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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: 1 hour 36 min ago

The (awesome) economics of open source (Opensource.com)

Friday 14th of September 2018 12:11:33 AM
Over at Opensource.com, Red Hat's Michael Tiemann looks at open source from the perspective of the economic theories of Ronald Coase, who won the 1991 Nobel Prize for Economics. Those theories help explain why companies like Red Hat (and Cygnus Solutions, which Tiemann founded) have prospered even in the face of economic arguments about why they should not. "Successful open source software companies 'discover' markets where transaction costs far outweigh all other costs, outcompete the proprietary alternatives for all the good reasons that even the economic nay-sayers already concede (e.g., open source is simply a better development model to create and maintain higher-quality, more rapidly innovative software than the finite limits of proprietary software), and then—and this is the important bit—help clients achieve strategic objectives using open source as a platform for their own innovation. With open source, better/faster/cheaper by itself is available for the low, low price of zero dollars. As an open source company, we don't cry about that. Instead, we look at how open source might create a new inflection point that fundamentally changes the economics of existing markets or how it might create entirely new and more valuable markets."

The first /e/ beta is available

Thursday 13th of September 2018 08:07:47 PM
/e/ is Gaël Duval's project to build a privacy-oriented smartphone distribution; the first beta is now available with support for a number of devices. "At our current point of development, we have an '/e/' ROM in Beta stage: forked from LineageOS 14.1, it can be installed on several devices (read the list). The number of supported devices will grow over time, depending on more build servers and more contributors who can maintain or port to specific devices (contributors welcome). The ROM includes microG configured by default with Mozilla NLP so users can have geolocation functionality even when GPS signal is not available."

[$] Compiling kernel UAPI headers with C++

Thursday 13th of September 2018 04:47:26 PM
Linux kernel developers tend to take a dim view of the C++ language; it is seen, rightly or wrongly, as a sort of combination of the worst (from a system-programming point of view) features of higher-level languages and the worst aspects of C. So it takes a relatively brave person to dare to discuss that language on the kernel mailing lists. David Howells must certainly be one of those; he not only brought up the subject, but is working to make the kernel's user-space API (UAPI) header files compatible with C++.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 13th of September 2018 02:38:19 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (ghostscript and openssh), Oracle (firefox), Scientific Linux (firefox and OpenAFS), SUSE (tomcat), and Ubuntu (openjdk-lts).

HHVM ending support for PHP

Thursday 13th of September 2018 01:23:01 PM
The HHVM project has announced that the Hack language and PHP will truly be going separate ways. The HHVM v3.30 release, due by the end of the year, will be the last to support code written in PHP. "Ultimately, we recommend that projects either migrate entirely to the Hack language, or entirely to PHP7 and the PHP runtime." HHVM was first announced in 2011 as a compiler for the PHP language.

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for September 13, 2018

Thursday 13th of September 2018 12:54:25 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for September 13, 2018 is available.

[$] Machine learning and stable kernels

Wednesday 12th of September 2018 09:45:09 PM

There are ways to get fixes into the stable kernel trees, but they require humans to identify which patches should go there. Sasha Levin and Julia Lawall have taken a different approach: use machine learning to distinguish patches that fix bugs from others. That way, all bug-fix patches could potentially make their way into the stable kernels. Levin and Lawall gave a talk describing their work at the 2018 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, Canada.

[$] Trying to get STACKLEAK into the kernel

Wednesday 12th of September 2018 05:06:38 PM

The STACKLEAK kernel security feature has been in the works for quite some time now, but has not, as yet, made its way into the mainline. That is not for lack of trying, as Alexander Popov has posted 15 separate versions of the patch set since May 2017. He described STACKLEAK and its tortuous path toward the mainline in a talk [YouTube video] at the 2018 Linux Security Summit.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 12th of September 2018 03:03:49 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (kamailio, libextractor, and mgetty), Fedora (community-mysql, ghostscript, glusterfs, iniparser, okular, and zsh), openSUSE (compat-openssl098, php5, and qemu), Red Hat (firefox), SUSE (libzypp, zypper, python3, spark, and zsh), and Ubuntu (zsh).

[$] Toward better handling of hardware vulnerabilities

Wednesday 12th of September 2018 01:14:52 PM
From the kernel development community's point of view, hardware vulnerabilities are not much different from the software variety: either way, there is a bug that must be fixed in software. But hardware vendors tend to take a different view of things. This divergence has been reflected in the response to vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre which was seen by many as being severely mismanaged. A recent discussion on the Kernel Summit discussion list has shed some more light on how things went wrong, and what the development community would like to see happen when the next hardware vulnerability comes around.

