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LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

[$] Lockdown as a security module

6 hours 48 min ago
Technologies like UEFI secure boot are intended to guarantee that a locked-down system is running the software intended by its owner (for a definition of "owner" as "whoever holds the signing key recognized by the firmware"). That guarantee is hard to uphold, though, if a program run on the system in question is able to modify the running kernel somehow. Thus, proponents of secure-boot technologies have been trying for years to provide the ability to lock down many types of kernel functionality on secure systems. The latest attempt posted by Matthew Garrett, at an eyebrow-raising version 34, tries to address previous concerns by putting lockdown under the control of a Linux security module (LSM).

Canonical backtracks on i386 packages

8 hours 15 min ago
Canonical has let it be known that minds have been changed about removing all 32-bit x86 support from the Ubuntu distribution. "Thanks to the huge amount of feedback this weekend from gamers, Ubuntu Studio, and the WINE community, we will change our plan and build selected 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS. We will put in place a community process to determine which 32-bit packages are needed to support legacy software, and can add to that list post-release if we miss something that is needed."

Two years of postmarketOS

10 hours 49 min ago
PostmarketOS is an Alpine Linux based operating system for mobile devices. The postmarketOS blog takes a look at the project after two years of development. "Wouldn't it be great if you could take any obsolete smartphone from the past ten years and replace its outdated and insecure software with a maintained, modular free software stack? How about then using it as a Raspberry Pi-like device for your next tinkering project? With some constraints, postmarketOS makes this possible today for 139 booting devices. Every single package in the whole OS can be updated, with the only exceptions being the vendor's Linux kernel and firmware blobs (if you plan on using them). In a few cases, it is even possible to switch out the discontinued vendor kernel forks with the upstream kernel releases straight from Linus Torvalds."

Security updates for Monday

11 hours 57 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (jackson-databind, libvirt, pdns, and vim), Fedora (evince, firefox, gjs, libxslt, mozjs60, and poppler), openSUSE (dbus-1, firefox, ImageMagick, netpbm, openssh, and thunderbird), Oracle (libssh2, libvirt, and python), Scientific Linux (python), SUSE (compat-openssl098 , dbus-1 , evince , exempi , firefox , glib2 , gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base , gstreamer-plugins-base , java-1_8_0-ibm , libssh2_org , libvirt , netpbm , samba , SDL2 , sqlite3 , thunderbird , and wireshark ), and Ubuntu (web2py).

Kernel prepatch 5.2-rc6

Sunday 23rd of June 2019 01:10:04 PM
The 5.2-rc6 kernel prepatch has been released. Linus worries that the volume of changes has increased — but not too much. "With all that out of the way, I'm still reasonably optimistic that we're on track for a calm final part of the release, and I don't think there is anything particularly bad on the horizon." He also notes that, due to travel, he'll be releasing 5.2-rc7 later than usual.

Weekend stable kernel updates

Saturday 22nd of June 2019 03:12:19 PM
The 5.1.13, 4.19.54, 4.14.129, 4.9.183, and 4.4.183 stable kernels have all been released with another set of important fixes. A few milliseconds later, 5.1.14 and 4.19.55 came out with one more networking fix.

[$] FreeBSD turns 26

Friday 21st of June 2019 10:18:48 PM
The FreeBSD operating system is continuing to make progress, 26 years after it got its name. Among the areas where work is being done is on improved support for RISC-V, FUSE filesystem updates, C runtime changes, and security improvements. FreeBSD Day is celebrated on June 19, in recognition of the date in 1993 when the name FreeBSD was coined for a fork of the 386BSD project. The first official release of FreeBSD did not occur until November 1, 1993, however.

Ahead of FreeBSD Day, the project released its quarterly report for the first quarter of 2019, outlining some of its ongoing efforts. In addition to the quarterly report, the executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation provided LWN with some insights into the state of the project and the foundation that supports it.

[$] Statistics from the 5.2 kernel — and before

Friday 21st of June 2019 02:52:11 PM
As of this writing, just over 13,600 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.2 development cycle. The time has come, once again, for a look at where that work came from and who supported it. There are some unique aspects to 5.2 that have thrown off some of the usual numbers.

Huang: Open Source Could Be a Casualty of the Trade War

Friday 21st of June 2019 02:07:54 PM
Bunnie Huang writes about the escalating trade wars and how they could be harmful to the open-source community. "Because the administrative action so far against Huawei relies only upon export license restrictions, the Linux Foundation has been able to find shelter under a license exemption for open source software. However, should Huawei be designated as a 'foreign adversary' under EO13873, it greatly expands the scope of the ban because it prohibits transactions with entities under the direction or influence of foreign adversaries. The executive order also broadly includes any information technology including hardware and software with no exemption for open source."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 21st of June 2019 01:11:36 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (libvirt and python), Debian (intel-microcode, php-horde-form, and znc), Fedora (firefox), Mageia (firefox, flash-player-plugin, git, graphicsmagick, kernel, kernel-linus, kernel-tmb, phpmyadmin, and thunderbird), Oracle (libssh2, libvirt, and python), Red Hat (libvirt and python), Scientific Linux (libvirt), Slackware (bind and mozilla), SUSE (enigmail), and Ubuntu (bind9, intel-microcode, mosquitto, postgresql-10, postgresql-11, and thunderbird).

