Category: Linux

  • March 22, 2018 - Shuah Khan

    Let’s Talk Artificial Intelligence

    There has been a lot of buzz around Artificial Intelligence as Bixby, Alexa, and Siri become household names. Today, self driving cars share the roads with human drivers, hog farms keep an “artificial eye” on the vitals of individual animals in the pens, and soon enough we’ll be able to monitor heart health by staring into your eyes as a substitute to being hooked up to an EKG machine. I wanted to know how this is happening and learn about the brain behind all of these advancements, so I recently set out to understand and learn the landscape of various Linux AI projects including NuPIC, Caffe and TensorFlow.  This post will cover some of the important things I learned about each of these platforms. NuPIC NuPIC stands for Numenta Platform for Intelligent Computing, and I found the theory behind it to be fascinating. It’s an implementation of Hierarchical Temporal Memory […]

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  • March 13, 2018 - Phil Coval

    How to Run IoT.js on the Raspberry PI 0

    IoT.js is a lightweight JavaScript platform for building Internet of Things devices; this article will show you how to run it on a few dollars worth of hardware. The First version of it was released last year for various platforms including Linux, Tizen, and NuttX (the base of Tizen:RT). The Raspberry Pi 2 is one of the reference targets, but for demo purposes we also tried to build for the Raspberry Pi Zero, which is the most limited and cheapest device of the family. The main difference is the CPU architecture, which is ARMv6 (like the Pi 1), while the Pi 2 is ARMv7, and the Pi 3 is ARMv8 (aka ARM64). IoT.js upstream uses a python helper script to crossbuild for supported devices, but instead of adding support to new device I tried to build on the device using native tools with cmake and the default compiler options; it […]

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  • February 16, 2018 - Marcel Hollerbach

    Common EFL Focus Pitfalls

    I started patching the focus subsystem of the EFL widget toolkit quite some time ago. During this time, people have started to assign me everything that somehow looks like an issue with focus, it sometimes only takes the existence of the word “focus” somewhere in a backtrace for this to happen. I’ve discovered that most people mix up these different types, so in this blog post I hope to provide some clarity about them. How EFL Gets Focused There are 3 different places focus happens in EFL: ecore-evas – the window manager abstraction evas – the canvas library elementary – the widget toolkit. First of all, I should point out what focus itself is, I think a good example is to consider your typical smartphone interaction. While interacting with your smartphone, your complete attention is given to its screen and all interactions are with the interface of the device; you […]

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  • January 26, 2018 - Cedric Bail

    How to Securely Encrypt A Linux Home Directory

    These days our computer enables access to a lot of personal information that we don’t want random strangers to access, things like financial login information comes to mind. The problem is that it’s hard to make sure this information isn’t leaked somewhere in your home directory like the cache file for your web browser. Obviously, in the event your computer gets stolen you want your data at rest to be secure; for this reason you should encrypt your hard drive. Sometimes this is not a good solution as you may want to share your device with someone who you might not want to give your encryption password to. In this case, you can  encrypt only the home directory for your specific account. Note: This article focuses on security for data at rest after that information is forever out of your reach, there are other threat models that may require different […]

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  • January 19, 2018 - Chris Michael

    EFL Multiple Output Support with Wayland

    Supporting multiple outputs is something most of us take for granted in the world of X11 because the Xorg team has had years to implement and perfect support for multiple outputs. While we have all enjoyed the fruits of their labor, this has not been the case for Wayland. There are two primary types of multiple output configurations that are relevant: cloned and extended outputs. Cloned Outputs Cloned output mode is the one that most people are familiar with. This means that the contents of the primary output will be duplicated on any additional outputs that are enabled.  If you have ever hot plugged an external monitor into your Windows laptop, then you have seen this mode in action. Extended Outputs Extended output mode is somewhat less common, yet still very important. In this mode, the desktop is extended to span across multiple outputs, while the primary output retains sole […]

