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Tuesday, 23 Jan 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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Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Compilers and CLI: LLVM, GCC and Bash Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 10:29pm
Story KDE/GNOME: Usability and Productivity, Krita Interview, GNOME Builder Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 10:26pm
Story Linux: PowerPC, GFS2, Userspace RCU Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 10:23pm
Story Graphics: AMD, Libinput, Vulkan Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 10:21pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 10:19pm
Story Devices: Debugging Tools, TP-Link, Raspberry Pi and Android Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 10:17pm
Story Security: Gmail, Windows, Allscripts, Android and Browsers Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 9:29pm
Story 10 Best Text Editors For Linux And Programming (2018 Edition) Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 9:27pm
Story Debian Development Picks Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 9:14pm
Story Mozilla: Firefox 58.0, Paying it forward, Firefox Nightly, Lantea Maps Roy Schestowitz 22/01/2018 - 9:12pm

LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.3 MR

Filed under
Movies

LibreELEC 8.2.3 is released to change our embedded pastebin provider from sprunge.us (RIP) to ix.io (working) so users can continue to submit logs to the forums through a URL without copy/pasting text or direct uploading log files. This is our preferred way to receive and read your log files so if you are not familiar with using the paste function please read this wiki article to find out how. The 8.2.3 release also solves an issue with continuity errors on USB DVB adaptors that has been troubling some 8.2 users for some time; kudos to user @jahutchi for tracking down the problem kernel commit. We also address a long-running crashing issue with Intel BayTrail hardware that needed some users to force max_cstate in kernel boot parameters, and for bonus credit users with an Intel NUC equipped with an LED can fiddle with the colours, as we backported the LED driver from our master branch.

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Linux 4.15 Expected To Be Released Today, But It Might Be 4.15-rc9

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Linux

After going through release candidates the past eight weeks, the Linux 4.15 kernel is expected to be released later today by Linus Torvalds.

Normally after RC7, the kernel is baked, but all the changes last week due to the fallout from Spectre/Meltdown led to RC8. But this past week, the pace of change has continued with many fixes still coming in. We'll likely see Linux 4.15.0 out today as Torvalds commented last week, but it wouldn't really be surprising if overtime is extended and instead we get 4.15-rc9 due to all of the changes this week and ongoing work still happening around Spectre and Meltdown mitigation.

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Leftovers: Audiocasts, Linux Graphics, and OnePlus Breach (JS)

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Misc

FOSS in Cambodia, Open Source HIT Project

Filed under
OSS
  • Open source casino tech biz TGG enters Cambodia

    The firm provides “all essential source codes with open API [application program interface] for game designers to create customisable premium content for casino operators, enabling the operators to focus on making the best possible gaming experience for their players worldwide without additional investment in information technology infrastructure,” added its release.

  • Global Open Source HIT Project Gets $1M Donation From Cryptocurrency Philanthropy

    OpenMRS, Inc., an open source medical records platform used in developing countries, has received a $1 million donation from the Pineapple Fund, an $86 million cryptocurrency philanthropy created by an anonymous donor known only as “Pine.”

Debian and Ubuntu: TLCockpit, Google, ROS and Ubuntu Core

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • TLCockpit v0.8

    Today I released v0.8 of TLCockpit, the GUI front-end for the TeX Live Manager tlmgr. I spent the winter holidays in updating and polishing, but also in helping me debug problems that users have reported. Hopefully the new version works better for all.

  • Google's Linux workstations are switching from Ubuntu to Debian

    Like many companies, Google uses a variety of operating systems in-house. macOS and Windows are used by a large number of employees, a modified build of Debian Linux is used on its servers (as of 2014, at least), and Chrome OS and Android devices are commonplace. In work environments where Linux is needed, Google uses a customized version of Ubuntu 14.04 called 'Goobuntu,' which has never been released publicly.

