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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 32 min ago

[$] Bias and ethical issues in machine-learning models

Monday 2nd of September 2019 11:16:13 PM
The success stories that have gathered around data analytics drive broader adoption of the newest artificial-intelligence-based techniques—but risks come along with these techniques. The large numbers of freshly anointed data scientists piling into industry and the sensitivity of the areas given over to machine-learning models—hiring, loans, even sentencing for crime—means there is a danger of misapplied models, which is earning the attention of the public. Two sessions at the recent MinneBOS 2019 conference focused on maintaining ethics and addressing bias in machine-learning applications.

Kernel prepatch 5.3-rc7

Monday 2nd of September 2019 05:32:45 PM
The 5.3-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing, one day later than usual. The final 5.3 release may also be delayed a week to accommodate Linus's travel schedule: "So I do suspect that with my timing (and a number of other developers are probably going to be traveling for LPC and KS too) I'll just make an rc8 even if it turns this Labor Day week ends up being very quiet and there might not be any _technical_ reason to delay the release."

Security updates for Monday

Monday 2nd of September 2019 02:19:15 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (gosa, libav, libextractor, nghttp2, pump, and python2.7), Fedora (dovecot, mod_http2, and pango), Gentoo (dovecot, gnome-desktop, libofx, and nautilus), Mageia (ansible, ghostscript, graphicsmagick, memcached, mpg123, pango, vlc, wavpack, webmin, wireshark, and wpa_supplicant, hostapd), openSUSE (flatpak, libmirage, podman, slirp4netns and libcontainers-common, python-SQLAlchemy, and qemu), Red Hat (ghostscript, java-1.8.0-ibm, and squid:4), and SUSE (kernel, libsolv, libzypp, zypper, NetworkManager, nodejs10, nodejs8, perl, python-Django, and python-SQLAlchemy).

[$] Examining exFAT

Friday 30th of August 2019 06:43:28 PM
Linux kernel developers like to get support for new features — such as filesystem types — merged quickly. In the case of the exFAT filesystem, that didn't happen; exFAT was created by Microsoft in 2006 for use in larger flash-storage cards, but there has never been support in the kernel for this filesystem. Microsoft's recent announcement that it wanted to get exFAT support into the mainline kernel would appear to have removed the largest obstacle to Linux exFAT support. But, as is so often the case, it seems that some challenges remain.

A very deep dive into iOS Exploit chains found in the wild (Project Zero)

Friday 30th of August 2019 03:59:37 PM
It's not Linux but is worth a read: Google's Project Zero blog has a highly detailed analysis of several iOS exploits and how they were used to compromise large numbers of devices. "There's something thus far which is conspicuous only by its absence: is any of this encrypted? The short answer is no: they really do POST everything via HTTP (not HTTPS) and there is no asymmetric (or even symmetric) encryption applied to the data which is uploaded. Everything is in the clear. If you're connected to an unencrypted WiFi network this information is being broadcast to everyone around you, to your network operator and any intermediate network hops to the command and control server. This means that not only is the end-point of the end-to-end encryption offered by messaging apps compromised; the attackers then send all the contents of the end-to-end encrypted messages in plain text over the network to their server."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 30th of August 2019 12:56:46 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (dovecot, gettext, go, go-pie, libnghttp2, and pigeonhole), Debian (djvulibre, dovecot, and subversion), Fedora (sleuthkit and wireshark), openSUSE (containerd, docker, docker-runc, and qbittorrent), Oracle (pango), SUSE (kernel, nodejs10, and python-SQLAlchemy), and Ubuntu (apache2).

[$] Change IDs for kernel patches

Thursday 29th of August 2019 04:58:52 PM
For all its faults, email has long proved to be an effective communication mechanism for kernel development. Similarly, Git is an effective tool for source-code management. But there is no real connection between the two, meaning that there is no straightforward way to connect a Git commit with the email discussions that led to its acceptance. Once a patch enters a repository, it transitions into a new form of existence and leaves its past life behind. Doug Anderson recently went to the ksummit-discuss list with a proposal to add Gerrit-style change IDs as a way of connecting the two lives of a kernel patch; the end result may not be quite what he was asking for.

