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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: 5 hours 13 min ago

[$] The Machine: Controlling storage with a filesystem

Tuesday 17th of January 2017 01:58:23 AM
Keith Packard is the chief architect for The Machine project at HPE; we covered his talk on this project back in 2015. At the 2017 linux.conf.au Kernel Miniconf, Packard focused on one specific aspect of The Machine's hardware and software configuration: how storage is managed and presented to applications. Like much that is being done with this project, its storage architecture is an interesting combination of new ideas and long-established techniques.

Prokoudine: GIMP 2016 in review

Monday 16th of January 2017 11:37:15 PM
Alexandre Prokoudine looks at user-visible changes for the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) over 2016. Changes include better handling of layers, channels, masks, and paths, remembering defaults across sessions, improved configurability, color management, and more.

Calligra 3.0 released

Monday 16th of January 2017 10:00:18 PM
Calligra 3.0 has been released. The Calligra Suite includes office, graphics, and project management applications. "We have chosen to cut back on the number of applications. Krita has left us to be independent and although it was emotional it was also done with complete support from both sides. We are saying goodbye to Author, which never differentiated itself from Words. We also removed Brainstorm the purpose of which will be better fitted by a new application (nothing planned from our side). Flow and Stage has gone in this release but we intend to bring them back in the future." The 3.x series updates the applications to use KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5.

The Linux Test Project has been released

Monday 16th of January 2017 07:27:32 PM
The Linux Test Project test suite stable release for January 2017 is out. There are new test cases, a new shell test library and many tests rewritten to make use of it, and much more. LWN looked at LTP last December.

Monday's security updates

Monday 16th of January 2017 05:44:49 PM

Arch Linux has updated libgit2 (multiple vulnerabilities), nginx (privilege escalation), nginx-mainline (privilege escalation), and wordpress (multiple vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated icoutils (three vulnerabilities), pdns (multiple vulnerabilities), pdns-recursor (denial of service), python-bottle (regression in previous update), and tiff (multiple vulnerabilities).

Debian-LTS has updated botan1.10 (integer overflow), gcc-mozilla (update to GCC 4.8), icedove (multiple vulnerabilities), libx11 (denial of service), otrs2 (code execution), python-bottle (regression in previous update), wireless-regdb (radio regulations updates), and xen (two vulnerabilities).

Fedora has updated bind (F25: three denial of service flaws), bind99 (F25: three denial of service flaws), ca-certificates (F25; F24: certificate update), docker-latest (F25: privilege escalation), gnutls (F24: multiple vulnerabilities), libgit2 (F25: multiple vulnerabilities), and onionshare (F25; F24: file injection).

Gentoo has updated apache (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2014).

Mageia has updated golang (denial of service) and irssi (multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated bind (RHEL7; RHEL5,6: denial of service) and bind97 (RHEL5: denial of service).

Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (SL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated qemu (SLE12-SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).

Kernel prepatch 4.10-rc4

Monday 16th of January 2017 01:52:54 AM
The 4.10-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Things are still looking fairly normal, and this is the usual weekly Sunday rc release. We're up to rc4, and people are clearly starting to find the regressions. Good, good."

Stable kernels 4.9.4 and 4.4.43

Sunday 15th of January 2017 09:22:50 PM
The 4.9.4 and 4.4.43 stable kernel updates are available; each contains a relatively large set of important fixes.

Google Infrastructure Security Design Overview

Saturday 14th of January 2017 03:46:22 PM
Google has posted an overview of its infrastructure security. It includes information about low-level details, such as physical security and secure boot, encryption of data at rest as well as communications between services and to users, keeping employee devices and credentials safe, and more. Undoubtedly there are lessons here for many different organizations. "This document gives an overview of how security is designed into Google’s technical infrastructure. This global scale infrastructure is designed to provide security through the entire information processing lifecycle at Google. This infrastructure provides secure deployment of services, secure storage of data with end user privacy safeguards, secure communications between services, secure and private communication with customers over the internet, and safe operation by administrators. Google uses this infrastructure to build its internet services, including both consumer services such as Search, Gmail, and Photos, and enterprise services such as G Suite and Google Cloud Platform."

Quantum Computing Is Real, and D-Wave Just Open-Sourced It (Wired)

Friday 13th of January 2017 09:12:45 PM
Wired covers the release of Qbsolv as open-source software (under the Apache License v2) by D-Wave, which is a company that makes quantum computing hardware. Qbsolv is "designed to help developers program D-Wave machines without needing a background in quantum physics". Further: Qbsolv joins a small but growing pool of tools for would-be quantum computer programmers. Last year Scott Pakin of Los Alamos National Laboratory–and one of Qbsolv’s first users–released another free tool called Qmasm, which also eases the burden of writing code for D-Wave machines by freeing developers from having to worry about addressing the underlying hardware. The goal, Ewald says, is to kickstart a quantum computing software tools ecosystem and foster a community of developers working on quantum computing problems. In recent years, open source software has been the best way to build communities of both independent developers and big corporate contributors.

