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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 33 min ago

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 29, 2019

Thursday 29th of August 2019 12:44:52 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 29, 2019 is available.

[$] Open-source voting for San Francisco

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 10:41:56 PM
To open-source fans, the lure of open-source voting systems is surely strong. So a talk at 2019 Open Source Summit North America on a project for open-source voting in San Francisco sounded promising; it is a city with lots of technical know-how among its inhabitants. While progress has definitely been made—though at an almost glacially slow speed—there is no likelihood that the city will be voting using open-source software in the near future. The talk by Tony Wasserman was certainly interesting, however, and provided a look at the intricacies of elections and voting that make it clear the problem is not as easy as it might at first appear.

Microsoft to put exFAT support into the kernel

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 05:28:09 PM
Linux support for the exFAT filesystem has had a long and troubled history; Microsoft has long asserted patents in this area that have prevented that code from being merged into the kernel. Microsoft has just changed its tune, announcing that upstreaming exFAT is now OK: "It’s important to us that the Linux community can make use of exFAT included in the Linux kernel with confidence. To this end, we will be making Microsoft’s technical specification for exFAT publicly available to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations. We also support the eventual inclusion of a Linux kernel with exFAT support in a future revision of the Open Invention Network’s Linux System Definition, where, once accepted, the code will benefit from the defensive patent commitments of OIN’s 3040+ members and licensees."

GNOME Foundation launches Coding Education Challenge

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 04:46:22 PM
The GNOME Foundation, with support from Endless, has announced the Coding Education Challenge, a competition aimed to attract projects that offer educators and students new and innovative ideas to teach coding with free and open source software. "Anyone is encouraged to submit a proposal. Individuals and teams will be judged through three tiers of competition. Twenty winners will be selected from an open call for ideas and will each receive $6,500 in prize money. Those winners will progress to a proof of concept round and build a working prototype. Five winners from that round will be awarded $25,000 and progress to the final round where they will turn the prototype into an end product. The final winner will receive a prize of $100,000 and the second placed product a prize of $25,000."

[$] Ask the TAB

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 03:13:12 PM
The Linux Foundation (LF) Technical Advisory Board (TAB) is meant to give the kernel community some representation within the foundation. In a "birds of a feather" (BoF) session at the 2019 Open Source Summit North America, four TAB members participated in an "Ask the TAB" session. Laura Abbott organized the BoF and Tim Bird, Greg Kroah-Hartman, and Steven Rostedt joined in as well. In the session, the history behind the TAB, its role, and some of its activities over the years were described.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 02:28:57 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (dovecot), Fedora (docker and nghttp2), Oracle (pango), SUSE (apache2, fontforge, ghostscript-library, libreoffice, libvirt, podman, slirp4netns and libcontainers-common, postgresql10, and slurm), and Ubuntu (dovecot).

Rust is the future of systems programming, C is the new Assembly (Packt)

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 02:22:27 PM
Packt has published a lengthy writeup of a talk by Josh Triplett on work being done to advance the Rust language for system-level programming. "Systems programming often involves low-level manipulations and requires low-level details of the processors such as privileged instructions. For this, Rust supports using inline Assembly via the 'asm!' macro. However, it is only present in the nightly compiler and not yet stabilized. Triplett in a collaboration with other Rust developers is writing a proposal to introduce more robust syntax for inline Assembly."

[$] Inline encryption for filesystems

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 04:26:24 PM
The encryption of data at rest is increasingly mandatory in a wide range of settings from mobile devices to data centers. Linux has supported encryption at both the filesystem and block-storage layers for some time, but that support comes with a cost: either the CPU must encrypt and decrypt vast amounts of data moving to and from persistent storage or it must orchestrate offloading that work to a separate device. It was thus only a matter of time before ways were found to offload that overhead to the storage hardware itself. Satya Tangirala's inline encryption patch set is intended to enable the kernel to take advantage of this hardware in a general manner.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 02:33:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and xymon), openSUSE (putty and vlc), Red Hat (kernel and ruby), Scientific Linux (advancecomp, bind, binutils, blktrace, compat-libtiff3, curl, dhcp, elfutils, exempi, exiv2, fence-agents, freerdp and vinagre, ghostscript, glibc, gvfs, http-parser, httpd, kde-workspace, keepalived, kernel, keycloak-httpd-client-install, libarchive, libcgroup, libguestfs-winsupport, libjpeg-turbo, libmspack, libreoffice, libsolv, libssh2, libtiff, libvirt, libwpd, linux-firmware, mariadb, mercurial, mod_auth_openidc, nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, and nspr, ntp, opensc, openssh, openssl, ovmf, patch, perl-Archive-Tar, polkit, poppler, procps-ng, python, python-requests, python-urllib3, qemu-kvm, qt5, rsyslog, ruby, samba, sox, spice-gtk, sssd, systemd, tomcat, udisks2, unixODBC, unzip, uriparser, Xorg, zsh, and zziplib), Slackware (kernel), and SUSE (ardana-ansible, ardana-db, ardana-freezer, ardana-glance, ardana-input-model, ardana-nova, ardana-osconfig, ardana-tempest, caasp-openstack-heat-templates, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, galera-python-clustercheck, openstack-cinder, openstack-glance, openstack-heat, openstack-horizon-plugin-monasca-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-neutron-fwaas-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-keystone, openstack-manila, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-monasca-api, openstack-monasca-persister, openstack-monasca-persister-java, openstack-murano, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, python-Beaver, python-oslo.db, python-osprofiler, python-swiftlm, venv-openstack-magnum, venv-openstack-monasca, venv-openstack-monasca-ceilometer, venv-openstack-murano, venv-openstack-neutron and qemu).

