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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: 39 min 25 sec ago

A Goodbye to Joe Armstrong

Monday 22nd of April 2019 04:10:00 PM
The Erlang community mourns the loss of Joe Armstrong, known as the father of Erlang. "He was part of the Erlang landscape, always interested in what people had to say. His passion and enjoyment about the craft, even in his 60s, was still high up at levels I don't even know I ever had or will ever have, and I have to say I am envious of him for that. I don't know what it will be like to have this community without him around. He was humble. He was approachable. He was excited. He was creative. His legacy is not just in code, but in the communities in which he instantly became a central part. He will be missed."

Security updates for Monday

Monday 22nd of April 2019 02:54:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Debian (clamav, debian-security-support, and drupal7), Fedora (egl-wayland, elementary-camera, elementary-code, elementary-terminal, ephemeral, geocode-glib, gnome-characters, gnome-shell-extension-gsconnect, group-service, libmodulemd, libxmlb, mate-user-admin, mesa, meson, mpris-scrobbler, reportd, switchboard-plug-display, switchboard-plug-pantheon-shell, wingpanel, and wireshark), openSUSE (blueman and glibc), and Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk).

The end of Scientific Linux

Monday 22nd of April 2019 01:49:01 PM
Fermilab has maintained Scientific Linux, a derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, for many years. That era is coming to an end, though: "Toward that end, we will deploy CentOS 8 in our scientific computing environments rather than develop Scientific Linux 8. We will collaborate with CERN and other labs to help make CentOS an even better platform for high-energy physics computing." Maintenance of the SL6 and SL7 distributions will continue as scheduled.

Debian project leader election 2019 results

Monday 22nd of April 2019 01:46:26 PM
The election for the Debian project leader has concluded; the leader for the next year will be Sam Hartman. See this page for the details of the vote.

Kernel prepatch 5.1-rc6

Sunday 21st of April 2019 11:41:41 PM
The 5.1-rc6 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "It's Easter Sunday here, but I don't let little things like random major religious holidays interrupt my kernel development workflow. The occasional scuba trip? Sure. But everybody sitting around eating traditional foods? No. You have to have priorities."

Weekend stable kernel updates

Saturday 20th of April 2019 02:50:37 PM
The 5.0.9, 4.19.36, 4.14.113, and 4.9.170 stable kernel updates have all been released. These moderately large updates contain yet another set of important fixes.

[$] Implementing fully immutable files

Friday 19th of April 2019 02:57:19 PM
Like all Unix-like systems, Linux implements the traditional protection bits controlling who can access files in a filesystem (and what access they have). Fewer users, perhaps, are aware of a set of additional permission bits hidden away behind the chattr and lsattr commands. Among other things, these bits can make a file append-only, mark a file to be excluded from backups, cause a file's data to be automatically overwritten on deletion, or make a file immutable. The implementation of many of these features is incomplete at best, so perhaps it's not surprising that immutable files can still be changed in certain limited circumstances. Darrick Wong has posted a patch set changing this behavior, implementing a user-visible behavioral change that he describes as "an extraordinary way to destroy everything".

Security updates for Friday

Friday 19th of April 2019 12:45:45 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (atomic-reactor and osbs-client), openSUSE (libqt5-qtbase, lxc, tar, wget, and xmltooling), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), SUSE (php5), and Ubuntu (znc).

[$] Tracking pages from get_user_pages()

Thursday 18th of April 2019 04:01:49 PM
As has been recently discussed here, developers for the filesystem and memory-management subsystems have been grappling for years with the problems posed by the get_user_pages() mechanism. This function maps memory into the kernel's address space for direct access by the kernel or peripheral devices, but that kind of access can create confusion in the filesystem layers, which may not be expecting that memory to be written to at any given time. A new patch set from Jérôme Glisse tries to chip away at a piece of the problem, but a complete solution is not yet in view.

Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) released

Thursday 18th of April 2019 01:34:58 PM
Ubuntu 19.04, code named "Disco Dingo", has been released, along with the following flavors: Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu. "The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 5.0 based Linux kernel, our default toolchain has moved to gcc 8.3 with glibc 2.29, and we've also updated to openssl 1.1.1b and gnutls 3.6.5 with TLS1.3 support. Ubuntu Desktop 19.04 introduces GNOME 3.32 with increased performance, smoother startup animations, quicker icon load times and reduced CPU+GPU load. Fractional scaling for HiDPI screens is now available in Xorg and Wayland. Ubuntu Server 19.04 integrates recent innovations from key open infrastructure projects like OpenStack Stein, Kubernetes, and Ceph with advanced life-cycle management for multi-cloud and on-prem operations, from bare metal, VMware and OpenStack to every major public cloud." More information can be found in the release notes.

OpenSSH 8.0 released

Thursday 18th of April 2019 01:11:27 PM
OpenSSH 8.0 has been released with a bunch of new features and some bug fixes, including one for a security problem: "This release contains mitigation for a weakness in the scp(1) tool and protocol (CVE-2019-6111): when copying files from a remote system to a local directory, scp(1) did not verify that the filenames that the server sent matched those requested by the client. This could allow a hostile server to create or clobber unexpected local files with attacker-controlled content. This release adds client-side checking that the filenames sent from the server match the command-line request, The scp protocol is outdated, inflexible and not readily fixed. We recommend the use of more modern protocols like sftp and rsync for file transfer instead."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 18th of April 2019 12:58:58 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (polkit), Gentoo (dovecot, libseccomp, and patch), openSUSE (aubio, blktrace, flac, lxc, lxcfs, pspp, SDL, sqlite3, and xen), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and rh-maven35-jackson-databind), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Slackware (libpng), SUSE (python, python3, sqlite3, and xerces-c), and Ubuntu (ntfs-3g).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 18, 2019

Thursday 18th of April 2019 01:09:43 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 18, 2019 is available.

[$] Business models and open source

Wednesday 17th of April 2019 07:02:09 PM

One of the more lively sessions that was held at the 2019 Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) was Heather Meeker's talk on open-source business models and alternative licensing. As a lawyer in private practice, Meeker worked on a number of the alternative licenses that were drafted and presented over the last year or so. But she is also part of a venture capital (VC) firm that is exclusively investing in companies focused on open source, so she has experience in thinking about what kinds of models actually work for those types of businesses.

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 17th of April 2019 02:38:02 PM
Stable kernels 5.0.8, 4.19.35, 4.14.112, and 4.9.169 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 17th of April 2019 02:31:53 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (mod_auth_mellon), Debian (ghostscript and ruby2.3), openSUSE (dovecot22, gnuplot, and openwsman), Scientific Linux (mod_auth_mellon), SUSE (krb5, openexr, python3, and wget), and Ubuntu (firefox and openjdk-lts).

[$] An update on compliance for containers

Tuesday 16th of April 2019 08:07:57 PM

The inability to determine the contents of container images is a topic that annoys Dirk Hohndel. At last year's Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW), he gave a presentation that highlighted the problem and some work he had been doing to combat it. At this year's LLW, he updated attendees on the progress that has been made and where he hopes things will go from here.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 16th of April 2019 02:53:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (cacti and libxslt), Fedora (pcsc-lite and samba), Gentoo (gnutls, phpmyadmin, and tiff), openSUSE (apache2, clamav, dovecot23, nodejs10, SDL, and webkit2gtk3), Red Hat (mod_auth_mellon and rh-python36-python), SUSE (firefox, nspr, nss and python), and Ubuntu (libxslt and webkit2gtk).

[$] Avoiding page reference-count overflows

Tuesday 16th of April 2019 12:49:34 AM
The 5.1-rc5 announcement mentioned "changes all over" and highlighted a number of the areas that had been touched. One thing that was not mentioned there was the addition of four patches fixing a security-related issue in the core memory-management subsystem. The vulnerability is sufficiently difficult to exploit that almost nobody should feel the need to rush out a kernel update, but it is still interesting to look at as a demonstration of how things can go wrong.

An eBPF overview series from Collabora

Monday 15th of April 2019 08:38:32 PM
Adrian Ratiu is posting a series of articles on the Collabora blog digging into the kernel's eBPF subsystem. The first two parts are available now: an introduction and a look at the virtual machine. "eBPF is a RISC register machine with a total of 11 64-bit registers, a program counter and a 512 byte fixed-size stack. 9 registers are general purpouse read-write, one is a read-only stack pointer and the program counter is implicit, i.e. we can only jump to a certain offset from it. The VM registers are always 64-bit wide (even when running inside a 32-bit ARM processor kernel!) and support 32-bit subregister addressing if the most significant 32 bits are zeroed - this will be very useful in part 4 when cross-compiling and running eBPF programs on embedded devices."