Of course to actually run the software you create with these tools, you’ll need access to one of the very few existing D-Wave machines. In the meantime, you can download a D-Wave simulator that will let you test the software on your own computer. Obviously this won’t be the same as running it on a piece of hardware that uses real quantum particles, but it’s a start.

Security advisories for Friday

Friday 13th of January 2017 05:03:29 PM

Arch Linux has updated ark (code execution), bind (multiple vulnerabilities), docker (privilege escalation), flashplugin (multiple vulnerabilities), irssi (multiple vulnerabilities), lib32-flashplugin (multiple vulnerabilities), and libvncserver (two vulnerabilities).

CentOS has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities) and kernel (three vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated rabbitmq-server (authentication bypass).

Debian-LTS has updated asterisk (two vulnerabilities, one from 2014).

Fedora has updated docker (F25: privilege escalation), libgit2 (F24: multiple vulnerabilities), and pcsc-lite (F24: privilege escalation).

Gentoo has updated postgresql (multiple vulnerabilities, two from 2015), runc (privilege escalation), and seamonkey (multiple vulnerabilities).

Mageia has updated flash-player-plugin (multiple vulnerabilities), php-ZendFramework2 (parameter injection), unzip (two vulnerabilities, one from 2014), and webmin (largely unspecified).

Oracle has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL6; OL5: multiple vulnerabilities) kernel 2.6.39 (OL6; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), kernel 3.8.13 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities), and kernel 4.1.12 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (multiple vulnerabilities).

Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL6: three vulnerabilities).

Masnick: Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life

Thursday 12th of January 2017 10:45:35 PM
Over at Techdirt, Mike Masnick writes about a libel suit filed against the site: "As you may have heard, last week we were sued for $15 million by Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. We have written, at great length, about his claims and our opinion — backed up by detailed and thorough evidence — that email existed long before Ayyadurai created any software. We believe the legal claims in the lawsuit are meritless, and we intend to fight them and to win. There is a larger point here. Defamation claims like this can force independent media companies to capitulate and shut down due to mounting legal costs. Ayyadurai's attorney, Charles Harder, has already shown that this model can lead to exactly that result. His efforts helped put a much larger and much more well-resourced company than Techdirt completely out of business."

The 4.9.3 and 4.4.42 stable kernels have been released

Thursday 12th of January 2017 07:38:28 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.9.3 and 4.4.42 stable kernels. As usual, there are fixes throughout the tree and users of those kernel series should upgrade.

Thursday's security updates

Thursday 12th of January 2017 06:26:14 PM

Debian has updated bind9 (three vulnerabilities), ikiwiki (three vulnerabilities), and python-pysaml2 (XML external entity attack).

Debian-LTS has updated libav (two vulnerabilities).

Fedora has updated compat-guile18 (F25; F24: insecure directory creation), mingw-flac (F25: three vulnerabilities from 2015), qpid-java (F25: information disclosure), and springframework-security (F25: security constraint bypass).

openSUSE has updated flash-player (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated memcached (RHMAP4.2: two vulnerabilities).

Slackware has updated bind (denial of service), gnutls (multiple vulnerabilities), and irssi (multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated bind (SLE12-SP2,SP1; SLE12; SLE11-SP4,SP3: three vulnerabilities) and flash-player (SLE12-SP1: multiple vulnerabilities).

Ubuntu has updated bind9 (three vulnerabilities) and libvncserver (two vulnerabilities).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for January 12, 2017

Thursday 12th of January 2017 02:18:25 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for January 12, 2017 is available.

CVE-2016-9587: an unpleasant Ansible vulnerability

Wednesday 11th of January 2017 11:03:32 PM
The Ansible project is currently posting release candidates for the 2.1.4 and 2.2.1 releases. They fix an important security bug: "CVE-2016-9587 is rated as HIGH in risk, as a compromised remote system being managed via Ansible can lead to commands being run on the Ansible controller (as the user running the ansible or ansible-playbook command)." Until this release is made, it would make sense to be especially careful about running Ansible against systems that might have been compromised.

Update: see this advisory for much more detailed information.

[$] Python 2.8?

Wednesday 11th of January 2017 06:11:07 PM

The appearance of a "Python 2.8" got the attention of the Python core developers in early December. It is based on Python 2.7, with features backported from Python 3.x. In general, there was little support for the effort—core developers tend to clearly see Python 3 as the way forward—but no opposition to it either. The Python license makes it clear that these kinds of efforts are legal and even encouraged—any real opposition to the project lies in its name.

