Monday, 6 March 2017

Comparing Ubuntu Flavours Popularity

Ever since I've provided Ubuntu ISOs I've always been interested in knowing what gets downloaded the most verses the least in order to focus my work on where the interest is. Unfortunately because Google Drive doesn't offer file specific download statistics as a workaround I started using Google URL Shortener for each ISO's download link as it provides a counter.

Using the counter for each ISO I created the following table showing each Ubuntu flavour as a percentage of the total downloads for recent releases:


Initially I thought the results might be slightly skewed as Ubuntu has always been provided first before the other flavours. However as the total number of downloads is large for both releases I don't think this has caused any statistical anomaly.

I'm currently using these counter statistics to decide the priority for uploading new releases. So if you were wondering what happened to the 16.04.2 Kubuntu ISO now you know.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ubuntu 16.04.2 and Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 1 plus flavours

Please note my blog is intended to be the 'dynamic' update content partner to my 'static' core content pages on my website. This particular post relates to my http://www.linuxium.com.au/how-tos/runningubuntuontheintelcomputestick page where I've created some Ubuntu ISOs whose purpose is to better support Intel Atom based devices. 

As Canonical just released Ubuntu 16.04.2 with the rolling Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernels which aim to provide support for the latest hardware I've decided to provide a single kernel which is effectively a HWE 'edge' kernel specifically patched for Intel Atom SoCs in my ISOs to simplify kernel management and create a forward path for future migration to mainline kernels.

My kernel is based on Canonical's next 'zesty' kernel which is rebased to v4.10 and also available in 'xenial' as hwe-edge. Whilst v4.10 is the latest mainline kernel to be released the merge window for v4.11 now includes the revised HDMI LPE Audio Support patch set together with the AXP288 power supply patch set for Intel Atom SoCs. Because v4.11 will be released in a couple of months with the patches being included in Ubuntu hopefully by 17.10 I've added these latest patches from the merge window to my kernel. Besides the HDMI LPE patches from Pierre-Louis Bossart, Jerome Anand & Takashi Iwai and Hans de Goede's AXP288 patches I've also added Hans de Goede's PWM, I2C, CX2702X audio support, Silead touchscreen support and ASUS tablet function key support patches. Also included is Mika Kuoppalad's new anti-freeze patch, Pierre-Louis Bossart's PMC Platform Clock and Codecs patches, Ville Syrjälä atomic update fix, Bastien Nocera's wifi patch, Laszlo-Fiat's bluetooth patch, Jonas Aaberg's bluetooth patch for the ASUS 100HA together with my bluetooth support which is based on a script from Larry Finger. The kernel source is available on my github.

At this stage I'm providing ten ISOs: 16.04.2 releases of Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu GNOME and Kubuntu all with kernel Ubuntu-lts-4.10.0-10.12~16.04.2 together with Ubuntu 17.04 pseudo Beta 1 and 17.04 Beta 1 releases of Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu Budgie all with kernel Ubuntu-4.10.0-10.12. Technically the two kernels are the same with the 'xenial' LTS kernel being a backport of the 'zesty' kernel. Note that the Ubuntu 17.04 Beta 1 is a pseudo release because there is no official Beta 1 release so I have used the daily release provided the same day the official Beta 1 flavours were released. I've also included Ubuntu Budgie as it is now an official Ubuntu flavour and I thought there may be some interest. Further flavours will be added later although I am no longer going to provided updated 16.10 releases due to resource constraints. I am also providing the corresponding kernel update scripts and I will maintain the kernels with security patches and/or Intel Atom SoC added functionality/improvements.

To try an ISO download it from the link below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.

16.04.2

Ubuntu 16.04.2
(sha256sum 72832bfc886b2e0beede4f33e7703b4c2c47ef0baae1a3064fb6ab70892ee689)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.
.
(sha256sum e1102f37c35d1e77f515cc0574388eec700831288ecc7e8fe73ca8755eb5a5ef)
Lubuntu is a fast, energy saving and lightweight variant of Ubuntu using LXDE. It is popular with PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware.

(sha256sum c33862d036885b41e1cc0c438b0008a14fc3495b352f8f2240fbe3843ac1fc31)
Xubuntu is an elegant and easy to use operating system. Xubuntu comes with Xfce, which is a stable, light and configurable desktop environment.

Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2
(sha256sum d2d4e07cc2121a90617b94904800e60498792bf7f5736157cc7a833efe211947)
Ubuntu MATE expresses the simplicity of a classic desktop environment. MATE is the continuation of the GNOME 2 desktop which was Ubuntu's default desktop.


Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.2
(sha256sum 0b4e7d175b79e89b35e0449af07f4b96bed28e5912d5f43a11bbc54e122460ed)
Ubuntu GNOME uses GNOME Shell along with a plethora of applications from the GNOME Desktop Environment.


Kubuntu 16.04.2
(sha256sum 3d6f1ee5db819bb0e44167efae818b9ae86a9335eca1e187291b3b31a1797ff0)
Kubuntu offers the KDE Plasma Workspace experience, a good-looking system for home and office use.



17.04 Beta 1

(sha256sum f38dcc8fc64f524422028b24e8e95ebe7635241aa24edbdafeeb55dd44c5d36c)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Lubuntu 17.04 Beta 1
(sha256sum f8a8af2d453a58a8538f9f76ceac29a1e2477793c59d373f0bddda5c3338d35f)
Lubuntu is a fast, energy saving and lightweight variant of Ubuntu using LXDE. It is popular with PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware.
(sha256sum 2a1770e0e51921328224d5c477027420fee3f9bfc715ddb741adf75409f20afb)
Xubuntu is an elegant and easy to use operating system. Xubuntu comes with Xfce, which is a stable, light and configurable desktop environment.
(sha256sum bc92e6df5b4c298fc877743ab0303d7272ec87bc7a40e79ddf80f0883dc6c8ea)
Ubuntu Budgie is stable and easy to use that integrates the Budgie Desktop environment into Ubuntu. Whether you are using it on the old computer, or powerful workstation, Ubuntu Budgie is adaptable to any device, keeping them fast and usable.

If freezing persists follow Len Brown suggestion of adding "intel_idle.max_cstate=2" as a kernel boot parameter which enables Core-C6 but disables module/package-C6. Open a terminal session and enter the following command (on a single line) 'sudo sed -i 's/\(GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=\)""/\1"intel_idle.max_cstate=2"/' /etc/default/grub'. To implement the change enter 'sudo update-gruband then reboot the system by entering 'sudo reboot'. The above change only needs to be made once, typically following installation to eMMC storage. Prior to embarking on an encrypted LVM installation you should first open a terminal session and turn off swapping using the command 'sudo swapoff -a'. If there is no wifi after booting devices with a Broadcom chip then reload the driver: in a terminal window enter 'sudo modprobe -r brcmfmac' followed by 'sudo modprobe brcmfmac'. Occasionally on some devices bluetooth doesn't initially load so it is necessary to restart the service: for Broadcom chip devices enter 'sudo systemctl stop brcmbt.service' followed by 'sudo systemctl start brcmbt.service' and for Realtek chip devices enter 'sudo systemctl stop rtl8723bsbt.service' followed by 'sudo systemctl start rtl8723bsbt.service'. Some devices still do not reboot (or warm restart) correctly which can result in a purple screen or lack of wifi and/or bluetooth on reboot. In these circumstances cycle the power and boot the device from cold. Unfortunately as I don't have a tablet I cannot advise on the screen rotation issues however others have commented in previous posts with their solutions which I'd recommend reading. WIP includes improving backlight support for some devices and the ES8316 driver which is currently under development.


Kernel update scripts are provided for updating the kernel and require my ISOs to be installed as a pre-requisite otherwise you will be missing the 'userland' files required for audio, wifi and bluetooth. To upgrade the existing installed kernel to the later version provided by the script first download the script and after making it executable (enter 'chmod 755 ~/Downloads/<script>') install it as 'root' (by entering 'sudo ~/Downloads/<script>'). Once the script has finished executing the device will need to be rebooted to use the updated (patched) kernel. 