[$] Linker limitations on 32-bit architectures

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 01:31:57 PM
Before a program can be run, it needs to be built. It's a well-known fact that modern software, in general, consumes more runtime resources than before, sometimes to the point of forcing users to upgrade their computers. But it also consumes more resources at build time, forcing operators of the distributions' build farms to invest in new hardware, with faster CPUs and more memory. For 32-bit architectures, however, there exists a fundamental limit on the amount of virtual memory, which is never going to disappear. That is leading to some problems for distributions trying to build packages for those architectures.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 26th of August 2019 01:39:56 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox, libreoffice-still, nginx, nginx-mainline, and subversion), Debian (commons-beanutils, h2o, libapache2-mod-auth-openidc, libmspack, qemu, squid, and tiff), Fedora (kubernetes, libmodbus, nfdump, and nodejs), openSUSE (dkgpg, libTMCG, go1.12, neovim, python, qbittorrent, schismtracker, teeworlds, thunderbird, and zstd), and SUSE (go1.11, go1.12, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-Twisted).

Prepatch and stable kernels

Monday 26th of August 2019 01:32:24 PM
On the development side, Linus has released 5.3-rc6 for testing. "I’m doing a (free) operating system (more than just a hobby) for 486 AT clones and a lot of other hardware. This has been brewing for the last 28 years, and is still not done. I’d like any feedback on any bugs introduced this release (or older bugs too, for that matter)."

For those wanting something more stable, 5.2.10, 4.19.68, 4.14.140, 4.9.190, and 4.4.190 have all been released.

[$] Debating the Cryptographic Autonomy License

Friday 23rd of August 2019 08:28:25 PM
If one were to ask a group of free-software developers whether the community needs more software licenses, the majority of the group would almost certainly answer "no". We have the licenses we need to express a range of views of software freedom, and adding to the list just tends to create confusion and compatibility issues. That does not stop people from writing new licenses, though. While much of the "innovation" in software licenses in recent times is focused on giving copyright holders more control over how others use their code (while still being able to brand it "open source"), there are exceptions. The proposed "Cryptographic Autonomy License" (CAL) is one of those; its purpose is to give users of CAL-licensed code control over the data that is processed with that code.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 23rd of August 2019 01:41:12 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (cups, nginx, and openjdk-7), Fedora (httpd, mod_md, nghttp2, and patch), and SUSE (rubygem-loofah).

[$] Restricting path name lookup with openat2()

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 07:24:26 PM
Looking up a file given a path name seems like a straightforward task, but it turns out to be one of the more complex things the kernel does. Things get more complicated if one is trying to write robust (user-space) code that can do the right thing with paths that are controlled by a potentially hostile user. Attempts to make the open() and openat() system calls safer date back at least to an attempt to add O_BENEATH in 2014, but numerous problems remain. Aleksa Sarai, who has been working in this area for a while, has now concluded that a new version of openat(), naturally called openat2(), is required to truly solve this problem.

Backdoors in Webmin

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 01:14:22 PM
Anybody using Webmin, a web-based system-administration tool, will want to update now, as it turns out that the system has been backdoored for over a year. "At some time in April 2018, the Webmin development build server was exploited and a vulnerability added to the password_change.cgi script. Because the timestamp on the file was set back, it did not show up in any Git diffs. This was included in the Webmin 1.890 release."

Backdoor code found in 11 Ruby libraries (ZDNet)

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 01:08:49 PM
ZDNet reports on the discovery of a set of malicious libraries in the RubyGems repository. "The individual behind this scheme was active for more than a month, and their actions were not detected. Things changed when the hacker managed to gain access to the RubyGems account of one of the rest-client developers, which he used to push four malicious versions of rest-client on RubyGems. However, by targeting such a high-profile project that has over 113 million total downloads on RubyGems, the hacker also brought a lot of light to their operation, which was taken down within a few hours after users first spotted the malicious code in the rest-client library."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 12:59:53 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (nginx), openSUSE (ImageMagick and putty), Red Hat (Ansible, atomic-openshift-web-console, ceph, and qemu-kvm-rhev), SUSE (kvm, libssh2_org, postgresql96, qemu, and wavpack), and Ubuntu (libzstd and openjpeg2).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 22, 2019

Thursday 22nd of August 2019 12:30:07 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 22, 2019 is available.

