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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 27 min ago

[$] Loaded terms in free software

Wednesday 17th of June 2020 04:53:39 PM
Arguments about terminology are not rare in our community; words are powerful tools, so we want to be sure that we are using them in the correct way. But, naturally, opinions on what is "correct" may (and do) differ. Discussions on the use of loaded terms like "master" and "slave" have been ongoing in the community for some time, but recent world events have given them a new urgency. Some projects have made changes in the past, but the current wave of changes seems likely to be far larger.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 17th of June 2020 02:15:26 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (dbus and intel-ucode), CentOS (libexif), Debian (vlc), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (dbus, libexif, and nss).

Prokopov: Computers as I used to love them

Tuesday 16th of June 2020 06:45:17 PM
Nikita Prokopov reviews Syncthing (a file-synchronization system) and, seemingly, rediscovers free software: "Syncthing is everything I used to love about computers. It’s amazing how great computer products can be when they don’t need to deal with corporate bullshit, don’t have to promote a brand or to sell its users. Frankly, I almost ceased to believe it’s still possible. But it is."

[$] Tools to improve English text

Tuesday 16th of June 2020 03:53:29 PM
Open-source developers put a lot of emphasis on quality and have created many tools to improve source code, such as linters and code formatters. Documentation, on the other hand, doesn't receive the attention it deserves. LWN reviewed several grammar and style-checking tools back in 2016. It seems like a good time to evaluate progress in this area.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 16th of June 2020 02:47:03 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (galera, grafana, libjcat, libvirt, mariadb-connector-c, and perl), Gentoo (asterisk, bubblewrap, cyrus-imapd, faad2, json-c, openconnect, openjdk-bin, pcre2, PEAR-Archive_Tar, thunderbird, and tomcat), Mageia (mbedtls and scapy), openSUSE (libntlm, libupnp, prboom-plus, varnish, and xen), Oracle (libexif), Red Hat (kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (libexif), SUSE (mariadb, nodejs6, and poppler), and Ubuntu (apport).

[$] A look at the ESP8266 for IoT

Monday 15th of June 2020 03:53:26 PM
The Internet of Things (IoT) world is filled with countless microprocessors. One option we have covered in various ways before is the Arduino ecosystem. In the same vein, we now will look at another interesting segment of that community: The WiFi-enabled Espressif ESP8266 chip.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 15th of June 2020 02:53:44 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (intel-microcode, libexif, mysql-connector-java, and thunderbird), Fedora (gnutls, grafana, kernel, kernel-headers, mingw-gnutls, mod_auth_openidc, NetworkManager, and pdns-recursor), Gentoo (adobe-flash, ansible, chromium, firefox, glibc, mailutils, nokogiri, readline, ssvnc, and webkit-gtk), Mageia (axel, bind, dbus, flash-player-plugin, libreoffice, networkmanager, and roundcubemail), openSUSE (java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, nodejs8, rubygem-bundler, texlive-filesystem, and thunderbird), Oracle (libexif and tomcat6), Red Hat (chromium-browser, flash-plugin, and libexif), Scientific Linux (tomcat6), SUSE (libEMF), and Ubuntu (fwupd).

[$] 5.8 Merge window, part 2

Sunday 14th of June 2020 10:18:20 PM
By the time Linus Torvalds released 5.8-rc1 and closed the merge window for this development cycle, 14,206 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the repository for 5.8. That is more work than was pulled for the entire 5.7 cycle; clearly development work on the kernel has not (yet) slowed down in response to events in the wider world. The nearly 6,700 changes pulled since the previous summary include huge numbers of fixes and internal cleanups, but there were a number of significant features added as well.

Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc1

Sunday 14th of June 2020 10:14:53 PM
Linus has released 5.8-rc1 and closed the merge window for this release. By the end, 14,206 non-merge changesets found their way into the mainline repository, making this one of the busiest development cycles ever. "So in the 5.8 merge window we have modified about 20% of all the files in the kernel source repository. That's really a fairly big percentage, and while some of it _is_ scripted, on the whole it's really just the same pattern: 5.8 has simply seen a lot of development. IOW, 5.8 looks big. Really big."

PsychOS: A Crazy Cool Distro That Pushes Linux Limits (TechNewsWorld)

Saturday 13th of June 2020 01:09:37 AM
Over at TechNewsWorld, Jack M. Germain reviews the rather ... different ... distribution, PsychOS Linux. Just taking a peek at the home page may be enough to cause flashbacks to a misspent youth, or perhaps that of one's parents at this point. Bucking the trend for modern distributions, PsychOS is only built for 32-bit systems; the main focus seems to be DOS-oriented: "Retro comes alive in PsychOS and is the main driving point in its development. The distro creator still uses DOS software, which is launched easily from the applications menu via emulators such as DOSBox. Anyone with PsychOS 3.4.6 and higher who uses RetroGrab to install older software can do the same, noted the developer. The corresponding emulators must be installed first. PsychOS lets you run more than one DOS program at a time, too. Other programming influences include BASIC and BBC BASIC, due to shortcomings that helped the PsychOS developer learn more about Python. Other BASIC flavors are FreeBASIC, QB45, and QB64."

