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February 2018

Stable kernels 4.15.7, 4.14.23, 4.9.85, 4.4.119 and 3.18.97

Compact module runs Ubuntu on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC

Filed under
Ubuntu

Seco announced an Ubuntu-ready “COMe-B75-CT6” COM Express Type 6 Compact module featuring AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000, and offering support for four simultaneous 4K displays and an optional industrial temperature range.

Earlier this week, we covered Congatec’s COM Express Type 6 Basic (125 x 95mm) Conga-TR4 module, which features the 14nm Ryzen Embedded V1000, AMD’s new successor to the R-Series “Merlin Falcon.” Seco, meanwhile, announced the COMe-B75-CT6 — the first Type 6 Compact module based on the V1000 — sporting the smaller 95 x 95mm Compact form factor.

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Security: “Medjacking”, Exploding e-Cigarettes, and Linux FUD

Filed under
Security
  • “Medjacked”: Could Hackers Take Control of Pacemakers and Defibrillators—or Their Data?

    Are high-tech medical devices vulnerable to hacks? Hackers have targeted them for years, according to a new article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. But Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, senior author of the paper, says hackers have harmed no one so far.

  • Exploding e-Cigarettes Are a Growing Danger to Public Health

    Whatever their physiological effects, the most immediate threat of these nicotine-delivery devices comes from a battery problem called thermal runaway

    [...]

    Exploding cigarettes sound like a party joke, but today’s version isn’t funny at all. In fact, they are a growing danger to public health. Aside from mobile phones, no other electrical device is so commonly carried close to the body. And, like cellphones, e-cigarettes pack substantial battery power. So far, most of the safety concerns regarding this device have centered on the physiological effects of nicotine and of the other heated, aerosolized constituents of the vapor that carries nicotine into the lungs. That focus now needs to be widened to include the threat of thermal runaway in the batteries, especially the lithium-ion variety.

  • Uh, oh! Linux confuses Bleeping Computer again

    The tech website Bleeping Computer, which carries news about security and malware, has once again demonstrated that when it comes to Linux, its understanding of security is somewhat lacking.

    What makes the current case surprising is the fact that the so-called security issue which the website chose to write about had already been ripped to pieces by senior tech writer Stephen Vaughan-Nicholls four days earlier.

    Called Chaos, the vulnerability was touted by a firm known as GoSecure as one that would allow a backdoor into Linux servers through SSH.

  • Are Mac and Linux users safe from ransomware?

    Ransomware is currently not much of a problem for Linux systems. A pest discovered by security researchers is a Linux variant of the Windows malware ‘KillDisk’. However, this malware has been noted as being very specific; attacking high profile financial institutions and also critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Another problem here is that the decryption key that is generated by the program to unlock the data is not stored anywhere, which means that any encrypted data cannot be unlocked, whether the ransom is paid or not. Data can still sometimes be recovered by experts like Ontrack, however timescales, difficulty and success rates depend on the exact situation and strain of ransomware.

Red Hat News and Press Releases

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Red Hat Announces New Innovations in Management Portfolio

    Red Hat, Inc., an open source software solutions company, has introduced new innovations in its management portfolio, which include the latest releases of Red Hat CloudForms and Red Hat Satellite. The company says the new innovations are devised to speed up deployments of cloud environments powered by Red Hat and also simplify and automate current infrastructure management.

  • Red Hat and Azul Collaborate for High Density In-Memory Data Storage
  • Red Hat Honors Instructors Who Champion Open Source Education

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today recognized eight higher education instructors for their continuing efforts to incorporate open source philosophies, methods and tools into their academic work.

  • NETSCOUT Achieves Red Hat OpenStack Platform Certification

    NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, INC., (NASDAQ: NTCT), a leading provider of business assurance, a powerful combination of service assurance, cybersecurity, and business intelligence solutions, today announced it has joined Red Hat Connect for Technology Partner Program and has collaborated with Red Hat to achieve Red Hat OpenStack Certification. The certification demonstrates that NETSCOUT’s virtualized product, vSTREAM®, has been tested and certified for use with Red Hat OpenStack Platform to provide consistent performance and compatibility.

Benchmarking An ARM 96-Core Cavium ThunderX System

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

A Phoronix reader granted us remote access to a FOXCONN C2U4N_MB system featuring two Cavium ThunderX 48-core SoCs. For those curious about the potential of a modern 96-core ARM platform, here are some basic benchmark results.

