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OSS

Get started with this open source to-do list manager

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Software
OSS

Last year, I brought you 19 days of new (to you) productivity tools for 2019. This year, I'm taking a different approach: building an environment that will allow you to be more productive in the new year, using tools you may or may not already be using.

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3 open source tools to manage your contacts

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OSS

I have collected a lot of email addresses over the course of my, well, life so far. And managing all that data can be a bit of a pain. There are web-based services, but they aren't as fast as a local copy.

A few days ago, I talked about vdirsyncer for managing calendars. Vdirsyncer also handles contacts using the CardDAV protocol. Vdirsyncer supports google_contacts and carddav to do contact synchronizations in addition to the filesystem store it uses for calendars, but the fileext setting will change, so you won't be trying to store contacts in calendar files.

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Kubernetes on MIPS

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Server
Hardware
OSS

Background

MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipelined Stages) is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA), appeared in 1981 and developed by MIPS Technologies. Now MIPS architecture is widely used in many electronic products.

Kubernetes has officially supported a variety of CPU architectures such as x86, arm/arm64, ppc64le, s390x. However, it’s a pity that Kubernetes doesn’t support MIPS. With the widespread use of cloud native technology, users under MIPS architecture also have an urgent demand for Kubernetes on MIPS.

Achievements

For many years, to enrich the ecology of the open-source community, we have been working on adjusting MIPS architecture for Kubernetes use cases. With the continuous iterative optimization and the performance improvement of the MIPS CPU, we have made some breakthrough progresses on the mips64el platform.

Over the years, we have been actively participating in the Kubernetes community and have rich experience in the using and optimization of Kubernetes technology. Recently, we tried to adapt the MIPS architecture platform for Kubernetes and achieved a new a stage on that journey. The team has completed migration and adaptation of Kubernetes and related components, built not only a stable and highly available MIPS cluster but also completed the conformance test for Kubernetes v1.16.2.

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Kubernetes: Looking for Bugs, New Study and SUSE's Stake

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Server
OSS
  • Announcing the Kubernetes bug bounty program

    We aimed to set up this bug bounty program as transparently as possible, with an initial proposal, evaluation of vendors, and working draft of the components in scope. Once we onboarded the selected bug bounty program vendor, HackerOne, these documents were further refined based on the feedback from HackerOne, as well as what was learned in the recent Kubernetes security audit. The bug bounty program has been in a private release for several months now, with invited researchers able to submit bugs and help us test the triage process. After almost two years since the initial proposal, the program is now ready for all security researchers to contribute!

    What’s exciting is that this is rare: a bug bounty for an open-source infrastructure tool. Some open-source bug bounty programs exist, such as the Internet Bug Bounty, this mostly covers core components that are consistently deployed across environments; but most bug bounties are still for hosted web apps. In fact, with more than 100 certified distributions of Kubernetes, the bug bounty program needs to apply to the Kubernetes code that powers all of them. By far, the most time-consuming challenge here has been ensuring that the program provider (HackerOne) and their researchers who do the first line triage have the awareness of Kubernetes and the ability to easily test the validity of a reported bug. As part of the bootstrapping process, HackerOne had their team pass the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.

  • Kubernetes: a secure, flexible and automated edge for IoT developers

    Cloud native software such as containers and Kubernetes and IoT/edge are playing a prominent role in the digital transformation of enterprise organisations. They are particularly critical to DevOps teams that are focused on faster software releases and more efficient IT operations through collaboration and automation. Most cloud native software is open source which broadens the developer pool contributing and customising the software. This has led to streamlined versions of Kubernetes with low footprints which are suited for IoT/edge workloads.

  • What’s New with SUSE CaaS Platform?

    SUSE CaaS Platform continues its steady pace of advancement, delivering new capabilities targeted at improving the Kubernetes platform operator experience. In addition to updating to Kubernetes 1.16, the SUSE CaaS Platform also now enables operators to consolidate operations across multi-cluster, multi-cloud, and multi-platform environments; to simplify cluster and application management with a web-based console; and to optimize system performance with powerful monitoring and management capabilities.

    Customer centricity was once again at the heart of feature considerations and enhancements for SUSE CaaS Platform. Over the past couple of weeks, we heard an increasing desire from our customers for key capabilities like the need for a unified management console and the need for more powerful data visualization. We listened to you, and your needs, and let that be our guide for development.

