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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: 4 hours 57 min ago

[$] ROCA: Return Of the Coppersmith Attack

Tuesday 14th of November 2017 04:33:11 PM

On October 30, 2017, a group of Czech researchers from Masaryk University presented the ROCA paper at the ACM CCS Conference, which earned the Real-World Impact Award. We briefly mentioned ROCA when it was first reported but haven't dug into details of the vulnerability yet. Because of its far-ranging impact, it seems important to review the vulnerability in light of the new results published recently.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 14th of November 2017 04:29:20 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (konversation), Debian (graphicsmagick and konversation), Fedora (git-annex, ImageMagick, kernel, and libgcrypt), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (httpd), SUSE (firefox, nss), and Ubuntu (perl and postgresql-9.3, postgresql-9.5, postgresql-9.6).

Fedora 27 released

Tuesday 14th of November 2017 02:15:11 PM
The Fedora 27 release is now available. "The Workstation edition of Fedora 27 features GNOME 3.26. In the new release, both the Display and Network configuration panels have been updated, along with the overall Settings panel appearance improvement. The system search now shows more results at once, including the system actions. GNOME 3.26 also features color emoji support, folder sharing in Boxes, and numerous improvements in the Builder IDE tool."

Reports from Netconf and Netdev

Monday 13th of November 2017 11:03:46 PM
The Netconf 2017, Part 2 and Netdev 2.2 conferences were recently held in Seoul, South Korea. Netconf is an invitation-only gathering of kernel networking developers, while Netdev is an open conference for the Linux networking community. Attendees have put together reports from all five days (two for Netconf and three for Netdev) that LWN is happy to publish for them.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for ARM64

Monday 13th of November 2017 06:49:21 PM
Red Hat has announced a version of its RHEL 7.4 distribution for the ARM64 architecture. "Red Hat took a pragmatic approach to Arm servers by helping to drive open standards and develop communities of customers, partners and a broad ecosystem. Our goal was to develop a single operating platform across multiple 64-bit ARMv8-A server-class SoCs from various suppliers while using the same sources to build user functionality and consistent feature set that enables customers to deploy across a range of server implementations while maintaining application compatibility." More information about what works at this point can be found in the release notes.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 13th of November 2017 04:38:47 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (graphicsmagick, imagemagick, mupdf, postgresql-common, ruby2.3, and wordpress), Fedora (tomcat), Gentoo (cacti, chromium, eGroupWare, hostapd, imagemagick, libXfont2, lxc, mariadb, vde, wget, and xorg-server), Mageia (flash-player-plugin and libjpeg), openSUSE (ansible, ImageMagick, java-1_8_0-openjdk, krb5, redis, shadow, virtualbox, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (rh-eclipse46-jackson-databind and rh-eclipse47-jackson-databind), SUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, mysql, openssl, and storm, storm-kit), and Ubuntu (perl).

The 4.14 kernel has been released

Sunday 12th of November 2017 08:11:23 PM
The 4.14 kernel has been released after a ten-week development cycle. Some of the most prominent features in this release include the ORC unwinder for more reliable tracebacks and live patching, the long-awaited thread mode for control groups, support for AMD's secure memory encryption, five-level page table support, a new zero-copy networking feature, the heterogeneous memory management subsystem, and more. See the Kernel Newbies 4.14 page for more information. In the end, nearly 13,500 changesets were merged for 4.14, which is slated to be the next long-term-support kernel.

For the maintainers out there, it's worth noting Linus's warning that the 4.15 merge window might be rather shorter than usual due to the US Thanksgiving Holiday.

