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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: 2 hours 58 min ago

[$] New system calls: pidfd_open() and close_range()

Thursday 23rd of May 2019 02:17:18 PM
The linux-kernel mailing list has recently seen more than the usual amount of traffic proposing new system calls. LWN is endeavoring to catch up with that stream, starting with a couple of proposals for the management of file descriptors. pidfd_open() is a new way to create a "pidfd" file descriptor that refers to a process in the system, while close_range() is an efficient way to close many open descriptors with a single call.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 23rd of May 2019 12:59:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (ffmpeg and firefox-esr), openSUSE (bzip2, chromium, and GraphicsMagick), Slackware (curl), SUSE (ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (curl and intel-microcode).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2019

Thursday 23rd of May 2019 12:24:00 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2019 is available.

[$] Transparent huge pages for filesystems

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 08:21:32 PM
One thing that is known about using transparent huge pages (THPs) for filesystems is that it is a hard problem to solve, but is there a solid first step that could be taken toward that goal? That is the question Song Liu asked to open his combined filesystem and memory-management session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). His employer, Facebook, has a solid use case for using THPs on files in the page cache, which may provide a starting point.

[$] Lazy file reflink

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 07:58:27 PM

Amir Goldstein has a use case for a feature that could be called a "lazy file reflink", he said, though it might also be described as "VFS-level snapshots". He went through the use case, looking for suggestions, in a session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). He has already implemented parts of the solution, but would like to get something upstream, which would mean shifting from the stacked-filesystem approach he has taken so far.

openSUSE Leap 15.1 released

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 03:20:30 PM
The openSUSE project has announced the release of openSUSE Leap 15.1. "Leap releases are scalable and both the desktop and server are equally important for professional’s workloads, which is reflected in the installation menu as well as the amount of packages Leap offers and hardware it supports. Leap is well suited and prepared for usage as a Virtual Machine (VM) or container guest, allowing professional users to efficiently run network services no matter whether it’s a single server or a data center."

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 03:13:35 PM
Stable kernels 5.1.4, 5.0.18, 4.19.45, 4.14.121, and 4.9.178 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 03:01:22 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (ruby and wget), Debian (proftpd-dfsg), Fedora (firefox, mupdf, nss, and wavpack), openSUSE (evolution, GraphicsMagick, graphviz, libxslt, openssl-1_0_0, ovmf, and sqlite3), Red Hat (dotnet, python27-python and python27-python-jinja2, and rh-mariadb102-mariadb and rh-mariadb102-galera), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (gnutls, java-1_7_1-ibm, and java-1_8_0-ibm), and Ubuntu (curl, firefox, php5, and webkit2gtk).

Tor Browser 8.5 released

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 01:47:03 PM
Version 8.5 of the Tor Browser is out. "Tor Browser 8.5 is the first stable release for Android. Since we released the first alpha version in September, we've been hard at work making sure we can provide the protections users are already enjoying on desktop to the Android platform. Mobile browsing is increasing around the world, and in some parts, it is commonly the only way people access the internet. In these same areas, there is often heavy surveillance and censorship online, so we made it a priority to reach these users."

[$] Asynchronous fsync()

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 10:58:27 PM

The cost of fsync() is well known to filesystem developers, which is why there are efforts to provide cheaper alternatives. Ric Wheeler wanted to discuss the longstanding idea of adding an asynchronous version of fsync() in a filesystem session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). It turns out that what he wants may already be available via the new io_uring interface.

Firefox 67 released

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 07:14:27 PM
The Mozilla blog takes a look at the Firefox 67 release. "Today’s new Firefox release continues to bring fast and private together right at the crossroads of performance and security. It includes improvements that continue to keep Firefox fast while giving you more control and assurance through new features that your personal information is safe while you’re online with us." See the release notes for more information.

[$] Filesystems and crash resistance

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 07:03:39 PM

The "guarantees" that existing filesystems make with regard to persistence in the face of a system crash was the subject of a session led by Amir Goldstein at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM). The problem is that filesystem developers are not willing to make much in the way of guarantees unless applications call fsync()—something that is not popular with application developers, who want a cheaper option.

Mourning Martin Schwidefsky

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 04:38:31 PM
The kernel mailing lists carry the sad news that longtime kernel contributor and subsystem maintainer Martin Schwidefsky has been killed in an accident. "Martin was the most significant contributor to the initial s390 port of the Linux Kernel and later the maintainer of the s390 architecture backend. His technical expertise as well as his mentoring skills were outstanding. Martin was well known for his positive mindset and his willingness to help. He will be greatly missed."

[$] openSUSE considers governance options

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 04:17:57 PM
The relationship between SUSE and the openSUSE community is currently under discussion as the community considers different options for how it wants to be organized and governed in the future. Among the options under consideration is the possibility of openSUSE setting up an entirely independent foundation, as it seeks greater autonomy and control over its own future and operations.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 02:42:41 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7 and jackson-databind), Fedora (checkstyle and gradle), openSUSE (qemu and xen), SUSE (ffmpeg, kvm, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (libraw and python-urllib3).

[$] Filesystems for zoned block devices

Tuesday 21st of May 2019 12:46:42 AM

Damien Le Moal and Naohiro Aota led a combined storage and filesystem session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) on filesystem work that has been done for zoned block devices. These devices have multiple zones with different characteristics; usually there are zones that can only be written in sequential order as well as conventional zones that can be written in random order. The genesis of zoned block devices is shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices, which were created to increase the capacity of hard disks, but at the cost of some flexibility.

[$] Supporting the UFS turbo-write mode

Monday 20th of May 2019 05:14:42 PM

In a combined filesystem and storage session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Avri Altman wanted to discuss the "turbo-write" mode that is coming for Universal Flash Storage (UFS) devices. He wanted to introduce this new feature to assembled developers and to get some opinions on how to support this mode in the kernel.

Bison 3.4 released

Monday 20th of May 2019 04:21:08 PM
Version 3.4 of the Bison parser generator is out. "A particular focus was put on improving the diagnostics, which are now colored by default, and accurate with multibyte input. Their format was also changed, and is now similar to GCC 9's diagnostics."

[$] The rest of the 5.2 merge window

Monday 20th of May 2019 03:00:04 PM
By the time Linus Torvalds released the 5.2-rc1 kernel prepatch and closed the merge window for this development cycle, 12,064 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository — about 3,700 since our summary of the first "half" was written. Thus, as predicted, the rate of change did slow during the latter part of the merge window. That does not mean that no significant changes have been merged, though; read on for a summary of what else has been merged for 5.2.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 20th of May 2019 02:29:40 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (cups-filters, dhcpcd5, faad2, ghostscript, graphicsmagick, jruby, lemonldap-ng, and libspring-security-2.0-java), Fedora (gnome-desktop3, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, libu2f-host, samba, sqlite, webkit2gtk3, xen, and ytnef), Mageia (docker, flash-player-plugin, freeradius, libsndfile, libxslt, mariadb, netpbm, python-jinja2, tomcat-native, and virtualbox), openSUSE (kernel and ucode-intel), and SUSE (kernel, kvm, libvirt, nmap, and transfig).

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