Funding for Curl and Research

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OSS
  • Daniel Stenberg: Backblazed

    libcurl is MIT licensed (well, a slightly edited MIT license) so there’s really not a lot a company need to do to follow the license, nor does it leave me with a lot of “muscles” or remedies in case anyone would blatantly refuse to adhere. However, the impression I had was that this company was one that tried to do right and this omission could then simply be a mistake.

    [...]

    At the same time, Backblaze also becomes the new largest single-shot donor to curl when they donated no less than 15,600 USD to the project, making the recent Indeed.com donation fall down to a second place in this my favorite new game of 2020.

    Why this particular sum you may ask?

  • Google gives $1 million to UVM to advance open source research

    Members of the UVM-Google team, left to right: Juniper Lovato, director of education and outreach for Complex Systems; Nick Cheney, research assistant professor, Computer Science; Jim Bagrow, associate professor, Mathematics and Statistics; Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, assistant professor, Computer Science; Julia Ferraioli, Open Source at Google; Peter Dodds, director of the Complex Systems Center and professor, Mathematics and Statistics; and Amanda Casari, Open Source at Google. (Photo: Brian Jenkins)

    Vermont Business Magazine The Google Open Source Programs Office, a division of Google that manages Google’s use and release of open source software and promotes open source programming, has provided the University of Vermont (UVM) Complex Systems Center a $1 million unrestricted gift to support open source research.

    Open source is about more than the software—it’s a framework that defines how software is created, released, shared, and distributed, as well as the community that is formed around it.

    [...]

    In addition to the core team, two postdoctoral positions are currently open in associated research areas. Other UVM faculty involved with the research include Josh Bongard, professor of Computer Science; Peter Dodds, professor of Mathematics and Statistics; Nick Cheney, research assistant professor of Computer Science; and Chris Danforth, professor of Mathematics and Statistics. The UVM program director is Juniper Lovato, director of outreach for the Complex Systems Center.

    The Google collaboration reflects UVM’s commitment to its land-grant mission to enhance the intellectual, human, economic and social capital of its community, the state, and the nation.

Openwashing Leftovers

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OSS
  • Actiontec Expands Its Role at prpl Foundation With Commitment to Enable Support for the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Data Elements Specification

    Actiontec Electronics announced that it is expanding its role at the prpl Foundation with a commitment to contribute code to support the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Data Elements Release 1 specification. Actiontec is already a member of the prpl Foundation, an open-source collaborative foundation that enables high-velocity, service-driven innovation on customer-premises equipment.

    Actiontec’s contribution will enable carriers deploying the prpl Foundation’s solution on their gateways to monitor in-home Wi-Fi performance, helping to ensure the best Wi-Fi experience for each subscriber. The WiFi Alliance’s Data Elements Specification defines a standard set of Wi-Fi parameters, making it easier for service providers to gather data across CPE devices from different vendors. Support for Wi-Fi Data Elements is a requirement for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh™ R2 certification.

  • Uber Open-sources Manifold Visual Debugging Tool for Machine Learning Researchers

    Manifold helps scientists and engineers identify performance issues through slices and models of ML data, and diagnose their real causes by surfacing variations in the distribution of features across data subsets.

    Uber recently announced that it is has released Manifold as an open source project. Manifold is a model-agnostic machine learning visual debugging tool that the company utilizes to identify issues in ML models. To provide the advantages of this tool to other ML practitioners. Manifold was first introduced in January 2019.

  • Lyft open-sources Flyte tool for managing machine learning workflows

    Ride-sharing company Lyft Inc. today said it has open-sourced a new debugging tool for artificial intelligence data that its pricing, locations, estimate time of arrivals, mapping and self-driving developer teams have been using in-house for the last three years.

    Flyte is described by Lyft as a “structured and distributed platform for concurrent, scalable and maintainable machine learning workflows.”

  • TIER IV Alliance with LG on Advanced Cloud Simulator Technology Expected to Accelerate Safe Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles

    Tier IV, a world leader in the open-source software development for self-driving technology known as Autoware, has entered into a strategic alliance with global innovator LG Electronics related to advanced simulator technology. The collaboration, which will provide a turnkey cloud service for simulation-based testing and verification of Autoware, is expected to contribute significantly to the deployment of emerging autonomous driving technologies.

