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Syndicate content is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 6 weeks 1 day ago

Important Etherpad release

Monday 9th of April 2018 04:05:33 PM
Several security vulnerabilities were found in Etherpad and version 1.6.4 has been released with fixes. The vulnerabilities include arbitrary code execution and information disclosure. Site admins are urged to update Etherpad to 1.6.4 as soon as possible.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 9th of April 2018 03:48:50 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (openssl and zziplib), Debian (ldap-account-manager, ming, python-crypto, sam2p, sdl-image1.2, and squirrelmail), Fedora (bchunk, koji, libidn, librelp, nodejs, and php), Gentoo (curl, dhcp, libvirt, mailx, poppler, qemu, and spice-vdagent), Mageia (389-ds-base, aubio, cfitsio, libvncserver, nmap, and ntp), openSUSE (GraphicsMagick, ImageMagick, spice-gtk, and wireshark), Oracle (kubernetes), Slackware (patch), and SUSE (apache2 and openssl).

[$] Accelerating networking with AF_XDP

Monday 9th of April 2018 01:21:31 PM
The Linux network stack does not lack for features; it also performs well enough for most uses. At the highest network speeds, though, any overhead at all is too much; that has driven the most demanding users toward specialized, user-space networking implementations that can outperform the kernel for highly constrained tasks. The express data path (XDP) development effort is an attempt win those users back, with some apparent success so far. With the posting of the AF_XDP patch set by Björn Töpel, another piece of the XDP puzzle is coming into focus.

A big pile of weekend stable kernel updates

Sunday 8th of April 2018 03:58:01 PM
The 4.16.1, 4.15.16, 4.14.33, 4.9.93, 4.4.127, and 3.18.103 stable kernels have all been released; each contains a fairly long list of important fixes.

[$] Kernel lockdown locked out — for now

Friday 6th of April 2018 04:40:43 PM
As the 4.17 merge window opened, it seemed possible that the kernel lockdown patch set could be merged at last. That was before the linux-kernel mailing list got its hands on the issue. What resulted was not one of the kernel community's finest moments. But it did result in a couple of evident conclusions: kernel lockdown will almost certainly not be merged for 4.17, but something that looks very much like it is highly likely to be accepted in a subsequent merge window.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 6th of April 2018 02:42:37 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (sharutils), Fedora (firefox, httpd, and mod_http2), openSUSE (docker-distribution, graphite2, libidn, and postgresql94), Oracle (libvorbis and thunderbird), Red Hat (libvorbis, python-paramiko, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (libvorbis and thunderbird), SUSE (apache2), and Ubuntu (firefox, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, and ruby1.9.1, ruby2.0, ruby2.3).

[$] The first half of the 4.17 merge window

Thursday 5th of April 2018 04:21:37 PM
As of this writing, 5,392 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 4.17 release. The 4.17 merge window is thus off to a good start, but it is far from complete. The changes pulled thus far cover a wide part of the core kernel as well as the networking, driver, and filesystem subsystems.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 5th of April 2018 01:47:52 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (drupal), Debian (openjdk-7), Fedora (exempi, gd, and tomcat), SUSE (python-paramiko), and Ubuntu (kernel, libvncserver, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-lts-trusty, and linux-raspi2).

[$] Weekly Edition for April 5, 2018

Thursday 5th of April 2018 12:43:57 AM
The Weekly Edition for April 5, 2018 is available.

[$] Fedora and Python 2

Wednesday 4th of April 2018 08:47:09 PM

It has been known for quite some time that Python 2 will reach its end of life in 2020—after being extended by five years from its original 2015 expiry. After that, there will be no support, bug fixes, or security patches for Python 2, at least from the Python Software Foundation and the core developers. Some distributions will need to continue to support the final Python 2 release, however, since their support windows extend past that date; the enterprise and long-term support distributions will likely be supporting it well into the 2020s and possibly beyond. But even shorter-support-cycle distributions need to consider their plan for a sweeping change of this sort—in less than two years.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 4th of April 2018 03:20:38 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2, ldap-account-manager, and openjdk-7), Fedora (libuv and nodejs), Gentoo (glibc and libxslt), Mageia (acpica-tools, openssl, and php), SUSE (clamav, coreutils, and libvirt), and Ubuntu (kernel, libraw, linux-hwe, linux-gcp, linux-oem, and python-crypto).

