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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: 1 hour 28 min ago

[$] BPF and the realtime patch set

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019 08:52:51 PM
Back in July, Linus Torvalds merged a patch in the 5.3 merge window that added the PREEMPT_RT option to the kernel build-time configuration. That was meant as a signal that the realtime patch set was moving from its longtime status as out-of-tree code to a fully supported kernel feature. As the code behind the configuration option makes its way into the mainline, some friction can be expected; we are seeing a bit of that now with respect to the BPF subsystem.

[$] Changing the Python release cadence

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019 03:44:19 PM
There has been discussion about the release cadence of Python for a couple of years now. The 18-month cycle between major releases of the language is seen by some core developers as causing too much delay in getting new features into the hands of users. Now there are two competing proposals for ways to shorten that cycle, either to one year or by creating a rolling-release model. In general, the steering council has seemed inclined toward making some kind of release-cycle change—one of those Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs) may well form the basis of Python's release cadence moving forward.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019 02:44:54 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (go, go-pie, pacman, and xpdf), CentOS (java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and patch), openSUSE (gcc7), Red Hat (firefox, kernel, and qemu-kvm-rhev), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (kernel, libcaca, openconnect, python, sysstat, and zziplib), and Ubuntu (libxslt, linux-azure, and linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws).

Tails 4.0

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 06:03:46 PM
Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is, as the spelled out name implies, a privacy focused distribution, designed to run from removable media. Version 4.0 has been released. "We are especially proud to present you Tails 4.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 10 (Buster). It brings new versions of most of the software included in Tails and some important usability and performance improvements. Tails 4.0 introduces more changes than any other version since years."

Firefox 70 released

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 05:34:06 PM
Version 70 of the Firefox web browser is out. The headline features include a new password generator and a "privacy protection report" showing users which trackers have been blocked. "Amazing user features and protections aside, we’ve also got plenty of cool additions for developers in this release. These include DOM mutation breakpoints and inactive CSS rule indicators in the DevTools, several new CSS text properties, two-value display syntax, and JS numeric separators." See the release notes for more details.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 02:48:31 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (jss and kernel), Debian (libpcap, openjdk-8, and tcpdump), Fedora (java-11-openjdk), openSUSE (libreoffice), Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk, python, and wget), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk), SUSE (ceph, ceph-iscsi, ses-manual_en, dhcp, openconnect, and procps), and Ubuntu (exiv2, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-snapdragon, and uw-imap).

GNOME's patent-troll counterattack

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 01:03:47 PM
Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC filed a patent suit against the GNOME Foundation in September, asserting a violation in the Shotwell photo manager. GNOME has now gone on the counterattack, questioning the validity of the patent and whether it applies to Shotwell at all. There is also an unspecified counterclaim to strike back against Rothschild. "We want to send a message to all software patent trolls out there — we will fight your suit, we will win, and we will have your patent invalidated. To do this, we need your help."

[$] "git request-pull" and confusing diffstats

Monday 21st of October 2019 10:26:25 PM
When a kernel subsystem maintainer has a set of commits to send up the chain toward the mainline, the git request-pull command is usually the right tool for the job. But various maintainers have noticed over the years that this command can sometimes generate confusing results when confronted with anything but the simplest of histories. A brief conversation on the linux-kernel mailing list delved into why this situation comes about and what maintainers can do in response.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 21st of October 2019 02:47:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (aspell, graphite-web, imagemagick, mediawiki, milkytracker, nfs-utils, and openjdk-11), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mediawiki, and radare2), openSUSE (dhcp, libpcap, lighttpd, and tcpdump), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Slackware (python), SUSE (bluez, kernel, and python-xdg), and Ubuntu (aspell).

Kernel prepatch 5.4-rc4

Monday 21st of October 2019 01:31:05 PM
The 5.4-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "This release cycle remains pretty normal. In fact, the rc's have been a bit on the smaller side of the average of the last few releases, and rc4 continues this, if only barely."

[$] Implementing alignment guarantees for kmalloc()

Friday 18th of October 2019 09:52:44 PM
kmalloc() is a frequently used primitive for the allocation of small objects in the kernel. During the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory Management Summit, Vlastimil Babka led a session about the unexpected alignment problems developers face when using this function. After a few months he has come back with the second version of a patch set implementing a natural alignment guarantee for kmalloc(). From the strong opposition it faced initially, it seemed that the change would not get accepted. However, it ended up in Linus Torvalds's tree. Let's explore what happened.

LTTng 2.11.0 "Lafontaine" released

Friday 18th of October 2019 02:53:21 PM
After more than two years of development, the Linux trace toolkit next generation (LTTng) project has released version 2.11.0 of the kernel and user-space tracing tool. The release covers the LTTng tools, LTTng user-space tracer, and LTTng kernel modules. It includes a number of new features that are described in the announcement including session rotation, dynamic user-space tracing, call-stack capturing for the kernel and user space, improved networking performance, NUMA awareness for user-space tracing buffer allocation, and more. "The biggest feature of this release is the long-awaited session rotation support. Session rotations now allow you to rotate an ongoing tracing session much in the same way as you would rotate logs. The 'lttng rotate' command rotates the current trace chunk of the current tracing session. Once a rotation is completed, LTTng does not manage the trace chunk archive anymore: you can read it, modify it, move it, or remove it. Because a rotation causes the tracing session’s current sub-buffers to be flushed, trace chunk archives are never redundant, that is, they do not overlap over time, unlike snapshots. Once a rotation is complete, offline analyses can be performed on the resulting trace, much like in 'normal' mode. However, the big advantage is that this can be done without interrupting tracing, and without being limited to tools which implement the 'live' protocol."

Five new stable kernels

Friday 18th of October 2019 02:15:14 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.3.7, 4.19.80, 4.14.150, 4.9.197, and 4.4.197 stable kernels. All five contain important fixes throughout the kernel tree, as usual. Users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 18th of October 2019 01:20:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (poppler, sudo, and wordpress), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and kernel), and SUSE (kernel and postgresql10).

Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) released

Thursday 17th of October 2019 10:09:52 PM
Ubuntu has announced the release of 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" in desktop and server editions as well as all of the different flavors: Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu. "The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 5.3 based Linux kernel, and our default toolchain has moved to gcc 9.2 with glibc 2.30. Additionally, the Raspberry Pi images now support the new Pi 4 as well as 2 and 3. Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 introduces GNOME 3.34 the fastest release yet with significant performance improvements delivering a more responsive experience. App organisation is easier with the ability to drag and drop icons into categorised folders and users can select light or dark Yaru theme variants. The Ubuntu Desktop installer also introduces installing to ZFS as a root filesystem as an experimental feature." More information can also be found in the release notes.

[$] Really fixing getrandom()

Thursday 17th of October 2019 05:08:23 PM
The final days of the 5.3 kernel development cycle included an extensive discussion of the getrandom() API and the reversion of an ext4 improvement that was indirectly causing boot hangs due to a lack of entropy. Blocking filesystem improvements because they are too effective is clearly not a good long-term development strategy for the kernel, so there was a consensus that some sort of better solution had to be found. What was lacking was an idea of what that solution should be. It is thus surprising that the problem appears to have been dealt with in 5.4 with little in the way of dissent or disagreement.

Bazel 1.0 released

Thursday 17th of October 2019 02:23:16 PM
Google has announced version 1.0 of its Bazel build system. "A growing list of Bazel users attests to the widespread demand for scalable, reproducible, and multi-lingual builds. Bazel helps Google be more open too: several large Google open source projects, such as Angular and TensorFlow, use Bazel. Users have reported 3x test time reductions and 10x faster build speeds after switching to Bazel."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 17th of October 2019 01:27:50 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (sudo), Debian (libsdl1.2 and libsdl2), Mageia (e2fsprogs, kernel, libpcap and tcpdump, nmap, and sudo), openSUSE (GraphicsMagick and sudo), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, jss, and kernel), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Scientific Linux (jss), SUSE (gcc7 and libreoffice), and Ubuntu (leading to a double-free, libsdl1.2, and tiff).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 17, 2019

Thursday 17th of October 2019 12:25:53 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 17, 2019 is available.

