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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 3 min ago

[$] Four short stories about preempt_count()

Friday 18th of September 2020 02:49:19 PM
The discussion started out as a straightforward patch set from Thomas Gleixner making a minor change to how preemption counting is handled. The resulting discussion quickly spread out to cover a number of issues relevant to core-kernel development in surprisingly few messages; each of those topics merits a quick look, starting with how the preemption counter itself works. Sometimes a simple count turns out to not be as simple as it seems.

Bottomley: Creating a home IPv6 network

Friday 18th of September 2020 02:48:22 PM
James Bottomley has put together a detailed recounting of what it took to get IPv6 fully working on his network. "One of the things you’d think from the above is that IPv6 always auto configures and, while it is true that if you simply plug your laptop into the ethernet port of a cable modem it will just automatically configure, most people have a more complex home setup involving a router, which needs some special coaxing before it will work. That means you need to obtain additional features from your ISP using special DHCPv6 requests."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 18th of September 2020 02:22:53 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium and netbeans), Oracle (mysql:8.0 and thunderbird), SUSE (rubygem-rack and samba), and Ubuntu (apng2gif, gnupg2, libemail-address-list-perl, libproxy, pulseaudio, pure-ftpd, samba, and xawtv).

Stable kernels 5.8.10, 5.4.66, and 4.19.146

Thursday 17th of September 2020 04:05:21 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.8.10, 5.4.66, and 4.19.146 stable kernels. They contain important fixes throughout the tree and users should upgrade.

GNOME's new versioning scheme

Thursday 17th of September 2020 03:22:35 PM
The GNOME Project has announced a change to its version-numbering scheme; the next release will be "GNOME 40". "After nearly 10 years of 3.x releases, the minor version number is getting unwieldy. It is also exceedingly clear that we're not going to bump the major version because of technological changes in the core platform, like we did for GNOME 2 and 3, and then piling on a major UX change on top of that. Radical technological and design changes are too disruptive for maintainers, users, and developers; we have become pretty good at iterating design and technologies, to the point that the current GNOME platform, UI, and UX are fairly different from what was released with GNOME 3.0, while still following the same design tenets."

[$] The seqcount latch lock type

Thursday 17th of September 2020 02:49:46 PM
The kernel contains a wide variety of locking primitives; it can be hard to stay on top of all of them. So even veteran kernel developers might be forgiven for being unaware of the "seqcount latch" lock type or its use. While this lock type has existed in the kernel for several years, it is only being formalized with a proper type declaration in 5.10. So this seems like a good time to look at what these locks are and how they work.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 17th of September 2020 12:33:50 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dotnet3.1, kernel, mbedtls, and python35), Mageia (libraw), openSUSE (mumble), SUSE (libsolv, libzypp, and perl-DBI), and Ubuntu (libdbi-perl, libphp-phpmailer, mcabber, ncmpc, openssl, openssl1.0, qemu, samba, storebackup, and util-linux).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for September 17, 2020

Thursday 17th of September 2020 12:53:56 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for September 17, 2020 is available.

[$] News from PHP: releases, features, and syntax

Wednesday 16th of September 2020 11:25:40 PM
As the PHP project nears its 8.0 release, which is currently slated for late November, there are a number of interesting things to report from its development mailing list. For one, the syntax of the attributes feature has finally been settled on after an acrimonious debate largely over the minutiae of the voting process. In addition, some releases were made and a new proposal to add any() and all() as core library functions was discussed.

[$] Key signing in the pandemic era

Wednesday 16th of September 2020 11:19:07 PM
The pandemic has changed many things in our communities, even though distance has always played a big role in free software development. Annual in-person gatherings for conferences and the like are generally paused at the moment, but even after travel and congregating become reasonable again, face-to-face meetings may be less frequent. There are both positives and negatives to that outcome, of course, but some rethinking will be in order if that comes to pass. The process of key signing is something that may need to change as well; the Debian project, which uses signed keys, has been discussing the subject.

