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From There to Here (But Not Back Again)

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Red Hat

Red Hat Product Security recently celebrated our 15th anniversary this summer and while I cannot claim to have been with Red Hat for that long (although I’m coming up on 8 years myself), I’ve watched the changes from the “0day” of the Red Hat Security Response Team to today. In fact, our SRT was the basis for the security team that Mandrakesoft started back in the day.

In 1999, I started working for Mandrakesoft, primarily as a packager/maintainer. The offer came, I suspect, because of the amount of time I spent volunteering to maintain packages in the distribution. I also was writing articles for TechRepublic at the time, so I also ended up being responsible for some areas of documentation, contributing to the manual we shipped with every boxed set we sold (remember when you bought these things off the shelf?).

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Intel Cache Allocation Technology / RDT Still Baking For Linux

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Not mentioned in my earlier features you won't find in the Linux 4.9 mainline kernel is support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) but at least it was revised this weekend in still working towards mainline integration.

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Also: Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics Haven't Gotten Faster In Recent Years

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 "Erik" & 8.15 "Nev" Receive Latest Debian Security Updates

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After releasing the first Test build of the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" operating system a couple of days ago, today, October 23, 2016, the Parsix GNU/Linux development team announced the availability of new security updates for all supported Parsix GNU/Linux releases.

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 "Erik" is the current stable release of the Debian-based operating system, and it relies on the Debian Stable (Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie") software repositories. On the other hand Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" is the next major version, which right now is in development, but receives the same updates as the former.

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Chakra GNU/Linux Users Receive KDE Plasma 5.8.2 and KDE Apps 16.08.2, Lots More

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With great pleasure, Chakra GNU/Linux developers Neofytos Kolokotronis informed the community about the latest open source software projects and technologies that landed in the stable repositories of the distribution originally based on Arch Linux.

Just like Arch Linux, Chakra GNU/Linux is a rolling operating system, which means that users always receive the latest updates without having to download a new ISO image and reinstall. And today, we're happy to inform our Chakra GNU/Linux users that they've received the newest KDE Plasma 5.8.2 LTS desktop environment.

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Linux 4.9-rc2

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  • Linux 4.9-rc2

    I'm back on my usual Sunday afternoon release schedule, and 4.9-rc2 is out.

    My favorite new feature that I called out in the rc1 announcement (the
    virtually mapped stacks) is possibly implicated in some crashes that
    Dave Jones has been trying to figure out, so if you want to be helpful
    and try to see if you can give more data, please make sure to enable

    .. and on the other hand, if you want to just not have to worry about
    _that_ particular issue, disable the virtually mapped stacks it for
    now, but please do help test.

    Because 4.9 is obviously shaping up to be a big release (I haven't
    done the actual stats yet, but I think it's the biggest in number of
    commits we've ever had), and I think Greg is also planning on making
    it an LTS release. The two may be related, with people pushing to get
    their stuff ready. Regardless, the more people who help test, and the
    earlier in the rc series those people start testing, the better off
    we'll be. Hint hint.

    Ok, enough about that. rc2 itself isn't huge, but that's a fairly
    common pattern: either people just take a breather after the merge
    window, or it simply takes a while for the fallout of new code to be
    found, so rc2 is usually a fairly small rc.

    But we have stuff pretty much all over the map: drivers dominate (gpu
    drivers stand out, but there's ipmi, clocksource, mmc, pinctrl, HID,
    scsi, nvme .. you name it). Add some architecture updates (x86 and
    arm64) and a few filesystems (ext4, nfs, ceph, f2fs), and some VM
    cleanups and one big fix, and you've covered most of it.

    The appended shortlog gives the details, and for even more detail you
    can always go to the git tree itself.


  • Linus Torvalds Announces the Second Release Candidate of Linux Kernel 4.9 LTS

    It's still Sunday in the US, which means that it's time for you to take yet another RC (Release Candidate) milestone of the upcoming Linux 4.9 kernel release for a test drive.

    That's right, Linus Torvalds just announced the second Release Candidate for Linux kernel 4.9, which lands eight days after the first one and appears to be fairly normal development snapshot that includes lots of updated drivers, mostly for GPU, but also HID, SCSI, MMC, PINCTRL, IMPI, and clocksource, various x86 and ARM64 architecture updates, improvemnts to the EXT4, F2FS, Ceph, and NFS filesystems, and some VM cleanups.

