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Stable kernels 4.14.69, 4.9.126, 4.4.155 and 3.18.122

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Linux

Linux 4.19-rc3

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Linux

Another week, another rc.

Things look fairly normal. The diffstat shows some unusual patterns,
but that's partly due to some late nds32 updates and nilfs2 got the
copyright messages converted to SPDX, and that just shows up like a
sore thumb in the diffstat.

But other than odd details like that, nothing really stands out.
Drivers, networking and arch fixes, with misc random small changes all
over (eg btrfs fixes).

Shortlog appended, in case people want to look at the details.

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Also: Linux 4.19-rc3 Kernel Released With The New CPU RNG Boot-Time Trust Option

Linux 4.19 Is Looking Good So Far, At Least On Intel Xeons

A Complete Guide to Create GIF in Linux

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Linux

A Complete Guide to Create GIF in Linux

The GIF aka Graphics Interchange Format was introduces on 1987 and became popular in web because of its low size, animation feature and of course portability. GIF can be created from a set of images Or, from a video clipping. This complete tutorial explains how to create GIF from -
- A Video File
- From Screencast
- Form a set of images

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Red Hat dev questions why older Linux kernels are patched quietly

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Linux
Security

A Linux developer who works for the biggest open source vendor Red Hat has questioned why security holes in older Linux kernels — those that are listed as having long-term support — are being quietly patched by senior kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, who is more or less deputy to Linux creator Linus Torvalds, without issuing the standard CVE advisories.

Last week, Wade Mealing raised questions with Kroah-Hartman about a specific patch that fixed a flaw that could lead to a denial of service.

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The best Linux apps for Chrome OS

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GNU
Linux
Google

Slowly but surely, Google is bringing support for Linux applications to Chrome OS. Even though the feature is primarily aimed at developers, like those who want to get Android Studio running on a Pixelbook, there are plenty of apps that can benefit normal users. We already have a guide about installing Linux apps on Chrome OS, but if you're not sure what to try, this post may point you in the right direction.

This isn't a simple compilation of the best Linux apps, because plenty of those exist already. Instead, the goal here is to recommend apps for tasks that cannot be adequately filled by web apps or Android applications. For example, serious photo editing isn't really possible through the web, and options on the Play Store are limited, but Gimp is perfect for it.

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Review: Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling edition

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GNU
Linux
Reviews

Netrunner Rolling is a distribution I thoroughly enjoyed using. There we a few minor issues, but overall everything worked great. The distribution came with enough software pre-installed that I really did not need to install any additional software to perform most basic tasks. Were I to use Netrunner Rolling long term, I might want to swap a few of the included programs for ones that were my own personal preference, but the software Netrunner Rolling ships with are good defaults. The only software oddity was being stuck on LibreOffice 5.4 for a while before finally upgrading to 6.0. Most of the other packages are up-to-date, often the absolutely newest possible version, but updates to LibreOffice packages are more conservative.

Users wanting the Arch Linux experience without the effort should give Netrunner Rolling a try. It provides a nice, polished KDE experience with a decent selection of software included by default. Netrunner's KDE customizations create a desktop experience that is simultaneously traditional and modern, providing a nice middle ground between the classic Windows-style desktop and GNOME 3 & Unity.

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Stable kernel Linux 4.18.7

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Linux

I'm announcing the release of the 4.18.7 kernel.

All users of the 4.18 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 4.18.y git tree can be found at:
git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.18.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...

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Set Background Wallpapers On i3wm

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Linux

i3wm is a tiling window manager that is powerful and resource efficient. It is used by many geeks who prefer more resources for their computers. I personally use it when I need to fire up virtualization software so my computer will have sufficient RAM for the guest OS.

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Linux 5.0/Linux 4.20 Changes

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Linux
  • Linux 4.20~5.0 Bringing More Intel Icelake Graphics Enablement

    This week Intel developers sent in their first batch of drm-intel-next feature changes to DRM-Next of new material that will be merged for the next kernel cycle whether it ends up being called Linux 4.20 or likely Linux 5.0.

    This first of several feature pull requests for this next kernel cycle is fairly basic and mostly is made up of continued work on Icelake support. Due to summer holidays drawing to an end, there isn't too much feature work part of this week's pull request but more features are expected to be queued in the weeks ahead.

  • NSA-Designed Speck Algorithm to Be Removed From Linux 4.20

    The NSA-designed Speck encryption algorithm will be removed from version 4.20 of the Linux kernel, after just recently being added to the Linux kernel version 4.17 in June. The move comes after the International Standards Organization (ISO) rejected two of NSA’s cryptographic designs, Simon and Speck, on the basis of not being trustworthy.

