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Thursday, 21 Jun 18 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Red Hat News and Upcoming Results

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Red Hat

today's leftovers

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Misc

KDE and GNOME: File Picker, Flatpaks and Epiphany 3.29

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KDE
LibO
GNOME
  • LibreOffice Picks Up A Native "KDE 5" File Picker

    Several months back LibreOffice developers began working on better integration with KDE Plasma 5 and that has advanced again today with now having a native file picker.

  • Going In-Depth With Flatpak For Sandboxed Application Packaging

    Red Hat / GNOME developer veteran Matthias Clasen has recently begun a series of blog posts going in-depth with Flatpaks for those wondering how this application deployment technology is taking over the Linux desktop.

    Last week Clasen penned the initial piece for explaining bundles, runtimes, and extensions in the Flatpak realm.

  • Epiphany 3.29.3 Picks Up A Reader Mode, Finally Disables NPAPI Plugins

    Epiphany 3.29.3 is now available as the latest version of this GNOME Web Browser.

    Being in the middle of the GNOME 3.30 development cycle, the Epiphany 3.29.3 release is made up of many changes. First up, Epiphany now has an experimental reader mode that is inspired by Mozilla's Firefox reader mode. When viewing page sources in Epiphany, it will also now display within the web browser itself rather than the text editor.

Linux, LF Study and SysVinit 2.90

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Linux

Red Hat News

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Red Hat

Debian and Derivatives: Debian Installer Buster Alpha 3, Freexian, GSoC, DebCamp18, Linux Mint

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Debian
  • Debian Installer Buster Alpha 3 release

    The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the third alpha release of the installer for Debian 10 "Buster".

  • Debian Installer Buster Alpha 3 Released

    The third alpha release of the Debian Installer to be used by Debian 10 "Buster" is now available for testing.

    There are many changes to this updated Debian Installer with the last alpha release being from last December. This newest Debian Installer for Buster now uses Cryptsetup 2.0, updates to the Linux 4.16 kernel (rather than 4.13), locale choosing improvements, various flash-kernel updates, debootstrap improvements, and other changes.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, May 2018
  • GSoC Status Update - First Month

    In the past month I have been working on my GSoC project in Debian’s Distro Tracker. This project aims at designing and implementing new features in Distro Tracker to better support Debian teams to track the health of their packages and to prioritize their work efforts. In this post, I will describe the current status of my contributions, highlight the main challenges, and point the next steps.

  • I'm going to DebCamp18, Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • [Older] Linux Mint vs Ubuntu

    There probably aren't two Linux distributions more closely related than Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Actually, the two are so close to one another, there's serious debate about whether or not they are the same distribution.

    Linux Mint takes Ubuntu and adds some extra polish to it. Mint has a different default configuration, some additional packages, and its own desktop environments. Otherwise, it's the same distribution as Ubuntu.

OSS Leftovers

Filed under
OSS
  • Sculpt for The Curious

    Sculpt for The Curious is the second development stage of the Genode-based general-purpose OS used at Genode Labs. Compared to the initial version, which was targeted at early adopters only, the new version invites a broader user base to explore the system. It comes in the form of a ready-to-use disk image for a bootable USB thumb drive.

  • Genode-Based Sculpt OS Now Available With Easy-To-Use Disk Image

    Sculpt OS is striving to become a general purpose operating system built off the Genode OS framework. The second release of Sculpt OS is now available and it's much easier now to try out.

    Sculpt OS relies upon Genode's micro-kernel architecture, sandboxed drivers, and other modern approaches for providing a unique OS on commodity PC hardware.

  • Bitfi and McAfee Announce First Truly Unhackable and Open Source Crypto Wallet

    Bitfi, a global payments technology company working to enable businesses and consumers to participate in the digital currency economy, today announced Bitfi Wallet – the first unhackable, open source hardware wallet with an accompanying dashboard that features wireless setup and support for many popular cryptocurrencies and crypto assets, including Monero, a fully decentralized private cryptocurrency that has previously never had a hardware wallet solution.

