Jamie Bennett Speaks

Thoughts from Jamie Bennett

ARM Technology Conference 2010 videos

Written by Jamie Bennett on November 12th, 2010 at 9:34 am in Conference,Linaro,Linux

A couple of videos from the ARM Techcon event in Santa Clara this week.

George Grey, Linaro CEO

Jesse Barker, Linaro Graphics Working Group lead

Linaro 10.11 Released

Written by Jamie Bennett on November 12th, 2010 at 9:08 am in Linaro,Linux

Phew !

Hi,

The Linaro team is pleased to announce the release of Linaro 10.11.
10.11 is the first public release that brings together the huge amount
of engineering effort that has occurred within Linaro over the past 6
months. In addition to officially supporting the TI OMAP3 (Beagle
Board and Beagle Board XM) and ARM Versatile Express platforms, the
images have been tested and verified on a total of 7 different platforms
including TI OMAP4 Panda Board, IGEPv2, Freescale iMX51 and ST-E U8500.

The advances that have happened in this cycle are numerous but include a
completely rebuilt archive using GCC 4.4.4 and the latest ARM optimised
tool chain, the Linux kernel version 2.6.35, support for
cross-compiling, a new hardware pack way of building images, 3D
acceleration improvements, u-boot enhancements and initial device tree
support, a new QA tracking structure, the list goes on. For a full
break-down of what was scheduled for the 10.11 release please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011/Blueprints

Thanks to everyone involved who made this happen. Here’s looking forward
to a sucessful 11.05 release.

To get Linaro 10.11
——————-

The 10.11 release can be found at:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-m/headless/final/

and when combined with a hwpack from:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-m/hwpacks/final/

using the instructions from:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/MilestoneBuilds

a installable image is produced.

For any errata issues please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011/Final#Issues

Bug reports for this release should be filed in Launchpad against the
individual packages that are affected, if a suitable package cannot be
identified, feel free to assign them to:

http://www.launchpad.net/linaro

The team has also produced 3 other non-supported images as part of a
community effort, they are:

* ALIP
* http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-m/alip/final/
* EFL based netbook
* http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-m/netbook/final/
* KDE based plasma handset
* http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-m/plasma/final/

These need to be combined with a hardware pack as above.

Next Steps
———-

Engineering effort has already started on the 11.05 cycle. For more
information on what Linaro will be doing this cycle please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1105

Getting involved
—————-

If you would like to help shape the Linux on ARM space and Linaro in
particular please take a look at:

http://wiki.linaro.org/GettingInvolved

About Linaro
————

More information on Linaro in general and the 10.11 release can be found
at:

* Homepage: http://www.linaro.org
* Wiki: http://wiki.linaro.org
* 10.11: http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011

Also subscribe to the important Linaro mailing lists and join our IRC
channels to stay on top of Linaro developments:

* Announcements:

http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-announce

* Development:

http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-dev

* IRC:
#linaro on irc.freenode.net

Regards,
Jamie.

Linaro Release Manager

Linaro on the OMAP4 TI Pandaboard

Written by Jamie Bennett on October 21st, 2010 at 4:13 pm in Linaro,Linux

Just a quick one.

A couple of days ago I intercepted a package meant for Marcin Juszkiewicz on the promise I would give him it back in a weeks time at the Linaro@UDS event. This package contained a shiny new TI OMAP4-based Pandaboard. Now, the run up to a UDS event is always super busy but I managed to steal a few hours here and there and with some last minute late night debugging with Canonical kernel engineer Lee Jones (borked UART settings in the end for those interested) the Linaro images now work on the Pandaboard. Special kudos to the Canonical ARM team who did all the heavy lifting to enable the Pandaboard in Ubuntu.

And before you say “it didn’t happen without pictures”, here they are.




Expect some video demo’s and more pictures of the various Linaro flavours soon.

Planning and Executing the Linaro Cycle

Written by JamieBennett on October 12th, 2010 at 3:50 pm in Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

The Linaro release cycle is similar to the Ubuntu one but does has some subtle differences, specifically around the planning stages. This presentation shows how Linaro plans, implements and finally releases software every six months.

The slides for this presentation can be found on slideshare.net and are available in many formats on my Linaro wiki page.

ARM A15: A Game Changer

Written by JamieBennett on September 28th, 2010 at 11:26 pm in Android,Linaro,Linux,Maemo,Ubuntu

ARM? Who are they?

ARM are a humongous company, not so much in employee numbers and site buildings, but in the number of actual products that their technology comes to market with. From a seemingly small number of incredibly smart people comes a sales figure of nearly 3 ARM chips for every man, woman and child on the planet, a huge feat that, with recent partnership announcements, and rumors galore, is only going to get bigger.

ARM shares have gone from a level of just over 135 this time last year to well over 400 today and with ARM’s Q3 2010 Earnings release due Oct 26th, I’m sure we will see continued growth. But why all the fuss?

