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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: 6 hours 19 min ago

The 4.11 kernel has been released

Monday 1st of May 2017 03:07:07 AM
The 4.11 kernel has been released. "So after that extra week with an rc8, things were pretty calm, and I'm much happier releasing a final 4.11 now." Some headline features in 4.11 include: a new perf ftrace command restarting the work of better integrating the perf and ftrace subsystems, I/O scheduling support for the multiqueue block subsystem, journaling for device-mapper RAID 4/5/6 volumes, SipHash support, some swapping scalability improvements, a new LZ4 compression implementation, the new statx() system call, and more. As always, see the KernelNewbies 4.11 page for lots of details.

F-Droid’s Android App Finally Gets a UI Makeover (xda developers)

Friday 28th of April 2017 10:58:39 PM
Xda developers looks at improvements coming to the F-Droid repository of free/open source apps for Android. The next version of F-Droid will have screenshot and feature graphics, bulk download and install, improved notifications for downloads and pending updates, and the ability to translate apps metadata. "F-Droid is conducting further field tests to ensure that usability issues with the new design are identified and resolved before the alpha releases for v0.103 is rolled out to the public. The team is also inviting feedback and suggestions to further improve the client. Additionally, the team mentions that this is one of the many improvements happening to the broader F-Droid ecosystem in 2017, and there’s more to come."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 28th of April 2017 03:24:11 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (jenkins, libtiff, and webkit2gtk), Debian (ghostscript, kernel, and libreoffice), Fedora (dovecot, kernel, and tomcat), Mageia (firefox and tomcat), openSUSE (backintime and ffmpeg), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, libxslt, and nss).

Bits from the Debian Release Team: release update

Thursday 27th of April 2017 10:37:15 PM
The Debian release team has a few words about the upcoming Debian 9 "stretch" release. "At a recent team meeting, we decided that support for Secure Boot in the forthcoming Debian 9 "stretch" would no longer be a blocker to release. The likely, although not certain outcome is that stretch will not have Secure Boot support." If stretch does not release with Secure Boot support, it is possible that it will be introduced later. Other than that, the number of Release Critical bugs continues to drop and the team is considering the arrangements for the stretch release.

Tor 0.3.0.6 is released: a new series is stable

Thursday 27th of April 2017 09:51:47 PM
Tor 0.3.0.6, the first stable release of the Tor 0.3.0 series, is available. "With the 0.3.0 series, clients and relays now use Ed25519 keys to authenticate their link connections to relays, rather than the old RSA1024 keys that they used before. (Circuit crypto has been Curve25519-authenticated since 0.2.4.8-alpha.) We have also replaced the guard selection and replacement algorithm to behave more robustly in the presence of unreliable networks, and to resist guard- capture attacks."

[$] An alternative TTY layer

Thursday 27th of April 2017 05:25:11 PM
The Linux kernel is highly scalable but, while it runs nicely on the world's largest computers, it is not an entirely comfortable fit on the smallest. The difficulties involved in running Linux on machines with 1MB or less of memory have left an opening for other operating systems, such as Zephyr, with lower memory needs. Some developers have not given up on scaling Linux to the smallest computers, but the approaches they have to take have always been a bit of a hard sell with the rest of the development community. Nicolas Pitre's minitty patch set is a case in point.

Stable kernel updates

Thursday 27th of April 2017 04:07:04 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released stable kernels 4.10.13, 4.9.25, and 4.4.64. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 27th of April 2017 04:02:22 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (freetype, jasper, python-django, slurm-llnl, and weechat), Fedora (dovecot and pcre2), Gentoo (adobe-flash), openSUSE (curl, gstreamer-plugins-base, libsndfile, and tiff), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.5, mysql-5.7).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 27, 2017

Thursday 27th of April 2017 01:48:29 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 27, 2017 is available.

[$] The great leap backward

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 04:20:02 PM
Sayre's law states: "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake". In that context, it is perhaps easy to understand why the discussion around the version number for the next major openSUSE Leap release has gone on for hundreds of sometimes vitriolic messages. While this change is controversial, the openSUSE board hopes that it will lead to more rational versioning in the long term — but the world has a way of interfering with such plans.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 03:31:24 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (botan1.10, mysql-5.5, and rtmpdump), Fedora (collectd, firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, libdwarf, nss-softokn, nss-util, and tigervnc), Red Hat (httpd24-httpd and python27), and SUSE (kernel).