    [...]

    Both of the NSA-designed Speck and Simon algorithms were rejected by ISO because the NSA refused to provide certain technical details about their designs or answer certain questions about them. This is what ultimately led ISO to reject them as untrustworthy.

    This wouldn’t be the first time the NSA had attempted to get software or hardware providers to include weakened or backdoored cryptographic algorithms in their products. In the 1990’s the NSA tried to get all device makers to adopt the “Clipper Chip,” a crypto processor with a backdoor for the NSA, as well as forced browser vendors and other software providers to use weak encryption protocols via export restrictions and other government rules. Dan Bernstein, the inventor of the ChaCha algorithm that Google has now chosen for its low-end devices, was actually the one to sue the government and get those export restrictions on encryption invalidated.

    Even though the Speck algorithm will be removed from the next version of the Linux kernel (4.20), it will continue to live within kernel versions 4.17, 4.18, and 4.19. Those who run systems using these kernels will need to check whether or not their default storage encryption uses the Speck algorithm or not to be sure.

Kernel: Meltdown and Spectre, Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS)

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Linux
  • Another Minor Optimization Queued For Systems Mitigated Against Spectre / Meltdown

    On Intel systems affected by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, another minor optimization is on its way to the Linux kernel to ever so slightly lower the impact of the kernel-based page table isolation (PTI) mitigation.

    The minor optimization is removing the SYSCALL64 entry trampoline. On an Intel Skylake system with Retpolines and KPTI enabled, the syscall overhead dropped from about 237 ns down to 228 ns. It wouldn't be noticeable by itself, but for months already and likely for the foreseeable future until corrected CPUs are on the market, kernel engineers will continue to pursue every micro-optimization possible to help offset the performance losses introduced by the Spectre and Meltdown mitigation techniques. They have certainly made improvements to the performance since the original KPTI and Retpoline work since January, but in I/O heavy syscall heavy workloads there remains a generally noticeable overhead.

  • Amazon Implementing CFS Co-Scheduling For The Linux Kernel

    An Amazon developer working on the Linux kernel has posted perhaps their largest feature patch-set for the kernel: implementing co-scheduling support for the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS).

    Over a set of sixty patches, Jan H. Schoenherr of Amazon Germany has posted these patches to allow CFS to support coscheduling. The use-cases they had in mind while developing this kernel co-scheduling support includes possible virtual machine (VM) performance benefits, executing parallel applications with architecture-specific optimizations concurrently with other applications, reducing resource contention between independent applications, and supporting the management of multiple parallel applications. One of the important side benefits of this code is that it can close some side channel attack vulnerabilities or at least make them harder to exploit.

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CPod – A Simple, Beautiful And Cross-platform Podcast App

Podcasts have become very popular in the last few years. Podcasts are what’s called “infotainment”, they are generally light-hearted, but they generally give you valuable information. Podcasts have blown up in the last few years, and if you like something, chances are there is a podcast about it. There are a lot of podcast players out there for the Linux desktop, but if you want something that is visually beautiful, has slick animations, and works on every platform, there aren’t a lot of alternatives to CPod. CPod (formerly known as Cumulonimbus) is an open source and slickest podcast app that works on Linux, MacOS and Windows. CPod runs on something called Electron – a tool that allows developers to build cross-platform (E.g Windows, MacOs and Linux) desktop GUI applications. In this brief guide, we will be discussing – how to install and use CPod podcast app in Linux. Read more

today's howtos

Security: Updates, Anonymity, EFF and Open Source Security Podcast

  • Security updates for Monday
  • For Hackers, Anonymity Was Once Critical. That’s Changing.

    “This is a profession for a lot of people now,” she added. “And you can’t fill out a W-9 with your hacker handle.”

    [...]

    “The thing I worry about today,” he added, taking a more serious tone, “is that people don’t get do-overs.” Young people now have to contend with the real-name policy on Facebook, he said, along with the ever-hovering threats of facial-recognition software and aggregated data. “How are you going to learn to navigate in this world if you never get to make a mistake — and if every mistake you do make follows you forever?”

  • EFF Leader: Security Decisions Are Different When Women Are In The Room
    Women will have their technical credentials doubted throughout their career, said the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Eva Galperin, but being able to participate in important privacy and security decisions makes it worthwhile.
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 115 - Discussion with Brian Hajost from SteelCloud
    Josh and Kurt talk to Brian Hajost from SteelCloud about public sector compliance. The world of public sector compliance can be confusing and strange, but it's not that bad when it's explained by someone with experience.

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