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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 45 min ago

[$] Managing tasks with todo.txt and Taskwarrior

Friday 26th of June 2020 02:40:24 PM
One quote from Douglas Adams has always stayed with me: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by". We all lead busy lives and few ever see the bottom of our long to-do lists. One of the oldest items on my list, ironically, is to find a better system to manage all my tasks. Can task-management systems make us more productive while, at the same time, reducing the stress caused by the sheer number of outstanding tasks?

This article, from guest author Martin Michlmayr, looks at todo.txt and Taskwarrior.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 26th of June 2020 01:14:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (alpine), Fedora (fwupd, microcode_ctl, mingw-libjpeg-turbo, mingw-sane-backends, suricata, and thunderbird), openSUSE (uftpd), Red Hat (nghttp2), SUSE (ceph, curl, mutt, squid, tigervnc, and unbound), and Ubuntu (linux kernel and nvidia-graphics-drivers-390, nvidia-graphics-drivers-440).

Four new stable kernels

Thursday 25th of June 2020 06:06:21 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.7.6, 5.4.49, 4.19.130, and 4.14.186 stable kernels. These all contain a rather large number of fixes all over the kernel tree; users of those series should upgrade.

[$] Emulating Windows system calls in Linux

Thursday 25th of June 2020 04:36:56 PM
The idea of handling system calls differently depending on the origin of each call in the process's address space is not entirely new. OpenBSD, for example, disallows system calls entirely if they are not made from the system's C library as a security-enhancing mechanism. At the end of May, Gabriel Krisman Bertazi proposed a similar mechanism for Linux, but the objective was not security at all; instead, he is working to make Windows games run better under Wine. That involves detecting and emulating Windows system calls; this can be done through origin-based filtering, but that may not be the solution that is merged in the end.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 25th of June 2020 01:25:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libexif, php-horde-horde, and tcpreplay), openSUSE (rubygem-bundler), Oracle (docker-cli docker-engine, kernel, and ntp), Slackware (curl and libjpeg), and Ubuntu (mutt).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 25, 2020

Thursday 25th of June 2020 01:04:17 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 25, 2020 is available.

[$] More alternatives to Google Analytics

Wednesday 24th of June 2020 08:17:50 PM
Last week, we introduced the privacy concerns with using Google Analytics (GA) and presented two lightweight open-source options: GoatCounter and Plausible. Those tools are useful for site owners who need relatively basic metrics. In this second article, we present several heavier-weight GA replacements for those who need more detailed analytics. We also look at some tools that produce analytics data based on web-server-access logs, GoAccess, in particular.

[$] Open-source contact tracing, part 1

Wednesday 24th of June 2020 06:12:12 PM
One of the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic consists of identifying contacts of infected people so they can be informed about the risk; that will allow them to search for medical care, if needed. This is laborious work if it is done manually, so a number of applications have been developed to help with contact tracing. But they are causing debates about their effectiveness and privacy impacts. Many of the applications were released under open-source licenses. Here, we look at the principles of these applications and the software frameworks used to build them; part two will look into some applications in more detail, along with the controversies (especially related to privacy) around these tools.

Perl 7 launches

Wednesday 24th of June 2020 05:14:27 PM
The Perl project has announced the upcoming release of Perl 7. Unlike Perl 6, though, this is not a radical departure, yet at least: "Perl 7.0 is going to be v5.32 but with different, saner, more modern defaults. You won’t have to enable most of the things you are already doing because they are enabled for you. The major version jump sets the boundary between how we have been doing things and what we can do in the future." The plan is to have a Perl 7 release "within the next year".

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 24th of June 2020 03:06:01 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel, ntp, and unbound), Fedora (php-horde-horde and tcpreplay), openSUSE (chromium, java-1_8_0-openj9, mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss, and opera), Oracle (gnutls, grafana, thunderbird, and unbound), Red Hat (candlepin and satellite, docker, microcode_ctl, openstack-keystone, openstack-manila and openstack-manila, and qemu-kvm-rhev), Scientific Linux (kernel and ntp), Slackware (ntp), SUSE (curl, libreoffice, libssh2_org, and php5), and Ubuntu (curl).

[$] PHP releases and support

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020 09:38:30 PM
PHP is used extensively on the web. How new features, security fixes, and bug fixes make their way into a release is important to understand. Likewise, understanding what can be expected in community support for previous releases is even more important. Since PHP-based sites are typically exposed to the Internet, keeping up-to-date is not something a security-minded administrator can afford to ignore.

FOSS Contributor Survey

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020 03:23:15 PM
The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) have developed a survey for contributors to free and open-source software (FOSS) projects. The aim is "to identify how to improve security, including the sustainability of the FOSS ecosystem, especially the FOSS systems heavily relied upon by organizations worldwide."

