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Original Articles from 2010

  1. Results are in: openSUSE's Community Survey - 30 Dec 10
  2. Spotlight on Linux: VectorLinux 6.0 - 29 Dec 10
  3. PCLOS 64-Bit Suffers Delays, but Still Coming - 28 Dec 10
  4. Unity Coming to openSUSE too?! - 24 Dec 10
  5. Sabayon Christmas Gaming Edition is Here - 23 Dec 10
  6. First Mageia Packagers Meeting Signals Beginning - 22 Dec 10
  7. Allegations of OpenBSD Backdoors May be True, Updated - 22 Dec 10
  8. Mandriva Wallpaper Contest Winners Chosen - 21 Dec 10
  9. My Top Five Favorite Distributions for 2010 - 19 Dec 10
  10. Red Hat Dictates Fedora 15 Wallpaper - 16 Dec 10
  11. Ubuntu Indicators in openSUSE? - 15 Dec 10
  12. Debian Squeeze Kernel to be Completely Free - 15 Dec 10
  13. Government Backdoors in OpenBSD? - 14 Dec 10
  14. Spotlight on Linux: ZevenOS-Neptune 1.9.1 - 14 Dec 10
  15. Is Zorin OS Really Easier than Ubuntu? - 13 Dec 10
  16. Top 10 Ideas for Upcoming Ubuntu Releases - 10 Dec 10
  17. Sabayon to Bring Christmas Surprise - 09 Dec 10
  18. Enter Mandriva's Wallpaper Contest - 09 Dec 10
  19. Mageia Has an Official Logo - 08 Dec 10
  20. Has the Novell Deal Hampered openSUSE? - 08 Dec 10
  21. Xfce 4.8.0 on Track for January Release - 07 Dec 10
  22. Fedora Moving to Unity Too - 03 Dec 01
  23. Mageia Trudging on to Release - 02 Dec 01
  24. The openSUSE and Ubuntu Rollercoasters - 01 Dec 10
  25. openSUSE to Offer a Rolling Release - 01 Dec 10
  26. The (open)Fate of openSUSE - 30 Nov 10
  27. What's Coming in Mandriva 2011 - 26 Nov 10
  28. Things for which I'm Grateful - 25 Nov 10
  29. Ubuntu to Become a Rolling Release - 23 Nov 10
  30. SimplyMepis Celebrates 8th Anniversary with Release - 23 Nov 10
  31. Updated: Novell Sold - What Will Become openSUSE? - 22 Nov 10
  32. PCLinuxOS to Get a 64-bit Version - 19 Nov 10
  33. Just Another Ubuntu-based Distro or Something More - 18 Nov 10
  34. Debian Trying to Recruit More Women - 17 Nov 10
  35. Spotlight on Linux: Fedora 14 - 17 Nov 10
  36. Fedora Welcomes in New Management - 16 Nov 10
  37. Debian 6.0 Homestretch Just Around Corner - 15 Nov 10
  38. Mandriva Christmas Present and Beyond - 12 Nov 10
  39. Fusion Linux 14 Mere Weeks Away - 11 Nov 10
  40. PCLinuxOS Releases a Slew of Quarterly Updates - 10 Nov 10
  41. SimplyMepis 11.0 on Its Way! - 10 Nov 10
  42. Mandriva Fork Mageia to See Alpha this December - 09 Nov 10
  43. Compiz to be Rewritten for Ubuntu Wayland - 07 Nov 10
  44. Is Shuttleworth Crazy, Brave, or Smart? - 05 Nov 10
  45. Pardus 2011 on the way with new goodies - 05 Nov 10
  46. MyPaint hits 0.9 and is looking good - 03 Nov 10
  47. Pinta 0.5 Released - What's it like? - 02 Nov 10
  48. 3.3.0 Almost Here - Is It the Last? - 01 Nov 10
  49. What Will Happen to GNOME Now? - 01 Nov 10
  50. Command Line not out of fashion everywhere - 29 Oct 10
  51. Open Source for Amercia Honors Open Source Advocates - 28 Oct 10
  52. Spotlight on Linux: Arch Linux 2010.05 - 28 Oct 10
  53. Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6.12 and Delays 4.0 - 27 Oct 10
  54. Fedora 14 Has Gone Gold - 26 Oct 10
  55. Oracle vs. TDF LibreOffice - 26 Oct 10
  56. Compiz Brings New Eye Candy to You and Ubuntu - 25 Oct 10
  57. First look at Kubuntu 10.10 - 18 Oct 10
  58. Oracle Confirms Committment to - 14 Oct 10
  59. Ubuntu 10.10 almost ready for you - 07 Oct 10
  60. Fedora 14 Well On Its Way to a Desktop Near You - 07 Oct 10