[$] PostgreSQL 11: something for everyone

Tuesday 11th of September 2018 03:38:07 PM

PostgreSQL 11 had its third beta release on August 9; a fourth beta (or possibly a release candidate) is scheduled for mid-September. While the final release of the relational database-management system (currently slated for late September) will have something new for many users, its development cycle was notable for being a period when the community hit its stride in two strategic areas: partitioning and parallelism.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 11th of September 2018 03:12:44 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libextractor), Fedora (godot and iniparser), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (chromium-browser and Fuse 7.1), SUSE (compat-openssl098, openssh, php5, php53, qemu, and tiff), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, and linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp).

Git 2.19.0 released

Tuesday 11th of September 2018 01:12:27 PM
The Git 2.19.0 release is out. Significant changes include a new "range diff" capability, directory rename detection, and more; see this GitHub blog entry for more information. "We can use git diff to show the difference between the two end states, but that doesn’t provide information about the individual commits. And if the base on which the commits were built has changed, the resulting state might be quite different, even if the changes in the commits are largely the same. Git 2.19 introduces git range-diff, a tool for comparing two sequences of commits, including changes to their order, commit messages, and the actual content changes they introduce."

[$] Coscheduling: simultaneous scheduling in control groups

Monday 10th of September 2018 10:43:37 PM
The kernel's CPU scheduler must, as its primary task, determine which process should be executing in each of a system's processors at any given time. Making an optimal decision involves juggling a number of factors, including the priority (and scheduling classes) of the runnable processes, NUMA locality, cache locality, latency minimization, control-group policies, power management, overall fairness, and more. One might think that throwing another variable into the mix — and a complex one at that — would not be something anybody would want to attempt. The recent coscheduling patch set from Jan Schönherr does exactly that, though, by introducing the concept of processes that should be run simultaneously.

Stable kernel updates

Monday 10th of September 2018 03:23:06 PM
Stable kernels 4.14.69, 4.9.126, 4.4.155, and 3.18.122 have been released. They all contain the usual set of important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 10th of September 2018 03:14:43 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium-browser, curl, discount, firefox-esr, ghostscript, and openssh), Fedora (curl, firefox, ghostscript, glibc, mod_perl, thunderbird, and unixODBC), openSUSE (chromium, firefox, GraphicsMagick, nodejs4, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel), and SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm and kvm).

Kernel prepatch 4.19-rc3

Monday 10th of September 2018 12:19:45 PM
The third 4.19 prepatch is out for testing. Linus says: "Things look fairly normal".

Stable kernel 4.18.7

Sunday 9th of September 2018 08:04:04 PM
The 4.18.7 stable kernel update is available; it contains 145 fixes. Note that there are updates for the other active stable kernels in the review process as well; they can be expected almost any time.

Maintainer's Summit moved to Edinburgh

Friday 7th of September 2018 03:13:47 PM
The Maintainer's Summit, which is an invite-only gathering of 30 or so kernel developers to discuss process issues with Linus Torvalds, has moved from November 12 in Vancouver, Canada to October 22 in Edinburgh, Scotland in conjunction with Open Source Summit Europe. The technical side of the discussions will still be held as the Kernel Summit track at the Linux Plumbers Conference November 13-15 in Vancouver. There was, it seems, some confusion about the Maintainer's Summit, as Theodore Y. Ts'o said in the announcement of the move: "Last Friday (just before Labor Day) I learned that Linus had gotten confused about when and where the Maintainer's Summit was going to be held this year. And most unfortunately, he has already scheduled a family vacation overlapping with the week of the Maintainer's Summit. [...] The Kernel Summit track will still be held in Vancouver alongside Plumber's. Technical discussions will take place there; we simply won't have the time, or necessarily, the right people, to have technical discussions at the Maintainer's Summit."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 7th of September 2018 02:52:05 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (qemu and xen), Mageia (libxkbcommon, sleuthkit, and wireshark), openSUSE (apache-pdfbox, dovecot22, and php7), SUSE (enigmail, kernel, nodejs4, and php7), and Ubuntu (firefox and transfig).

More in Tux Machines

Vilnius: “Open source improves our public services”

The city of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital and with over half a million inhabitants the country’s largest city, is increasingly using open source software. The most recent example is WordPress: in July the city unveiled its new portal built on this content management system. “Open source enables us to improve our public services and empowers us to share our solutions and data,” says Dalius Kazlauskas, senior project manager at Vilnius’ E-City department. Read more

