New training course on Buildroot: materials freely available

Buildroot LogoLast year, Bootlin launched a new training course on using the Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded to develop embedded Linux systems. In the selection of build system tools available in the embedded Linux ecosystem, another very popular choice is Buildroot, and we are happy to announce today that we are releasing a new 3 days training course on Buildroot!

Bootlin is a major contributor to the Buildroot upstream project, with more than 2800 patches merged as of May 2015 (including the ones contributed with our previous name). Our engineer Thomas Petazzoni alone has contributed more than 2700 patches. He has gathered an extensive knowledge of Buildroot and its internals, being one of the primary authors of the core infrastructures of Buildroot. He is a major participant to the Buildroot community, organizing the regular Buildroot Developer Days, supporting users through the mailing list and on IRC. Last but not least, Thomas acts as an interim maintainer when the main Buildroot maintainer is not available, an indication of Thomas strong involvement in the Buildroot project.

In addition, Bootlin has used and is using Buildroot in a significant number of customer projects, giving us an excellent view of Buildroot usage for real projects. This feedback has been driving some of our Buildroot contributions over the last years.

The 3 days training we have developed covers all the aspects of Buildroot: basic usage and configuration, understanding the source and build trees, creating new packages including advanced aspects, analyzing the build, tips for organizing your Buildroot work, using Buildroot for application development and more. See the detailed agenda.

buildroot-slidesWe can deliver this training course anywhere in the world, at your location (see our rates and related details). We have also scheduled a first public session in English in Toulouse, France, on November 30 to December 2. Contact us at if you are interested.

And finally, last but not least, like we do for all our training sessions, we are making the training materials freely available under a Creative Commons BY-SA license, at the time of the training announcement: the first session of this course is being given this week. For the Buildroot training, the available materials are:

Our materials have already been reviewed by some of the most prominent contributors to Buildroot: Peter Korsgaard (Buildroot maintainer), Yann E. Morin, Thomas De Schampheleire, Gustavo Zacarias and Arnout Vandecappelle. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their useful comments and suggestions in the development of this new training course.

Linux 3.18 released, Bootlin 13th contributing company

PenguinLinus Torvalds has recently released the 3.18 version of the Linux kernel. As usual, made an excellent coverage of the merge window: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

As of 3.18-rc6, gathered some statistics about the 3.18 kernel contributions, and Bootlin is ranked as the 13th contributing company for this release in number of patches (see the statistics), right after MEV Limited and before Qualcomm.

A quick summary of our contributions:

  • Improvements to the support of Atmel ARM processors: addition of a memory driver for the RAM controller (Alexandre Belloni), improvements to the irqchip driver to support the new SAMA5D4 processor (Alexandre Belloni), updates to the defconfigs (Alexandre Belloni), new clock driver for the SAMA5D4 processor (Alexandre Belloni), preparation work for multi-platform (Boris Brezillon), numerous fixes to clock drivers (Boris Brezillon), NAND driver improvements (Boris Brezillon), new reset and poweroff drivers and moved all the corresponding logic to a Device Tree based description (Maxime Ripard), refactoring of the clocksource driver and move to the proper drivers/clocksource directory (Maxime Ripard).
  • Improvements to the support of Marvell EBU ARM processors: XOR driver improvements (Ezequiel Garcia), pin-muxing description in Device Tree for more platforms (Ezequiel Garcia), support for the RTC on Armada 375 (Grégory Clement), support for the Spread Sprectrum Generator on Armada 370 (Grégory Clement), improvements to the support of the Armada 370 RD platform (Thomas Petazzoni), extensions to the cpufreq-dt driver to support platforms with independent clocks for each CPU, various fixes.
  • Improvements to the support of Marvell Berlin ARM processors: add support for the Ethernet controller by re-using the existing pxa168_eth driver (Antoine Ténart).
  • Improvements to the support of Allwinner ARM processors: addition of the support for a phase property to the Common Clock Framework, and usage in the context of the MMC clock on Allwinner processors (Maxime Ripard).
  • Various small UBI improvements (Ezequiel Garcia).
  • A number of trivial fixes: removal of IRQF_DISABLED, typo fixes, etc. (Michael Opdenacker).

