Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

LWN

Syndicate content
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 29 min ago

[$] Bringing the Android kernel back to the mainline

Thursday 15th of November 2018 08:17:27 PM
Android devices are based on the Linux kernel but, since the beginning, those devices have not run mainline kernels. The amount of out-of-tree code shipped on those devices has been seen as a problem for most of this time, and significant resources have been dedicated to reducing it. At the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference, Sandeep Patil talked about this problem and what is being done to address it. The dream of running mainline kernels on Android devices has not yet been achieved, but it may be closer than many people think.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta

Thursday 15th of November 2018 06:44:44 PM
Red Hat has announced the release of RHEL 8 Beta. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta introduces the concept of Application Streams to deliver userspace packages more simply and with greater flexibility. Userspace components can now update more quickly than core operating system packages and without having to wait for the next major version of the operating system. Multiple versions of the same package, for example, an interpreted language or a database, can also be made available for installation via an application stream. This helps to deliver greater agility and user-customized versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux without impacting the underlying stability of the platform or specific deployments."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 15th of November 2018 03:59:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kde-connect, mingw-SDL2_image, SDL2_image, and subscription-manager), Red Hat (flash-plugin), SUSE (openssh-openssl1, systemd, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-azure, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, postgresql-10, and python2.7).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 15, 2018

Thursday 15th of November 2018 01:21:28 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 15, 2018 is available.

[$] A report from the Automated Testing Summit

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 10:21:10 PM

In the first session of the Testing & Fuzzing microconference at the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), Kevin Hilman gave a report on the recently held Automated Testing Summit (ATS). Since the summit was an invitation-only gathering of 35 people, there were many at LPC who were not at ATS but had a keen interest in what was discussed. The summit came out of a realization that there is a lot of kernel testing going on in various places, but not a lot of collaboration between those efforts, Hilman said.

[$] Device-tree schemas

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 06:56:20 PM
Device trees have become ubiquitous in recent years as a way of describing the hardware layout of non-discoverable systems, such as many ARM-based devices. The device-tree bindings define how a particular piece of hardware is described in a device tree. Drivers then implement those bindings. The device-tree documentation shows how to use the bindings to describe systems: which properties are available and which values they may have. In theory, the bindings, drivers and documentation should be consistent with each other. In practice, they are often not consistent and, even when they are, using those bindings correctly in actual device trees is not a trivial task. As a result, developers have been considering formal validation for device-tree files for years. Recently, Rob Herring proposed a move to a more structured documentation format for device-tree bindings using JSON Schema to allow automated validation.

Results: Linux Foundation Technical Board Election 2018

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 05:02:57 PM
The results of the 2018 election for members of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board have been posted; the members elected this time around are Chris Mason, Laura Abbott, Olof Johansson, Dan Williams, and Kees Cook. Abbott and Cook are new members to the board this time around. (The other TAB members are Ted Ts'o, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Jonathan Corbet, Tim Bird, and Steve Rostedt).

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 04:12:15 PM
Stable kernels 4.19.2, 4.18.19, 4.14.81, and 4.9.137 have been released. They all contain a relatively large set of important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 04:03:34 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (powerdns and powerdns-recursor), Debian (ceph and spamassassin), Fedora (feh, flatpak, and xen), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, openstack-cinder, python-cryptography, and Red Hat Single Sign-On 7.2.5), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.4, python3.5).

[$] Debian, Rust, and librsvg

Wednesday 14th of November 2018 12:46:20 AM

Debian supports many architectures and, even for those it does not officially support, there are Debian ports that try to fill in the gap. For most user applications, it is mostly a matter of getting GCC up and running for the architecture in question, then building all of the different packages that Debian provides. But for packages that need to be built with LLVM—applications or libraries that use Rust, for example—that simple recipe becomes more complicated. How much the lack of Rust support for an unofficial architecture should hold back the rest of the distribution was the subject of a somewhat acrimonious discussion recently.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 13th of November 2018 03:43:54 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firmware-nonfree and imagemagick), Fedora (cabextract, icecast, and libmspack), openSUSE (icecast), Red Hat (httpd24), Slackware (libtiff), SUSE (apache-pdfbox, firefox, ImageMagick, and kernel), and Ubuntu (clamav, spamassassin, and systemd).