  • Your first robot: Introduction to the Robot Operating System [2/5]

    This is the second blog post in this series about creating your first robot with ROS and Ubuntu Core. In the previous post we walked through all the hardware necessary to follow this series, and introduced Ubuntu Core, the operating system for IoT devices. We installed it on our Raspberry Pi, and used it to go through the CamJam worksheets. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the Robot Operating System (ROS), and we’ll use it to move our robot.

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Software: MapSCII, Notelab, Pageclip, Wine

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Software
  • MapSCII – The World Map In Your Terminal

    I just stumbled upon an interesting utility. The World map in the Terminal! Yes, It is so cool. Say hello to MapSCII, a Braille and ASCII world map renderer for your xterm-compatible terminals. It supports GNU/Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. I thought it is a just another project hosted on GitHub. But I was wrong! It is really impressive what they did there. We can use our mouse pointer to drag and zoom in and out a location anywhere in the world map.

  • Notelab – A Digital Note Taking App for Linux

    This post is on an app that brings the power of digital note-taking to PC users across the platform spectrum. If note-taking with a stylus then you would like this one, and in fact, I couldn’t have given Notelab (an open source Java-based application,) a better introduction. The team of creatives has done a good job already.

  • Pageclip – A Server for Your HTML Forms

    Data collection is important to statisticians who need to analyze the data and deduce useful information; developers who need to get feedback from users on how enjoyable their products are to use; teachers who need to carry out census of students and whatever complaints they have, etc. The list goes on.

    Seeing how convenient it can be to use services that are cloud-based wouldn’t it be nice if you could collect form data in the cloud as easily as creating a new HTML document? Well, Pageclip has come to the rescue.

  • Wine 3.0 Release Lets You Run Windows Applications on Linux More Effectively

    The Wine team has announced the release of Wine 3.0. This comes after one year of development and comes with 6000 individual changes with a number of improvements and new features. ‘This release represents a year of development effort and over 6,000 individual changes. It contains a large number of improvements’.

    The free and open source compatibility layer, Wine lets you run Windows applications on Linux and macOS.

    The Wine 3.0 release has as major highlights Direct3D 10 and 11 changes, Direct3D command stream, graphics driver for Android and improved support for DirectWrite and Direct2D.

today's howtos

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HowTos

GNOME: Themes, GTK and More

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GNOME
  • 5 of the Best Linux Dark Themes that Are Easy on the Eyes

    There are several reasons people opt for dark themes on their computers. Some find them easy on the eye while others prefer them because of their medical condition. Programmers, especially, like dark themes because they reduce glare on the eyes.

    If you are a Linux user and a dark theme lover, you are in luck. Here are five of the best dark themes for Linux. Check them out!

  • GNOME Rolls Out The GTK Text Input Protocol For Wayland

    GNOME developers have been working on a new Wayland protocol, the "gtk_text_input" protocol, which now is implemented in their Mutter compositor.

    Separate from the zwp_text_input protocol, the gtk_text_input protocol is designed for representing text input and input methods associated with a seat and enter/leave events. This GNOME-catered protocol for Mutter is outlined via this commit with their protocol specification living in-tree to Mutter given its GNOME focus.

  • Wine, Mozilla, GNOME and DragonFly BSD

    While GNOME is moving to remove desktop icon support in version 3.28, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will continue to ship with an older version of Nautilus (3.26) in an effort to keep this age-old practice alive, at least for its upcoming LTS release.

    In more GNOME-related news, version 3.28 of the Photos application will include a number of enhancements to its photo-editing arsenal, such as shadows and highlight editing, the ability to alter crop orientation, added support for zoom gestures and more. For a complete list, visit the project's roadmap.

Red Hat and Fedora

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Red Hat
  • Red Hat Satellite: Patch Management Overview and Analysis

    We review Red Hat Satellite, a patch management solution for enterprise Linux systems.

