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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: 3 hours 49 min ago

[$] Improving printk()

Wednesday 1st of November 2017 02:14:12 PM
When a kernel developer wants to communicate a message to user space, be it for debugging or to report a serious problem with the system, the venerable printk() function is usually the tool of choice. But, as Steve Rostedt (accompanied by Petr Mladek and Sergey Senozhatsky) noted during a brief session at the 2017 Kernel Summit, printk() has not aged well. In particular, it can affect the performance of the system as a whole; the roots of that problem and a possible solution were discussed, but a real solution will have to wait for the appearance of the code.

Kügler: Plasma Mobile Roadmap

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 10:15:52 PM
On his blog, Sebastian Kügler sets out a roadmap for Plasma Mobile, which is a project that "aims to become a complete and open software system for mobile devices". There is already a prototype version available, the next step is the "feature phone" milestone (which will be followed by the "basic smartphone" and "featured smartphone" milestones). "The feature phone milestone is what we’re working on right now. This involves taking the prototype and fixing all the basic things to turn it into something usable. Usable doesn’t mean 'usable for everyone', but it should at least be workable for a subset of people that only rely on basic features — 'simple' things. Core features should work flawlessly once this milestone is achieved. With core features, we’re thinking along the lines of making phone calls, using the address book, manage hardware functions such as network connectivity, volume, screen, time, language, etc.. Aside from these very core things for a phone, we want to provide decent integration with a webbrowser (or provide our own), app store integration likely using store.kde.org, so you can get apps on and off the device, taking photos, recording videos and watching these media. Finally, we want to settle for an SDK which allows third party developers to build apps to run on Plasma Mobile devices. Getting this to work is no small feat, but it allows us to receive real-world feedback and provide a stable base for third-party products. It makes Plasma Mobile a viable target for future product development."

[$] Kernel regression tracking, part 1

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 05:11:27 PM
The kernel development community has run for some years without anybody tracking regressions; that changed one year ago when Thorsten Leemhuis stepped up to the task. Two conversations were held on the topic at the 2017 Kernel and Maintainers summits in Prague; this article covers the first of those, held during the open Kernel-Summit track.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 05:10:53 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libav, quagga, wordpress, and wpa), Mageia (exiv2, irssi, opensc_etc, procmail, rpm, and wget), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-gcp, linux-hwe, and linux-lts-xenial).

[$] Restartable sequences and ops vectors

Tuesday 31st of October 2017 08:23:39 AM
Some technologies find their way into the kernel almost immediately; others need to go through multiple iterations over a number of years first. Restartable sequences, a mechanism for lockless concurrency control in user space, fall into the latter category. At the 2017 Kernel Summit, Mathieu Desnoyers discussed yet another implementation of this concept — but this one may not be the last word either.

[$] GStreamer: state of the union

Monday 30th of October 2017 07:13:57 PM

The annual GStreamer conference took place October 21-22 in Prague, (unofficially) co-located with the Embedded Linux Conference Europe. The GStreamer project is a library for connecting media elements such as sources, encoders and decoders, filters, streaming endpoints, and output sinks of all sorts into a fully customizable pipeline. It offers cross-platform support, a large set of plugins, modern streaming and codec formats, and hardware acceleration as some of its features. Kicking off this year's conference was Tim-Philipp Müller with his report on the last 12 months of development and what we can look forward to next.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 30th of October 2017 05:14:09 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (apr, apr-util, chromium, and wget), CentOS (tomcat and tomcat6), Debian (curl, git-annex, golang, shadowsocks-libev, and wget), Fedora (libextractor and sssd), Gentoo (apache, asterisk, jython, oracle-jdk-bin, and xorg-server), openSUSE (chromium, curl, gcc48, GraphicsMagick, hostapd, kernel, libjpeg-turbo, libvirt, mysql-community-server, openvpn, SDL2, tcpdump, and wget), Oracle (tomcat and tomcat6), Red Hat (chromium-browser, tomcat, and tomcat6), Scientific Linux (tomcat and tomcat6), Slackware (php and wget), SUSE (firefox, mozilla-nss, kernel, wget, and xen), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.5, poppler, and wget).

Kernel prepatch 4.14-rc7

Monday 30th of October 2017 06:08:13 AM
The 4.14-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Still, considering the issues we've had, I likely will do an rc8 unless this upcoming week ends up being _so_ quiet that there's no point. Which while unlikely would be lovely..."

[$] Another attempt to address the tracepoint ABI problem

Friday 27th of October 2017 01:18:43 PM
Tracepoints provide a great deal of visibility into the inner workings of the kernel, which is both a blessing and a curse. The advantages of knowing what the kernel is doing are obvious; the disadvantage is that tracepoints risk becoming a part of the kernel's ABI if applications start to depend on them. The need to maintain tracepoints could impede the ongoing development of the kernel. Ways of avoiding this problem have been discussed for years; at the 2017 Kernel Summit, Steve Rostedt talked about yet another scheme.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 27th of October 2017 12:32:00 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (ntp and wget), Debian (exiv2, mosquitto, and zoneminder), Mageia (upx and virtualbox), Oracle (ntp and wget), Red Hat (wget), Scientific Linux (wget), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (irssi, systemd, and wget).

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.