  • MicroEJ is Releasing Studio V5 for Fast Open Source Embedded Software Development

    Today, MicroEJ is releasing the new V5 version of its free Studio, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for embedded software design, based on multi-languages, multi-libraries, and multi-app secure containers.

    It represents two years of intense efforts in close collaboration with its ecosystem of partners, customers and developers, to optimize software assets creation related to domains such as Security, User Interface, Communication, Numeric, and Simulation.

OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • T-Mobile Poland deploys ONF’s open-source EPC

    T-Mobile Poland is using OMEC’s gateway control, user plane and billing components to deliver a Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) service to its customers. The OMEC components include standard 3GPP interfaces for interconnecting to T-Mobile’s existing base stations, mobility management entities and lawful intercept platforms.

    Michal Sewera, head of the EPC Shared Service Center at T-Mobile Poland, commented, “Our OMEC deployment provides us with a lightweight packet core providing connectivity, billing and charging at scale for a large number of fixed-mobile subscribers.

  • This New Open Source Software Can Help Spot Cancerous Cells

    A global team of researchers say they have open sourced new software designed to assess the proportion of cancerous cells in a tumour sample, among a range of other functions that could make it easier to create personalised cancer treatment plans.

    Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Oregon Health & Science University, the www.bdi.ox.ac.uk, and the University of Toronto published the tools this week. They were released to accompany a study, published in Nature Biotechnology, that creates a benchmark approach to computational methods of assessing genetic diversity in a tumour.

    As the research team noted: “Cancers are often made up of many cells which vary genetically to each other. These genetic differences mean the cancer may be particularly susceptible or resistant to a given treatment.

    “As a result, identifying these variations can help clinicians decide which treatment is most likely to be successful for a specific patient.

  • US adds AI export hurdles. Open source might lessen the impact

    Industry is wary of broad government regulation which could hamper product innovation. In turn, regulators are cautious of what geopolitical impact the tech industry's global growth might have. The focus of the regulation strikes a balance between the two forces.

    Due to the open source availability of some of the technological elements that power geospatial software, rules in this field are "potentially less impactful than one might imagine," said Robert Cheetham, founder and CEO of Azavea, in an interview with CIO Dive.

    "Because so much of this work is happening in an open intellectual commons, from which everyone is drawing, contributing and participating in, it narrows the scope of what the regulation could cover," said Cheetham, whose B-corporation builds geospatial applications for civic and social impact.

  • Building a Real-Time App: 13 Open Source Projects You Should Be Tracking Right Now

    Open source is the dominant model of software consumption in the modern era. Cutting-edge startups and entrenched incumbents alike find open source software development and community building a significant part of their overall business strategies.

    [...]

    There are seemingly limitless open source projects to evaluate. Further complicating matters, each project has its own domain competence and cultural nuances. Considering a single distributed application will have tens or (many) more open source dependencies, development teams must continuously test new open source offerings and hone new skills to use these solutions, while simultaneously architecting their applications.

    In order to help sort through the noise, I’ve looked at six categories of open source projects for this article: data storage, message systems, service meshes, REST frameworks and streaming frameworks. For each category, I’ll identify any dominant players as well as some other projects of note.

  • These Open Source Habits Could Make Your Career

    On an average day, Ryan McKinley gets about four job offers from companies that use — or want to use — the search engine Apache Lucene.

    That’s because McKinley, as an early contributor to Lucene’s open source codebase, is one of a handful of developers with the authority to make high-level changes within the project.

    McKinley, however, isn’t looking for work. He’s the VP of applications at recently formed Grafana Labs, which builds commercial-grade software atop the Grafana open source project. The company hired him because he was the project’s leading community contributor.

    After decades using open source to advance his projects and his career, McKinley has a few takeaways for engineers looking to parlay open source contributions into career growth.

Events: conf.kde.in, FOSS conferences and GNU Guix

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GNU
KDE
OSS
  • conf.kde.in (beforehand)

    It’s been ages since I last saw Shantanu, and many of the other speakers are new to me. I’m particularly interested in the Malayalam angle presented by Subin Siby, for one thing because the Malayalam translation of Calamares is a work of art.

