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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: 29 min 43 sec ago

Wielaard: dtrace for linux; Oracle does the right thing

Wednesday 14th of February 2018 08:04:07 PM
Mark Wielaard writes about the recently discovered relicensing of the dtrace dynamic tracing subsystem under the GPL. "Thank you Oracle for making everyone’s life easier by waving your magic relicensing wand! Now there is lots of hard work to do to actually properly integrate this. And I am sure there are a lot of technical hurdles when trying to get this upstreamed into the mainline kernel. But that is just hard work. Which we can now start collaborating on in earnest."

[$] A report from the Enigma conference

Wednesday 14th of February 2018 06:50:02 PM

The 2018 USENIX Enigma conference was held for the third time in January. Among many interesting talks, three presentations dealing with human security behaviors stood out. This article covers the key messages of these talks, namely the finding that humans are social in their security behaviors: their decision to adopt a good security practice is hardly ever an isolated decision.

Subscribers can read on for the report by guest author Christian Folini.

[$] Authentication and authorization in Samba 4

Wednesday 14th of February 2018 06:03:16 PM

Volker Lendecke is one of the first contributors to Samba, having submitted his first patches in 1994. In addition to developing other important file-sharing tools, he's heavily involved in development of the winbind service, which is implemented in winbindd. Although the core Active Directory (AD) domain controller (DC) code was written by his colleague Stefan Metzmacher, winbind is a crucial component of Samba's AD functionality. In his information-packed talk at FOSDEM 2018, Lendecke said he aimed to give a high-level overview of what AD and Samba authentication is, and in particular the communication pathways and trust relationships between the parts of Samba that authenticate a Samba user in an AD environment.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 14th of February 2018 04:11:31 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (exim and mpv), Debian (advancecomp and graphicsmagick), Red Hat (collectd, erlang, httpd24-apr, openstack-aodh, and openstack-nova), SUSE (kernel and xen), and Ubuntu (libvorbis).

[$] Two FOSDEM talks on Samba 4

Tuesday 13th of February 2018 07:31:07 PM

Much as some of us would love never to have to deal with Windows, it exists. It wants to authenticate its users and share resources like files and printers over the network. Although many enterprises use Microsoft tools to do this, there is a free alternative, in the form of Samba. While Samba 3 has been happily providing authentication along with file and print sharing to Windows clients for many years, the Microsoft world has been slowly moving toward Active Directory (AD). Meanwhile, Samba 4, which adds a free reimplementation of AD on Linux, has been increasingly ready for deployment. Three short talks at FOSDEM 2018 provided three different views of Samba 4, also known as Samba-AD, and left behind a pretty clear picture that Samba 4 is truly ready for use.

Subscribers can read on for a report from guest author Tom Yates on the first two of those talks; stay tuned for another on the third soon.

Stable kernel updates

Tuesday 13th of February 2018 04:28:21 PM
Stable kernels 4.15.3, 4.14.19, and 4.9.81 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 13th of February 2018 04:18:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (sthttpd), Debian (clamav, libreoffice, and pound), openSUSE (ipsec-tools and leptonica), SUSE (libreoffice), and Ubuntu (exim4, firefox, php5, puppet, and wavpack).

[$] A GPL-enforcement update

Tuesday 13th of February 2018 12:44:49 PM
While there is a lot of software distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, there is relatively little enforcement of the terms of that license and, it seems, even less discussion of enforcement in general. The organizers of linux.conf.au have never shied away from such topics, though, so Karen Sandler's enforcement update during the linux.conf.au 2018 Kernel Miniconf fit right in. The picture she painted includes a number of challenges for the GPL and the communities based on it, but there are some bright spots as well.

Preining: In memoriam Staszek Wawrykiewicz

Monday 12th of February 2018 06:12:51 PM
Norbert Preining reports the sad news that Staszek Wawrykiewicz has died. "Staszek was an active member of the Polish TeX community, and an incredibly valuable TeX Live Team member. His insistence and perseverance have saved TeX Live from many disasters and bugs. Although I have been in contact with Staszek over the TeX Live mailing lists since some years, I met him in person for the first time on my first ever BachoTeX, the EuroBachoTeX 2007. His friendliness, openness to all new things, his inquisitiveness, all took a great place in my heart." (Thanks to Paul Wise)

[$] The rest of the 4.16 merge window

Monday 12th of February 2018 05:25:14 PM
At the close of the 4.16 merge window, 11,746 non-merge changesets had been merged; that is 5,000 since last week's summary. This merge window is thus a busy one, though not out of line with its predecessors — 4.14 had 11,500 changesets during its merge window, while 4.15 had 12,599. Quite a bit of that work is of the boring internal variety; over 600 of those changesets were device-tree updates, for example. But there was still a fair amount of interesting work merged in the second half of the 4.16 merge window; read on for the highlights.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 12th of February 2018 04:32:40 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (go, go-pie, and plasma-workspace), Debian (audacity, exim4, libreoffice, librsvg, ruby-omniauth, tomcat-native, and uwsgi), Fedora (tomcat-native), Gentoo (virtualbox), Mageia (kernel), openSUSE (freetype2, ghostscript, jhead, and libxml2), and SUSE (freetype2 and kernel).