  • Analysts Expect Red Hat Inc (RHT) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $761.96 Million
  • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) Shares Move -0.17%
  • A Modularity rethink for Fedora

    We have covered the Fedora Modularity initiative a time or two over the years but, just as the modular "product" started rolling out, Fedora went back to the drawing board. There were a number of fundamental problems with Modularity as it was to be delivered in the Fedora 27 server edition, so a classic version of the distribution was released instead. But Modularity is far from dead; there is a new plan afoot to deliver it for Fedora 28, which is due in May.

    The problem that Modularity seeks to solve is that different users of the distribution have differing needs for stability versus tracking the bleeding edge. The pain is most often felt in the fast-moving web development world, where frameworks and applications move far more quickly than Fedora as a whole can—even if it could, moving that quickly would be problematic for other types of users. So Modularity was meant to be a way for Fedora users to pick and choose which "modules" (a cohesive set of packages supporting a particular version of, say, Node.js, Django, a web server, or a database management system) are included in their tailored instance of Fedora. The Tumbleweed snapshots feature of the openSUSE rolling distribution is targeted at solving much the same problem.

    Modularity would also facilitate installing multiple different versions of modules so that different applications could each use the versions of the web framework, database, and web server that the application supports. It is, in some ways, an attempt to give users the best of both worlds: the stability of a Fedora release with the availability of modules of older and newer packages, some of which would be supported beyond the typical 13-month lifecycle of a Fedora release. The trick is in how to get there.

Mozilla: TenFourFox, Crypto, and Extensions

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • TenFourFox FPR5 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 5 final is available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). There are no other changes other than the relevant security updates and the timer resolution reduction for anti-Spectre hardening. Assuming no major issues, it will become live on Monday evening Pacific time.

  • Mozilla mandates that new Firefox features rely on encrypted connections

    Mozilla this week decreed that future web-facing features of Firefox must meet an under-development standard that requires all browser-to-server-and-back traffic be encrypted.

    "Effective immediately, all new features that are web-exposed are to be restricted to secure contexts," wrote Mozilla engineer Anne van Kesteren in a post to a company blog. "A feature can be anything from an extension of an existing IDL-defined object, a new CSS property, a new HTTP response header, to bigger features such as WebVR."

  • Rogue Chrome, Firefox Extensions Hijack Browsers; Prevent Easy Removal

    Any malware that hijacks your browser to serve up ads or to redirect you to random websites can be annoying. Even more so are extensions that take control of your browser and prevent you from landing on pages that can help you get rid of them.

    Security researchers at Malwarebytes recently discovered extensions for Chrome and Firefox that display precisely that behavior. According to the security vendor, the extensions are designed to hijack browsers and then block users from removing them by closing out pages with information on extensions and add-ons, or by steering users to pages where extensions aren't listed. Rogue extensions like these are often an overlooked attack vector that can leave organizations exposed to serious threats.

Microsoft Entryism, Openwashing, and Matt Asay's Latest Attack on FOSS

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Microsoft
OSS

GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG), GNU Radio, and BPF Compiler Collection

Filed under
Development
GNU
  • Future directions for PGP

    Back in October, LWN reported on a talk about the state of the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) project, an asymmetric public-key encryption and signing tool that had been almost abandoned by its lead developer due to lack of resources before receiving a significant infusion of funding and community attention. GnuPG 2 has brought about a number of changes and improvements but, at the same time, several efforts are underway to significantly change the way GnuPG and OpenPGP are used. This article will look at the current state of GnuPG and the OpenPGP web of trust, as compared to new implementations of the OpenPGP standard and other trust systems.

    GnuPG produces encrypted files, signed messages, and other types of artifacts that comply to a common standard called OpenPGP, described in RFC 4880. OpenPGP is derived from the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) commercial software project (since acquired by Symantec) and today is almost synonymous with the GnuPG implementation, but the possibility exists for independent implementations of the standard that interoperate with each other. Unfortunately, RFC 4880 was released in 2007 and a new standard has not been published since then. In the meantime, several extensions have been added to GnuPG without broader standardization, and a 2017 IETF working group formed to update RFC 4880 ultimately shut down due to lack of interest.