ARM has been around for a long time. Smartphones, set-top boxes, even a robot or two so what is going so right for ARM lately? Well their deal with Apple for the strangely named A4 (cleverly stripped Cortex-A8, ARMv7-A core) which went into the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and is now the corner-stone of Apples iOS solutions has helped, a deal with Microsoft, dozens of ARM based Android phones, and the odd Maemo/MeeGo phone helps. But now we have a new era. A time where ARM are moving out of their comfort zone and competing with the likes of Intel and AMD on performance, but this time doing it with an eye to power consumption. There are a lot of exciting things going on at ARM, not to mention their huge focus on Linux with Linaro, but their recent announcement of the ARM A15 architecture got me excited more than others.

Low Powered, Multi-Core, High Performance

The A15 is billed as having:

Unprecedented levels of performance, power-efficiency, and technology leadership

and reading the technical specs one can only wonder what is in store for this architecture. Some of the highlights include:

    • Up to 2.5Gz clock speed
    • Chip fabrication down to 28nm
    • Address up to 1TB of memory
    • Hardware Virtualisation
    • Single to Quad core (and beyond) configurations
    • Suitable for everything from phones to servers

Possibilities

So looking at the specifications, where is this chip likely to land? Well, its not quite that easy to guess as the processor itself is so versatile. If one were to attempt a guess one could hypothesise that we will see at least phones and netbooks but more importantly tablets, laptops, and servers. The last three, maybe four are new to ARM. But a chip so capable has its uses.

    • For netbooks and laptops, a more powerful CPU is essential. Couple this with low power consumption and an increasingly powerful user experience from Ubuntu, Linaro and other Linux distributions equates to a great portable laptop device.
    • Tablets are the new buzz word. Android is the main contender to Apple at the moment although RIM have just announced their PlayBook and HP cannot be discounted with their acquisition of PALM and WebOS. If its not an Apple device then its most likely to be Linux based (unless its the QNX RIM tablet) and what better way to utilise that than to use a flavour that is highly optimised for ARM based Linux devices.
    • Servers are uncharted territory for ARM. Quietly, bubbling up amongst the tech crowd is the notion that vast arrays of hot, expensive to run, power-hungry x86 based servers could be replaced by cold, cheap, powerful ARM servers. For a company who pays millions (upon millions) of dollars for a server farm, saving money on both climate control to cool servers and their electricity bill is huge news. Couple that with the fact that ARM servers could be cheaper to purchase and you get a lot of buzz in this area. One such company that caught this curve early was SmoothStone. Expect to see a huge uptake in the interest of ARM based servers in the coming 12 months.

Conclusion

ARM based devices are ubiquitous, just like Linux. You may of not of even heard of ARM, just like you may not of heard of Linux, but making a phone call or searching on Google means you could already using their respective technologies.

ARM, just like Linux, is a quiet pioneer, prevalent in the background just waiting for the opportunity to become mainstream. Whether mainstream is the goal, prevalence most definitely is on the agenda.

Linaro Beta Released !

Written by Jamie Bennett on September 3rd, 2010 at 9:35 pm in Android,Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

Wow, we are at Beta already. There are still some tweaks and bug fixes planned before final, maybe a surprise or two, stay tuned.

Hi,

Another month, another release. Today sees the launch of the Linaro
Beta image which will in-turn become the final release in November.
The team have been working super-hard to ensure bugs are at a
minimum whist bring in new exciting functionality.

Highlights of this release include:

* Support for the ARM Versatile Express platform which supplements
the existing OMAP image.
* Support is now available for OMAP Beagle Board C3/C4, OMAP
Beagle Board XM, ARM Versatile Express, and with some
modifications OMAP Panda Board, IGEPv2, Freescale iMX51.
* Three new experimental seeds are available which enable the
headless image to be supplemented by a particular install
flavor:
o linaro-netbook-efl – Netbook user interface using the EFL based
netbook-launcher
o linaro-alip – A reduced size installation, see
http://linux.onarm.com/index.php/Main_Page for more details on
ALIP
o linaro-handset-plasma – A KDE/Plasma based user interface.
* 35 upgraded packages since alpha-3.
* Includes the 2.6.35 final kernel.
* Tested using the new QA Tracking infrastructure located at
http://qatracker.linaro.org/

More information on this development release as well as download and
installation instructions can be found at:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011/Beta

More information on Linaro in general and the 10.11 plans can be found
at:

* Homepage: http://www.linaro.org
* Wiki: http://wiki.linaro.org
* 10.11: http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011

Also subscribe to the important Linaro mailing lists and join our IRC
channels to stay on top of Linaro developments:

* Announcements: http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-announce
* Development: http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-dev
* IRC: #linaro on irc.freenode.net

For any errata issues please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011/Beta#Issues

Bug reports for this release should be filed in Launchpad against the
individual packages that are affected, if a suitable package cannot be
identified, feel free to assign them to:

http://www.launchpad.net/linaro

Regards,
Jamie.

