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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: 6 weeks 4 days ago

[$] Some 4.16 and -stable development statistics

Monday 26th of March 2018 06:42:30 PM
The 4.16 development cycle is shaping up to be a relatively straightforward affair with little in the way of known problems and a probable release after nine weeks of work. In comparison to the wild ride that was 4.15, 4.16 looks positively calm. Even so, there is a lot that has happened this time around; read on for a look at who contributed to this release, with a brief digression into stable kernel updates.

Public Lab and Karen Sandler are 2017 Free Software Awards winners

Monday 26th of March 2018 06:11:50 PM
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced the winners of the 2017 Free Software Awards during LibrePlanet. "Public Lab is a community and non-profit organization with the goal of democratizing science to address environmental issues. Their community-created tools and techniques utilize free software and low-cost devices to enable people at any level of technical skill to investigate environmental concerns." The organization received the Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Karen Sandler, the Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, received the Award for the Advancement of Free Software.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 26th of March 2018 03:28:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (bchunk, thunderbird, and xerces-c), Debian (freeplane, icu, libvirt, and net-snmp), Fedora (monitorix, php-simplesamlphp-saml2, php-simplesamlphp-saml2_1, php-simplesamlphp-saml2_3, puppet, and qt5-qtwebengine), openSUSE (curl, libmodplug, libvorbis, mailman, nginx, opera, python-paramiko, and samba, talloc, tevent), Red Hat (python-paramiko, rh-maven35-slf4j, rh-mysql56-mysql, rh-mysql57-mysql, rh-ruby22-ruby, rh-ruby23-ruby, and rh-ruby24-ruby), Slackware (thunderbird), SUSE (clamav, kernel, memcached, and php53), and Ubuntu (samba and tiff).

Kernel prepatch 4.16-rc7

Sunday 25th of March 2018 11:50:18 PM
The 4.16-rc7 prepatch is out; it's probably the last one. "I'm still not *planning* on an rc8 this release, because while rc7 is bigger than usual, nothing in here makes me go 'Hmm, maybe we should delay the release'. But let's see what happens this upcoming week - if next Sunday comes around, and there's lots of new stuff, I'll reconsider then."

A set of weekend stable kernel updates

Sunday 25th of March 2018 04:25:12 PM
The 4.15.13, 4.14.30, 4.9.90, 4.4.124, and 3.18.102 have all been released; each contains a relatively large set of important fixes and updates.

Stone: A new era for Linux's low-level graphics - Part 2

Friday 23rd of March 2018 03:41:37 PM
Here's the second part of Daniel Stone's series on recent improvements in low-level graphics support. "The end result of all this work is that we have been able to eliminate the magic side channels which used to proliferate, and lay the groundwork for properly communicating this information across multiple devices as well. Devices supporting ARM's AFBC compression format are just beginning to hit the market, which share a single compression format between video decoder, GPU, and display controller. We are also beginning to see GPUs from different vendors share tiling formats, in order to squeeze the most performance possible from hybrid GPU systems."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 23rd of March 2018 02:28:22 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (adminer, isc-dhcp, kamailio, libvorbisidec, plexus-utils2, and simplesamlphp), Fedora (exim and glibc-arm-linux-gnu), Mageia (sqlite3), openSUSE (Chromium, kernel, and qemu), SUSE (memcached), and Ubuntu (sharutils).

[$] Energy-aware scheduling on asymmetric systems

Thursday 22nd of March 2018 03:31:14 PM
Energy-aware scheduling — running a system's workload in a way that minimizes the amount of energy consumed — has been a topic of active discussion and development for some time; LWN first covered the issue at the beginning of 2012. Many approaches have been tried during the intervening years, but little in the way of generalized energy-aware scheduling work has made it into the mainline. Recently, a new patch set was posted by Dietmar Eggemann that only tries to address one aspect of the problem; perhaps the problem domain has now been simplified enough that this support can finally be merged.

Stable kernels 4.9.89, 4.4.123, and 3.18.101

Thursday 22nd of March 2018 02:29:31 PM
Yet another new crop of stable kernels has been released: 4.9.89, 4.4.123, and 3.18.101. Each contains a rather large set of changes all over the kernel tree; users of those series should upgrade.

Krita 4.0 released

Thursday 22nd of March 2018 02:24:42 PM
Version 4.0 of the Krita drawing tool has been released; see this article for a summary of the new features in this release. "Krita 4.0 will use SVG on vector layers by default, instead of the prior reliance on ODG. SVG is the most widely used open format for vector graphics out there. Used by 'pure' vector design applications, SVG on Krita currently supports gradients and transparencies, with more effects coming soon."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 22nd of March 2018 01:48:28 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (lib32-libvorbis), Debian (exempi and polarssl), Gentoo (collectd and webkit-gtk), openSUSE (postgresql96), SUSE (qemu), and Ubuntu (libvorbis).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 22, 2018

Thursday 22nd of March 2018 01:43:45 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 22, 2018 is available.