  • Call for Code is open and organizations are lining up to join the cause

    Today is the first official day of Call for Code, an annual global initiative from creator David Clark Cause, with IBM proudly serving as Founding Partner. Call for Code aims to unleash the collective power of the global open source developer community against the growing threat of natural disasters.

    Even as we prepare to accept submissions from technology teams around the world, the response from the technology community has been overwhelming and today I am thrilled to announce two new partners joining the cause.

  • Getting started with Open edX to host your course

    Now in its seventh major release, the Open edX platform is a free and open source course management system that is used all over the world to host Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as well as smaller classes and training modules. To date, Open edX software has powered more than 8,000 original courses and 50 million course enrollments. You can install the platform yourself with on-premise equipment or by leveraging any of the industry-leading cloud infrastructure services providers, but it is also increasingly being made available in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model from several of the project’s growing list of service providers.

    The Open edX platform is used by many of the world’s premier educational institutions as well as private sector companies, public sector institutions, NGOs, non-profits, and educational technology startups, and the project’s global community of service providers continues to make the platform accessible to ever-smaller organizations. If you plan to create and offer educational content to a broad audience, you should consider using the Open edX platform.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: June 22nd starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC
  • Xapian Joins Conservancy as a Member Project

    Software Freedom Conservancy proudly welcomes Xapian as Conservancy's newest member project. Xapian is a probabilistic information retrieval library that allows developers to add advanced indexing and search facilities to their own applications.

    Conservancy, a public charity focused on ethical technology, is the home of over forty member projects dedicated to developing free and open source software. Conservancy acts as a corporate umbrella, allowing member projects to operate as charitable initiatives without having to independently manage their own corporate structure and administrative services.

    "We've spent the past 18 years at Xapian developing a technologically mature software package," said Olly Betts, Xapian's Project Lead. "We're excited about how Conservancy can help us extend that maturity to our project governance."

  • Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language

    Packt Publishing, publisher of software learning resources, has revealed the results of its 2018 Skill Up survey in a new report.

    From what programming languages, frameworks, and libraries are most used, to job satisfaction, attitudes to management and what it’s like to work in the software industry today, the report offers a snapshot of what matters to software developers in 2018.

What Is the Intersection of OpenStack and Kubernetes?

Filed under
Server

Lew Tucker is a busy man. Aside from his day job as VP and CTO for Cloud Computing at Cisco, Tucker also sits on the board of directors at both the OpenStack Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, giving him a unique perspective on both organizations.

Some in the industry have positioned Kubernetes as a competitive replacement for OpenStack, but that's not what Tucker sees. In a video interview, Tucker explains where the intersection currently exists between OpenStack and Kubernetes and why he expects both to be successful.

Read more

Graphics: Vulkan, AMDGPU, Wayland

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Vulkan Display Extensions To Be Used By SteamVR Merged Into Mesa RADV/ANV

    Keith Packard's long in development work for improving the Linux display stack infrastructure for better dealing with VR head-mounted displays is about rounded out with the new Vulkan extension support being merged into Mesa.

    Just over a year ago famed X developer Keith Packard started contract work for Valve to improve the plumbing around the Linux/X.Org support for virtual reality HMDs for better performance and better integration. Within the Linux kernel and the X.Org Server he's worked and landed the DRM leasing support of outputs to let a VR compositor (Steam VR) have direct access to the output, "non-desktop" quirk handling so VR HMDs don't become mapped as part of a standard Linux desktop, and related work.

  • A Slew Of AMDGPU DC Updates Published, Further Improvements For Raven Ridge

    There hasn't been a new AMDGPU DC code drop in a while as AMD developers work to improve their internal processes, but hitting the wire today is a set of 51 new patches for this "display code" stack that work on a variety of improvements.

  • Sway 1.0 Wayland Compositor Nears With Floating Windows, Tablet Support & More

    The release of the Sway 1.0 Wayland compositor is inching closer with the recent third alpha release. Sway for the uninformed is a very promising i3-compatible Wayland compositor.

