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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 38 min ago

Git v2.23.0 released

Sunday 18th of August 2019 03:06:10 PM
Version 2.23.0 of the Git source-code management system is out. There's a lot of new features, including a new "git merge --quit" option, new "git switch" and "git restore" commands, and more.

[$] Reconsidering unprivileged BPF

Friday 16th of August 2019 03:11:47 PM
The BPF virtual machine within the kernel has seen a great deal of work over the last few years; as that has happened, its use has expanded to many different kernel subsystems. One of the objectives of that work in the past has been to make it safe to allow unprivileged users to load at least some types of BPF programs into the kernel. A recent discussion has made it clear, though, that the goal of opening up BPF to unprivileged users has been abandoned as unachievable, and that further work in that direction will not be accepted by the BPF maintainer.

kdevops: a devops framework for Linux kernel development

Friday 16th of August 2019 02:58:56 PM
Luis Chamberlain has announced the "kdevops" kernel-development framework. "I'm announcing the release of kdevops which aims at making setting up and testing the Linux kernel for any project as easy as possible. Note that setting up testing for a subsystem and testing a subsystem are two separate operations, however we strive for both. This is not a new test framework, it allows you to use existing frameworks, and set those frameworks up as easily can humanly be possible. It relies on a series of modern hip devops frameworks, it relies on ansible, vagrant and terraform, ansible roles through the Ansible Galaxy, and terraform modules."

Stable kernels 5.2.9, 4.19.67, and 4.14.139

Friday 16th of August 2019 02:43:55 PM
Three new stable kernels have been announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman: 5.2.9, 4.19.67, and 4.14.139. There are important fixes in each; users should upgrade.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 16th of August 2019 01:52:52 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (freetype, libreoffice, and openjdk-7), Fedora (edk2, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, mariadb-connector-odbc, python-django, and squirrelmail), Gentoo (chromium, cups, firefox, glibc, kconfig, libarchive, libreoffice, oracle-jdk-bin, polkit, proftpd, sqlite, wget, zeromq, and znc), openSUSE (bzip2, chromium, dosbox, evince, gpg2, icedtea-web, java-11-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kconfig, kdelibs4, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, nodejs8, pdns, polkit, python, subversion, and vlc), Oracle (ghostscript and kernel), Red Hat (mysql:8.0 and subversion:1.10), SUSE (389-ds, libvirt and libvirt-python, and openjpeg2), and Ubuntu (nginx).

KDE Applications 19.08 Brings New Features to Konsole, Dolphin, Kdenlive, Okular and Dozens of Other Apps (KDE.News)

Thursday 15th of August 2019 11:36:02 PM
KDE.News reports on the release of KDE Applications 19.08. The release has updates for many different applications, as can also be seen in the official announcement. "Take Konsole, our powerful terminal emulator, which has seen major improvements to its tiling abilities. We've made tiling a bit more advanced, so now you can split your tabs as many times as you want, both horizontally and vertically. The layout is completely customizable, so feel free to drag and drop the panes inside Konsole to achieve the perfect workspace for your needs. Dolphin, KDE's file explorer, introduces features that will help you step up your file management game. Let's start with bookmarks, a feature that allows you to create a quick-access link to a folder, or save a group of specific tabs for future reference. We've also made tab management smarter to help you declutter your desktop. Dolphin will now automatically open folders from other apps in new tabs of an existing window, instead of in their own separate windows."

[$] PHP and P++

Thursday 15th of August 2019 02:03:33 PM
PHP is the Fortran of the world-wide web: it demonstrated the power of code embedded in web pages, but has since been superseded in many developers' minds by more contemporary technologies. Even so, as with Fortran, there is far more PHP code out there than one might think, and PHP is still chosen for new projects. There is a certain amount of tension in the PHP development community between the need to maintain compatibility for large amounts of ancient code and the need to evolve the language to keep it relevant for current developers. That tension has now come into the open with a proposal to split PHP into two languages.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 15th of August 2019 01:26:37 PM
Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (irssi, ledger, libheimdal, libmediainfo, libqb, and libsass) and Slackware (mozilla).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 15, 2019

Thursday 15th of August 2019 12:51:42 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 15, 2019 is available.

[$] Hardening the "file" utility for Debian

Wednesday 14th of August 2019 06:47:49 PM
The file command would seem to be an ideal candidate for sandboxing; it routinely handles untrusted input. But an effort to add seccomp() filtering to file for Debian has run aground. The upstream file project has added support for sandboxing via seccomp() but it does not play well with other parts of the Debian world, package building in particular. This situation provides further evidence that seccomp() filtering is brittle and difficult to use.

EPEL 8.0 released

Wednesday 14th of August 2019 03:45:44 PM
EPEL 8.0 is out. "EPEL stands for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux and is a subcommunity of the Fedora and CentOS projects aimed at bringing a subset of packages out of Fedora releases ready to be used and installed on various Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)." Beyond the update to RHEL (and CentOS) 8, this release features a new faster-moving "playground" package stream and support for the s390 architecture.

Kroah-Hartman: Patch Workflow With Mutt - 2019

Wednesday 14th of August 2019 03:21:18 PM
For those interested in the details of how one kernel developer works: Greg Kroah-Hartman has documented his email workflow in great detail. "The ability to edit a single message directly within my email client is essential. I end up having to fix up changelog text, editing the subject line to be correct, fixing the mail headers to not do foolish things with text formats, and in some cases, editing the patch itself for when it is corrupted or needs to be fixed (I want a Linkedin skill badge for 'can edit diff files by hand and have them still work')"

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 14th of August 2019 02:53:55 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (kernel, linux-4.9, otrs2, and tomcat8), Fedora (igraph and jhead), openSUSE (ansible, GraphicsMagick, kconfig, kdelibs4, live555, mumble, phpMyAdmin, proftpd, python-Django, and znc), Oracle (kernel and openssl), Red Hat (kernel, openssl, and rh-mysql80-mysql), Scientific Linux (kernel and openssl), Slackware (kernel), SUSE (containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork and mariadb-100), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-snapdragon, php5, php7.0, php7.2, and wpa).

