Linux Update Coming For Tesla Model S, X This December



Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla

All Tesla Vehicles Will Benefit From Linux OS Update To 4.4, Image Credit: Tesla

We constantly hear about the enormous touchscreen displays in Tesla’s line of vehicles. Compared to most other cars on the market, the screen size is more than double. However, what we don’t hear about often enough is that the internet browser is way behind. This is not expected of such a tech company, with all of the other bells and whistles Tesla includes in its vehicles.

Well … the time is coming and it has been made Twitter official by Elon Musk. Many people assumed that the huge, recent 8.0 update would address the issue. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and Tesla owners will have to wait until December for the Linux OS to update to 4.4. At least now we know … and Elon and Tesla have been pretty efficient as of late, living up to all of the bold promises.

The current system is built on the dated, and much slower Linux Ubuntu. Consumers should experience a marked difference once the new update is in place. Despite the fact that Musk recently disclosed that some car’s are getting close to their limits in terms of processing power and hardware capabilities, the upcoming Linux update is supposed to effect every Tesla vehicle on the road.

Source: Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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14 Comments on "Linux Update Coming For Tesla Model S, X This December"

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Does anyone know what processor is used in the cars? Have thei processors been upgraded over the last 4 years?

Pretty sure it has been the same processors. One for each screen.

I think there will be a next gen processor for Model 3 and Autopilot 2.0 hardware. All this will likely land in S and X before 3 production. Maybe 17th announcement.

I have to give serious props to Elon. You don’t often see CEOs of billion dollar companies tracking Linux kernel versions. Now that’s going deep.

Infrastructure upgrades are hardest in IT to give sufficient explanation and rationale to top figures.

So I’m sure somebody made big badass list of what’s new in kernel 4.4 and will be useful for upcomming upgrades.

Or maybe Musk is also overseeing infrastructure IT too.

*Infrastructure used as word for aany software that enables end user software to do its tasks.

Well, Elon was a coder not that long ago, and he was quite good at it… I am not surpised that he keep track on teh kernel version. I would not be to surprised if he rubs elbows with Thorvalds either…

Ubuntu is not a Linux version it is a distribution on top of a Linux OS. The latest Ubuntu LTS is also running on kernel 4.4.

A browser is software that runs on an OS, so not sure why they are waiting to update the OS, before updating the browser.

What browser software do they use?

It is easier to validate just one change/software update than two. The browser update basically becomes a “freebie” with the OS update validation testing. Otherwise they would have to do two complete test and upgrade cycles instead of one.

This is smart use of QE’s.

Quote: “The current system is built on the dated, and much slower Linux Ubuntu. Consumers should experience a marked difference once the new update is in place.”

Are you sure they are switching away from an Ubuntu-based OS with the update? What Linux distribution will the new update with Linux kernel 4.4 be based on if not Unbuntu?
And why do you claim Ubuntu is dated? Or are you just mixing up kernels and OS distributions which are two entirely different things? The most recent Unbuntu distributions are already based atop the Linux kernel 4.4, it’s just Teslas embedded OS that is dated because it isn’t based on the most recent Unbuntu distributions which based atop of Linux kernel 4.4
It’s not the Linux distribution/OS that’s being updated to 4.4, but the Linux OS kernel.

And the latest release of Linux kernel is already up to version 4.8.1, so it will still be dated after Tesla updates to version 4.4 in December. And new Tesla releases are probably always going to be based on dated Linux distributions and kernels, as they will be tested more thoroughly before release in a car than the typical Linux PC distribution. And besides Teslas embedded OS is based on the Unbuntu distribution so it’s always going to be dated compared to the Unbuntu distribution.

“The current system is built on the dated, and much slower Linux Ubuntu.”

A new version of Linux has little to do with application speed. It might enable access to faster hardware or provide a service more efficiently but I’d be surprised at much of a change.

Anybody knows if they disclose now source code of their mods to the OS as required by Linux software license or just pirate it as before?

“The current system is built on the dated, and much slower Linux Ubuntu. Consumers should experience a marked difference once the new update is in place.”

To give him the benefit of the doubt, I would assume he meant that the system is based on an older Ubuntu distribution, and that it is being updated to a newer OS that is not based on Ubuntu anymore.

I doubt that updating the version of Ubuntu and the kernel version would result in a noticeable performance boost, but changing from an Ubuntu-based system to something based on a different distribution (or even a completely custom embedded distribution) could certainly have a strong effect.

I don’t know anyone who chose Ubuntu over other distributions because of its relative performance. I do know people who have chosen Gentoo and Arch for performance reasons.

As an alternative, and contrary to the implications made by many commenters above, Ubuntu does have its own patches applied to its kernel, which you might call an “Ubuntu kernel”. Transitioning from an old Ubuntu kernel to a new Ubuntu kernel probably would not boost performance much, though.

After a few decades in software development, I would say that most performance issues have come back to the software vs. the underlying hardware. There is an insane amount of poorly written (or more commonly, poorly designed) applications that are just crazy inefficient. Sadly, sometimes the situation is so bad, changing all the code is deemed more difficult than simply throwing more hardware at it. I gave this comparative example to a customer a while back: Imagine the code is you and your assignment is to carry 20 envelopes upstairs. Right now you are picking up an envelope, taking it upstairs, walking back downstairs, getting another envelope, etc. The software team said “we need faster hardware” (i.e. you were going to do the same thing, but now you RUN up and down the stairs). That might make the process twice or even three times as fast. The correct answer, of course, is to change you so that you take all 20 envelopes upstairs at once! That might result in a 15X performance improvement! This is a very simplistic example, but I see it ALL THE TIME! Agree with others that a new version of the underlying OS rarely results in… Read more »