  • Linux 4.9-rc2 Kernel Released

    Linux 4.9-rc2 is now available as the latest test release of this forthcoming kernel update.

    Over the past week there's been a fair number of merges of bug/regression fixes for this stage of Linux 4.9 development, one week since the closure of the merge window.

    We've already written a lot about Linux 4.9, including our detailed Linux 4.9 feature overview for those interested in the fun changes of this next kernel release.

Netrunner Core 16.09 "Avalon" Is Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8, KDE Plasma 5.7.5

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Today, October 23, 2016, the development team behind the Debian-based Netrunner GNU/Linux distribution proudly announced the release of Netrunner Core 16.09 "Avalon."

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Kernel Space/Linux

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  • Linux 4.9's Efficient BPF-based Profiler

    Linux 4.9 skips needing the file entirely, and its associated overheads. I wrote about this as a missing BPF feature in March. It is now done.

  • UBIFS Working On File Encryption Support

    Following EXT4 file-system encryption and F2FS per-file encryption support, the UBIFS file-system is also bringing in encryption support built off this fscrypto framework used by EXT4/F2FS.

    In making use of fscrypto, the UBIFS file-system encryption support is similar to the EXT4/F2FS implementations and supports not only encrypting the file contents but also the file name. In making use of this framework, it only took around one thousand lines of new code to make it happen from the kernel-side while the user-space changes for supporting UBIFS encryption are still baking. UBIFS for those out of the look is the Unsorted Block Image File-System that's built atop UBI and designed for raw flash memory media.

  • An important set of stable kernel updates
  • Linux Kernels 3.16.38, 3.12.66, 3.10.104, and 3.2.83 Patched Against "Dirty COW"

    We reported the other day that an ancient bug, which existed in the Linux kernel since 2005, was patched in several recent updates, namely Linux kernel 4.8.3, Linux kernel 4.7.9, and Linux kernel 4.4.26 LTS.

    One day later, the maintainers of other supported Linux kernel branches patched the bug, which is dubbed by researchers as "Dirty COW" and documented as CVE-2016-5195. As such, today we'd like to inform those of running GNU/Linux distributions powered by kernels from the Linux 3.16, 3.12, 3.10, and 3.2 series that new updates are available for their systems.

  • Linux users warned over serious vulnerability affecting many versions
  • MuQSS - The Multiple Queue Skiplist Scheduler v0.112

    It's getting close now to the point where it can replace BFS in -ck releases. Thanks to the many people testing and reporting back, some other misbehaviours were discovered and their associated fixes have been committed.

  • Linux Raid mdadm md0

    Linux Raid is the de-facto way for decades in the linux-world on how to create and use a software raid. RAID stands for: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Some people use the I for inexpensive disks, I guess that works too!

  • On Linux kernel maintainer scalability

    LWN's traditional development statistics article for the 4.6 development cycle ended with a statement that the process was running smoothly and that there were no process scalability issues in sight. Wolfram Sang started his 2016 LinuxCon Europe talk by taking issue with that claim. He thinks that there are indeed scalability problems in the kernel's development process. A look at his argument is of interest, especially when contrasted with another recent talk on maintainer scalability.

  • First comparison of Vulkan API vs OpenGL ES API on ARM
  • Prime Indicator Plus Makes It Easy To Switch Between Nvidia And Intel Graphics (Nvidia Optimus)

    The original Prime Indicator hasn't been updated since February, 2015. André Brait forked the indicator (while also using code from the Linux Mint version), improving it with both new functionality and bug fixes, and the new app is called Prime Indicator Plus.

    Using the nvidia-prime package, Ubuntu users can switch between Intel and Nvidia graphics by using Nvidia Settings (under PRIME Profiles), which then requires restarting the session (logout/login) to apply the changes. Prime Indicator makes this easier, by allowing you to switch graphics from the indicator menu, including triggering the logout.

  • Features You Will Not Find In The Mesa 13.0 Release

    While Mesa 13.0 is coming along for release next month with exciting features like OpenGL 4.5 for Intel, unofficial GL 4.4/4.5 for RadeonSI/NVC0, and the addition of the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver, there is some functionality that sadly won't be found in this release.

    Below are some features/functionality not currently found in Mesa 13.0. Some of the mentioned items have patches floating on the mailing list that weren't merged in time while other items are more along the lines of pipe-dreams that would have been fun to see in Mesa for 2016.

