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LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 51 min 8 sec ago

[$] Some advanced BCC topics

5 hours 48 min ago
The BPF virtual machine is working its way into an increasing number of kernel subsystems. The previous article in this series introduced the BPF Compiler Collection (BCC), which provides a set of tools for working with BPF. But there is more to BCC than a set of administrative tools; it also provides a development environment for those wanting to create their own BPF-based utilities. Read on for an exploration of that environment and how it can be used to create programs and attach them to tracepoints.

Security updates for Thursday

12 hours 17 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (strongswan), Fedora (torbrowser-launcher), openSUSE (libdb-4_5, libdb-4_8, postgresql96, python3-openpyxl, and xv), Red Hat (rh-maven35-jackson-databind), and Ubuntu (kernel, libreoffice, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-oem, and linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 22, 2018

Thursday 22nd of February 2018 03:12:41 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 22, 2018 is available.

[$] New tricks for XFS

Wednesday 21st of February 2018 11:48:35 PM

The XFS filesystem has been in the kernel for fifteen years and was used in production on IRIX systems for five years before that. But it might just be time to teach that "old dog" of a filesystem some new tricks, Dave Chinner said, at the beginning of his linux.conf.au 2018 presentation. There are a number of features that XFS lacks when compared to more modern filesystems, such as snapshots and subvolumes; but he has been thinking—and writing code—on a path to get them into XFS.

[$] An overview of Project Atomic

Wednesday 21st of February 2018 10:38:50 PM

Terms like "cloud-native" and "web scale" are often used and understood as pointless buzzwords. Under the layers of marketing, though, cloud systems do work best with a new and different way of thinking about system administration. Much of the tool set used for cloud operations is free software, and Linux is the platform of choice for almost all cloud applications. While just about any distribution can be made to work, there are several projects working to create a ground-up system specifically for cloud hosts. One of the best known of these is Project Atomic from Red Hat and the Fedora Project.

[$] Licenses and contracts

Wednesday 21st of February 2018 06:36:02 PM

Some days it seems that wherever two or more free-software enthusiasts gather together, there also shall be licensing discussions. One such, which can get quite heated, is the question of whether a given free-software license is a license, or whether it is really a contract. This distinction is important, because most legal systems treat the two differently. I know from personal experience that that discussion can go on, unresolved, for long periods, but it had not previously occurred to me to wonder whether this might be due to the answer being different in different jurisdictions. Fortunately, it has occurred to some lawyers to wonder just that, and three of them came together at FOSDEM 2018 to present their conclusions.

Subscribers can read on for a report on the talk by guest author Tom Yates.

[$] Open-source trusted computing for IoT

Wednesday 21st of February 2018 05:23:30 PM

At this year's FOSDEM in Brussels, Jan Tobias Mühlberg gave a talk on the latest work on Sancus, a project that was originally presented at the USENIX Security Symposium in 2013. The project is a fully open-source hardware platform to support "trusted computing" and other security functionality. It is designed to be used for internet of things (IoT) devices, automotive applications, critical infrastructure, and other embedded devices where trusted code is expected to be run.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 21st of February 2018 03:43:19 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (libmspack), Debian (zziplib), Fedora (ca-certificates, firefox, freetype, golang, krb5, libreoffice, monit, patch, plasma-workspace, ruby, sox, tomcat, and zziplib), openSUSE (dovecot22, glibc, GraphicsMagick, libXcursor, mbedtls, p7zip, SDL_image, SDL2_image, sox, and transfig), Red Hat (chromium-browser), and Ubuntu (cups, libvirt, and qemu).

Hovmöller: Moving a large and old codebase to Python3

Wednesday 21st of February 2018 01:03:35 AM
Anders Hovmöller has posted an account of migrating a large application to Python 3. There were multiple steps on the journey and plenty of lessons learned. "Our philosophy was always to go py2 -> py2/py3 -> py3 because we just could not realistically do a big bang in production, an intuition that was proven right in surprising ways. This meant that 2to3 was a non starter which I think is probably common. We tried a while to use 2to3 to detect Python 3 compatibility issues but quickly found that untenable too. Basically it suggests changes that will break your code in Python 2. No good. The conclusion was to use six, which is a library to make it easy to build a codebase that is valid in both in Python 2 and 3."