Introducing the syzbot dashboard

Wednesday 21st of March 2018 09:20:13 PM
"Syzbot" is an automated system that runs the syzkaller fuzzer on the kernel and reports the resulting crashes. Dmitry Vyukov has announced the availability of a web site displaying the outstanding reports. "The dashboard shows info about active bugs reported by syzbot. There are ~130 active bugs and I think ~2/3 of them are actionable (still happen and have a reproducer or are simple enough to debug)."

[$] A "runtime guard" for the kernel

Wednesday 21st of March 2018 09:11:08 PM

While updating kernels frequently is generally considered a security best practice, there are many installations that are unable to do so for a variety of reasons. That means running with some number of known vulnerabilities (along with an unknown number of unknown vulnerabilities, of course), so some way to detect and stop exploits for those flaws may be desired. That is exactly what the Linux Kernel Runtime Guard (LKRG) is meant to do.

[$] The Sound Open Firmware project launches

Wednesday 21st of March 2018 07:18:04 PM
It is an increasingly poorly kept secret that, underneath the hood of the components that most of us view as "hardware", there is a great deal of proprietary software. This code, written by anonymous developers, rarely sees the light of day; as a result, it tends to have all of the pathologies associated with software that nobody can either review or fix. The 2018 Embedded Linux Conference saw an announcement for a new project that, with luck, will change that situation, at least for one variety of hardware: audio devices.

RawTherapee 5.4 released

Wednesday 21st of March 2018 02:53:36 PM
Version 5.4 of the RawTherapee image-processing tool is out. New features include a new histogram-matching tool, a new HDR tone-mapping tool, a number of user-interface and performance improvements, and quite a bit more.

Stable kernels 4.15.12 and 4.14.29

Wednesday 21st of March 2018 02:36:35 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released stable kernels 4.15.12 and 4.14.29. As usual, they contain important fixes and users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 21st of March 2018 02:27:41 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (plexus-utils), Fedora (calibre, cryptopp, curl, dolphin-emu, firefox, golang, jhead, kernel, libcdio, libgit2, libvorbis, ming, net-snmp, patch, samba, xen, and zsh), Red Hat (collectd and rh-mariadb101-mariadb and rh-mariadb101-galera), and Ubuntu (paramiko and tiff).

Stone: A new era for Linux's low-level graphics - Part 1

Tuesday 20th of March 2018 07:17:03 PM
Daniel Stone begins a series on how the Linux graphic stack has improved in recent times. "This has made mainline Linux much more attractive: the exact same generic codebases of GNOME and Weston that I'm using to write this blog post on an Intel laptop run equally well on AMD workstations, low-power NXP boards destined for in-flight entertainment, and high-end Renesas SoCs which might well be in your car. Now that the drivers are easy to write, and applications are portable, we've seen over ten new DRM drivers merged to the upstream kernel since atomic modesetting was merged."

[$] Two perspectives on the maintainer relationship

Tuesday 20th of March 2018 06:40:41 PM
Developers and maintainers of free-software projects are drawn from the same pool of people, and maintainers in one project are often developers in another, but there is still a certain amount of friction between the two groups. Maintainers depend on developers to contribute changes, but the two groups have a different set of incentives when it comes to reviewing and accepting those changes. Two talks at the 2018 Embedded Linux Conference shed some light on this relationship and how it can be made to work more smoothly.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora Leftovers

