Facebook to Open Source Code of Linux Kernel Tools

The tools are designed to solve some problems with managing large streams of data
01 November 2018   939

Facebook has published code for six components of the Linux kernel, designed to solve some problems with managing large streams of data. These include the Btrfs file system, a system for measuring the state of a memory device and a CPU, as well as a mechanism for structuring workload and resource allocation.

More about tools:

  • BPF is a flexible and efficient mechanism for executing code in the Linux kernel. It allows you to provide for different code different behavior of the kernel. Facebook exemplifies the ability to filter network packets, as well as running certain processes in the sandbox.
  • Btrfs is a file system that works on the principle of copying when writing. It focuses on advanced feature implementation, fault tolerance, recovery, and simple administration. The system is designed to manage large storage subsystems, supports the creation of snapshots and online defragmentation.
  • Netconsd is the “daemon” of the Netconsole module for sending kernel log messages. It  presents them in a structured form, which makes it easier for engineers to find errors and problems.
  • Cgroup2 is a mechanism for grouping and structuring workloads, as well as for controlling the amount of system resources associated with each group. In addition, it helps isolate workloads, prioritize and tune resource allocation.
  • PSI (Pressure Stall Information) - a system for measuring the load on the main resources. It provides data on memory, I / O, and CPU devices. These load metrics, coupled with other tools that work in the kernel or user space, allow you to fix the lack of resources on time.
  • Oomd is a user-space tool for forcing the process to terminate in the event of an “Out of memory” error. It takes into account its context and priority among other processes running in the system. Oomd also allows you to customize the automatic response of the system to situations with low memory.

All open source Facebook projects, including the Linux components presented, can be viewed on the relevant site.

In May 2018, the company published the Katran library, a software network load balancer in which the BPF mechanism described above plays a leading role.

Huawei May Use Russian OS Instead Android

Due to US sanctions, popular smartphone manufacturer is negotiating of using Russian OS called Aurora, which is based on Sailfish OS
11 June 2019   440

The Bell has received information from several unnamed sources about the discussion of the possibility of using the proprietary mobile operating system Aurora on some types of Huawei devices.

The movement in the direction of Aurora has so far limited itself only to a discussion of the possibility of using this OS, no plans have been presented. The discussion was attended by the Minister of Digital Development and Communications Konstantin Noskov and the Executive Director of Huawei. The meeting also raised the issue of creating a joint production of chips and software in Russia. The information was not confirmed at Rostelecom, but expressed willingness to cooperate.

Huawei declined to comment on the published information. At the same time, the company is developing its own mobile platform Hongmeng OS (Arc OS), providing compatibility with Android applications. The first release of Hongmeng OS is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. Two options will be offered - for China and the global smartphone market. It is alleged that Hongmeng OS has been in development since 2012 and was ready for the beginning of 2018, but was not delivered due to the use of Android as a main platform and partnership with Google.

There is evidence that for testing in China, the first batch of 1 million Hongmeng OS-based smartphones has already been distributed. Technical details are not disclosed yet and it is not clear whether the platform is built on Android code or only includes a layer for compatibility. Huawei has long been delivering its own Android edition - EMUI, it is possible that it is the basis of Hongmeng OS.

Huawei’s interest in alternative mobile systems is driven by restrictive measures introduced by the US Department of Commerce, which will restrict Huawei’s access to Android services falling under a commercial agreement with Google, as well as breaking commercial relations with ARM.

Sailfish is partly a proprietary mobile operating system with an open system environment, but closed by the user shell, basic mobile applications, QML components for building the Silica graphical interface, an interlayer for launching Android applications, a smart text input engine and a data synchronization system. The open system environment is built on the basis of Mer (fork MeeGo), which since April has been developing as an integral part of Sailfish, and packages of the Mer distribution package Nemo. On top of the Mer system components, a graphical stack is launched based on the Wayland and Qt5 library.