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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 2 min ago

How to contribute to Fedora (Fedora Magazine)

Friday 27th of September 2019 06:27:47 PM
Over at Fedora Magazine, Ben Cotton has an article on contributing to the Fedora distribution. Obviously, it is pretty Fedora-specific, but the general ideas can be applied to other distributions and/or projects. He lists several areas where contributors are needed—beyond just the obvious candidates: "Cooperative effort is a hallmark of open source communities. One of the best ways to contribute to any project is to help other users. In Fedora, that can mean answering questions on the Ask Fedora forum, the users mailing list, or in the #fedora IRC channel. Many third-party social media and news aggregator sites have discussion related to Fedora where you can help out as well."

[$] Fixing getrandom()

Friday 27th of September 2019 03:39:54 PM
A report of a boot hang in the 5.3 series has led to an enormous, somewhat contentious thread on the linux-kernel mailing list. The proximate cause was some changes that made the ext4 filesystem do less I/O early in the boot phase, incidentally causing fewer interrupts, but the underlying issue was the getrandom() system call, which was blocking until the /dev/urandom pool was initialized—as designed. Since the system in question was not gathering enough entropy due to the lack of unpredictable interrupt timings, that would hang more or less forever. That has called into question the design and implementation of getrandom().

Security updates for Friday

Friday 27th of September 2019 01:25:01 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dcmtk), openSUSE (rust), Red Hat (redhat-virtualization-host), and SUSE (ghostscript, nghttp2, and u-boot).

[$] Upstreaming multipath TCP

Thursday 26th of September 2019 03:38:27 PM
The multipath TCP (MPTCP) protocol (and the Linux implementation of it) have been under development for a solid decade; MPTCP offers a number of advantages for devices that have more than one network interface available. Despite having been deployed widely, though, MPTCP is still not supported by the upstream Linux kernel. At the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference, Matthieu Baerts and Mat Martineau discussed the current state of the Linux MPTCP implementation and what will be required to get it into the mainline kernel.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 26th of September 2019 02:32:54 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dovecot), Debian (lemonldap-ng, openssl, and ruby-nokogiri), openSUSE (fish3, ibus, nmap, and openssl-1_1), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (mariadb, python-numpy, and SDL2), and Ubuntu (firefox).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for September 26, 2019

Thursday 26th of September 2019 01:58:16 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for September 26, 2019 is available.

[$] Monitoring the internal kernel ABI

Wednesday 25th of September 2019 04:23:52 PM
As part of the Distribution Kernels microconference at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, Matthias Männich described how the Android project monitors changes to the internal kernel ABI. As Android kernels evolve, typically by adding features and bug fixes from more recent kernel versions, the project wants to ensure that the ABI remains the same so that out-of-tree modules will still function. While the talk was somewhat Android-specific, the techniques and tools used could be applied to other distributions with similar needs (e.g. enterprise distributions).

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 25th of September 2019 03:12:23 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel, libgcrypt20, and spip), Fedora (compat-openssl10, expat, ghostscript, ibus, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, and SDL2_image), openSUSE (bird, chromium, kernel, libreoffice, links, and varnish), Oracle (httpd:2.4 and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (kernel), Scientific Linux (qemu-kvm), SUSE (djvulibre, dovecot22, ghostscript, kernel, libxml2, and python-Twisted), and Ubuntu (file-roller and libreoffice).

A patent lawsuit against GNOME

Wednesday 25th of September 2019 02:47:08 PM
A company called Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC has filed a lawsuit [PDF] against the GNOME Foundation, alleging that the Shotwell photo manager violates patent 9,936,086. Stay tuned, more details will surely emerge.

Google Code‑in 2019

Tuesday 24th of September 2019 08:34:37 PM
Google Code-in (GCI) provides students ages 13 to 17 the opportunity to participate in open source projects. Google has announced the 2019 round of GCI. "New contributors bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and enthusiasm into their open source communities, helping them thrive. Throughout the last 9 years, 58 GCI organizations helped 11,000 students from 108 countries make real contributions to open source projects; and to this day many of those students continue to participate in various open source communities and many have become mentors themselves! Some have even gone on to join Google Summer of Code (GSoC)." Organizations that are interested in mentoring students can apply for GCI starting October 10. GCI begins December 2, 2019 and ends January 23, 2020.

Release for CentOS Linux 8 and CentOS Streams

Tuesday 24th of September 2019 05:40:53 PM
CentOS Linux 8.0-1905 has been released. The release notes have more details. The CentOS project also introduces CentOS Stream. "CentOS Stream is a rolling-release Linux distro that exists as a midstream between the upstream development in Fedora Linux and the downstream development for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is a cleared-path to contributing into future minor releases of RHEL while interacting with Red Hat and other open source developers. This pairs nicely with the existing contribution path in Fedora for future major releases of RHEL."