[$] C library system-call wrappers, or the lack thereof

Monday 12th of November 2018 11:01:33 PM
User-space developers may be accustomed to thinking of system calls as direct calls into the kernel. Indeed, the first edition of The C Programming Language described read() and write() as "a direct entry into the operating system". In truth, user-level "system calls" are just functions in the C library like any other. But what happens when the developers of the C library refuse to provide access to system calls they don't like? The result is an ongoing conflict that has recently flared up again; it shows some of the difficulties that can arise when the system as a whole has no ultimate designer and the developers are not talking to each other.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 12th of November 2018 04:15:14 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (curl, lib32-curl, lib32-libcurl-compat, lib32-libcurl-gnutls, libcurl-compat, libcurl-gnutls, systemd, and thunderbird), Debian (ansible, ghostscript, qemu, thunderbird, and xen), Fedora (community-mysql, gettext, links, mysql-connector-java, xen, and zchunk), Gentoo (icecast, libde265, okular, pango, and PHProjekt), Mageia (ansible, audiofile, iniparser, libtiff, mercurial, opencc, and python-dulwich), openSUSE (accountsservice, apache2, audiofile, curl, libarchive, ntfs-3g_ntfsprogs, opensc, python, python-base, qemu, soundtouch, and systemd), Oracle (git, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, python-paramiko, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Red Hat (rh-git29-git), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (gettext and libmspack).

Kernel prepatch 4.20-rc2

Monday 12th of November 2018 12:08:00 AM
The 4.20-rc2 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Fairly normal week, aside from me traveling".

Some weekend stable kernel updates

Saturday 10th of November 2018 07:57:50 PM
The 4.18.18, 4.14.80, 4.9.136, 4.4.163, and 3.18.125 stable kernel updates have all been released; each contains a relatively large set of important fixes.

The 3.18.x updates may be about to come to an end, since it is not clear that anybody is using them. "And from what I can see in the 'real world', no one is actually updating devices that rely on 3.18.y to the newer kernel releases. So I think I'm going to stop maintaining this tree soon unless someone speaks up and says 'I am using it!'"

The kernel pull-request tracker bot

Friday 9th of November 2018 05:19:36 PM
Since the beginning, one part of the kernel-development task has been watching the mainline to see whether one's work had been merged. That is about to change with the advent of the pull-request tracker bot, which will inform maintainers when one of their pull requests has made it into the mainline. Konstantin Ryabitsev, who put this service together, plans to expand it to other trees once things have settled down.

[$] ktask: optimizing CPU-intensive kernel work

Friday 9th of November 2018 04:21:12 PM
As a general rule, the kernel is supposed to use the least amount of CPU time possible; any time taken by the kernel is not available for the applications the user actually wants to run. As a result, not a lot of thought has gone into optimizing the execution of kernel-side work requiring large amounts of CPU. But the kernel does occasionally have to take on CPU-intensive tasks, such as the initialization of the large amounts of memory found on current systems. The ktask subsystem posted by Daniel Jordan is an attempt to improve how the kernel handles such jobs.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 9th of November 2018 03:17:23 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (nginx), Fedora (icu, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, libgit2, php-pear-CAS, roundcubemail, and ruby), Gentoo (firefox, libX11, openssl, and python), openSUSE (thunderbird), Oracle (java-11-openjdk, kernel, and spice-server), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (spice-server), SUSE (curl, libepubgen, liblangtag, libmwaw, libnumbertext, libreoffice, libstaroffice, libwps, myspell-dictionaries, xmlsec1, libxkbcommon, openssh, and xorg-x11-server), and Ubuntu (pyopenssl).

