Open Source Firmware Conference 2018

At September 12-15 the first conference focusing exclusively on open source firmware took place in Erlangen, Germany - the OSFC 2018. The mission of this conference is to provide an appropriate platform to bring together as many Open Source projects, hardware manufacturers and developers as possible, in order to collaborate, share knowledge and push the firmware development in an Open Source manner.

Different topics related to the open firmware developments mostly targeting different bootloader or payload variants were presented at the conference. LinuxBoot, coreboot, U-Boot and TianoCore and ARM Trusted Firmware related topics were intensively covered in different talks.

Pengutronix and the barebox bootloader project were represented by Sascha Hauer and Oleksij Rempel. While we didn't do any presentation ourselves we had a chance to communicate with many developers representing different projects with open or even closed nature.

From different talks I would note the following:

  • many vendors do things and not always contribute back to initial open source projects - (this is not new)
  • some vendors are looking for open source alternatives, for example for BIOS, because government related customers forbid usage of closed software for security reasons.
  • almost all companies make their own variants of bootloaders, with special use case covering specific hardware.

All in all, it was an interesting conference, with many good talks and insights into other firmware projects' motivation.

Further Readings

DSA in Barebox

The v2022.05.0 Release of barebox introduced initial support for the Distributed Switch Architecture (DSA) Framework. DSA is originally a subsystem from the Linux Kernel, which exposes the individual ports of a network switch IC as virtual network interfaces.

Netdevconf 0x16

After a longer time with online-only events, the Netdev 0x16, a conference about the technical aspects of Linux Networking, was organized as hybrid event: online and on-site at Lisbon.

Pengutronix at Electronica in Munich

This year Pengutronix again has a Booth at the Electronica trade fair in Munich, Germany. You find us in Hall B4 Booth 104 (map).

rsc's Diary: ELC-E 2022 - Day 4

Friday, the last day of ELC-E 2022, is traditionally the day of the Embedded Linux Closing Game, with Tim Bird reporting about the embedded Linux world (universe?) domination progress and the overall state of the union. Of course, there were again several interesting talks.

rsc's Diary: ELC-E 2022 - Day 3

The Convention Centre is directly at the water front of the Liffey river, just a few walking minutes away from O'Connell Bridge, Temple Bar and Trinity College. Visiting ELC-E is always a good opportunity to visit interesting cities in Europe. However, here is my story of the talks I heard on day 3.

rsc's Diary: ELC-E 2022 - Day 2

The Dublin Convention Centre is huge - there is more than enough space for all the developers participating in the Open Source Summit. Fortunately, the talks will be on YouTube after the conference, so it's no problem that one can only hear a small selection of talks. However, here is my report of the talks I heard on the 2nd day of the conference.

rsc's Diary: ELC-E 2022 - Day 1

After two years with online conferences, the embedded Linux community once again meets in person for their annual Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Dublin, Ireland this year. Since many years, ELC-E is part of the Linux Foundation's Open Source Summit, and the best opportunity of the year to meet other Linux kernel and wider core ecosystem developers and discuss recent and future technological topics.

Foster mvebu Support in barebox

barebox works great on NXP's i.MX platforms. While there is some support for Marvell's mvebu platform, it is not even near being complete. The main limitation is in my eyes that there is no code to initialize RAM settings on these machines.

Bootstrapping Arria10 with OpenOCD and barebox

The Arria10 SoCFPGA can boot from multiple sources: SD Card, NAND flash, QSPI flash and eMMC, that can be selected via the BSEL pins. If the bootrom can not find a valid bootloader on that medium, it will fall back to JTAG. So for developing and testing, the BSEL pins can just be set to a medium that is non-existent. In case of bootstrapping, the bootrom falls back to JTAG anyway, as there is no valid bootloader, yet.