I may go back to Linaro

Few days ago my manager asked me if I would like to go back to Linaro. This time not as ‘Linaro-but-Canonical engineer’ but as ‘Red Hat assigned engineer’. That made me thinking…

Those three years at Linaro were good time. Learnt a lot about cross toolchains, got possibility to work on bootstrapping AArch64 support in OpenEmbedded, Debian/Ubuntu and then Fedora/RHEL. Met many skilled people from around the world, travelled into places which I would probably not visit on my own.

Going back sounds good. From my discussions with few people from Linaro there is more and more AArch64 related work there (and I have some hardware at home) so my rusty arm32 skills can rust in peace. Have to take a closer look at what exactly is on a plate there to take and find some place.

So if you work for Linaro and will be at FOSDEM (or devconf.cz) then I would love to talk.

Running 32-bit ARM virtual machine on AArch64 hardware

It was a matter of days and finally all pieces are done. Running 32-bit ARM virtual machines on 64-bit AArch64 hardware is possible and quite easy.

Requirements

  • AArch64 hardware (I used APM Mustang as usual)
  • ARM rootfs (fetched Fedora 22 image with “virt-builder” tool)
  • ARM kernel and initramfs (I used Fedora 24 one)
  • Virt Manager (can be done from shell too)

Configuration

Start “virt-manager” and add new machine:

Add new machine

Select rootfs, kernel, initramfs (dtb will be provided internally by qemu) and tell kernel where rootfs is:

Storage/boot options

Then set amount of memory and cores. I did 10GB of RAM and 8 cores. Save machine.

Let’s run

Open created machine and press Play button. It should boot:

Booted system

I upgraded F22 to F24 to have latest development system.

Is it fast?

If I would just boot and write about it then there will be questions about performance. I did build of gcc 5.3.1-3 using mock (standard Fedora way). On arm32 Fedora builder it took 19 hours, on AArch64 builder 4.5h only. On my machine AArch64 build took 9.5 hour and in this vm it took 12.5h (slow hdd used). So builder with memory and some fast storage will boost arm32 builds a lot.

Numbers from “openssl speed” shows performance similar to host cpu:

The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed.
type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes
md2               1787.41k     3677.19k     5039.02k     5555.88k     5728.94k
mdc2                 0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00 
md4              24846.05k    81594.07k   226791.59k   418185.22k   554344.45k
md5              18881.79k    60907.46k   163927.55k   281694.58k   357168.47k
hmac(md5)        21345.25k    69033.83k   177675.52k   291996.33k   357250.39k
sha1             20776.17k    65099.46k   167091.03k   275240.62k   338582.71k
rmd160           15867.02k    42659.95k    88652.54k   123879.77k   140571.99k
rc4             167878.11k   186243.61k   191468.46k   192576.51k   193112.75k
des cbc          35418.48k    37327.19k    37803.69k    37954.56k    37991.77k
des ede3         13415.40k    13605.87k    13641.90k    13654.36k    13628.76k
idea cbc         36377.06k    38284.93k    38665.05k    38864.71k    39032.15k
seed cbc         42533.48k    43863.15k    44276.22k    44376.75k    44397.91k
rc2 cbc          29523.86k    30563.20k    30763.09k    30940.50k    30857.44k
rc5-32/12 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00 
blowfish cbc     60512.96k    66274.07k    67889.66k    68273.15k    68302.17k
cast cbc         56795.77k    61845.42k    63236.86k    63251.11k    63445.82k
aes-128 cbc      61479.48k    65319.32k    67327.49k    67773.78k    66590.04k
aes-192 cbc      53337.95k    55916.74k    56583.34k    56957.61k    57024.51k
aes-256 cbc      46888.06k    48538.97k    49300.82k    49725.44k    50402.65k
camellia-128 cbc    59413.00k    62610.45k    63400.53k    63593.13k    63660.03k
camellia-192 cbc    47212.40k    49549.89k    50590.21k    50843.99k    50012.16k
camellia-256 cbc    47581.19k    49388.89k    50519.13k    49991.68k    50978.82k
sha256           27232.09k    64660.84k   119572.57k   151862.27k   164874.92k
sha512            9376.71k    37571.93k    54401.88k    74966.36k    84322.99k
whirlpool         3358.92k     6907.67k    11214.42k    13301.08k    14065.66k
aes-128 ige      60127.48k    65397.14k    67277.65k    67428.35k    67584.00k
aes-192 ige      52340.73k    56249.81k    57313.54k    57559.38k    57191.08k
aes-256 ige      46090.63k    48848.96k    49684.82k    49861.32k    49892.01k
ghash           150893.11k   171448.55k   177457.92k   179003.39k   179595.95k
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa  512 bits 0.000322s 0.000026s   3101.3  39214.9
rsa 1024 bits 0.001446s 0.000073s    691.7  13714.6
rsa 2048 bits 0.008511s 0.000251s    117.5   3987.5
rsa 4096 bits 0.058092s 0.000945s     17.2   1058.4
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
dsa  512 bits 0.000272s 0.000297s   3680.6   3363.6
dsa 1024 bits 0.000739s 0.000897s   1353.1   1115.2
dsa 2048 bits 0.002762s 0.002903s    362.1    344.5
                              sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
 256 bit ecdsa (nistp256)   0.0005s   0.0019s   1977.8    538.3
 384 bit ecdsa (nistp384)   0.0015s   0.0057s    663.0    174.6
 521 bit ecdsa (nistp521)   0.0035s   0.0136s    286.8     73.4
                              op      op/s
 256 bit ecdh (nistp256)   0.0016s    616.0
 384 bit ecdh (nistp384)   0.0049s    204.8
 521 bit ecdh (nistp521)   0.0115s     87.2

