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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 59 min ago

[$] Generics for Go

Wednesday 1st of July 2020 03:28:29 PM
The Go programming language was first released in 2009, with its 1.0 release made in March 2012. Even before the 1.0 release, some developers criticized the language as being too simplistic, partly due to its lack of user-defined generic types and functions parameterized by type. Despite this omission, Go is widely used, with an estimated 1-2 million developers worldwide. Over the years there have been several proposals to add some form of generics to the language, but the recent proposal written by core developers Ian Lance Taylor and Robert Griesemer looks likely to be included in a future version of Go.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 1st of July 2020 02:59:08 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (bind, chromium, freerdp, imagemagick, sqlite, and tomcat8), Debian (coturn, imagemagick, jackson-databind, libmatio, mutt, nss, and wordpress), Fedora (libEMF, lynis, and php-PHPMailer), Red Hat (httpd24-nghttp2), and SUSE (ntp, openconnect, squid, and transfig).

Firefox 78

Tuesday 30th of June 2020 07:46:59 PM
Firefox 78.0 has been released. This is an Extended Support Release (ESR). The Protections Dashboard has new features to track the number of breaches that were resolved from the dashboard and to see if any of your saved passwords may have been exposed in a breach. More details about this and other new features can be found in the release notes.

[$] First PHP 8 alpha released

Tuesday 30th of June 2020 04:33:09 PM
The PHP project has released the first alpha of PHP 8, which is slated for general availability in November 2020. This initial test release includes many new features such as just-in-time (JIT) compilation, new constructs like Attributes, and more. One of twelve planned releases before the general availability release, it represents a feature set that is still subject to change.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 30th of June 2020 02:27:29 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (coturn, drupal7, libvncserver, mailman, php5, and qemu), openSUSE (curl, graphviz, mutt, squid, tomcat, and unbound), Red Hat (chromium-browser, file, kernel, microcode_ctl, ruby, and virt:rhel), Slackware (firefox), and SUSE (mariadb-100, mutt, unzip, and xmlgraphics-batik).

Linux Mint 20

Monday 29th of June 2020 09:45:26 PM
Linux Mint 20 "Ulyana" has been released in Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce editions. Linux Mint 20 is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and will be supported until 2025. Release notes are available for Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

[$] Stirring things up for Fedora 33

Monday 29th of June 2020 07:45:55 PM
The next release of the Fedora distribution — Fedora 33 — is currently scheduled for the end of October. Fedora's nature as a fast-moving distribution ensures that each release will contain a number of attention-getting changes, but Fedora 33 is starting to look like it may be a bit more volatile than its immediate predecessors. Several relatively controversial changes are currently under discussion on the project's mailing lists; read on for a summary.

OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 set for release

Monday 29th of June 2020 07:08:04 PM
OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 is complete and ready for a planned release on July 2. Leap is the version based on SUSE Linux Enterprise, but with many updated packages; see the 15.2 features page for an overview of what's coming. "Leap 15.2 is filled with several containerization technologies like Singularity, which bring containers and reproducibility to scientific computing and the high-performance computing (HPC) world. Singularity first appeared in the Leap distribution in Leap 42.3 and provides functionality to build smallest minimal containers and runs the containers as single application environments. Another official package in Leap 15.2 is libcontainers-common, which allows the configuration of files and manpages shared by tools that are based on the github.com/containers libraries, such as Buildah, CRI-O, Podman and Skopeo. Docker containers and tooling make building and shipping applications easy and fast."

[$] Four years of Zephyr

Monday 29th of June 2020 06:33:02 PM
The Zephyr project is an effort to provide an open-source realtime operating system (RTOS) that is designed to bridge the gap between full-featured operating systems like Linux and bare-metal development environments. It's been over four years since Zephyr was publicly announced and discussed here (apparently to a bit of puzzlement). In this article, guest authors Martí Bolívar and Carles Cufí give an update on the project and its community as of its v2.3.0 release in June 2020; they also make some guesses about its near future.

GnuCash 4.0 Released

Monday 29th of June 2020 03:53:30 PM
Version 4.0 of the GnuCash finance manager is out. Significant changes include a command-line tool for performing a number of functions outside of the graphical interface, explicit support for accounts payable and accounts receivable, translation improvements, and more.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 29th of June 2020 03:10:01 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libtasn1-6, libtirpc, mcabber, picocom, pngquant, trafficserver, and zziplib), Fedora (curl and xen), openSUSE (bluez, ceph, chromium, curl, grafana, grafana-piechart-panel, grafana-status-panel, graphviz, mariadb, and mercurial), Oracle (nghttp2), Red Hat (microcode_ctl), SUSE (mutt, python3-requests, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (glib-networking and mailman).

Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc3

Sunday 28th of June 2020 10:44:45 PM
The third 5.8 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Well, we had a big merge window, and we have a fairly big rc3 here too. The calm period for rc2 is clearly over. That said, I don't think there's anything _particularly_ scary in here, and the size of this rc is probably simply a direct result of the fact that 5.8 is a big release."

Using syzkaller, part 4: Driver fuzzing

Friday 26th of June 2020 03:10:19 PM
Ricardo Cañuelo Navarro describes the challenges associated with fuzzing complex device drivers with Syzkaller — and some solutions. "V4L2, however, is only supported in the sense that the involved system calls (including the myriad V4L2 ioctls) and data structures are described. This is already useful and, equipped with those descriptions, Syzkaller has been able to find many V4L2 bugs. But the fuzzing process contains a lot of randomness and, while that's a good thing in many cases when it comes to fuzzing, due to the complexity of the V4L2 API, simply randomizing the system calls and its inputs may not be enough to reach most of the code in some drivers, especially in drivers with complicated interfaces such as those based on the Request API, including stateless drivers."

[$] Managing tasks with todo.txt and Taskwarrior

Friday 26th of June 2020 02:40:24 PM
One quote from Douglas Adams has always stayed with me: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by". We all lead busy lives and few ever see the bottom of our long to-do lists. One of the oldest items on my list, ironically, is to find a better system to manage all my tasks. Can task-management systems make us more productive while, at the same time, reducing the stress caused by the sheer number of outstanding tasks?

This article, from guest author Martin Michlmayr, looks at todo.txt and Taskwarrior.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 26th of June 2020 01:14:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (alpine), Fedora (fwupd, microcode_ctl, mingw-libjpeg-turbo, mingw-sane-backends, suricata, and thunderbird), openSUSE (uftpd), Red Hat (nghttp2), SUSE (ceph, curl, mutt, squid, tigervnc, and unbound), and Ubuntu (linux kernel and nvidia-graphics-drivers-390, nvidia-graphics-drivers-440).

Four new stable kernels

Thursday 25th of June 2020 06:06:21 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.7.6, 5.4.49, 4.19.130, and 4.14.186 stable kernels. These all contain a rather large number of fixes all over the kernel tree; users of those series should upgrade.

[$] Emulating Windows system calls in Linux

Thursday 25th of June 2020 04:36:56 PM
The idea of handling system calls differently depending on the origin of each call in the process's address space is not entirely new. OpenBSD, for example, disallows system calls entirely if they are not made from the system's C library as a security-enhancing mechanism. At the end of May, Gabriel Krisman Bertazi proposed a similar mechanism for Linux, but the objective was not security at all; instead, he is working to make Windows games run better under Wine. That involves detecting and emulating Windows system calls; this can be done through origin-based filtering, but that may not be the solution that is merged in the end.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 25th of June 2020 01:25:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libexif, php-horde-horde, and tcpreplay), openSUSE (rubygem-bundler), Oracle (docker-cli docker-engine, kernel, and ntp), Slackware (curl and libjpeg), and Ubuntu (mutt).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 25, 2020

Thursday 25th of June 2020 01:04:17 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 25, 2020 is available.

[$] More alternatives to Google Analytics

Wednesday 24th of June 2020 08:17:50 PM
Last week, we introduced the privacy concerns with using Google Analytics (GA) and presented two lightweight open-source options: GoatCounter and Plausible. Those tools are useful for site owners who need relatively basic metrics. In this second article, we present several heavier-weight GA replacements for those who need more detailed analytics. We also look at some tools that produce analytics data based on web-server-access logs, GoAccess, in particular.

More in Tux Machines

Linspire 9.0 Released

Today our development team is excited to announce the release of Linspire 9.0; packed with a TON of improvements and security updates, this is a major update that we’ve been working hard to get out to our faithful users. The global pandemic has delayed its release, but the development team has worked diligently and meticulously behind-the-scenes over the past few months, fine-tuning every detail of what is widely considered to be the premier Linux desktop on the market today. The Linspire 9.0 series will be the last one featuring the 18.04 LTS codebase; upcoming Linspire X will be based on the 20.04 LTS code and kernel. Read more Also: Linspire 9.0 Officially Released, Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Linux 5.4 LTS

today's leftovers

  • Fast Bare Metal provisioning and infrastructure automation with MAAS
  • [Updated] Michael Stapelberg: Optional dependencies don’t work

    In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article.

  • Benchmarking NetBSD, second evaluation report

    This report was written by Apurva Nandan as part of Google Summer of Code 2020. This blog post is in continuation of GSoC Reports: Benchmarking NetBSD, first evaluation report blog and describes my progress in the second phase of GSoC 2020 under The NetBSD Foundation. In this phase, I worked on the automation of the regression suite made using Phoronix Test Suite (PTS) and its integration with Anita. The automation framework consists of two components Phoromatic server, provided by Phoronix Test Suite in pkgsrc, and Anita, a Python tool for automating NetBSD installation.

