CFP for the Embedded Linux Conference 2021 ends June 13th

Initially planned to take place in Dublin, Ireland, the unique edition this year of the Embedded Linux Conference will take place in Seattle, US and virtually from September 27 to September 30, 2021. See also the conference website. Bootlin CEO Thomas Petazzoni is again a member of the program committee for this edition of ELC.

Embedded Linux Conference 2021

This kind of event is only possible thanks to the talks proposed by its participants! As detailed on the Call For Papers, the last date to submit your proposals is June 13, 2021. There is really a wide range of suggested topics, and ELC is an excellent place to talk about advancements in the Linux kernel for embedded platforms, in user-space libraries and stacks relevant to embedded, about practical experiences in using Linux in embedded devices, about real-time, boot time, power management, build systems, open hardware, and more.

We look forward to seeing your proposals for ELC!

CFP open for Live Embedded Event #2

Back in December 2020, together with Smile, Logilin and Theoris, Bootlin organized and participated to the first edition of Live Embedded Event, a new 1-day online conference focused on embedded systems topics. Following the success of this first edition, we are now organizing a second edition of Live Embedded Event, which will take place on June 3rd, 2021. Like the previous edition, this event is free.

Live Embedded Event #2

The call for papers is open, and we are looking for talk proposals on a wide range of topics:

  • Software update and provisioning
  • Network connectivity (Long range / Short range)
  • Edge Computing / ML-AI
  • Security & Safety
  • RTOS and Embedded frameworks
  • Firmware, BSP and Bootloader
  • Internet Of Things / Cyber Physical Systems
  • Hardware: system-on-chips, interfaces, FPGA, open hardware
  • Linux kernel
  • Build systems: Yocto, OpenWrt, Buildroot
  • Development process, methods and tools
  • Embedded Linux
  • Real time

Two talk formats are proposed: 45 minutes talk + 15 minutes of questions, or 25 minutes talk + 5 minutes of questions. If you want to get a feeling of the talks that were accepted for the first edition, look at the Youtube channel of the event.

We look forward to your proposals for Live Embedded Event #2, and of course, to your participation!

Videos and slides of Bootlin presentations at FOSDEM 2021

The videos from Bootlin’s presentations earlier this month at FOSDEM 2021 are now publicly available. Once again, FOSDEM was a busy event, even if it was online for once. As in most technical conferences, Bootlin engineers volunteered to share their experience and research by giving two talks.

Maxime Chevallier – Network Performance in the Linux Kernel, Getting the most out of the Hardware

Abstract: The networking stack is one of the most complex and optimized subsystems in the Linux kernel, and for a good reason. Between the wild range of applications, the complexity and variety of the networking hardware, getting good performance while keeping the stack easily usable from userspace has been a long-standing challenge.

Nowadays, complex Network Interface Controllers (NICs) can be found even on small embedded systems, bringing powerful features that were previously found only in the server world closest to day to day users.

This is a good opportunity to dive into the Linux Networking stack, to discover what is used to make networking as fast as possible, both by using all the features of the hardware and by implementing some clever software tricks.

In this talk, we cover these various techniques, ranging from simple batch processing with NAPI, queue management with RSS, RPS, XPS and so on, flow steering and filtering with ethool and TC, to finish with the newest big change that is XDP.

We dive into these various techniques and see how to configure them to squeeze the most out of your hardware, and discover that what was previously in the realm of datacenters and huge computers can now also be applied to embedded linux development.

Here are PDF slides for this presentation.

Michael Opdenacker – Embedded Linux from Scratch in 45 minutes, on RISC-V

Abstract: Discover how to build your own embedded Linux system completely from scratch. In this presentation and tutorial, we show how to build a custom toolchain (Buildroot), bootloader (opensbi / U-Boot) and kernel (Linux), that one can run on a system with the new RISV-V open Instruction Set Architecture emulated by QEMU. We also show how one can build a minimal root filesystem by oneself thanks to the BusyBox project. The presentation ends by showing how to control the system remotely through a tiny webserver. The approach is to provide only the files that are strictly necessary. That’s all the interest of embedded Linux: one can really control and understand everything that runs on the system, and see how simple the system can be. That’s much easier than trying to understand how a GNU/Linux system works from a distribution as complex as Debian!