  61. Your Office is Saved -- Forked! - 04 Oct 10
  62. Spotlight on Linux: SliTaz GNU/Linux 3.0 - 29 Sep 10
  63. Developers fork Mandriva Linux - Welcome Mageia - 24 Sep 10
  64. OpenIndiana Picks up Where OpenSolaris Left off - 22 Sep 10
  65. sidux changes to aptosid by upgrade or ISO - 21 Sep 10
  66. Why Broadcom's Release More Significant than Just Code - 17 Sep 10
  67. More on Canonical's Contributions - 16 Sep 10
  68. Debian Updates, Code Names, Back Ports, Screenshots, and Derived - 15 Sep 10
  69. Scary New Horror Adventure Available for Linux - 13 Sep 10
  70. Two Popular Distributions Release Development Milestones - 10 Sep 10
  71. Spotlight on Linux: Zenwalk Linux 6.4 "Live" - 08 Sep 10
  72. Old Generals Never Die - They just Wear a Red Hat - 07 Sep 10
  73. No Steam for Linux - Right Now - 02 Sep 10
  74. As Predicted, OpenSolaris Board Disbands - 01 Sep 10
  75. Google Adds Phone Calls to Linux Gmail Use - 31 Aug 10
  76. Spotlight on Linux: Parsix 3.6 (RC) - 25 Aug 10
  77. Gmail Voice and Video Chat - Too Little too Late? - 20 Aug 10
  78. Two Distributions Celebrate Birthdays - 19 Aug 10
  79. Where do Debian Developers Come From? - 18 Aug 10
  80. Oracle Delivers Friday the 13th Bad Luck to FOSS - 16 Aug 10
  81. Debian 6.0 on Track for December Release - 12 Aug 10
  82. Spotlight on Linux: openSUSE 11.3 - 11 Aug 10
  83. Spin Your Own Debian with Live Studio - 10 Aug 10
  84. Legal DVD Playback Coming to Linux? - 09 Aug 10
  85. Illumos Makes OpenSolaris Board Threat Moot - 06 Aug 10
  86. Ubuntu Empire Strikes Back - 30 Jul 10
  87. Spotlight on Linux: SimplyMEPIS 8.5.x - 29 Jul 10
  88. Prettier Fonts Coming Your Way - 27 Jul 10
  89. 3.3 Definitely On Its Way - 26 Jul 10
  90. India's $35 Tablet- The Everything Killer - 23 Jul 10
  91. Will Oracle Let OpenSolaris Whither and Die? - 22 Jul 10
  92. Spotify Comes to Linux - Well, Some Linux - 20 Jul 10
  93. A week or two with Kongoni GNU/Linux* - 18 Jul 10
  94. Mandriva Press Release Raises More Questions - 15 Jul 10
  95. Spotlight on Linux: Pardus Linux 2009.2 - 14 Jul 10
  96. openSUSE 11.0 Gets Short Stay of Execution - 13 Jul 10
  97. Mandriva and Derivative Release Latest - 12 Jul 10
  98. A New Era of Compiz - 08 Jul 10
  99. Spotlight on Linux: Sabayon Linux 5.3 - 07 Jul 10
  100. Two Popular Distros Release Latest Wares - 06 Jul 10
  101. to use GStreamer for Multimedia - 05 Jul 10
  102. Kanotix 2010 - 01 Jul 10
  103. Debian Opens "Front Desk" for Derivatives - 01 Jul 10
  104. Mandriva's Future Rosy or Rose Colored? - 30 Jun 10
  105. EFF delivers HTTPS Not Quite Everywhere - 29 Jun 10
  106. Mozilla, Opera, and Flock Release VP8 Ready Browsers - 22 Jun 10
  107. Spotlight on Linux: Linux Mint 9 - 16 Jun 10
  108. Spotlight on Linux: Slackware Linux 13.1 - 02 Jun 10
  109. Spotlight on Linux: PCLinuxOS 2010 - 12 May 10
  110. From Karmic to Lucid: Distribution Update Screenshots* - 05 May 10
  111. Freshly Squeezed Debian: Installing from Live DVD* - 20 Apr 10
  112. SimplyMepis 8.5 - 15 Apr 10
  113. Stop Wine-ing: 15 Games for Linux - 28 Mar 10
  114. Secret Future Ubuntu User Interface Plans Revealed!* - 27 Mar 10
  115. DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 341 - 15 Feb 10
  116. LinuxCertified Laptop – a review* - 05 Feb 10
  117. From (Y)AWN to Cairo!* - 31 Jan 10
  118. Buying a Linux Laptop ...* - 22 Jan 10
  119. Screencasting Under Linux--A brief Story* - 15 Jan 10
  120. School computer introductions* - 13 Jan 10