The last time I had access to a 96-core ARM configuration for testing was six years ago when helping out on a 96-core Ubuntu ARM solar-powered computer.. Back then it was built out of PandaBoard ES development boards with their 1.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processors while since then ARM technology has advanced a great deal.

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Oracle Adds Support for Linux Kernel 4.15 to Its Latest VirtualBox Release

Filed under
Linux

VirtualBox 5.2.8 is now available to download, finally bringing support for the latest Linux 4.15 kernel series for Linux-based guest operating systems you might want to run on your virtual machines. Also, this means that various of VirtualBox's modules can now be compiled against Linux kernel 4.15.

Also, VirtualBox 5.2.8 finally addresses that annoying black screen issue that occurred when 3D was enabled in some Linux guests, and adds support for suppressing setuid and setgid in shared folders. For Windows guests, the update fixes an incorrect function error that occurred when using shared folders with certain apps.

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Hands-On with Ubuntu's New "Minimal Installation" Feature in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Filed under
Ubuntu

The feature is called "Minimal Installation" and it's an option that will be available for those who need it on the "Preparing to install Ubuntu" screen of Ubuntu's installer, right after you select the keyboard layout. As you can imagine, the option is disabled by default.

Enabling it will install Ubuntu with a minimal desktop environment consisting of a web browser and the standard utilities, at least that's what option's description tells us. So we took it for a test drive and installed the current development version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the Minimal Installation option in a VM.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Purism Integrates Trammel Hudson’s Heads security firmware with Trusted Platform Module, giving full control and digital privacy to laptop users
  • Librem adds tamper-evident features, now most secure laptop under full customer control
  • Looking Back: What Was Happening Ten Years Ago?

    A decade passes so quickly. And yet, ten years for open source is half its life. How have things changed in those ten years? So much has happened in this fast-moving and exciting world, it's hard to remember. But we're in luck. The continuing availability of Linux Journal's past issues and website means we have a kind of time capsule that shows us how things were, and how we saw them.

    Ten years ago, I was writing a regular column for Linux Journal, much like this one. Looking through the 80 or so posts from that time reveals a world very different from the one we inhabit today. The biggest change from then to now can be summed up in a word: Microsoft. A decade back, Microsoft towered over the world of computing like no other company. More important, it (rightly) saw open source as a threat and took continuing, wide-ranging action to weaken it in every way it could.

    Its general strategy was to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). At every turn, it sought to question the capability and viability of open source. It even tried to convince the world that we no longer needed to talk about free software and open source—anyone remember "mixed source"?

    Alongside general mud-flinging, Microsoft's weapon of choice to undermine and thwart open source was a claim of massive patent infringement across the entire ecosystem. The company asserted that the Linux kernel violated 42 of its patents; free software graphical interfaces another 65; the OpenOffice.org suite of programs, 45; and assorted other free software 83 more. The strategy was two-fold: first to squeeze licensing fees from companies that were using open source, and second, perhaps even more important, to paint open source as little more than a pale imitation of Microsoft's original and brilliant ideas.

  • Chrome OS may allow for running Linux apps via Containers

    While the average Chromebook user tends to stick with Chrome OS, Chromebooks are really just lightweight Linux machines capable of a lot more. For years, crafty Chromebook owners have been using Crouton (Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment) to run Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali Linux systems within Chrome OS. When set up properly with an extension called Xiwi, you can use a keyboard shortcut to switch between Chrome OS and a standard Linux desktop environment. It’s a hack, but it looks a future version of Chrome OS will add native support for Linux applications via containers.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Updated With Better Vega Support, VR Fixes

    The AMD developers working on their official, cross-platform "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver code have just pushed out another batch of changes to their open-source code repository.

  • RADV Now Exposes Async Compute Support For Southern Islands

    For those of you with a Radeon GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" GPU, the RADV Vulkan driver support for these first Graphics Core Next graphics processors continues to be improved.

  • Kernel Team summary: February 27, 2018

    On the road to 18.04 we have a 4.15 based kernel in the Bionic repository.

