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September 2019

Linux 5.4-rc1

Filed under
Linux

I didn't really extend the merge window by a day here, but I gave
myself an extra day to merge my pending queue. Thus the Monday date
for the rc1 rather than the usual Sunday afternoon.

And it wasn't all _that_ big or painful a merge window, for some
reason I just didn't get to the end of the queue until fairly late in
the second week, and continued to get a few more pull requests even
then. Part of it was just other discussions too happening, so I didn't
do _just_ merges all the time. But part of it was just that I also
spent some of Sunday away from the computer, doing some welding
instead.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that the Monday rc1 isn't really a sign of
any real trouble or more issues than usual. More just random timing.

Size-wise, 5.4 looks to shape up very regular. It's almost exactly the
same size as 5.3 was at the same stage, both in commits and in lines
added (honestly in advertising: 5.3 had more lines removed mainly due
to some isdn removal). Nothing major stands out, the most notable may
be the long-pending lockdown patches that weren't all that big, but
that now finally aren't tied to just EFI secure boot, so you can test
them out other ways too.

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Also: The 5.4-rc1 kernel is out

Linux 5.4-rc1 Kernel Steps Forward With Next-Gen GPU Bits, Arm Laptop Support & exFAT

Manjaro Linux makes two bold moves

Filed under
Linux

Manjaro has had one heck of a ride lately. Recently, the Arch-based Linux distribution went from being just that (an Arch-based Linux distribution) to a full-blown company: Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG. The move was to shift the distribution from being a hobby project to something that should (and will) be taken seriously.

In fact, Philip Müller said he'd been researching "ways to secure the project in its current form and how to allow for activities which can't be undertaken as a 'hobby project.'" What this boils down to is that the Manjaro developers could now focus on the desktop Linux distribution full time, all the while getting paid for their efforts.

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Raspberry Pi OS Raspbian Improves Raspberry Pi 4 Support, Adds Many Improvements

Filed under
Linux

Raspbian 2019-09-26 images are now available to download and they include the rpi-eeprom tool, which will automatically update the SPI EEPROM on the new Raspberry Pi 4 computer to the latest stable version. Furthermore, it adds overscan support added for FKMS driver, and improves Bluetooth connection with audio devices by adding the latest changes to the Bluez ALSA interface.

Furthermore, the Audio Settings tool has been modified to integrate more closely with the Volume plugin, which now lets users switch audio input devices, as well as the audio output between two HDMI devices. Support for more audio devices has been added as well in Raspbian 2019-09-26 by implementing "plug" values in the ALSA configuration file (.asoundrc).

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Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android

The Xeon vs. EPYC Performance With Intel's oneAPI Embree & OSPray Render Projects

With Intel seemingly ramping up work on their open-source OSPray portable ray-tracing engine now that they have pulled it under their oneAPI umbrella as part of a forthcoming rendering tool-kit, I figured it would be the latest interesting candidate for benchmarking of AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance. In addition, the Embree ray-tracing kernels are also being benchmarked as part of this performance comparison.

Intel's oneAPI is expected to see a beta release next quarter and among the libraries making up the oneAPI Rendering Toolkit will be OSPray and Embree. The OSPRay ray-tracing engine is geared for scientific visualizations and supports a wide range of features all while being open-source under the Apache 2.0 license. OSPray also builds off Embree itself as well as the Intel SPMD Program Compiler (ISPC). The SPMD Program Compiler is for Intel's C-derived language optimized for SIMD on their modern architectures.

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Security in Linux 5.4

Filed under
Linux
Security

Security Updates

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dovecot, kernel, and qemu-kvm), Debian (cimg, cups, e2fsprogs, exim4, file-roller, golang-1.11, httpie, and wpa), Fedora (curl, ghostscript, ibus, krb5, mod_md, and nbdkit), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, libheif, and nghttp2), openSUSE (djvulibre, expat, libopenmpt, mosquitto, phpMyAdmin, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (nodejs:10), SUSE (gpg2), and Ubuntu (e2fsprogs and exim4).