The presentation also shares details about what’s specific to the RISC-V architecture, in particular about the various stages of the boot process. This presentation shares all the hardware (!), source code build instructions and demo binaries needed to reproduce everything at home, and add specific improvements. Most of the details are also useful to people using other hardware architectures (in particular arm and arm64).

It’s probably the first time a tutorial manages to show so many aspects of embedded Linux in less than an hour. See by yourself! At least, that’s for sure the first one demonstrating how to boot Linux from U-Boot in a RISC-V system emulated by QEMU.

Here are PDF slides for this presentation.

Device Tree 101 webinar slides and videos

As we announced back in January, we have offered in partnership with ST on February 9 a free webinar titled Device Tree 101, which gives a detailed introduction to the Device Tree, an important mechanism used in the embedded Linux ecosystem to describe hardware platforms. We were happy to see the interest around this topic and webinar.

Bootlin has always shared freely and openly all its technical contents, including our training materials, and this webinar is no exception. We are therefore sharing the slides and video recording of both sessions of this webinar:

Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks to ST for the support in organizing this event! Do not hesitate to share and/or like our video, and to suggest us other topics that would be useful to cover in future webinars!

Bootlin at FOSDEM 2021: two talks, member of Embedded program committee

FOSDEM21Like all conferences in these times, FOSDEM will take place as an online, virtual event. For all the FOSDEM regular attendees, it will certainly be a very different experience, and for sure, we will all miss the chocolate, waffles, beer, mussels as well as the rainy, muddy, snowy, foggy and cold weather that characterize Brussels in early February. But nevertheless, knowledge sharing and discussions must go on, and FOSDEM will take place! As usual, FOSDEM takes place the first week-end of February, on February 6-7, and the event is completely free, with no registration required.

This time around, Bootlin is once again contributing to FOSDEM:

Make sure to check out the rest of the Embedded Devroom schedule, as well as the overall FOSDEM schedule.

Videos and slides of Bootlin’s talks at Live Embedded Event 2020

Yesterday, Bootlin co-organized and participated to the first edition of Live Embedded Event, a new online conference dedicated to embedded systems topics. In addition to co-organizing the event, we also gave four different talks at this conference, and we are happy to share the slides and videos of our talks.

Introduction video

The following video was presented during the introduction keynote of the event, where each sponsor and co-organizer could say a few words.

An overview of the Linux kernel and user-space graphics stack

Talk given by Bootlin engineer Paul Kocialkowski, slides available in PDF.

ASoC: Supporting Audio on an Embedded Board

Talk given by Bootlin engineer Alexandre Belloni, slides available in PDF.

Embedded Linux “from scratch” in 45 minutes…on RISC-V

Talk given by Bootlin founder and CEO Michael Opdenacker, slides available in PDF.

Device Tree: hardware description for everybody!

Talk given by Bootlin CTO Thomas Petazzoni, slides available in PDF.

4 talks from Bootlin at Live Embedded Event, December 3

As we announced back in October, Bootlin has participated to the organization of a new online conference around embedded systems: Live Embedded Event, which will take place on December 3. The registration is totally free, and the event will propose 4 tracks throughout the day, covering a wide range of topics. We encourage you to register and participate to the event!