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu: 5 Reasons to Upgrade, Sophia Sanles-Luksetich Interview, Ubuntu on Neural Compute Stick and Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

  • 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo"
    On the surface, new versions of Ubuntu aren’t as big as they used to be. Like in the days before Canonical created its own Unity interface, the Ubuntu experience is now functionally similar to what you get in alternatives such as Fedora and openSUSE. But there are a few big reasons to be eager for what Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” has to offer, with some additions demonstrating just how nice it is to have Ubuntu desktop developers spending more time working directly on GNOME.
  • Women and Nonbinary People in Information Security: Sophia Sanles-Luksetich
    Sophia Sanles-Luksetich: I am a rookie information security consultant. I currently perform bug bounty triage for companies which I am not allowed to name, but let’s just say most folks have heard of these companies. Before I got into information security, I was an IT generalist who dabbled in a bit of programming, Linux and privacy. Ubuntu was actually my first OS. It’s funny to think now that my decision as a 12-year-old could have impacted my career so much ten years later. KC: I must admit that it’s unusual that Ubuntu was your first OS. But that’s great! I use Kubuntu on my work desktop. Did that make you delve into Debian a bit? SSL: Oh cool! I have dabbled with Debian a bit, but not as much as most folks would expect. I think I learned a lot more soft skills using Ubuntu at a young age. Like when I couldn’t download my favorite game as a kid, I spent hours reading error logs, documentation and forums to figure out how to get the game working on my computer. Open Source Software (OSS) is also very modular compared to a lot of closed source software, so learning how software is built on other software was a big help. Now everything is miles down a supply chain that most people can barely scratch the surface of, at least in my opinion. [...] KC: Excellent. How did you get into Ubuntu computing initially? SSL: We had a family computer that stopped working. Rather than buy a new Windows disk to fix it, I asked around to my friends. Funny enough, one of my friend’s dad worked in information security, and I played board games with him and his son. I asked his son to give me a copy, and he messed it up by downloading it onto the CD rather than doing an image transfer. Lucky for me, I had a bit more a competent IT friend, Rikki, who ripped me a fresh CD. It’s funny, too; she was a lot more like me then, I thought. We both started in theater and ended up getting into computers just because they are resourceful and we were both people who loved the convenience for record keeping. I think what got me into OSS, to begin with, was the idea that I never had to pay for it. I am a cheapskate. I can think of a good chunk of my IT experience that I learned by trying to get something for free. I learned how to torrent, how to not screw up your computer on harmful sites. Always a fun time! [...] SSL: I think if I could give one piece of advice to new cybersecurity folks, I would tell them all to volunteer at conferences and talk to the attendees. You will learn a lot just by talking to people in the field. Oh, and of course, don’t discount soft skills and the fundamentals.
  • How developers are using Intel’s AI tools to make planet Earth a better place
    Biswas first gathered plant data from Google images, then used TensorFlow (widely-used machine learning framework in the deep learning space) and Open Vino (Intel’s neural network optimisation toolkit) to build an AI model. Once the images and videos of plants were captured the model is used to identify the cause of the disease, possible cures and preventive measures. To run these solutions, Biswas used Intel 7th Gen i5 NUC mini PC. [...] Ma took a digital microscope and connected it to a modestly powerful Ubuntu based laptop with Intel’s Neural Compute Stick connected to it. The entire system cost less than $500. The neural network at the heart of the system was able to successfully determine the shape, colour, density, and edges of the Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the bacteria that causes cholera.
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 575
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 575

Android Leftovers

Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 now available to download with bug fixes and performance improvements

The Kodi Foundation made the release candidate for Kodi 18.2 available last week, and today you can grab the final version. As you’d expect, this is a bug fix release with no major new functionality, but there are a number of notable changes including improvements to the music database performance and a new Codec Factory for Android. Read more

howtos and programming leftovers