* - Posts by other contributers.

More in Tux Machines

LWN: Spectre, Linux and Debian Development

  • Grand Schemozzle: Spectre continues to haunt

    The Spectre v1 hardware vulnerability is often characterized as allowing array bounds checks to be bypassed via speculative execution. While that is true, it is not the full extent of the shenanigans allowed by this particular class of vulnerabilities. For a demonstration of that fact, one need look no further than the "SWAPGS vulnerability" known as CVE-2019-1125 to the wider world or as "Grand Schemozzle" to the select group of developers who addressed it in the Linux kernel. Segments are mostly an architectural relic from the earliest days of x86; to a great extent, they did not survive into the 64-bit era. That said, a few segments still exist for specific tasks; these include FS and GS. The most common use for GS in current Linux systems is for thread-local or CPU-local storage; in the kernel, the GS segment points into the per-CPU data area. User space is allowed to make its own use of GS; the arch_prctl() system call can be used to change its value. As one might expect, the kernel needs to take care to use its own GS pointer rather than something that user space came up with. The x86 architecture obligingly provides an instruction, SWAPGS, to make that relatively easy. On entry into the kernel, a SWAPGS instruction will exchange the current GS segment pointer with a known value (which is kept in a model-specific register); executing SWAPGS again before returning to user space will restore the user-space value. Some carefully placed SWAPGS instructions will thus prevent the kernel from ever running with anything other than its own GS pointer. Or so one would think.

  • Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

    Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel's page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file's backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file's on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked "V1,000,002") from Ira Weiny. The problems raised by the intersection of mapping a file (via get_user_pages()), persistent memory, and layout changes by the filesystem were the topic of a contentious session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. The core question can be reduced to this: what should happen if one process calls truncate() while another has an active get_user_pages() mapping that pins some or all of that file's pages? If the filesystem actually truncates the file while leaving the pages mapped, data corruption will certainly ensue. The options discussed in the session were to either fail the truncate() call or to revoke the mapping, causing the process that mapped the pages to receive a SIGBUS signal if it tries to access them afterward. There were passionate proponents for both options, and no conclusion was reached. Weiny's new patch set resolves the question by causing an operation like truncate() to fail if long-term mappings exist on the file in question. But it also requires user space to jump through some hoops before such mappings can be created in the first place. This approach comes from the conclusion that, in the real world, there is no rational use case where somebody might want to truncate a file that has been pinned into place for use with RDMA, so there is no reason to make that operation work. There is ample reason, though, for preventing filesystem corruption and for informing an application that gets into such a situation that it has done something wrong.