The detailed list of the patches we have contributed:

Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded training materials published

Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded trainingAs we announced in out latest newsletter, we recently launched a new Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded development training course.

The first public session will take place in Toulouse, France on November 18-20 and we still have a few seats available. We can also deliver on-site sessions at the location of your choice, see our Training cost and registration page for more details.

However, what brings us here today is that we are happy to announce the release of all the training materials of this new course: like all Bootlin training materials, they are available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.

Fully committed to its knowledge sharing principles, Bootlin has chosen to publish those materials even before the first session has taken place.

The materials available are:

We of course welcome reviews, feedback and comments about these materials, in order to improve them where needed. Send us your comments!

Linux 3.17 released, Bootlin 14th contributing company

PenguinLinux 3.17 has been released a few days ago. One can read the coverage of the 3.17 merge window by LWN (part 1 and part 2) to get some details about the new features brought by this kernel release.

As usual, Bootlin has continued to contribute a significant number of patches to this kernel release, even though with 147 patches, our contribution has been less important than for the 3.16 release for which we contributed 388 patches. With 147 patches merged, Bootlin is the 14th contributing company by the number of patches, according to the statistics.

Our contributions remain mainly focused on support for various families of ARM processors:

  • For the Atmel processors
    • Switched to use the generic PWM framework instead of custom PWM drivers. This allowed to remove three obsolete drivers (a backlight driver, a LED driver and a misc driver). This work was done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Continue the migration to the common clock framework, by adding clock information to a large number of Atmel boards. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Migration of the interrupt controller driver from arch/arm/mach-at91 to drivers/irqchip. Done by Boris Brezillon.
  • For the Marvell EBU processors (Armada 370, 375, 38x, XP)
    • Addition of the mvpp2 network driver, which is used on the Armada 375 SoC. This work was done by Marcin Wojtas from Semihalf, with a lot of review, help and debugging done by Ezequiel Garcia.
    • Addition of cpuidle support for Armada 370 and Armada 38x. This work was done by Grégory Clement and Thomas Petazzoni.
    • Preparation work to enable cpufreq on Armada XP was merged. However the feature cannot be enabled yet due to missing features in the cpufreq-cpu0 driver. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.
  • For Marvell Berlin processors
    • SMP support has been added. Done by Antoine Ténart.
    • Description of the I2C controller has been added to the Device Tree. Done by Antoine Ténart.
    • Support for AHCI has been added. Also done by Antoine Ténart.
  • For Allwinner processors
    • New DMA controller driver for the DMA engine of the Allwinner A31 SoC. Done by Maxime Ripard.
    • A number of fixes and improvements to the pin-muxing driver for Allwinner platforms. Done by Maxime Ripard.
    • Support for the Merrii A31 Hummingbird board has been added. Done by Maxime Ripard.
  • Other changes
    • Addition of a helper function to convert an ONFI timing mode into the according NAND timings. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • Addition of a driver for the Foxlink FL500WVR00-A0T panel. Done by Boris Brezillon.

The detailed list of our contributions:

Linux 3.16 released, Bootlin 7th contributing company

Linus Torvalds has released the 3.16 kernel a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the KernelNewbies LinuxChanges page has not been updated, but summaries of the merge window (part 1, part 2 and final part) give a good summary of the important changes available in Linux 3.16.

On Bootlin’sside, 3.16 has been our most active kernel cycle ever: we have merged 388 patches in this cycle, making Bootlin the 7th company contributing to the Linux kernel by number of patches according to the statistics. Bootlin is ranked right after Texas Instruments, and before Novell, Renesas or Google. (Note that the statistics rank Bootlin as 9th, but this includes the “Unknown” and “Hobbyists” categories which are not companies). This strong participation clearly shows Bootlin’sability to get code merged in the mainline Linux kernel, as we’ve progressively done since kernel 3.6 over the last two years.

We are therefore available to help companies willing to add support for their hardware (processor, system-on-chip, module, or board) to the mainline Linux kernel. Do not hesitate to contact to get the discussion started.

