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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: 5 hours 47 min ago

Announcing the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines

7 hours 37 min ago
Richard Stallman has released an initial version of the GNU Kind Communications Guidelines, and asks all GNU contributors to make their best efforts to follow these guidelines in GNU Project discussions. "The idea of the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines is to start guiding people towards kinder communication at a point well before one would even think of saying, "You are breaking the rules." The way we do this, rather than ordering people to be kind or else, is try to help people learn to make their communication more kind. I hope that kind communication guidelines will provide a kinder and less strict way of leading a project's discussions to be calmer, more welcoming to all participants of good will, and more effective."

Security updates for Monday

9 hours 18 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (thunderbird), Debian (drupal7, exiv2, and ghostscript), Fedora (apache-commons-compress, git, libssh, and patch), Mageia (389-ds-base, calibre, clamav, docker, ghostscript, glib2.0, libtiff, mgetty, php-smarty, rust, tcpflow, and vlc), openSUSE (Chromium, icinga, and libssh), and SUSE (clamav, fuse, GraphicsMagick, haproxy, libssh, thunderbird, tomcat, udisks2, and Xerces-c).

The 4.19 kernel is out

15 hours 56 min ago
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the 4.19 kernel. Headline features in this release include the new AIO-based polling interface, L1TF vulnerability mitigations, the block I/O latency controller, time-based packet transmission, the CAKE queuing discipline, and much more. "And with that, Linus, I'm handing the kernel tree back to you. You can have the joy of dealing with the merge window".

Some kernel code-of-conduct refinements

Saturday 20th of October 2018 03:48:21 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has posted a series of patches making some changes around the newly adopted code of conduct. In particular, it adds a new document describing how the code is to be interpreted in the kernel community. "I originally sent the first two patches in this series to a lot of kernel developers privately, to get their review and comments and see if they wanted to ack them. This is the traditional way we have always done for policy documents or other 'contentious' issues like the GPLv3 statement or the 'closed kernel modules are bad' statement. Due to the very unexpected way that the original Code of Conduct file was added to the tree, a number of developers asked if this series could also be posted publicly before they were merged, and so, here they are."

Four new stable kernels

Saturday 20th of October 2018 03:03:59 PM
A new set of stable kernels is now available: 4.18.16, 4.14.78, 4.9.135, and 4.4.162. As usual, there are important fixes contained therein; users should upgrade.

cairo release 1.16.0 now available

Saturday 20th of October 2018 02:57:45 PM
After four years of development since 1.14.0, version 1.16.0 of the cairo 2D graphics library has been released. "Of particular note is a wealth of work by Adrian Johnson to enhance PDF functionality, including restoring support for MacOSX 10.4, metadata, hyperlinks, and more. Much attention also went into fonts, including new colored emoji glyph support, variable fonts, and fixes for various font idiosyncrasies. Other noteworthy changes include GLESv3 support for the cairo_gl backend, tracking of SVG units in generated SVG documents, and cleanups for numerous test failures and related issues in the PDF and Postscript backends." More information can be found in the change log.

OpenSSH 7.9 released

Friday 19th of October 2018 02:53:50 PM
The OpenSSH 7.9 release is out. It (finally) allows the use of symbolic service names rather than port numbers, adds support for sending signals over the SSH protocol, bans the use of DSA keys for certificate authorities, and more.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 19th of October 2018 02:13:12 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7 and libssh), openSUSE (binutils, ImageMagick, and java-11-openjdk), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk), and SUSE (apache2, bash, binutils, clamav, curl, dovecot22, firefox, ghostscript, git, glibc, gnutls, gpg2, icu, java-1_7_0-openjdk, java-1_7_1-ibm, java-1_8_0-ibm, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, kernel-firmware, libvirt, libzypp, zypper, mariadb, nagios, ntp, openslp, openssh, openssl, perl, postgresql10, qemu, qpdf, samba, shadow, smt, yast2-smt, ucode-intel, wireshark, xen, yast2-smt, and zziplib).

OpenBSD 6.4

Thursday 18th of October 2018 10:31:05 PM
OpenBSD 6.4 has been released. This release features improved hardware support, adding a number of new drivers. Notable security improvements include the new unveil() system call to restrict file system access.

Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) released

Thursday 18th of October 2018 06:33:22 PM
Ubuntu has announced the release of its latest version, 18.10 (or "Cosmic Cuttlefish"). It has lots of updated packages and such, and is available in both a desktop and server version; there are also multiple flavors that were released as well. More information can be found in the release notes. "The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 4.18 based Linux kernel, our default toolchain has moved to gcc 8.2 with glibc 2.28, and we've also updated to openssl 1.1.1 and gnutls 3.6.4 with TLS1.3 support. Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 LTS brings a fresh look with the community-driven Yaru theme replacing our long-serving Ambiance and Radiance themes. We are shipping the latest GNOME 3.30, Firefox 63, LibreOffice 6.1.2, and many others. Ubuntu Server 18.10 includes the Rocky release of OpenStack including the clustering enabled LXD 3.0, new network configuration via netplan.io, and iteration on the next-generation fast server installer. Ubuntu Server brings major updates to industry standard packages available on private clouds, public clouds, containers or bare metal in your datacentre."

