Welcome to Works on Arm News for Friday, July 20, 2018. This newsletter is distributed via the @worksonarm Twitter account on Fridays, archived at http://worksonarm.com/blog, and distributed by electronic mail on Mondays. Ed Vielmettifrom Packet directs the project and writes the newsletter, and Zoe Allen from Packet is editor.

Ed will be at the Arm Architecture HPC Workshop workshop on Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Santa Clara, CA at Huaweiand organized by Linaro. As a consequence, next week’s Issue 64 newsletter will feature a trip report of from that workshop, and will appear perhaps somewhat later than the usual time on Friday, July 27, 2018.

The following week (2018-W31) is PTO for Ed who will be out of the office for the week. The Issue 65 newsletter will be a reference guide for commonly asked questions about the newsletter, the project, and the cluster.

In this issue

Issue 63: Events include the Linaro Connect conference, Arm Architecture HPC Workshop, and Arm Research Summit. OpenHPC joins the Works on Arm cluster. Reports from the Going Arm workshop at ISC2018. Go 1.11beta2 released; “best Go ever”. icecc (“ice cream”) compiler for single-board clusters. Parallel makefiles with “make -j”. Inventory of arm64 operating systems. RockPro64 release, and Picocluster plans for RockPro64 cluster. Armbian.


Linaro Connect will be held 17-21 September 2018 in Vancouver, BC. The deadline for proposals for talks is Monday July 23. “The leading event for Open source software engineering on Arm”.

Arm Architecture HPC Workshop by Linaro and HiSilicon on 26th July 2018.

How does the Arm-Powered supercomputing future look and how can you prepare for it? The Arm Architecture HPC Workshop will bring together the leading Arm vendors, end users and the open source development community in the Bay area, to discuss the latest products, developments and open source software support.

Ed Vielmetti from Packet and Works on Arm will be attending the event; say hi to me there!

The Arm Research Summit is September 17-19, 2018 at Robinson College, Cambridge UK.

In a multi-track three-day program, hear from expert researchers discussing the latest developments, future trends and disruptive technologies affecting our industry, and the world surrounding it.

Please let us know if you will be at this event!


OpenHPC joins the Works on Arm cluster, using an OpenSUSE instance running on a Packet c1.large.arm Cavium ThunderX system to run the Open Build Service.

OpenHPC is a collaborative, community effort that initiated from a desire to aggregate a number of common ingredients required to deploy and manage High Performance Computing (HPC) Linux clusters including provisioning tools, resource management, I/O clients, development tools, and a variety of scientific libraries. Packages provided by OpenHPC have been pre-built with HPC integration in mind with a goal to provide re-usable building blocks for the HPC community.

We hope to have a report on this effort in time to share for the Arm Architecture HPC Workshop in Santa Clara.

Going Arm was a workshop at ISC18. Notes and slides from the talks presented on HPC topics are now all online.

Cloud native

A beta release of Pharmer with support for Kubernetes 1.11 has been released. This system does bare-metal high availability provisioning of Kubernetes clusters to a variety of cloud and bare metal systems including Packet.

Languages and libraries

Go 1.11beta2 has been released, “the best Go ever”. This release includes several additional optimizations for arm64. If you have the means to test your Go-based project to build for beta2, this is an opportune time to do so to check for performance.

icecc (“Ice Cream”) is a parallel computing environment for clusters of machines including single-board computers running C and C++ compiles. In this video, Sahaj Sarup, an application engineer from Linaro and a regular contributor to the Works on Arm weekly Wednesday call, demonstates the use of icecream to speed up compiles by distributing the workload over a cluster of single-board computers from 96Boards.

Operating Systems

RunsOnARM is a list maintained by Github user @FabioLolix to collect information about operating systems that run on 64-bit arm64 single-board computers.

Command of the week is “make -j”

The make -j option is a necessary feature for fast compiles if you are building software on a manycore system like the Packet c1.large.arm systems found in the Works on Arm cluster. Use it to configure the number of jobs running at once, or to run an unlimited number of jobs.

If the ‘-j’ option is followed by an integer, this is the number of recipes to execute at once; this is called the number of job slots. If there is nothing looking like an integer after the ‘-j’ option, there is no limit on the number of job slots. The default number of job slots is one, which means serial execution (one thing at a time).

Single board computers

The RockPro64 is now shipping. The v2.1 revision schematics for the system are available, showing the Rockchip RK3399 SoC at the heart of this design. Picocluster has indicated that they have plans for a mechanical design for a case and power supply and cabling to build a RockPro64 cluster.

Armbian has a preview and photo of a pre-release version of the NanoPi NEO4, the smallest known Rockchip RK3399 powered board.