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Linaro 11.05 Beta Ubuntu images available

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I’m not sure why, but this release comes with more pride and relief than others before it. Linaro has done some tremendous things in its short inception but what is there now, coupled with what is planned for the future is truly awe-inspiring. Anyway, the announcement.

Hi,

Linaro is pleased to announce that the 11.05 Beta Ubuntu images are now
available to download.

After much blood, sweat and tears we now have a total of 10 different
boards supported (in our own unique hardware pack and board-neutral
rootfs architecture) along with a more focused 4 different images to try
out including the much coveted Ubuntu Unity interface on the Ubuntu Desktop
image. This is in addition to the small nano image, the tools rich
Developer image and the ARM Internet Platform (ALIP) image. A 2.6.38 kernel,
state-of-the-art Linaro toolchain and a whole host of ARM-related
improvements make for a thrilling release. What are you waiting for, go
download it now!

As always, if you have supported hardware, as found on:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-n/hwpacks/beta/

please help our initiative by testing the official Linaro Evaluation
Build (LEB):

Ubuntu Desktop:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-n/ubuntu-desktop/beta/

and our Developer images:

Nano:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-n/nano/beta/

ALIP:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-n/alip/beta/

Developer Tools:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-n/developer/beta/

As a side note, hwpacks that have an -lt- in their name are outputs from
the Linaro Landing teams, using some of their components.

Make your way to:

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

for an explanation on how to test and submit your results to the QA
tracker at:

http://qatracker.linaro.org

Written by Jamie Bennett

March 31st, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Linaro 11.05 Alpha-2 Released

with one comment

After a couple of last minute scares, Alpha-2 is out the door.

Hi,

The Linaro team is pleased to announce the availability of the 11.05
Alpha-2 images. These are still very early developer images but we
encourage all with supported hardware to use and test them by
downloading from:

http://releases.linaro.org/platform/linaro-n/

Highlights of this release include:

* Added Gumstix Overo support.
* New Developer image including console base developer tools.
* Complete rewrite of the installation tools (linaro-image-tools) to
improve the user experience.
* A staggering 141 out of 160 packages have been upgraded since
Alpha-1.

The images consist of two parts. A hardware pack which can be found
under the ./hwpacks directory which contains hardware specific packages
such as the kernel and bootloader. The second part is the rootfs which
is combined with the hardware pack to create a complete image. For
information on how to create an image please see:

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

More information on Linaro in general and the 11.05 plans can be
found at:

* Homepage: http://www.linaro.org
* Wiki: http://wiki.linaro.org
* 11.05: http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1105

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.linaro.org or irc.freenode.net

For any errata issues please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Releases/1105/Alpha2#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

Read more over on the Linaro wiki.

Written by Jamie Bennett

February 3rd, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Linaro, a “winning idea”

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Over on the Cadence blog, Joseph Hupcey III has a great quote about the role Linaro plays:

Linaro is such an obviously winning idea that it’s very surprising that this sort of initiative didn’t coalesce years ago. (If the gentle reader has some scars to prove their veteran status of earlier attempts at Linaro-like initiatives, I’d be happy to do an anonymized interview …) Whatever the history, ARM made it crystal clear that they are supporting Linaro any way they can.”

Written by Jamie Bennett

December 17th, 2010 at 11:34 am

Posted in Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

Tagged with ,

ARM Technology Conference 2010 videos

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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

Written by Jamie Bennett

November 12th, 2010 at 9:34 am

Posted in Conference,Linaro,Linux

Tagged with , , ,

Linaro 10.11 Released

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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

Written by Jamie Bennett

November 12th, 2010 at 9:08 am

Posted in Linaro,Linux

Tagged with , , , , ,

Linaro on the OMAP4 TI Pandaboard

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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.

Written by Jamie Bennett

October 21st, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Linaro,Linux

Tagged with , , , , ,

Planning and Executing the Linaro Cycle

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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.

Written by JamieBennett

October 12th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

ARM A15: A Game Changer

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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.

Written by JamieBennett

September 28th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Linaro Beta Released !

without comments

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

Written by Jamie Bennett

September 3rd, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Linaro Tools and Infrastructure Sprint

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ARM visitors badge

For the past couple of days I’ve been attending the first ever sprint held by the Linaro Tools and Infrastructure team. The sprint itself lasts all week but I arranged to be there for just Tuesday and Wednesday to find out what they had planned and to join up with a few guests.

This event is slightly different from what we typically do at Ubuntu sprints. The team hasn’t been together for that long so there was equal focus on both information sharing and collaboration. To that end, mornings were for presentations and discussion, afternoons for hands-on hacking.

A link to the whole schedule is here; for my account of what happened whilst I was there, read on.

Tuesday started with a discussion on image building by Michael Hudson. Often lively and full of good information, the key steps to producing the Linaro images was the focus of conversation. Two launchpad specifications cover this effort, the first, arm-m-image-building-tool concerns improving live-helper to accommodate Linaro’s needs, the second, arm-m-image-building-console aims to produce a web based front-end for the image building tools.

Zygmunt Krynicki‘s project entitled Validation Dashboard was next (slides can be found here). An ambitious project to produce a front end visual representation for various testing tools; this effort is of great importance as validation and correctness is paramount to the software releases Linaro makes.

Another requirement for Linaro is the ability to branch and rebuild parts of the Ubuntu archive. Linaro benefits from the great effort that is put into the Ubuntu archive but as Linaro’s needs are at times, different, being able to diverge without affecting Ubuntu itself is important. This effort is being lead by James Westby.

Tuesday morning finished with Paul Larson‘s testsuite and profiler presentation. Closely related to Zygmunt’s dashboard effort, Paul is working on combing the various testsuites and profiles into one big validation effort.

At this point the guys from Code Sourcery joined us to discuss toolchain’s and related tools. Will Deacon, Matthias Klose and David Rusling joined the conversation and many points were ironed out. Linaro will benefit from the great work Code Sourcery do around GCC and related tools, producing what we think will be the industry standard tool chain for ARM based devices. A lofty goal but everyone behind the effort is confident.

Talk on tools and toolchains continued to be the focus for the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday. Code Sourcery went away with a pile of work items and the Linaro members todo lists were equally full. There was just enough time Wednesday to sit down with Dave Rusling to formally sign off the technical requirements.

As one Linux Weekly News author put it,

the list of planned achievements for the five months before the release is quite ambitious … even completing a big chunk of it would be quite an accomplishment

We believe we can do it and with the great individuals such as those at the sprint this week, the 10.11 release will be something special.

Written by Jamie Bennett

June 10th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Linaro,Linux,Ubuntu

Tagged with , , , ,