Stable kernels 5.2.11, 4.19.69, and 4.14.141

Thursday 29th of August 2019 03:25:16 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the latest batch of stable kernels: 5.2.11, 4.19.69, and 4.14.141. As usual, they contain important fixes all over the kernel tree; users should upgrade.

Ovid: Is Perl 6 Being Renamed?

Thursday 29th of August 2019 01:49:51 PM
Blogger Ovid writes about the push to rebrand Perl 6. "So yeah, there's bitterness and the Perl community not only needs to heal, but we need to find a way forward for both languages. The suggestion to change the name of Perl 6 to 'raku' is effectively designed to make this happen. Perl 5 can figure out how to get beyond the branding issue that's been plaguing it and Perl 6 can do the same thing."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 29th of August 2019 01:21:06 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and faad2), openSUSE (schismtracker), Red Hat (ceph and pango), Scientific Linux (pango), SUSE (apache-commons-beanutils, ceph, php7, and qemu), and Ubuntu (ceph, dovecot, and ghostscript).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 29, 2019

Thursday 29th of August 2019 12:44:52 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 29, 2019 is available.

[$] Open-source voting for San Francisco

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 10:41:56 PM
To open-source fans, the lure of open-source voting systems is surely strong. So a talk at 2019 Open Source Summit North America on a project for open-source voting in San Francisco sounded promising; it is a city with lots of technical know-how among its inhabitants. While progress has definitely been made—though at an almost glacially slow speed—there is no likelihood that the city will be voting using open-source software in the near future. The talk by Tony Wasserman was certainly interesting, however, and provided a look at the intricacies of elections and voting that make it clear the problem is not as easy as it might at first appear.

Microsoft to put exFAT support into the kernel

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 05:28:09 PM
Linux support for the exFAT filesystem has had a long and troubled history; Microsoft has long asserted patents in this area that have prevented that code from being merged into the kernel. Microsoft has just changed its tune, announcing that upstreaming exFAT is now OK: "It’s important to us that the Linux community can make use of exFAT included in the Linux kernel with confidence. To this end, we will be making Microsoft’s technical specification for exFAT publicly available to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations. We also support the eventual inclusion of a Linux kernel with exFAT support in a future revision of the Open Invention Network’s Linux System Definition, where, once accepted, the code will benefit from the defensive patent commitments of OIN’s 3040+ members and licensees."

GNOME Foundation launches Coding Education Challenge

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 04:46:22 PM
The GNOME Foundation, with support from Endless, has announced the Coding Education Challenge, a competition aimed to attract projects that offer educators and students new and innovative ideas to teach coding with free and open source software. "Anyone is encouraged to submit a proposal. Individuals and teams will be judged through three tiers of competition. Twenty winners will be selected from an open call for ideas and will each receive $6,500 in prize money. Those winners will progress to a proof of concept round and build a working prototype. Five winners from that round will be awarded $25,000 and progress to the final round where they will turn the prototype into an end product. The final winner will receive a prize of $100,000 and the second placed product a prize of $25,000."

[$] Ask the TAB

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 03:13:12 PM
The Linux Foundation (LF) Technical Advisory Board (TAB) is meant to give the kernel community some representation within the foundation. In a "birds of a feather" (BoF) session at the 2019 Open Source Summit North America, four TAB members participated in an "Ask the TAB" session. Laura Abbott organized the BoF and Tim Bird, Greg Kroah-Hartman, and Steven Rostedt joined in as well. In the session, the history behind the TAB, its role, and some of its activities over the years were described.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 02:28:57 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (dovecot), Fedora (docker and nghttp2), Oracle (pango), SUSE (apache2, fontforge, ghostscript-library, libreoffice, libvirt, podman, slirp4netns and libcontainers-common, postgresql10, and slurm), and Ubuntu (dovecot).

