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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

Let's Encrypt looks forward to 2018

Friday 8th of December 2017 08:51:09 PM
The Let's Encrypt project, working to encrypt as much web traffic as possible, looks forward to the coming year. "First, we’re planning to introduce an ACME v2 protocol API endpoint and support for wildcard certificates along with it. Wildcard certificates will be free and available globally just like our other certificates. We are planning to have a public test API endpoint up by January 4, and we’ve set a date for the full launch: Tuesday, February 27."

Fedora council elections canceled

Friday 8th of December 2017 08:24:09 PM
The Fedora Project's currently underway elections for the Fedora Council, FESCo, and the Mindshare committee have been canceled due to some glitches in making the interview material available. The project plans to get its act together and retry the elections in early January.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 8th of December 2017 03:20:48 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium and vlc), Debian (erlang), Mageia (ffmpeg, tor, and wireshark), openSUSE (chromium, opensaml, openssh, openvswitch, and php7), Oracle (postgresql), Red Hat (chromium-browser, postgresql, rh-postgresql94-postgresql, rh-postgresql95-postgresql, and rh-postgresql96-postgresql), SUSE (firefox, java-1_6_0-ibm, opensaml, and xen), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, and rsync).

[$] Kernel support for HDCP

Thursday 7th of December 2017 11:18:13 PM
High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (or HDCP) is an Intel-designed copy-protection mechanism for video and audio streams. It is a digital rights management (DRM) system of the type disliked by many in the Linux community. But does that antipathy mean that Linux should not support HDCP? That question is being answered — probably in favor of support — in a conversation underway on the kernel mailing lists.

Is blockchain a security topic? (Opensource.com)

Thursday 7th of December 2017 09:40:56 PM
At Opensource.com, Mike Bursell looks at blockchain security from the angle of trust. Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are pseudonymous typically, other kinds of blockchains will require mapping users to real-life identities; that raises the trust issue. "What's really interesting is that, if you're thinking about moving to a permissioned blockchain or distributed ledger with permissioned actors, then you're going to have to spend some time thinking about trust. You're unlikely to be using a proof-of-work system for making blocks—there's little point in a permissioned system—so who decides what comprises a "valid" block that the rest of the system should agree on? Well, you can rotate around some (or all) of the entities, or you can have a random choice, or you can elect a small number of über-trusted entities. Combinations of these schemes may also work. If these entities all exist within one trust domain, which you control, then fine, but what if they're distributors, or customers, or partners, or other banks, or manufacturers, or semi-autonomous drones, or vehicles in a commercial fleet? You really need to ensure that the trust relationships that you're encoding into your implementation/deployment truly reflect the legal and IRL [in real life] trust relationships that you have with the entities that are being represented in your system. And the problem is that, once you've deployed that system, it's likely to be very difficult to backtrack, adjust, or reset the trust relationships that you've designed."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 7th of December 2017 02:00:07 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, java-1.7.0-openjdk, kernel, liblouis, qemu-kvm, sssd, and thunderbird), Debian (heimdal and nova), openSUSE (shibboleth-sp), Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Red Hat (Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise), Scientific Linux (openafs), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (rsync).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 7, 2017

Thursday 7th of December 2017 12:12:52 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 7, 2017 is available.

[$] Mozilla releases tools and data for speech recognition

Wednesday 6th of December 2017 10:54:32 PM

Voice computing has long been a staple of science fiction, but it has only relatively recently made its way into fairly common mainstream use. Gadgets like mobile phones and "smart" home assistant devices (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home) have brought voice-based user interfaces to the masses. The voice processing for those gadgets relies on various proprietary services "in the cloud", which generally leaves the free-software world out in the cold. There have been FOSS speech-recognition efforts over the years, but Mozilla's recent announcement of the release of its voice-recognition code and voice data set should help further the goal of FOSS voice interfaces.

[$] Who should see Python deprecation warnings?

Wednesday 6th of December 2017 08:43:46 PM
As all Python developers discover sooner or later, Python is a rapidly evolving language whose community occasionally makes changes that can break existing programs. The switch to Python 3 is the most prominent example, but minor releases can include significant changes as well. The CPython interpreter can emit warnings for upcoming incompatible changes, giving developers time to prepare their code, but those warnings are suppressed and invisible by default. Work is afoot to make them visible, but doing so is not as straightforward as it might seem.

[$] Container IDs for the audit subsystem

Wednesday 6th of December 2017 05:56:31 PM

Linux containers are something of an amorphous beast, at least with respect to the kernel. There are lots of facilities that the kernel provides (namespaces, control groups, seccomp, and so on) that can be composed by user-space tools into containers of various shapes and colors; the kernel is blissfully unaware of how user space views that composition. But there is interest in having the kernel be more aware of containers and for it to be able to distinguish what user space considers to be a single container. One particular use case for the kernel managing container identifiers is the audit subsystem, which needs unforgeable IDs for containers that can be associated with audit trails.