    Earlier this month Sway 1.0 Alpha 3 was released to succeed the second alpha release from the month prior. Sway 1.0 is succeeding the Sway 0.15 changes with a great deal of improvements. Most notably with the 1.0 series is now requiring the WLROOTS modular Wayland compositor library.

Security: OpenBSD, FUD and More

Filed under
Security
  • OpenBSD Disabling SMT / Hyper Threading Due To Security Concerns

    Security oriented BSD operating system OpenBSD is making the move to disable Hyper Threading (HT) on Intel CPUs and more broadly moving to disable SMT (Simultanious Multi Threading) on other CPUs too.

    Disabling of Intel HT and to follow with disabling SMT for other architectures is being done in the name of security. "SMT (Simultanious Multi Threading) implementations typically share TLBs and L1 caches between threads. This can make cache timing attacks a lot easier and we strongly suspect that this will make several spectre-class bugs exploitable. Especially on Intel's SMT implementation which is better known as Hypter-threading. We really should not run different security domains on different processor threads of the same core."

    OpenBSD could improve their kernel's scheduler to workaround this, but given that is a large feat, at least for now they have decided to disable Hyper Threading by default.

    Those wishing to toggle the OpenBSD SMT support can use the new hw.smt sysctl setting on OpenBSD/AMD64 and is being extended to cover CPUs from other vendors and architectures.

  • Linux malware threats - bots, backdoors, trojans and malicious apps [Ed: Ignoring back doors in Windows and other proprietary platforms to instead focus on malicious software one actually needs to install on one's machine or choose a trivial-to-guess password (when there are open ports)]
  • Does Open Source Boost Security? Hortonworks Says Yes

    Organizations are best served security-wise if they favor and adopt open source technology — especially enterprise open source — over proprietary alternatives, according to Hortonworks. However, not everybody agrees that open source software intrinsically is more secure.

    It’s tough to argue that open source hasn’t brought significant benefits to the IT industry and the tens of thousands of organizations that rely on IT products to automate their operations. Starting with the introduction of Linux in the late 1990s, major swaths of the tech industry have shifted to open source development methodologies. That includes the vast majority of the big data ecosystem, which has been largely bootstrapped by various Apache Software Foundation projects.

  • Don't Neglect Open Source Security [Ed: Well, if you have chosen proprietary software, then you have already given up on security altogether. With FOSS there's at least control and hope.]
  • How to build a strong DevSecOps culture: 5 tips [Ed: Red Hat is still promoting dumb buzzwords that help employers overwork their staff]
  • A Framework to Strengthen Open Source Security and Compliance [Ed: Firms that profit from perceived insecurity of FOSS push so-called 'white papers' into IDG]

Mozilla: Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source, VR, Phabricator, Rust and WebRender

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Moz/FF
  • Call for Feedback! Draft of Goal-Metrics for Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source (CHAOSS)

    In the last few months, Mozilla has invested in collaboration with other open source project leaders and academics who care about improving diversity & inclusion in Open Source through the CHAOSS D&I working group. Contributors so far include:

    Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven University of Technology) , Akshita Gupta (Outreachy), Amy Marrich (OpenStack), Anita Sarma (Oregon State University), Bhagashree Uday (Fedora), Daniel Izquierdo (Bitergia), Emma Irwin (Mozilla), Georg Link (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Gina Helfrich (NumFOCUS), Nicole Huesman (Intel) and Sean Goggins ((University of Missouri).

  • Introducing A-Terrain - a cartography component for A-Frame

    Have you ever wanted to make a small web app to share your favorite places with your friends? For example your favorite photographs attached to a hike, or just a view of your favorite peak, or your favorite places downtown, or a suggested itinerary for friends visiting?

  • Setting up Arcanist for Mozilla development on Windows
  • Taming Phabricator

    So Mozilla is going all-in on Phabricator and Differential as a code review tool. I have mixed feelings on this, not least because it’s support for patch series is more manual than I’d like. But since this is the choice Mozilla has made I might as well start to get used to it. One of the first things you see when you log into Phabricator is a default view full of information.

  • This Week in Rust 239

    This week's crate is SIMDNoise, a crate to use modern CPU vector instructions to generate various types of noise really fast. Thanks to gregwtmtno for the suggestion!