[$] Corner cases and exception types

Tuesday 13th of August 2019 09:13:05 PM
Some unanticipated corner cases with Python's new "walrus" operator—described in our Python 3.8 overview—have cropped up recently. The problematic uses of the operator will be turned into errors before the final release, but just what exception should be raised came into question. It seems that the exception specified in the PEP for the operator may not really be the best choice, as a recent discussion hashed out.

[$] Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

Tuesday 13th of August 2019 06:53:58 PM
Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel's page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file's backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file's on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked "V1,000,002") from Ira Weiny.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 13th of August 2019 02:32:18 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, postgresql, and postgresql-libs), Debian (atril, chromium, evince, ghostscript, jackson-databind, kernel, and php5), Fedora (kf5-kconfig, mingw-sqlite, pam-u2f, and poppler), Mageia (kernel), openSUSE (aubio, chromium, kconfig, kdelibs4, nodejs10, osc, and zstd), Red Hat (ghostscript), and Ubuntu (ghostscript and MariaDB).

Xfce 4.14 released

Monday 12th of August 2019 05:05:13 PM
The Xfce desktop 4.14 is out. "In this 4.14 cycle the main goal was to port all core components to Gtk3 (over Gtk2) and GDBus (over D-Bus GLib). Most components also received GObject Introspection support. Along the way we ended up polishing our user experience, introducing quite a few new features and improvements."

LXD 3.16 released

Monday 12th of August 2019 04:15:31 PM
Version 3.16 of the LXD system container manager has been released. "This release includes a number of new features, configuration options and improvements to the command line tool. Behind the scenes, a lot of work has gone into reworking the infrastructure used for container devices with the nic, infiniband and proxy devices having switched over to the new logic. This should result in much cleaner code that is easier to debug, better tests and more thorough error handling and configuration validation."

GNU Radio 3.8.0.0 released

Monday 12th of August 2019 03:54:15 PM
GNU Radio is an extensive framework for software-defined radio development. The 3.8.0.0 release is finally available. "It's the first minor release version since more than six years, not without pride this community stands to face the brightest future SDR on general purpose hardware ever had."

Two stable kernels

Monday 12th of August 2019 02:35:59 PM
Stable kernels 4.9.189 and 4.4.189 have been released. They both contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

More in Tux Machines

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

The Linux Mint 19.2 Gaming Report: Promising But Room For Improvement

When I started outlining the original Linux Gaming Report, I was still a fresh-faced Linux noob. I didn’t understand how fast the ecosystem advanced (particularly graphics drivers and Steam Proton development), and I set some lofty goals that I couldn’t accomplish given my schedule. Before I even got around to testing Ubuntu 18.10, for example, Ubuntu 19.04 was just around the corner! And since all the evaluation and benchmarking takes a considerable amount of time, I ended up well behind the curve. So I’ve streamlined the process a bit, while adding additional checkpoints such as out-of-the-box software availability and ease-of-installation for important gaming apps like Lutris and GameHub. Read more

Something exciting is coming with Ubuntu 19.10

ZFS is a combined file system and logical volume manager that is scalable, supplying support for high storage capacity and a more efficient data compression, and includes snapshots and rollbacks, copy-on-write clones, continuous integrity checking, automatic repair, and much more. So yeah, ZFS is a big deal, which includes some really great features. But out of those supported features, it's the snapshots and rollbacks that should have every Ubuntu user/admin overcome with a case of the feels. Why? Imagine something has gone wrong. You've lost data or an installation of a piece of software has messed up the system. What do you do? If you have ZFS and you've created a snapshot, you can roll that system back to the snapshot where everything was working fine. Although the concept isn't new to the world of computing, it's certainly not something Ubuntu has had by default. So this is big news. Read more

Pack Your Bags – Systemd Is Taking You To A New Home

Home directories have been a fundamental part on any Unixy system since day one. They’re such a basic element, we usually don’t give them much thought. And why would we? From a low level point of view, whatever location $HOME is pointing to, is a directory just like any other of the countless ones you will find on the system — apart from maybe being located on its own disk partition. Home directories are so unspectacular in their nature, it wouldn’t usually cross anyone’s mind to even consider to change anything about them. And then there’s Lennart Poettering. In case you’re not familiar with the name, he is the main developer behind the systemd init system, which has nowadays been adopted by the majority of Linux distributions as replacement for its oldschool, Unix-style init-system predecessors, essentially changing everything we knew about the system boot process. Not only did this change personally insult every single Perl-loving, Ken-Thompson-action-figure-owning grey beard, it engendered contempt towards systemd and Lennart himself that approaches Nickelback level. At this point, it probably doesn’t matter anymore what he does next, haters gonna hate. So who better than him to disrupt everything we know about home directories? Where you _live_? Although, home directories are just one part of the equation that his latest creation — the systemd-homed project — is going to make people hate him even more tackle. The big picture is really more about the whole concept of user management as we know it, which sounds bold and scary, but which in its current state is also a lot more flawed than we might realize. So let’s have a look at what it’s all about, the motivation behind homed, the problems it’s going to both solve and raise, and how it’s maybe time to leave some outdated philosophies behind us. Read more