  • Hardening the "file" utility for Debian

    In addition, he had already encountered problems with file running in environments with non-standard libraries that were loaded using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable. Those libraries can (and do) make system calls that the regular file binary does not make; the system calls were disallowed by the seccomp() filter. Building a Debian package often uses FakeRoot (or fakeroot) to run commands in a way that appears that they have root privileges for filesystem operations—without actually granting any extra privileges. That is done so that tarballs and the like can be created containing files with owners other than the user ID running the Debian packaging tools, for example. Fakeroot maintains a mapping of the "changes" made to owners, groups, and permissions for files so that it can report those to other tools that access them. It does so by interposing a library ahead of the GNU C library (glibc) to intercept file operations. In order to do its job, fakeroot spawns a daemon (faked) that is used to maintain the state of the changes that programs make inside of the fakeroot. The libfakeroot library that is loaded with LD_PRELOAD will then communicate to the daemon via either System V (sysv) interprocess communication (IPC) calls or by using TCP/IP. Biedl referred to a bug report in his message, where Helmut Grohne had reported a problem with running file inside a fakeroot.

Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app. Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website. Read more

Android Leftovers

IBM/Red Hat and Intel Leftovers

  • Troubleshooting Red Hat OpenShift applications with throwaway containers

    Imagine this scenario: Your cool microservice works fine from your local machine but fails when deployed into your Red Hat OpenShift cluster. You cannot see anything wrong with the code or anything wrong in your services, configuration maps, secrets, and other resources. But, you know something is not right. How do you look at things from the same perspective as your containerized application? How do you compare the runtime environment from your local application with the one from your container? If you performed your due diligence, you wrote unit tests. There are no hard-coded configurations or hidden assumptions about the runtime environment. The cause should be related to the configuration your application receives inside OpenShift. Is it time to run your app under a step-by-step debugger or add tons of logging statements to your code? We’ll show how two features of the OpenShift command-line client can help: the oc run and oc debug commands.

  • What piece of advice had the greatest impact on your career?

    I love learning the what, why, and how of new open source projects, especially when they gain popularity in the DevOps space. Classification as a "DevOps technology" tends to mean scalable, collaborative systems that go across a broad range of challenges—from message bus to monitoring and back again. There is always something new to explore, install, spin up, and explore.

  • How DevOps is like auto racing

    When I talk about desired outcomes or answer a question about where to get started with any part of a DevOps initiative, I like to mention NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. Crew chiefs for these race teams have a goal: finish in the best place possible with the resources available while overcoming the adversity thrown at you. If the team feels capable, the goal gets moved up a series of levels to holding a trophy at the end of the race. To achieve their goals, race teams don’t think from start to finish; they flip the table to look at the race from the end goal to the beginning. They set a goal, a stretch goal, and then work backward from that goal to determine how to get there. Work is delegated to team members to push toward the objectives that will get the team to the desired outcome. [...] Race teams practice pit stops all week before the race. They do weight training and cardio programs to stay physically ready for the grueling conditions of race day. They are continually collaborating to address any issue that comes up. Software teams should also practice software releases often. If safety systems are in place and practice runs have been going well, they can release to production more frequently. Speed makes things safer in this mindset. It’s not about doing the “right” thing; it’s about addressing as many blockers to the desired outcome (goal) as possible and then collaborating and adjusting based on the real-time feedback that’s observed. Expecting anomalies and working to improve quality and minimize the impact of those anomalies is the expectation of everyone in a DevOps world.

  • Deep Learning Reference Stack v4.0 Now Available

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to represent one of the biggest transformations underway, promising to impact everything from the devices we use to cloud technologies, and reshape infrastructure, even entire industries. Intel is committed to advancing the Deep Learning (DL) workloads that power AI by accelerating enterprise and ecosystem development. From our extensive work developing AI solutions, Intel understands how complex it is to create and deploy applications for deep learning workloads. That?s why we developed an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processor and released the companion Data Analytics Reference Stack. Today, we?re proud to announce the next Deep Learning Reference Stack release, incorporating customer feedback and delivering an enhanced user experience with support for expanded use cases.

  • Clear Linux Releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 For Better AI Performance

    Intel's Clear Linux team on Wednesday announced their Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 during the Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit North America event taking place in San Diego. Clear Linux's Deep Learning Reference Stack continues to be engineered for showing off the most features and maximum performance for those interested in AI / deep learning and running on Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. This optimized stack allows developers to more easily get going with a tuned deep learning stack that should already be offering near optimal performance.