WOA Issue 51

WOA Issue 51

In this issue

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver” released on April 26
  • CentOS 7.5.1804 and Continuous Release packages
  • MirageOS
  • SHA-3 in Armv8.4-A
  • Docker Consul official images from Hashicorp
  • LuaJIT light userdata
  • Fedora 28 for Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver” released on April 26

The latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release was announced on April 26, 2018.

Codenamed “Bionic Beaver”, 18.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS includes the Queens release of OpenStack including the clustering enabled LXD 3.0, new network configuration via netplan.io, and a next-generation fast server installer.

The Ubuntu archive for arm64 contains 75334 software packages, with many of them updated since the last 16.04 LTS release.

CentOS 7.5.1804 and Continuous Release packages

If you are running CentOS on Arm and are interested in upgrading to the latest, the arm-dev list for CentOS has instructions how to pull your release forward. The necessary changes reflect the new CentOS release environment which now provides CR (“Continuous Release”) packages for Arm systems.

In the past, we built for all architectures through different build systems, but for this new 7.5.1804 release (rebuilt from 7.5) we started to use a new build process to build for all arches in parallel through one single build system.


MirageOS is a library operating system that constructs unikernels for secure, high-performance network applications across a variety of cloud computing and mobile platforms. Code can be developed on a normal OS such as Linux or MacOS X, and then compiled into a fully-standalone, specialized unikernel that runs under a Xen or KVM hypervisor.

Instructions are provided for booting MirageOS on your A53-based single-board computer. The system is programmed in OCaml.

SHA-3 in Armv8.4-A

SHA-3 is a cryptographic hashing function. The 2017 extensions to the Arm architecture known as Armv8.4-A include hardware support for the SHA-3 algorithm.

Is SHA-3 slow? It can be, when implemented in software, compared to other hashing algorithms. When done in FPGAs or implemented directly in processor hardware, though, the conclusion is very different:

Throughput for a given circuit area is an order of magnitude higher than SHA-2 or any of the SHA-3 finalists. And if you care beyond plain speed, note that it also consumes much less energy per bit.

Docker Consul

Docker Consul is a distributed key-value store. Work has been committed to bring this to a multiarch Docker container.

LuaJIT light userdata

LuaJIT supports a 47-bit data type which is used to store pointers as “light userdata”. This conflicts with the 48-bit data type in arm64 systems, and so work is necessary.

Peter van Dijk (@Habbie) has the following suggestions and recommendations for effectively addressing this issue:

Where addresses (the address of a type_info) were used as indexes, we replaced those with (semi-human readable) strings (the mangled type names)

Where addresses needed to be stored for later retrieval, we boxed them in a full userdata

Where we were using addresses as indexes but really didn’t need to, we replaced that with luaL_ref

Habbie’s work is going into PowerDNS, an open source name server and resolver software.

Fedora 28 for Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Peter Robinson has a good detailed writeup on the port of Fedora 28 to the new Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

The upcoming Fedora 28 GA release will support the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ to the same levels as the original 3 B on both ARMv7 and aarch64.

The new components on the board include a USB hub, Gigabit ethernet, and Wifi changes, which consumed most of the work for the porting efforts.

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