Our major contributions have again been focused on the support of various ARM processor families:

  • On the Atmel SoC family
    • Conversion of the SAM9RL processor to the Device Tree. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Huge cleanup of ADC/touchscreen handling: improvements in the IIO at91_adc driver to support more SoC families, and conversions of several Atmel platforms to use this driver, and then finally removal of the old atmel_tsadcc driver. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Numerous fixes to the clock handling on various SoCs, following their conversion to the Common Clock Framework. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Conversion of the SAM9RL, SAM9x5 and SAM9n12 SoCs to the Common Clock Framework. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • Boris Brezillon is now one of the official maintainers for AT91 clock support.
  • On the Allwinner SoC family
    • Addition of PWM support to sun4i and sun7i. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Addition of SMBus support to the regmap subsystem. This was needed to support the P2WI bus of Allwinner A31. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • New I2C driver for the P2WI bus of Allwinner A31, used to communicate with the PMIC. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • Improvements to the Allwinner pinctrl driver needed to support the P2WI bus. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • Addition of a driver for the PRCM (Power, Reset and Clock Management) unit of the Allwinner A31. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • Numerous cleanups of the pinctrl driver for Allwinner. Done by Maxime Ripard.
    • Addition of the ARM PMU description in the Device Tree of Allwinner platforms. Done by Maxime Ripard.
    • Add USB support for Allwinner A31. Done by Maxime Ripard, with some help from Boris Brezillon.
    • Various improvements to Allwinner clock drivers. Done by Maxime Ripard.
  • On the Marvell Berlin SoC family
    • Addition of basic Device Tree descriptions for several Marvell Berlin processors and boards. Done by Antoine Ténart.
    • Addition of clock drivers and DT clock descriptions of the Marvell Berlin processors. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Addition of the pinctrl drivers for the Marvell Berlin processors. Done by Antoine Ténart.
    • Enabling of SDHCI and GPIO support on Marvell Berlin. Done by Antoine Ténart.
  • On the Marvell EBU SoC family
    • Addition of watchdog support for Armada 375 and Armada 38x, which required some changes to the existing watchdog driver. Done by Ezequiel Garcia.
    • Addition of thermal support for Armada 375 and Armada 38x, which required some changes in the existing armada_thermal driver. Done by Ezequiel Garcia.
    • Improvements of the pxa3xx_nand driver used for NAND support on Armada 370/375/38x/XP to use the newly introduced ECC strength and step size Device Tree bindings, which allows from the Device Tree to override the ECC constraints described by ONFI, when needed to match the bootloader constraints. Done by Ezequiel Garcia.
    • Addition of a generic software TSO (TCP Segmentation Offload) layer, and the corresponding changes to enable this feature in the mv643xx_eth and mvneta network drivers. This gives a huge performance boost in transmit operations! Done by Ezequiel Garcia.
    • SMP support for Armada 375 and Armada 38x has been added. Done by Grégory Clement.
    • cpuidle support for Armada XP has been added. Done by Grégory Clement.
    • USB support (USB2 and USB3) for Armada 375 and Armada 38x has been added. Done by Grégory Clement.
    • Hardware I/O coherency support for Armada 375 and Armada 38x. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.
    • Enabling of the SDHCI and AHCI interfaces on Armada 38x. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.
    • Major clean-up of Marvell Orion5x support. This is an older ARMv5 family of processors from Marvell, having a lot of similarities with Kirkwood and more recent Armada. This cleanup include many Device Tree conversions, up to the point where a few Marvell Orion5x platforms can now be fully described using a Device Tree, with no board file. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.
    • Addition of a new Device Tree binding for fixed network links, i.e links that do not use a MDIO-controlled PHY. This involved both some generic PHY layer improvements, and corresponding changes in the Marvell-specific mvneta network driver. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.
    • Addition of a work-around for a relatively complex PCIe/L2 errata affecting Armada 375/38x, which fixes heavy PCIe traffic when the system is running with hardware I/O coherency enabled. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.

Here is the complete list of patches from Bootlin merged into the 3.16 kernel: