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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: 2 hours 6 min ago

[$] 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).

A set of stable kernel updates

Friday 27th of October 2017 09:12:04 AM
The 4.13.10, 4.9.59, 4.4.95, and 3.18.78 stable kernel updates have been released; each contains the usual set of important fixes and updates.

[$] The state of the realtime union

Thursday 26th of October 2017 04:44:18 PM

The 2017 Realtime Summit was held October 21 at Czech Technical University in Prague to discuss all manner of topics related to realtime Linux. Nearly two years ago, a collaborative project was formed with the goal of mainlining the realtime patch set. At the summit, project lead Thomas Gleixner reported on the progress that has been made and the plans for the future.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 26th of October 2017 02:34:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (cacti, glibc, kernel, libXfont, libXfont2, mingw-poppler, nodejs-forwarded, procmail, SDL2, thunderbird, and tnef), openSUSE (freeradius-server, kernel, and libraw), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (ntp), Scientific Linux (ntp), Slackware (irssi), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (python-werkzeug).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 26, 2017

Thursday 26th of October 2017 12:45:27 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 26, 2017 is available.

The Linux Foundation's annual kernel development report

Wednesday 25th of October 2017 02:06:33 PM
The Linux Foundation has announced the availability of its roughly annual report on kernel development. "This is the eighth such report that is released on a roughly annual basis to help illustrate the Linux kernel development process and the work that defines the largest collaborative project in the history of computing. This year’s paper covers work completed through Linux kernel 4.13, with an emphasis on releases 4.8 to 4.13.". This report, written by LWN editor Jonathan Corbet and Greg Kroah-Hartman, will have little that's new to regular LWN readers, but there is a set of nice developer profiles.

[$] From lab to libre software: how can academic software research become open source?

Wednesday 25th of October 2017 01:31:01 PM

Academics generate enormous amounts of software, some of which inspires commercial innovations in networking and other areas. But little academic software gets released to the public and even less enters common use. Is some vast "dark matter" being overlooked in the academic community? Would the world benefit from academics turning more of their software into free and open projects?

SciPy 1.0 released

Wednesday 25th of October 2017 01:26:22 PM
The SciPy project has announced the release of SciPy 1.0. The "Python-based ecosystem of open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering" has been around for 16 years since version 0.1 and, in reality, the 1.0 designation is overdue. "Some key project goals, both technical (e.g. Windows wheels and continuous integration) and organisational (a governance structure, code of conduct and a roadmap), have been achieved recently. Many of us are a bit perfectionist, and therefore are reluctant to call something '1.0' because it may imply that it's 'finished' or 'we are 100% happy with it'. This is normal for many open source projects, however that doesn't make it right. We acknowledge to ourselves that it's not perfect, and there are some dusty corners left (that will probably always be the case). Despite that, SciPy is extremely useful to its users, on average has high quality code and documentation, and gives the stability and backwards compatibility guarantees that a 1.0 label imply." Beyond the Windows wheels (a binary distribution format) mentioned above, there are some other new features in the release: continuous-integration coverage for macOS and Windows, a set of new ordinary differential equation solvers and a unified interface to them, two new trust region optimizers and a new linear programming method, many new BLAS and LAPACK functions were wrapped, and more.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 25th of October 2017 12:53:16 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl and mupdf), Fedora (glibc, SDL2, and sssd), Mageia (kernel, kernel-linus, and kernel-tmb), and Ubuntu (apache2 and subversion).

[$] A block layer introduction part 1: the bio layer

Wednesday 25th of October 2017 07:48:37 AM
One of the key values provided by an operating system like Linux is that it provides abstract interfaces to concrete devices. Though the original "character device" and "block device" abstractions have been supplemented with various others including "network device" and "bitmap display", the original two have not lost their importance. The block device interface, in particular, is still central to managing persistent storage and, even with the growth of persistent memory, this central role is likely to remain for some time. Unpacking and explaining some of that role is the goal of this pair of articles.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 24th of October 2017 03:25:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel), Fedora (check-mk and dnsmasq), Mageia (kernel-linus, kernel-tmb, mysql-connector-java, and recode), openSUSE (irssi and jq), Red Hat (httpd24, java-1.6.0-sun, and java-1.7.0-oracle), Slackware (curl), SUSE (openvpn), and Ubuntu (bzr, curl, icu, libffi, libidn, mysql-5.5, mysql-5.7, nvidia-graphics-drivers-384, pacemaker, and webkit2gtk).

[$] Patch flow into the mainline for 4.14

Tuesday 24th of October 2017 10:24:19 AM
There is a lot of information buried in the kernel's Git repositories that, if one looks closely enough, can yield insights into how the development community works in the real world. It can show how the idealized hierarchical model of the kernel development community matches what actually happens and provide a picture of how the community's web of trust is used to verify contributions. Read on for an analysis of the merge operations that went into the 4.14 development cycle.

[$] Digging in the kernel dust

Tuesday 24th of October 2017 10:08:30 AM

Refactoring the kernel means taking some part of the kernel that is showing its age and rewriting it so it works better. Thomas Gleixner has done a lot of this over the past decade; he spoke at Kernel Recipes about the details of some of that work and the lessons that he learned. By way of foreshadowing how much fun this can be, he subtitled the talk "Digging in Dust".

Kernel prepatch 4.14-rc6

Monday 23rd of October 2017 01:22:21 PM
The 4.14-rc6 kernel prepatch is out. "rc6 is a bit larger than I was hoping for, and I'm not sure whether that is a sign that we _will_ need an rc8 after all this release (which wouldn't be horribly surprising), or whether it's simply due to timing. I'm going to leave that open for now, so just know that rc8 _may_ happen."

Linux Foundation debuts Community Data License Agreement

Monday 23rd of October 2017 12:46:47 PM
The Linux Foundation has announced a pair of licenses for data that are modeled on the two broad categories of free-software licenses: permissive and copyleft. The Community Data License Agreement (CDLA) comes in two flavors: Sharing that "encourages contributions of data back to the data community" and Permissive that allows the data to be used without any further requirements. "Inspired by the collaborative software development models of open source software, the CDLA licenses are designed to enable individuals and organizations of all types to share data as easily as they currently share open source software code. Soundly drafted licensing models can help people form communities to assemble, curate and maintain vast amounts of data, measured in petabytes and exabytes, to bring new value to communities of all types, to build new business opportunities and to power new applications that promise to enhance safety and services. The growth of big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies has allowed people to extract unprecedented levels of insight from data. Now the challenge is to assemble the critical mass of data for those tools to analyze. The CDLA licenses are designed to help governments, academic institutions, businesses and other organizations open up and share data, with the goal of creating communities that curate and share data openly."

Stable kernels 4.13.9, 4.9.58, 4.4.94, and 3.18.77

Monday 23rd of October 2017 12:24:56 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of four new stable kernels: 4.13.9, 4.9.58, 4.4.94, and 3.18.77. There are fixes throughout the tree in them, so users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 23rd of October 2017 12:14:24 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (irssi, musl, and xorg-server), CentOS (httpd and java-1.8.0-openjdk), Debian (libav, ming, and openjfx), Fedora (ImageMagick, libwpd, rubygem-rmagick, and sssd), Gentoo (adobe-flash, chromium, dnsmasq, go, kodi, libpcre, and openjpeg), openSUSE (bluez, exiv2, python3-PyJWT, salt, xen, xerces-j2, and xorg-x11-server), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk and kernel), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-oracle and rh-nodejs4-nodejs), and Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk).

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Blockchain Moves Beyond its 'Moonshot' Phase
  • Some reading
    I've complained previously about disliking benchmarking. More generally, I'm not really a fan of performance analysis. I always feel like I get stuck at coming up with an approach to "it's going slower, why" beyond the basics. I watched a video of Brendan Gregg's talk from kernel recipes, and ended up going down the black hole1 of reading his well written blog. He does a fantastic job of explaining performance analysis concepts as well as the practical tools to do the analysis. He wrote a book several years ago and I happily ordered it. The book explains how to apply the USE method to performance problems across the system. This was helpful to me because it provides a way to generate a list of things to check and how to check them. It addresses the "stuck" feeling I get when dealing with performance problems. The book also provides a good high level overview of operating systems concepts. I'm always looking for references for people who are interested in kernels but don't know where to start and I think this book could fill a certain niche. Even if this book has been out for several years now, I was very excited to discover it.
  • Introducing container-diff, a tool for quickly comparing container images
    The Google Container Tools team originally built container-diff, a new project to help uncover differences between container images, to aid our own development with containers. We think it can be useful for anyone building containerized software, so we’re excited to release it as open source to the development community.
  • NATTT – A Modern Multi-Platform Time Conscious Tracker App
    It’s not that there aren’t already a lot of time tracker apps but my conscience wouldn’t let me sleep if I didn’t tell you about NATTT. So grab your cup of whatever you’re probably drinking as we delve into this app a little. NATTT is an acronym for “Not Another Time Tracking Tool”; a free and multi-platform app with which you can keep track of your work and how much you have spent at it.
  • Running Bitcoin node and ElectrumX server
  • todo.txt done
  • GNOME's Calendar & TODO Applications Are Looking Better For v3.28
    Adding to the growing list of changes for GNOME 3.28 are improvements to the Calendar and To Do applications by Georges Stavracas. Stavracas has been reworking the month view of GNOME Calendar and it's looking much better, some applications for Calendar via libdazzle, and more.
  • Compact DAQ systems offer a choice of 12- or 16-bit I/Os
    Advantech’s Linux-ready “MIC-1810” and “MIC-1816” DAQ computers offer 12- and 16-bit analog I/O, respectively, plus 24x DIOs, Intel CPUs, and 4x USB ports. Advantech’s MIC-1810 and MIC-1816 are digital acquisition computers that run Linux or Windows 7/8/10 on Intel 3rd Gen “Ivy Bridge” processors. If the aging CPU is a turn-off, keep in mind that many DAQ applications don’t require that much processing power, and perhaps Advantech’s “entry-level” label for the systems extends to the price, as well. The 165 x 130 x 59mm, DIN-rail mountable systems should also prove useful for environments with limited space.

Security: New Release of HardenedBSD, Windows Leaks Details of Windows Back Doors

  • Stable release: HardenedBSD-stable 11-STABLE v1100054
  • Kaspersky blames NSA hack on infected Microsoft software
    Embattled computer security firm Kaspersky Lab said Thursday that malware-infected Microsoft Office software and not its own was to blame for the hacking theft of top-secret US intelligence materials. Adding tantalizing new details to the cyber-espionage mystery that has rocked the US intelligence community, Kaspersky also said there was a China link to the hack.
  • Investigation Report for the September 2014 Equation malware detection incident in the US
    In early October, a story was published by the Wall Street Journal alleging Kaspersky Lab software was used to siphon classified data from an NSA employee’s home computer system. Given that Kaspersky Lab has been at the forefront of fighting cyberespionage and cybercriminal activities on the Internet for over 20 years now, these allegations were treated very seriously. To assist any independent investigators and all the people who have been asking us questions whether those allegations were true, we decided to conduct an internal investigation to attempt to answer a few questions we had related to the article and some others that followed it:
  • Kaspersky: Clumsy NSA leak snoop's PC was packed with malware
    Kaspersky Lab, the US government's least favorite computer security outfit, has published its full technical report into claims Russian intelligence used its antivirus tools to steal NSA secrets. Last month, anonymous sources alleged that in 2015, an NSA engineer took home a big bunch of the agency's cyber-weapons to work on them on his home Windows PC, which was running the Russian biz's antimalware software – kind of a compliment when you think about it. The classified exploit code and associated documents on the personal system were then slurped by Kremlin spies via his copy of Kaspersky antivirus, it was claimed.

