Linaro has released a new version of its Linaro open source Linux tools, kernel, and middleware stack for ARM Cortex-based consumer electronics. Based on the Linux 3.0.3 kernel and GCC 4.6 toolchain, Linaro 11.08 offers Android and Ubuntu images for the BeagleBoard-xM, Pandaboard, Snowball, and Samsung Origen development boards, plus a new build for the Freescale i.MX53 board.
Linaro was established in June, 2010 as a vehicle for developing standardized, open source Linux tools, kernel, and middleware software for consumer electronics using ARM Cortex processors. The company is jointly owned by ARM Holdings, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments, but this core group has been joined by a group of supporting software companies in a Linaro Partner Program.
The 11.08 code release is Linaro's third delivered on a monthly cadence. The release provides "roughly 80 deliverables," currently available in Android and Ubuntu Linux images, according to Linaro.
Key features include an update to the new Linux 3.0.3 stable kernel, including the merge of Linux 3.1-rc1 core ARM updates. The code includes a Linaro GCC 4.6 2011.08 release based on the latest upstream version, as well as a Linaro Cross Toolchain 2011.07 build, says Linaro.
Additional improvements to Linaro include enhancements to graphics, multimedia, and power management. In addition, the Ext4 file-system is now said to be offered as the default. (See the link at the end of the story for a full list of Linaro changes.)
The Android and Ubuntu images are now said to be available for the BeagleBoard and newer BeagleBoard-xM. Builds are also available for the PandaBoard and Snowball, two more low-cost, community-driven development boards built on ARM Cortex processors.
In addition, Linaro supports the Samsung Origin board (pictured at right) announced in late May by Linaro, which provides the BSPs for the board. Linaro made the announcement on behalf of manufacturer InSignal and project sponsor Samsung. The board incorporates Samsung's dual-core Cortex-A9 Exynos 4210 processor and a Mali400 GPU.
There's also a new build designed for the $149 Freescale i.MX53 Quick Start development board (pictured at left). The Quick Start board, which features the Cortex-A8-based, 1.3GHz i.MX535 processor, is far more affordable than Freescale's typical product development kits (PDKs).
The Android images compiled with the Linaro 11.08 toolchain release are based on GCC 4.6 and run Android 2.3.5, says Linaro. New Android features are said to include the addition of libjpeg-turbo 1.1.1 and ffmpeg, with support for H.264 and WebM video formats.
The Android version now enables the use of strict-aliasing for better optimizations, says Linaro. In addition, the Linaro Android Team has switched to Gerrit as the primary git repository hosting and review system, says the company.
The Ubuntu Linaro Evaluation Build (LEB) 11.08, meanwhile, contains package updates including Compiz 0.9.5 2011.08, which is said to improve the user experience on Ubuntu 's Unity 3D desktop. Other Ubuntu-related enhancements include glcompbench 2011.08, and an updated version of libjpeg-turbo based on the 2011.08 release, says Linaro.
Linaro 11.08 is available now. More information may be found at the Linaro 11.08 release page.
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