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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 30 min ago

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 29th of July 2020 02:58:51 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, firefox-esr, luajit, and salt), Fedora (clamav, java-1.8.0-openjdk, and java-11-openjdk), Gentoo (claws-mail, dropbear, ffmpeg, libetpan, mujs, mutt, and rsync), openSUSE (qemu), Red Hat (openstack-tripleo-heat-templates), SUSE (freerdp, ldb, rubygem-puma, samba, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0 and sympa).

GNU nano 5.0 released

Wednesday 29th of July 2020 02:25:12 PM
Version 5.0 of the GNU nano text editor is out; it contains a number of improvements to the editing experience. "With --indicator (or -q or 'set indicator') nano will show a kind of scrollbar on the righthand side of the screen to indicate where in the buffer the viewport is located and how much it covers."

[$] Lockless algorithms for mere mortals

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 07:34:08 PM
Time, as some have said, is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once. In today's highly concurrent computers, though, time turns out not to be enough to keep events in order; that task falls to an extensive set of locking primitives and, below those, the formalized view of memory known as the Linux kernel memory model. It takes a special kind of mind to really understand the memory model, though; kernel developers lacking that particular superpower are likely to make mistakes when working in areas where the memory model comes into play. Working at that level is increasingly necessary for performance purposes, though; a recent conversation points out ways in which the kernel could make that kind of work easier for ordinary kernel developers.

Firefox 79.0

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 03:51:54 PM
Firefox 79.0 has been released. This version has improved accessibility for people using screen readers. See the release notes for more details.

[$] TLS gets a boost from Arduino for IoT devices

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 03:18:03 PM
Arduino devices are a favorite among do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts to create, among other things, Internet of Things (IoT) devices. We have previously covered the Espressif ESP8266 family of devices that can be programmed using the Arduino SDK, but the Arduino project itself also provides WiFi-enabled devices such as the Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 board. Recently, the Arduino Security Team raised the problem of security shortcomings of IoT devices in a post, and how the Arduino project is working to make improvements. We will take the opportunity to share some interesting things from that, and also look at the overall state of TLS support in the Arduino and Espressif SDK projects.

Historical programming-language groups disappearing from Google

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 03:04:34 PM
As Alex McDonald notes in this support request, Google has recently banned the old Usenet groups comp.lang.forth and comp.lang.lisp from the Google Groups system. "Of specific concern is the archive. These are some of the oldest groups on Usenet, and the depth & breadth of the historical material that has just disappeared from the internet, on two seminal programming languages, is huge and highly damaging. These are the history and collective memories of two communities that are being expunged, and it's not great, since there is no other comprehensive archive after Google's purchase of Dejanews around 20 years ago." Perhaps Google can be convinced to restore the content, but it also seems that some of this material could benefit from a more stable archive.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 02:58:34 PM
Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, go1.13, SUSE Manager Client Tools, and tomcat), Red Hat (postgresql-jdbc and python-pillow), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (python-Django and python-Pillow), and Ubuntu (clamav, librsvg, libslirp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1, linux-hwe, linux-azure-5.3, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-oracle-5.3, and sqlite3).

Git v2.28.0

Monday 27th of July 2020 05:29:37 PM
Version 2.28.0 of the git version control system has been released. "It is smaller than the releases in our recent past, mostly due to the development cycle was near the shorter end of the spectrum (our cycles last 8-12 weeks and this was a rare 8-week cycle)."

See this GitHub Blog post for details on the new features in this release.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 27th of July 2020 02:51:53 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (e2fsprogs, ffmpeg, milkytracker, mupdf, openjdk-11, and qemu), Fedora (bashtop), Gentoo (ant, arpwatch, awstats, cacti, chromium, curl, dbus, djvu, filezilla, firefox, freexl, fuseiso, fwupd, glib-networking, haml, hylafaxplus, icinga, jhead, lha, libexif, libreswan, netqmail, nss, ntfs3g, ntp, ocaml, okular, ossec-hids, qtgui, qtnetwork, re2c, reportlab, samba, sarg, sqlite, thunderbird, transmission, tre, twisted, webkit-gtk, wireshark, and xen), openSUSE (cacti, cacti-spine, chromium, freerdp, go1.13, kernel, knot, libraw, LibVNCServer, perl-YAML-LibYAML, salt, tomcat, vino, and webkit2gtk3), and SUSE (mailman, rubygem-excon, rust, rust-cbindgen, samba, and tomcat).

Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc7

Monday 27th of July 2020 01:24:06 PM
The 5.8-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing; Linus is unsure about whether things are slowing down enough or not. "But it *might* mean that an rc8 is called for. It's not like rc7 is *big* big. We've had bigger rc7's. Both 5.3 and 5.5 had bigger rc7's, but only 5.3 ended up with an rc8. Put another way: it could still go either way. We'll see how this upcoming week goes."