Bootlin is not only co-organizing the event, but also has 4 talks that have been accepted:

  • An overview of the Linux and user-space graphics stack, by Paul Kocialkowski, Bootlin’s multimedia expert and author of our Linux Graphics training course. Talk abstract: Graphics with the Linux kernel is often perceived as a haystack, composed of many components that have complex interactions with eachother. While this is not always far from the truth, this talk will try to provide a clear overview of the different pieces in the stack and what their individual role is. Throughout the presentation, various APIs, protocols and software implementations will be demystified, covering both display and render aspects. This includes topics such as DRM, Wayland, Xorg, OpenGL, Mesa and more!
  • Embedded Linux from scratch in 45 minutes… on RISC-V, by Michael Opdenacker, Bootlin’s founder and CEO. Talk abstract: Join and discover how to build your own embedded Linux system completely from scratch. You will build your own toolchain, bootloader and kernel, this time on the Risc-V open Instruction Set Architecture, that you will run through a system emulated by QEMU. You will also build a minimal root filesystem by yourself thanks to the BusyBox project. You will finish by controlling the system through a tiny webserver. The approach will be to provide only the files that are strictly necessary. That’s all the interest of embedded Linux: you can really control and understand everything that runs on your system, and see how simple the system can be. That’s much easier than trying to understand how a GNU/Linux system works from a distribution as complex as Debian!
  • ASoC: audio on an embedded board, by Alexandre Belloni, Bootlin’s audio expert, Linux kernel and Yocto trainer, as well as kernel maintainer. Talk abstract: ASoC, which stands for ALSA System on Chip, is a Linux kernel subsystem created to provide better ALSA support for system-on-chip and portable audio codecs. It allows to reuse codec drivers across multiple architectures and provides an API to integrate them with the SoC audio interface. This talk will present the typical hardware architecture of audio devices on embedded platforms, how to integrate the audio codec and processor audio interface using device tree. Examples, common issues and debugging tips will also be discussed.
  • Device Tree: hardware description for everybody!, by Thomas Petazzoni, Bootlin’s CTO and co-maintainer of Buildroot. Talk abstract: The Device Tree has been adopted for the ARM 32-bit Linux kernel support almost a decade ago, and since then, its usage has expanded to many other CPU architectures in Linux, as well as bootloaders such as U-Boot and Barebox. Even though Device Tree is no longer a new thing, developers coming into the embedded Linux world often struggle to understand what Device Trees are, what is their syntax, how they interact with the Linux kernel device drivers, what Device Tree bindings are, and more. This talk will provide an introduction to the Device Tree, to jump start new developers in using this description language that is now ubiquitous in the vast majority of embedded Linux projects.

Note that we are aware of limitations of the platform that was chosen for the online conference: the details of the talks, and details about sponsors are only visible for people who registered. This is unfortunate, but we discovered this when it was too late to change the platform, together with a few other limitations. Let’s say this is a first edition, and regardless of those limitations, the selection of talks and contents is very promising!

Videos and slides from Bootlin talks at Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2020

The Embedded Linux Conference Europe took place online last week. While we definitely missed the experience of an in-person event, we strongly participated to this conference with no less than 7 talks on various topics showing Bootlin expertise in different fields: Linux kernel development in networking, multimedia and storage, but also build systems and tooling. We’re happy to be publishing now the slides and videos of our talks.

From the camera sensor to the user: the journey of a video frame, Maxime Chevallier

Download the slides: PDF, source.

OpenEmbedded and Yocto Project best practices, Alexandre Belloni

Download the slides: PDF, source.

Supporting hardware-accelerated video encoding with mainline Linux, Paul Kocialkowski

Download the slides: PDF, source.

Building embedded Debian/Ubuntu systems with ELBE, Köry Maincent

Download the slides: PDF, source.

Understand ECC support for NAND flash devices in Linux, Miquèl Raynal

Download the slides: PDF, source.

Using Visual Studio Code for Embedded Linux Development, Michael Opdenacker

Download the slides: PDF, source.

Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and packet timestamping in Linux, Antoine Ténart

Download the slides: PDF, source.

Live Embedded Event: a new online conference

Live Embedded EventIn these times of COVID19, pretty much all of the existing conferences have moved to an online format. For example, the Embedded Linux Conference Europe is going to take place next week, online, and Bootlin will significantly contribute to the event with no less than 7 talks on a wide range of topics.