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 20th of February 2018 04:10:07 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libav), Gentoo (chromium, firefox, libreoffice, mysql, and ruby), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (bind9).

[$] BPF comes to firewalls

Monday 19th of February 2018 11:17:40 PM
The Linux kernel currently supports two separate network packet-filtering mechanisms: iptables and nftables. For the last few years, it has been generally assumed that nftables would eventually replace the older iptables implementation; few people expected that the kernel developers would, instead, add a third packet filter. But that would appear to be what is happening with the newly announced bpfilter mechanism. Bpfilter may eventually replace both iptables and nftables, but there are a lot of questions that will need to be answered first.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 19th of February 2018 04:03:07 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (irssi), Debian (bind9, gcc-4.9, plasma-workspace, quagga, and tomcat-native), Fedora (p7zip), Mageia (nasm), openSUSE (exim, ffmpeg, irssi, mpv, qpdf, quagga, rrdtool, and rubygem-puppet), and SUSE (p7zip and xen).

SuiteCRM 7.10 released

Monday 19th of February 2018 02:25:41 PM
SuiteCRM is a fork of the formerly open-source SugarCRM customer relationship management system. The 7.10 release has been announced. "SuiteCRM 7.10 includes a long list of enhancements, improving user experience, adding new functionality and providing a new REST API. This edition of SuiteCRM also assists companies to be ready for GDPR, including opt-in functionality to track the consent of individuals."

Kernel prepatch 4.16-rc2

Monday 19th of February 2018 04:04:38 AM
The second 4.16 kernel prepatch is out. "Go out and test, it all looks fine."

Some weekend stable kernel updates

Sunday 18th of February 2018 09:15:44 PM
The 4.15.4, 4.14.20, 4.9.82, 4.4.116, and 3.18.95 stable kernel updates have all been released. These kernels contain a relatively large set of important fixes and updates.

[$] The boot-constraint subsystem

Friday 16th of February 2018 06:57:02 PM
The fifth version of the patch series adding the boot-constraint subsystem is under review on the linux-kernel mailing list. The purpose of this subsystem is to honor the constraints put on devices by the bootloader before those devices are handed over to the operating system (OS) — Linux in our case. If these constraints are violated, devices may fail to work properly once the kernel starts reconfiguring the hardware; by tracking and enforcing those constraints, instead, we can ensure that hardware continues to work properly until the kernel is fully operational.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 16th of February 2018 03:37:13 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (quagga), Mageia (freetype2, kernel-linus, and kernel-tmb), openSUSE (chromium, GraphicsMagick, mupdf, openssl-steam, and xen), Slackware (irssi), SUSE (glibc and quagga), and Ubuntu (quagga).

[$] Dynamic function tracing events

Thursday 15th of February 2018 11:12:11 PM
For as long as the kernel has included tracepoints, developers have argued over whether those tracepoints are part of the kernel's ABI. Tracepoint changes have had to be reverted in the past because they broke existing user-space programs that had come to depend on them; meanwhile, fears of setting internal code in stone have made it difficult to add tracepoints to a number of kernel subsystems. Now, a new tracing functionality is being proposed as a way to circumvent all of those problems.

FOSS Project Spotlight: LinuxBoot (Linux Journal)