[$] Mycroft: an open-source voice assistant

Friday 24th of July 2020 09:40:25 PM
Mycroft is a free and open-source software project aimed at providing voice-assistant technology, licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. It is an interesting alternative to closed-source commercial offerings such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Apple Siri. Use of voice assistants has become common among consumers, but the privacy concerns surrounding them are far-reaching. There have been multiple instances of law enforcement's interest in the data these devices produce for use against their owners. Mycroft claims to offer a privacy-respecting, open-source alternative, giving users a choice on how much of their personal data is shared and with whom.

Bison 3.7 released

Friday 24th of July 2020 03:12:22 PM
Version 3.7 of the Bison parser generator is out. The biggest new feature would appear to be the generation of "counterexamples" for conflicts — examples of strings that could be parsed in multiple ways. There is also better support for reproducible builds, documentation links in warnings, and more.

digiKam 7.0.0 released

Friday 24th of July 2020 02:05:32 PM
Version 7.0.0 of the digiKam photo editing and management application is out. This release adds support for a number of new raw formats, support for Apple's HEIF format, and a new mosaic plugin. The headline feature, though, appears to be completely reworked face detection: "The new code, based on recent Deep Neural Network features from the OpenCV library, uses neuronal networks with pre-learned data models dedicated for the Face Management. No learning stage is required to perform face detection and recognition. We have saved coding time, run-time speed, and a improved the success rate which reaches 97% of true positives. Another advantage is that it is able to detect non-human faces, such as those of dogs."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 24th of July 2020 01:32:22 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (qemu), Fedora (java-11-openjdk, mod_authnz_pam, podofo, and python27), openSUSE (cni-plugins, tomcat, and xmlgraphics-batik), Oracle (dbus and thunderbird), SUSE (freerdp, kernel, libraw, perl-YAML-LibYAML, and samba), and Ubuntu (libvncserver and openjdk-lts).

Brauner: The Seccomp Notifier – New Frontiers in Unprivileged Container Development

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 07:54:41 PM
Christian Brauner has posted a novella-length description of the seccomp notifier mechanism and the problems it is meant to solve. "So from the section above it should be clear that seccomp provides a few desirable properties that make it a natural candidate to look at to help solve our mknod(2) and mount(2) problem. Since seccomp intercepts syscalls early in the syscall path it already gives us a hook into the syscall path of a given task. What is missing though is a way to bring another task such as the LXD container manager into the picture. Somehow we need to modify seccomp in a way that makes it possible for a container manager to not just be informed when a task inside the container performs a syscall it wants to be informed about but also how can to make it possible to block the task until the container manager instructs the kernel to allow it to proceed."

PHP 8 alpha 3 released

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 05:40:17 PM
The PHP project has released PHP 8 Alpha 3, the final alpha release according to the 8.0 release schedule. Feature freeze for the 8.0 release is scheduled for August 4, making this release the last one before features for the latest version of PHP are finalized. PHP 8.0 is scheduled to be released for general availability on November 26.

[$] The archaeology of GNOME accessibility

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 02:06:44 PM
There are many people in the world who cannot make full use of their computers without some sort of accessibility support. Developers, though, have a tendency not to think about accessibility issues themselves; they don't (usually) need those features and cannot normally even see them. In a talk at the 2020 GUADEC virtual conference, Emmanuele Bassi discussed the need for accessibility features, their history in GNOME, and his effort to rethink about how GNOME supports assistive technology.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 01:20:36 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (poppler and tomcat8), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, java-1.8.0-openjdk, mbedtls, mingw-python3, singularity, and xen), openSUSE (firefox, redis, and singularity), Red Hat (samba), SUSE (java-11-openjdk, qemu, and vino), and Ubuntu (ffmpeg and pillow).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for July 23, 2020

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 01:27:19 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for July 23, 2020 is available.

Image "Cloaking" for Personal Privacy

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020 10:43:48 PM
SAND Lab at the University of Chicago has announced Fawkes, which is a BSD-licensed privacy-protection tool available on GitHub. "At a high level, Fawkes takes your personal images, and makes tiny, pixel-level changes to them that are invisible to the human eye, in a process we call image cloaking. You can then use these "cloaked" photos as you normally would, sharing them on social media, sending them to friends, printing them or displaying them on digital devices, the same way you would any other photo. The difference, however, is that if and when someone tries to use these photos to build a facial recognition model, "cloaked" images will teach the model an highly distorted version of what makes you look like you. The cloak effect is not easily detectable, and will not cause errors in model training. However, when someone tries to identify you using an unaltered image of you (e.g. a photo taken in public), and tries to identify you, they will fail."

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • Fedora 34 Aims To Further Enhance Security But Will Lose Runtime Disabling Of SELinux

    Currently on Fedora the Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) functionality that's there by default can be disabled at run-time via the /etc/selinux/config but moving forward with Fedora 34 they are looking at removing that support and focusing just on disabling via selinux=0 at the kernel boot time in order to provide greater security. At present on Fedora, those wanting to forego the security safeguards can either pass selinux=0 as the kernel command line option to disable the support at boot time or by disabling it within the /etc/selinux/config file that in turn disables the support at run-time.

