It’s been a while since I don’t post anything, and the main reason is that I just got a new job and I’ve being pretty busy with it
After working at INdT for more than 2 years, I decided that it was time to move on, get back to Campinas, get closer with friends and family and start looking for a new job.
I had a quite good time at Recife, working with Mamona, Maemo and MeeGo, mostly helping bring up different ARM platforms to be used by the Institute in many different projects. The work was nice, but Recife can be hard to get through over the time. I’ll for sure miss the nice work place we’ve built, and the nice people I worked with.
About the new job, I’m quite happy to announce that I’m now working as a Software Engineer at Canonical. My main objective now is to help bringing Ubuntu into different ARM platforms, like beagleboard and the new pandaboard.
Canonical is awesome, and the people from the Ubuntu Platform Team is even greater. Had the opportunity to meet most of the people at the last Ubuntu Platform Sprint that was held at Prague, and it was awesome to see so many skilled and fun guys working together to improve Ubuntu.
That’s it, now it’s time to get back to work because we have a huge pile of cool and fun things to work on If you’re interested in understading, helping and participating on what we’re currently doing, get at #ubuntu-arm, freenode, and ping me (rsalveti)!
One of the latest board we’ve been playing with is the new STE U8500.
The U8500 is a smartphone platform created by ST-Ericsson, offering a dual ARMv7-A Cortex A9 core, with strong hardware decoding power and ARM Mali 400 GPU.
More about it’s features:
* Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported via OMX (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4)
* High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to XGA
* Simultaneous dual display support
* High performance 3D graphics, support for OpenVG 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0
* Dual camera support with Integrated ISP 18 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
* Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS enabled platform
* Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out
* Highly efficient, low-power ARM dual Cortex™- A9 processor
* Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
* High-bandwidth LP-DDR2 interface
* ARM Mali™ 400 GPU and NEON®CPU extensions
Now, about the things that interest me the most, the current status in Linux in general:
The kernel we’ve been working on is a vendor’s based one, using 2.6.29 as base. With this kernel we have many features implemented, like blitter support, framebuffer, hdmi output and many more.
At upstream side, the code is just starting to be merged, and you can see already some basic commits going on linux-2.6, like commits 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. STE seems to be doing a great job on getting the changes upstream, since it’s the only feasible way to make it supported in mid, long term in linux. So expect more changes at 2.6.34 and 2.6.35.
Similar with the kernel, we’re also using a custom vendor’s version. They’re just starting to make the support upstream, and you can find the patch series here.
Once we get the basic U-Boot and Linux support upstream, we can start working directly with mainline, fixing and improving it when needed.
Since we got the board we’ve been playing on supporting many different Linux platforms, and optimizing the basic Linux OS core to be commonly used by different distros.
We started with Maemo 5, as a proof of concept, and we got it up and running with a very good performance and hopefully soon we’ll be able to share more details.
OE Angstrom/Mamona is very easy to support, since we just need to create the machine configuration and use the same compilers already used by other ARMv7 architectures.
Personally I started testing Ubuntu Lucid release, and just got the very basic support, with a custom and simple image. Ubuntu is now a very good option since it’s targeting ARMv7 platforms, with compiler optimizations and Thumb2 support. NEON support is not included by default, but you can support it by compiling specific components by hand. For more information please check at ubuntu wikipage.
Meego also boots and runs fine at this platform, but since it’s just a basic OS ATM (armv5 only), doesn’t have anything interesting to play with.
Besides platform support, we’ve been working on creating the hardware accelerated X server video driver, to use EXA, DRI2 and Xvideo with overlay. Once we get it all running we can easily use it in any Linux distro we want, and X we’ll be accelerated by default.
Now the important question, where’s the code?
STE still didn’t deliver the main software in public, so we can’t just release the Kernel, U-Boot and other development that requires support from these software components. But this is changing, and I believe that very soon we’ll be able to get most of the things in public, so others can download and test if needed.
In the next posts I’ll be showing more about the status of these distros on this hardware, also showing the performance and demonstrating it.
Board I’ve being playing on:
root ~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 1 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 1199.30
processor : 1
BogoMIPS : 1199.30
Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0×41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0×1
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 1
Hardware : ST Ericsson U8500 Platform
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000
Links and videos about U8500:
* ST-Ericsson U8500
* ST-Ericsson U8500: PlayStation controller, PlayStation grap
* U8500 3D Video
After some people’s requests, it’s nice to hear that the BOSSA committee decided to extend the call for presentation to January 17, 2010.
