The number of tasks which lend themselves to being unikernels is larger than you might think. In 2015, Martin Lucina announced the successful creation of a “RAMP” stack. A variant of the common “LAMP” stack (Linux. Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python), the “RAMP” stack employs NGINX, MySQL, and PHP each built on Rumprun. Rumprun is an instance of a Rump kernel, which is a unikernel system based on the modular operating system functions found in the NetBSD project. So even this very common solution stack can be successfully converted into unikernels.
Operating systems can be called monitors as they handle system calls from userland processes. A similar task is performed by debuggers as they implement monitors for traced applications and interpret various events that occurred in tracees and are messaged usually with signals to their tracers. During this month I have started a new Process Plugin within LLDB to incept NativeProcessNetBSD - copied from NativeProcessLinux - implementing basic functionality and handling all the needed events in the MonitorCallback() function. To achieve these tasks, I had to add a bunch of new ptrace(2) interfaces in the kernel to cover all that is required by LLDB monitors. The current Process Plugin for NetBSD is capable to start a process, catch all the needed events correctly and if applicable resume or step the process.
NetBSD developers have been implementing the relevant interfaces needed for the LLVM debugger to effectively monitor and work on the operating system. As part of that they have also improved some of their own documentation, provided new ptrace interfaces, and more.
Those interested in LLDB and/or NetBSD can learn more about this debugging work via this NetBSD.org blog post.
Firefox 51 Released With FLAC Audio Support, WebGL 2.0 By Default
Firefox 51.0 just hit Mozilla's FTP servers for those wanting the latest version of this open-source web-browser.
Firefox 51 isn't a big feature release for end-users but notably does have support for FLAC audio, at long last! Great to see the web browsers finally shipping support out-of-the-box for this open-source audio codec.
Intel Core i3 7100 Kabylake Linux Benchmarks
Last week I began delivering Linux Kabylake benchmarks with the Core i5 7600K while this week I finally am set to receive the Core i7 7700K. But for those curious how Kabylake is looking on the low-end, I picked up a Core i3 7100 as currently the cheapest Kabylake desktop processor. Here are some initial Linux benchmarks of this Core i3 processor on Ubuntu Linux.
Why it's time to stop blaming open source for ransomware attacks
Developers may be the new kingmakers, to quote Redmonk, but they're not very careful about locking the gates. That's the primary take-away from a slew of ransomware attacks against MongoDB, CouchDB, Elasticsearch, and Hadoop, as I've argued.
Some people, however, have learned the exact wrong lesson from this debacle. Exhibit A is David Ramel's article wherein he suggests that open source is ultimately to blame for the attacks. This is wrong on so many levels, but let's address just a few.