Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Kernel Development Continues Despite In-fighting

Filed under
Linux

Speaking at Linux Australia's annual Linux conferernce, Linux.conf.au, in Canberra last week, Colorado-based Linux kernel developer Jonathan Corbet said predicting kernel development is hard but is "possible".

The current kernel version, 2.6.11, to be succeeded by 2.6.12, will include support for trusted computing and SELinux (security enhanced Linux) for multi-level security.

Corbet didn't announce when version 2.6.12 will be out other than to say "sometime soon".

"It depends on what the developers do and even Linus [Torvalds] doesn't really try," Corbet said. "Even so, some predictions are possible by looking at work that is in progress now and user needs which are unmet."

Proposed patches go to Andrew Morton and eventually to Linus Torvalds who merges them into the mainline tree.

Corbet conceded that not all goes "that smoothly" but the process is working "better than ever".

Other features Corbet earmarked for 2.6.12 include Red Hat's contribution of address space randomization for defence against buffer overflow attacks and remote script kiddies, and multipath I/O support to rival "fancy" storage systems that offer redundancy and load balancing.

Users can also look forward to native virtualization support with Xen.

"Xen creates a new architecture and you can run Windows," he said. "It has nice features like being able to take a virtual host and move it to another machine while it's running."

The Linux filesystem family will also be added to with Reiser4, "a fast, transactional filesystem that has problems but will eventually go into the mainline tree."

Other enhancements will be in the clustering and embedded systems arena, and software suspend will allow a state to be suspended to disk or memory.

All these new features bode well for Linux server applications, however, improving the desktop won't be overlooked.

"inotify is a better file modification notifier which will keep file managers current," Corbet said. "And kernel events notification is an effort to make hardware 'just work'."

Kernel events notification will tell user space applications when something happens such as a CD being inserted or a camera is attached.

Although Corbet said latency issues will remain for a while, which matters for desktops and the overall "feel" of the system, it will improve over time.

"The radical approach to improving latency is to include Ingo Molnar's real-time pre-emption patch but this is a huge intrusive change so expect a debate," he said. "This could be the motivation for a 2.7 branch."

Source.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Mesa's Shader Cache Will Now Occupy Less Disk Space
    Mesa previously had a hard-coded limit to not take up more than 10% of your HDD/SSD storage, but now that limit has been halved. In a change to Mesa 17.2-dev Git and primed for back-porting to Mesa 17.1, Timothy Arceri has lowered the cache size limit to 5% of the disk space. He noted in the commit, "Modern disks are extremely large and are only going to get bigger. Usage has shown frequent Mesa upgrades can result in the cache growing very fast i.e. wasting a lot of disk space unnecessarily. 5% seems like a more reasonable default."
  • Amazon EC2 Cloud Benchmarks vs. AMD Ryzen, Various AMD/Intel Systems
  • Epiphany 3.25.1 Released, Ported To Meson
    Epiphany 3.25.1 has been released as the latest update for GNOME's Web Browser in what will be part of GNOME 3.26 this September. Epiphany 3.25.1 has continued the trend by other GNOME components in porting to the Meson build system. With Epiphany 3.25.1, Meson is present and its Autotools build system has been removed.
  • Tumbleweed Snapshots Update Fonts, Perl, Python Packages
    openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week gave many newer versions of Perl and Python packages, but several other packages were updated in the repositories including some open fonts. Google and Adobe fonts were updated in snapshots 20170424 and 20170420 with google-croscore-fonts and adobe-sourcehansans-fonts being added to the repositories respectively.
  • 3 cool features in Ubuntu 17.04
    April showers bring May flowers, and fresh versions of Ubuntu too. Canonical’s latest official Ubuntu release—17.04—arrived this month after news of the death of Unity 8 and the return to the GNOME desktop in 2018. For now, Ubuntu is still shipping with its Unity desktop. I wrote earlier that most users who need stability and support over new features will probably want to stick with Ubuntu 16.04, which was released last April, until Ubuntu 18.04 arrives a year from now. However, there are a few small things in Ubuntu 17.04 that will appeal to users who are keen to get all the newest updates.
  • Linux Security and Isolation APIs course in Munich (17-19 July 2017)
    I've scheduled the first public instance of my "Linux Security and Isolation APIs" course to take place in Munich, Germany on 17-19 July 2017. (I've already run the course a few times very successfully in non-public settings.) This three-day course provides a deep understanding of the low-level Linux features (set-UID/set-GID programs, capabilities, namespaces, cgroups, and seccomp) used to build container, virtualization, and sandboxing technologies. The course format is a mixture of theory and practical.

more of today's howtos

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Microsoft Begs, Bugs, and Bug Doors

  • Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft
    Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine. It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it's ready.
  • Microsoft Word flaw took so long to fix that hackers used it to send fraud software to millions of computers
    A flaw in Microsoft Word took the tech giant so long to fix that hackers were able to use it to send fraud software to millions of computers, it has been revealed. The security flaw, officially known as CVE-2017-0199, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed on April 11 in Microsoft's regular monthly security update - nine months after it was discovered.