4.10.0-10.12 (latest zesty kernel)
4.10.0-10.12~16.04.2 (latest backported xenial kernel)

Don't forget when making a comment to include the name/model of your device and if reporting a technical issue please include a copy of the output from 'dmesg' by sharing the log using 'pastebinit' or similar.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Mainline kernel support for BYT and CHT HDMI audio

Finally HDMI audio on Bay Trail and Cherry Trail devices will be officially supported in mainline kernel starting from v4.11:

Linus,
please pull sound updates for v4.11-rc1 from:
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/tiwai/sound.git tags/sound-4.11-rc1
The topmost commit is 7086b7b3d101e0e6fca2bf7ca2f14483fc881837
----------------------------------------------------------------
sound updates for 4.11-rc1
here is the update of sound bits for 4.11: again at this time, no bigchanges in ALSA and ASoC core but only cosmetic changes likeconsitifaction. Meanwhile, quite a lot of developments are seen ina few driver side.
ALSA Core:- Clean up, consitification of some ops
HD-audio:- A slight behavior change of single_cmd option- Quirks for AmigaOne X1000, Samsung Ativ Book 8, Dell AiO, ALC221 HP,and fixes for Lewisburg controller- Realtek ALC299, ALC1220 codecs
Others:- USB-audio: Tascam US-16x08 DSP mixer quirk- Intel HDMI LPE audio support for Baytrail / Cherrytrail; thiscontains some updates in drm/i915 for the new platform binding
ASoC:- Lots of updates in Intel drivers, mostly for DisplayPort and HDMIon Skylake and onwards, as well as more Baytrail / Cherrytrailboards support- Channel mapping support for HDMI- Support for AllWinner A31 and A33, Everest Semiconductor ES8328,Nuvoton NAU8540.

See http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1702.2/04904.html for the complete details of the patches being upstreamed.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ubuntu 16.04.2 and updated Ubuntu 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2

UpdateThis page refers to earlier work and my latest ISOs and kernel upgrade scripts can be downloaded from my latest post.

Please note my blog is intended to be the 'dynamic' update content partner to my 'static' core content pages on my website. This particular post relates to my http://www.linuxium.com.au/how-tos/runningubuntuontheintelcomputestick page where I've created some Ubuntu ISOs whose purpose is to better support Intel Atom based devices. 

The latest mainline kernel v4.10 has just been released and the revised HDMI LPE Audio Support patch set for Intel Atom SoCs is now queued for mainline inclusion so we could see it in v4.11 in a couple of months and then hopefully in Ubuntu possible as early as 17.10. Additionally Canonical have just released Ubuntu 16.04.2 and introduced the rolling Hardware Enablement (HWE) kernels which aim to provide support for the latest hardware. As a result I've decided to provide a single kernel which is effectively a HWE 'edge' kernel specifically patched for Intel Atom SoCs in my ISOs to simplify kernel management and create a forward path for future migration to mainline kernels.

My new kernel is based on Canonical's next 'zesty' kernel which is rebased to v4.10 and also available in 'xenial' as hwe-edge. To this I've added the latest HDMI LPE patches from Pierre-Louis Bossart, Jerome Anand & Takashi Iwai. I've also added Mika Kuoppalad's new anti-freeze patch, Hans de Goede's PWM, AXP288 and I2C patches, Pierre-Louis Bossart's PMC Platform Clock and Codecs patches, Bastien Nocera's wifi patch, Laszlo-Fiat's bluetooth patch and part of my bluetooth support is based on a script from Larry Finger. The kernel source is available on my github.

WIP includes providing backlight support for some devices and the ES8316 driver which is currently under development. Unfortunately as I don't have a tablet I cannot advise on the screen rotation issues however others have commented in previous posts with their solutions which I'd recommend reading.

At this stage I'm providing two ISOs: Ubuntu 16.04.2 (with kernel Ubuntu-4.10.0-9.11) and Ubuntu 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2 (with kernel Ubuntu-lts-4.10.0-9.11~16.04.2). Further flavours will be added once initial feedback has been reviewed together with updated 16.10 releases. Later I will also provided the corresponding kernel update scripts as I will maintain the kernels with security patches and/or Intel Atom SoC added functionality/improvements.

To try an ISO download it from the link below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.


Ubuntu 16.04.2 (superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.



Ubuntu 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2 (superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.