Gettys: The Blind Men and the Elephant

Monday 12th of February 2018 02:31:18 PM
Jim Gettys provides an extensive look at the FQ_CoDel queue-management algorithm as a big piece of the solution to bufferbloat problems. "Simple 'request/response' or time based protocols are preferentially scheduled relative to bulk data transport. This means that your VOIP packets, your TCP handshakes, cryptographic associations, your button press in your game, your DHCP or other basic network protocols all get preferential service without the complexity of extensive packet classification, even under very heavy load of other ongoing flows. Your phone call can work well despite large downloads or video use."

Kernel prepatch 4.16-rc1

Sunday 11th of February 2018 11:59:05 PM
Linus has released 4.16-rc1 and closed the merge window for this development cycle. "I don't want to jinx anything, but things certainly look a lot better than with 4.15. We have no (known) nasty surprises pending, and there were no huge issues during the merge window. Fingers crossed that this stays fairly calm and sane."

Linux Plumbers Networking Track CFP

Saturday 10th of February 2018 01:03:14 AM
Linux networking maintainer David Miller has put out a call for proposals for a two-day networking track at this year's Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC). "We are seeking talks of 40 minutes in length, accompanied by papers of 2 to 10 pages in length." The deadline for proposals is July 11. LPC will be held November 13-15 in Vancouver and the networking track will be held the first two days.

Containers Will Not Fix Your Broken Culture (and Other Hard Truths) (ACMQueue)

Saturday 10th of February 2018 12:27:35 AM
In ACMQueue magazine, Bridget Kromhout writes about containers and why they are not the solution to every problem. The article is subtitled: "Complex socio-technical systems are hard; film at 11." "Don't get me wrong—containers are delightful! But let's be real: we're unlikely to solve the vast majority of problems in a given organization via the judicious application of kernel features. If you have contention between your ops team and your dev team(s)—and maybe they're all facing off with some ill-considered DevOps silo inexplicably stuck between them—then cgroups and namespaces won't have a prayer of solving that. Development teams love the idea of shipping their dependencies bundled with their apps, imagining limitless portability. Someone in security is weeping for the unpatched CVEs, but feature velocity is so desirable that security's pleas go unheard. Platform operators are happy (well, less surly) knowing they can upgrade the underlying infrastructure without affecting the dependencies for any applications, until they realize the heavyweight app containers shipping a full operating system aren't being maintained at all."

Tromey: JIT Compilation for Emacs

Saturday 10th of February 2018 12:18:51 AM
On his blog, Tom Tromey looks at just-in-time (JIT) compilation for Emacs and what he has done differently in his implementation from what was done in earlier efforts. He also looks at potential enhancements to his JIT: "Calling a function in Emacs Lisp is quite expensive. A call from the JIT requires marshalling the arguments into an array, then calling Ffuncall; which then might dispatch to a C function (a “subr”), the bytecode interpreter, or the ordinary interpreter. In some cases this may require allocation. This overhead applies to nearly every call — but the C implementation of Emacs is free to call various primitive functions directly, without using Ffuncall to indirect through some Lisp symbol. Now, these direct calls aren’t without a cost: they prevent the modification of some functions from Lisp. Sometimes this is a pain (it might be handy to hack on load from Lisp), but in many cases it is unimportant. So, one idea for the JIT is to keep a list of such functions and then emit direct calls rather than indirect ones."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 9th of February 2018 04:22:08 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (clamav), Debian (mailman, mpv, and simplesamlphp), Fedora (tomcat-native), openSUSE (docker, docker-runc, containerd,, kernel, mupdf, and python-mistune), Red Hat (kernel), and Ubuntu (mailman and postgresql-9.3, postgresql-9.5, postgresql-9.6).

[$] Shrinking the kernel with an axe

Thursday 8th of February 2018 07:41:36 PM
This is the third article of a series discussing various methods of reducing the size of the Linux kernel to make it suitable for small environments. The first article provided a short rationale for this topic, and covered link-time garbage collection. The second article covered link-time optimization (LTO) and compared its results to link-time garbage collection. In this article we'll explore ways to make LTO more effective at optimizing kernel code away, as well as more assertive strategies to achieve our goal.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 8th of February 2018 04:13:19 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (django-anymail, libtasn1-6, and postgresql-9.1), Fedora (w3m), Mageia (389-ds-base, gcc, libtasn1, and p7zip), openSUSE (flatpak, ImageMagick, libjpeg-turbo, libsndfile, mariadb, plasma5-workspace, pound, and spice-vdagent), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (flash-plugin), SUSE (docker, docker-runc, containerd, golang-github-docker-libnetwork and kernel), and Ubuntu (libvirt, miniupnpc, and QEMU).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 8, 2018

Thursday 8th of February 2018 01:36:42 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 8, 2018 is available.

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