Subscribers can click below for the full article from this week's edition.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 11th of January 2017 05:37:51 PM

Debian has updated icedove (multiple vulnerabilities).

Debian-LTS has updated tomcat7 (information disclosure).

Gentoo has updated bind (denial of service), botan (two vulnerabilities), c-ares (code execution), dbus (denial of service), expat (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2012), flex (code execution), nginx (privilege escalation), ntfs3g (privilege escalation from 2015), p7zip (two code execution flaws), pgbouncer (two vulnerabilities), phpBB (two vulnerabilities), phpmyadmin (multiple vulnerabilities), vim (code execution), and vzctl (insecure ploop-based containers from 2015).

openSUSE has updated jasper (42.2, 42.1: multiple vulnerabilities).

Oracle has updated kernel (OL6: three vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated flash-plugin (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (RHEL6.7: code execution), and kernel (RHEL6: three vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated freeradius-server (SLE12-SP1,2: insufficient certificate verification) and LibVNCServer (SLE11-SP4: two vulnerabilities).

Ubuntu has updated kernel (16.10; 16.04; 14.04; 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-xenial (14.04: three vulnerabilities), linux-raspi2 (16.10; 16.04: two vulnerabilities), linux-snapdragon (16.04: two vulnerabilities), linux-ti-omap4 (12.04: two vulnerabilities), and webkit2gtk (16.04: multiple vulnerabilities).

Kadlec: The MongoDB hack and the importance of secure defaults

Wednesday 11th of January 2017 05:09:53 PM
Tim Kadlec looks at the ongoing MongoDB compromises and how they came to be. "Before version 2.6.0, that wasn’t true. By default, MongoDB was left open to remote connections. Authentication is also not required by default, which means that out of the box installs of MongoDB before version 2.6.0 happily accept unauthenticated remote connections."

digiKam 5.4.0 is released

Tuesday 10th of January 2017 05:45:44 PM
The digiKam team has announced the release of version 5.4.0 of the digiKam Software Collection, a photo editing system. "This version introduces several improvements to the similarity search engine and a complete re-write of video file support." Under the hood, digiKam has been fully ported to the QtAV framework to handle video and audio files.

Synfig 1.2.0 released

Tuesday 10th of January 2017 05:29:19 PM
Synfig Studio 1.2.0, a 2D animation system, has been released. This version features a completely rewritten render engine and new lipsync features, along with many improvements and bugfixes.

More in Tux Machines

Debian Updated, Mint KDE Beta, GIMP Preview

Debian 8.7 was made available this last weekend to address the security and major bugs since 8.6 announced August 2016. As usual, those updating regularly don't need to do anything as they're already current. Elsewhere, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre announced a beta for Mint 18.1 KDE, something I'm looking forward to testing. Alexandre Prokoudine, graphics engineer known for Inkscape and GIMP, posted a preview of new features coming in GIMP 2.10. Dominic Humphries recently revelled in the joy of Linux that just works and Jiri Eischmann compiled a list of the latest Fedora accolades, some I've missed. Read more

A Switch for Your Pi

Thanks to the size of the Raspberry Pi, it's possible to build a project like this into just about anything. I don't have an NES case anymore, but if I did, I'd probably build it inside one for added nostalgia. I decided to use RetroPie as the distribution for my project. The great thing about using RetroPie is that it basically solves all the issues on my list. It has the "Emulation Station" front end built right in (Figure 1), which supports navigation via controller. It also has emulators already installed, waiting for ROMs to be added. Truly, using RetroPie as my base saved at least one article on software alone! Read more

Why Linux users should worry about malware and what they can do about it

Preventing the spread of malware and/or dealing with the consequences of infection are a fact of life when using computers. If you’ve migrated to Linux or Mac seeking refuge from the never-ending stream of threats that seems to target Windows, you can breath a lungful of fresh air—just don’t let your guard down. Though UNIX-like systems such as Mac OS X and Linux can claim fewer threats due to their smaller user bases, threats do still exist. Viruses can be the least of your problem too. Ransomware, like the recent version of KillDisk, attacks your data and asks you to pay, well, a king’s ransom to save your files. (In the case of KillDisk, even paying the ransom can’t save you if you’re running Linux.) Read more

Getting my new Asus X540S notebook ready for Linux

A number of my laptops and netbooks have moved on to other homes and other purposes recently, so I have been looking for something new. Last weekend I saw an advertisement for an Asus X540SA at a ridiculously low price (CHF 299 / €280 / £245 / $300), which is always one of my criteria. Another criteria in this case was a 15" screen, and this ASUS has is 15.6", so that made the decision for me. Read more