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Linux: Release of Linux 5.0 Next Year, Speck/NSA Controversy, LWN Articles

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  • What to expect of Linux in 2019

    The chilled-out Linus Torvalds suggests that we'll see the 5.0 kernel in 2019. We'll have to wait to see whether the changes will qualify as major. 4.20 is ready for testing now.

  • Adiantum Queued Ahead Of Linux 4.21 As Google's Speck Replacement

    Adiantum is the new crypto algorithm Google is backing for disk encryption on low-end (Android) devices following their change of course regarding the controversial NSA-developed Speck algorithm earlier this year.

    Initially after Google abandoned their Speck plans following public outcry, they were developing HPolyC for encryption on low-end hardware. Adiantum took things a step further as being based upon an improved version of HPolyC. Early tests of Adiantum show it being about four times the speed of AES-256-XTS for encryption and around 5x for decryption. This is also about 30% faster than Speck128/256-XTS and 20% faster than the original HPolyC without compromising any security. This is great news for low-end CPUs/SoCs that generally lack native crypto extensions in the hardware.

  • ktask: optimizing CPU-intensive kernel work

    As a general rule, the kernel is supposed to use the least amount of CPU time possible; any time taken by the kernel is not available for the applications the user actually wants to run. As a result, not a lot of thought has gone into optimizing the execution of kernel-side work requiring large amounts of CPU. But the kernel does occasionally have to take on CPU-intensive tasks, such as the initialization of the large amounts of memory found on current systems. The ktask subsystem posted by Daniel Jordan is an attempt to improve how the kernel handles such jobs.
    If one is going to try to optimize CPU-intensive work in the kernel, there are a number of constraints that must be met. Obviously, that work should be done as quickly and efficiently as possible; that means parallelizing it across the multiple CPUs found in most current systems. But this work needs to not interfere with the rest of the system, and it should not thwart efforts to reduce power consumption. The current patch set tries to meet those goals, though some parts of the problem have been deferred until later.

  • iwd: simplifying WiFi management

    It has been nearly 13 years since Jeff Garzik proclaimed that Linux was "proving its superiority in the area of crappy wireless (WiFi) support". Happily, the situation has improved somewhat since then, but that doesn't mean that things can't get better yet. During the Embedded Linux Conference portion of the 2018 Open Source Summit Europe, Marcel Holtmann described the work being done to create iwd, a new system for configuring and managing WiFi connections. If this project has its way, future users will have little room for complaint about how WiFi works on Linux systems.
    At the moment, Holtmann said, WiFi on Linux is far too complicated for users to deal with; it asks them for far too much information. Users have to contend with complicated configuration dialogs to provide details that, much of the time, the system should be able to figure out for itself. The situation is bad even on basic open networks, but it gets worse on corporate networks, where it is often not possible to create dialogs that can work right in all settings.

    The problem comes down to the old wpa_supplicant daemon, which is a complex "Swiss army knife". It is "awesome work", he said, but it has two big problems. One is that the wpa_supplicant project doesn't make releases, with the result that nobody picks up the bug fixes that are made. And there are no usable APIs for controlling it, so users have to figure out everything themselves. It is a great tool, but few people have any idea of how to use it.

    For some time, Holtmann and his collaborators thought that they could improve wpa_supplicant and turn it into a proper management daemon. But the upstream project does not want things to go that way; they have, he said, a lot more interest in producing a toolbox that can be used for tasks like testing new protocol specifications. This focus and the lack of proper releases mean that everybody ships their own version of wpa_supplicant, with unpleasant consequences. There is, for example, no Linux distribution support for the WPA3 protocol, even though wpa_supplicant has that support.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation: ONAP, the Joint Development Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

  • Linux Foundation's ONAP 'Casablanca' Enables 5G Management
    Today’s topics include the Linux Foundation adding new features to ONAP Casablanca for 5G enablement, and Censys raising seed money to expand internet scanning for threat hunting. The Linux Foundation's LF Networking project group last week took the next step in delivering an open-source platform to enable telecom providers to deploy next-generation network services.
  • The Joint Development Foundation Joins the Linux Foundation Family to Drive Adoption of Open Source and Standards
    The Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation today announced an agreement to bring the Joint Development Foundation into the Linux Foundation family to make it easier to collaborate through both open source and standards development. The Joint Development Foundation is a nonprofit that provides a “standards organization in a box” to enable groups to quickly establish projects. With today’s news, the Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation plan to provide greater capabilities for communities to engage in open source and standards development to speed industry adoption. “Linux Foundation communities have been engaged in developing open standards and specifications around Linux since day one and more recently with newer efforts such as OpenChain and the Open Container Initiative to collectively solve technical challenges,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation. “Leveraging the capabilities of the Joint Development Foundation will enable us to provide open source projects with another path to standardization, driving greater industry adoption of standards and specifications to speed adoption.”
  • How CNCF Is Growing the Cloud Landscape at KubeCon
    Thousands of developers, vendors and end users alike are descending on Seattle from Dec. 11-13 for the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America event. They are all here to learn and talk about the growing cloud native landscape, anchored by the Kubernetes container orchestration system. Among those at KubeCon is Chris Aniszczyk, Chief Operating Officer of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). In a video interview with eWEEK, Aniszczyk provides insight into the KubeCon event as well as highlighting the current and future direction of the CNCF, which now hosts 31 different open-source efforts. [...] Aniszczyk is also particularly enthusiastic about the Envoy project, which was created by ride-sharing company Lyft and officially joined the CNCF in September 2017. Envoy is a service mesh reverse proxy technology that is used to help scale micro-services data traffic. Among the organizations that are now using Envoy are Square, Stripe, Amazon and Google.

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