Thursday 15th of February 2018 08:49:57 PM
Linux Journal takes a look at the newly announced LinuxBoot project. LWN covered a related talk back in November. "Modern firmware generally consists of two main parts: hardware initialization (early stages) and OS loading (late stages). These parts may be divided further depending on the implementation, but the overall flow is similar across boot firmware. The late stages have gained many capabilities over the years and often have an environment with drivers, utilities, a shell, a graphical menu (sometimes with 3D animations) and much more. Runtime components may remain resident and active after firmware exits. Firmware, which used to fit in an 8 KiB ROM, now contains an OS used to boot another OS and doesn't always stop running after the OS boots. LinuxBoot replaces the late stages with a Linux kernel and initramfs, which are used to load and execute the next stage, whatever it may be and wherever it may come from. The Linux kernel included in LinuxBoot is called the 'boot kernel' to distinguish it from the 'target kernel' that is to be booted and may be something other than Linux."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 15th of February 2018 03:24:41 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (jackson-databind, leptonlib, libvorbis, python-crypto, and xen), Fedora (apache-commons-email, ca-certificates, libreoffice, libxml2, mujs, p7zip, python-django, sox, and torbrowser-launcher), openSUSE (libreoffice), SUSE (libreoffice), and Ubuntu (advancecomp, erlang, and freetype).

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • State of Linux Containers
    In this video from the Stanford HPC Conference, Christian Kniep from Docker Inc. presents: State of Containers. “This talk will recap the history of and what constitutes Linux Containers, before laying out how the technology is employed by various engines and what problems these engines have to solve. Afterward, Christian will elaborate on why the advent of standards for images and runtimes moved the discussion from building and distributing containers to orchestrating containerized applications at scale. In conclusion, attendees will get an update on what problems still hinder the adoption of containers for distributed high performance workloads and how Docker is addressing these issues.”
  • ONS 2018: Networking Reimagined
    For the past seven years, Open Networking Summit (ONS) has brought together the networking industry’s ecosystem of network operators, vendors, open source projects, leading researchers, and investors to discuss the latest SDN and NFV developments that will shape the future of the networking industry. With this year’s event, taking place March 26-29, 2018 in Los Angeles, ONS will evolve its approach as the premier open source networking event. We’re excited to share three new aspects of this year’s ONS that you won’t want to miss:
  • AT&T contributes code to Linux open source edge computing project
    The Linux Foundation recently announced a new project, dubbed Akraino, to develop an open source software stack capable of supporting high-availability cloud services for edge computing systems and applications. To kick off the project, AT&T will contribute code made for carrier-scale edge computing applications running in virtual machines and containers.
  • AT&T Brings Akraino Networking Project to Edge of the Linux Foundation
    The Linux Foundation has been particularly busy in 2018 thus far consolidating its existing networking project under a single umbrella, known as LF Networking. That umbrella might need to get a bit larger, as on Feb. 20 the Linux Foundation announced the new Akraino project, with code coming initially from AT&T.
  • FreeOffice 2016 – An Efficient Alternative to Microsoft Office
    FreeOffice 2016 is the latest version of the Office software from SoftMaker. In fact, you wouldn’t be wrong if you called it the free version of SoftMaker Office 2018 seeing as it features the same suite of applications.
  • Stellaris 2.0 'Cherryh' patch & Stellaris: Apocalypse expansion released, over 1.5 million copies sold
    Stellaris: Apocalypse [Steam], the latest expansion for the grand space strategy game from Paradox Development Studio is out. The big 2.0 'Cherryh' patch is also now available. Paradox has also announced today, that Stellaris has officially passed 1.5 million copies sold making it one of their most popular games ever made. I'm not surprised by this, as I consider Stellaris their most accessible game.
  • Action-packed platformer with local and online co-op 'Vagante' has left Early Access
    After being in Early Access for quite some time, the action-packed platformer 'Vagante' [Steam, Official Site] has now officially left Early Access.
  • Gentoo has been accepted as a Google Summer of Code 2018 mentoring organization
  • Getting Debian booting on a Lenovo Yoga 720
    I recently got a new work laptop, a 13” Yoga 720. It proved difficult to install Debian on; pressing F12 would get a boot menu allowing me to select a USB stick I have EFI GRUB on, but after GRUB loaded the kernel and the initrd it would just sit there never outputting anything else that indicated the kernel was even starting. I found instructions about Ubuntu 17.10 which helped but weren’t the complete picture. What seems to be the situation is that the kernel won’t happily boot if “Legacy Support” is not enabled - enabling this (and still booting as EFI) results in a happier experience.
  • Dell PowerEdge T30
    I just did a Debian install on a Dell PowerEdge T30 for a client. The Dell web site is a bit broken at the moment, it didn’t list the price of that server or give useful specs when I was ordering it. I was under the impression that the server was limited to 8G of RAM, that’s unusually small but it wouldn’t be the first time a vendor crippled a low end model to drive sales of more expensive systems. It turned out that the T30 model I got has 4*DDR4 sockets with only one used for an 8G DIMM. It apparently can handle up to 64G of RAM.
  • Quad-Ethernet SBC and controller tap new Renesas RZ/N1D SoC
    Emtrion’s Linux-ready “SBC-RZN1D” SBC, which will soon power a “Flex2COM” controller, features a Renesas dual-core -A7 RZ/N1D SoC and 4x LAN ports, and is designed for multi-protocol fieldbus communications. Emtrion, which recently announced its emCON-RZ/G1H module based on an octa-core Renesas RZ/G1H SoC, has unveiled a Renesas based, quad-LAN port SBC-RZN1D SBC focused on industrial communication. The SBC-RZN1D taps the Renesas RZ/N1D (R9006G032), one of a new line of RZ/N1D SoCs launched last year by Renesas for industrial multi-protocol communications. Renesas recently collaborated with Avnet to ship its own dual-Ethernet Renesas RZ/N1D Solution Kit (see farther below).
  • Postage-Stamp Linux
    There was a time when big operating systems ran on big iron. IBM, Data General, Burroughs, DEC, and other computer makers built big machines with big, blinking lights, and big price tags. They ran grown-up software and they supported multiuser operating systems. If you wanted a toy, you built a microcomputer. If you wanted a real machine for serious work, you bought a mainframe. Maybe a minicomputer, if it were for lesser tasks.
  • Most Popular Android Versions In February 2018 (Always Updated List)
    Android is the most used operating system on the planet. In fact, it’s almost omnipresent in the mobile ecosystem. Even the Android versions, like Nougat, Marshmallow, Lollipop, etc. have been able to build their individual fan following.