[$] The inherent fragility of seccomp()

Friday 10th of November 2017 08:36:57 PM
Kernel developers have worried for years that tracepoints could lead to applications depending on obscure implementation details; the consequent need to preserve existing behavior to avoid causing regressions could end up impeding future development. A recent report shows that the seccomp() system call is also more prone to regressions than users may expect — but kernel developers are unlikely to cause these regressions and, indeed, have little ability to prevent them. Programs using seccomp() will have an inherently higher risk of breaking when software is updated.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 10th of November 2017 03:10:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (lib32-openssl, libextractor, postgresql, and postgresql-old-upgrade), Debian (bchunk, postgresql-9.4, postgresql-9.6, postgresql-common, roundcube, and tomcat7), Gentoo (libxml2), SUSE (kvm, openssl1, and qemu), and Ubuntu (postgresql-common).

[$] Block layer introduction part 2: the request layer

Thursday 9th of November 2017 11:22:01 PM

The Linux block layer provides an upstream interface to filesystems and block-special devices allowing them to access a multitude of storage backends in a uniform manner. It also provides downstream interfaces to device drivers and driver-support frameworks that allow those drivers and frameworks to receive requests in a manner most suitable to each. Some drivers do not benefit from preliminary handling and just use the thin "bio layer" that we met previously. Other drivers benefit from some preprocessing that might detect batches of consecutive requests, may reorder requests based on various criteria, and which presents the requests as one or more well-defined streams. To service these drivers, there exists a section of the block layer that I refer to as the request layer.

Subscribers can read on below for guest author Neil Brown's article that will appear in next week's edition.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 9th of November 2017 04:51:25 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libpam4j, libreoffice, openssl, and ruby-yajl), Fedora (ansible), Mageia (openssl), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (bind9).

CUPS relicensed to Apache v2

Thursday 9th of November 2017 09:09:57 AM
Apple has let it be known that the CUPS printing system will, as of version 2.3, switch from GPLv2 to the Apache License. This change is possible because Apple requires that contributors sign a contributor agreement [PDF] giving joint ownership of any copyrights to Apple.

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 9, 2017

Thursday 9th of November 2017 12:06:35 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 9, 2017 is available.

FSFE makes copyrights computer readable

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 04:57:30 PM
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has released the next version of its REUSE practices, designed to make computers understand software copyrights and licenses. "The REUSE practices help software developers make simple additions to license headers which make it easier for a computer to determine what license applies to the various parts of a programs source code. By following the REUSE practices, software developers can ensure their intent to license software under a particular license is understood and more readily adhered to."

[$] The rise and fall of Limux

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 04:51:05 PM

The LiMux (or Limux) initiative in Munich has been heralded as an example of both the good and bad in moving a public administration away from proprietary systems. Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) President Matthias Kirschner reviewed the history of the initiative—and its recent apparent downfall—in a talk at Open Source Summit Europe in Prague. He also looked at the broader implications of the project as well as asking some questions that free-software advocates should consider moving forward.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 04:14:31 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, libzip, and openssl), Debian (chromium-browser, otrs2, slurm-llnl, and tomcat7), Fedora (kernel, libgcrypt, nodejs, php, poppler, qemu, rpm, and wget), openSUSE (chromium), Red Hat (chromium-browser and rhvm-appliance), SUSE (krb5 and qemu), and Ubuntu (openjdk-8).

[$] USBGuard: authorization for USB

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 02:04:09 PM

USBGuard is a security framework for the authorization of USB devices that can be plugged into a Linux system. For users who want to protect a system from malicious USB devices or unauthorized use of USB ports on a machine, this program gives a number of fine-grained policy options for specifying how USB devices can interact with a host system. It is a tool similar to usbauth, which also provides an interface to create access-control policies for the USB ports. Although kernel authorization for USB devices already exists, programs like USBGuard make it easy to craft policies using those mechanisms.

[$] Maintainers Summit: SPDX, cross-subsystem development, and conclusion

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 10:20:39 AM
The 2017 Maintainers Summit, the first event of its type, managed to cover a wide range of topics in a single half-day. This article, which concludes LWN's coverage of this event, picks up a few relatively short topics that were discussed toward the end of the session. These include a new initiative to add SPDX license tags to the kernel, the perils of cross-subsystem development, and an evaluation of the summit itself.