    I’m presenting a few things at the conference – something about Calamares, and also something about using Transifex. Getting good translations for Free Software products is an important thing for making that Free Software available to the next billion Free Software contributors. (The “next billion” is something I’ll credit Samson Goddy and the Open Source Festival with; I dream of speaking there some day as well.)

    The conference schedule is somewhat relaxed, so I expect to spend lots of time either sitting and hacking with attendees, or coming up with impromptu sessions on other topics. For season of KDE there are a couple of projects related to Rocs (a graph theory IDE) which I’m mentoring, and there’s always room for more work, more enthusiastic users.

  • Efstathios Iosifidis: How to survive a health crisis during a FOSS conference

    The title describes everything. This is not only for FOSS conferences but events in general. Attending a conference meens meet friends (usually you meet once a year) and have fun in general.

    The organizers are responsible for everything that happens during the conference hours. We are grown people, so we have to be responsible for the rest of the day. Sometimes bad things might happen (bad: the critical meaning is health issues). Although the organizers aren't responsible for that, they are the key people, who know the system at their country and it's good and human thing to help the person with the problem. Everyone wants to have fun and be happy at the end of the conference.

    Being an organizer and volunteer, I lived the frustration of having everything covered. I lived couple of times the health crisis during the conference.

    Here are some points to cover before and during the conference. Please leave a comment if you want to share your experience.

  • Join GNU Guix through Outreachy Join GNU Guix through Outreachy

    We are happy to announce that for the fourth time GNU Guix offers a three-month internship through Outreachy, the inclusion program for groups traditionally underrepresented in free software and tech.

  • Meet Guix at FOSDEM

    As usual, GNU Guix will be present at FOSDEM on February 1st and 2nd. This year, we’re happy to say that there will be quite a few talks about Guix and related projects!

LMMS: A Free & Open Source Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

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OSS

LMMS is a cross-platform open source DAW hosted on GitHub. It is completely free to use and you do not need to purchase any kind of license to use it.

If you’re curious, there’s no specific full-form for “LMMS” acronym but you can consider it along the lines of “Let’s Make Music” or formerly known as “Linux MultiMedia Studio” as stated in one of their official forum post years back.

So, with the help of LMMS, you should be able to work on making music on Linux.

Of course, you should not expect a free DAW to replace a full-fledged professional DAW bundled with proprietary plugins – but for starters, it isn’t a bad one.

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OSS Leftovers

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OSS
  • The IT Pro Podcast: Does open source have a place in public sector IT?

    While there are some unique problems facing public sector IT, many of them are universal. From mitigating the tech skills gap and dealing with legacy kit and contracts, to allocating budget effectively and choosing a cloud strategy, the sheer vastness of government means there are many lessons to learn – including whether moving to open source can be the answer to many of the headaches facing IT leaders today.

    In the latest episode of the IT Pro Podcast, Jane and Adam are joined by Adrian Keward, chief technologist, public sector at Red Hat to discuss the challenges facing public sector today, and some of the solutions that are being found.

  • Boost Note: Open-Source Note Taking App's New Version Is Out Now

    Programmers are known for taking lots of notes, which come from all sorts of ideas. To ensure that they are able to save the notes in an organized and structured manner, a solution specifically designed for the developers is available with Boost Note, an intuitive and stylish markdown editor for the developers. Developed by a company called 'BoostIO', Boost Note is available as a fully open-source desktop app for Mac, Windows and Linux.

  • 10 Best Open Source Accounting software in 2020

    Open Source Accounting software that available online are only a handful with good capabilities, however, enough to start and perform day to day accounting stuff. You can use them to manage invoices, billing, transaction records, a note of incoming and outgoing funds to manage your personal or enterprise finances. Well, also take one thing into cognizance that few opensource accounting solutions are only available of Linux users.

    Thus, if you are planning to download and start using one then no need to surf dozens of online pages, here is the list of best open source accounting software to manage your financials.

  • How the open-source movement in India has progressed | The Hindu Parley podcast

    Open Source has been part and parcel of software programming in India for a while now. Free sharing has been an ideal for long. But have Big Tech proprietary firms co-opted the open-source platforms along the way?

  • What is the state of ‘open source’ in India today?