GNOME 3.38 released

Wednesday 16th of September 2020 02:58:40 PM
Version 3.38 of the GNOME desktop environment is out. "This release brings a new Welcome tour, improved grouping and reordering of applications in the overview, better fingerprint enrollment, deeper systemd integration, and more." See the release notes for details.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 16th of September 2020 02:49:31 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libssh, python35, and xen), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (librepo and mysql:8.0), SUSE (perl-DBI), and Ubuntu (Apache Log4j, Apache XML-RPC, bsdiff, libdbi-perl, luajit, milkytracker, OpenJPEG, ruby-loofah, and ruby-websocket-extensions).

[$] BPF in GCC

Tuesday 15th of September 2020 11:46:37 PM
The BPF virtual machine is being used ever more widely in the kernel, but it has not been a target for GCC until recently. BPF is currently generated using the LLVM compiler suite. Jose E. Marchesi gave a pair of presentations as part of the GNU Tools track at the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) that provided attendees with a look at the BPF for GCC project, which started around a year ago. It has made some significant progress, but there is, of course, more to do.

Moment.js announces legacy status

Tuesday 15th of September 2020 03:02:03 PM

Moment.js, the de facto standard JavaScript library for date and time manipulation, has announced that "we would like to discourage Moment from being used in new projects going forward." The project cited multiple reasons for the recommendation. The first is that moment objects are mutable; another is the unnecessarily large size of the library when compared to other internationalization and time-zone support options available to modern browsers. According to the post, "we now generally consider Moment to be a legacy project in maintenance mode. It is not dead, but it is indeed done." The project offers multiple recommendations of alternative options, including "the evolution of Moment", Luxon, authored by long-time Moment.js contributor Isaac Cambron.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 15th of September 2020 02:44:44 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dovecot), Debian (gnome-shell and teeworlds), Mageia (libetpan and zeromq), openSUSE (libxml2), Red Hat (chromium-browser and librepo), SUSE (compat-openssl098, firefox, kernel, openssl, and shim), and Ubuntu (gupnp).

[$] Modernizing the tasklet API

Monday 14th of September 2020 03:39:54 PM
Tasklets offer a deferred-execution method in the Linux kernel; they have been available since the 2.3 development series. They allow interrupt handlers to schedule further work to be executed as soon as possible after the handler itself. The tasklet API has its shortcomings, but it has stayed in place while other deferred-execution methods, including workqueues, have been introduced. Recently, Kees Cook posted a security-inspired patch set (also including work from Romain Perier) to improve the tasklet API. This change is uncontroversial, but it provoked a discussion that might lead to the removal of the tasklet API in the (not so distant) future.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 14th of September 2020 02:56:05 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (thunderbird), Debian (libproxy, qemu, and wordpress), Fedora (ansible, chromium, community-mysql, dotnet-build-reference-packages, dotnet3.1, drupal7, grub2, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mingw-gnutls, php-symfony4, python-django, and selinux-policy), Gentoo (DBI, file-roller, gnome-shell, gst-rtsp-server, nextcloud-client, php, proftpd, qtgui, and zeromq), openSUSE (gimp, libjpeg-turbo, openldap2, python-Flask-Cors, and slurm), Oracle (.NET Core 3.1, dovecot, go-toolset:ol8, httpd:2.4, and kernel), Red Hat (dovecot, httpd24-httpd, httpd:2.4, and mysql:8.0), and Slackware (thunderbird).

Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc5

Monday 14th of September 2020 01:15:19 PM
The 5.9-rc5 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "So aside from the smoke from the fires, and a performance regression I'm still looking at, things look normal."

Lots of stable kernel updates

Saturday 12th of September 2020 08:50:16 PM
Today's crop of stable kernel updates includes 5.8.9, 5.4.65, 4.19.145, 4.14.198, 4.9.236, and 4.4.236. Each contains another set of important fixes.

[$] OpenPGP in Rust: the Sequoia project

Friday 11th of September 2020 04:06:39 PM
In 2018, three former GnuPG developers began work on Sequoia, a new implementation of OpenPGP in Rust. OpenPGP is an open standard for data encryption, often used for secure email; GnuPG is an implementation of that standard. The GPLv2-licensed Sequoia is heading toward version 1.0, with a handful of issues remaining to be addressed. The project's founders believe that there is much to be desired in GnuPG, which is the de facto standard implementation of OpenPGP today. They hope to fix this with a reimplementation of the specification using a language with features that will help protect users from common types of memory bugs.

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