  • Getting started with the Red Hat Insights policies capability

    Many customers I talk to have gotten a lot of value out of Red Hat Insights, which allows Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) customers to proactively identify and remediate risks in their RHEL environments. These risks can include items related to security and compliance, performance, availability, and stability. However, one common request I’ve heard is that customers would like a way to add their own internal checks that are specific to their environment into Insights. This type of functionality is now available with the Policies capability in Red Hat Insights, which allows customers to define their own policies which are evaluated when Insights data is uploaded from RHEL hosts. If any of the policies are evaluated to match, an email or webhook action can be triggered.

  • IBM Z Day 2020: A record-shattering event!

    Thank you, one and all, for making IBM Z Day 2020 such a huge success!

  • Red Hat, Samsung Join Hands To Deliver 5G Networking Solution

    Red Hat has teamed up with Samsung to deliver an open source networking solution built on Red Hat OpenShift. The solution will integrate with Samsung’s key networking applications and is aimed at helping service providers make 5G a reality across use cases. [...] Containerized network functions (CNFs) and virtualized network functions (VNFs) provide a path to transformation for modern telcos. As such, Samsung has achieved Red Hat’s vendor validated VNF Certification and plans to have full CNF Certification.

Graphics: Zink, Navi, Disman and CUDA

  • Mike Blumenkrantz: Will It Blend

    For the past few days, I’ve been trying to fix a troublesome bug. Specifically, the Unigine Heaven benchmark wasn’t drawing most textures in color, and this was hampering my ability to make further claims about zink being the fastest graphics driver in the history of software since it’s not very impressive to be posting side-by-side screenshots that look like garbage even if the FPS counter in the corner is higher. [...] The Magic Of Dual Blending It turns out that the Heaven benchmark is buggy and expects the D3D semantics for dual blending, which is why mesa knows this and informs drivers that they need to enable workarounds if they have the need. [...] In short, D3D expects to blend two outputs based on their locations, but in Vulkan and OpenGL, the blending is based on index. So here, I’ve just changed the location of gl_FragData[1] to match gl_FragData[0] and then incremented the index, because Fragment outputs identified with an Index of zero are directed to the first input of the blending unit associated with the corresponding Location. Outputs identified with an Index of one are directed to the second input of the corresponding blending unit.

  • New Linux kernel update may have tipped AMD's hand by leaking Big Navi specs

    Nvidia may have all the headlines with the GeForce RTX 3090 making the rounds in benchmarks, but AMD might swoop in to steal the show next month. Thanks to a sharp-eyed Reddit user, we may have gotten a sneak peek at AMD’s act. Reddit user u/stblr dug through a recent version of Radeon Open Compute (ROCm), version 3.8, includes firmware for AMD’s upcoming GPUs, codenamed Sienna Cichlid and Navy Flounder. Sienna Cichlid is also known as Navi 21 (or Big Navi), and Navy Flounder denotes either Navi 22 or 23. The code in the update confirms that Sienna Cichlid (Big Navi) will have 80 CUs and a 256-bit memory bus, while Navy Flounder will have 40 CUs and a 192-bit memory bus.

  • Disman Continues Taking Shape As Display Management Library For X11/Wayland

    Disman is the display management library forked from LibKScreen as part of KWinFT. Last week at XDC2020 an update was provided on this Qt/C++ library for display management. KDE developer Roman Gilg presented on Disman at the 2020 X.Org Developers' Conference along with KDisplay as a GUI front-end interfacing with this library. Disman is capable of properly configuring multiple displays and working across different X11 windowing systems as well as compositors. Under Wayland, Disman supports the likes of wlr_output_management_unstable_v1, kwinft_output_management_unstable_v1, KDE's output management protocol, and D-Bus interfaces around it. This allows Disman to work seamlessly on X11 with RandR and under Wayland by the likes of KDE's KWin, the KWinFT fork, and also WLROOTS-based compositors.

  • NVIDIA CUDA 11.1 Released With RTX 30 Series Support, Better Compatibility Across Versions

    NVIDIA has released version 11.1 of their CUDA toolkit that now supports the GeForce RTX 30 "Ampere" series graphics cards. CUDA 11.0 released back in July brought initial Ampere GPU support while CUDA 11.1 today formally supports the Ampere consumer GPUs in the RTX 30 series. Once we receive samples of the new GPUs we'll be putting the new CUDA release through its paces under Linux with the RTX 3070/3080/3090 series. [...] CUDA 11.1 also brings a new PTX compiler static library, version 7.1 of the Parallel Thread Execution (PTX) ISA, support for Fedora 32 and Debian 10.3, new unified programming models, hardware-accelerated sparse texture support, multi-threaded launch to different CUDA streams, improvements to CUDA Graphs, and various other enhancements. GCC 10.0 and Clang 10.0 are also now supported as host compilers.

Mozilla: Rust, Firefox 80/81, Golden Era of Computing and Firefox Nightly