    GnuPG 2 is a significantly heavier-weight software package than previous GnuPG versions. A major example of this change in architecture is GnuPG 2's complete reliance on the use of the separate gpg-agent daemon for private-key operations. While isolating private-key access within its own process enables improvements to security and functionality, it also adds complexity.

    In the wake of the Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL, a great deal of scrutiny has been directed toward the maintainability of complex and long-lived open-source projects. GnuPG does not rely on OpenSSL for its cryptographic implementation, instead it uses its own independent implementation: Libgcrypt. This leads to the question of whether GnuPG's cryptographic implementation is susceptible to the same kinds of problems that OpenSSL has had; indeed the concern may be larger in the case of GnuPG.

  • Foundations of Amateur Radio - Episode 137

    I've been playing with a wonderful piece of software called GNU Radio, more on that in a moment.

  • An introduction to the BPF Compiler Collection

    In the previous article of this series, I discussed how to use eBPF to safely run code supplied by user space inside of the kernel. Yet one of eBPF's biggest challenges for newcomers is that writing programs requires compiling and linking to the eBPF library from the kernel source. Kernel developers might always have a copy of the kernel source within reach, but that's not so for engineers working on production or customer machines. Addressing this limitation is one of the reasons that the BPF Compiler Collection was created. The project consists of a toolchain for writing, compiling, and loading eBPF programs, along with example programs and battle-hardened tools for debugging and diagnosing performance issues.

    Since its release in April 2015, many developers have worked on BCC, and the 113 contributors have produced an impressive collection of over 100 examples and ready-to-use tracing tools. For example, scripts that use User Statically-Defined Tracing (USDT) probes (a mechanism from DTrace to place tracepoints in user-space code) are provided for tracing garbage collection events, method calls and system calls, and thread creation and destruction in high-level languages. Many popular applications, particularly databases, also have USDT probes that can be enabled with configuration switches like --enable-dtrace. These probes are inserted into user applications, as the name implies, statically at compile-time. I'll be dedicating an entire LWN article to covering USDT probes in the near future.

openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Receive Important Mesa Linux Graphics Stack Update

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SUSE

Four snapshots were released this week for OpenSuSE Tumbleweed, which is a rolling release GNU/Linux distribution where users install once and receive updates forever. Probably the most important change added in these snapshots was related to the graphics stack, which was updated to Mesa 17.3.2, a release that neede to be split into two parts to improve the build performance of the distribution.

"In order to improve the distro build performance, Mesa was split into two parts to be built. Users that updated their system using “–no-recommends” did not get Mesa-dri auto-installed, resulting in the graphical system possibly not starting up. Simply install Mesa-dri for now manually (dependency chain fixes are underway)," said Dominique Leuenberger in the mailing list announcement.

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EXT4 vs. XFS vs. Btrfs vs. F2FS With Linux 4.15 Comparing KPTI/Retpoline

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Graphics/Benchmarks

The latest in our benchmarking with KPTI and Retpoline for Meltdown and Spectre mitigation is comparing the performance of the EXT4, XFS, Btrfs and F2FS file-systems with and without these features enabled while using the Linux 4.15 development kernel.

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Raspberry Pi HAT connects up to three Pmod modules at once

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Linux
Hardware

Digilent and RS Components have launched a $15, Python supported “Pmod HAT Adapter” for the Raspberry Pi that can connect up to three Digilent Pmod peripheral modules at a time while also extending the 40-pin adapter.

Digilent has joined with distributor RS Components to co-launch a $15 DesignSpark Raspberry Pi Pmod HAT Adapter board that brings Digilent’s Pmod peripheral boards to the Raspberry Pi. The 65 x 56.5mm HAT compliant board offers three 2×6-pin Pmod ports with support for I2C, SPI, UART and GPIO interfaces. The Raspberry Pi’s 40-pin adapter is extended to make full use of the SBC’s interfaces.