[$] iwd: simplifying WiFi management

Thursday 8th of November 2018 04:57:04 PM
It has been nearly 13 years since Jeff Garzik proclaimed that Linux was "proving its superiority in the area of crappy wireless (WiFi) support". Happily, the situation has improved somewhat since then, but that doesn't mean that things can't get better yet. During the Embedded Linux Conference portion of the 2018 Open Source Summit Europe, Marcel Holtmann described the work being done to create iwd, a new system for configuring and managing WiFi connections. If this project has its way, future users will have little room for complaint about how WiFi works on Linux systems.

PostgreSQL 11.1, 10.6, 9.6.11, 9.5.15, 9.4.20, and 9.3.25 released

Thursday 8th of November 2018 03:36:39 PM
There is a whole new set of PostgreSQL releases out there, the main purpose of which is to include an important security fix. "Using a purpose-crafted trigger definition, an attacker can run arbitrary SQL statements with superuser privileges when a superuser runs `pg_upgrade` on the database or during a pg_dump dump/restore cycle. This attack requires a `CREATE` privilege on some non-temporary schema or a `TRIGGER` privilege on a table. This is exploitable in the default PostgreSQL configuration, where all users have `CREATE` privilege on `public` schema." Note that this is the final update for the 9.3 series; users on that version should be planning an upgrade in the near future.

More in Tux Machines

Manjaro Linux 18.0 – Review and Features

Manjaro has finally released a stable version of Manjaro 18.0 also codenamed “Illyria“. Manjaro always provided a lot of lot of emphasis on a user-friendly experience and Illyria is lived upto that to a great extent. The open source operating system is designed in such a way that it work completely out of the box straight away as it comes with a lot of pre-installed software. So once complete the installation of Manjaro 18.0, you don’t need to go installing other software that is needed for your day to day tasks. And Manjaro 18.0 has come out with fixes for a lot of issues and some improvements as well. Manjaro Linux 18.0 is certainly one of the easy-to-use and simple Arch Linux desktop version. Read more