  • WebRender newsletter #20

Canonical: GNOME Software, Buzzwords, Ubuntu Server, Themes and Zenkit

Filed under
Ubuntu
  • Report from the GNOME Software design sprint

    A couple of weeks ago representatives from across Canonical met in London to talk about ideas to improve the user experience of GNOME Software. We had people from the store team, snap advocacy, snapd, design and from the desktop team. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Richard Hughes representing upstream GNOME Software.

  • Emerging Trends in Financial Services: IoT, AI and Blockchain

    The answer has its roots at both an infrastructure level, where legacy technology is being replaced with something more akin to what is seen in challengers banks or in technology leaders from Silicon Valley, and in changing mentalities, where a new mindset can be just as important as the technology that’s adopted.

    Of course, to say that this is simply a technological problem is naive, often, technology implementation is the easy part, with the larger challenge coming with organisational acceptance of the need to change.

    Often, the case is that an organisation isn’t culturally ready for change, resulting in projects that fail and negatively impact the ability to evolve with an increasingly tumultuous market that is being impacted by regulatory changes and a technology revolution.

    Mark Baker, Field Product Manager at Canonical, said: “We tend to find that the technology is the easy part once we’ve got the business aligned around a common goal with common sets of objectives and accepting of the change.”

    However, once an organisation is culturally aligned around a common goal and is accepting of technological change, then it is possible to work with a technology partner like Canonical in order to deploying the technology simple.

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 19 June 2018

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team.

  • Simple Dark/Light GTK/Gnome Shell Theme for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

    There are many dark themes for GTK with a simple and good color scheme. But, I have been looking for a simple dark theme especially for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). I tried many Dark themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and my mind was set on Qogir Dark theme.

    The simple design and the comfort of the dark colors scheme is quite amazing and gives a relief looking for the desktop environment. Qogir comes with a Dark and Light Theme for GTK 2.0 / GTK 3.0 and Gnome Shell. The Dark or the Light theme integration with the default installed applications such as Nautilus file manager, LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox are quite good.

  • Zenkit: The influence of developer communities in progressing snaps

    Last month, Zenkit published their project management tool as a snap. For those not familiar with Zenkit, they introduced themselves in a guest blog at the time the snap was published which can be read here. Since then, we caught up with Philipp Beck, Full Stack Developer at Zenkit, to discover his opinion on snaps and the publishing experience.

    Philipp was introduced to snaps via a developer friend of his and could immediately appreciate the potential benefits for Zenkit to pursue and the advantages it would offer their users. For the former, Philipp comments: “The biggest draw for us was the ease at which we could reach a diverse range of Linux users, without having to specifically package Zenkit for each distribution. There are obvious benefits here in terms of time saved in updating multiple Linux packages too.”

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Updated

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SUSE
  • Tumbleweed Delivers New Kernel, Applications, Plasma, libvirt

    The past week brought a total of three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots and a bunch of new features and improvements for KDE users.

    Snapshot 20180618 updated just a few packages to include an updated GNU Compiler Collection 7, which fixes support for 32-bit AddressSanitizer with glibc 2.27+. Both perl-File-ShareDir and python-numpy were the other two packages that gave users minor fixes.

    The snapshots earlier in the week were more KDE centric. Snapshot 20180615 delivered KDE Applications 18.04.2. The updated applications focused on bugfixes, improvements and translations for Dolphin, Gwenview, KGpg, Kig, Konsole, Lokalize, Okular and many more. KGpg no longer fails to decrypt messages without a version header and image with Gwenview can now be redone after undoing them. The Linux Kernel jumped from 4.16.12 to 4.17.1 and fixed some btrfs and KVM issues. The newer kernel also ported an arm fix for HDMI output routing and fixed an atomic sequence handling with spi-nor and intel-spi. The hwinfo package tried a more aggressive way to catch all usb platform controllers with the 21.55 version. Libvirt 4.4.0 added support for migration of Virtual Machines with non-shared storage over Thread-Local Storage (TLS) and introduced a new virDomainDetachDevice Alias. Lenovo, HP and Dell tablets gaining greater support with the updated libwacom 0.30 package. Add support for PostgreSQL-style UPSERT were made available with sqlite3 3.24.0. Other tools like mercurial 4.6.1, snapper 0.5.5 were also updated in the snapshot.

  • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Jumps On Linux 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Riding Well

    For users of openSUSE's Tumbleweed rolling-release Linux distribution, it's been a very busy month on the update front.

    Last week openSUSE Tumbleweed already upgraded to the phenomenal KDE Plasma 5.13 release as its default desktop along with KDE Applications 18.04.2.

CentOS Atomic Host 7.5 Released for Those Who Want to Run Linux Containers

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OS
Linux
Server

Coming about a month after the release of the CentOS Linux 7.5 (1804) operating system for 64-bit (x86_64), 32-bit (i386), ARM64 (AArch64), PowerPC 64-bit (ppc64), PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (ppc64le), and ARM-hfp (armhfp) compatible machines, CentOS Atomic Host 7.5 (7.1805) is now available to download.

CentOS Atomic Host 7.5 (7.1805) is built from standard CentOS Linux 7 RPMs and the upstream packages included in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host 7.5 operating system. CentOS Linux is a free and open-source computer operating system for desktops and servers that's always based on the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases.

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Fedora Core OS: The New Upstream To Red Hat's CoreOS

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OS
Red Hat

Not to be confused with Fedora Core going back to the early days of Fedora as a Red Hat project, but Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller has just announced Fedora CoreOS.

Fedora CoreOS is going to be the new upstream for CoreOS, which Red Hat acquired Core OS / Container Linux earlier this year. Matthew Miller expects that over the next year, Fedora Atomic Host will be replaced by "a new thing" combining the best of Container Linux and Project Atomic. With that new thing is Fedora CoreOS.

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Games Leftovers

Filed under
Gaming

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 Adds Retpoline Mitigations for Spectre & Meltdown

Continuing Red Hat's promise of 10-year lifecycle support for its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 operating system series, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 update addresses critical security fixes and other important issues that might have an impact on businesses. Therefore, it is recommended to update to this release as soon as possible.

"Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 marks the transition from the Maintenance Support 1 lifecycle phase to the Maintenance Support 2 phase," says Red Hat. "In order to help provide customers with a stable environment for the remainder of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 lifecycle, only critical security fixes and business-impacting urgent issues have been addressed."

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Also: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 Released With Spectre/Meltdown Mitigation

Google’s Fuchsia Adds Emulator for Running Linux Apps

Filed under
Linux
Google

Google has added a Guest app to its emergent and currently open source Fuchsia OS to enable Linux apps to run within Fuchsia as a virtual machine (VM). The Guest app makes use of a library called Machina that permits closer integration with the OS than is available with typical emulators, according to a recent 9to5Google story.

Last month, Google announced a Project Crostini technology that will soon let Chromebook users more easily run mainstream Linux applications within a Chrome OS VM. This week, Acer’s Chromebook Flip C101 joined the short list of Chromebooks that will offer Linux support later this year.

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Red Hat: Kubernetes, 'Cloud', and GlusterFS 4.1.0 Release

  • Kubernetes StatefulSet In Action
    Recently, I stumbled upon a StackOverflow question around StatefulSets which made me wonder how well understood they are at large. So I decided to put together a simple stateful app that can be used to experiment with a StatefulSet. In this blog post we will have a closer look at this app and see it in action. If you’re not familiar with StatefulSets, now is a good time for a refresher, consulting the official docs concerning their usage and guarantees they provide.
  • The road to cloud-native applications
    As many organizations do not have the luxury of completely rebuilding their technology foundation or immediately adopting new practices and mindsets, they can embrace gradual yet fundamental shifts in culture, processes, and technology to help support greater velocity and agility. With software increasingly key to how users engage with businesses and how businesses can innovate to stay competitive, organizations should adapt to the new demands of the Digital Economy, such as speeding up application development and delivery. The cloud-native approach describes a way of modernizing existing applications and building new applications based on cloud principles, using services and adopting processes optimized for the agility and automation of cloud computing.
  • GlusterFS 4.1 Released With Performance Monitoring Improvements
    GlusterFS. the network-attached storage file-system focused on cloud computing and more that is developed by Red Hat, is up to version 4.1 as its newest release.
  • Announcing GlusterFS release 4.1.0 (Long Term Maintenance)
    The Gluster community is pleased to announce the release of 4.1, our latest long term supported release.
  • Release notes for Gluster 4.1.0
    This is a major release that includes a range of features enhancing management, performance, monitoring, and providing newer functionality like thin arbiters, cloud archival, time consistency. It also contains several bug fixes.