  • Exim 4.92.3 security release

    Exim 4.92.3 has been released with a fix for CVE-2019-16928, a heap-based buffer overflow in string_vformat that could lead to remote code execution. "The currently known exploit uses a extraordinary long EHLO string to crash the Exim process that is receiving the message. While at this mode of operation Exim already dropped its privileges, other paths to reach the vulnerable code may exist."

  • pam-python: local root escalation (CVE-2019-16729)

    Last week the openSUSE Security Team spent some time to check and review the PAM module from the pam-python project. Main reason for that – to make sure that the source code of the project is secure enough and bug free of course. Badly implemented PAM modules may cause user authentication to always succeed or otherwise badly influence security.

Exaile Music Player Got Its First Release in 4 Years, And I Didn’t Even Notice!

Filed under
Software

It turns out that this long-forgotten music library-come-player quietly squeaked back into life in the summer with the release of Exaile 4.0.0.

Exaile, for those who don’t know about it, is a GTK-based music player that was (arguably) most popular during the “halcyon” days of omg! in 2009-2012, aka the era of apps like CoverGloobus, Docky, eMeSeNe, Songbird, et al.

But the player (like other great apps of its time) soon faded from earshot as the music player scene solidified around apps like Banshee and Clementine and music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and Deezer.

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Microsoft Loves Linux Needs More Work Argues Open Source Leader

Filed under
GNU
Microsoft

Microsoft has increasingly embraced Linux in recent years, enough for Redmond to run under the mantra, “Microsoft Loves Linux”. Of course, the reason for the sea change from hating open source to embracing it is simply good economic movement.

Despite its new-found love for Linux, one expert believes Microsoft has a long way to go to atone for past problems. Specifically, free-software leader Richard Stallman says Microsoft’s top execs previously targeted open source in the past.

Most famous of the Linux attacks was former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who described the platform as a “cancer”. Former Windows chief Jim Allchin said the open source idea was both un-American and a killer of intellectual property.

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More in Tux Machines

XanMod-ing Ubuntu To Perform Closer To Intel's Clear Linux

Earlier this month many Phoronix readers were interested in our fresh tests of the XanMod-patched Linux kernel for boosting the desktop and workstation performance compared to Ubuntu's default Linux kernel. Among many patches, XanMod does pull in some kernel patches from Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux, so we figured it would be interesting to see how the XanMod'ed Ubuntu compares to Clear Linux performance. As covered more in the earlier article, the XanMod Linux kernel flavor makes use of the BFQ I/O scheduler, offers CPU scaling governor improvements, makes use of preemptive full tickless kernel settings, and has a variety of other patches from leveraging Clear Linux optimizations to the BMQ process scheduler to the Proton FSYNC patches to much more. This round of testing was using a daily snapshot of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with its current Linux 5.4 default kernel and then re-tested using the same Ubuntu 20.04 LTS installation but running on the 4.1.10-xanmod6 kernel at the time. Additionally, the same CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS as Clear Linux defaults to were also utilized. Read more

Android Leftovers

User Guide to Pantheon Desktop of elementary OS

Unlike Windows, user interface in elementary OS has a name, and it is Pantheon Desktop. It is a beautifully designed and easy to use desktop environment. This article wants to be a user guide to Pantheon Desktop that is simple to read and practice. You will learn about basic concepts of Pantheon and then practice to use it for daily tasks. You will see here how to use Wingpanel (top panel), Slingshot (start menu), Plank (taskbar), Switchboard (system settings), plus understand Headerbars and Multitasking mode. Of course I also include frequently used Keyboard Shortcuts so you can work more quickly. For your information, I use elementary OS 5.0 Juno as basis of this tutorial. I hope everybody could take benefit from this article and next time I could refer here if I write again about elementary. Enjoy! Read more

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