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Major Debian Linux Kernel Patch Fixes 8-Year-Old Privilege Escalation Flaw

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First and foremost, the security update again patches Debian GNU/Linux's kernel against both variants of the Spectre vulnerability (CVE-2017-5715 and CVE-2017-5753). These could allow an attacker that has control over an unprivileged process to read memory from arbitrary addresses, including kernel memory.

While Spectre Variant 2 was mitigated for the x86 architecture (amd64 and i386) via the retpoline compiler feature, Spectre Variant 1 was mitigated by first identifying the vulnerable code sections and then replacing the array access with the speculation-safe array_index_nospec() function.

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Raspberry Pi educational hacker kit includes 7-inch touchscreen

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Elecrow has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a “CrowPi” computer education kit for the Raspberry Pi, featuring a breadboard, servo, stepper motor, LEDs, and more, including a 7-inch touchscreen built into a briefcase.

On Kickstarter, Hong Kong based Elecrow is launching a CrowPi educational kit for teaching the basics of Raspberry Pi hardware hacking for classrooms or informal DIY education. The kit, which is available with or without a Raspberry Pi Zero or new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, is built around a CrowPi Development Board that fits into the bottom of the kit’s briefcase. When you flip up the top of the case, you’ll find the built-in 7-inch HD touchscreen. Different models bundle add-ons including a servo and stepper motor.

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Linux Foundation: vRAN, OPNFV and CNCF

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  • Is vRAN a Natural Fit For a Linux Foundation Project?

    A virtualized radio access network (vRAN) is a key part of the 5G network architecture as defined by the 3GPP. And vRAN is getting a lot of attention from network operators because it promises to lower operator capex and opex costs as well as make it possible for them to add new capabilities to the network more quickly.

    The growing interest in vRAN has prompted the creation of three different groups — the xRAN Forum, the Telecom Infra Project’s OpenRAN Group, and Cisco’s Open vRAN initiative. All of these groups say they are working to make the RAN more open by using standardized interfaces and white box network elements.

  • Open Source Network Functions Virtualization Project Brings NFV Closer to Cloud Native with Sixth Platform Release, OPNFV 'Fraser'

    The OPNFV Project, an open source project within The Linux Foundation that facilitates the development and evolution of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) components across various open source ecosystems through reference platform development, integration, deployment, and testing, today announced the availability of the sixth OPNFV platform release, OPNFV Fraser. Making the mission of OPNFV more operationally relevant, Fraser advances the state of NFV around cloud native applications and new upstream project integration while continuing end user support as they deploy and test virtualized networks.

  • Cloud Computing in Focus: Serverless, Microservices, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, and More

    Cloud computing concepts can seem as nebulous as clouds themselves, but in April, we published several cloud-related articles to help clarify a few underlying ideas and look at some specific implementations.

    This month, Swapnil Bhartiya tackled the subject of serverless computing with There’s a Server in Every Serverless Platform. According to a recent whitepaper from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Serverless Working Group, “serverless computing refers to the concept of building and running applications that do not require server management.” However, as Bhartiya explains, there are still servers involved.

Fedora 28 Released! Here are the New Features

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Fedora 28 has been released. Im proved battery life, Thunderbolt support, GNOME 3.28 are some of the new features. Have a look at other new features of Fedora 28.
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Release of Linux 4.16-ck1 and Plans for Linux 4.18

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  • linux-4.16-ck1, MuQSS version 0.171 for linux-4.16

    Announcing a new -ck release, 4.16-ck1 with the latest version of the Multiple Queue Skiplist Scheduler, version 0.171. These are patches designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity with specific emphasis on the desktop, but configurable for any workload.

  • Linux 4.16-ck1 Kernel Released, Bundles In The MuQSS 0.171 Scheduler

    Independent Linux kernel hacker Con Kolivas today released the Linux 4.16-ck1 stable kernel as his collection of kernel patches applied atop the vanilla Linux 4.16 upstream code-base. Most notable to that patch-set is the updated MuQSS 0.171 scheduler, which is also available for download on its own for patching against your own kernel build.

  • It's Looking Hopeful V3D DRM Driver Will Make It Into Linux 4.18

    Work continues in an expedited manner on the "V3D" DRM driver formerly known as VC5 for supporting next-generation graphics hardware found on Broadcom SoCs.

    A few weeks ago VC5/V3D began its review process for the mainline kernel while the Broadcom graphics driver developer Eric Anholt has expressed optimism in his latest status update that the new driver will be ready for merging with the next cycle, Linux 4.18.

Void Linux Infrastructure In Limbo With Project Leader M.I.A.

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The rolling-release Void Linux independent OS known for its XBPS package manager, use of Runit as an init system rather than systemd, LibreSSL rather than OpenSSL, and other offerings making this Linux distribution fairly different is in a bit of a trouble. The project leader of Void Linux is missing in action, making much of the project's infrastructure inaccessible.

There still are multiple members to the Void Core Team and others working on this independent Linux distribution, but their project leader has "disappeared". There's been no contact since January but no "meaningful contact" in over one year.

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Linux Mistakes Newbies Make

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If you are new to the world of Linux, it is important to learn from the mistakes that others have made before you so that you can avoid making them yourself. After all, while some mistakes can simply be annoying, others can be costly. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the common Linux newbie mistakes to avoid.