Free Nitrokey cryptographic cards for kernel developers

Wednesday 4th of April 2018 02:20:50 PM
The Linux Foundation and Nitrokey have announced a program whereby anybody who appears in the kernel's MAINTAINERS file or who has a email address can obtain a free Nitrokey Start crypto card. The intent, of course, is that kernel developers will use these devices to safeguard their GnuPG keys and, as a result, improve the security of the kernel development process as a whole. "A digital smartcard token like Nitrokey Start contains a cryptographic chip that is capable of storing private keys and performing crypto operations directly on the token itself. Because the key contents never leave the device, the operating system of the computer into which the token is plugged in is not able to retrieve the private keys themselves, therefore significantly limiting the ways in which the keys can be leaked or stolen."

See this LWN article for a look at crypto cards.

[$] wait_var_event()

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 09:19:38 PM
One of the trickiest aspects to concurrency in the kernel is waiting for a specific event to take place. There is a wide variety of possible events, including a process exiting, the last reference to a data structure going away, a device completing an operation, or a timeout occurring. Waiting is surprisingly hard to get right — race conditions abound to trap the unwary — so the kernel has accumulated a large set of wait_event_*() macros to make the task easier. An attempt to add a new one, though, has led to the generalization of specific types of waits for 4.17.

[$] Making institutional free software successful

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 03:08:20 PM

Many large institutions, especially government agencies, would like to distribute their software—including the software of the vendors with whom they contract—as free software. They have a variety of reasons, ranging from the hope that opening the code will boost its use, all the way to a mature understanding of the importance of community, transparency, and freedom. There are special steps institutions can take to help ensure success, some stemming from best practices performed by many free-software projects and others specific to large organizations. At the 2018 LibrePlanet conference, Cecilia Donnelly laid out nine principles for the successful creation and maintenance of a software project under these circumstances.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 02:45:19 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (beep and jruby), Fedora (libvncserver), and Ubuntu (openjdk-7 and openjdk-8).

Git v2.17.0 released

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 02:31:38 PM
Version 2.17.0 of the Git source-code management system is out. It includes a long list of relatively minor tweaks. "Since Git 1.7.9, 'git merge' defaulted to --no-ff (i.e. even when the side branch being merged is a descendant of the current commit, create a merge commit instead of fast-forwarding) when merging a tag object. This was appropriate default for integrators who pull signed tags from their downstream contributors, but caused an unnecessary merges when used by downstream contributors who habitually 'catch up' their topic branches with tagged releases from the upstream. Update 'git merge' to default to --no-ff only when merging a tag object that does *not* sit at its usual place in refs/tags/ hierarchy, and allow fast-forwarding otherwise, to mitigate the problem."

GnuCash 3.0 released

Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 02:22:38 PM
The GnuCash 3.0 release is out. "The headline item for this release is that GnuCash now uses the Gtk+-3.0 Toolkit and the WebKit2Gtk API. This change was forced on us by some major Linux distributions dropping support for the WebKit1 API." This release also includes some new reports, a rewritten CSV importer, and more. LWN looked at GnuCash from a business-accounting point of view in August 2017.

OpenBSD 6.3 released

Monday 2nd of April 2018 08:11:43 PM
The OpenBSD 6.3 release is out. "The release was scheduled for April 15, but since all the components are ready ahead of schedule it is being released now." This release includes mitigation for the Meltdown vulnerability but not for Spectre on x86.

[$] Kernel lockdown in 4.17?

Monday 2nd of April 2018 07:23:09 PM
The UEFI secure boot mechanism is intended to protect the system against persistent malware threats — unpleasant bits of software attached to the operating system or bootloader that will survive a reboot. While Linux has supported secure boot for some time, proponents have long said that this support is incomplete in that it is still possible for the root user to corrupt the system in a number of ways. Patches that attempt to close this hole have been circulating for years, but they have been controversial at best. This story may finally come to a close, though, if Linus Torvalds accepts the "kernel lockdown" patch series during the 4.17 merge window.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 2nd of April 2018 03:25:15 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (dovecot, irssi, libevt, libvncserver, mercurial, mosquitto, openssl, python-django, remctl, rubygems, and zsh), Fedora (acpica-tools, dovecot, firefox, ImageMagick, mariadb, mosquitto, openssl, python-paramiko, rubygem-rmagick, and thunderbird), Mageia (flash-player-plugin and squirrelmail), Slackware (php), and Ubuntu (dovecot).

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Open source image recognition with Luminoth

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