No more grsecurity test patches

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 02:44:52 PM
The grsecurity project has announced that its kernel-hardening patches will now be an entirely private affair. "Today we are handing over future maintenance of grsecurity test patches to the community. This makes grsecurity for Linux 4.9 the last version Open Source Security Inc. will release to non-subscribers."

[$] Which email client for Ubuntu 17.10?

Wednesday 26th of April 2017 02:37:03 PM
An email client was once a mandatory offering for any operating system, but that may be changing. A discussion on the ubuntu-desktop mailing list explores the choices for a default email client for Ubuntu 17.10, which is due in October. One of the possibilities being considered is to not have a default email client at all.

Kali Linux 2017.1 Release

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 07:09:41 PM
The Kali Linux 2017.1 rolling release is available. Kali is a Debian derivative aimed at penetration testing and related tasks. This release includes support for RTL8812AU wireless card injection, streamlined support for CUDA GPU cracking, OpenVAS 9 packaged in Kali repositories, and more.

Linkerd 1.0 released

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 06:06:41 PM
The linkerd 1.0 release is available. "Linkerd a service mesh for cloud native applications. As part of this release, we wanted to define what this actually meant." Support for per-service router configuration has been added, along with new plugin interfaces for policy control. (LWN looked at linkerd in early April).

Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages (InfoWorld)

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 05:44:13 PM
InfoWorld plays with the Bash Bunny, a USB device for attacking computers. "It can run anything a regular Debian Linux distro can run, such as Python scripts or common Linux commands. To infiltrate other computing devices, Bash Bunny can fake its identity as a trusted media device, networking device, keyboard, or other serial device. For example, it can load itself as a keyboard device and mimic keystrokes. You can download dozens of existing payload scripts, create your own, or ask questions in a fairly active user forum."

[$] Turmoil for Drupal

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 04:02:31 PM

The Drupal content management system (CMS) has been an open-source tool of choice for many web site owners for well over a decade now. Over that time, it has been overseen by its original developer, Dries Buytaert, who is often referred to as the benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) for the project. Some recent events have led a sizable contingent in the Drupal community to question his leadership, however. A request that a prominent developer leave the Drupal community, apparently over elements of his private life rather than any Drupal-related misstep, has led to something of an outcry in that community—it may well lead to a change in the governance of the project.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 03:59:43 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (activemq, libav, minicom, mysql-5.5, tiff3, and xen), Fedora (ansible, collectd, icu, and pcre), openSUSE (chromium and firefox), Red Hat (chromium-browser and kernel), Slackware (firefox), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-gke, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-hwe, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, qemu, and samba).

Debian is shutting down its public FTP services

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 01:40:04 PM
If you're one of the few people still using FTP to access the Debian repositories, the time has come to move on: FTP service will be shut down at the beginning of November.

Collabora Office 5.3 Released

Monday 24th of April 2017 10:15:47 PM
Collabora Office 5.3 has been released with all the fixes and several backported features from the upstream LibreOffice 5.3 release. "The biggest change in this release is the inclusion of a long list of new features, combined with many User Interface improvements, making Collabora Office more powerful and at the same time faster and more comfortable to work with."

More in Tux Machines

ROSA Fresh R9

ROSA is a desktop distribution that was originally forked from Mandriva Linux, but now is independently developed. While the company which produces ROSA is based in Russia, the distribution includes complete translations for multiple languages. The ROSA desktop distribution is designed to be easy to use and includes a range of popular applications and multimedia support. ROSA R9 is available in two editions, one featuring the KDE 4 desktop and the second featuring the KDE Plasma 5 desktop. These editions are scheduled to receive four years of support and security updates. I decided to download the Plasma edition of ROSA R9 and found the installation media to be approximately 2GB in size. Booting from the ROSA disc brings up a menu asking if we would like to load the distribution's live desktop environment or begin the installation process. Taking the live option brings up a graphical wizard that asks us a few questions. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list and accept the project's warranty and license. We are then asked to select our time zone and keyboard layout from lists. With these steps completed, the wizard disappears and the Plasma 5.9 desktop loads. Read more

More of today's howtos

Software: Linfo, EasyTag, Simple Scan, Albert, VLC, Remote Desktop, Frogr, Brisk Menu, and OpenShot