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KaOS 2018.01 KDE-focused Linux distro now available with Spectre and Meltdown fixes

Filed under
GNU
KDE
Linux

It can be difficult to find a quality Linux distribution that meets your needs. This is partly because there are just too many operating systems from which to choose. My suggestion is to first find a desktop environment that you prefer, and then narrow down your distro search to one that focuses on that DE. For instance, if you like KDE, both Kubuntu and Netrunner are solid choices.

With all of that said, there is another KDE-focused Linux distro that I highly recommend. Called "KaOS," it is rolling release, meaning you can alway be confident that your computer is running modern packages. Today, KaOS gets its first updated ISO for 2018, and you should definitely use it to upgrade your install media. Why? Because version 2018.01 has fixes for Spectre and Meltdown thanks to Linux kernel 4.14.14 with both AMD and Intel ucode.

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KDE: Linux and Qt in Automotive, KDE Discover, Plasma5 18.01 in Slackware

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KDE
Slack
  • Linux and Qt in Automotive? Let’s meet up!

    For anyone around the Gothenburg area on Feb 1st, you are most welcome to the Automotive MeetUp held at the Pelagicore and Luxoft offices. There will be talks about Qt/QML, our embedded Linux platform PELUX and some ramblings about open source in automotive by yours truly Wink

  • What about AppImage?

    I see a lot of people asking about state of AppImage support in Discover.

    It’s non-existent, because AppImage does not require centralized software management interfaces like Discover and GNOME Software (or a command-line package manager). AppImage bundles are totally self-contained, and come straight from the developer with zero middlemen, and can be managed on the filesystem using your file manager

    This should sound awfully familiar to former Mac users (like myself), because Mac App bundles are totally self-contained, come straight from the developer with zero middlemen, and are managed using the Finder file manager.

  • What’s new for January? Plasma5 18.01, and more

    When I sat down to write a new post I noticed that I had not written a single post since the previous Plasma 5 announcement. Well, I guess the past month was a busy one. Also I bought a new e-reader (the Kobo Aura H2O 2nd edition) to replace my ageing Sony PRS-T1. That made me spend a lot of time just reading books and enjoying a proper back-lit E-ink screen. What I read? The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, A Shadow all of Light by Fred Chappell, Persepolis Rising and several of the short stories (Drive, The Butcher of Anderson Station, The Churn and Strange Dogs) by James SA Corey and finally Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. All very much worth your time.

GNU/Linux: Live Patching, Gravity of Kubernetes, Welcome to 2018

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • How Live Patching Has Improved Xen Virtualization

    The open-source Xen virtualization hypervisor is widely deployed by enterprises and cloud providers alike, which benefit from the continuous innovation that the project delivers.

    In a video interview with ServerWatch, Lars Kurth, Chairman of the Xen Project Advisory Board and Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix, details some of the recent additions to Xen and how they are helping move the project forward.

  • The Gravity of Kubernetes

    Most new internet businesses started in the foreseeable future will leverage Kubernetes (whether they realize it or not). Many old applications are migrating to Kubernetes too.

    Before Kubernetes, there was no standardization around a specific distributed systems platform. Just like Linux became the standard server-side operating system for a single node, Kubernetes has become the standard way to orchestrate all of the nodes in your application.

    With Kubernetes, distributed systems tools can have network effects. Every time someone builds a new tool for Kubernetes, it makes all the other tools better. And it further cements Kubernetes as the standard.

  • Welcome to 2018

    The image of the technology industry as a whole suffered in 2017, and that process is likely to continue this year as well. That should lead to an increased level of introspection that will certainly affect the free-software community. Many of us got into free software to, among other things, make the world a better place. It is not at all clear that all of our activities are doing that, or what we should do to change that situation. Expect a lively conversation on how our projects should be run and what they should be trying to achieve.