FOSDEM and Devconf.cz trip

As two years and year ago I plan to make conference combo: FOSDEM in Brussels and then Devconf.cz in Brno. Weekend after weekend. But this time I want to make it different.

First I thought that will skip devconf.cz one. But this is quite important Fedora conference so checked how to make it cheaper that in previous years. And found out few deals and setup a trip which should be interesting.

From home to SXF and then with Ryanair to Brussels. Visit friends, meet friends, make some beers, attend talks, discuss with strange and familiar people — like each time during FOSDEM.

Then fly to Bratislava, Slovakia (Ryanair from CRL) and stay there for few days. Visit some places, do some Ingress missions, buy fridge magnet — typical tourist stuff.

From there take a train to Brno. Stay at some cheap ho(s)tel, attend devconf.cz conference, do some beers, meet friends etc. Like on normal conference.

And from there go back home by train. With one hour break at Berlin Hbf station.

Have to fill a form to arrange PTO for Bratislava and buy some tickets. Hope that it will be fun trip.

2015 timeline

2016 started so it is a good moment for post about previous year. I did that every year except last one (for several reasons).

January

  • After sorting out hardware issues I started X11 on AArch64. On old, crappy Matrox G550 card but it was a start. Now I use Radeon HD5450 and have 2D/3D acceleration ;D
  • Became “proven packager” in Fedora which means that I can commit changes to any package there.
  • One of my friends asked for Realtek 8029 (10Mbps Ethernet card) for his retro machine. I asked few people and ended with sending 20kg package to Piotr. Few computers, hard drives, optical drives, floppy drives, few GB of memory of different type etc. But no RLT8029…
  • Managed to visit some strange places just because I drove with Google Maps in the night… It does not handle “turn around and drive back” method ;(

February

  • Bought LG G3 phone as my Nexus 5 was driving me nuts. Few months later I got new N5 from Google (sold it to friend), replaced battery in broken one and gave it to my wife.
  • Attended FOSDEM (again) and Devconf.cz conferences. Walked a lot thought Brno, visited Red Hat Czech office where I met few coworkers.
  • Sold Wandboard Quad board.
  • Linaro announced 96boards project and presented HiKey. I wrote few words about it and have to admit that I am still sceptical when it comes to this project.
  • Ate burger in a doughnut on Fat Thursday. Interesting, tasty. Hope to repeat one day.

March

  • Visited Hannover, Germany to play Ingress. Lot of fun and driving.
  • Pinkiepie (APM Mustang, my AArch64 devmachine) needed 7 minutes to boot due to some PCI error ;D

April

  • Attended Open Source Day conference in Warsaw. Nice hallway track talks — especially one with IBM guy about POWER8 and ppc64le.
  • I was asked “How do you run VMS on AArch64???” few times after I wrote how to run virtual machines on Fedora/AArch64. All because of url ;D

May

  • Started playing Resources game. After few days made page with some helpers ;D
  • Bought new tablet — Lenovo S8 (Intel Atom powered, Android). Was good decision.
  • Saw amazing demo called “8088 MPH” which requires real IBM 5160 PC with CGA. Now I have CGA at home but still not PC/XT machine.
  • This month we got something more enterprise with AArch64 support — CentOS/AArch64. So I had to test and post about it.
  • Fedora 22 got released with working AArch64 installer.

