Welcome to the 42nd issue of TMPDIR, a weekly newsletter covering Embedded Linux, IoT systems, and technology in general. Subscribe to future issues at https://tinyletter.com/tmpdir and pass it on to anyone else you think might be interested. Please send any tips or feedback to info@tmpdir.org.

Thanks for reading!

Khem and Cliff


Parallelism in Yocto Builds

Yocto project can massively parallelize the builds by not only issuing parallel compile jobs (typical -jN settings via PARALLEL_MAKE in make terminology), but it can compile many components in parallel courtesy BB_NUMBER_THREADS. There are a few other variables which can be effective in defining parallel build behavior as described in speeding up a build. These settings have to match the CPU/Memory/IO resources of underlying build machine, otherwise it can result in obscure failures which are hard to pin-point.

The upcoming release codenamed langdale will have a new feature in bitbake which can scale the task issuing dynamically based on threshholds for CPU/IO/Memory pressures. Determining thresholds for build system is still going to be left to user but there is now support in bitbake to scale the build parallelism dynamically is a welcome change

Yocto project Package Tests (ptest)

The Yocto project has this immensely useful feature which enables cross testing packages. It's called ptest and is orchestrated by the ptest-runner tool. This tool installs client tools into the image, which help in running and collecting results of the tests. It's easy to use with qemu based machines, and is well described in Yocto project documentation. A lot of packages are already creating ptest packages when this feature is enabled, and there are sample images available in the Yoe Distribution as well to see ptest in action.


High rate (15KHz) Data

Working on adding a signal generator to add high rate simulated data for a project I'm working on. This is an interesting performance problem and ended up creating a separate set of NATS subjects for hr (high rate) data. This seems reasonable as you'll typically process high rate data with some algorithm (RMS, average, etc) before running through a rule or other logic -- for example the Influx DB client consumes and stores HR data so it can be viewed. However, I then learned that Grafana and the Influx DB UI only support MS resolution (as shown below), so we need a different graphing solution for high rate data.


More efficient Hashing algorithms

While re-implementing the SIOT upstream support on top of SQLite, the question has come up -- can we implement a more efficient hashing algorithm? Perhaps one that can be updated incrementally as new data comes in. It turns out the bitwise XOR operation has this property. So it seems if we hash bits of data with something like a CRC-32, then we can incrementally update the Hash as new data comes in. See above link for more details.


Changelog Podcast with James Long

James Long (author of Actual Budget and Prettier) appeared on the Changelog podcast recently to discuss why he open sourced Actual Budget. This is a very interesting discussion and covers a number of business, development, and OSS issues.

Embrace Constraints

A nice discussion on the benefits of constraints. Many times we may tend to think “if only I had this resource, time, more developers, etc.” In the end, because you don’t have all the resources in the world, you will probably build a better product.

Quote for the week

Example has more followers than reason. -- Christian Nestell Bovee

Thoughts, feedback? Let us know: info@tmpdir.org.

Join our Discourse forum to discuss these or new topics. Find past issues of TMPDIR here. Listen to previous podcasts at https://tmpdir.org/.