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Compartmentalized computing with CLIP OS

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Gentoo

The design of CLIP OS 5 includes three elements: a bootloader, a core system, and the cages. The system uses secure boot with signed binaries. Only the x86 architecture was supported in the previous versions, and there are no other architectures in the plan for now. The core system is based on Hardened Gentoo. Finally, the cages provide user sessions, with applications and documents.

Processes running in separate cages cannot communicate directly. Instead, they must pass messages using special services on the core system; these services are unprivileged and confined on the cage system, but privileged on the core. These communication paths are shown in this architecture diagram from the documentation. Cages are also isolated from the core system itself — all interactions (system calls, for example) are checked and go through mediation services. The isolation between applications will be using containers, and the team plans to use the Flatpak format. The details of the CLIP OS 5 implementation are not available yet, as this feature is planned for the stable release.

A specific Linux security module (LSM) inspired from Linux-VServer will be used to add additional isolation between the cages, and between the cages and the core system. Linux-VServer is a virtual private server implementation designed for web hosting. It implements partitioning of a computer system in terms of CPU time, memory, the filesystem, and network addressing into security contexts. Starting and stopping a new virtual server corresponds to setting up and tearing down a security context.

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Security Leftovers

  • Microsoft & Pentagon are quietly hijacking US elections (by Lee Camp)
    Good news, folks! We have found the answer to the American rigged and rotten election system. The most trustworthy of corporations recently announced it is going to selflessly and patriotically secure our elections. It’s a small company run by vegans and powered by love. It goes by the name “Microsoft.” (You’re forgiven for never having heard of it.) The recent headlines were grandiose and thrilling: “Microsoft offers software tools to secure elections.” “Microsoft aims to modernize and secure voting with ElectionGuard.” Could anything be safer than software christened “ElectionGuard™”?! It has “guard” right there in the name. It’s as strong and trustworthy as the little-known Crotch Guard™ – an actual oil meant to be sprayed on one’s junk. I’m unclear as to why one sprays it on one’s junk, but perhaps it’s to secure your erections? (Because they’ve been micro-soft?)
  • Netflix Researchers Just Fixed 4 Severe Linux And FreeBSD Vulnerabilities
  • Netflix Uncovers TCP Bugs Within The Linux & FreeBSD Kernels
    As Netflix's first security bulletin for 2019, they warned of TCP-based remote denial of service vulnerabilities affecting both Linux and FreeBSD. These vulnerabilities are rated "critical" but already being corrected within the latest Git code.

Games: Project Zero Deaths, Littlewood, Ravenfield, ENCODYA

  • Project Zero Deaths, a new free to play online platform shooter has Linux support
    A free game to start the day with, as the multiplayer platform shooter Project Zero Deaths recently entered Early Access and it includes Linux support.
  • The peaceful building RPG 'Littlewood' is now available in Early Access with Linux same-day support
    Littlewood from developer Sean Young arrived on Steam in Early Access today and it looks like a very promising and peaceful RPG. Funded thanks to the help of nearly four thousand people on Kickstarter, Littlewood is set after the world has been saved and you're the hero tasked with rebuilding a town.
  • Ravenfield, the fun single-player FPS now has a built-in map editor and destructible object support
    The amount of content being added into Ravenfield is quite impressive and now anyone can easily make their own maps for it, without the need of Unity. Early Access Build 16 went live recently, with a custom-made map editor that works on Linux and it's surprisingly easy to use. You no longer need the Ravenfield mod tools for Unity, making it far more accessible. It comes with all of the official Ravenfield props, meaning you can place down all sorts of things. When ready, it also has Steam Workshop support built in for you to publish it.
  • Science Fiction point-and-click Encodya has a demo released, will go to Kickstarter
    The background story of the upcoming science fiction point and click game Encodya is the Kickstarter campaign for the animation short movie Robot Will Protect You. Getting over 23.000€ from an initial target of 8.750€, it reached several stretch goals, the last one being "We'll start developing a game!". And so they did... The game, named "ENCODYA", grabbed my attention in a Facebook group about point and click adventures. Drawn by the art, I asked if a Linux version would be possible. Indeed it was, and I was asked if I could test it. As it's using Unity, I expected it to a) fail on trying to play a video, b) show graphical problems or c) just run like the Windows version. First a) it was. But the author was eager to make the Linux version and a fix was attempted. After struggling with finding the right output options for the studio's intro video, we found that everything seems to be working just like on Windows. So Hooray for the game engines supporting the OS of our choice!

Graphics: Khronos Group, Radeon Software and Wayland Pains

  • Samuel Iglesias: My last VK-GL-CTS contributions
    Even if you are not a gamer, odds are that you already heard about Vulkan graphics and compute API that provides high-efficency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs. This API is designed by the Khronos Group and it is supported by a new set of drivers specifically designed to implement the different functions and features defined by the spec (at the time of writing this post, it is version 1.1).
  • Radeon Software for Linux 19.20 Brings RHEL 8.0 Support
    Quietly released last week was Radeon Software for Linux 19.20, the latest quarterly update to AMD's packaged Linux driver that consists of their AMDGPU-PRO binary driver option as well as the AMDGPU-Open packaged components using a snapshot of Mesa. Radeon Software for Linux 19.20 only has a sole change listed: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 support and any other binary compatible downstream like the yet-to-be-released CentOS 8.0. That's it in terms of the official changes but should be also pulling in a newer snapshot of Mesa and their binary OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, newer DRM kernel driver code, etc.
  • Konsole and Wayland
    Wayland needs a different mindset when you are programming, you cannot just assume things works the same way as in as X11. One of my first patches to konsole was the rewrite of the Tab Bar, and a different way to deal with Drag & Drop of the tabs. In my mind - and how wrong I was - I could assume that I was dragging to a konsole main window by querying the widget below the mouse. Nope, this will not work. As Wayland has security by default, it will not give you anything global. What if I was a spy app trying to record another one to send to NSA? Security in Wayland is much stricter, and because of that I had to redo my drag & drop patch.

Red Hat welcomes Oracle to the oVirt community

On behalf of the oVirt community, its contributors and Red Hat, we welcome Oracle to the oVirt community. oVirt is the open source component that enables management of the Linux Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), the hypervisor for virtualized environments running on the Linux kernel. At Red Hat, we believe that upstream collaboration drives innovation, even among competitors. To this end, Red Hat has a 10+ year tenure of thought leadership, contributions and collaboration in the oVirt and KVM communities. Our development and release processes are designed to ensure that Red Hat contributions to these communities are pushed upstream so the benefits gained from our efforts are available to the community at large and available for any and all to draw from. Read more Also: IBM-Powered Supercomputers Lead Semi-Annual Rankings