Games: XENONAUTS 2, Make Sail and More

Programming: Zapcc C++, PHP and Python

  • Some Compiler Performance Benchmarks With The Zapcc Caching Compiler
    Here are some quick benchmarks I ran this week of the newly open-sourced Zapcc C++ caching compiler based upon LLVM/Clang and compared to the upstream Clang performance, GCC, and Ccache with the speed on the original compilation of the benchmark code and then again on a subsequent compilation.
  • PHP 7.3.0 alpha 1 Released
    PHP team is glad to announce the release of the first PHP 7.3.0 version, PHP 7.3.0 Alpha 1. This starts the PHP 7.3 release cycle, the rough outline of which is specified in the PHP Wiki.
  • PHP 7.3 Alpha 2 Released With Many Bug Fixes
    Just shy of two weeks since PHP 7.3 went into alpha, the second alpha release of this upcoming annual feature release to the PHP programming language is now available. PHP 7.3 has been working on several new functions, WebP support within the image create from string function, improved PHP garbage collection, and a variety of other features and improvements. While PHP 7.3 is still open for new features, PHP 7.3 Alpha 2 comes with just bug fixes. Bug fixes for alpha two range from core fixes to various bugs in its ZIP, EXIF, Date, and CLI code, among other areas. The fixes are outlined here.
  • Python virtual environments
    In a short session at the 2018 Python Language Summit, Steve Dower brought up the shortcomings of Python virtual environments, which are meant to create isolated installations of the language and its modules. He said his presentation was "co-written with Twitter" and, indeed, most of his slides were of tweets. At the end, he also slipped in an announcement of his plans for hosting a core development sprint in September.
  • A Python static typing update
    One of the larger features added to Python over the last few releases is support for static typing in the language. Static type-checking and tools to support it show up frequently as topics at the Python Language Summit (PLS) and this year was no exception. Mypy developers Jukka Lehtosalo and Ivan Levkivskyi gave an update on static typing at PLS 2018. Lehtosalo started things off by talking about stub files, which contain type information for libraries and other modules. If you are going to type-check code that uses outside modules, from the standard library or a third-party library, the tool needs to understand the types used in the public interfaces of the library. The type-checking that can be done is limited if there are no stubs for the libraries used.
  • Linux distributions and Python 2
    Python 2.7 will reach its end of life in less than two years—at least for the core development team. Linux distributions need to figure out how to handle the transition given that many of their users are still using that version of the language—and may still be well beyond the end-of-life date. Petr Viktorin and Matthias Klose led a session at the 2018 Python Language Summit to discuss distributions' approaches to deprecating Python 2. Viktorin works for Red Hat and focused on the Fedora distribution. He wants to help figure out how to help the Python downstreams so that Python 2 can be fully discontinued. There are two different ways to do that; either make sure that everyone switches to Python 3 or simply deprecate Python 2 and "wash our hands" of the problem. He would prefer the first alternative. He will be working on this transition for Red Hat as part of his day job and would like to do it in the community as well; that will minimize the need to maintain Python 2 going forward.