More stable kernel updates

Wednesday 8th of November 2017 10:10:18 AM
The 4.13.12, 4.9.61, 4.4.97, and 3.18.80 stable kernel updates are available. As usual, each contains a long list of important fixes and updates.

[$] The state of Linus

Tuesday 7th of November 2017 08:20:00 PM
A traditional Kernel-Summit agenda item was a slot where Linus Torvalds had the opportunity to discuss the aspects of the development community that he was (or, more often, was not) happy with. In 2017, this discussion moved to the smaller Maintainers Summit. Torvalds is mostly content with the state of the community, it seems, but the group still found plenty of process-related things to talk about.

More in Tux Machines

Oracle Adds Initial Support for Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS to VirtualBox

Oracle recently updated their VirtualBox open-source and cross-platform virtualization software with initial support for the latest Linux 4.14 LTS kernel series. VirtualBox 5.2.2 is the first maintenance update to the latest VirtualBox 5.2 stable series of the application, and it looks like it can be compiled and used on GNU/Linux distribution running the recently released Linux 4.14 LTS kernel. It also makes it possible to run distros powered by Linux kernel 4.14 inside VirtualBox VMs. Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • How a Linux stronghold turned back to Windows: Key dates in Munich's LiMux project [Ed: This explains the progression of Microsoft's war on GNU/Linux, typically using proxies]
    The project is temporarily put on hold while a study investigates whether it could be derailed by software patents.
  • End of an open source era: Linux pioneer Munich confirms switch to Windows 10 [Ed: Microsoft paid (bribed) all the right people, got a Microsoft fan -- by his own admission -- in power, gifted him for this]
    Mayor Dieter Reiter said there's never been a unified Linux landscape in the city. "We always had mixed systems and what we have here is the possibility of going over to a single system. Having two operating systems is completely uneconomic.
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S10E38 – Soft Knowledgeable Burn
    This week we refactor a home network, discuss how gaming on Linux has evolved and grown in recent years, bring you a blend of love and go over your feedback.
  • Live ISOs for Slackware-current 20171122
    I have released an update of the ‘liveslak‘ scripts. I needed the tag for a batch of new ISO images for the Slackware Live Edition. These are based on the latest Slackware-current dated “Wed Nov 22 05:27:06 UTC 2017“) i.e. yesterday and that means, the ISOs are going to boot into the new 4.14.1 kernel.
  • Am I willing to pay the price to support ethical hardware?
    The planned obsolescence is even worse with tablets and smartphones, whose components are all soldered down. The last tablet with a removable battery was the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Haswell version) announced in October 2013, but it was an expensive Windows device that cost as much as a mid-range laptop. The last Android tablet with a removable battery was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000 series), released in August 2012. It is still possible to find mid-range smartphones with removable batteries. Last year the only high end phones with removable batteries were the LG G5 and V20, but even LG has given up on the idea of making phones that will last longer than 2 years once the battery starts to degrade after roughly 500 full charge and discharge cycles. Every flagship phone introduced in 2017 now has its battery sealed in the case. According to the gmsarena.com database, the number of new smartphone models with non-replaceable batteries grew from 1.9% in 2011 to 26.7% in 2014, and now to 90.3% in 2017. It is highly likely that not a single model of smartphone introduced next year will have a replaceable battery.

More Coverage of New Lumina Release

  • Lumina 1.4 Desktop Environment Released
    The TrueOS BSD folks working on their Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment have issued a new feature update of their open-source desktop.
  • Lumina Desktop 1.4.0 Released
    Lumina 1.4.0 carries a number of changes, optimisations, and feature improvements. Lumina is the default desktop of TrueOS, a BSD-based operating system. The desktop itself is lightweight, modular, built using Qt, and uses Fluxbox for window management. Although Lumina is mostly aimed at BSD users it also runs on Linux, including Fedora, Arch and — *mario coin sfx* — Ubuntu.