If freezing persists follow Len Brown suggestion of adding "intel_idle.max_cstate=2" as a kernel boot parameter which enables Core-C6 but disables module/package-C6. With the Alpha release (including the official version) the installation does not recognize previously installed OS so use 'Something else' and manually set up your partitions. Prior to embarking on an encrypted LVM installation you should first open a terminal session and turn off swapping using the command 'sudo swapoff -a'. If there is no wifi after booting devices with a Broadcom chip then reload the driver: in a terminal window enter 'sudo modprobe -r brcmfmac' followed by 'sudo modprobe brcmfmac'. Occasionally on some devices bluetooth doesn't initially load so it is necessary to restart the service: for Broadcom chip devices enter 'sudo systemctl stop brcmbt.service' followed by 'sudo systemctl start brcmbt.service' and for Realtek chip devices enter 'sudo systemctl stop rtl8723bsbt.service' followed by 'sudo systemctl start rtl8723bsbt.service'. Some devices still do not reboot (or warm restart) correctly which can result in a purple screen or lack of wifi and/or bluetooth on reboot. In these circumstances cycle the power and boot the device from cold. 

Because my ISOs include a patched kernel it means no automatic Ubuntu kernel updates are provided. Consequently I've also developed a manual patching process where a script can be downloaded and then executed to update the kernel to match the official releases. These kernel update scripts are only for updating the kernel after installing my ISOs otherwise you will be missing the 'userland' files required for audio, wifi and bluetooth. To upgrade the existing installed kernel (created from my ISO or as a result of a previous upgrade) to the later version provided by the script first download the script and after making it executable (enter 'chmod 755 <script>') install it as 'root' (by entering 'sudo <script>'). Once the script has finished executing the device will need to be rebooted to use the updated (patched) kernel. 

4.10.0-9.11~16.04.2 (superseded)
4.10.0-9.11 (superseded)

Don't forget when making a comment to include the name/model of your device and if reporting a technical issue please include a copy of the output from 'dmesg' by sharing the log using 'pastebinit' or similar.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Updated: Bleeding edge Ubuntu 4.10.0-5.7 kernel with 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2 ISO

UpdateThis page refers to earlier work and my latest ISOs and kernel upgrade scripts can be downloaded from my latest post.

Please note my blog is intended to be the 'dynamic' update content partner to my 'static' core content pages on my website. This particular post relates to my http://www.linuxium.com.au/how-tos/runningubuntuontheintelcomputestick page where I've created some Ubuntu ISOs whose purpose is to better support Intel Atom based devices. 

Whilst Ubuntu flavours released their second alpha of the Zesty Zapus (to become 17.04) today, Ubuntu continues with daily releases until the final beta in March (see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/ReleaseSchedule).

So I've created a pseudo Ubuntu Alpha 2 based on the official daily release for the 27th January which is the same date as the released Ubuntu flavour Alpha 2 releases and I've created a Lubuntu Alpha 2 based on the official release.

I've replaced the included kernels with my latest bleeding edge patched Ubuntu 4.10.0-5.7 kernel from Canonical which is based on the mainline 4.10.0-rc5 kernel. I've added Pierre-Louis Bossart's latest patches for the HDMI LPE audio driver and RT5640 audio support, together with Hans de Goede's patches for PMC platform clocks, PMIC I2C bus semaphore implementation and Power Management IC AXP288 support for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail devices.

Also included is additional wifi support including Bastien Nocera's RTL8723BS driver, support for the Atheros AR6004 HW3.0 driver used on the Dell Venue Pro 11 Baytrail, and Broadcom 4330, 43430 and 43340/43341 support. Bluetooth support includes Larry Finger's code for RTL8723BS with a patch from Laszlo-Fiat.

Finally I've included patches to fix various issues like the CUBE iwork8 Air tablet getting stuck on booting and the persistent freezing issue with a patch from Mika Kuoppala. If freezing still persists Len Brown suggests adding "intel_idle.max_cstate=2" as a kernel boot parameter which enables Core-C6 but disables module/package-C6 as he has found this is still required for the ASUS Transformer Book T100 Chi.

My latest kernel and ISOs address a lot of outstanding issues when trying to run Ubuntu on Intel Atom based devices. For the first time ever I've now seen working bluetooth on Bay Trail Realtek chip based devices like the Meegopad T02 and Star Cloud PCG02U. Also bluetooth on Broadcom chip based devices like the Tronsmart Ara X5 works as does HDMI audio on the Mini Neo Z83-A.