    Venkatesh Hariharan: When we started the campaign for more OS in 2000, we had political, cultural and economic reasons to believe it was important. Politically, we wanted to ensure more diversity in the kind of players that existed in the market with twin objectives: that we were independent from a technology standpoint and that software was localised to Indian languages. From a cost perspective, if we were dependent on multinational companies for core technology like operating systems, that would have been a drain on the exchequer. So that was the logic. Today, some of the largest e-governance projects and start-ups in India are running on OS. The early days when we had to campaign for people to use OS is over; now we are in a new era where OS is the new normal.

    [...]

    VH: We’re living in an era where data is abundant and I look at the commonality between code and data. The ideals of the OS movement were about collaboration and the shared ownership of knowledge. And within that context, the proliferation of data and the fact that it’s only a few players who are able to monetise that data means that we now need to move to an era where it’s not just a few platforms that benefit from our data, but that individuals are able to leverage and are empowered with their own data. So, in a sense, I see a commonality with the OS movement in that even a college student sitting in Sweden or any other part of the world should be able to write an operating system that can be used in any part of the world. Now, we should be able to build systems where individuals can take control of their data and be in control of how other people monetise it and leverage it for loans, etc.

  • commercetools: how GraphQL works for front-end developers

    GraphQL is a layer that sits on top of REST APIs, any application or data store — and it makes the process of data retrieval and extraction across multiple APIs easy.

    Say you’re a developer for a retailer tasked with rendering a page for a product. You’ve already built a catalogue of 300 REST APIs and now need your product detail page to access data including product description, price and similar item information.

  • Open source community lagging in diversity

    Tech companies that build diverse and inclusive workforces are more successful than companies that don’t, according to a recently released report from the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) in Finland.

    The report, “Inclusion and Diversity: Tech It or Leave IT”, found that companies which invest in and recruit women and minority staff at every level of their organisation function better, produce products that are appealing to more people and earn higher revenues.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: ALBERT

    Google is open-sourcing a “lite” version of their BERT natural language processing (NLP) pre-training technique. ALBERT is an updated version of BERT that improves 12 NLP tasks, including the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD v2.0) and the SAT reading comprehension RACE benchmark.

    BERT was first open sourced by Google at the end of 2018, and since then, natural language research has reached a new paradigm of leveraging large volumes of existing text to pretrain model parameters, the company explained.

  • Google Open-Sources ALBERT Natural Language Model

    Google AI has open-sourced A Lite Bert (ALBERT), a deep-learning natural language processing (NLP) model, which uses 89% fewer parameters than the state-of-the-art BERT model, with little loss of accuracy. The model can also be scaled-up to achieve new state-of-the-art performance on NLP benchmarks.

  • [Older] Is the open-source technology Zeek, one of the most trusted but underappreciated tools in security?

    Think back to the mid-1990s. If you’re old enough, you remember the emergence of Mosaic, the first web browser, which was released in 1993 and precipitated the explosion that came to be known as the “dot com” boom. Internet traffic grew exponentially as it was transformed from a DARPA-funded defence and academic network used by few businesses into the platform that drove e-commerce, global communication and the disruption of many industries.

  • The Talospace Project: Firefox 72 on POWER

    Firefox 72 builds out of the box and uneventfully on OpenPOWER. The marquee feature this time around is picture-in-picture, which is now supported in Linux and works just fine for playing Trooper Clerks ("salsa shark! we're gonna need a bigger boat!"). The blocking of fingerprinting scripts should also be very helpful since it will reduce the amount of useless snitchy JavaScript that gets executed. The irony of that statement on a Blogger site is not lost on me, by the way.

    The bug that mashed Firefox 71 (ultimately fallout from bug 1601707 and its many dupes) did not get fixed in time for Firefox 72 and turned out to be a compiler issue. The lifetime change that the code in question relies upon is in Clang 7 and up, but unless you are using a pre-release build this fix is not (yet) in any official release of gcc 9 or 10. As Clang is currently unable to completely build the browser on ppc64le, if your extensions are affected (mine aren't) you may want to add this patch which was also landed on the beta release channel for Firefox 73.

  • Curl Boosted By Donation

    Curl, an open source project that is widely used to transfer data, has been given a donation of $10K by indeed.com, the self-proclaimed #1 job site. The donation was made through Open Collective and is the largest single donation the project has ever received.

    [...]

