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Syndicate content is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 3 hours 19 min ago

[$] Super long-term kernel support

4 hours 47 min ago
Some years ago, prominent community leaders doubted that even short-term stable maintenance of kernel releases was feasible. More recently, selecting an occasional kernel for a two-year maintenance cycle has become routine, and some kernels, such as 3.2 under the care of Ben Hutchings, have received constant maintenance for as much as six years. But even that sort of extended maintenance is not enough for some use cases, as Yoshitake Kobayashi explained in his Embedded Linux Conference talk. To meet those needs, the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project is setting out to maintain releases for a minimum of 20 years.

Two stable kernels

7 hours 5 min ago
Stable kernels 4.15.11 and 4.14.28 have been released. They both contain many fixes throughout the tree and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Monday

7 hours 11 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox, libvorbis, and ntp), Debian (curl, firefox-esr, gitlab, libvorbis, libvorbisidec, openjdk-8, and uwsgi), Fedora (firefox, ImageMagick, kernel, and mailman), Gentoo (adobe-flash, jabberd2, oracle-jdk-bin, and plasma-workspace), Mageia (bugzilla, kernel, leptonica, libtiff, libvorbis, microcode, python-pycrypto, SDL_image, shadow-utils, sharutils, and xerces-c), openSUSE (exempi, firefox, GraphicsMagick, libid3tag, libraw, mariadb, php5, postgresql95, SDL2, SDL2_image, ucode-intel, and xmltooling), Red Hat (firefox), Slackware (firefox and libvorbis), SUSE (microcode_ctl and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (firefox and php5, php7.0, php7.1).

Kernel prepatch 4.16-rc6

8 hours 49 min ago
The 4.16-rc6 kernel prepatch is out. "Go test, things are stable and there's no reason to worry, but all the usual reasons to just do a quick build and verification that everything works for everybody. Ok?"

Some weekend stable kernels

Sunday 18th of March 2018 04:20:45 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the 4.9.88, 4.4.122, and 3.18.100 stable kernels. As usual, they contain fixes throughout the tree and users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 16th of March 2018 03:07:44 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (clamav and firefox-esr), openSUSE (Chromium and kernel-firmware), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (ceph), Scientific Linux (firefox), Slackware (curl), and SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm and mariadb).

Malcolm: Usability improvements in GCC 8

Thursday 15th of March 2018 08:58:23 PM
Over on the Red Hat Developer Program blog, David Malcolm describes a number of usability improvements that he has made for the upcoming GCC 8 release. Malcolm has made a number of the C/C++ compiler error messages much more helpful, including adding hints for integrated development environments (IDEs) and other tools to suggest fixes for syntax and other kinds of errors. "[...] the code is fine, but, as is common with fragments of code seen on random websites, it’s missing #include directives. If you simply copy this into a new file and try to compile it as-is, it fails. This can be frustrating when copying and pasting examples – off the top of your head, which header files are needed by the above? – so for gcc 8 I’ve added hints telling you which header files are missing (for the most common cases)." He has various examples showing what the new error messages and hints look like in the blog post.

[$] The strange story of the ARM Meltdown-fix backport

Thursday 15th of March 2018 04:55:17 PM
Alex Shi's posting of a patch series backporting a set of Meltdown fixes for the arm64 architecture to the 4.9 kernel might seem like a normal exercise in making important security fixes available on older kernels. But this case raised a couple of interesting questions about why this backport should be accepted into the long-term-support kernels — and a couple of equally interesting answers, one of which was rather better received than the other.

Stable kernels 4.15.10 and 4.14.27

Thursday 15th of March 2018 04:54:46 PM

Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.15.10 and 4.14.27 stable kernels. Each contains a large number of patches throughout the kernel tree; users should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 15th of March 2018 04:34:11 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (samba), CentOS (389-ds-base, kernel, libreoffice, mailman, and qemu-kvm), Debian (curl, libvirt, and mbedtls), Fedora (advancecomp, ceph, firefox, libldb, postgresql, python-django, and samba), Mageia (clamav, memcached, php, python-django, and zsh), openSUSE (adminer, firefox, java-1_7_0-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, and postgresql94), Oracle (kernel and libreoffice), Red Hat (erlang, firefox, flash-plugin, and java-1.7.1-ibm), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base, kernel, libreoffice, and qemu-kvm), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (curl, firefox, linux, linux-raspi2, and linux-hwe).

[$] Weekly Edition for March 15, 2018

Thursday 15th of March 2018 12:04:27 AM
The Weekly Edition for March 15, 2018 is available.

[$] Discussing PEP 572

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 08:36:59 PM

As is often the case, the python-ideas mailing list hosted a discussion about a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) recently. In some sense, this particular PEP was created to try to gather together the pros and cons of a feature idea that regularly crops up: statement-local bindings for variable names. But the discussion of the PEP went in enough different directions that it led to calls for an entirely different type of medium in which to have those kinds of discussions.