Some peculiarities from being an Alpha release exist such as the installation not recognizing previously installed OS so until this is fixed in the official ISO it is best to use 'Something else' and manually partition as per your needs for example when dual booting with Windows. But I have fixed the installation error that prevented an LVM installation (with/without encryption) using the official ISO.  Prior to embarking on an encrypted LVM installation you should first open a terminal session and turn off swapping using the command 'sudo swapoff -a'.

Overall these are the closest to a fully working Ubuntu ISOs for a wide range of Intel Atom devices from stick to mini PCs and tablets than anything previously released. Note I recommend installing the ISO rather than using the kernel update script as it includes the necessary 'userland' files for audio, wifi and bluetooth. By simply performing a kernel upgrade you may not get the same level of functionality that a fresh install from my ISO will provide.

The links below (in red) have been updated for downloading the latest i.e. version 3.

To try an ISO download it from the link below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.


Ubuntu 17.04 pseudo Alpha 2 (Version 4 superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.



Lubuntu 17.04 Alpha 2 (superseded)
Lubuntu is a fast, energy saving and lightweight variant of Ubuntu using LXDE. It is popular with PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware.



To turn on wifi for mini PCs with Broadcom wifi chips it is often necessary to reload the driver. In a terminal window enter 'sudo modprobe -r brcmfmac' followed by 'sudo modprobe brcmfmac'.

Because my ISOs include a patched kernel to address the missing functionality of the official ISOs it means no automatic Ubuntu kernel updates are provided. Consequently I've also developed a manual patching process where a script can be downloaded and then executed to update the kernel to match the official releases. As such my kernel update scripts are not intended to update the kernel installed on other Linux installations. Primarily because you would be missing the 'userland' files required for audio, wifi and bluetooth and the resultant environment may be unstable or worse. 

For the sake of completeness I'm including the kernel upgrade script which matches the kernel version included in my ISOs. The normal requirement would be to upgrade the existing installed kernel (created from my ISO or as a result of a previous upgrade) to the later version provided by the script. To use you would download the shell script and after making it executable (enter 'chmod 755 <script>') you then install it as 'root' (by entering 'sudo <script>'). Once the script has finished executing the device would need to be rebooted to use the updated (patched) kernel.

4.10.0-5.7 (Version 4) (superseded)

Don't forget when making a comment to include the name/model of your device and if reporting a technical issue please include a copy of the output from 'dmesg' by sharing the log using 'pastebinit' or similar.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

First 2017 17.04 Alpha ISOs for Ubuntu and Lubuntu

UpdateThis page refers to earlier work and my latest ISOs and kernel upgrade scripts can be downloaded from my latest post.

Whilst the first of January maybe a public holiday for some it didn't stop Canonical releasing new Ubuntu and Lubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Daily Build ISOs. So I've re-spun them to includes the 4.9 kernel with all the latest drivers and fixes for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail devices.

This is my first Lubuntu Alpha build ISO for anyone wanting to test the latest development work with the lightweight variant of Ubuntu.

Also as some Cherry Trail devices use the RTL8723BS wifi chip I've fine tuned these latest ISOs to improve its support.

To try an ISO download it from one of the links below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.

Ubuntu (superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.


Lubuntu (superseded)
Lubuntu is a fast, energy saving and lightweight variant of Ubuntu using LXDE. It is popular with PC and laptop users running on low-spec hardware.



Sunday, 1 January 2017

Faster ISO Boots in 2017

UpdateThis page refers to earlier work and my latest ISOs and kernel upgrade scripts can be downloaded from my latest post.

One problem I've had with my ISOs is that they were always slow to start. Whilst only being an inconvenience rather than a functional issue I was able to spent time today in finding an improvement.

As a result I've respun my Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 281216 (Daily Build) ISO so that 2017 gets off with a much quicker start.

To try the 'faster' ISO download it from the link below (in red) and write it to a USB using either 'Rufus' in Windows or 'dd' in Linux.

Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 281216 (Daily Build) ISO (superseded)
Ubuntu comes with everything. All the essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, email and media apps come pre-installed and thousands more games and applications are available in the Ubuntu Software Centre.


I'll incorporate the improvement in my other ISOs as and when they are respun with functional updates.