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 27 February 2018

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Bring your ideas to the world with kubectl plugins

    kubectl is the most critical tool to interact with Kubernetes and has to address multiple user personas, each with their own needs and opinions. One way to make kubectl do what you need is to build new functionality into kubectl. Challenges with building commands into kubectl However, that’s easier said than done. Being such an important cornerstone of Kubernetes, any meaningful change to kubectl needs to undergo a Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) where the intended change is discussed beforehand. When it comes to implementation, you’ll find that kubectl is an ingenious and complex piece of engineering. It might take a long time to get used to the processes and style of the codebase to get done what you want to achieve. Next comes the review process which may go through several rounds until it meets all the requirements of the Kubernetes maintainers – after all, they need to take over ownership of this feature and maintain it from the day it’s merged. When everything goes well, you can finally rejoice. Your code will be shipped with the next Kubernetes release. Well, that could mean you need to wait another 3 months to ship your idea in kubectl if you are unlucky. So this was the happy path where everything goes well. But there are good reasons why your new functionality may never make it into kubectl. For one, kubectl has a particular look and feel and violating that style will not be acceptable by the maintainers. For example, an interactive command that produces output with colors would be inconsistent with the rest of kubectl. Also, when it comes to tools or commands useful only to a minuscule proportion of users, the maintainers may simply reject your proposal as kubectl needs to address common needs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t ship your ideas to kubectl users.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 Released With More Features For Open-Source, Cross-Platform Automated Benchmarking

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.4-Vestby is now available as one of our largest updates in recent years for our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking framework. Almost wanting to rebrand it as Phoronix Test Suite 10, sticking to conventional versioning the Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 release brings numerous result viewer improvements, a lot of polishing to the PDF result exporting, various Microsoft Windows support improvements, new statistics capabilities, some useful new sub-commands, and much more as the latest quarterly feature release.

  • Linux 5.6 Tests On AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon 8280 2P With 100+ Benchmarks

    The latest benchmarks for your viewing pleasure are looking at the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance up against the dual AMD EPYC 7742 CPUs while using the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel as the first time trying out these highest-end server processors on this new kernel debuting as stable in about one month's time.

  • PyIDM – An Open Source Alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager)

    pyIDM is a free, open-source alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager), used to download general files and videos from youtube as well as other streaming websites. It is developed using Python (requires Python 3.6+) and relies only on open source tools and libraries such as pycurl, youtube_dl, FFmpeg, and pysimplegui. It features multiple-connections, a speed engine (and it offers high download speeds based on libcurl); resume uncompleted downloads, support for fragmented video streams, support for encrypted/non-encrypted HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) media streams. Besides, it also supports scheduling downloads, re-using an existing connection to a remote server, and HTTP proxy support. And it allows users to control options such as selecting a theme (there are 140 themes available), set proxy, selecting segment size, speed limit, maximum concurrent downloads and maximum connections per download.

  • DRM Plugin crashes after openSUSE Tumbleweed update

    A few days ago openSUSE users started complaining about DRM Plugin crashes in Firefox after running a Tumbleweed update. Netflix requires the DRM plugin in Firefox to be able to play encrypted videos. The plugin would crash due to a bug in Firefox 73. While this bug affected not just openSUSE users, but everyone using Firefox 73, it became apparent to TW users as v73 landed in the Tumbleweed repo.

  • How Melissa Di Donato Is Going To Reinvent SUSE

    SUSE is one of the oldest open source companies and the first to market Linux for the enterprise. Even though it has undergone several acquisitions and a merger, it remains a strong player in the business. It has maintained its integrity and core values around open source. It continues to rely on its tried-and-tested Linux business and European markets, and generally shies away from making big moves taking big risks. Until now. SUSE appointed Melissa Di Donato as its first female CEO. She is making some serious changes to the company, from building a diverse and inclusive culture to betting on emerging technologies and taking risks. Soon after taking the helm last year, Di Donato spent the first few months traveling around the globe to meet SUSE teams and customers and get a better sense of the perception of the market about the company. Just like Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, Di Donato didn’t come to the company from an open source background. She had spent the last 25 years of her career as a SUSE customer, so she did have an outsider’s perspective of the company. “I am not interested in what SUSE was when I joined. I am more interested in what we want to become,” she said.

  • Experimental feature: snap refresh awareness and update inhibition

    We’d like to follow up on last week’s article about parallel installs for classic snaps with another bleeding-edge topic. Today, we will discuss snap refreshes. By design, snaps come with automatic updates, and by default, the update (refresh) frequency check is four times a day. Whenever new application versions are published, they soon become available and propagate to all end-user systems. Normally, the process is transparent and seamless, but there could be exceptions. For instance, if you have an app open and running, an update could be disruptive in the middle of your work. Some developers have asked for an option to inhibit refreshes of snaps while they are running, and this is now a new, experimental feature that you can enable and test on your system. [...] The app refresh capability offers snaps users another level of control in the overall user experience. Automatic updates are geared toward security, but users can defer updates for up to 60 days, and now, they also have the ability to gracefully update applications with minimal disruption to their normal usage patterns and workflows. We very much welcome your feedback and suggestions, especially with new and upcoming features. The refresh awareness option is a good example of where the developer feedback has been valuable and useful in making the snap ecosystem even friendlier and more robust. If you have any ideas on this topic – or any other, please join our forum for a discussion.

