ubermix 4.40 Released and Other Developmets

Posted by ubermix On Saturday, February 1, 2020 0 comments
We are pleased to announce that ubermix 4.40 has been released! This new version contains a number of improvements and enhancements made to the ubermix 4 platform, including:

Update to Linux kernel 5.3
Kernel updates typically bring significant improvements in hardware support, with this version making the move to the 5.x kernel. Version 5 brings with it many features, enhancements, and new functionality, such as the following:

  • AMD Radeon FreeSync support
  • Support for a new VegaM
  • NVIDIA Xavier display support
  • Continued work on Intel Icelake Gen11 graphics
  • Intel VT-d Scalable Mode support for Scalable I/O Virtualization
  • New Intel Stratix 10 FPGA drivers
  • Fixes for F2FS, EXT4 and XFS
  • Btrfs file-system restores support for swap files
  • Fscrypt Adiantum support for helping with fast data encryption on low-end hardware. This replaces the infamous Speck algorithm by NSA.
  • Realtek R8169 driver improvements
  • Logitech High Resolution Scrolling support
  • Raspberry Pi Touchscreen driver
  • x86 laptop drivers improvement
  • Improved power management

User Interface Stack Updates
The user interface stack (Xorg and related software) provides all of the underpinnings for the user interface, including touchpads and touchscreens, accelerated graphics processors, etc. ubermix 4.40 brings ubermix in line with the Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Xorg stack.

Other Updates
ubermix is ever evolving, and over the past several updates there have been some significant changes, including:
  • Full support for multiple users, including resets and imaging: The instant reset functionality is one of the best features of ubermix, however it was originally only designed to work for the primary user. ubermix now fully supports multiple users for imaging and resets, making it possible to create several user accounts with varying access levels, while still retaining full reset capabilities across all of them. This was a complete overhaul of the reset system, bringing added flexibility and functionality.
  • Touch setup improvements: ubermix makes setting up for a touchscreen device easy by doing all of the necessary tweaking of various system and visual settings for you, which is ordinarily quite a chore with a default Ubuntu install. The latest version brings with it much better support for variable resolutions, including automatic detection and scaling for HiDPI displays, and it does a better job of maintaining Gnome extensions already in place.
  • Added sound input/output selector to the system menu: One of the shortcomings of the Gnome desktop on which ubermix runs is that managing multiple sound input and output sources can be quite tedious and confusing. Recent versions of ubermix now include an easy to use input and output device selector and volume control, saving users from having to hunt down sound settings every time the need to make a change.
Upcoming Work
Recently we were approached by Green Studio, a African company based in Cabo Verde, West Africa who has been teaching kids in 9 schools how to code, using single board computers with Linux on them. They have been working on plans to expand the project, not only in Cabo Verde, but in all African continent. 

As you may or may not know, only 10% of households in Africa has a computer at home, so this is an amazing, powerful effort that might do great good in Africa by bringing an affordable device to many kids. We believe in this project and this team, and are excited to be a part of it!

Single-board computers, like the Raspberry Pi and VIM are extremely inexpensive and surprisingly capable, however they are small, low-power devices with limited memory and storage, so they can be a bit of a challenge to build for. ubermix is already very efficient, however this new challenge and completely different architecture required a rebuild-from-scratch, with an eye toward maximum performance on minimal hardware.

We are pleased to report that preliminary builds for the VIM2 are working extremely well and we are about to begin testing in Africa! Once we tighten things up, we'll work to get images posted and toward support for more single boards in the near future.