WOA Issue 4

WOA Issue 4

In this issue: developer resources from ARM, HPE’s “The Machine”, a NAS Kickstarter from Helios, the controversy over systemd that launched Devuan, OpenJDK builds from AdoptOpenJDK, Go 1.9 speedups in the queue, and more.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for Issue 5, please send them to [email protected] or contact me on the Packet community Slack channel as “ed.packet”. Tweets can be send to the @worksonarm account or to @vielmetti.

ARM Infrastructure Developer Community portal

The ARM Infrastructure Developer Community portal is a central showcase and global directory for developers seeking to harness the innovation available within the ARM ecosystem for next generation data center, cloud and network infrastructure deployments. Hosted by ARM, it provides a solutions library for use cases, developer resources for hardware and software needs, and an introduction to partners in the ARM ecosystem.

A number of newsletters are available from ARM through this project; most interesting of which to me is the “Linux and Open Source Development Newsletter”. Signed up!

HPE “The Machine” ThunderX2 based multi-terabyte main memory machine

HPE has unveiled a design for a high performance, large memory system based on the Cavium ThunderX2 ARM chipset. “The Machine”, as it is dubbed, would have the ability to address 160 terabytes of memory over a 40-node cluster with 1280 Cavium ARM cores. A high speed switching fabric dubbed “Gen-Z” connects the kit together. The prototype was demoed in a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado, says Agam Shah in a story in PC World.

“The Machine” represents the latest push from HPE that they label “Memory-Driven Computing”, looking at the set of problems that can be addressed with very large main memory systems. The challenge for the industry will be the expense of building multi-terabyte scale memory compute nodes and the knowledge necessary to program these systems effectively.

Read more at the HPE web site and in Venturebeat.

ARM NAS Kickstarter from Helios

Helios has announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of a “personal cloud” device. The Helios 4 would support four SATA 3.0 hard drives as well as gigabit ethernet using a Marvell Armada 388 chip at its core.

The device ships with Armbian (a version of Debian Linux) as its operating system, and with NAS software from OpenMediaVault and Syncloud to fill out the home data sharing user experience.

As of this writing the Helios team is about a third of the way towards their fundraising goal. For about US$175 one can make a preorder for the 2 GB version of this machine, which is scheduled for availability in the September 2017 timeframe. Note that the price as delivered includes a case but not the hard drives you would need, and some assembly will be required.

Please also note on the Kickstarter that prices are listed in Singapore dollars.

Adopt OpenJDK: open source Java build system

Adopt OpenJDK is in the early stages of putting together a build farm for OpenJDK releases for this open source Java implementation. At the moment the project has the most complete single source for OpenJDK binaries across multiple platforms, with ARM, Power, Z series, Intel, Mac, and Windows builds in progress.

“The AdoptOpenJDK Build Farm is still a Work In Progress. Please DO NOT use downloaded binaries for your production purposes.”

Packet is a sponsor of Adopt OpenJDK.

Go 1.9 speedups in CRC32 codes

Speedups of up to 7x in CRC32 code when using the IEEE and Castagnoli polynomials are planned for the Go 1.9 release thanks to contributions by ARM’s Fangming Fang. This 32-bit cyclic redundancy check is widely used to detect errors in network and file systems.

The need for a performant CRC32 code was noted in the process of getting CockroachDB to pass all of its build tests on arm64. Very slow write performance was noted on a database function that performs acceptably on x86. Make a note to retest this function after Go 1.9 appears, likely to be in late July 2017.

FreeBSD quarterly report

The FreeBSD quarterly report is out for the first quarter of 2017, detailing progress and tasks ahead for this BSD variant.

Cavium’s ThunderX is the initial reference target platform for FreeBSD/arm64. The supported platform supports a single 48-core model in FreeBSD 11.0, but the 96-core dual chip version is not yet supported and thus not yet available at Packet.

Final testing and productionization of support for the Marvell Armada38x ARMv7 platform is under way. The rebase and cleanup is going well, with patches functioning on top of HEAD and ready for upstreaming.

Devuan, a systemd free Debian distribution

Devuan is a fork of the successful Debian project with a singular mission to remove all system dependencies on the “systemd” init system. Systemd replaces older BSD and Linux init systems, acting as PID 1 in a running system. The systemd project has expanded towards other essential Linux system core functions including name and time service to name only two. The Devuan maintainers (and some others) have taken up the cause of removing systemd from their world as a struggle for freedom.

In Devuan 1.0 RC2, Devuan has support for 29 different ARM boards including the Acer Chromebook and the Raspberry Pi model 3 in 64-bit mode.

Read more about the Devuan project in The Register.


Don’t miss amazing keynotes and sessions at CloudNativeCon + KubeCon North America, December 6-8 in Austin, Texas! Early bird discounted ticket sales for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s flagship conference ends Friday, May 19th.


Edited with vim and Github on a MacBook Air. Coffee from Sweetwaters, Ann Arbor MI.

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