[$] Better guidance for database developers

Tuesday 24th of September 2019 05:05:24 PM
At the inaugural Databases microconference at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), two developers who work on rather different database systems had similar complaints about developing for Linux. Richard Hipp, creator of the SQLite database, and Andres Freund from the PostgreSQL project both lamented the lack of definitive documentation on how to best use the kernel's I/O interfaces, especially for corner cases. Both of the sessions, along with others in the microconference, pointed to a strong need for more interaction between user-space and kernel developers.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 24th of September 2019 02:42:25 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (php5), Fedora (blis, kernel, and kernel-headers), openSUSE (bird, curl, fish3, ghostscript, ibus, kernel, libgcrypt, openldap2, openssl-1_1, skopeo, and util-linux and shadow), Oracle (dovecot and kernel), Red Hat (dovecot, httpd:2.4, qemu-kvm, and redhat-virtualization-host), Scientific Linux (dovecot), SUSE (djvulibre, expat, firefox, libopenmpt, and rust), and Ubuntu (ibus and Mosquitto).

[$] 5.4 Merge window, part 1

Monday 23rd of September 2019 03:52:43 PM
As of this writing, 9,632 non-merge changesets have been merged for the 5.4 kernel. This merge window is thus off to a strong start. There has been a wide range of changes merged across the kernel tree, including vast numbers of cleanups and fixes.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 23rd of September 2019 02:48:55 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (expat, php-pecl-http, and php7.0), Fedora (ImageMagick, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, and rubygem-rmagick), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, ibus, kernel, samba, and thunderbird), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (dovecot and kernel), Red Hat (dbus, kernel, kernel-alt, and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (dovecot and kernel), and SUSE (expat, ibus, kernel, kernel-source-rt, nmap, openssl, and webkit2gtk3).

Stable kernels for the weekend

Saturday 21st of September 2019 09:03:21 PM
The 5.3.1, 5.2.17, 4.19.75, 4.14.146, 4.9.194, and 4.4.194 stable kernels are all available; each contains another set of important fixes.

LLVM 9.0.0 released

Saturday 21st of September 2019 07:44:48 PM
Version 9.0.0 of the LLVM compiler suite is out. Headline changes include asm goto support — fixing one of the main impediments to compiling the kernel on x86 with LLVM — and non-experimental support for the RISC-V architecture.

[$] Many uses for Core scheduling

Friday 20th of September 2019 07:23:06 PM
Some new kernel features are welcomed by the kernel development community, while others are a rather harder sell. It is fair to say that core scheduling, which makes CPU scheduling harder by placing constraints on which processes may run simultaneously in a core, is of the latter variety. Core scheduling was the topic of (at least) three different sessions at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference. One of the most interesting outcomes, perhaps, is that there are use cases for this feature beyond protection from side-channel attacks.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 20th of September 2019 03:07:22 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (bird, opendmarc, php7.3, and qemu), Fedora (bird, dino, nbdkit, and openconnect), Oracle (nginx:1.14, patch, and thunderbird), Red Hat (dovecot, kernel, kernel-alt, and kernel-rt), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), and SUSE (kernel, openssl, openssl-1_1, python-SQLAlchemy, and python-Werkzeug).

[$] System-call wrappers for glibc

Thursday 19th of September 2019 03:42:39 PM
The GNU C Library has long had a reputation for being hostile to the addition of wrappers for new Linux system calls; that has resulted in many system calls being unsupported by the library for years. That situation is changing, though. During the Toolchain microconference at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference, Maciej Rozycki talked about glibc's new attitude toward system-call wrappers, but also served notice that there is still significant work to do for the addition of any new system call.

More in Tux Machines

Devices: Wi-Fi, Vecow, Arduino, Ghidra for Firmware Deciphering

  • Responding to Growing Demand, Edgewater Launches Wi-Fi Spectrum Slicing Development Kit

    Wi-Fi Spectrum Slicing offers breakthrough performance, slicing available spectrum, and exposing a new level of Wi-Fi spectrum granularity for developers to exploit. Edgewater’s groundbreaking MCSR™ silicon solutions and advanced Linux drivers allow the global Linux community to use the widely adopted Linux and OpenWrt software platforms to harness Edgewater’s technology and invent new and creative applications for the platform.

  • Rugged Kaby Lake vehicle PC does it all on the road or rail

    Vecow’s Linux-friendly “IVH-9024MX ICY” in-vehicle PC runs on a 7th or 6th Gen Core or Xeon CPUs and offers triple displays, 6x SATA bays, 4x PoE+ ports, 2x mini-PCIe, and EN50155: 2017 and EN45545-2 railway compliance. Vecow unveiled the rugged IVH-9024MX ICY back in June as an all-purpose in-vehicle and rolling-stock computer and this week announced certifications for EN50155 and EN45545-2 (fire protection) railway safety standards. This is the first 7th Gen Kaby Lake based fanless embedded system to receive these certifications, claims Vecow.

  • Get started with... Arduino?

    Yes, you read that title right, and no, you haven’t accidentally stumbled upon the Arduino Foundation’s website. Today, we’re pleased to announce a new addition to the Raspberry Pi Press family: Get Started with Arduino, a complete how-to guide to help you get hands on with the other pocket-sized board.