June

July

  • Vacations part I. Took my daughter for a trip. Visited dinosaurs park, some old castles and visited family. While we were in Olecko I added set of Ingress missions there. Doing them was fun ;)
  • Visited one retro computing event.

August

  • Vacations part II. First Reykjavík, Iceland for a day — met local Ingress players, visited what was possible in short amount of time. Then Boston/Cambridge/Salem, Massachusetts for nearly a week — again lot of walking. Met Jon Masters, drank some crazy “beer with ice cream shake” and had lot of fun.
  • Next was Flock conference in Rochester, NY. Lot of Fedora people from USA/Canada who never went for European conferences. Played “Cards against humanity” — have to finally buy a set.
  • Then Niagara Falls, Canada for 24 hours. Crazy trip, lot of photos, free flu ;D
  • Toronto was fun as well. Went for few interesting walking trips, visited local hackerspace. Even had good beer!
  • Created table with syscall number for different architectures — contact me if it needs updates.
  • Found out why XServer does not start automatically on AArch64 with PCIe gfx card and digged into it again and again.

September

  • Visited “Riverwash” demoscene party in Kraków, Poland.
  • Week with AArch64 as a desktop machine: day one, day two, last day. We are not there yet.
  • Few posts “from a diary of AArch64 porter”: POSIX.1, PAGE_SIZE, VFP precision.
  • Google released Pixel C — first laptop-like device with AArch64. Too expensive for development machine.

October

  • Visited “Retrokomp” event and “Load Error” demoscene party in Gdańsk, Poland. Saw next set of old Polish computers. Time to switch to computers from 50-70s as retro ;D
  • Hacked broken USB cable to be power/reset buttons for APM Mustang.

November

  • Visited Hamburg, Germany to play Ingress. Lot of fun and driving. Met Alexander Sack under his house just after he left home for a smoke ;D
  • Passed ten thousand of visited portals in Ingress. After two and half year of playing.
  • Went for Microsoft Expert Summit conference and then for Jesień Linuksowa (“Linux Autumn”). Why me on MS one? Friend had a talk there and we were sharing a car ;)
  • RHEL Server for ARM 7.2 Development Preview got released
  • Wrote short note why Fedora 23 does not support several popular boards.
  • Got Roseapple/Pi developer board. 3.10 kernel only, ancient U-Boot, no signs of any activity. Went to drawer.

December

  • Bought myself a TV set. Then hacked it to work with my bluetooth headphones so I can watch movies when other people sleep ;D
  • After few years switched theme on blog.

Ian Murdock passed away

I am not writing after people outside of my family die but when I read that Ian Murdock is no longer with us I got a feeling that I have to write few words.

Never met him but lot of things in my FOSS career happened because of his most famous project: Debian. For those who do not know: he was “ian” while “Deb” was from his girlfriend name Debra.

First GNU/Linux distribution installed: Debian. First on Amiga 1200, then on PC (where it was my main operating system for years). My first package was made for Debian (“tex-skak” – already removed from archive). I was considering applying for Debian Developer status but found OpenEmbedded first.

Debian way of handling non-free packages was something which allowed me to freely hack on anything I wanted as I knew that I can because someone else already checked licenses. Try that in PalmOS or Microsoft Windows worlds.

Sure, there were other distributions (Slackware, Red Hat Linux) in 90s but it was Debian which brought me to FOSS world. And still is my favorite (despite working for Red Hat).

New theme

From time to time I feel that it is a good moment to change view of my blog — this time to modified “Twenty Sixteen” theme.

What got modified? As usual categories got removed, switched fonts to serif ones, some paddings edited and text got justified. Just to fit better to my taste.

Also got rid of several plugins I used. No more comments from Google+ – want to comment, then standard WordPress form is present. Also moved to “Autoptimize” plugin for minifying CSS and Javascript files.

This theme has to stay for next few years ;D