  • Crucial MX300: Good Linux Performance, 525GB SSD For Only $120 USD

What Drew Me to Solus?

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I’ve been using Windows since Windows 95 until the current version, Windows 10 but nn personal usage, I am not using any Windows operating system since Windows Vista. I have enough with Windows and fully switch to Ubuntu since 2010. I started with Ubuntu for a couple of releases till I fed up with it’s release cycle that i need to update distro by re-installing the it in every 6 months. Most of Linux enthusiast will advise me to stick with Long Term Support releases if I do not want to keep updating the OS. Somehow I am the person who constantly chasing for the latest software which the open source world is able to provide to the end user.

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Also: Solus 1.2.1 Shannon Released

Blockchain and FOSS

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  • R3 Finally Open Sources Blockchain Project, Admits Budget Difficulty

    One major criticism on private Blockchain development initiatives led by banks and financial institutions has been the ambiguity in the coding language and structure of permissioned ledgers. The R3 Consortium is attempting to neutralize it by open sourcing its technology.

    R3 Corda, a private Blockchain platform specifically developed for financial establishments with massive transactional volumes by R3CEV, is officially rendered open source by the consortium after over 70 of its member financial institutions came to a consensus in setting a standard for the Blockchain technology.

  • Blockchain-Fueled Open-Source P2P Energy Trading System Wins Energy Hackathon

    Following a weekend of solution seeking, collaboration and competition, the highlight of the Hackenergy 2016 event was a blockchain-fueled peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading system called EcoCoin, which grabbed top honors.

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More in Tux Machines

TheSSS 20.0 Server-Oriented Linux Distro Ships with Linux Kernel 4.4.17, PHP 5.6

4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia today, October 26, 2016, about the release and immediate availability of version 20.0 of his server-oriented TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) GNU/Linux distribution. Read more

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Daily Build ISO Images Are Now Available for Download

Now that the upcoming Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system is officially open for development, the first daily build ISO images have published in the usual places for early adopters and public testers. Read more

Today in Techrights

OSS Leftovers

  • Chain Releases Open Source Blockchain Solution for Banks
    Chain, a San Francisco-based Blockchain startup, launched the Chain Core Developer Edition, which is a distributed ledger infrastructure built for banks and financial institutions to utilize the Blockchain technology in mainstream finance. Similar to most cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin, developers and users are allowed to run their applications and platforms on the Chain Core testnet, a test network sustained and supported by leading institutions including Microsoft and the Initiative for Cryptocurrency and Contracts (IC3), which is operated by Cornell University, UC Berkeley and University of Illinois.
  • Netflix Upgrades its Powerful "Chaos Monkey" Open Cloud Utility
    Few organizations have the cloud expertise that Netflix has, and it may come as a surprise to some people to learn that Netflix regularly open sources key, tested and hardened cloud tools that it has used for years. We've reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting "Monkey" cloud tools as part of its "simian army," which it has deployed as a series satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform. Netflix previously released Chaos Monkey, a utility that improves the resiliency of Software as a Service by randomly choosing to turn off servers and containers at optimized tims. Now, Netflix has announced the upgrade of Chaos Monkey, and it's worth checking in on this tool.
  • Coreboot Lands More RISC-V / lowRISC Code
    As some early post-Coreboot 4.5 changes are some work to benefit fans of the RISC-V ISA.
  • Nextcloud Advances with Mobile Moves
    The extremely popular ownCloud open source file-sharing and storage platform for building private clouds has been much in the news lately. CTO and founder of ownCloud Frank Karlitschek resigned from the company a few months ago. His open letter announcing the move pointed to possible friction created as ownCloud moved forward as a commercial entity as opposed to a solely community focused, open source project. Karlitschek had a plan, though. He is now out with a fork of ownCloud called Nextcloud, and we've reported on strong signs that this cloud platform has a bright future. In recent months, the company has continued to advance Nextcloud. Along with Canonical and Western Digital, the partners have launched an Ubuntu Core Linux-based cloud storage and Internet of Things device called Nextcloud Box, which we covered here. Now, Nextcloud has moved forward with some updates to its mobile strategy. Here are details.
  • Using Open Source for Data
    Bryan Liles, from DigitalOcean, explains about many useful open source big data tools in this eight minute video. I learned about Apache Mesos, Apache Presto, Google Kubernetes and more.