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  • IoTivity 1.3.1 has been released, and with it comes some important new changes. First, you can rebuild packages from sources, with or without my hotfixes patches, as explained recently in this blog post. For ARM users (of ARTIK7), the fastest option is to download precompiled packages as .RPM for fedora-24 from my personal repository, or check ongoing works for other OS. Copy and paste this snippet to install latest IoTivity from my personal repo:

    I also want to thank JFrog for proposing bintray service to free and open source software developers. Standalone Apps In a previous blog post, I explained how to run examples that are shipped with the release candidate. You can also try with other existing examples (rpm -ql iotivity-test), but some don’t work properly. In those cases, try the 1.3-rel branch, and if you’re still having problems please report a bug. At this point, you should know […]

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  • December 22, 2017 - Chris Michael

    EFL: Enabling Wayland Output Rotation

    The Enlightenment Foundation Libraries have long supported the ability to do output rotation when running under X11 utilizing the XRandR (resize and rotate) extension. This functionality is exposed to the user by way of the Ecore_X library which provides API function calls that can be used to rotate a given output. Wayland While this functionality has been inside EFL for a long time, the ability to rotate an output while running under the Enlightenment Wayland Compositor has not been possible. This is due, in part, to the fact that the Wayland protocol does not provide any form of RandR extension. Normally this would have proved a challenge when implementing output rotation inside the Enlightnement Wayland compositor, however EFL already has the ability to do this. Software-Based Rotation EFL’s Ecore_Evas library, which is used as the base of the Enlightenment Compositor canvas, has the ability to perform software-based rotation. This means […]

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  • December 14, 2017 - Shuah Khan

    One Small Step to Harden USB Over IP on Linux

    The USB over IP kernel driver allows a server system to export its USB devices to a client system over an IP network via USB over IP protocol. Exportable USB devices include physical devices and software entities that are created on the server using the USB gadget sub-system. This article will cover a major bug related to USB over IP in the Linux kernel that was recently uncovered; it created some significant security issues but was resolved with help from the kernel community. The Basics of the USB Over IP Protocol There are two USB over IP server kernel modules: usbip-host (stub driver): A stub USB device driver that can be bound to physical USB devices to export them over the network. usbip-vudc: A virtual USB Device Controller that exports a USB device created with the USB Gadget Subsystem. There is one USB over IP client kernel module: usbip-vhci: A […]

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  • SPDX

    December 1, 2017 - Mauro Carvalho Chehab

    Linux Kernel License Practices Revisited with SPDX®

    The licensing text in the Linux kernel source files is inconsistent in verbiage and format. Typically, in each of its ~100k files there is a license text that describes which license applies to each specific file. While all licenses are GPLv2 compatible, properly identifying the licenses that are applicable to a specific file is very hard. To address this problem, a group of developers recently embarked on a mission to use SPDX® to research and map these inconsistencies in the licensing text. As a result of this 10 month long effort, the Linux 4.14 release includes changes to make the licensing text consistent across the kernel source files and modules. Linux Kernel License As stated on its COPYING file, the Linux kernel’s default license is GPLv2, with an exception that grants additional rights to the kernel users:

    The kernel’s COPYING file produces two practical effects: User-space applications can use non-GPL […]

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  • November 29, 2017 - Phil Coval

    Building IoTivity for ARM on ARTIK Devices

    There are several options to build IoTivity for ARM targets or any non x86 hardware, but first you have to decide which operating system you want to use. In this article, I won’t compare OS or devices; instead, I’ll give a couple of hints that apply to ARTIK 5, 7, and 10 devices (not the ARTIK 0 family, which run TizenRT). These steps can also be applied to other single board computers like the Raspberry PI. Build for Tizen with GBS The first and easiest way to build IoTivity is for Tizen, using GBS. This process was explained in a previous article on this blog: An Introduction to Tizen Development on ARTIK For your knowledge, GBS was inspired by Debian’s git-build-package and uses an ARM toolchain that runs in a chrooted ARM environment using QEMU. Both ARTIK boards and the Raspberry Pi are used as Tizen reference platforms. Build for […]

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