[$] Rethinking bpfilter and user-mode helpers

Friday 12th of June 2020 06:01:55 PM
The bpfilter subsystem, along with its "user-mode blobs" infrastructure, attracted a lot of attention when it was merged for the 4.18 kernel in 2018. Since then, however, development in this effort has been, to put it charitably, subdued. Now, two years after its merging, bpfilter may be in danger of being removed from the kernel as a failed experiment.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 12th of June 2020 03:39:49 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (tomcat), Debian (intel-microcode, libphp-phpmailer, mysql-connector-java, python-django, thunderbird, and xawtv), Fedora (kernel and thunderbird), Gentoo (perl), openSUSE (libexif and vim), Oracle (dotnet, kernel, microcode_ctl, and tomcat), Red Hat (net-snmp), Scientific Linux (libexif and tomcat), Slackware (kernel), and SUSE (adns, audiofile, ed, kvm, nodejs12, and xen).

[$] DMA-BUF cache handling: Off the DMA API map (part 2)

Thursday 11th of June 2020 07:38:56 PM
Part 1 of this series, covered some background on ION, DMA-BUF heaps, the DMA API, and the concept of "ownership" when it comes to handling CPU-cache maintenance, finally ending on a conventional DMA API view of how DMA-BUF cache handling should be done. The article concluded with a discussion of why the traditional DMA APIs can perform poorly on contemporary systems. This article completes the series with an exploration of some of the approaches that DMA-BUF exporters can use to avoid unnecessary cache operations along with some rough proposals for how we might improve things.

Seven new stable kernels

Thursday 11th of June 2020 01:46:39 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.7.2, 5.6.18, 5.4.46, 4.19.128, 4.14.184, 4.9.227, and 4.4.227 stable kernels. These contain mitigations for the special register buffer data sampling (SRBDS) hardware vulnerability, as well as other fixes elsewhere in the trees. Users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 11th of June 2020 01:19:23 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel and microcode_ctl), Debian (roundcube), Mageia (coturn, cups, libarchive, libvirt, libzypp, nghttp2, nrpe, openconnect, perl, python-typed-ast, ruby-rack, ruby-RubyGems, sudo, vino, wpa_supplicant, and xawtv), openSUSE (firefox, gnutls, GraphicsMagick, ucode-intel, and xawtv), Oracle (dotnet3.1 and kernel), Red Hat (curl, expat, file, gettext, kernel, kpatch-patch, libexif, pcs, python, tomcat, tomcat6, and unzip), Scientific Linux (kernel and microcode_ctl), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (intel-microcode and sqlite3).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 11, 2020

Thursday 11th of June 2020 01:19:14 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 11, 2020 is available.

[$] Home Assistant, the Python IoT Hub

Wednesday 10th of June 2020 11:38:01 PM
The Internet of Things (IoT) push continues to expand as tens of thousands of different internet-enabled devices from light bulbs to dishwashers reach consumers' homes. Home Assistant is an open-source project to make the most of all of those devices, potentially with no data being shared with third parties.

[$] Seccomp and deep argument inspection

Wednesday 10th of June 2020 11:16:50 PM
Kees Cook has been doing some thinking about plans for new seccomp features to work on soon. There were four separate areas that he was interested in, which he detailed in a lengthy mid-May message on the linux-kernel mailing list. One of those features, deep argument inspection, has been covered here before, but it would seem that we are getting closer to a resolution on how that all will work.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 10th of June 2020 02:50:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, firefox, gnutls, python-django, thunderbird, tomcat7, tomcat8, and tomcat9), CentOS (unbound), Debian (bluez, firefox-esr, kernel, and linux-4.9), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (.NET Core, .NET Core 3.1, kernel, kernel-rt, libexif, microcode_ctl, pcs, and virt:rhel), SUSE (gnutls, java-1_7_0-ibm, kernel, microcode_ctl, nodejs10, nodejs8, rubygem-bundler, texlive, texlive-filesystem, thunderbird, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (intel-microcode, kernel, libjpeg-turbo, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.3, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.3, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux, linux-lts-trusty, and linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1).

Second Debian Med COVID-19 hackathon

Tuesday 9th of June 2020 10:53:57 PM
The Debian Med team joined a COVID-19 Biohackathon last April and is planing on doing it again on June 15-21.

A recently shared pre-publication draft paper highlights which software tools are considered useful "to Accelerate SARS-CoV-2 and Coronavirus Research". Many of these tools would benefit from being packaged in Debian and all the advantages that Debian brings for both users and upstream alike.

As in the first sprint most tasks do not require any knowledge of biology or medicine, and all types of contributions are welcome: bug triage, testing, documentation, CI, translations, packaging, and code contributions.

More in Tux Machines

Endless OS 3.8.5

Endless OS 3.8.5 was released for existing users today, August 10th, 2020. Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days. Read more

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