[$] C, Fortran, and single-character strings

Thursday 20th of June 2019 03:16:53 PM
The calling interfaces between programming languages are, by their nature, ripe for misunderstandings; different languages can have subtly different ideas of how data should be passed around. Such misunderstandings often have the effect of making things break right away; these are quickly fixed. Others can persist for years or even decades before jumping out of the shadows and making things fail. A problem of the latter variety recently turned up in how some C programs are passing strings to Fortran subroutines, with unpleasant effects on widely used packages like LAPACK.

Kubernetes 1.15 released

Thursday 20th of June 2019 02:53:55 PM
The Kubernetes container orchestrator team has announced the release of Kubernetes 1.15; the main themes of this release are "extensibility and continuous improvement". One of the focus areas was on usability and lifecycle stability for clusters: "Work on making Kubernetes installation, upgrade and configuration even more robust has been a major focus for this cycle for SIG Cluster Lifecycle (see our last Community Update). Bug fixes across bare metal tooling and production-ready user stories, such as the high availability use cases have been given priority for 1.15. kubeadm, the cluster lifecycle building block, continues to receive features and stability work required for bootstrapping production clusters efficiently. kubeadm has promoted high availability (HA) capability to beta, allowing users to use the familiar kubeadm init and kubeadm join commands to configure and deploy an HA control plane. An entire new test suite has been created specifically for ensuring these features will stay stable over time." More information can be found in the release notes.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 20th of June 2019 01:06:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, gvfs, intel-microcode, and python-urllib3), Fedora (advancecomp, firefox, freeradius, kubernetes, pam-u2f, and rubygem-jquery-ui-rails), openSUSE (elfutils and sssd), Red Hat (chromium-browser), SUSE (doxygen and samba), and Ubuntu (evince, firefox, Gunicorn, libvirt, and sqlite3).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 20, 2019

Thursday 20th of June 2019 12:00:56 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 20, 2019 is available.

[$] The TCP SACK panic

Wednesday 19th of June 2019 09:24:28 PM
Selective acknowledgment (SACK) is a technique used by TCP to help alleviate congestion that can arise due to the retransmission of dropped packets. It allows the endpoints to describe which pieces of the data they have received, so that only the missing pieces need to be retransmitted. However, a bug was recently found in the Linux implementation of SACK that allows remote attackers to panic the system by sending crafted SACK information.

Ubuntu dropping i386 support

Wednesday 19th of June 2019 09:14:59 PM
Starting with the upcoming "Eoan Ermine" (a.k.a. 19.10) release, the Ubuntu distribution will not support 32-bit x86 systems. "The Ubuntu engineering team has reviewed the facts before us and concluded that we should not continue to carry i386 forward as an architecture. Consequently, i386 will not be included as an architecture for the 19.10 release, and we will shortly begin the process of disabling it for the eoan series across Ubuntu infrastructure."

Alpine Linux 3.10.0 released

Wednesday 19th of June 2019 09:12:18 PM
Version 3.10.0 of the Alpine Linux distribution is out. It includes a switch to the iwd WiFi management daemon, support for the ceph filesystem, the lightdm display manager, and more.

[$] More frequent Python releases?

Wednesday 19th of June 2019 05:10:46 PM
Python has followed an 18-month release cycle for many years now; each new 3.x release comes at that frequency. It has worked well, overall, but there is interest in having a shorter cycle, which would mean that new features get into users' hands more quickly. But changing that longstanding cycle has implications in many different places, some of which have come up as part of a discussion on switching to a cycle of a different length.

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 19th of June 2019 02:42:50 PM
Stable kernels 5.1.12, 4.19.53, and 4.14.128 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 19th of June 2019 02:33:05 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (dbus, firefox, kernel, linux-lts, linux-zen, and python), CentOS (bind and kernel), Debian (firefox-esr, glib2.0, and vim), Fedora (dbus, kernel, kernel-headers, mingw-libxslt, poppler, and python-gnupg), openSUSE (gnome-shell, kernel, libcroco, php7, postgresql10, python, sssd, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel and libvirt), Red Hat (go-toolset:rhel8, gvfs, java-11-openjdk, pki-deps:10.6, systemd, and WALinuxAgent), SUSE (docker, kernel, libvirt, openssl, openssl1, and python-Jinja2), and Ubuntu (samba).

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