[$] WireGuard and the crypto API

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 09:38:05 PM
When last we looked in on the progress of the WireGuard VPN tunnel toward the mainline kernel, it seemed like the main sticking point had been overcome. The Zinc cryptography API used by WireGuard was generally seen as a duplication of effort with the existing kernel cryptographic algorithms, so an effort to rework Zinc to use that existing code seemed destined to route around that problem and bring WireGuard to the mainline. In the six months since then, though, things have gone fairly quiet in WireGuard-land; that all changed based on a conversation at the recent Kernel Recipes conference in Paris.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Vulkan 1.1.128 Released With Performance Query Extension

    Vulkan 1.1.128 is out with various corrections and clarifications to this graphics/compute API specification but it also comes with one exciting new extension. The new extension that is quite notable for Vulkan 1.1.128 is VK_KHR_performance_query. This KHR-ratified extension is the first cross-vendor extension in Vulkan for the querying of any performance counters on the hardware. We are used to seeing various performance counter extensions within Vulkan (and other APIs like OpenGL) but they tend to be vendor-specific extensions tailored towards their own individual needs.

  • Calligra Plan version 3.2.0 released

    We are pleased to announce the release of Calligra Plan 3.2.0.

  • The Linux who command tells who’s logged in and a lot more
  • Prague launches mobile app to make its budget more transparent

    CityVizor was developed by the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and published as an open-source under the GNU GPL license - free to use. The operation for non-Prague town halls is provided by the Open Cities Association and the Czech.digital community.

  • Photoshop for free? The best free alternatives

    We’re starting off with a big dog here. GIMP, which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program is the most fully formed and arguably most well-known Photoshop alternative there is. GIMP is like an open source Photoshop developed by a global team of volunteer developers to work on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Apple Mac. It has an extensive set of features to rival what even Photoshop has to offer and can edit a wide range of file formats including RAW files. This means GIMP is a pro-friendly alternative to Photoshop with features like layer masks and filters enabling photographers and graphic designers to get their work done. GIMP is also a customizable photo editing software as users can download add-on packs to add the extra features they need.

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (angular.js, libapache2-mod-auth-openidc, mosquitto, postgresql-common, and thunderbird), Fedora (chromium, djvulibre, freetds, ghostscript, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, samba, thunderbird-enigmail, wpa_supplicant, and xen), openSUSE (go1.12, ImageMagick, and ucode-intel), Oracle (ghostscript and kernel), Red Hat (libcomps and sudo), Slackware (kernel), SUSE (microcode_ctl, slurm, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0 and python-ecdsa).

  • Linux, Windows Users Targeted With New ACBackdoor Malware [Ed: Microsoft has back doors, Linux hasn't.]

    Windows version is being pushed through malvertising with the help of the Fallout Exploit Kit while the Linux payload is dropped via a yet unknown delivery system.

Events: Linux and LibreOffice Microconferences

  • Summaries of Some Microconferences Released

    We know everyone is still waiting for the videos. Unfortunately, we?re having a small production glitch, so until we can release them, several MC leads have now sent us written summaries of their MCs which you can see here: Tracing microconference You, Me and IoT microconference Live Patching microconference Open Printing microconference Databases microconference Scheduler microconference VFIO/IOMMU/PCI microconference Power Management and Thermal Control microconference

  • LibreOffice localisation sprint (and other events) in Albania

    The Albanian LibreOffice community has been super active in recent years, organising the LibreOffice Conference 2018 in Tirana, and regularly contributing with translation and marketing efforts.