Announcing sources.debian.org

Wednesday 6th of December 2017 04:18:45 PM
The Debian project has announced the launch of sources.debian.org, a site that enables browsing of the source code for every package shipped with the Debian distribution. "You may already know this service as previously hosted at sources.debian.net . We took the move to Debian hardware as the opportunity to officially announce it here."

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 6th of December 2017 04:12:26 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (samba4), Mageia (libxcursor and libxfont/libxfont2), openSUSE (exim, GraphicsMagick, graphviz, pdns, and pdns-recursor), Oracle (firefox and liblouis), Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk), SUSE (firefox, shibboleth-sp, and xen), and Ubuntu (linux-firmware).

[$] Trying Tryton

Tuesday 5th of December 2017 10:56:07 PM
The quest to find a free-software replacement for the QuickBooks accounting tool continues. In this episode, your editor does his best to put Tryton through its paces. Running Tryton proved to be a trying experience, though; this would not appear to be the accounting tool we are searching for.

Stable kernel updates

Tuesday 5th of December 2017 03:59:44 PM
Stable kernels 4.14.4, 4.9.67, 4.4.104, and 3.18.86 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 5th of December 2017 03:53:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libextractor), Fedora (java-9-openjdk, kernel, python, and qt5-qtwebengine), Oracle (sssd and thunderbird), Red Hat (firefox, liblouis, and sssd), Scientific Linux (firefox, liblouis, and sssd), and Ubuntu (libxml2).

Diehl: Reflecting on Haskell in 2017

Monday 4th of December 2017 09:27:26 PM
Stephen Diehl looks back at what happened in Haskell during the past year. "Haskell has had a great year and 2017 was defined by vast quantities of new code, including 14,000 new Haskell projects on Github . The amount of writing this year was voluminous and my list of interesting work is eight times as large as last year. At least seven new companies came into existence and many existing firms unexpectedly dropped large open source Haskell projects into the public sphere. Driven by a lot of software catastrophes, the intersection of security, software correctness and formal methods have been become quite an active area of investment and research across both industry and academia. It’s really never been an easier and more exciting time to be programming professionally in the world’s most advanced (yet usable) statically typed language."

Mozilla releases its speech-recognition system

Monday 4th of December 2017 05:57:15 PM
Mozilla has announced the initial releases from its "Project DeepSpeech" and "Project Common Voice" efforts. "I’m excited to announce the initial release of Mozilla’s open source speech recognition model that has an accuracy approaching what humans can perceive when listening to the same recordings. We are also releasing the world’s second largest publicly available voice dataset, which was contributed to by nearly 20,000 people globally."

[$] Restricting automatic kernel-module loading

Monday 4th of December 2017 05:16:34 PM
The kernel's module mechanism allows the building of a kernel with a wide range of hardware and software support without requiring that all of that code actually be loaded into any given running system. The availability of all of those modules in a typical distributor kernel means that a lot of features are available — but also, potentially, a lot of exploitable bugs. There have been numerous cases where the kernel's automatic module loader has been used to bring buggy code into a running system. An attempt to reduce the kernel's exposure to buggy modules shows how difficult some kinds of hardening work can be.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 4th of December 2017 04:17:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (cacti, curl, exim, lib32-curl, lib32-libcurl-compat, lib32-libcurl-gnutls, lib32-libxcursor, libcurl-compat, libcurl-gnutls, libofx, libxcursor, procmail, samba, shadowsocks-libev, and thunderbird), Debian (tor), Fedora (kernel, moodle, mupdf, python-sanic, qbittorrent, qpid-cpp, and rb_libtorrent), Mageia (git, lame, memcached, nagios, perl-Catalyst-Plugin-Static-Simple, php-phpmailer, shadowsocks-libev, and varnish), openSUSE (binutils, libressl, lynx, openssl, tor, wireshark, and xen), Red Hat (thunderbird), Scientific Linux (kernel, qemu-kvm, and thunderbird), SUSE (kernel, ncurses, openvpn-openssl1, and xen), and Ubuntu (curl, evince, and firefox).

Kernel prepatch 4.15-rc2

Sunday 3rd of December 2017 05:03:01 PM
The second 4.15 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "One thing I'll point out is that I'm trying to get some kernel ASLR leaks plugged, and as part of that we now hash any pointers printed by '%p' by default. That won't affect a lot of people, but where it is a debugging problem (rather than leaking interesting kernel pointers), we will have to fix things up."

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