PostgreSQL 11 released

Thursday 18th of October 2018 05:05:33 PM
The PostgreSQL 11 release is out. "PostgreSQL 11 provides users with improvements to overall performance of the database system, with specific enhancements associated with very large databases and high computational workloads. Further, PostgreSQL 11 makes significant improvements to the table partitioning system, adds support for stored procedures capable of transaction management, improves query parallelism and adds parallelized data definition capabilities, and introduces just-in-time (JIT) compilation for accelerating the execution of expressions in queries." See this article for a detailed overview of what is in this release.

[$] Making the GPL more scary

Thursday 18th of October 2018 03:22:43 PM
For some years now, one has not had to look far to find articles proclaiming the demise of the GNU General Public License. That license, we are told, is too frightening for many businesses, which prefer to use software under the far weaker permissive class of license. But there is a business model that is based on the allegedly scary nature of the GPL, and there are those who would like to make it more lucrative; the only problem is that the GPL isn't quite scary enough yet.

Stable kernels 4.18.15, 4.14.77, and 4.9.134

Thursday 18th of October 2018 02:35:07 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.18.15, 4.14.77, and 4.9.134 stable kernels. As usual, there are important fixes throughout the tree and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 18th of October 2018 02:20:25 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, libssh, and net-snmp), Debian (libssh and xen), Fedora (audiofile), openSUSE (axis, GraphicsMagick, ImageMagick, kernel, libssh, samba, and texlive), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, rh-nodejs6-nodejs, and rh-nodejs8-nodejs), SUSE (binutils and fuse), and Ubuntu (paramiko).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 18, 2018

Thursday 18th of October 2018 12:29:38 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 18, 2018 is available.

[$] A new direction for i965

Wednesday 17th of October 2018 10:30:08 PM

Graphical applications are always pushing the limits of what the hardware can do and recent developments in the graphics world have caused Intel to rethink its 3D graphics driver. In particular, the lower CPU overhead that the Vulkan driver on Intel hardware can provide is becoming more attractive for OpenGL as well. At the 2018 X.Org Developers Conference Kenneth Graunke talked about an experimental re-architecting of the i965 driver using Gallium3D—a development that came as something of a surprise to many, including him.

[$] Secure key handling using the TPM

Wednesday 17th of October 2018 04:36:57 PM

Trusted Computing has not had the best reputation over the years — Richard Stallman dubbing it "Treacherous Computing" probably hasn't helped — though those fears of taking away users' control of their computers have not proven to be founded, at least yet. But the Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, inside your computer can do more than just potentially enable lockdown. In our second report from Kernel Recipes 2018, we look at a talk from James Bottomley about how the TPM works, how to talk to it, and how he's using it to improve his key handling.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 17th of October 2018 03:08:04 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (tomcat), Debian (asterisk, graphicsmagick, and libpdfbox-java), openSUSE (apache2 and git), Oracle (tomcat), Red Hat (kernel and Satellite 6.4), Slackware (libssh), SUSE (binutils, ImageMagick, and libssh), and Ubuntu (clamav, libssh, moin, and paramiko).

[$] A farewell to email

Tuesday 16th of October 2018 10:29:04 PM
The free-software community was built on email, a distributed technology that allows people worldwide to communicate regardless of their particular software environment. While email remains at the core of many projects' workflow, others are increasingly trying to move away from it. A couple of recent examples show what is driving this move and where it may be headed.

Bro becomes Zeek

Tuesday 16th of October 2018 04:43:32 PM
The Bro network security monitoring project has announced a name change to "Zeek". "On the Leadership Team of the Bro Project, we heard clear concerns from the Bro community that the name 'Bro' has taken on strongly negative connotations, such as 'Bro culture'. These send a sharp, anti-inclusive - and wholly unintended and undesirable - message to those who might use Bro. The problems were significant enough that during BroCon community sessions, several people have mentioned substantial difficulties in getting their upper management to even consider using open-source software with such a seemingly ill-chosen, off-putting name."