    Open Collective brings transparency to giving and receiving funds for Open Source and enable us to see that this is the fourth donation of 10K USD made by indeed.com - the others being to webpack, pytest and ESLint.

    Stenberg's blog post acknowledges curl's other sponsors. They fall into two categories - financial backers and those who provide time and effort - notable here is wolfSSL which employs Daniel and allows him to spend paid work hours on curl.

    [...]

    So the good news is that curl has not only gained valuable funding but may also in future benefit from membership of the Linux Foundation.

  • OSI co-founder leaves initiative over new license

    “Legally, our license can only protect the code that WE wrote. Our software is being licensed by a DEVELOPER to run their app (the currency, chat, or social network they just built) on top of Holochain. We are trying to say: The only valid way to use our code is if that developer’s END-USERS are the sole authors and controllers of their own private crypto keys,” Brock wrote.

    Perens has expressed concerns on how the license will actually be used and how it will impact users and software freedoms in practice. Now that it looks like the OSI might approve the practice, he is looking to make an exit.

    In an email thread about the Cryptographic Autonomy License, he wrote:

    “Well, it seems to me that the organization is rather enthusiastically headed toward accepting a license that isn’t freedom respecting. Fine, do it without me, please. I asked Patrick to cancel my membership, and I would have unsubscribed from OSI lists, including this one, if your server was working. I own an interest in 10 Open Source companies and manage a 50 Million dollar portfolio investing in them. That will keep me involved enough.”

    In an interview with The Register, Perens expressed more concerns with how the license is used and written. He believes the license requires users to have access to a lawyer in order to understand it, which is not the way he believes licenses should be developed for open source.

    “Most people who develop open source don’t have access to lawyers,” he told the Register. “One of the goals for open source was you could use it without having to hire a lawyer. You could put [open source software] on your computer and run it and if you don’t redistribute or modify it, you don’t really have to read the license.”

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Security Leftovers

  • Avoiding gaps in IOMMU protection at boot

    When you save a large file to disk or upload a large texture to your graphics card, you probably don't want your CPU to sit there spending an extended period of time copying data between system memory and the relevant peripheral - it could be doing something more useful instead. As a result, most hardware that deals with large quantities of data is capable of Direct Memory Access (or DMA). DMA-capable devices are able to access system memory directly without the aid of the CPU - the CPU simply tells the device which region of memory to copy and then leaves it to get on with things. However, we also need to get data back to system memory, so DMA is bidirectional. This means that DMA-capable devices are able to read and write directly to system memory. As long as devices are entirely under the control of the OS, this seems fine. However, this isn't always true - there may be bugs, the device may be passed through to a guest VM (and so no longer under the control of the host OS) or the device may be running firmware that makes it actively malicious. The third is an important point here - while we usually think of DMA as something that has to be set up by the OS, at a technical level the transactions are initiated by the device. A device that's running hostile firmware is entirely capable of choosing what and where to DMA. Most reasonably recent hardware includes an IOMMU to handle this. The CPU's MMU exists to define which regions of memory a process can read or write - the IOMMU does the same but for external IO devices. An operating system that knows how to use the IOMMU can allocate specific regions of memory that a device can DMA to or from, and any attempt to access memory outside those regions will fail. This was originally intended to handle passing devices through to guests (the host can protect itself by restricting any DMA to memory belonging to the guest - if the guest tries to read or write to memory belonging to the host, the attempt will fail), but is just as relevant to preventing malicious devices from extracting secrets from your OS or even modifying the runtime state of the OS. But setting things up in the OS isn't sufficient. If an attacker is able to trigger arbitrary DMA before the OS has started then they can tamper with the system firmware or your bootloader and modify the kernel before it even starts running. So ideally you want your firmware to set up the IOMMU before it even enables any external devices, and newer firmware should actually do this automatically. It sounds like the problem is solved.