This is the first year that the conference is doing a call for presentation, so if you are working with free and open source technologies related to mobile embedded platforms, please submit an abstract of your presentation at http://www.bossaconference.indt.org/.
The conference will be held in Manaus, Amazonas – Brazil, a different city from the other years. As always, it’ll be an awesome conference, having lots of interesting talks and people, and also the opportunity to hack and discuss new ideas
If you have something with Qt, WebKit, Android, OpenEmbedded, Linux Kernel, Maemo, etc, please, go there and try it out, I guarantee that if accepted, you won’t regret!
See you there!
For those who are going to FISL this year, I’m going to make a presentation about OpenEmbedded and Mamona, showing how the OE woks and also how OE can support so many different machines, distros and packages.
The presentation is going to happen this wednesday (24/06) at 17h. If you are planning to understand more about how the embedded environment works, learn about it’s problems and how OE is handling that, you can’t miss it
Besides the presentation I’m quite happy that I’m going to meet some good old friends. Hopefully we’ll learn more about what each other are doing and also to drink some beers together
See you all there
At this weekend I finally had some time to work on something that I was in debt for a while, a gentoo overlay for Mamona.
If you’re a Gentoo user and want to test and run Mamona at your favorite distribuition, you now just need to install Mamona overlay and emerge mamona-installer.
For installation procedure just access Mamona Gentoo Overlay wiki page.
List of ebuilds at the moment:
- libdebian-installer (required by cdebootstrap)
It’s been a while since I don’t post anything here. At this time I’ve been working hard at some internal projects inside INdT (also enjoying a small vacation seeing some old good friends ).
Today we just merged a lot of patches at Mamona tree, getting the most we can from other projects and pushing them upstream, so everyone could enjoy the work done.
Differences you’ll notice at the head revision:
- Network Manager 0.7
- New netm-cli version supporting NM 0.7
- New revisions for e-wm and efl
- Boot time improvements
- Image size improvements
- Lots of small improvements and bug fixing
Now (finally!) the next move is getting all patches and moving them to another branch, so we can push them to OE. It’s been a while since we want to work on this, let’s see how it goes now.
Will post here when we’ll start the work, so you can help us if you want
It has some good instructions explaining how to start playing with Mamona.
And remember, in case you need/want to understand Mamona better, just access Mamona’s Trac.
I’m really happy to announce the final release of Mamona 0.2!
We’ve been working very hard to accomplish what we wanted for the final release, since the 0.2-Beta release.
We could not delivery everything we wanted, but this is a major improvement from the latest release.
Some of the main highlights for 0.2:
- Improved SDK
- Xephyr support on SDK
- Full Emulation
- Virtual Keyboard
- Wireless Network with Network Manager API
- Command line interface for Network Manager
- Web browser: Midori
- New installer, with our own Qemu (don’t need to mess up with your system anymore
- Completely rewritten wiki documentation
- New Enlightenment wallpaper
You can find the installation instructions and much more at the Documentation wikipage.
And, as always, features planned for the next release:
- Rebase to the latest OE repository
- Push Mamona’s patches to OE
- Full support of QT 4
- Initial support for KDE 4
- Something to report the battery status to the user
- More machines: beagleboard
- ARMv7 support
- a newer gcc, glibc and other applications.
- more applications
- MDM – Mamona Device Manager
We’re also planning to make new releases more often, so wait for the next release soon
Please, try Mamona 0.2 and give us some feedback, so we can improve the platform for the next release.
And finally, a big thanks for everybody who helped making this release possible
These latest weeks we’ve been working to get the virtual keyboard on Mamona. We first studied Hildon Input Method and it’s framework, but it was not exactly what we wanted.
After researching a little more, with suggestion of trickie, we decided to try matchbox-keyboard, and realized that it was almost what we wanted, it’s simple, fast and doesn’t depend on any toolkit.
Then, we got to a final solution, that’s to let matchbox-keyboard working with enlightenment, and with the same behavior as maemo with hildon-input-method.
Here it’s a demo of what you get if you build the latest version of mamona (running on N770 :-):
We’re still working on to get matchbox-keyboard patches upstream, but, if you need them, you can get at mamona git repository.
Please, use it and test if everything is working fine, or at least as expected :-). In case you want to report any bug, please open a ticket at mamona’s trac and we’ll work on it as fast as we can :-).
Thanks Aloisio for working with Matchbox-Keyboard and Enlightenment, Lauro for working on the first draft of mamona-input-methods and Tiago Buarque for the applet icons!