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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: 10 min 54 sec ago

[$] Developers split over split-lock detection

11 hours 13 min ago
A "split lock" is a low-level memory-bus lock taken by the processor for a memory range that crosses a cache line. Most processors disallow split locks, but x86 implements them, Split locking may be convenient for developers, but it comes at a cost: a single split-locked instruction can occupy the memory bus for around 1,000 clock cycles. It is thus understandable that interest in eliminating split-lock operations is high. What is perhaps less understandable is that a patch set intended to detect split locks has been pending since (at least) May 2018, and it still is not poised to enter the mainline.

VPN hijacking on Linux (and beyond) systems

15 hours 16 min ago
William Tolley has disclosed a severe VPN-related problem in most current systems: "I am reporting a vulnerability that exists on most Linux distros, and other *nix operating systems which allows a network adjacent attacker to determine if another user is connected to a VPN, the virtual IP address they have been assigned by the VPN server, and whether or not there is an active connection to a given website. Additionally, we are able to determine the exact seq and ack numbers by counting encrypted packets and/or examining their size. This allows us to inject data into the TCP stream and hijack connections." There are various partial mitigations available, but a full solution to the problem has not yet been worked out. Most VPNs are vulnerable, but Tor evidently is not.

Security updates for Friday

16 hours 3 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libav), Fedora (kernel, libuv, and nodejs), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (firefox and java-1.7.1-ibm), SUSE (clamav, cloud-init, dnsmasq, dpdk, ffmpeg, munge, opencv, and permissions), and Ubuntu (librabbitmq).

[$] Debian votes on init systems

Thursday 5th of December 2019 06:18:21 PM
In November, the topic of init systems and, in particular, support for systems other than systemd reappeared on the Debian mailing lists. After one month of sometimes fraught discussion, this issue has been brought to the project's developers to decide in the form of a general resolution (GR) — the first such since the project voted on the status of debian-private discussions in 2016. The issues under discussion are complex, so the result is one of the most complex ballots seen for some time in Debian, with seven options to choose from.

Stable kernels 5.4.2, 5.3.15, and 4.19.88

Thursday 5th of December 2019 03:32:28 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.4.2, 5.3.15, and 4.19.88 stable kernels. They contain a relatively large collection of important fixes throughout the tree; users of those kernel series should upgrade.

[Update: A bit later, the 4.14.158, 4.9.206, and 4.4.206 stable kernels were also released.]

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 5th of December 2019 02:01:08 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox), Fedora (cyrus-imapd, freeipa, haproxy, ImageMagick, python-pillow, rubygem-rmagick, sqlite, squid, and tnef), openSUSE (haproxy), Oracle (microcode_ctl), and Ubuntu (squid, squid3).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 5, 2019

Thursday 5th of December 2019 03:51:35 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 5, 2019 is available.

[$] A static-analysis framework for GCC

Wednesday 4th of December 2019 10:04:44 PM
One of the features of the Clang/LLVM compiler that has been rather lacking for GCC may finally be getting filled in. In a mid-November post to the gcc-patches mailing list, David Malcolm described a new static-analysis framework for GCC that he wrote. It could be the starting point for a whole range of code analysis for the compiler.

[$] Creating Kubernetes distributions

Wednesday 4th of December 2019 07:00:33 PM
Making a comparison between Linux and Kubernetes is often one of apples to oranges. There are, however, some similarities and there is an effort within the Kubernetes community to make Kubernetes more like a Linux distribution. The idea was outlined in a session about Kubernetes release engineering at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2019. "You might have heard that Kubernetes is the Linux of the cloud and that's like super easy to say, but what does it mean? Cloud is pretty fuzzy on its own," Tim Pepper, the Kubernetes release special interest group (SIG Release) co-chair said. He proceeded to provide some clarity on how the two projects are similar.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 4th of December 2019 04:26:52 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (389-ds-base, ghostscript, kernel, and tcpdump), Debian (libonig), Fedora (clamav, firefox, and oniguruma), openSUSE (calamares, cloud-init, haproxy, libarchive, libidn2, libxml2, and ucode-intel), Scientific Linux (SDL and tcpdump), Slackware (mozilla), and Ubuntu (haproxy, intel-microcode, and postgresql-common).

