Bruno Verachten 🍰

Information & Communications Technology

Agriculture, Food & Forestry

arm Linux Docker Iot Edge Developing Android Apps permaculture

Seclin, Hauts-de-France, France

Bruno Verachten 🍰

Community Advocate, Worldline Expert

Father of two, husband of one, geek in denial, fond of handheld devices since 1989, beekeepeer and permie. #Linux #Android #Docker #ARMV8 #IOT

Joined Worldline in 1999.
Currently works as an continuous integration for mobile development specialist in a transversal unit.
Fond of Linux and open source, hand-held devices (SBC…).
Also interested in new techniques in gardening, woodworking by hand, bike commuting and tons of other subjects.
Disguised as taciturn, but a chatterbox.

Trying to push the use of ARM Socs in his job and everywhere else…

Current sessions

MerryKombo: Arm your selfie arm with Arm

You’ve seen them everywhere. You’re maybe one of them. You know, people with a selfie arm or stick recording videos of themselves… on an Arm powered device most of the time. What if we replaced and enhanced this system with the help of cheap Arm devices?

I’ve been recording and broadcasting events since 2018 on a shoestring budget. Not such a big deal after all: film the speaker, record the voice while grabbing the screen too.
I have bought lots of lame hardware and got mitigated results, partially because of the crappy hardware, but also of my yet to become flawless skills. I then got a nice budget, and some off-the-shelf consumer-grade hardware. Videos suddenly became much better looking, but where was the challenge then?

As I am fond of Arm SBCs and love giving myself stupid challenges, I decided I would rewind and try to replicate the working prototype with cheap Arm SBCs and half-baked hardware.
You already know that Arm SoCs are very capable of playing 4k videos; you may own an Android TV box or an Android smartphone that does that everyday without dripping sweat. But do you know that some of them also sport a hardware video encoder, capable of h264 1080p 60 fps encoding? There are also cheaper Arm boards that can do h264 720p for less than $15… and even Android TV Boxes for the same price tag, but you get a remote control and a HDMI cable to boot.

From the luxury version, such as an IRL backpack, to the cheapo version built for less than $50, via the semi-industrial version integrated in a flight case, MerryKombo is the answer to a question that no one asked.
We are now a few folks trying to design this open source hardware and software solution to manage the recording, conversion, and automatic subtitling of videos based on Arm SBCs.
It is not finished nor stabilized by any means, but we’re progressing while having tons of fun. So come and join me to know more about what MerryKombo can do, will do and could do.

On the edge of the real world. An introduction.

Raspberry Pis have been there like forever, and have sold like hot cakes for 16 years now. Lots of people have done very ambitious projects (self driving robot, anyone?), and new ideas and projects surface everyday. Be it building a supercomputer by stacking lots of SBCs, a bitcoin miner, a brewery system, home automation, a weather station or any crazy idea, the only limit seems to be your imagination.

Of course, these little beasts can also be used as servers. For years, Docker has been used only on big servers, but after alt textported Docker to the Arm processor, everything changed.

Pretty cool to be able to run Docker on that kind of mini machines, but what kind of service could you run on Docker with so little memory? Lots of things in fact…

And what if you could get the best of both worlds? What could you do with a machine able to interact with hardware (🌡️, 📹 , 🚦) thanks to Docker? Could you transform your Raspberry Pi into an edge computing node, an IoT on steroids 💪 or anything in between?

The Android device farm that fits in a (cloudy) pocket

Android developers are facing a common problem: how to test our applications on many devices without sacrificing too much time or money?

How to build and test automatically our applications for each commit?
How can we find those devices inside the company, whatever its size may be?
Could there be a directory somewhere that lists those available devices?
Could we use a device remotely and share it with other developers as if it were in the cloud?

What if you could answer all these questions with the help of a low cost device farm that fits into a pocket? A pocket full of clouds…

Poddingue, our proposal, aims to tackle this problem thanks to Docker, HypriotOS, Armbian, Gitlab CI and OpenSTF. It’s an internal solution made of OSS readily available, but it has not yet been publicly announced as a whole.

This is a feedback about an idea on its way to production, a long journey full of different feelings : horror, happiness, suspense, boredom…

Why should I come?

This presentation won’t be too technical ; it is opened to anybody who has an interest into Android, exotic hardware or continuous integration, as long as you can stand a bad sense of humour. At the end of the talk, you should know how to build your own cloudy pocket farm of Android devices and how to use it to test your applications within your ci pipeline.

And as I am cheap, you will also be surprised at how little money you need to build it.

🍊 ARM your continuous integration system with fruits! 🍌

Being able to build/test/deploy on a remote machine each time we commit has been a major progress for us, developers. 🚀

Furthermore, by using Docker, things have been so much easier! No more dependency hell when you have to build and test two incompatible products.

This solution looks almost perfect… until you reach a threshold.

As your Gitlab-ci will become more and more popular within your organization, you may experience longer waiting queues until the next batch of Runners is released.

So you may go from praising the CI to cursing the CI.

You maybe have a Raspberry Pi taking dust on your desk or in your drawer. What’s the point? What’s the connection with the CI?

Well… What if I told you you could transform this momentarily useless piece of hardware into a brand new Gitlab-ci Runner? This way, you could shorten the time your jobs spend in the queue.

But wait, there is more. What if there was a cheaper solution that could allow you to create a Gitlab-ci Runner for a 15€ investment? You may have heard about Banana Pi, Orange Pi, and other variations of fruit Pi(e). The competition is harsh between these manufacturers, and you can find pretty nifty machines for darn cheap. These machine can run Docker, and even Gitlab-Runner on top of it.

What if you could even build Docker images through CI on these machines?

Is this even possible?

It is. You shall leave this talk by knowing the basics to start your own Gitlab Runner for 15€.