OSS, Openwashing and More

  • Speak at Open Source Summit Europe – Submit by July 1
    Open Source Summit Europe is the leading technical conference for professional open source. Join developers, sysadmins, DevOps professionals, architects and community members, to collaborate and learn about the latest open source technologies, and to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.
  • MariaDB launches Oracle compatible enterprise open source database
    Enterprise computing has often been reliant on proprietary database architecture, but this can be both complex and costly, putting up a barrier to innovation. Now open source database specialist MariaDB is launching its latest enterprise offering with Oracle compatibility. This allows existing Oracle Database users to reuse existing code and established skill sets when migrating applications or deploying new ones. MariaDB TX 3.0 introduces built-in, system-versioned tables, enabling developers to easily build temporal features into applications. This eliminates the need to manually create columns, tables and triggers in order to maintain row history, freeing DBAs to simply create new tables with system versioning or alter existing tables to add it, streamlining the process significantly. Developers can query a table with standard SQL to see what data looked like at a previous point in time, such as looking at a customer's profile history to see how preferences have changed over time.
  • MariaDB TX 3.0 Delivers First Enterprise Open Source Database to Beat Oracle, Microsoft and IBM
    MariaDB® Corporation today announced the release of MariaDB TX 3.0, the first enterprise open source database solution to deliver advanced features that, until now, required expensive, proprietary and complex databases.
  • 5 Open-Source SQL IDEs for You to Learn and Explore
    If you’ve done a lot with SQL, you’ve probably used some form of SQL IDE to help you complete that work. Yes, it’s possible to do everything in SQL from the command line; but creating or even maintaining databases and tables that way is an exercise in masochism. There are some nice commercial IDEs such as dbArtisan and SQL Server’s Management Studio, but IDEs is one area where open-source can do just as well (or in some cases, even better).
  • LibreOffice 6.1 Branches & Now Under Feature Freeze, LibreOffice 6.2 On Master
    LibreOffice has reached its hard feature freeze and branching period with the first beta release being imminent. As of yesterday is now the libreoffice-6-1 branch for continued with on this next open-source office suite while the Git master code is tracking what will later become LibreOffice 6.2.
  • Securing Third-Party and Open Source Code Components: A Primer [Ed: Citing, as usual, firms that try to sell their proprietary software by badmouthing FOSS]
    The increasing popularity of open source code continues to be a boon for developers across the industry, allowing them to increase efficiency and streamline delivery. But there are security risks to be considered when leveraging open source and commercial code components, as each carries with it a significant risk of becoming the enemy within, creating a vulnerability in the program it helps build.
  • FOSSID Awarded Grant for Artificial Intelligence in Open Source Auditing by Sweden's Government Agency for Innovation
  • Intel AI Lab open-sources library for deep learning-driven NLP
    The Intel AI Lab has open-sourced a library for natural language processing to help researchers and developers give conversational agents like chatbots and virtual assistants the smarts necessary to function, such as name entity recognition, intent extraction, and semantic parsing to identify the action a person wants to take from their words. Just a few months old, the Intel AI Lab plans to open-source more libraries to help developers train and deploy artificial intelligence, publish research, and reproduce the latest innovative techniques from members of the AI research community in order to “push AI and deep learning into domains it’s not a part of yet.”
  • 'monitor mode for iwm(4)'
  • FSFE Newsletter - May 2018
    Following a more than a decade long tradition, the FSFE once again led its annual Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) in Barcelona, Spain, as a meeting point for world-leading legal exper...
  • 24 best free security tools

Firefox 63 Plans and Mozilla's Error Code Plans

  • Firefox 63 to Get Improved Tracking Protection That Blocks In-Browser Miners
    Mozilla developers are working on an improved Tracking Protection system for the Firefox browser that will land in version 63, scheduled for release in mid-October. Tracking Protection is a feature that blocks Firefox from loading scripts from abusive trackers. It was first launched with Firefox's Private Browsing mode a few years back, but since Firefox 57, released in November 2017, users can enable it for normal browsing sessions at any time.
  • Firefox 63 To Block Cryptojackers With Advanced Tracking Protection
    It has been reported by Bleeping Computer, a security blog, that Firefox 63 will be launched with an improved tracking protection system to ward off the threats and security concerns posed by in-browser miners. With the surge in incidents involving mining malware trying to use your CPU power to perform some CPU-intensive calculations for their own benefit, many browsers have raised their guards by providing additional security features. (You can read more about blocking cryptocurrency mining in your browser in our earlier published article.)
  • What’s the 411 on 404 messages: Internet error messages explained
    Nothing’s worse than a broken website. Well, maybe an asteroid strike. Or a plague. So maybe a broken website isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still annoying. And it’s even more annoying not knowing what those weird error messages mean. That’s why we’ve decoded the most common HTTP error messages.

OpenStack News/Leftovers

  • Canonical founder calls out OpenStack suppliers for ‘lack of focus’ on datacentre cost savings
    The OpenStack supplier community’s reluctance to prioritise the delivery of datacentre cost savings to their users could prove “fatal”, says Canonical co-founder Mark Shuttleworth.
  • OpenStack in transition
    OpenStack is one of the most important and complex open-source projects you’ve never heard of. It’s a set of tools that allows large enterprises ranging from Comcast and PayPal to stock exchanges and telecom providers to run their own AWS-like cloud services inside their data centers. Only a few years ago, there was a lot of hype around OpenStack as the project went through the usual hype cycle. Now, we’re talking about a stable project that many of the most valuable companies on earth rely on. But this also means the ecosystem around it — and the foundation that shepherds it — is now trying to transition to this next phase.
  • Free OpenStack Training Resources
  • How the OpenStack Foundation Is Evolving Beyond Its Roots
    The OpenStack Foundation is in a period of transition as it seeks to enable a broader set of open infrastructure efforts than just the OpenStack cloud project itself. In a video interview at the OpenStack Summit here, OpenStack Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Bryce and Chief Operating Officer Mark Collier discussed how the open-source organization is still thriving, even as corporate sponsorship changes and attendance at events declines. At the event, Collier said there were approximately 2,600 registered attendees, which is nearly half the number that came to the OpenStack Boston 2017 event. OpenStack's corporate sponsorship has also changed, with both IBM and Canonical dropping from the Platinum tier of membership.