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New Stable Kernel and Fingerprint Readers' Support in Linux

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Linux
  • Linux 4.17.1 Kernel Released

    For those that prefer waiting until the first point release of a new kernel series before upgrading, Linux 4.17.1 is out today.

    Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the Linux 4.17.1 kernel today barely a week and a half since 4.17.0 made its initial debut. It's largely been quiet on the 4.17 front with 4.17.1 containing just a handful of bug fixes affecting PCI, network, and other minor driver fixes representing a bulk of the changes. Only about one hundred lines of code was shifted around for this initial point release and none of the fixes are security related.

  • Fingerprint reader support, the second coming

    Fingerprint readers are more and more common on Windows laptops, and hardware makers would really like to not have to make a separate SKU without the fingerprint reader just for Linux, if that fingerprint reader is unsupported there.

    The original makers of those fingerprint readers just need to send patches to the libfprint Bugzilla, I hear you say, and the problem's solved!

    But it turns out it's pretty difficult to write those new drivers, and those patches, without an insight on how the internals of libfprint work, and what all those internal, undocumented APIs mean.

    Most of the drivers already present in libfprint are the results of reverse engineering, which means that none of them is a best-of-breed example of a driver, with all the unknown values and magic numbers.

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