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020 02:59:37 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (thunderbird), Debian (wordpress), Fedora (ca-certificates, kernel, libexif, and tomcat), openSUSE (chromium, containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork, fwupd, osc, perl, php7, and xmlgraphics-batik), Oracle (unbound), Red Hat (containernetworking-plugins, dpdk, grafana, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, libexif, microcode_ctl, ntp, pcs, and skopeo), Scientific Linux (unbound), SUSE (kernel, mariadb, mercurial, and xawtv), and Ubuntu (mutt and nfs-utils).

Stable kernel updates

Monday 22nd of June 2020 02:31:09 PM
Stable kernels 5.7.5, 5.4.48, 4.19.129, 4.14.185, 4.9.228, and 4.4.228 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 22nd of June 2020 02:11:22 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (lynis, mutt, neomutt, ngircd, and rails), Mageia (gnutls), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (chromium-browser, gnutls, grafana, thunderbird, and unbound), Scientific Linux (thunderbird and unbound), and SUSE (bind, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, libgxps, and osc).

Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc2

Monday 22nd of June 2020 01:16:50 PM
The second 5.8 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "So rc2 isn't particularly big or scary, and falls right in the normal range".

Linux Plumbers Conference virtual town hall

Friday 19th of June 2020 06:40:44 PM
Mark your calendars: the Linux Plumbers Conference has scheduled an online town hall for June 25 at 15:00 GMT. "The first purpose is to test our remote conference set up. This is the first time we are holding Linux Plumbers virtually and while we can run simulated tests, it’s much more effective to test our setup with actual participants with differing hardware set ups around the world. The second purpose is to present on our planning and give everyone a little bit of an idea of what to expect when we hold Plumbers at the end of August. We plan to have time for questions." Testing the scalability of the conference system requires a lot of participants; the LPC organizers would appreciate it if a lot of people can find a moment to connect and help out.

[$] Updating the Git protocol for SHA-256

Friday 19th of June 2020 04:07:50 PM
The Git source-code management system has for years been moving toward abandoning the Secure Hash Algorithm 1 (SHA-1) in favor of the more secure SHA-256 algorithm. Recently, the project moved a step closer to that goal with contributors implementing new Git protocol capabilities to enable the transition.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 19th of June 2020 01:34:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7), Fedora (dbus, kernel, microcode_ctl, mingw-glib-networking, moby-engine, and roundcubemail), Mageia (libjpeg), openSUSE (chromium and rmt-server), Oracle (kernel and microcode_ctl), Red Hat (rh-nodejs8-nodejs and thunderbird), Slackware (bind), and SUSE (adns, containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork, dbus-1, fwupd, gegl, gnuplot, guile, java-1_7_1-ibm, java-1_8_0-ibm, kernel, mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss, perl, and php7).

[$] Rethinking the futex API

Thursday 18th of June 2020 09:35:35 PM
The Linux futex() system call is a bit of a strange beast. It is widely used to provide low-level synchronization support in user space, but there is no wrapper for it in the GNU C Library. Its implementation was meant to be simple, but kernel developers have despaired at the complex beast that it has become, and few dare to venture into that code. Recently, though, a new effort has begun to rework futexes; it is limited to a new system-call interface for now, but the plans go far beyond that.

More in Tux Machines

Stable Kernels: 5.7.14, 5.4.57, 4.19.138, and 4.14.193

  • Linux 5.7.14
    I'm announcing the release of the 5.7.14 kernel. All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.7.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 5.4.57
  • Linux 4.19.138
  • Linux 4.14.193

Ubuntu Kylin Point Release Boosts Desktop Performance by 46%

More than 418 updates, tweaks, and other improvements have been made to the uniquely styled desktop environment and distro since the release of Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 back in April. And as with the Ubuntu 20.04 point release Ubuntu Kylin’s refreshed installer image comes with all of those enhancements wrapped up, ready to go, out of the box — no lengthy post-install upgrades required. Read more

Open source is more than code: Developing Red Hat Satellite documentation upstream

The code base for Satellite begins upstream and moves downstream. Until recently, the Satellite documentation did not follow the same journey. In this post, I will outline what has been happening with Satellite documentation over the last year and how this benefits both the Foreman community and Red Hat Satellite users. The Foreman and Katello projects are the upstreams of Red Hat Satellite. The discussions and contributions that take place in the vibrant upstream community help shape the Red Hat Satellite code base. Red Hat’s open source and community strategy has made Red Hat Satellite a robust and flexible product that can manage complex management workflows. Read more

Android Mirroring App ‘Scrcpy’ Improves Shortcuts, Clipboard Support

Scrcpy v1.15 picks up the ability to forward ctrl and shift keys to your handset. Why is that useful? Because it means you can now use familiar keyboard shortcuts on your device in apps that support them, e.g., ctrl + t to open a new browser tab in a browser. This nifty addition is also able to pass ctrl + c and ctrl + v to Termux, if you use it. It also supports text selection easier using shift + → and similar. With the ctrl key now in use for shortcuts Scrcpy now uses the left alt or left super key as its shortcut modifier. Don’t like this? It can be changed. Read more