  • Interest in Kodi Declines After a Turmultuous Few Years of Piracy Headlines

    After many years of being mentioned in the same breath as movie and TV show piracy, interest in the Kodi media player appears to have peaked and is now on the decline. That's according to Google Trends data which suggests that after reaching a high in early 2017, interest via search is now on a continuous downward trend.

Programming Leftovers

  • RcppSimdJson 0.1.1: More Features

    A first update following for the exciting RcppSimdJson 0.1.0 release last month is now on CRAN. Version 0.1.1 brings further enhancements such direct parsing of raw chars, working with compressed files as well as much expanded querying ability all thanks to Brendan, some improvements to our demos thanks to Daniel as well as a small fix via a one-liner borrowed from upstream for a reported UBSAN issue. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle use per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

  • Jonathan Dowland: Generic Haskell

    When I did the work described earlier in template haskell, I also explored generic programming in Haskell to solve a particular problem. StrIoT is a program generator: it outputs source code, which may depend upon other modules, which need to be imported via declarations at the top of the source code files. The data structure that StrIoT manipulates contains information about what modules are loaded to resolve the names that have been used in the input code, so we can walk that structure to automatically derive an import list. The generic programming tools I used for this are from Structure Your Boilerplate (SYB), a module written to complement a paper of the same name.

  • 9 reasons I upgraded from AngularJS to Angular

    In 2010, Google released AngularJS, an open source, JavaScript-based frontend structure for developing single-page applications (SPAs) for the internet. With its move to version 2.0 in 2016, the framework's name was shortened to Angular. AngularJS is still being developed and used, but Angular's advantages mean it's a smart idea to migrate to the newer version.

  • [Old/Odd] 5 news feautures of PHP-7.2

    Before PHP 7.2 the object keyword was used to convert one data type to another (boxing and unboxing), for example, an array to an object of the sdtClass class and/or vice versa, as of PHP 7.2 the object data type can be used as parameter type or as function return type.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 351

Proprietary Software and Linux Foundation

  • [PCLinuxOS] Opera Browser updated to 70.0.3728.106

    Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

  • Vivaldi Explains Why They Make "Proprietary Garbage"

    It is unfair to say that Vivaldi is not open source at all as someone like Distrotube has done, the way the company behind Vivaldi has decided to handle this application is by using a dual licensing system where the open source portion of the application is licensed under an open source BSD license but that's not the point of today, the point is to explain why they have decided to license their software in such a way.

  • Scientists Forced To Change Names Of Human Genes Because Of Microsoft's Failure To Patch Excel

    Six years ago, Techdirt wrote about a curious issue with Microsoft's Excel. A default date conversion feature was altering the names of genes, because they looked like dates. For example, the tumor suppressor gene DEC1 (Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1) was being converted to "1-DEC". Hardly a widespread problem, you might think. Not so: research in 2016 found that nearly 20% of 3500 papers taken from leading genomic journals contained gene lists that had been corrupted by Excel's re-interpretation of names as dates. Although there don't seem to be any instances where this led to serious errors, there is a natural concern that it could distort research results. The good news is this problem has now been fixed. The rather surprising news is that it wasn't Microsoft that fixed it, even though Excel was at fault. As an article in The Verge reports:

  • The Linux Foundation Wants Open-Source Tech to Address Future Pandemics

    The Linux Foundation, which supports open-source innovation in blockchain tech, launched the Linux Foundation Public Health Initiative (LFPHI) at the end of July. The LFPHI’s goal is to promote the use of open source by public health authorities, which can be scrutinized by anyone, to fight not just COVID-19 but future pandemics as well.

  • LF Edge’s Akraino Project Release 3 Now Available, Unifying Open Source Blueprints Across MEC, AI, Cloud and Telecom Edge

    LF Edge, an umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation that aims to establish an open, interoperable framework for edge computing independent of hardware, silicon, cloud, or operating system, today announced the availability of Akraino Release 3 (“Akraino R3”). Akraino’s third and most mature release to date delivers fully functional edge solutions– implemented across global organizations– to enable a diversity of edge deployments across the globe. New blueprints include a focus on MEC, AI/ML, and Cloud edge. In addition, the community authored the first iteration of a new white paper to bring common open edge API standards to align the industry.

  • Linux Foundation Launches Jenkins X Training Course

    Linux Foundation has launched a new training course, LFS268 – CI/CD with Jenkins X. Developed in conjunction with the Continuous Delivery Foundation, the course will introduce the fundamentals of Jenkins X.