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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 52 min ago

A whole bunch of stable kernels

6 hours 29 min ago
Today's crop of stable kernels includes the following: 4.4.267, 4.9.267, 4.14.231, 4.19.188, 5.4.113, 5.10.31, and 5.11.15. As usual. they contain important fixes throughout the tree; users of those series should upgrade.

[$] Running code within another process's address space

7 hours 4 min ago
One of the key resources that defines a process is its address space — the set of mappings that determines what any specific memory address means within that process. An address space is normally private to the process it belongs to, but there are situations where one process needs to make changes to another process's memory; an interactive debugger would be one case in point. The ptrace() system call makes such changes possible, but it is slow and not always easy to use, so there has been a longstanding quest for better alternatives. One possibility, process_vm_exec() from Andrei Vagin, was recently posted for review.

Security updates for Friday

9 hours 3 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (smarty3), Fedora (libpano13, python3.8, and seamonkey), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, gstreamer1.0, thunderbird, and x11-server), Oracle (libldb and thunderbird), SUSE (grafana and system-user-grafana, kernel, and openldap2), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.3, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux-oem-5.6).

Kicking off the GNU Assembly

Thursday 15th of April 2021 02:31:14 PM
A new organization for maintainers and contributors to GNU tools, the GNU Assembly, has announced its existence. "We’re excited to kick off the GNU Assembly and its web site! This place intends to be a collaboration platform for the developers of GNU packages who are all 'hacking for user freedom' and who share a vision for the umbrella project." It is an outgrowth of discussions on changes to GNU governance from a few years back, but its origins are even older than that. The organization is working on its governance model and invites those interested to its Assembly mailing list.

[$] Looking forward to Fedora 34

Thursday 15th of April 2021 02:28:56 PM
The Fedora project may have managed to shake off its reputation for delayed releases in recent years, but that hasn't stopped the release date for Fedora 34 from slipping one week to April 27. Modulo a handful of bugs, though, this release is in its final form, so a look at what is coming is warranted. Distribution releases, especially those for fast-moving community distributions, are a good point at which to catch up with the state of many free-software projects and where Linux is headed in general. Fedora 34 includes a lot of changes, including the GNOME 40 release but, for the most part, it looks like an exercise in continuity.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 15th of April 2021 01:57:57 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (xorg-server), Fedora (kernel), openSUSE (clamav, fluidsynth, python-bleach, spamassassin, and xorg-x11-server), Red Hat (gnutls and nettle, libldb, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (clamav, util-linux, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (network-manager and underscore).

Rust in the Linux kernel (Google security blog)

Thursday 15th of April 2021 01:48:54 PM
The Google security blog has a detailed article on what a device driver written in Rust looks like. "That is, we use Rust's ownership discipline when interacting with C code by handing the C portion ownership of a Rust object, allowing it to call functions implemented in Rust, then eventually giving ownership back. So as long as the C code is correct, the lifetime of Rust file objects work seamlessly as well, with the compiler enforcing correct lifetime management on the Rust side, for example: open cannot return stack-allocated pointers or heap-allocated objects containing pointers to the stack, ioctl/read/write cannot free (or modify without synchronization) the contents of the object stored in filp->private_data, etc."

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 15, 2021

Thursday 15th of April 2021 12:46:29 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 15, 2021 is available.

[$] Enabling debuginfod for Fedora by default

Wednesday 14th of April 2021 09:28:22 PM
In early April, Fedora program manager Ben Cotton posted a proposal to use the distribution's debuginfod servers by default in Fedora 35. This feature would help developers who are trying to debug or trace their programs using various tools, but who are lacking the source code and debugging symbols needed. The servers can provide that data directly to the tools as needed, but there are some security and privacy concerns to work through before turning the feature on by default.

OpenStack Wallaby released

Wednesday 14th of April 2021 04:52:34 PM
The OpenStack cloud-infrastructure project has made its 23rd release, Wallaby. "The Wallaby release strengthens open infrastructure for cloud native applications with enhanced security and integration with other open source technologies. More than 17,000 code changes authored by over 800 contributors from 140 different organizations and 45 countries were merged into the release. In addition to delivering a wide range of improvements to the stable and reliable OpenStack core and its highly flexible project integration capabilities, Wallaby delivers security enhancements including fallback permissions and RBAC improvements in Ironic [bare-metal provisioning service], Glance [image service] and Manila [shared filesystems], and the community focused this cycle on migrating the RBAC policy format from JSON to YAML. Additionally, the Ironic project has extended functionality for UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), including secure erase for NVME."

Four stable kernels

Wednesday 14th of April 2021 03:07:35 PM
Stable kernels 5.11.14, 5.10.30, 5.4.112, and 4.19.187 have been released with important fixes throughout the tree. Users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 14th of April 2021 02:53:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (screen), Debian (clamav, courier-authlib, and tomcat9), Red Hat (thunderbird), SUSE (clamav, glibc, kernel, open-iscsi, opensc, spamassassin, thunderbird, wpa_supplicant, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.6, nettle, and xorg-server, xorg-server-hwe-16.04, xorg-server-hwe-18.04).

FreeBSD 13.0 released

Tuesday 13th of April 2021 09:48:26 PM
The FreeBSD 13 release is out. It includes a lot of updated software, the removal of a number of GNU tools (including the toolchain), and more, but not WireGuard. See the release notes for the details.