Kernel Coverage at LWN (Outside Paywall Now)

  • XArray and the mainline
    The XArray data structure was the topic of the final filesystem track session at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). XArray is a new API for the kernel's radix-tree data structure; the session was led by Matthew Wilcox, who created XArray. When asked by Dave Chinner if the session was intended to be a live review of the patches, Wilcox admitted with a grin that it might be "the only way to get a review on this damn patch set". In fact, the session was about the status of the patch set and its progress toward the mainline. Andrew Morton has taken the first eight cleanup patches, Wilcox said, which is great because there was a lot of churn there. The next set has a lot of churn as well, mostly due to renaming. The 15 patches after that actually implement XArray and apply it to the page cache. Those could be buggy, but they pass the radix-tree tests so, if they are, more tests are needed, he said.
  • Filesystem test suites
    While the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) filesystem track session was advertised as being a filesystem test suite "bakeoff", it actually focused on how to make the existing test suites more accessible. Kent Overstreet said that he has learned over the years that various filesystem developers have their own scripts for testing using QEMU and other tools. He and Ted Ts'o put the session together to try to share some of that information (and code) more widely. Most of the scripts and other code has not been polished or turned into a project, Overstreet continued. Bringing new people up to speed on the tests and how they are run takes time, but developers want to know how to run the tests before they send code to the maintainer.
  • Messiness in removing directories
    In the filesystem track at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM), Al Viro discussed some problems he has recently spotted in the implementation of rmdir(). He covered some of the history of that implementation and how things got to where they are now. He also described areas that needed to be checked because the problem may be present in different places in multiple filesystems. The fundamental problem is a race condition where operations can end up being performed on directories that have already been removed, which can lead to some rather "unpleasant" outcomes, Viro said. One warning, however: it was a difficult session to follow, with lots of gory details from deep inside the VFS, so it is quite possible that I have some (many?) of the details wrong here. Since LSFMM there has been no real discussion of the problem and its solution on the mailing lists that I have found.
  • Handling I/O errors in the kernel
    The kernel's handling of I/O errors was the topic of a discussion led by Matthew Wilcox at the 2018 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) in a combined storage and filesystem track session. At the start, he asked: "how is our error handling and what do we plan to do about it?" That led to a discussion between the developers present on the kinds of errors that can occur and on ways to handle them. Jeff Layton said that one basic problem occurs when there is an error during writeback; an application can read the block where the error occurred and get the old data without any kind of error. If the error was transient, data is lost. And if it is a permanent error, different filesystems handle it differently, which he thinks is a problem. Dave Chinner said that in order to have consistent behavior across filesystems, there needs to be a definition of what that behavior should be. There is a need to distinguish between transient and permanent failures and to create a taxonomy of how to deal with each type.
  • 4.18 Merge window, part 1
    As of this writing, 7,515 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 4.18 merge window. Things are clearly off to a strong start. The changes pulled this time around include more than the usual number of interesting new features; read on for the details.
  • Year-2038 work in 4.18
    We now have less than 20 years to wait until the time_t value used on 32-bit systems will overflow and create time-related mayhem across the planet. The grand plan for solving this problem was posted over three years ago now; progress since then has seemed slow. But quite a bit of work has happened deep inside the kernel and, in 4.18, some of the first work that will be visible to user space has been merged. The year-2038 problem is not yet solved, but things are moving in that direction. If 32-bit systems are to be able to handle times after January 2038, they will need to switch to a 64-bit version of the time_t type; the kernel will obviously need to support applications using that new type. Doing so in a way that doesn't break existing applications is going to require some careful work, though. In particular, the kernel must be able to successfully run a system where applications have been rebuilt to use a 64-bit time_t, but ancient binaries stuck on 32-bit time_t still exist; both applications should continue to work (though the old code may fail to handle times correctly). The first step is to recognize that most architectures already have support for applications running in both 64-bit and 32-bit modes in the form of the compatibility code used to run 32-bit applications on 64-bit systems. At some point, all systems will be 64-bit systems when it comes to time handling, so it makes sense to use the compatibility calls for older applications even on 32-bit systems. To that end, with 4.18, work has been done to allow both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the time-related system calls to be built on all architectures. The CONFIG_64BIT_TIME configuration symbol controls the building of the 64-bit versions on 32-bit systems, while CONFIG_COMPAT_32BIT_TIME controls the 32-bit versions.