Linaro Release Manager

LinuxCon 2010

Written by Jamie Bennett on August 24th, 2010 at 9:40 pm in Android,Conference,Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

Boston Skyline
This month I had the pleasure of attending LinuxCon in Boston. The event was a great success and I managed to get some face-to-face time with old and new friends alike, including the new Ubuntu Release Manager, Kate Stewart and the new Ubuntu Technical Architect, Allison Randal among others. I attended many, many sessions and even managed to catch up with one or two people to talk business but the sessions that stood out for me were:

A Technical Look at Linux at Oracle – Wim Coekaerts

Wim is a great speaker and the topic was new to me so I listened intently. Unfortunately Oracle followed up by promptly suing Google.

Mobile Linux: Adapting Practices, Driving Innovation, Collaboration, and Scalability – Rob Chandhok

Rob outlined Qualcomms Open Source effort. They do a lot of good work with Linux and their latest announcement, that they would be making an effort to consolidate work done in the ARM eco-sphere, echo’s what Linaro is tasked at achieving. I’m sure there will be a lot of overlap and collaboration going forward.

Android/Linux Kernel: Lessons Learned – Matthew Garrett

Matthew spent his time describing the failed attempt to get Android’s power management solution, suspend blockers, into the mainline kernel. It was a heated discussion at times but did highlight some failings on both Google’s and the kernel communities sides.

Linux Kernel Panel – James Bottomley, Jon Corbet, Dave Jones, Chris Mason, Ted Ts’o

Kernel panels, or round-tables, seem to be a common practice at many conferences and this was no exception. A good bunch of speakers, lots of questions from the audience including one or two on the status of the ARM kernel.
Kernel Panel at LinuxCon

Open Source Software Adoption Patterns in Enterprise IT – Jeffrey Hammond

Jeffrey fired of statistics and facts about the studies his company have been doing with regards to Linux adoption. The facts proved interesting with a trend for an accelerated Linux adoption from the pool of people he surveyed.

MeeGo: Where Are We Now – Dawn Foster

Dawn gave a high-level introduction to MeeGo, the project bearing the fruits of the collaboration between Nokia and Intel. Nothing new was discussed but the level of interest in MeeGo was evident by the full room.

Doing What it Takes: Current Legal Issues in Defending FOSS – Eben Moglen

Listening to Eben speak is a pleasure in itself, let alone listening to him talk about a subject close to the heart of many open source developers. For someone to stand there for 30 mins, without slides or prompts, never fumble a word and capture the attention of everyone in the room, Eben must be commended.

Selling the Value of Open Source When Cost is Not the Driver – Ravi Simhambhatla

Virgin America wouldn’t be my obvious choice when selecting a company that really utilizes and ‘gets’ open source but Ravi’s explanation of how they use it, where they were before open source, and what they have planned for the future was captivating. Virgin America really are revolutionizing their internal IT departments by using Linux and they have even bigger plans for the future.

Overall a good event, looking forward to the next one.

Launchpad, Work Item tracking, and Linaro Landing Teams

Written by Jamie Bennett on August 7th, 2010 at 9:51 pm in Launchpad,Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

Recently I was asked to give a couple of presentations. One is entitled “Launchpad and Work Item tracking” and is a short introduction to Launchpad and how we track work items, the other is “An overview of Landing Teams within Linaro” which introduces the Landing Team concept and offers insight into what a Landing Team for ARM could initially concentrate on. The slides from both presentations can be found on slideshare.net and are available in many formats on my Linaro wiki page.

Launchpad and Work Item tracking

An overview of Landing Teams within Linaro

Linaro Alpha-3 Released

Written by Jamie Bennett on August 6th, 2010 at 11:12 am in Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

Hot on the heals of the Ubuntu Alpha-3 announcement, please all welcome Linaro Alpha-3.

Hi,

Well, it’s that time again, please all welcome Linaro Alpha 3 into the
world. This will be the final release before the beta version arrives
at the end of August and signals Linaro’s continued maturity towards
the final November image.

Highlights of this release include:

  • A small Linaro headless image with basic OMAP3 beagle board support
    (reported working on other architectures with minimal changes).
  • A new software archive rebuild with GCC 4.4.4, CodeSourcery
    enhancements and ARM-related improvements.
  • Support for opengl ES development through MESA.
  • GPS support via gypsy and geoclue.
  • Netbook user interface capabilities with the latest EFL software
    stack.

More Information on this development release as well as download and
installation instructions can be found at:

    http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011/Alpha3

More information on Linaro in general and the 10.11 plans can be found
at:

  • Homepage: http://www.linaro.org
  • Wiki: http://wiki.linaro.org
  • 10.11: http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011

Also subscribe to the important Linaro mailing lists and join our IRC
channels to stay on top of Linaro developments:

  • Announcements: http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-announce
  • Development: http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-dev
  • IRC: #linaro on irc.freenode.net

For any errata issues please see:

    http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1011/Alpha3#Issues

Bug reports for this release should be filed in Launchpad against the
individual packages that are affected, if a suitable package cannot be
identified, please feel free to assign them to:

    http://www.launchpad.net/linaro

Regards,
Jamie.

Linaro Release Manager

The original announcement can be found here.

Linaro announcement at Computex

Written by Jamie Bennett on June 16th, 2010 at 1:42 pm in Linaro

The video announcing the Linaro initiative is now available on youtube.com.