But this trend for online conferences has also spurred the creation of new events. And specifically, we’re happy to announce the creation of a new conference oriented towards our favorite topic of embedded systems: Live Embedded Event. It will take place online on December 3 and will have a broader range of topics covered than ELC typically has, as Live Embedded Event is open to non-Linux embedded topics, hardware platform and interfaces discussions, and more.

The event is mainly organized by four French companies specialized in embedded systems, and we expect the contents to be a mix of talks in English and in French. Speaking of contents, the Call For Papers is open until November 10, so you can have the chance to share your knowledge about embedded topics, show your expertise, and meet new users and customers. And of course, you can also simply register as an attendee: the event is free !

Important links:

Bootlin at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2020

Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2020The schedule for the next Embedded Linux Conference Europe has been recently published, and Bootlin will once again be strongly present at this (virtual) event by giving a number of presentations. The registration for ELC-E is open, and due to the virtual nature of the event, the registration cost is only $50, which makes is accessible to pretty much everybody.

  • From the Camera Sensor to the User, the Journey of a Video Frame. In this talk, Bootlin engineer Maxime Chevallier will share his experience working in the Video4Linux subsystem, implementing support for the Rockchip camera interface controller, and a PAL/NTSC decoder used as the input source. Talk on Monday October 26 at 18:30 GMT.
  • Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded: A Collection of Best Practices. In this talk, Bootlin engineer, and Yocto Project expert and trainer Alexandre Belloni will share his experience of using Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded through a collection of best practices. There are indeed numerous ways of using OpenEmbedded and the Yocto Project, but some ways and solutions are better than others! Talk on Tuesday October 27 at 13:00 GMT.
  • Building Embedded Debian and Ubuntu Systems with ELBE. In this talk, Köry Maincent will share his experience using the ELBE build system, which can be used to automate the process of creating embedded Linux systems based on Debian or Ubuntu. Köry has contributed to ELBE the support for building Ubuntu systems, and has used ELBE on two different projects. This is an interesting alternative to the traditional cross-compilation approach taken by Yocto Project, OpenEmbedded or Buildroot. Talk on Tuesday October 27 at 15:15 GMT.
  • Using Visual Studio Code for Embedded Development. In this talk, Michael Opdenacker will share his experiments of using VS Code for embedded Linux development, which extensions are available to help navigate in the code, build and debug code, from kernel-space and user-space. Talk on Tuesday October 27 at 17:15 GMT.
  • Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Packet Timestamping in Linux. Antoine Ténart has implemented PTP support in both an Ethernet switch driver, and an Ethernet PHY driver, both in the upstream Linux kernel. He will share his experience about PTP, its support in Linux, and its offloading at the MAC and PHY level. Talk on Tuesday October 27 at 19:30 GMT.
  • Supporting Hardware-Accelerated Video Encoding with Mainline. After working on the HW-accelerated video decoding on Allwinner platforms as part of our crowdfunded effort, Paul Kocialkowski recently worked on HW-accelerated video encoding on Rockchip platforms. In this talk, he will share the issues encountered, and what needs to be resolved to create a useful kernel to userspace interface to properly support stateless video encoders. Talk on Wednesday October 28 at 16:15 GMT.
  • Understand ECC Support for NAND Flash Devices in Linux. Miquèl Raynal, the Linux kernel NAND subsystem maintainer, has recently worked on improving support for various strategies to handle ECC for NAND flash devices. He will share some background information on ECC, why they are needed, how and where ECC are typically handled, and how the Linux kernel deals with the different possibilities. Talk on Wednesday October 28 at 18:30 GMT.

In addition to contributing talks, Bootlin CTO Thomas Petazzoni is also a member of the ELC-E program committee: he reviewed, ranked all talk submitted for the conference and participated with the rest of the committee to the selection of the talks that are now scheduled for the event.

Even though we once again won’t have the chance to meet our fellow members of the embedded Linux community in person, we look forward to attending a set of great talks, and have interesting discussions during the Q&A and through the instant messaging platform that will be available around the conference.