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Kernel Space: Trenchboot, RAID10, Spelling Mistakes and Initcalls

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  • Trenchboot Secure Launch Support For Linux Sees New Patches

    For a while now Oracle engineers and others have been working on Trenchboot as a means of secure launch/boot support when paired with the likes of Intel TXT and AMD SKINIT for trusted execution and configuring each piece of the software boot chain for trusted/secure handling. The latest kernel patches have been sent out for review for secure launching of the kernel.

    Earlier this year Oracle engineers sent out Linux kernel patches for Trenchboot while on Thursday the newest work surfaced.

  • Linux 5.10 To See RAID10 DISCARD Improvement - From 259 Seconds To Less Than 1 Second

    Queued today into the block subsystem's "-next" area ahead of the Linux 5.10 cycle kicking off next month are some MD RAID enhancements.

    In particular, thanks to Red Hat's Xiao Ni is improved RAID10 discard request handling. The change with a set of five SSDs in a RAID10 array on a test system dropped the mkfs.xfs time for creating an XFS file-system taking 4 minutes 39 seconds to less than 1 second... Quite a noticeable difference in that scenario.

  • Colin King: Kernel janitor work: fixing spelling mistakes in kernel messages

    The Linux 5.9-rc6 kernel source contains over 300,000 literal strings used in kernel messages of various sorts (errors, warnings, etc) and it is no surprise that typos and spelling mistakes slip into these messages from time to time.

    To catch spelling mistakes I run a daily automated job that fetches the tip from linux-next and runs a fast spelling checker tool that finds all spelling mistakes and then diff's these against the results from the previous day. The diff is emailed to me and I put my kernel janitor hat on, fix these up and send these to the upstream developers and maintainers.

    The spelling checker tool is a fast-and-dirty C parser that finds literal strings and also variable names and checks these against a US English dictionary containing over 100,000 words. As fun weekend side project I hand optimized the checker to be able to parse and spell check several millions lines of kernel C code per second.

  • Initcalls, part 2: Digging into implementation

    In the first part of this blog post series on Linux kernel initcalls, we looked at their purpose, their usage, and ways to debug them (using initcall_debug or FTrace). In this second part, we'll go deeper into the implementation of initcalls, with a look at the colorful __device_initcall() macro, the rootfs initcall, and how modules can be executed.

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today's howtos

  • How To Install HAProxy on CentOS 8 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install HAProxy on your CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, HAProxy is a free HTTP/TCP high availability load balancer and proxy server. It spreads requests among multiple servers to mitigate issues resulting from a single server failure. HA Proxy is used by a number of high-profile websites including GitHub, Bitbucket, Stack Overflow, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, and Tuenti, and is used in the OpsWorks product from Amazon Web Services. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation HAProxy on a CentOS 8.

  • How To Install Python 3.9 on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

    Python is an object-oriented, high-level programming language. It is an open source with a large community. Python is used as key languages among the top tech companies like Google. The Python 3.9 stable version has been released with several improvements and security updates. It included multiple new modules, improved existing modules and many other features. You can choose deadsnakes PPA for Python installation on Ubuntu 20.04 system. Use this tutorial to install Python 3.9 On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux system via Apt-Get. You can also choose second method to install Python using source code.

  • YAML for beginners | Enable Sysadmin

    YAML Ain't a Markup Language (YAML), and as configuration formats go, it's easy on the eyes. It has an intuitive visual structure, and its logic is pretty simple: indented bullet points inherit properties of parent bullet points. But this apparent simplicity can be deceptive. It's easy (and misleading) to think of YAML as just a list of related values, no more complex than a shopping list. There is a heading and some items beneath it. The items below the heading relate directly to it, right? Well, you can test this theory by writing a little bit of valid YAML.

  • colorls – turbocharged alternative to ls

    The part of the operating system responsible for managing files and directories is called the file system. It organizes our data into files, which hold information, and directories (also called ‘folders’), which hold files or other directories. Several commands are frequently used to create, inspect, rename, and delete files and directories. One of these commands is ls, which prints the names of the files and directories in the current directory. A directory is really just a file. It’s a special file with special rules. The ls utility appeared in the first version of AT&T UNIX. Are you looking to liven up your shell? Want a bit more beauty on your terminal? colorls might be the ticket. colorls is a command-line utility that aims to improve on ls. color is written in Ruby.

Linux Patches Aim To Provide Fork'ing Brute Force Attack Mitigation

Building off a set of "request for comments" patches from September, a set of patches were sent out on Sunday for providing brute force attack mitigation around the fork system call. With attacks aiming to break Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and similar attacks often relying on the fork system call in order to keep replicating the memory contents of the parent process, these patches aim to detect the behavior where fork is being exploited for these nefarious purposes. This work is inspired in part by some patches carried by GrSecurity where a delay around the fork system call will be imposed if a child died from a fatal error. These patches propose collecting statistical data shared across all the processes with the same memory contents and analyzing the timing of any children processes crashing. When the code determines such an exploit may be underway leveraging fork, all of the processes using the same memory contents are killed to stop whatever malicious activity may be happening. Read more

Android Leftovers

Manage content using Pulp Debian

Pulp is an open source repository management tool that helps you fetch, mirror, upload, and publish content within your organization. It can be used to manage various types of content such as software packages (from RPM packages to Ruby gems), as well as Ansible collections, container images, and even arbitrary files. A typical workflow starts with fetching software packages from an existing repository (for example, or adding packages manually (for private packages built within your organization). Then Pulp helps you make arbitrary collections of software packages that are consumable by clients. With it, you... Read more