Red Hat and Fedora: David Egts, Radcom, Google Summer of Code 2018, FOSS Wave

  • Red Hat’s David Egts: Microservices Tech Could Help Simplify App Deployment
    David Egts, chief technologist for Red Hat’s public sector, told MeriTalk in an interview published Wednesday that the microservices technology works to help the developer split complex, large applications into small components and share them with other members of the DevOps team.
  • Radcom partners with Red Hat for NFV management
    Radcom announced it is collaborating with Red Hat to provide operators with a fully virtualized network visibility solution running on Red Hat OpenStack Platform. As operators transition to NFV, a critical first step is gaining end-to-end network visibility. This collaboration enables operators to attain cloud-native network visibility without the hassle of building their own private cloud infrastructure, the vendor said. Once the operator's transition to NFV matures, integration efforts with the NFV and MANO infrastructure can be simplified.
  • The Markets Are Undervaluing these stock’s: Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), Xerox Corporation (XRX)
  • Meeder Asset Management Inc. Has $1.75 Million Holdings in Red Hat Inc (RHT)
  • Justin W. Flory: Humanitarian open source work: My internship at UNICEF
    In December, I received the happy news of an offer for a internship position at UNICEF in the Office of Innovation. The Office of Innovation drives rapid technological innovation by rapid prototyping of new ideas and building full-stack products to make a positive impact in the lives of children. This is a simple answer, but a more detailed description is on our website. My internship at UNICEF is unique: I support open source community engagement and research as my primary task for the MagicBox project. For years, I’ve done this in open source communities in my free time (namely SpigotMC and Fedora), but never in a professional role. As I navigate my way through this exciting opportunity, I plan to document some of the experience as I go through blogging. My intent is that my observations and notes will be useful to someone else in the humanitarian open source space (or maybe to a future me).
  • Fedora participating in Google Summer of Code 2018
    GSoC is a summer program aiming to bring more student developers into open source software development. It enables students to spend their summer break working with open source organizations on projects proposed by participating organizations and supported by mentors.
  • FOSS Wave with Fedora at KGISL, Coimbatore
    Recently, I was invited by Prem to NASSCOM to give a brief talk on FOSS and Technology as part of the FOSS Wave community. Prem is doing a great job there by putting his effort in helping students from Tier2 and Tier3 cities. Around twenty enthusiastic students were selected and invited to Bengaluru to take part in such events. Mine was one of them. I conducted a GitHub session after Intro to FOSS and a brief intro about Fedora Project.