  • Our upcoming Webinar on Security with Ubuntu and IBM Z

    My first interaction with the Ubuntu community was in March of 2005 when I put Ubuntu on an old Dell laptop and signed up for the Ubuntu Forums. This was just a few years into my tech career and I was mostly a Linux hobbyist, with a handful of junior systems administrator jobs on the side to do things like racking servers and installing Debian (with CDs!). Many of you with me on this journey have seen my role grow in the Ubuntu community with Debian packaging, local involvement with events and non-profits, participation in the Ubuntu Developer Summits, membership in the Ubuntu Community Council, and work on several Ubuntu books, from technical consultation to becoming an author on The Official Ubuntu Book. These days I’ve taken my 15+ years of Linux Systems Administration and open source experience down a slightly different path: Working on Linux on the mainframe (IBM Z). The mainframe wasn’t on my radar a year ago, but as I got familiar with the technical aspects, the modernization efforts to incorporate DevOps principles, and the burgeoning open source efforts, I became fascinated with the platform. As a result, I joined IBM last year to share my discoveries with the broader systems administration and developer communities. Ubuntu itself got on board with this mainframe journey with official support for the architecture (s390x) in Ubuntu 16.04, and today there’s a whole blog that gets into the technical details of features specific to Ubuntu on the mainframe: Ubuntu on Big Iron I’m excited to share that I’ll be joining the author of the Ubuntu on Big Iron blog, Frank Heimes, live on February 6th for a webinar titled How to protect your data, applications, cryptography and OS – 100% of the time. I’ll be doing an introduction to the IBM Z architecture (including cool hardware pictures!) and general security topics around Linux on Z and LinuxONE.

  • Intel Makes Public Two More Data Leakage Disclosures

    Intel last night made public two more data leakage disclosures, which tie back to Zombieload and November's TAA issue. [...] As of writing no CPU microcode updates have been released for Linux users but as soon as that happens I'll begin with some tests for seeing any new performance overhead.

  • Canonical Outs Major Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Kernel Security Update for Cloud Users

    New Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel security update addresses 15 vulnerabilities in the Linux 5.0 kernel packages for various cloud systems.

Data transfer in GTK4

  • Data transfer in GTK4

    The traditional methods for user-initiated data transfers between desktop apps are the clipboard or Drag-and-Drop. GTK+ has supported these methods since the beginning of time, but up until GTK3, the APIs we had for this kind of data transfer were thinly disguised copies of the corresponding X11 apis: selections, and properties and atoms. This is not too surprising, since the entire GDK api was modeled on X11. Unfortunately, the implementation includes horrors such as incremental transfers and string format conversions. For GTK4, we’re leaving these things behind as we are moving things in GDK around to be closer to the Wayland API. Data transfer is one the areas in most urgent need of this modernization. Thankfully, it is almost complete at this point, so it is worth taking a look at what has changed, and how things will work in the future.

  • GTK4 Data Transfer APIs Being Modernized Around Wayland

    Red Hat's Matthias Clasen has provided an update on one of the latest areas the GTK developers are working on finishing up with the forthcoming GTK 4.0 tool-kit... Improving the data transfer interfaces around handling for copy/paste and drag-and-drop. With GTK4, the data transfer interfaces are being re-engineered with an emphasis on moving closer to the Wayland API where as with GTK3 the GDK API was modeled on the X11 interfaces.

Ditch Windows 7 For Ubuntu Linux With This Great Guide

If you’re still using Windows 7 and not paying for extended support (likely the vast majority of home users), you’re entering very risky waters. Microsoft won’t be sending along any more updates or security patches which leaves you exposed to all kinds of nastiness. You may be considering upgrading to Windows 10, or even buying a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed since many older computers don’t meet the hardware requirements to run the latest version of Microsoft’s OS. But Canonical, the company behind the Linux distribution Ubuntu, has published a new guide to ease you through the transition from Windows 7 to Linux. Read more

LibreOffice 6.4 Released, This is What’s New

LibreOffice 6.4 is here, serving as the latest stable release of this hugely popular open source productivity suite And, as you’d expect, LibreOffice 6.4 features a veritable crop of core updates and key improvements. The Document Foundation, the non-profit organisation who help steer development of this free office software, say LibreOffice 6.4 is a “performance-focused” release that features “almost perfect support for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.” It’s also the first major release of LibreOffice to be made in the suite’s tenth anniversary year. For more on what’s new, read on! Read more Also: Performance-focused LibreOffice 6.4 is available for download We Love Performance... So We Love LibreOffice 6.4 With This Office Suite Now Running Faster LibreOffice 6.4 released LibreOffice 6.4 Released. This is What’s New. LibreOffice Office Suite 6.4 Released [Ubuntu PPA]