    Some of that introspection will certainly carry into projects related to machine learning and similar topics. There will be more interesting AI-related free software in 2018, but it may not all be beneficial. How well will the world be served, for example, by a highly capable, free facial-recognition system and associated global database? Our community will be no more effective than anybody else at limiting progress of potentially freedom-reducing technologies, but we should try harder to ensure that our technologies promote and support freedom to the greatest extent possible.

    Our 2017 predictions missed the fact that an increasing number of security problems are being found at the hardware level. We'll not make the same mistake in 2018. Much of what we think of as "hardware" has a great deal of software built into it — highly proprietary software that runs at the highest privilege levels and which is not subject to third-party review. Of course that software has bugs and security issues of its own; it couldn't really be any other way. We will see more of those issues in 2018, and many of them are likely to prove difficult to fix.

Linux Kernel Development

Filed under
Development
Linux
  • New Sound Drivers Coming In Linux 4.16 Kernel

    Due to longtime SUSE developer Takashi Iwai going on holiday the next few weeks, he has already sent in the sound driver feature updates targeting the upcoming Linux 4.16 kernel cycle.

    The sound subsystem in Linux 4.16 sees continued changes to the ASoC code, clean-ups to the existing drivers, and a number of new drivers.

  • Varlink: a protocol for IPC

    One of the motivations behind projects like kdbus and bus1, both of which have fallen short of mainline inclusion, is to have an interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism available early in the boot process. The D-Bus IPC mechanism has a daemon that cannot be started until filesystems are mounted and the like, but what if the early boot process wants to perform IPC? A new project, varlink, was recently announced; it aims to provide IPC from early boot onward, though it does not really address the longtime D-Bus performance complaints that also served as motivation for kdbus and bus1.

    The announcement came from Harald Hoyer, but he credited Kay Sievers and Lars Karlitski with much of the work. At its core, varlink is simply a JSON-based protocol that can be used to exchange messages over any connection-oriented transport. No kernel "special sauce" (such as kdbus or bus1) is needed to support it as TCP or Unix-domain sockets will provide the necessary functionality. The messages can be used as a kind of remote procedure call (RPC) using an API defined in an interface file.

  • Statistics for the 4.15 kernel

    The 4.15 kernel is likely to require a relatively long development cycle as a result of the post-rc5 merge of the kernel page-table isolation patches. That said, it should be in something close to its final form, modulo some inevitable bug fixes. The development statistics for this kernel release look fairly normal, but they do reveal an unexpectedly busy cycle overall.

    This development cycle was supposed to be relatively calm after the anticipated rush to get work into the 4.14 long-term-support release. But, while 4.14 ended up with 13,452 non-merge changesets at release, 4.15-rc6 already has 14,226, making it one of the busiest releases in the kernel project's history. Only 4.9 (16,214 changesets) and 4.12 (14,570) brought in more work, and 4.15 may exceed 4.12 by the time it is finished. So far, 1,707 developers have contributed to this kernel; they added 725,000 lines of code while removing 407,000, for a net growth of 318,000 lines of code.

  • A new kernel polling interface

    Polling a set of file descriptors to see which ones can perform I/O without blocking is a useful thing to do — so useful that the kernel provides three different system calls (select(), poll(), and epoll_wait() — plus some variants) to perform it. But sometimes three is not enough; there is now a proposal circulating for a fourth kernel polling interface. As is usually the case, the motivation for this change is performance.
    On January 4, Christoph Hellwig posted a new polling API based on the asynchronous I/O (AIO) mechanism. This may come as a surprise to some, since AIO is not the most loved of kernel interfaces and it tends not to get a lot of attention. AIO allows for the submission of I/O operations without waiting for their completion; that waiting can be done at some other time if need be. The kernel has had AIO support since the 2.5 days, but it has always been somewhat incomplete. Direct file I/O (the original use case) works well, as does network I/O. Many other types of I/O are not supported for asynchronous use, though; attempts to use the AIO interface with them will yield synchronous behavior. In a sense, polling is a natural addition to AIO; the whole point of polling is usually to avoid waiting for operations to complete.

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