ACME v2 and Wildcard Certificate Support is Live

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 03:54:38 PM
Let's Encrypt has announced that ACMEv2 (Automated Certificate Management Environment) and wildcard certificate support is live. ACMEv2 is an updated version of the ACME protocol that has gone through the IETF standards process. Wildcard certificates allow you to secure all subdomains of a domain with a single certificate. (Thanks to Alphonse Ogulla)

GNOME 3.28 released

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 03:43:10 PM
GNOME 3.28 has been released. "This release brings a more beautiful font, an improved on-screen keyboard and a new 'Usage' application. Improvements to core GNOME applications include support for favorites in Files and the file chooser, a better month view in the Calendar, support for importing pictures from devices in Photos, and many more." See the release notes for details.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 03:24:11 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (calibre, dovecot, and postgresql), CentOS (dhcp and mailman), Fedora (freetype, kernel, leptonica, mariadb, mingw-leptonica, net-snmp, nx-libs, util-linux, wavpack, x2goserver, and zsh), Gentoo (chromium), Oracle (389-ds-base, mailman, and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (389-ds-base, kernel, kernel-alt, libreoffice, mailman, and qemu-kvm), Scientific Linux (mailman), Slackware (firefox and samba), and Ubuntu (samba).

[$] An introduction to RISC-V

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 02:34:46 PM

LWN has covered the open RISC-V ("risk five") processor architecture before, most recently in this article. As the ecosystem and tools around RISC-V have started coming together, a more detailed look is in order. In a series of two articles, guest author Richard W.M. Jones will look at what RISC-V is and follow up with an article on how we can now port Linux distributions to run on it.

[$] Designing ELF modules

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 08:26:24 PM
The bpfilter proposal posted in February included a new type of kernel module that would run as a user-space program; its purpose is to parse and translate iptables rules under the kernel's control but in a contained, non-kernel setting. These "ELF modules" were reposted for review as a standalone patch set in early March. That review has happened; it is a good example of how community involvement can improve a special-purpose patch and turn it into a more generally useful feature.

An important Samba 4 security release

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 06:33:39 PM
Anybody running Samba 4 servers probably wants to take a look at this alert and upgrade their systems. "CVE-2018-1057: On a Samba 4 AD DC the LDAP server in all versions of Samba from 4.0.0 onwards incorrectly validates permissions to modify passwords over LDAP allowing authenticated users to change any other users' passwords, including administrative users."

Numerous vulnerabilities in AMD processors

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 06:30:27 PM
A company called CTS has disclosed a long series of vulnerabilities in AMD processors. "The chipset is a central component on Ryzen and Ryzen Pro workstations: it links the processor with hardware devices such as WiFi and network cards, making it an ideal target for malicious actors. The Ryzen chipset is currently being shipped with exploitable backdoors that could let attackers inject malicious code into the chip, providing them with a safe haven to operate from." See the associated white paper for more details.

Update: there are a lot of questions circulating about the actual severity of these vulnerabilities and the motivations of the people reporting them. It may not be time to panic quite yet.

Firefox 59 released

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 05:38:09 PM
Mozilla has released Firefox 59, the next iteration of Firefox Quantum. From the release notes: "On Firefox for desktop, we’ve improved page load times, added tools to annotate and crop your Firefox Screenshots, and made it easier to arrange your Top Sites on the Firefox Home page. On Firefox for Android, we’ve added support for sites that stream video using the HLS protocol."

More in Tux Machines

Canonical Officially Announces Mozilla's Firefox as a Snap App for Ubuntu Linux

The Firefox Snap package appears to be maintained by Mozilla, which allows Linux users to test drive the latest features of their Quantum browser on multiple GNU/Linux distributions that support Canonical's Snappy universal binary format. Developed by Canonical, the Snap universal application packaging format for Linux lets Linux users enjoy the most recent release of a software product as soon as it's released upstream. It's secure by design and works natively on multiple popular Linux OSes. Read more

today's leftovers

Replacing Windows

  • Ubuntu-Based Zorin OS Gets Better Support for Windows Apps, Desktop Improvements
    A new maintenance update of the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS GNU/Linux distribution arrived at the end of this week with a bunch of enhancements to its desktop environment, as well as the latest versions of core components and apps. Zorin OS 12.3 is here as the latest stable update of the Ubuntu-based operating system with a focus on improving the security, stability, and functionality of Zorin OS, which was always known as one of the most reliable open-source alternatives to Microsoft's Windows operating system. Therefore, probably the most important change of the Zorin OS 12.3 release is the introduction of Wine 3.0, the latest stable version of the compatibility layer for running Windows programs on Linux and UNIX-like systems, which ensures better compatibility with more Windows apps and games on Zorin OS.
  • Microsoft tries forcing Mail users to open links in Edge, and people are freaking out

    Under the new rules, it doesn’t matter which browser you have selected as the default; if you use the basic Mail app within Windows, any link you click will open up Edge.

  • Google picks up another win for G Suite as Airbus grounds Microsoft Office

    With over 130,000 employees, Airbus uses a lot of office productivity software. It recently decided to make a big bet on Google’s G Suite software package after running the company for years on hosted versions of Microsoft Office, according to a report.  

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