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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: 43 min 29 sec ago

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 21, 2019

Thursday 21st of February 2019 12:37:20 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 21, 2019 is available.

Yaghmour: gitgeist: a git-based social network proof of concept

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 05:53:08 PM
On his blog, Karim Yaghmour writes about an experimental social network that he and a colleague cobbled together using Git. While it is simply a proof of concept at this point, he is looking for feedback and, perhaps, collaborators to take it further. "It turns out that git has practically everything that's needed to act both as storage and protocol for a social network. Not only that, but it's very well-known within and used, deployed and maintained in the circles I navigate, it scales very well (see github), it's used for critical infrastructure (see kernel.org), it provides history, it's distributed by nature, etc. It's got *almost* everything, but not quite everything needed. So what's missing from git? A few basic things that it turns out aren't very hard to take care of: ability to 'follow', getting followee notifications, 'commenting' and an interface for viewing feeds. And instead of writing a whole online treatise of how this could be done, I asked my colleague Francois-Denis Gonthier to implement a proof and concept of this that we called 'gitgeist' and just published on github [https://github.com/opersys/gitgeist-poc]."

[$] Producing an application for both desktop and mobile

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 04:31:09 PM

These days applications are generally moving away from the desktop and toward the mobile space. But taking a multi-platform desktop application and adding two mobile platforms into the mix is difficult to do, as Dirk Hohndel described in his linux.conf.au 2019 talk. Hohndel maintains the Subsurface dive log application, which has added mobile support over the past few years; he wanted to explain the process that the project went through to support all of those platforms. As the subtitle of the talk, "Developing for multiple platforms without losing your mind", indicates, it is a hard problem to solve sanely.

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 03:19:49 PM
Stable kernels 4.20.11, 4.19.24, 4.14.102, 4.9.159, 4.4.175, and 3.18.135 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 03:10:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (ansible, drupal7, and systemd), Fedora (botan2, ceph, and firefox), Oracle (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Red Hat (firefox), SUSE (gvfs, kernel, libqt5-qtbase, python-numpy, and qemu), and Ubuntu (gdm3).

digiKam 6.0.0 released

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 06:44:41 PM
The digiKam team has announced the release of digiKam 6.0.0. New features include full support of video files management working as photos; an integration of all import/export web-service tools in LightTable, Image editor, and Showfoto; raw file decoding engine supporting new cameras; similarity data is now stored in a separate file; simplified web-service authentication using OAuth protocol; and more.

[$] Patent exhaustion and open source

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 04:55:56 PM

When patents and free software crop up together, the usual question is about patent licensing. Patent exhaustion — the principle that patent rights don't reach past the first sale of a product — is much less frequently discussed. At FOSDEM 2019, US lawyer Van Lindberg argued that several US court decisions related to exhaustion, most of them recent but some less so, could come together to have surprising beneficial effects for free software. He was clear that the argument applied only in the US but, since court systems tend to look to each other for consistency's sake, and because Lindberg is an engaging speaker, the talk was of great interest even in Brussels.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 03:48:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, rdesktop, rssh, systemd, and uriparser), Fedora (bouncycastle, eclipse-jgit, eclipse-linuxtools, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, jackson-dataformat-xml, jackson-dataformats-binary, jackson-dataformats-text, jackson-datatype-jdk8, jackson-datatype-joda, jackson-datatypes-collections, jackson-jaxrs-providers, jackson-module-jsonSchema, jackson-modules-base, jackson-parent, moby-engine, and subversion), openSUSE (chromium, docker-runc, firefox, GraphicsMagick, kernel, LibVNCServer, php7, pspp, spread-sheet-widget, and runc), SUSE (kernel-firmware, qemu, and systemd), and Ubuntu (nss and systemd).

Debian 9.8 released

Monday 18th of February 2019 07:10:47 PM
The Debian project has announced the eighth update of Debian 9 "stretch". As a stable point release, this version mainly adds bugfixes for security issues and other serious problems. Click below for a list of changes.

[$] The case of the supersized shebang

Monday 18th of February 2019 06:37:50 PM
Regressions are an unavoidable side effect of software development; the kernel is no different in that regard. The 5.0 kernel introduced a change in the handling of the "#!" (or "shebang") lines used to indicate which interpreter should handle an executable text file. The problem has been duly fixed, but the incident shows how easy it can be to introduce unexpected problems and highlights some areas where the kernel's development process does not work as well as we might like.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 18th of February 2019 04:19:36 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (cairo, firefox, flatpak, hiawatha, and webkit2gtk), Debian (gsoap, mosquitto, php5, thunderbird, and tiff), Fedora (elfutils, ghostscript, gsi-openssh, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, kf5-kauth, mingw-podofo, mingw-poppler, mosquitto, podofo, and python-markdown2), Mageia (firefox, flash-player-plugin, lxc, and thunderbird), openSUSE (avahi, docker, libu2f-host, LibVNCServer, nginx, phpMyAdmin, and pspp, spread-sheet-widget), Red Hat (rhvm-appliance), and SUSE (python-numpy).

Kernel prepatch 5.0-rc7

Monday 18th of February 2019 03:38:02 AM
The 5.0-rc7 kernel prepatch has been released. Linus says: "Nothing particularly odd stands out, and everything is pretty small. Just the way I like it."

Geary 0.13.0 released

Sunday 17th of February 2019 03:04:13 PM
Version 0.13.0 of the Geary graphical email client is out. "This is a major new release, featuring a number of new features — including a new user interface for creating and managing email accounts, integration with GNOME Online Accounts (which also provides OAuth login support for some services), improvements in displaying conversations, composing new messages, interacting with other email apps, reporting problems as they occur, and number of important bug fixes, server compatibility fixes, and security fixes."

Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS released

Friday 15th of February 2019 04:47:06 PM
The Ubuntu team has announced the release of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavors of Ubuntu with long-term support. Support periods vary for different flavors. "Like previous LTS series, 18.04.2 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images." Ubuntu Server installs the GA kernel, however the HWE kernel may be selected from the installer bootloader.

[$] Per-vector software-interrupt masking

Friday 15th of February 2019 04:25:02 PM
Software interrupts (or "softirqs") are one of the oldest deferred-execution mechanisms in the kernel, and that age shows at times. Some developers have occasionally been heard to mutter about removing them, but softirqs are too deeply embedded into how the kernel works to be easily ripped out; most developers just leave them alone. So the recent per-vector softirq masking patch set from Frederic Weisbecker is noteworthy as an exception to that rule. Weisbecker is not getting rid of softirqs, but he is trying to reduce their impact and improve their latency.

Two sets of stable kernel updates

Friday 15th of February 2019 03:43:02 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman released a set of stable kernels that should *not* be used, including: 4.20.9, 4.19.22, 4.14.100, and 4.9.157. Those kernels caused a regression that was reverted in the following kernels: 4.20.10, 4.19.23, 4.14.101, and 4.9.158.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 15th of February 2019 03:20:15 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr and unbound), Fedora (docker, libexif, and runc), openSUSE (mozilla-nss, python, rmt-server, and thunderbird), Slackware (mozilla), and SUSE (couchdb, dovecot23, kvm, nodejs6, php53, podofo, python-PyKMIP, rubygem-loofah, util-linux, and velum).

[$] Some challenges for GNOME online accounts

Thursday 14th of February 2019 03:27:19 PM
The cynical among us might be tempted to think that an announcement from the GNOME project about the removal of a feature — a relatively unused feature at that — would be an unremarkable event. In practice, though, Debarshi Ray's announcement that the GNOME Online Accounts (GOA) subsystem would no longer support the "documents" access point touched off a lengthy discussion within the project itself. The resulting discussion revealed a few significant problems with GOA and, indeed, with the concept of online-account management in any sort of open-source umbrella project like GNOME.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 14th of February 2019 02:42:24 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (python-gnupg), Mageia (avahi, dom4j, gvfs, kauth, libwmf, logback, mad, python, python-django, and radvd), openSUSE (curl, haproxy, lua53, python-slixmpp, runc, spice, and uriparser), Red Hat (flash-plugin), Slackware (mozilla), and SUSE (build and docker-runc).

PostgreSQL 11.2, 10.7, 9.6.12, 9.5.16, and 9.4.21 released

Thursday 14th of February 2019 01:39:38 PM
The PostgreSQL project has put out updated releases for all supported versions. "This release changes the behavior in how PostgreSQL interfaces with 'fsync()' and includes fixes for partitioning and over 70 other bugs that were reported over the past three months." The fsync() issue was covered here in April 2018.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Android Leftovers

Benchmarking A 10-Core Tyan/IBM POWER Server For ~$300 USD

If you live in the EU and have been wanting to explore IBM POWER hardware on Linux, a load of Tyan Habanero servers recently became available through a German retailer for 269 EUR (~$306 USD) that comes equipped with a 10-core POWER8 processor. While not POWER9, it's still an interesting Linux-capable beast and the price is unbeatable if you have been wanting to add POWER hardware to your collection. Phoronix reader Lauri Kasanen recently bought one of these IBM POWER servers at the 269 EUR price point and has shared thoughts on this server as well as some benchmarks. Here is Lauri's guest post checking out this low-cost 2U IBM server. Recently a batch of refurbished POWER8 servers became available for very affordable prices. Always eager to play with power, especially for netbook-class prices, I grabbed one, and decided to run some benchmarks for everyone. For comparison data I used Michael's POWER9 benchmark from November, recent enough that software versions are close enough. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Google is winning in education, but Apple and Microsoft are battling for market share
    Apple used to have the most devices in U.S. schools, but Google soared to the top after the release of the Chromebook in 2011. In 2018, Chromebooks made up 60 percent of all laptops and tablets purchased for U.S. K-12 classrooms, up from just 5 percent in 2012. Microsoft is second at 22 percent, followed by Apple, with 18 percent of shipments to U.S. schools in 2018, according to data from Futuresource Consulting.
  • Design and Web team summary – 15 March 2019
    This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. [...] We maintain the Vanilla css framework that most of the websites at Ubuntu and Canonical use. Here are a few patterns and websites that were updated.
  • The New York Times has released an open-source tool to let you manage all your internal knowledge more easily

    Library is a wiki at heart, but it uses the familiar Google Docs as its backend and editing interface, easing maintenance for a wide population of users (“we wanted to meet people where they already were, rather than trying to teach them something entirely new”).

  • We Built a Collaborative Documentation Site. Deploy Your Own With the Push of a Button.

    Our solution to this problem has worked well for us. We hope others will find value in the technology we built, so we’re releasing Library to the open source community.

  • foss-north 2019: Community Day
    I don’t dare to count the days until foss-north 2019, but it is very soon. One of the changes to this year is that we expand the conference with an additional community day. The idea with the community day here is that we arrange for conference rooms all across town and invite open source projects to use them for workshops, install fests, hackathons, dev sprints or whatever else they see fit. It is basically a day of mini-conferences spread out across town. The community day is on April 7, the day before the conference days, and is free of charge.
  • FSFE Newsletter March 2019
    This month's newsletter highlights the new project the FSFE recently joined and the funding opportunities it offers, that you may want to take advantage of. You can get the latest updates on the Copyright Directive reform and the hottest news regarding Article 13, as well as a short summary of what else has happened during the past month. In the Editor's choice section this month you can find interesting news on developments with the Radio Equipment Directive, and find out who else have expressed their support for our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign and what they have to say about it.