[$] OpenPOWER opens further

Wednesday 21st of August 2019 08:25:11 PM
In what was to prove something of a theme throughout the morning, Hugh Blemings said that he had been feeling a bit like a kid waiting for Christmas recently, but that the day when the presents can be unwrapped had finally arrived. He is the executive director of the OpenPOWER Foundation and was kicking off the keynotes for the second day of the 2019 OpenPOWER Summit North America; the keynotes would reveal the "most significant and impressive announcements" in the history of the project, he said. Multiple presentations outlined a major change in the openness of the OpenPOWER instruction set architecture (ISA), along with various related hardware and software pieces; in short, OpenPOWER can be used by compliant products without paying royalties and with a grant of the patents that IBM holds on it. In addition, the foundation will be moving under the aegis of the Linux Foundation.

More in Tux Machines

Games: vkBasalt, Ikey Doherty, Crusader Kings II, Sunless Skies

  • vkBasalt, an open source Vulkan post processing layer for Contrast Adaptive Sharpening

    This is an interesting open source project! vkBasalt is a new Vulkan post processing layer that currently supports Contrast Adaptive Sharpening. Unlike Radeon Image Sharpening, vkBasalt supports Linux and works with both NVIDIA and AMD. This isn't entirely reinventing the wheel though, as it's partly based upon the ReShade port of AMD's CAS. Still, it's fun to see what hackers are able to do with little layers like this, especially when we don't have official support.

  • Ikey Doherty Launches Open-Source Focused Game/Software Development Company

    Well known open-source figure Ikey Doherty who rose to prominence for his work on the Solus Linux distribution and then went on to work on Intel's Clear Linux project is now having his hand at game engine development. Ikey shared with us that he left Intel back in May to begin his new adventure: Lispy Snake. Lispy Snake is a UK software development firm that at least initially is working on a game engine and games. Given Ikey's experience, the firm is focused on leveraging open-source technologies.

  • After making Crusader Kings II free, Paradox are now giving away The Old Gods expansion

    It's been a bit of a whirlwind of Paradox news recently and we have even more to share. With a tiny amount of effort, you can get The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II free. This is after Crusader Kings II was set free to play and Crusader Kings III was announced just like I suggested it would be.

  • Failbetter Games are upgrading owners of Sunless Skies to the Sovereign Edition next year

    Failbetter Games have announced that Sunless Skies is getting a bit of an upgrade with the Sovereign Edition and it's going to be free to existing purchasers when it's release next year. Part of the reason, is that it will be releasing on Consoles so they're polishing the experience up some more. It's not just a special console edition though, it's coming with a bunch of new content and various improvements to the flow of it. To release on PC at the same time as Consoles, free for existing players.

What To Do After Installing Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

In this traditional article special for Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine you will find my suggestions and recommendations in 3 parts, work (including date/time adjustments, productivity tools), non-work (including extensions, podcasts, RSS, codecs), and system maintenance (including CPU-X, repository setup, auto-backup). I also have suggestion for you wanting Global Menu on this Eoan Ermine OS at the end. Adjust it once and use freely everyday. Finally, I hope Ubuntu 19.10 will be your best tool you could imagine to use without worry. Happy working! Read more

Python Programming Leftovers

  • Pylint: Making your Python code consistent

    Pylint is a higher-level Python style enforcer. While flake8 and black will take care of "local" style: where the newlines occur, how comments are formatted, or find issues like commented out code or bad practices in log formatting. Pylint is extremely aggressive by default. It will offer strong opinions on everything from checking if declared interfaces are actually implemented to opportunities to refactor duplicate code, which can be a lot to a new user. One way of introducing it gently to a project, or a team, is to start by turning all checkers off, and then enabling checkers one by one. This is especially useful if you already use flake8, black, and mypy: Pylint has quite a few checkers that overlap in functionality.

  • PyDev of the Week: Sophy Wong

    This week we welcome Sophy Wong (@sophywong) as our PyDev of the Week! Sophy is a maker who uses Circuit Python for creating wearables. She is also a writer and speaker at Maker events. You can see some of her creations on her Youtube Channel or her website. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

  • Erik Marsja: Converting HTML to a Jupyter Notebook

    In this short post, we are going to learn how to turn the code from blog posts to Jupyter notebooks.

Proper Linux Screen Sharing Coming to Chromium & Electron Apps like Discord

A patch to add ‘screen enumeration’ to the Chromium browser is currently pending merge upstream. Once this fix is accepted Chromium and Chromium-based apps (like Discord) will finally support full screen sharing on Linux in a manner similar to that on Windows and macOS. Not being a multi-monitor user, or someone who shares their screen often, I wasn’t aware of this particular limitation until recently. So I’ll explain. Read more