PUT Rocketlab collaboration
Recently we started a collaboration with PUT Rocketlab. Below are some of the details concerning the involvement of our members in the project.
PUT Rocketlab is an academic group from the Poznan University of Technology, focused on building and launching hybrid-fuel rockets to space. In their equipment, there is a lot of electronics that use embedded Linux systems. Until not long ago, they have been using mainstream Linux distros which are not perfect when speed and memory usage of the operating system is the bottleneck. We reached out to PUT Rocketlab members offering to build a custom Linux distro for their portable command center, which would be as minimal as possible while handling all crucial tasks.
After considering many options, we decided to use Debian as a base for the setup. We used Debian Installer Preseed to fully automate the installation process and apply some configurations. Our goal was to make the system as minimal as possible, while making it work out of the box. We chose Openbox as a window manager with the Tint2 taskbar to create a lightweight and usable user interface. We applied the necessary network settings and set up communication protocols to integrate the command center with other devices which make rockets fly.
In order to properly test our system, we set up a test environment using Qemu. Qemu allows us to test our system images relatively fast thanks to the advanced CLI interface that it provides. Repackaging the Debian ISO was relatively easy thanks to the Debian documentation. In some places using Debian Docker images was necessary, due the need to use apt utils for adding packages to the system image.
To sum up, this project helped us gain more knowledge about the Debian Linux distro (which is a distro of choice when stability of the system is the number one priority). We also improved our skills in writing Bash scripts and Makefiles. Some of us learned how to efficiently use Docker containers and Qemu emulated systems. The project is open source and available here.
Student Organizations and Academic Groups Day
Next Thursday on October 20th we are presenting our offer at The Student Organizations and Academic Groups Day in the Lecture Center of PUT. We will be stationed in the very heart of the building so you won’t miss us.
The Student Organizations and Academic Groups Day is a yearly event organized by students for students. Its aim is to present a variety of extracurricular activities offered by academic associations to those who wish to pursue their interests, work on multidisciplinary projects or simply learn something new.
We will be there presenting our offer and looking for new LAG members. We are going to attract students’ attention with the help of an object detection demo created and assembled by our vice leader Illia Vysochyn (@ivysochyn) using yocto tools and Antmicro’s codebase. The project’s configuration is open source and available here. Apart from demonstrating this project, we will be giving short talks about yocto and overall workflow in our organization.
LAG presenting at Poznan Open Source Meetup
On May 19th, 2022 we had the opportunity to give a talk for members of the Poznan Open Source Meetup group presenting the best distro to start your adventure with Linux.
The Poznan Open Source Meetup is a group for people who want to keep up with (and contribute to!) the most innovative and disruptive open source initiatives and projects the world of high tech has to offer. This is why we could not say no to the opportunity to present for its members.
In our presentation we focused on those who are new to the Linux world, or looking to set up a new system. We are aware that picking the right distro might seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be, though! In our presentation we started off by defining what comprises a distribution and what matters when picking one and then moved on to showing different workflows and best practices. Our aim was to show that most of the distributions share the same underlying principles and it’s only the little things that make them different from each other. Whichever distro you end up choosing, you're in full control of how you use and customize it.
LAG at Researchers Night
We’ve participated in the European Researchers’ Night co-organized by the Poznan University of Technology. The theme of the 2021 edition was "Hope in science", bringing focus to how science and scientists can save the planet. The purpose of this year’s event was to make young people perceive science as a source of strength, opportunities and hope for the future.
We presented tips and recommendations on energy saving mechanisms in the world's most popular open source operating system - Linux. Our aim was to explain, among other facts, how it is possible that some computers have longer battery life than others and the details behind that phenomenon. Some parts of our presentation focused on ways of saving a battery in a smartphone. Apart from that we featured many kernelspace and userspace mechanisms and utilities, such as ACPI, Dynamic Frequency Scheduling, Energy Frequency Scheduling, TPL, etc.
Interested? Check-out our talk on Youtube.
The first LAG meeting
Our first meeting has been planned for Monday 29th March at 18:00. Each member will receive a direct link to the meeting on their email. Those of you who decide to join LAG by the 26th of March will still be able to participate in our inaugural meeting. Below is the agenda. If there is something you wish to add, please let us know.
- The presentation of LAG board
- A brief introduction to the projects we are currently working on
- Analysis and discussion over the new projects’ suggestion
- A vote over the new projects that might enter our pipeline