  • Exploring Zyxel GS1900 firmware with Ghidra

    Earlier this year the NSA released Ghidra, a reverse engineering suite with support for a large number of CPU/MCU instruction sets. While I have some experience with Hopper and radare2 I wanted to play with Ghidra to poke around the firmware for my Zyxel GS1900-8 switch which runs on a 32-bit MIPS CPU. All in all this has turned out to be an interesting exploration of both Ghidra and the GS1900-8-2.40(AAHH.2)C0.bix firmware image.

    Initially I wanted to write about poking around the firmware image and showing how one can use Ghidra to explore unknown binaries, but whilst looking around some libraries that are used by this switch I realised there is actually an interesting vulnerability to write about.

Linux Foundation and Openwashing

  • Linux Foundation Training Announces a Free Online Course-Introduction to Hyperledger Sovereign Identity Blockchain Solutions: Indy, Aries & Ursa

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced enrollment is now open for a new, free, course – Introduction to Hyperledger Sovereign Identity Blockchain Solutions: Indy, Aries & Ursa. This course is offered through edX, the trusted platform for learning. To the surprise of absolutely no one, trust is broken on the Internet. Any identity-related data available online can be subject to theft. Breach Level Index says that over 5,880,000 records are stolen every day. The 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report shows that reported breaches in the first half of 2019 were up 54% compared to midyear 2018 (over 4.1 billion records exposed), with web being the number one breach type for records exposed, and hacking being the number one breach type for incidents. Wherever you go online, the advice is the same–make sure you understand what is behind each button before you click it.

  • Is the future of farming under water?

    "[The] first thing we did was open source our model. In the new economy, we make things accessible to everybody. Anybody with 20 acres and a boat and $30,000 can start their farm and be up and growing the first year. Our farms require minimal capital costs and minimal skill. The potential of replication is tremendous: A network of small ocean farms about the size of Washington State could feed the world and, as bio-fuel, replace all the oil in the United States, while simultaneously capturing five times the amount of carbon as land-based plants," Smith predicts. The 3D ocean farming model consists of an underwater rope scaffolding system, anchors on the floor, and ropes up to the surface as well as horizontal ropes. Farmers grow their crops within this system, such as kelp ("the soy of the sea"). Mussels, scallops, and oysters are grown on the floor, and plants are grown in the mud. GreenWave is disseminating its model for restorative 3D ocean farms through open source manuals, farmer training programs, and an online collaboration platform to create a network of restorative ocean farming communities. Outside of ongoing replication along the waters of Long Island Sound, 3D ocean farmers anywhere in the world will be able to select appropriate native species to restore productive ecosystems along the coast, as reported by the Buckminster Fuller Insititute.

  • Seeds Or Code?

    I'd like to congratulate Microsoft on a truly excellent PR stunt, drawing attention to two important topics about which I've been writing for a long time, the cultural significance of open source software, and the need for digital preservation. Ashlee Vance provides the channel to publicize the stunt in Open Source Code Will Survive the Apocalypse in an Arctic Cave. In summary, near Longyearbyen on Spitzbergen is: [...]

  • What Is DeepMind? A Peek into the World’s Leading Neural Network

    Deep learning refers to an emerging area of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to make decisions on our behalf as they are more reliable than human decisions. It consists of many interrelated fields including natural language processing (NLP), cognitive computing, recommender systems, board game programs, and image recognition. Ever since its takeover by Google, DeepMind has become the world’s foremost deep learning neural network. Let’s look at the story behind the AI engine, its ongoing applications and whether you should have concerns about privacy in the smart devices where it’s used.

Android Leftovers

Red Hat: CDC, CodeReady and EPEL

  • Red Hat advances Debezium CDC connectors for Apache Kafka support to Technical Preview

    After a couple of months in Developer Preview, the Debezium Apache Kafka connectors for change data capture (CDC) are now available as a Technical Preview as part of the Q4 release of Red Hat Integration. Technology Preview features provide early access to upcoming product innovations, enabling you to test functionality and provide feedback during the development process.

  • Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2 Brings New Tooling to Cloud-Native Development

    Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the release of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2, a cloud-native development workflow for developers. The new release of CodeReady Workspaces enables developers to create and build applications and services in an environment that mirrors that of production, all running on Red Hat OpenShift, the industry's most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.

  • What's EPEL, and how do I use it?

    RHEL ships with only a subset of packages that you'll find in Fedora Linux. This makes sense, because there's a lot of software in Fedora that isn't needed in an enterprise environment or falls outside the scope of RHEL. Red Hat maintains and supports the packages in RHEL far longer than the lifespan of a Fedora release, and we select the software we feel is necessary for our customers to be successful in deploying and using RHEL to run their workloads. But Fedora users sometimes find that they miss this or that application that's available in Fedora but not through RHEL. So, EPEL was formed. Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) is a special interest group (SIG) from the Fedora Project that provides a set of additional packages for RHEL (and CentOS, and others) from the Fedora sources. To get a package into EPEL, it has to be in Fedora first. EPEL follows the Fedora Packaging Guidelines to ensure successful integration, and only includes free and open source software that isn't patent encumbered. So you won't find any proprietary software in EPEL or things like multimedia codecs that are restricted by patents, even if software enabling them is under an open source license.