  • Linfo – Shows Linux Server Health Status in Real-Time
    Linfo is a free and open source, cross-platform server statistics UI/library which displays a great deal of system information. It is extensible, easy-to-use (via composer) PHP5 library to get extensive system statistics programmatically from your PHP application. It’s a Ncurses CLI view of Web UI, which works in Linux, Windows, *BSD, Darwin/Mac OSX, Solaris, and Minix.
  • 2 tag management tools for organizing your music library
    These days, EasyTag seems to be my go-to tag editor. While I can't claim to have tried them all, I have mostly stopped looking now that I have this one. Generally speaking, I like its three-panel layout: file system directory on the left; selected tracks in the middle, showing file name and tags; and specific tags and cover image on the right.
  • New Simple Scan Designs Emerge; Seeking Devs to Implement Them
    Simple Scan is one of my personal favourite and perhaps even one of the "essential" apps on the Linux desktop for me. It does what it says on the tin: it's simple and it scans, with a nice preview system and enough options to be decently functional. Some new designs for the app have emerged and they are looking quite nice indeed. GNOME UX designer and Red Hat Desktop Team Member, Allan Day, showed the new mockup designs off in his blog post. Simple Scan has a pretty sparse and simplistic interface already, and I mean that in a positive way, but Allan believes that "just because it's great, doesn't mean it can't be improved" and that most of the improvements are simply "refinements", rather than major overhauls, in order to make some of the app's functions a bit easier to discover and navigate.
  • Albert – A Fast, Lightweight and Flexible Application Launcher for Linux
    A while ago, we have written about Ulauncher which is used to launch application quickly. Today we came up with similar kind of utility called Albert which is doing the same job and have some additional unique features which is not there in ulauncher.
  • 5 Tricks To Get More Out Of VLC Player In Linux
    In fact, for the desktop, VLC is much more than just a tool to play videos stored on your hard drive! So, stay with me for a tour of the lesser known features of that great software.
  • 5 of the Best Linux Remote Desktop Apps to Remotely Access a Computer
    Remote desktop apps are a very useful group of apps because they allow access to a computer anywhere in the world. While the simplest way to do this is via a terminal, if you don’t want to have to type commands but rather want a more advanced way to access a remote computer, here are five of the best remote desktop apps for Linux.
  • Frogr 1.3 released
  • Brisk Menu 0.4.0 Is Out with Super Key Support, Adapts to Vertical Panel Layouts
    Solus Project founder and lead developer Ikey Doherty is today announcing the release and immediate availability of the Brisk Menu 0.4.0 application menu for Solus and other supported GNU/Linux distributions.
  • OpenShot 2.3.3 Open-Source Video Editor Released with Stability Improvements
    OpenShot developer Jonathan Thomas is announcing the release and immediate availability of the third maintenance update to the OpenShot 2.3 stable series of the open-source and cross-platform non-linear video editor.

CloudReady - Chromebook re-experienced

I haven't done any extensive testing, but then, how much testing is really needed to run a bunch of Web apps. The whole idea is to have this cloud-based operating system, with easy, flexible access to your data anywhere you go. So if you judge this from the perspective of a typical desktop, you miss the point. But that is the point. When I install something on a desktop-like form factor, I expect its behavior to match. CloudReady takes you away from that experience, and the transition is not comfortable. You feel very limited. This makes a lot of sense for schools, for instance, where you do want to lock down the devices, and make them simple for reuse. In a home setup, why would you go for just cloud, when you can have that plus any which desktop application on a typical system? After all, nothing prevents you from launching a browser and using Google applications, side by side with your desktop stuff. It's the same thing. The notion of reviving old hardware is a bit of a wishful thinking. My eeePC test shows that it gets completely crippled when you run HD content in either Firefox or Chrome. An operating system based on Chromium OS will not drastically change that. It cannot do that. Maybe you will have better performance than having Windows there, the same way I opted for a Linux setup on the Asus netbook, but there are physical limits to what old hardware can accomplish. And then, there's the whole question of cloud ... Most people might be comfy with this, after having used smartphones for a while, but I don't think this is anything novel or mindblowing. CloudReady works as advertised, it's a very cool concept, but ultimately, it gives you a browser on steroids. Google and Neverware have their own agenda for doing this, but for home users, there really isn't any added value in transforming their keyboard-and-mouse box into a browsing portal. So if you ask me, am I ready for the cloud, the answer is, only when it becomes sophisticated enough to match my productivity and freedom of creativity. And for you, do you want a simple, locked down, secure and entirely Google machine that isn't a mobile phone or a dedicated piece of hardware? The answer is 42. Read more