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Tough, COM-sized SBC runs Linux on i.MX6

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Versalogic unveiled a 95 x 95mm “Zebra” SBC that runs Linux on an i.MX6 Solo or DualLite SoC, and offers up to 4GB RAM, MikroBUS, CAN, -40 to 85°C support, and MIL-STD-202G shock/vibration resistance.

VersaLogic’s Zebra is its second rugged Arm-based SBC after the Tetra model launched in February. Whereas the Tetra offers a 125 x 95 COM Express Basic footprint and mounting holes, the Zebra has a 95 x 95mm COM Express Compact form factor and mounting holes. The smaller footprint is matched with a somewhat reduced feature set.

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Review: Observium open-source network monitoring won't run on Windows but has a great user interface, price

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Open source network-monitoring tools continue to gain in popularity, and Observium came up on our radar as an enterprise-grade offering. Deployed worldwide by large organizations like eBay, PayPal, Twitter and the US Department of Energy, Observium is capable of handling tens of thousands of devices. The client list is impressive, but our test reveals what’s really under the hood.

Observium runs on Linux but can monitor Windows and many other device types. The vendor recommends running Observium on Ubuntu/Debian, but it will also work on distros such as Red Hat/CentOS.

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Release of PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1

  • PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 Released!
    The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces that the first beta release of PostgreSQL 11 is now available for download. This release contains previews of all features that will be available in the final release of PostgreSQL 11, though some details of the release could change before then. In the spirit of the open source PostgreSQL community, we strongly encourage you to test the new features of PostgreSQL 11 in your database systems to help us eliminate any bugs or other issues that may exist. While we do not advise for you to run PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 in your production environments, we encourage you to find ways to run your typical application workloads against this beta release.
  • PostgreSQL 11 Beta 1 Released With JIT Compilation, More Performance Tuning
    The first beta of PostgreSQL 11.0 is now available for testing. Just yesterday we happened to be talking about the new features coming for PostgreSQL 11 and today happened to mark the beta availability. PostgreSQL 11 is bringing continued performance optimizations, better handling of large data sets, usability improvements. initial JIT compilation support by making use of LLVM, and more.

A free e-learning tool for creating digital content

It's common to see a software app stand still—no new versions, no updates. Eventually, it gets overtaken by advancing technology and its user base drifts away. Open source software is not immune to this fate, but it is easier to revive than commercial software, where optimistic accountants cling to the hope that it still holds financial value. eXeLearning (also called eXeLearn, or eXe), an open source XHTML editor that was created with support from Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, and Tairawhiti Polytechnic, achieved a measure of popularity among its target audience. The introduction to the version 1 manual described it as "an authoring environment to assist teachers and academics in the design, development, and publishing of web-based learning and teaching materials without the need to become proficient in HTML or complicated web-publishing applications." Despite a few annoying glitches, I liked and recommended that program. However, development stalled around 2010 and eXeLearning fell off my recommended list. eXeLearning is back on my list now. Read more

Graphics: Vega and Vulkan

  • Vega 20 GPU Support & VCN Clock/Power Gating Sent In For Linux 4.18
    Last week was the main AMDGPU features update for Linux 4.18 via DRM-Next while today a secondary pull request of further feature work has been submitted. Last week's AMDGPU update included Vega M GPU support for Kabylake G hardware, reserving the initial scan-out buffer prior to the driver initialization for a more seamless console to driver experience, Raven Ridge GFXOFF support, various Vega 10 updates, and more.
  • NVIDIA 396.24.02 Linux Driver Brings New Vulkan Extensions
    The NVIDIA 396.24.02 Linux driver is available today and while it's a beta update, it ends up being quite an exciting release thanks to new Vulkan extensions. The newly-supported Vulkan extensions for the Linux driver build include VK_KHR_draw_indirect_count, VK_EXT_global_priority, and VK_KHR_get_display_properties2.
  • Vulkan 1.1.76 Released With KHR_draw_indirect_count & KHR_get_display_properties2
    Vulkan 1.1.76 has just been released ahead of the US Memorial Day weekend with new extensions to excite Vulkan developers. The two new extensions in Vulkan 1.1.176 are VK_KHR_get_display_properties2 and VK_KHR_draw_indirect_count, both of which are notable additions.
  • Vulkan Adds An Exception To Address Wine's Code License Incompatibility
    The Vulkan's documentation/generator being re-licensed from an MIT-style license to the Apache 2.0 license had caused problems for the Wine project supporting newer than Vulkan 1.0.51, but fortunately that issue has been resolved. The previous re-licensing of Vulkan-Docs has caused some problems for the LGPL-licensed Wine code, as we've covered previously, but that technicality has now been addressed with The Khronos Group adding an exception to their license to benefit the Wine project and others using code generated from the Vulkan vk.xml reference file so as not to have (L)GPL and Apache licenses clash.

TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 Is the First Laptop Preloaded with openSUSE Leap 15

The OpenSuSE Project announced today that openSUSE Leap 15 is available for download as 64-bit installation images, which users would need to write on USB flash drives or DVDs to install the operating system on their personal computers. However, the openSUSE Leap 15 operating system also comes preloaded with the TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 laptop we reviewed last year and Linode cloud images. "Today’s public release of Leap 15 aren’t only released as DVD and Network ISO: Linode and hardware vendor TUXEDO Computers have cloud images through of Leap ready, too. While the brand new TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 is immediately available with Leap 15 preinstalled and ready-to-run, Linode has Leap available for all infrastructure needs," said openSUSE Project's Douglas DeMaio in today's announcement. Read more