Linaro 12.09 released

Written for Linaro by Fathi Boudra on 2012-09-27

“There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between
mediocrity and accomplishment.“ ~ Norman Vincent Peale

The Linaro 12.09 release is now available!

The Linaro 12.09 release cycle highlights the combined work and
enthusiasm of all the Linaro Teams – Working Groups, Landing Teams and
Platform Teams – who have provided all the updates and new features
that are integrated on top of Android and Ubuntu during this
development cycle. The 12.09 release is another example of how Linaro
succesfully –together with its members, partners and community–
continue to build the future of Linux on ARM.

Zach Pfeffer, the Linaro Android Team Tech Lead, explains to the Linaro
Release team what he and his team have accomplished during this cycle.
Linaro’s patches to AOSP are now available on Jelly Bean and Linaro
Android users should now see a 15% performance bump in their Android
builds when combined with the Linaro toolchain. Developers now have
another MALI based accelerated platform to work with as the Snowball
graphics enablement is now available on the Linaro Jelly Bean build.
The team also analyzed 10 of the most popular Android benchmarking
tools: AndEBench, AndEBench Java, Linpack, CaffeineMark,
Antutu 2D and 3D, NBench, Quadrant, I/O Benchmark and Vellamo.
Additionally, the team has put together the NI PXIe-4154 based power
measurement system which will allow the instrument to be easily
integrated into LAVA. Also there is now an AOSP test automation
framework that is able to automatically read and execute in-tree AOSP
tests.

"During the 12.09 cycle the team started early work on a minimal ARMv8
bootstrap, and we already have a very minimal rootfs with some parts to
help other developers that want to get involved with the porting,"
says Ricardo Salveti, Developer Platform Team Tech Lead.
"This work will be critical for the future of Linux on ARMv8, as
the major GNU/Linux distributions can use it as base to bootstrap and
support this new architechture." In addition to the work highlighted
by Salveti, the Developer Platform team also updated the kernel and
test components for the big.LITTLE project, made substantial progress
on the Debian/Ubuntu Perl and Python multi-arch/cross-build support,
and noted that the hardware packs for Versatile Express, Origen and
PandaBoard now include the support for UEFI and can be selected while
flashing the image with linaro-media-tools.

We encourage everybody to use the 12.09 release. The download links for
all images and components are available on our downloads page:

http://www.linaro.org/downloads/

See the detailed highlights of this release to get an overview of what
has been accomplished by the Working Groups, Landing Teams and Platform
Teams:

* Android
 * All Linaro patches are now available on Jelly Bean.
 * Accelerated graphics is now available on Snowball Jelly Bean build.
 * AndEBench, AndEBench Java, Linpack, !CaffeineMark, Antutu 2D and 3D,
   NBench, Quadrant, I/O Benchmark, Vellamo benchmark hotspot
   characterization available.
 * An Origen tracking build is available and will be released this
   cycle as a Linaro Evaluation Build (LEB).
 * Audio works on Origen running Jelly Bean (WAV file only).
 * A Monkeyrunner script to run Streamline has been completed.
 * First rev of the NI PXIe-4154 based power measurement system is created.
   See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bKyuxLl4iw&feature=plcp
 * In-tree AOSP tests have been automated.

* Developer Platform
 * Foundation for the ARMv8 !OpenEmbedded porting mostly completed,
   with kernel and a very minimal rootfs already available for internal
   usage.
 * Kernel and test components were updated for the big.LITTLE project,
   based on the requirements for the 12.09 cycle.
 * Substantial progress on the Debian/Ubuntu Perl and Python
   multi-arch/cross-build support, with enough data to be used and
   supported during the ARMv8 Debian/Ubuntu bootstrap.
 * Hwpacks for Vexpress, Origen and !PandaBoard now also include
   the support for UEFI, which can be selected while flashing the image
   with linaro-media-tools.
 * Linux Linaro tree updated with the latest kernel development topics
   provided by Linaro (including big.LITTLE MP), and also against
   the 3.6-rc6 upstream snapshot.

* Infrastructure
 * The hardware pack v3 format now implements the "copy_files"
   directive, a list of files to copy from an optionally named packages
   to an optionally named destination.

* Kernel
 * big.LITTLE System
  * Reordering and code cleanup of In-Kernel Switcher (IKS) is done.
  * Inter-Process Interrupt (IPI) for CPU wake-ups is done and the IKS
    code was adapted to use it.
  * Hierarchical cache flushing code has been submitted, waiting for
    acknowledgment and acceptance.

* OCTO
 * Forward porting of existing UEFI port on Origen to latest UEFI
   release of Linaro.

* Power Management
 * Version 8 of the big.LITTLE MP integration tree integrated into LLCT
   and in use in the TC2 builds. It contains:
   * Updated version of task placement patches for the scheduler.
   * Bug fixes to the mainline scheduler.
   * PMU patches for b.L from ARM.
 * Powertop rebased on upstream 2.1 release. Updated on Ubuntu and
   Android Linaro Evaluation Builds.

* Toolchain
 * Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.09, updated to GCC 4.7.1+svn191123
  * Adds support for the NEON vext instruction when shuffling.
  * Backports improvements to scheduling transfers between VFP and core
    registers.
  * Backports support for the UBFX instruction on certain bit extract
    idioms.
  * PR54252 ICE with too wide alignment assertion on vectorised code - Fixed.
  * PR54212 ICE due to generating a predicated NEON vdup instruction - Fixed.
 * Linaro GCC 4.6 2012.09, updates to 4.6.3+svn191000.
 * Linaro QEMU 1.2.0 2012.09, rebased on upstream's 1.2.0 release.
 * Linaro Toolchain Binaries 2012.09, updated to latest
   Linaro GCC 4.7 2012.09 and Linaro GDB 7.5 2012.09
  * gdbserver is stripped.
  * gdbtui is replaced by "gdb --tui".

* LAVA
 * Versatile Express TC2 have been deployed in the Validation lab.
 * LAVA deployment tool now supports a non-interactive mode and can be
   completely automated.
 * LAVA test includes the validation test suite for TI ARM features on
   Linux.
 * Snowball boards have been added in the Validation lab.

The release details are linked from the “Details” column for each
released artifact on the release information:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1209/Release#Release_Information

Using the Android-based images
=======================

The Android-based images come in three parts: system, userdata and boot.
These need to be combined to form a complete Android install. For an
explanation of how to do this please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/Android/ImageInstallation

If you are interested in getting the source and building these images
yourself please see the following pages:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/Android/GetSource
http://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/Android/BuildSource

Using the Ubuntu-based images
=======================

The Ubuntu-based images consist of two parts. The first part is a hardware
pack, which can be found under the hwpacks directory and contains hardware
specific packages (such as the kernel and bootloader). The second part is
the rootfs, which is combined with the hardware pack to create a complete
image. For more information on how to create an image please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/DevPlatform/Ubuntu/ImageInstallation

Getting involved
============

More information on Linaro can be found on our websites:

* Homepage: http://www.linaro.org
* Wiki: http://wiki.linaro.org

Also subscribe to the important Linaro mailing lists and join our IRC
channels to stay on top of Linaro developments:

* Announcements:
http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-announce

* Development:
http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-dev

* IRC:
#linaro on irc.linaro.org or irc.freenode.net
#linaro-android irc.linaro.org or irc.freenode.net

Known issues with this release
=====================

For any errata issues, please see:

http://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1209/Release#Known_Issues

Bug reports for this release should be filed in Launchpad against the
individual packages that are affected. If a suitable package cannot be
identified, feel free to assign them to:

http://www.launchpad.net/linaro

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