  • How Domotz streamlined provisioning of IoT devices

    Learn how Ubuntu Core and snaps gives Domotz a competitive advantage As the number of IoT devices scale, the challenges of provisioning and keeping them up to date in the field increases. Domotz, who manufacture an all-in-one, network monitoring and management device for enterprise IoT networks, found themselves with this challenge that was further compounded by their rapid software release cadence. One of the most crucial and difficult aspects for Domotz to solve was the delivery of automatic updates to the tens of thousands of devices deployed. Domotz turned to snaps and Ubuntu Core to meet their exacting requirements. I absolutely believe that Ubuntu Core and snaps give us a competitive advantage. We are the only company in the IoT network management space that can guarantee a secure, always-up-to-date device for our customers’ on-premises deployments.

  • A birthday gift: 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 now only $35

    TL;DR: it’s our eighth birthday, and falling RAM prices have allowed us to cut the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 to $35. You can buy one here.

  • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2020 [Ed: Redmonk uses to assess programming languages use only projects that Microsoft (a Redmonk client) controls. Some 'research', eh?]
  • Announcing Rust 1.41.1

    The Rust team has published a new point release of Rust, 1.41.1. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software. If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.41.1 is as easy as: rustup update stable If you don't have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website.

  • This Week in Rust 327
  • Zip Files: History, Explanation and Implementation

    I have been curious about data compression and the Zip file format in particular for a long time. At some point I decided to address that by learning how it works and writing my own Zip program. The implementation turned into an exciting programming exercise; there is great pleasure to be had from creating a well oiled machine that takes data apart, jumbles its bits into a more efficient representation, and puts it all back together again. Hopefully it is interesting to read about too.

    This article explains how the Zip file format and its compression scheme work in great detail: LZ77 compression, Huffman coding, Deflate and all. It tells some of the history, and provides a reasonably efficient example implementation written from scratch in C. The source code is available in hwzip-1.0.zip.

    I am very grateful to Ange Albertini, Gynvael Coldwind, Fabian Giesen, Jonas Skeppstedt (web), Primiano Tucci, and Nico Weber who provided valuable feedback on draft versions of this material.

Netrunner Linux Still Goes Its Own Way at 'Twenty'

The Netrunner distro used to be a bleeding-edge choice among KDE options. With little that's new and must-have, this release takes the edge off the bleeding. I wasn't nudged away from my preferred competing KDE distro -- the new Feren OS Plasma edition. While Netrunner 20.01 provides a fairly solid integration of classic KDE desktop performance, this release is a departure, in that it is not a step or two ahead of most other KDE-integrated Linux OSes. I Netrunner attracts two types of typical users. One fancies a more friendly desktop environment. The second wants the freedom to tweak more extensively than other desktop environments allow. Hardware requirements include a minimum CPU of 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 or greater and at least 1 GB of RAM with at least 10 GB hard drive space. Also, the computer should have Intel GMA 945 graphics card support with 128+ MB of video memory. Netrunner is a unique distro with its own spin on the K Plasma desktop environment. Seasoned Linux users who like to fiddle and tweak an OS into their own platform will love how this distro integrates the KDE Plasma desktop. Newcomers can be quite content using the out-of-the-box settings. Read more

Wind River launches dev site with TensorFlow for Linux and a free VxWorks download

A new “Wind River Labs” developer site hosts projects including TensorFlow for Wind River Linux, the first free VxWorks SDK, and VxWorks BSPs for the Raspberry Pi and UP Squared. One would think that when Wind River decided to launch a public-facing developer site, it would showcase the Yocto Project based Wind River Linux, which is available in a GPL-licensed release on GitHub in addition to the standard commercial version and new continuous integration version. Yet when Wind River announced its new Wind River Labs site this week, its proprietary VxWorks was the star of the show — but with a twist. There’s a new free VxWorks SDK for evaluating the RTOS for non-commercial purposes, as well as open source VxWorks BSPs for the Raspberry Pi and UP Squared boards. Read more

Security, Proprietary Software and Openwashing

  • Linux 4.4.215 / 4.9.215 / 4.14.172 / 5.5.7 Kernels Bringing Intel KVM Security Fix

    A few days back we reported on a security vulnerability within Intel's KVM virtualization code for the Linux kernel. That vulnerability stems from unfinished kernel code and was fixed for Linux 5.6 Git and is now being back-ported to the 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 5.5 supported kernels. Back on Monday when the CVE-2020-2732 patches first came to light, little was publicly known about the issue but that it stemmed from incomplete code in the vmx_check_intercept functionality in not checking all possible intercepts and in turn could end up emulating instructions that should be disabled by the hypervisor.