today's leftovers

  • QOwnNotes 18.11.3
    QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.
  •  
  • Getting Started with Scilab
  • Huawei’s New Stance On Bootloader Lockdown Is An Unpopular One, Here’s How You Can Bypass It
    Let’s start with the basics. What do you mean by a bootloader? In simple words, Bootloader is a piece of code that runs before any operating system is running. Bootloader is used to boot other operating systems and usually each operating system has a set of bootloaders specific to it. Alternatively, the bootloader can start up recovery mode. When a phone is in recovery, it can execute large pieces of code that totally rewrite the Android operating system. The bootloader is important because it loads up both of these pieces of software. Without a working bootloader, your phone is a useless brick. A locked or unlocked bootloader is what gives you access to “root.” “Root” is another big word in the Android community. If you “root” a device, it means you have “superuser” access or “administrator” access to the operating system that runs on your phone. With an unlocked bootloader, you can install boot images that aren’t signed by the device maker. That includes custom images needed to boot an AOSP-based ROM, boot images patched to support Magisk root, and more. Now as handy and efficient as this might seem, it’s not a popular option publicised or encouraged by smartphone manufacturers. While companies like OnePlus and Google make it seamless by just having to enable “OEM unlocking” in Developer Options, and then entering a few fastboot (fastboot is a protocol for sending commands from a PC to the bootloader of your device) commands while your phone is in the bootloader menu; companies like Huawei or Honor (Huawei sub-brand) have stopped providing forms for allowing users to unlock their bootloader. That means there’s no longer an official way to get the bootloader unlock code for your Huawei or Honor smartphone or tablet. Nobody has yet figured out how these bootloader unlock codes are generated, so it’s impossible to generate one yourself.
  • Google’s Wear OS Version H Announced; Brings Battery Saver Mode
    Google quietly announced its Wear OS Version H (it’s basically version 2.2 of Wear OS) for smart wearables this morning. The new update will be rolled out as a system update and majorly, brings battery llife-related improvements to Wear OS watches.
  •  
  • The Huge Security Problem With C/C++ And Why You Shouldn’t Use It
    Alex Gaynor gives an example of a program that has a list of 10 numbers. Theoretically, in an event where someone asks for the 11th element, the program is expected to show an error of some sort, or at least that’s what a “memory safe” programming language (like Python or Java) would do. However, in case of a memory unsafe language like C/C++, the program looks for the 11th element wherever it is supposed to be (if it existed) and accesses its content. This is called a “buffer-overflow” vulnerability that is exploited by bugs like HeartBleed to access up to 60 KB data past the end of a list — that often includes passwords and other sensitive data.
  • The Power of Web Components
    As a group, the standards are known as Web Components. In the year 2018 it’s easy to think of Web Components as old news. Indeed, early versions of the standards have been around in one form or another in Chrome since 2014, and polyfills have been clumsily filling the gaps in other browsers. After some quality time in the standards committees, the Web Components standards were refined from their early form, now called version 0, to a more mature version 1 that is seeing implementation across all the major browsers. Firefox 63 added support for two of the tent pole standards, Custom Elements and Shadow DOM, so I figured it’s time to take a closer look at how you can play HTML inventor! Given that Web Components have been around for a while, there are lots of other resources available. This article is meant as a primer, introducing a range of new capabilities and resources. If you’d like to go deeper (and you definitely should), you’d do well to read more about Web Components on MDN Web Docs and the Google Developers site. Defining your own working HTML elements requires new powers the browser didn’t previously give developers. I’ll be calling out these previously-impossible bits in each section, as well as what other newer web technologies they draw upon.

OSS Leftovers

  • OpenStack regroups
    Only a few years ago, OpenStack was the hottest open-source project around, with a bustling startup ecosystem to boot. The project, which gives enterprises the tools to run the equivalent of AWS in their own private data centers, ran into trouble as it tried to tackle too many individual projects at the same time and enterprises took longer than expected to adopt it. That meant many a startup floundered or was acquired before it was able to gain traction while the nonprofit foundation that manages the project started to scale back its big tent approach and refocused on its core services.
  • SD Times news digest: Docker and MuleSoft’s partnership, ActiveState’s open-source language automation category, and Instana’s automatic Python instrumentation
    Docker and MuleSoft have announced a new partnership to modernize applications and accelerate digital transformation. As part of the partnership, the companies will work together to deliver new capabilities for legacy apps with APIs, legacy apps without APIs and new apps created in Docker. In addition, MuleSoft’s Anypoint platform will be combined with Docker Enterprise.
  • ActiveState Creates Open Source Language Automation Category
  • New open source cloud discovery tool arrives from Twistlock
    Cloud Discovery connects to cloud providers' native platform APIs to discover services such as container registries, managed Kubernetes platforms, and serverless services, and requires only read permissions. Other key features include:
  • Google Open-Sources "Amber" Multi-API Shader Test Framework
    The newest open-source graphics project out of Google is called Amber and it's a multi-API shader testing framework focused on capturing and communicating of shader bugs. Google's Amber tries to make it easier to capture/communicate shader bugs with a scripting-based workflow. The captured shaders can be in binary form, SPIR-V assembly, or a higher-level shading language. Amber is currently focused on supporting the Vulkan and Dawn graphics APIs.
  • Microsoft allies with Facebook on AI software [Ed: Evil likes/attracts evil. Now they can do their crimes together while blaming "AI". Longtime Microsoft propagandist Jordan Novet has decided to add the Microsoft lie (PR campaign) "Microsoft loves Linux" (in photo form) to an article that has nothing to do with Linux.]
  • Microsoft alliance with Facebook signals shift in AI approach

Android Leftovers