[$] Comparing SystemTap and bpftrace

Tuesday 13th of April 2021 07:59:29 PM
There are times when developers and system administrators need to diagnose problems in running code. The program to be examined can be a user-space process, the kernel, or both. Two of the major tools available on Linux to perform this sort of analysis are SystemTap and bpftrace. SystemTap has been available since 2005, while bpftrace is a more recent contender that, to some, may appear to have made SystemTap obsolete. However, SystemTap is still the preferred tool for some real-world use cases.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 13th of April 2021 02:58:43 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libpano13), Fedora (mosquitto and perl-Net-CIDR-Lite), Mageia (curl, mongodb, pdfbox, python-jinja2, rygel, spamassassin, tor, velocity, webkit2, and wireshark), openSUSE (umoci), Oracle (389-ds:1.4, kernel, and virt:ol and virt-devel:rhel), Red Hat (kernel and kpatch-patch), Slackware (dnsmasq and irssi), and SUSE (cifs-utils, rubygem-actionpack-4_2, and spamassassin).

[$] NUMA-aware qspinlocks

Monday 12th of April 2021 06:31:33 PM
While some parts of the core kernel reached a relatively stable "done" state years ago, others never really seem to be finished. One of the latter variety is undoubtedly the kernel's implementation of spinlocks, which arbitrate access to data at the lowest levels of the kernel. Lock performance can have a significant effect on the performance of the system as a whole, so optimization work can pay back big dividends. Lest one think that this work is finally done, the NUMA-aware qspinlock patch set shows how some more performance can be squeezed out of the kernel's spinlock implementation.

The FSF on Stallman's reinstatement

Monday 12th of April 2021 03:51:40 PM
The Free Software Foundation has finally issued a statement on why the decision to return Richard Stallman to the organization's board of directors was taken. We decided to bring RMS back because we missed his wisdom. His historical, legal and technical acumen on free software is unrivaled. He has a deep sensitivity to the ways that technologies can contribute to both the enhancement and the diminution of basic human rights. His global network of connections is invaluable. He remains the most articulate philosopher and an unquestionably dedicated advocate of freedom in computing.

RMS acknowledges that he has made mistakes. He has sincere regrets, especially at how anger toward him personally has negatively impacted the reputation and mission of FSF. While his personal style remains troubling for some, a majority of the board feel his behavior has moderated and believe that his thinking strengthens the work of the FSF in pursuit of its mission.

There is also a separate statement from Stallman.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 12th of April 2021 03:23:55 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel and libldb), Debian (mediawiki, qemu, ruby-kramdown, and xen), Fedora (grub2, libldb, libopenmpt, python-pikepdf, python39, samba, squid, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (bcc, ceph, gssproxy, hostapd, isync, kernel, openexr, openSUSE KMPs, and tpm2-tss-engine), SUSE (fwupdate and wpa_supplicant), and Ubuntu (spamassassin).

Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc7

Monday 12th of April 2021 03:39:32 AM
The 5.12-rc7 kernel prepatch is out; it's rather larger than Linus would have liked. "End result: I'm still waffling about the final 5.12 release. The fact that we have a big rc7 does make me think that I'll probably do an rc8 this time around. But it ends up depending a bit on how the upcoming week goes, and if things are deathly quiet, I may end up deciding that an rc8 doesn't really make sense."

Stable kernels for the weekend

Saturday 10th of April 2021 08:13:35 PM
There is another set of stable kernel updates out: 5.11.13, 5.10.29, 5.4.111, 4.19.186, 4.14.230, 4.9.266, and 4.4.266. Each contains another set of important fixes.

More in Tux Machines

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Kernel Leftovers

  • [Intel-gfx] [RFC 00/28] Old platform/gen kconfig options series
  • Patches Resubmitted For Linux With Selectable Intel Graphics Platform Support

    Back in early 2018 were patches proposed for selectable platform support when building Intel's kernel graphics driver so users/distributions if desired could disable extremely old hardware support and/or cater kernel builds for specific Intel graphics generations. Three years later those patches have been re-proposed. The patches then and now are about allowing selectable Intel graphics "Gen" support at kernel configure/build time so that say the i8xx support could be removed or other specific generations of Intel graphics handled by the i915 kernel driver. This disabling could be done if phasing out older hardware support, seeking smaller kernel images, or other similar purposes. The patches don't change any default support levels but leaves things as-is and simply provides the knobs for disabling select generations of hardware.

  • Linux Kernel Runtime Guard 0.9.0 Is Released

    Linux Kernel Runtime Guard (LKRG) is a security module for the Linux kernel developed by Openwall. The latest release adds compatibility with Linux kernels up to soon to be released 5.12, support for building LKRG into kernel images, support for old 32-bit x86 machines and more. Loading the LKRG 0.9.0 module will cause a kernel panic and a complete halt if SELinux is enabled.

  • Hans de Goede: Logitech G15 and Z-10 LCD-screen support under Linux

    A while ago I worked on improving Logitech G15 LCD-screen support under Linux. I recently got an email from someone who wanted to add support for the LCD panel in the Logitech Z-10 speakers to lcdproc, asking me to describe the process I went through to improve G15 support in lcdproc and how I made it work without requiring the unmaintained g15daemon code.

Devuan 4.0 Alpha Builds Begin For Debian 11 Without Systemd

Debian 11 continues inching closer towards release and it looks like the developers maintaining the "Devuan" fork won't be far behind with their re-base of the distribution focused on init system freedom. The Devuan fork of Debian remains focused on providing Debian GNU/Linux without systemd. Devuan Beowulf 3.1 is their latest release based on Debian 10 while Devuan Chimaera is in the works as their re-base for Debian 11. Read more