It is between the villages of Hinckley

Oaks Christian (Ca.) & Bakersfield Christian (Cal.) Live Stream

IssueHunt: A New Bounty Hunting Platform for Open Source Software

IssueHunt is a new bounty hunting platform for open source software that aims to bridge the gap between open source projects and open source developers. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 178
    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 178.
  • WinWorld – A Large Collection Of Defunct OSs, Software And Games
    The other day, I was testing Dosbox which is used to run MS-DOS games and programs in Linux. While searching for some classic programs like Turbo C++, I stumbled upon a website named WinWorld. I went through a few links in this site and quite surprised. WinWorld has a plenty of good-old and classic OSs, software, applications, development tools, games and a lot of other miscellaneous utilities which are abandoned by the developers a long time ago. It is an online museum run by community members, volunteers and is dedicated to the preservation and sharing of vintage, abandoned, and pre-release software. WinWorld was started back in 2003 and its founder claims that the idea to start this site inspired by Yahoo briefcases. The primary purpose of this site is to preserve and share old software. Over the years, many people volunteered to improve this site in numerous ways and the collection of old software in WinWorld has grown exponentially. The entire WinWorld library is free, open and available to everyone.
  • How to Encrypt USB Drive on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • The excellent 2D action RPG 'CrossCode' is now officially out
    CrossCode from Radical Fish Games is a rather great 2D action RPG and today it was officially released across multiple stores. It's a fun idea, having you play as a character who is actually in an MMO set in the far future, where your avatar has a physical form. It's 2018 after all, we have films like Ready Player One that follow a guy running around in VR… Inspired by some of the classic JRPGs, CrossCode has a lot of familiar RPG elements and anyone who has played an action-RPG will feel right at home. I've been waiting so long for this to be finished and it's absolutely worth the wait.
  • Transhuman Design has removed the Linux version of BUTCHER due to issues in favour of Steam Play
    It seems Transhuman Design have removed the Linux version of BUTCHER after users reported issues, opting instead to ask Steam to add it as an approved Steam Play title. [...] After digging into the Steam forum, I came across this forum topic started in August, where four users mentioned trouble starting the game. That doesn't seem like a lot of people to make such a big decision, but it's understandable that with a tiny team and little time they're trying to make it so Linux gamers still have a good experience. Probably a good case for Valve to allow people to have a choice between native and Steam Play's Proton.
  • Tumbleweed Gets New Versions of KDE Plasma, Applications
    A total of four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were delivered to users of the rolling release this past week and the snapshot brought new versions of KDE Plasma and KDE Applications. The most recent snapshot 20180917 updated three packages. The GNOME package dconf-editor was updated to 3.30.0. Users of the ext2 filesystem will notice the utility package e2fsprogs 1.44.4 will fix the debugs ncheck command to work for files with multiple hard links; the updated package also has new debugfs commands for dumping xattr blocks and i_blocks array. Another GNOME package was updated with the iagno 3.30.0 package for the game reversi, which shows that GNOME 3.30 packages are starting to be integrated into Tumbleweed snapshots. Another three packages were updated in the 20180916 snapshot. The GNU Project debugger, gdb 8.2, added several patches and support access to new POWER8 registers. A fix was made for a GNU Compiler Collection 8.1 warning with the perl-DBD-mysql 4.047 updated, which also added options needed for public key based security. The other package that was updated in the snapshot was perl-Glib 1.327.
  • Slim signage player features Radeon E8860 GPU and six HDMI ports
    Ibase’s high-end “SI-626” signage player runs Windows or Linux on 7th or 6th Gen Intel Core CPUs with Radeon E8860 graphics, and offers 6x HDMI 1.4b ports, EDID remote management, and a 30mm profile. Ibase’s new SI-626 digital signage and video wall player combines high-end functionality with a slim 30mm height — 1.5mm thinner than its AMD Ryzen V1000 based SI-324 player. Like the SI-324, the SI-626 features hardware based EDID remote management with software setting mode to prevent display issues due to cable disconnection or display identification failures.
  • 15 Best “Lite” Android Go Apps To Save Battery And Storage In 2018
  • Hide your real name in Open Source
    If you’re thinking about contributing to Open Source, please take a moment to think of the negative impact it could have on your career…
  • Thermal Microconference Accepted into 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference
    As the energy density of computer systems has increased, thermal issues have become an increasingly hot topic across the spectrum from hand-held systems to internet datacenters. Because the need for thermal management is relatively new, there is a wide variety of hardware and firmware mechanisms, to say nothing of a wide variety of independently developed software to interact with these mechanisms. This in turn results in complex and almost-duplicate code to manage and control thermal excursions. This microconference will therefore look to see if it is possible to consolidate or at least to better align the Linux kernel’s thermal subsystems. This microconference will therefore discuss better handling of low ambient temperatures, userspace thermal control, improvements to thermal zone mode, better support for indirect (virtual) temperature measurement, sensor hierarchy, scheduler interactions with thermal management, and improvements to idle injection as a way to cool a core.
  • Debian: DSA-4298-1: hylafax security update