Rust is the future of systems programming, C is the new Assembly (Packt)

Wednesday 28th of August 2019 02:22:27 PM
Packt has published a lengthy writeup of a talk by Josh Triplett on work being done to advance the Rust language for system-level programming. "Systems programming often involves low-level manipulations and requires low-level details of the processors such as privileged instructions. For this, Rust supports using inline Assembly via the 'asm!' macro. However, it is only present in the nightly compiler and not yet stabilized. Triplett in a collaboration with other Rust developers is writing a proposal to introduce more robust syntax for inline Assembly."

[$] Inline encryption for filesystems

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 04:26:24 PM
The encryption of data at rest is increasingly mandatory in a wide range of settings from mobile devices to data centers. Linux has supported encryption at both the filesystem and block-storage layers for some time, but that support comes with a cost: either the CPU must encrypt and decrypt vast amounts of data moving to and from persistent storage or it must orchestrate offloading that work to a separate device. It was thus only a matter of time before ways were found to offload that overhead to the storage hardware itself. Satya Tangirala's inline encryption patch set is intended to enable the kernel to take advantage of this hardware in a general manner.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 02:33:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and xymon), openSUSE (putty and vlc), Red Hat (kernel and ruby), Scientific Linux (advancecomp, bind, binutils, blktrace, compat-libtiff3, curl, dhcp, elfutils, exempi, exiv2, fence-agents, freerdp and vinagre, ghostscript, glibc, gvfs, http-parser, httpd, kde-workspace, keepalived, kernel, keycloak-httpd-client-install, libarchive, libcgroup, libguestfs-winsupport, libjpeg-turbo, libmspack, libreoffice, libsolv, libssh2, libtiff, libvirt, libwpd, linux-firmware, mariadb, mercurial, mod_auth_openidc, nss, nss-softokn, nss-util, and nspr, ntp, opensc, openssh, openssl, ovmf, patch, perl-Archive-Tar, polkit, poppler, procps-ng, python, python-requests, python-urllib3, qemu-kvm, qt5, rsyslog, ruby, samba, sox, spice-gtk, sssd, systemd, tomcat, udisks2, unixODBC, unzip, uriparser, Xorg, zsh, and zziplib), Slackware (kernel), and SUSE (ardana-ansible, ardana-db, ardana-freezer, ardana-glance, ardana-input-model, ardana-nova, ardana-osconfig, ardana-tempest, caasp-openstack-heat-templates, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, galera-python-clustercheck, openstack-cinder, openstack-glance, openstack-heat, openstack-horizon-plugin-monasca-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-neutron-fwaas-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-keystone, openstack-manila, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-monasca-api, openstack-monasca-persister, openstack-monasca-persister-java, openstack-murano, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, python-Beaver, python-oslo.db, python-osprofiler, python-swiftlm, venv-openstack-magnum, venv-openstack-monasca, venv-openstack-monasca-ceilometer, venv-openstack-murano, venv-openstack-neutron and qemu).

[$] Linker limitations on 32-bit architectures

Tuesday 27th of August 2019 01:31:57 PM
Before a program can be run, it needs to be built. It's a well-known fact that modern software, in general, consumes more runtime resources than before, sometimes to the point of forcing users to upgrade their computers. But it also consumes more resources at build time, forcing operators of the distributions' build farms to invest in new hardware, with faster CPUs and more memory. For 32-bit architectures, however, there exists a fundamental limit on the amount of virtual memory, which is never going to disappear. That is leading to some problems for distributions trying to build packages for those architectures.

More in Tux Machines

Devices Leftovers

  • Khadas VIM3L (Amlogic S905D3) Benchmarks, Settings & System Info

    Khadas VIM3L is the first Amlogic S905D3 SBC on the market and is sold as a lower-cost alternative to the company’s VIM3 board with a focus on the HTPC / media player market.

