on Intel hardware was added to FFmpeg for the same reasons there is TensorFlow and others also supported -- support for DNN-based video filters and other deep learning processing.

  • Intel SGX Enclave Support Sent Out For Linux A 38th Time

    For years now Intel Linux developers have been working on getting their Software Guard Extensions (SGX) support and new SGX Enclave driver upstreamed into the kernel. SGX has been around since Skylake but security concerns and other technical reasons have held up this "SGX Foundations" support from being mainlined. There has also been an apparent lack of enthusiasm by non-Intel upstream kernel developers in SGX. This past week saw the 38th revision to the patches in their quest to upstreaming this support for handling the Memory Encryption Engine (MEE) and relates SGX infrastructure. [...] The Intel SGX foundations v38 code can be found via the kernel mailing list. The Linux 5.10 merge window is opening up next month but remains to be seen if it will be queued for this next cycle or further dragged out into 2021.

  • Intel SGX foundations
    Intel(R) SGX is a set of CPU instructions that can be used by applications
    to set aside private regions of code and data. The code outside the enclave
    is disallowed to access the memory inside the enclave by the CPU access
    control.
    
    There is a new hardware unit in the processor called Memory Encryption
    Engine (MEE) starting from the Skylake microacrhitecture. BIOS can define
    one or many MEE regions that can hold enclave data by configuring them with
    PRMRR registers.
    
    The MEE automatically encrypts the data leaving the processor package to
    the MEE regions. The data is encrypted using a random key whose life-time
    is exactly one power cycle.
    
    The current implementation requires that the firmware sets
    IA32_SGXLEPUBKEYHASH* MSRs as writable so that ultimately the kernel can
    decide what enclaves it wants run. The implementation does not create
    any bottlenecks to support read-only MSRs later on.
    
    You can tell if your CPU supports SGX by looking into /proc/cpuinfo:
    
    	cat /proc/cpuinfo  | grep sgx
    

Latest Progress on KDE Themes and KTechLab

  • Week report 0

    Hello every one in the KDE planet and beyond, this is the progress weekly report on O². So The week surprisingly started Monday and after the initial chock and accompanying usual work day at KDAB, I decided to do a little bit of progress on O² style mock ups...

  • Announcing KTechLab 0.50.0

    I’m happy to announce KTechLab release version 0.50.0. KTechLab is an IDE for microcontrollers and electronics. In this new release every user-visible functionality is the same as in previous releases, however, the codebase of KTechLab has been updated, so now it is a KF5/Qt5 application and it does not depend anymore on KDELibs4Support libraries. This release should compile and run on systems where KDELibs4Support libraries are not available. In its current state KTechLab’s codebase is ready for fixes and enhancements, as it only depends on modern libraries like KDE Frameworks 5 (KF5) and Qt5. As a side note, KF6 and Qt6 have been announced, and the first release of Qt6 has been scheduled to the end of 2020.

  • KTechLab git master doesn't depend on deprecated Qt5/KF5 API anymore

    KTechLab git master doesn’t depend anymore on deprecated Qt5/KF5 APIs. Thank you for everybody who made this possible! Using only up-to-date APIs should help with long-term maintenance of KTechLab and probably it helps distributors of KTechLab, too.

Review: Garuda Linux 200817

One of the more recent additions to the DistroWatch database is Garuda Linux, an Arch-based distribution that offers several enticing features. By default Garuda is intended to be run on the Btr file system, which offers all sorts of attractive features such as multi-disk storage volumes and snapshots. Btrfs has been paired with Timeshift on Garuda and the system is reported to take automatic snapshots before each package upgrade, making the system much easier to recover. I especially like the idea of having automated filesystem snapshots on a rolling release distribution such as Arch. The openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling release has offered automatic snapshots of the system prior to upgrades for a while now and it is nice to see this feature catching on in other projects. The Garuda distribution ships with the Calamares system installer to make setting up the operating system easier. We are also given a desktop tool for managing drivers and Garuda's website mentions proprietary NVIDIA video drivers are optionally available. Rounding out some of the key features, Garuda ships with the Zen Linux kernel with the goal of providing better desktop performance. Read more

Linux 5.9-rc6

  • Linux 5.9-rc6
    Another week, another rc, and things look fairly normal: the diffstat
    looks fairly flat (implying small changes) and we don't have any
    unusual amount of activity.
    
    The one thing that does show up in the diffstat is the softscroll
    removal (both fbcon and vgacon), and there are people who want to save
    that, but we'll see if some maintainer steps up. I'm not willing to
    resurrect it in the broken form it was in, so I doubt that will happen
    in 5.9, but we'll see what happens.
    
    The other stats also look normal: about 60% of the patch is drivers
    (and yes, the softscroll is a noticeable part, but not overwhelmingly
    so - there's sound, gpu, mtd, i2c, usb etc). And the usual arch
    updates, along with some vm fixes (including the fix for the
    performance regression noted last rc) and perf tooling updates.
    
    We also have a (test regression (not the performance one) in the VM
    that we know about - the test that triggers this was admittedly buggy,
    but if the test was buggy it is quite possible that real uses are
    buggy too. We don't actually have any known case of any such real user
    breakage, but we do have a nice fix for the test regression that is
    very  much the RightThing(tm) to do in the long run, so that has been
    actively discussed.
    
    We know what the fix looks like, and a few initial patches have been
    floating around, but a final patch doesn't exist yet, and depending on
    how that goes this might be something that pushes out the final 5.9 by
    a week. We'll see.
    
    So there's still some development going on, but honestly, that VM case
    is a very odd corner case that normal users should never hit, so it
    should not keep anybody from testing this in the meantime.
    
    Holler if you see anything odd,
    
                      Linus
    
  • Linux 5.9-rc6 Released With Soft Scrollback Removed, Performance Regression Fixed

    The sixth weekly release candidate to Linux 5.9 is now available with at least two notable changes in particular. Prominent in Linux 5.9-rc6 is the fix for the previously reported performance regression hitting 5.9. In case you missed it from the end of last week, see the article on controlling page lock unfairness as part of addressing the performance regression. That code is now in Linux 5.9-rc6 and the performance is back on track with Linux 5.8 while I will have out more benchmark numbers soon on the revised Linux 5.8 vs. 5.9 performance state.

  • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc6

    The 5.9-rc6 kernel prepatch is out.