OSS Leftovers

  • Comment: Many happy returns to open source
    Twenty years ago the phrase “open source” was first used and the development of software – and hardware – was changed forever. Very few designers today will not use some element of open source software in their development projects.
  • Percona Unveils Full Conference Session Schedule for the Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference 2018
  • Worth seeing in Barcelona: Open source for white box vRAN solutions
    News this week from cloud and carrier infrastructure platform company Kontron builds on our earlier coverage of the emerging virtual radio access network (vRAN); a promising technology that could help the evolution to 5G by maximising available bandwidth while lowering costs. The market for open vRAN solutions is gaining wider acceptance as operators seek more cost-effective approaches to network architectures and deployment. According to analyst firm Research and Markets, the growth of the vRAN market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 125 per cent during the next three years.
  • Barcelona is the first city council to join the FSFE's "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign
  • Earlham Institute releases open source software to help identify gene families
    Researchers at Earlham Institute (EI) have released ‘GeneSeqToFamily’, an open-source Galaxy workflow that helps scientists to find gene families based on the ‘EnsemblCompara GeneTrees’ pipeline. Published in Gigascience, the open source Galaxy workflow aims to make researchers job of finding find gene families much easier.
  • 3 reasons to say 'no' in DevOps
    DevOps, it has often been pointed out, is a culture that emphasizes mutual respect, cooperation, continual improvement, and aligning responsibility with authority. Instead of saying no, it may be helpful to take a hint from improv comedy and say, "Yes, and..." or "Yes, but...". This opens the request from the binary nature of "yes" and "no" toward having a nuanced discussion around priority, capacity, and responsibility.
  • 5 rules for having genuine community relationships
    As I wrote in the first article of this three-part series on the power and importance of communities, building a community of passionate and committed members is difficult. When we launched the NethServer community, we realized early that to play the open source game, we needed to follow the open source rules. No shortcuts. We realized we had to convert the company in an open organization and start to work out in the open.
  •  
  • Rust Typestates
    A long time ago, the Rust language was a language with typestate. Officially, typestates were dropped long before Rust 1.0. In this entry, I’ll get you in on the worst kept secret of the Rust community: Rust still has typestates.
  • It's Time To Do CMake Right
    Not so long ago I got the task of rethinking our build system. The idea was to evaluate existing components, dependencies, but most importantly, to establish a superior design by making use of modern CMake features and paradigms. Most people I know would have avoided such enterprise at all costs, but there is something about writing find modules that makes my brain release endorphins. I thought I was up for an amusing ride. Boy was I wrong.

OpenBSD Gets Mitigated For Meltdown CPU Vulnerability

  • OpenBSD Gets Mitigated For Meltdown CPU Vulnerability
    A few days back FreeBSD 11 stable was mitigated for Meltdown (and Spectre vulnerabilities), which came more than one month after these nasty CPU vulnerabilities were disclosed while DragonFlyBSD was quickly mitigated and the first of the BSDs to do so. While OpenBSD is known for its security features and focus, only today did it land its initial Meltdown mitigation.
  • Meltdown fix committed by guenther@

    Meltdown mitigation is coming to OpenBSD. Philip Guenther (guenther@) has just committed a diff that implements a new mitigation technique to OpenBSD: Separation of page tables for kernel and userland. This fixes the Meltdown problems that affect most CPUs from Intel. Both Philip and Mike Larkin (mlarkin@) spent a lot of time implementing this solution, talking to various people from other projects on best approaches.

    In the commit message, Philip briefly describes the implementation [...]