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat: OpenShift and Awards

  • OpenShift Commons Briefing: OpenShift 3.11 Release Update with Scott McCarty (Red Hat)
    In this briefing, Red Hat’s Scott McCarty and numerous other members of the OpenShift Product Management team gave an in-depth look at Red Hat’s OpenShift’s latest release 3.11 and some insights in to the road ahead.
  • Awards roll call: Red Hat awards, June to October 2018
    Depending on the weather in your region, it’s safe to say that the seasons are changing so it’s a good time to look back at what was a busy few months for Red Hat, especially when it came to industry awards for our technical and product leadership. In recent months, Red Hat products and technologies took home twenty awards, highlighting the breadth and depth of our product portfolio as well as the expertise that we provide to our customers. In addition, Red Hat as a company won five awards recognizing its growth and culture as a leader in the industry.
  • More advice from a judge - what it takes to win a Red Hat Innovation Award
    Last year I penned the below post to provide insight into what the judges of the Red Hat Innovation Awards are looking for when reviewing submissions. Looking back, I would give almost the identical advice again this year...maybe with a few tweaks. With all the stellar nominations that we receive, the question I often get is, “how can we make our entry standout?” There’s no magic formula for winning the Red Hat Innovation Awards, but there are things that the other judges and I look for in the entries. Overall, we’re looking for the project that tells a compelling story. It’s not just about sharing what Red Hat products and services you used, we want to hear the full narrative. What challenges did you face; how you implemented the project; and ultimately, what was the true business impact and transformation that took place? Submissions that are able to showcase how open source culture and values were key to success, or how the project is making a difference in the lives of others, are the entries that most often rise to the top.

today's howtos

OSS Leftovers

  • How to be an effective and professional member of the Samba user and development Community
    For many years we have run these lists dedicated to developing and promoting Samba, without any set of clear guidelines for people to know what to expect when participating.  What do we require? What kind of behavior is encouraged?
  • Blockcerts Updates Open Source Blockchain Architecture
    Learning Machine is making changes to its Blockcerts Credential Issuer, Verifier and Wallet to enable native support for records issuance and verification using any blockchain. Blockcerts was launched by Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab in 2016 as new way to allow students to receive digital diplomas through an app, complementing a traditional paper degree. Blockcerts was originally designed to be blockchain-agnostic, which means that open standards can be used to anchor records in any blockchain. The Blockcerts Universal Identifier recognizes which blockchain is being used and verifies accordingly. Currently, the open source project has added support for bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, but anyone can add support through the project's GitHub page.
  • First full featured open-source Ethereum block explorer BlockScout launched by POA Network
  • Amsterdam-based ING Bank Introduces Open-Source Zero Knowledge Technology
  • ING Bank Launches Open Source Privacy Improvement Add-On for Blockchains
  • Imec tool accelerates DNA sequencing 10x
    As a result, in a typical run, elPrep is up to ten times faster than other software tools using the same resources. It is designed as a seamless replacement that delivers the exact same results as GATK4.0 developed by the Broad Institute. elPrep has been written in the Go programming language and is available through the open-source GNU Affero General Public License v3 (AGPL-3.0).
  • On the low adoption of automated testing in FOSS
    A few times in the recent past I've been in the unfortunate position of using a prominent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) program or library, and running into issues of such fundamental nature that made me wonder how those issues even made it into a release. In all cases, the answer came quickly when I realized that, invariably, the project involved either didn't have a test suite, or, if it did have one, it was not adequately comprehensive. I am using the term comprehensive in a very practical, non extreme way. I understand that it's often not feasible to test every possible scenario and interaction, but, at the very least, a decent test suite should ensure that under typical circumstances the code delivers all the functionality it promises to. [...] Most FOSS projects, at least those not supported by some commercial entity, don't come with any warranty; it's even stated in the various licenses! The lack of any formal obligations makes it relatively inexpensive, both in terms of time and money, to have the occasional bug in the codebase. This means that there are fewer incentives for the developer to spend extra resources to try to safeguard against bugs. When bugs come up, the developers can decide at their own leisure if and when to fix them and when to release the fixed version. Easy! At first sight, this may seem like a reasonably pragmatic attitude to have. After all, if fixing bugs is so cheap, is it worth spending extra resources trying to prevent them?
  •  
  • Chrome for Linux, Mac, and Windows Now Features Picture-in-Picture by Default
    Chromium evanghelist at Google François Beaufort announced today that Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support is now enabled by defualt in the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. Google's engineers have been working for months to add Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support to the Google Chrome web browser, but the long-anticipated feature is finally here, enabled by default in the latest version for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The feature lets you detach a video in a floating window so you can watch it while doing something else on your computer.
  • Teaching With an Index Card: the Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools
  • Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems
    The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.
  • Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine
    How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.4: Updates and Extensions
    The first update in a little while brings us release 0.0.4 of RApiDatetime which got onto CRAN this morning via the lovely automated sequence of submission, pretest-recheck and pretest-publish. RApiDatetime provides seven entry points for C-level functions of the R API for Date and Datetime calculations. The functions asPOSIXlt and asPOSIXct convert between long and compact datetime representation, formatPOSIXlt and Rstrptime convert to and from character strings, and POSIXlt2D and D2POSIXlt convert between Date and POSIXlt datetime. This releases brings asDatePOSIXct as a seventh courtesy of Josh Ulrich. All these functions are all fairly useful, but not one of them was previously exported by R for C-level use by other packages. Which is silly as this is generally extremely carefully written and tested code.
  • 6 JavaScript books you should know
    If there was ever the potential for a giant book list it's one based on our favorite Javascript books. But, this list is short and easy to digest. Maybe it will help you get started, gently. Plus, check out three of our top Javascript articles with even more books, resources, and tips.

Security: Telstra, Google+ and Facebook Incidents, and Latest Updates