Two malicious Python libraries caught stealing SSH and GPG keys (ZDNet)

Wednesday 4th of December 2019 01:58:19 PM
ZDNet reports that two more malicious modules have been removed from the Python Package Index. "The two libraries were created by the same developer and mimicked other more popular libraries -- using a technique called typosquatting to register similarly-looking names. The first is 'python3-dateutil,' which imitated the popular 'dateutil' library. The second is 'jeIlyfish' (the first L is an I), which mimicked the 'jellyfish' library." The latter of the two had been in PyPI for nearly a year.

Firefox 71

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019 06:28:14 PM
Firefox 71 is available. New features include improvements to the Lockwise integrated password manager and native MP3 decoding. The release notes have more details.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019 04:13:20 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (intel-ucode and libtiff), Debian (exiv2), Oracle (SDL), Red Hat (kernel, patch, and python-jinja2), and Ubuntu (graphicsmagick, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.0, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oem-osp1, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.0, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-gcp, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, and sqlite3).

Wielaard: A public discussion about GNU

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019 03:09:55 PM
Mark Wielaard has posted a summary of the discussion thus far on the governance of the GNU project. "The mentoring and apprenticeship discussion focused on the GNU maintainers as being the core of the GNU project. But as was pointed out there are also webmasters, translators, infrastructure maintainers (partially paid FSF staff and volunteers), education and conference organizers, etc. All these people are GNU stakeholders. And how we organize governance of the GNU project should also involve them."

[$] 5.5 Merge window, part 1

Monday 2nd of December 2019 10:33:26 PM
The 5.5 merge window got underway immediately after the release of the 5.4 kernel on November 24. The first week has been quite busy despite the US Thanksgiving holiday landing in the middle of it. Read on for a summary of what the first 6,300 changesets brought for the next major kernel release.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 2nd of December 2019 03:54:23 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (389-ds-base, asterisk, file, nss, proftpd-dfsg, ssvnc, and tnef), Fedora (chromium, djvulibre, freeradius, ImageMagick, jhead, kernel, phpMyAdmin, python-pillow, and rubygem-rmagick), Mageia (bzip2, chromium-browser-stable, curl, dbus, djvulibre, glib2.0, glibc, gnupg2, httpie, libreoffice, libssh2, mosquitto, nginx, python-sqlalchemy, unbound, and zipios++), openSUSE (bluez, clamav, cpio, freerdp, openafs, phpMyAdmin, strongswan, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (samba and SDL), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base), and SUSE (haproxy, python-Django, and tightvnc).

PHP 7.4.0 released

Monday 2nd of December 2019 03:21:56 AM
Version 7.4.0 of the PHP language has been released. New features include typed properties, arrow functions, weak references, and more; see the release announcement and migration guide for more information.

Lots of stable kernel updates

Sunday 1st of December 2019 04:24:30 PM
The 5.4.1, 5.3.14, 4.19.87, 4.14.157, 4.9.204, and 4.4.204 stable kernels have all been released; they contain a relatively large set of important fixes and updates. For good measure, 4.9.205 and 4.4.205 followed a full 30 seconds later with one problematic patch reverted.

Soller: Real hardware breakthroughs, and focusing on rustc

Friday 29th of November 2019 10:42:34 PM
On the Redox site, creator Jeremy Soller gives an update on the Unix-like operating system written in Rust. It is running on a System76 Galaga Pro laptop: "This particular hardware has full support for the keyboard, touchpad, storage, and ethernet, making it easy to use with Redox." Meanwhile, he and the other Redox developers have been focusing on making it self-hosting: "Building Redox OS on Redox OS has always been one of the highest priorities of the project. Rustc seems to be only a few months of work away, after which I can begin to improve the system while running on it permanently, at least on one machine. With Redox OS being a microkernel, it is possible that even the driver level could be recompiled and respawned without downtime, making it incredibly fast to develop for. With this in place, I would work more efficiently on porting more software and tackling more hardware support issues, such as filling in the USB stack and adding graphics drivers. But, more importantly than what I will be able to do, is the contributions by others that will be unlocked by having a fully self-hosted, microkernel Operating System written in Rust, Redox OS."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 29th of November 2019 02:00:20 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libvpx and vino), Fedora (grub2 and nss), and SUSE (cloud-init, libarchive, libtomcrypt, ncurses, and ucode-intel).

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