OSS Leftovers

  • Open Source Networking Days: Think Globally, Collaborate Locally
    Something that we’ve learned at The Linux Foundation over the years is that there is just no substitute for periodic, in-person, face-to-face collaboration around the open source technologies that are rapidly changing our world. It’s no different for the open networking projects I work with as end users and their ecosystem partners grapple with the challenges and opportunities of unifying various open source components and finding solutions to accelerate network transformation. This fall, we decided to take The Linux Foundation networking projects (OpenDaylight, ONAP, OPNFV, and others) on the road to Europe and Japan by working with local site hosts and network operators to host Open Source Networking Days in Paris, Milan, Stockholm, London, Tel Aviv, and Yokohama.
  • The Open-Source Driving Simulator That Trains Autonomous Vehicles
    Self-driving cars are set to revolutionize transport systems the world over. If the hype is to be believed, entirely autonomous vehicles are about to hit the open road. The truth is more complex. The most advanced self-driving technologies work only in an extremely limited set of environments and weather conditions. And while most new cars will have some form of driver assistance in the coming years, autonomous cars that drive in all conditions without human oversight are still many years away. One of the main problems is that it is hard to train vehicles to cope in all situations. And the most challenging situations are often the rarest. There is a huge variety of tricky circumstances that drivers rarely come across: a child running into the road, a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the street, an accident immediately ahead, and so on.
  • Fun with Le Potato
    At Linux Plumbers, I ended up with a Le Potato SBC. I hadn't really had time to actually boot it up until now. They support a couple of distributions which seem to work fine if you flash them on. I mostly like SBCs for having actual hardware to test on so my interest tends to be how easily can I get my own kernel running. Most of the support is not upstream right now but it's headed there. The good folks at BayLibre have been working on getting the kernel support upstream and have a tree available for use until then.
  • PyConf Hyderabad 2017
    In the beginning of October, I attended a new PyCon in India, PyConf Hyderabad (no worries, they are working on the name for the next year). I was super excited about this conference, the main reason is being able to meet more Python developers from India. We are a large country, and we certainly need more local conferences :)
  • First Basilisk version released!
    This is the first public version of the Basilisk web browser, building on the new platform in development: UXP (code-named Möbius).
  • Pale Moon Project Rolls Out The Basilisk Browser Project
    The developers behind the Pale Moon web-browser that's been a long standing fork of Firefox have rolled out their first public beta release of their new "Basilisk" browser technology. Basilisk is their new development platform based on their (Gecko-forked) Goanna layout engine and the Unified UXL Platform (UXP) that is a fork of the Mozilla code-base pre-Servo/Rust... Basically for those not liking the direction of Firefox with v57 rolling out the Quantum changes, etc.
  • Best word processor for Mac [iophk: "whole article fails to mention OpenDocument Format"]
  • WordPress 4.9: This one's for you, developers!
    WordPress 4.9 has debuted, and this time the world's most popular content management system has given developers plenty to like. Some of the changes are arguably overdue: syntax highlighting and error checking for CSS editing and cutting custom HTML are neither scarce nor innovative. They'll be welcomed arrival will likely be welcomed anyway, as will newly-granular roles and permissions for developers. The new release has also added version 4.2.6 of MediaElement.js, an upgrade that WordPress.org's release notes stated has removed dependency on jQuery, improves accessibility, modernizes the UI, and fixes many bugs.”
  • New projects on Hosted Weblate
  • Cilk Plus Is Being Dropped From GCC
    Intel deprecated Cilk Plus multi-threading support with GCC 7 and now for GCC 8 they are looking to abandon this support entirely. Cilk Plus only had full support introduced in GCC 5 while now for the GCC 8 release early next year it's looking like it will be dropped entirely.
  • Software Freedom Law Center vs. Software Freedom Conservancy

    On November 3rd, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) wrote a blog post to let people know that the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) had begun legal action against them (the SFC) over the trademark for their name.

  • What Is Teletype For Atom? How To Code With Fellow Developers In Real Time?
    In a short period of three years, GitHub’s open source code editor has become one of the most popular options around. In our list of top text editors for Linux, Atom was featured at #2. From time to time, GitHub keeps adding new features to this tool to make it even better. Just recently, with the help of Facebook, GitHub turned Atom into a full-fledged IDE. As GitHub is known to host some of the world’s biggest open source collaborative projects, it makes perfect sense to add the collaborative coding ability to Atom. To make this possible, “Teletype for Atom” has just been announced.
  • Microsoft Is Trying To Make Windows Subsystem For Linux Faster (WSL)
  • Microsoft and GitHub team up to take Git virtual file system to macOS, Linux

Ubuntu: New Users, Unity Remix, 18.04 LTS News

  • How to Get Started With the Ubuntu Linux Distro
    The Linux operating system has evolved from a niche audience to widespread popularity since its creation in the mid 1990s, and with good reason. Once upon a time, that installation process was a challenge, even for those who had plenty of experience with such tasks. The modern day Linux, however, has come a very long way. To that end, the installation of most Linux distributions is about as easy as installing an application. If you can install Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, you can install Linux. Here, we’ll walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu Linux 17.04, which is widely considered one of the most user-friendly distributions. (A distribution is a variation of Linux, and there are hundreds and hundreds to choose from.)
  • An ‘Ubuntu Unity Remix’ Might Be on the Way…
    A new Ubuntu flavor that uses the Unity 7 desktop by default is under discussion. The plans have already won backing from a former Unity developer.
  • Ubuntu News: Get Firefox Quantum Update Now; Ubuntu 18.04 New Icon Theme Confirmed
    Earlier this week, Mozilla earned big praises in the tech world for launching its next-generation Firefox Quantum 57.0 web browser. The browser claims to be faster and better than market leader Google Chrome. Now, Firefox Quantum is available for all supported Ubuntu versions from the official repositories. The Firefox Quantum Update is also now available.
  • New Icon Theme Confirmed for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    ‘Suru’ is (apparently) going to be the default icon theme in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. That’s Suru, the rebooted community icon theme and not Suru, the Canonical-created icon theme that shipped on the Ubuntu Phone (and was created by Matthieu James, who recently left Canonical).