  • Let's Encrypt Has Issued a Billion Certificates

    We issued our billionth certificate on February 27, 2020. We’re going to use this big round number as an opportunity to reflect on what has changed for us, and for the Internet, leading up to this event. In particular, we want to talk about what has happened since the last time we talked about a big round number of certificates - one hundred million. One thing that’s different now is that the Web is much more encrypted than it was. In June of 2017 approximately 58% of page loads used HTTPS globally, 64% in the United States. Today 81% of page loads use HTTPS globally, and we’re at 91% in the United States! This is an incredible achievement. That’s a lot more privacy and security for everybody. Another thing that’s different is that our organization has grown a bit, but not by much! In June of 2017 we were serving approximately 46M websites, and we did so with 11 full time staff and an annual budget of $2.61M. Today we serve nearly 192M websites with 13 full time staff and an annual budget of approximately $3.35M. This means we’re serving more than 4x the websites with only two additional staff and a 28% increase in budget. The additional staff and budget did more than just improve our ability to scale though - we’ve made improvements across the board to provide even more secure and reliable service. Nothing drives adoption like ease of use, and the foundation for ease of use in the certificate space is our ACME protocol. ACME allows for extensive automation, which means computers can do most of the work. It was also standardized as RFC 8555 in 2019, which allows the Web community to confidently build an even richer ecosystem of software around it. Today, thanks to our incredible community, there is an ACME client for just about every deployment environment. Certbot is one of our favorites, and they’ve been working hard to make it even easier for people to use.

  • The “Cloud Snooper” malware that sneaks into your Linux servers [Ed: Sophos citing itself, hyping up the threat is installing malicious software on one's own server]

    SophosLabs has just published a detailed report about a malware attack dubbed Cloud Snooper. The reason for the name is not so much that the attack is cloud-specific (the technique could be used against pretty much any server, wherever it’s hosted), but that it’s a sneaky way for cybercrooks to open up your server to the cloud, in ways you very definitely don’t want, “from the inside out”. The Cloud Snooper report covers a whole raft of related malware samples that our researchers found deployed in combination.

  • OpenSMTPD Email Server Vulnerability Threatens Many Linux and BSD Systems [Ed: It is this package, not the operating systems (GNU/Linux rarely uses this)]

    A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the OpenBSD email server OpenSMTPD. Exploiting the flaw could allow remote code execution attacks. The seriousness of the vulnerability poses a threat to the integrity of OpenBSD and Linux systems.

  • A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security fla

    More than a billion internet-connected devices—including Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Echo—are affected by a security vulnerability that could allow [attackers] to spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.

  • New ‘Haken’ Malware Found On Eight Apps In Google Play Store

    Eight apps – mostly camera utilities and children’s games – were discovered spreading a new malware strain that steals data and signs victims up for expensive premium services.

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  • What does it take to commit to 100% open source?
                                 
                                   

    While experts in the database market in particular agree that open source is becoming the norm, the question remains, just how open is this sector’s open-source software? Can software providers realistically succeed with a company that’s 100% open source? Furthermore, would a proprietary infrastructure software provider with a freemium tier be able to achieve the same benefits as those committing to open source?

                                   

    The short answer is, yes — a proprietary infrastructure software company with a freemium tier could theoretically achieve the same benefits as companies going fully open source. However, it’s important to recognize that it would take a freemium model company a significantly longer period of time for its software to mature to the same level as that of an open-source company. Also, the loss of collaborative development and slower feedback loops would likely lead to a higher probability of the software never achieving market traction and ultimately fading away into oblivion.

  • Mirantis: Balancing Open Source With Guardrails

    Mirantis, an open infrastructure company that rose to popularity with its OpenStack offering, is now moving into the Kubernetes space very aggressively. Last year, the company acquired the Docker Enterprise business from Docker. This week, it announced that they were hiring the Kubernetes experts from the Finnish company Kontena and established a Mirantis office in Finland, expanding the company’s footprint in Europe. Mirantis already has a significant presence in Europe due to large customers such as Bosch and Volkswagen.