  • Semtech SX1302 LoRa Transceiver to Deliver Cheaper, More Efficient Gateways
  • In-vehicle computer supports new MaaS stack

    Axiomtek’s fanless, rugged “UST100-504-FL” automotive PC runs Ubuntu 18.04 or Windows on 6th or 7th Gen Intel chips, and offers SATA, HDMI, 2x GbE, 4x USB 3.0, 3x mini-PCIe, a slide-rail design, and the new AMS/AXView for MaaS discovery. Axiomtek announced a rugged in-vehicle PC that runs Ubuntu 18.04, Windows 10, or Windows 7 on Intel’s Skylake or Kaby Lake processors. The UST100-504-FL is aimed at “in-vehicle edge computing and video analytics applications,” and is especially suited for police and emergency vehicles, says Axiomtek. There’s also a new Agent MaaS Suite (AMS) IoT management suite available (see farther below).

  • Google Launches the Pixel 4 with Android 10, Astrophotography, and Motion Sense

    Google officially launched today the long rumored and leaked Pixel 4 smartphone, a much-needed upgrade to the Pixel 3 and 3a series with numerous enhancements and new features. The Pixel 4 smartphone is finally here, boasting upgraded camera with astrophotography capabilities so you can shoot the night sky and Milky Way without using a professional camera, a feature that will also be ported to the Pixel 3 and 3a devices with the latest camera app update, as well as Live HDR+ support for outstanding photo quality.

  • Repurposing A Toy Computer From The 1990s

    Our more youthful readers are fairly likely to have owned some incarnation of a VTech educational computer. From the mid-1980s and right up to the present day, VTech has been producing vaguely laptop shaped gadgets aimed at teaching everything from basic reading skills all the way up to world history. Hallmarks of these devices include a miserable monochrome LCD, and unpleasant membrane keyboard, and as [HotKey] found, occasionally a proper Z80 processor. [...] After more than a year of tinkering and talking to other hackers in the Z80 scene, [HotKey] has made some impressive headway. He’s not only created a custom cartridge that lets him load new code and connect to external devices, but he’s also added support for a few VTech machines to z88dk so that others can start writing their own C code for these machines. So far he’s created some very promising proof of concept programs such as a MIDI controller and serial terminal, but ultimately he hopes to create a DOS or CP/M like operating system that will elevate these vintage machines from simple toys to legitimate multi-purpose computers.

today's howtos

Audiocasts/Shows/Screencasts: FLOSS Weekly, Containers, Linux Headlines, Arch Linux Openbox Build and GhostBSD 19.09

  • FLOSS Weekly 551: Kamailio

    Kamailio is an Open Source SIP Server released under GPL, able to handle thousands of call setups per second. Kamailio can be used to build large platforms for VoIP and realtime communications – presence, WebRTC, Instant messaging and other applications.

  • What is a Container? | Jupiter Extras 23

    Containers changed the way the IT world deploys software. We give you our take on technologies such as docker (including docker-compose), Kubernetes and highlight a few of our favorite containers.

  • 2019-10-16 | Linux Headlines

    WireGuard is kicked out of the Play Store, a new Docker worm is discovered, and Mozilla unveils upcoming changes to Firefox.

  • Showing off my Custom Arch Linux Openbox Build
  • GhostBSD 19.09 - Based on FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE and Using MATE Desktop 1.22

    GhostBSD 19.09 is the latest release of GhostBSD. This release based on FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE while also pulling in TrueOS packages, GhostBSD 19.09 also has an updated OpenRC init system, a lot of unnecessary software was removed, AMDGPU and Radeon KMS is now valid xconfig options and a variety of other improvements and fixes.

MX-19 Release Candidate 1 now available

We are pleased to offer MX-19 RC 1 for testing purposes. As usual, this iso includes the latest updates from debian 10.1 (buster), antiX and MX repos. Read more