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June 2017

Event Report: Open Source Summit Japan 2017

By | Blog

Last week, the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) Project participated in Open Source Summit Japan hosted by The Linux Foundation (LF) as a Silver level sponsor.

The following article is a short recap about what we learned and accomplished during these 3 days of the conference.

Open Source Summit Japan?

Before going into the CIP specifics, let me briefly touch upon the event we participated in. I assume that many of you have heard the events called “LinuxCon”, “CloudOpen” and “ContainerCon”. These were events the LF had been hosting up to the last year. These 3 events were separately branded, but typically, hosted on the same day at the same venue. This year, the LF decided to bring all three event together and re-brand it  “Open Source Summit.”

Open Source Summit (OSS) Japan is actually the first-ever LF event under the Open Source Summit brand and it was co-located with Automotive Linux Summit (ALS)

The event was packed!  More than  1,000 people participated to the event. All sessions were delivered in English, even the Japanese developers delivered their talks in English. There weren’t any translators (except for the keynote) and this gave the event a very international flavor with  many non-Japanese participants.

CIP’s first ever open workshop

A day before Open Source Summit started, CIP members had meetings for the  Governing Board and Technical Steering Committee. Most notably, however, we had the first-ever open workshop, which was made available for anyone who is interested in the work we are doing at CIP.

There, we discussed, along with the non-member participants, Real Time (PREEMPT_RT) and CIP testing.

We only had a short period of time  and a  limited number of non-member participants but we thought it was successful and are considering doing it again at Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) in October. We will let you know once we finalize the plan. 😉

First Ever CIP Open Workshop

Demos at the CIP Booth:

It has been a year since the inception of the project and we’ve been making a lot of progress. But, CIP is NOT the  kind of project to innovate some fancy, cutting edge, newest technology.

Instead, CIP is one of the most conservative projects among the 60+ projects the LF currently hosts, and we DO take pride in it.

We take pride in maintaining a software that will become the backbone of our civil society infrastructures such as energy, transportation with the robustness and security level industry requires. To do that, our work needs to focus on “making the system industrial grade.” Choosing one or very few kernel versions and keep re-painting and duct taping them, as well as investing to Real-time capability, security and safety etc.

As such, we did have  demos that entertained the audience. Here are a few details about the CIP member demonstrations at the booth. These products are all running on the CIP 4.4 Kernel.

TOSHIBA: Power Plant Controller with CIP kernel

Hitachi: Industrial controller with CIP kernel

Plat’Home: Simple IoT Demo.

Renesas: CIP test framework on RZ/G reference platform

Siemens was also planning to demonstrate the IoT2040 device that runs CIP kernel, but it did not arrive to Japan on time. We hope to see it at our next conference. 

CIP Sessions:

There were 2 CIP-related sessions during Open Source Summit Japan.

Civil Infrastructure Platform: Industrial Grade SLTS Kernel and the Base-Layer development – Yoshitake Kobayashi, Toshiba & Chair of TSC at CIP.

Yoshi Kobayashi provided the basic status update of the CIP project in general.  The session was well attended with more than 50 participants from different industries who actively participated in the conversation as to how CIP may solve the issues facing their companies today.

Yoshi Kobayashi, Toshiba

 

The Many Approaches to Real-Time and Safety Critical Linux Systems – Wolfgang Mauerer, Siemens.

While Yoshi provided the general status update about the project, Wolfgang gave an overview of architectural options for two of CIP’s  focus areas, Real-Time and Functional Safety. With no seats left in the room, the topic seems to be of great interest to the community, and will likely continue to grow in importance in the future when we see more and more industrial devices based on Linux.

All in all, the 3+ days in Tokyo was extremely fruitful for the CIP Project and our member companies. If you missed Open Source Summit Japan this year, I strongly urge you to try to come over to Japan to join next year.

Also, the CIP Project is planning to sponsor the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE)  this coming October.  If you are planning to come to Prague, please stop by  our booth!!

CIP Team Photo

CIP Booth

Scene from Keynote

Tokyo night view

Board At Desk (B@D) and forthcoming challenges

By | Blog

B@D released on May 31st

 

During ELC 2017, CIP project members introduced the beta version of what is being called Board At Desk – Single Developer (B@D), an effort by the CIP testing team to integrate LAVAv2 and KernelCI into a Debian-based virtual machine allowing Kernel hackers and maintainers to test any Linux Kernel on a board directly connected to a laptop. For CIP developers, the focus is the CIP Kernel, based on Linux 4.4 LTS and the reference boards designated by the CIP TSC (Technical Steering Committee). This May 31st 2017 the CIP testing team released the first fully working version of this virtual machine, labelled as B@D v0.9.1. Read about what comes with it and how to use it in the Release Announcement.B@D v0.9.1

In this first release the CIP testing team has tried to satisfy the requirements of as many developers as possible who could use B@D.  In order to reduce the complexity of setting up the environment to use the tools, Vagrant was the selected technology. VirtualBox has been chosen as the initial virtualisation technology in order to also support the needs of those who use Windows to create Linux systems. We are looking forward to incorporating KVM into the equation as soon as possible, thus improving the experience of those using Linux to produce Linux based systems.

 

Detailed step by step documentation to deploy and configure B@D, connect to the Beaglebone Black, and test the CIP Kernel is also provided. The CIP testing team has put significant effort into making the toolset easy to deploy and configure so that users can focus on testing rather than worrying too much about the tooling.

 

I would like to publicly thank all developers that have made this release possible, particularly my colleagues at Codethink Don Brown, Robert Marshall, Christos Karamitsos, Ben Hutchings and Lachlan Mackenzie.

 

CIP at Open Source Summit Japan 2017

 

If you are attending Open Source Summit Japan pass by the CIP booth to see how easy it is to use B@D to test a Kernel in a BeagleBone Black. Renesas is currently working towards making sure B@D also supports Renesas RZ/G1M. There will be additional demos at the CIP booth from Hitachi, Siemens, Toshiba and Plat’Home.

 

CIP is also organising an open Workshop session. You can propose topics for it or simply join us. It will take place at the OSSJ venue the day before the OSSJ starts, that is May 30th. Please check this wiki page if you are interested in attending, proposing topics or contacting. There will also be a talk on Friday 2nd June about the latest CIP news.

 

Forthcoming actions on the testing front

 

Now that we have the tool, our next step is to start setting up the CIP testing project following an architecture design that does not rely on a centralised testing service.

 

If we can guarantee that several developers are using the same testing tool to test a specific Kernel feature on a CIP kernel, using the same test in a cloned environment, the resulting output should be identical, which can be confirmed by sharing the results, among other measures. Several assumptions will need to be made like the creation of a similar chain of trust and transparency that any Open Source project has when it comes to code development. Other measures will need to be considered towards reproducibility and traceability of any test result.

 

In summary, we would like to translate the idea of treating testing like coding in an open environment such as CIP. You can read more about it in the CIP testing project landing page.

 

The described approach has a low risk, in my opinion. If we face scalability issues, a centralised service can be created so the investment can be rapidly adapted. But the bigger benefit of this approach will be cost since the required initial investment is limited. The project will grow organically, compared to a centralised testing service, limiting the financial risk too.

 

The current plan is to present some results at ELCE, which will take place in Prague in October 2017.