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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 16 min ago

[$] Containers as kernel objects — again

4 hours 14 min ago
Linus Torvalds once famously said that there is no design behind the Linux kernel. That may be true, but there are still some guiding principles behind the evolution of the kernel; one of those, to date, has been that the kernel does not recognize "containers" as objects in their own right. Instead, the kernel provides the necessary low-level features, such as namespaces and control groups, to allow user space to create its own container abstraction. This refusal to dictate the nature of containers has led to a diverse variety of container models and a lot of experimentation. But that doesn't stop those who would still like to see the kernel recognize containers as first-class kernel-supported objects.

Security updates for Friday

5 hours 29 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Mageia (libreoffice, libtiff, spice, and spice-gtk), openSUSE (build, mosquitto, and nodejs6), Red Hat (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Scientific Linux (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), SUSE (kernel-firmware and texlive), and Ubuntu (bind9 and ghostscript).

The Linux Foundation Launches ELISA Project Enabling Linux In Safety-Critical Systems

Thursday 21st of February 2019 09:50:04 PM
The Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the Enabling Linux in Safety Applications (ELISA) project to create tools and processes for companies to use to build and certify safety-critical Linux applications. "Building off the work being done by SIL2LinuxMP project and Real-Time Linux project, ELISA will make it easier for companies to build safety-critical systems such as robotic devices, medical devices, smart factories, transportation systems and autonomous driving using Linux. Founding members of ELISA include Arm, BMW Car IT GmbH, KUKA, Linutronix, and Toyota. To be trusted, safety-critical systems must meet functional safety objectives for the overall safety of the system, including how it responds to actions such as user errors, hardware failures, and environmental changes. Companies must demonstrate that their software meets strict demands for reliability, quality assurance, risk management, development process, and documentation. Because there is no clear method for certifying Linux, it can be difficult for a company to demonstrate that their Linux-based system meets these safety objectives."

[$] Development statistics for the 5.0 kernel

Thursday 21st of February 2019 04:49:59 PM
The announcement of the 5.0-rc7 kernel prepatch on February 17 signaled the imminent release of the final 5.0 kernel and the end of this development cycle. 5.0, as it turns out, brought in fewer changesets than its immediate predecessors, but it was still a busy cycle with a lot of developers participating. Read on for an overview of where the work came from in this release cycle.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 21st of February 2019 02:52:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Fedora (createrepo_c, dnf, dnf-plugins-core, dnf-plugins-extras, docker, libcomps, libdnf, and runc), Mageia (giflib, irssi, kernel, kernel-linus, libexif, poppler, tcpreplay, and zziplib), and SUSE (php5, procps, and qemu).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 21, 2019

Thursday 21st of February 2019 12:37:20 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for February 21, 2019 is available.

Yaghmour: gitgeist: a git-based social network proof of concept

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 05:53:08 PM
On his blog, Karim Yaghmour writes about an experimental social network that he and a colleague cobbled together using Git. While it is simply a proof of concept at this point, he is looking for feedback and, perhaps, collaborators to take it further. "It turns out that git has practically everything that's needed to act both as storage and protocol for a social network. Not only that, but it's very well-known within and used, deployed and maintained in the circles I navigate, it scales very well (see github), it's used for critical infrastructure (see kernel.org), it provides history, it's distributed by nature, etc. It's got *almost* everything, but not quite everything needed. So what's missing from git? A few basic things that it turns out aren't very hard to take care of: ability to 'follow', getting followee notifications, 'commenting' and an interface for viewing feeds. And instead of writing a whole online treatise of how this could be done, I asked my colleague Francois-Denis Gonthier to implement a proof and concept of this that we called 'gitgeist' and just published on github [https://github.com/opersys/gitgeist-poc]."

[$] Producing an application for both desktop and mobile

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 04:31:09 PM

These days applications are generally moving away from the desktop and toward the mobile space. But taking a multi-platform desktop application and adding two mobile platforms into the mix is difficult to do, as Dirk Hohndel described in his linux.conf.au 2019 talk. Hohndel maintains the Subsurface dive log application, which has added mobile support over the past few years; he wanted to explain the process that the project went through to support all of those platforms. As the subtitle of the talk, "Developing for multiple platforms without losing your mind", indicates, it is a hard problem to solve sanely.

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 03:19:49 PM
Stable kernels 4.20.11, 4.19.24, 4.14.102, 4.9.159, 4.4.175, and 3.18.135 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 20th of February 2019 03:10:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (ansible, drupal7, and systemd), Fedora (botan2, ceph, and firefox), Oracle (firefox, flatpak, and systemd), Red Hat (firefox), SUSE (gvfs, kernel, libqt5-qtbase, python-numpy, and qemu), and Ubuntu (gdm3).

digiKam 6.0.0 released

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 06:44:41 PM
The digiKam team has announced the release of digiKam 6.0.0. New features include full support of video files management working as photos; an integration of all import/export web-service tools in LightTable, Image editor, and Showfoto; raw file decoding engine supporting new cameras; similarity data is now stored in a separate file; simplified web-service authentication using OAuth protocol; and more.

[$] Patent exhaustion and open source

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 04:55:56 PM

When patents and free software crop up together, the usual question is about patent licensing. Patent exhaustion — the principle that patent rights don't reach past the first sale of a product — is much less frequently discussed. At FOSDEM 2019, US lawyer Van Lindberg argued that several US court decisions related to exhaustion, most of them recent but some less so, could come together to have surprising beneficial effects for free software. He was clear that the argument applied only in the US but, since court systems tend to look to each other for consistency's sake, and because Lindberg is an engaging speaker, the talk was of great interest even in Brussels.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 19th of February 2019 03:48:33 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, rdesktop, rssh, systemd, and uriparser), Fedora (bouncycastle, eclipse-jgit, eclipse-linuxtools, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, jackson-dataformat-xml, jackson-dataformats-binary, jackson-dataformats-text, jackson-datatype-jdk8, jackson-datatype-joda, jackson-datatypes-collections, jackson-jaxrs-providers, jackson-module-jsonSchema, jackson-modules-base, jackson-parent, moby-engine, and subversion), openSUSE (chromium, docker-runc, firefox, GraphicsMagick, kernel, LibVNCServer, php7, pspp, spread-sheet-widget, and runc), SUSE (kernel-firmware, qemu, and systemd), and Ubuntu (nss and systemd).

Debian 9.8 released

Monday 18th of February 2019 07:10:47 PM
The Debian project has announced the eighth update of Debian 9 "stretch". As a stable point release, this version mainly adds bugfixes for security issues and other serious problems. Click below for a list of changes.

[$] The case of the supersized shebang

Monday 18th of February 2019 06:37:50 PM
Regressions are an unavoidable side effect of software development; the kernel is no different in that regard. The 5.0 kernel introduced a change in the handling of the "#!" (or "shebang") lines used to indicate which interpreter should handle an executable text file. The problem has been duly fixed, but the incident shows how easy it can be to introduce unexpected problems and highlights some areas where the kernel's development process does not work as well as we might like.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 18th of February 2019 04:19:36 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (cairo, firefox, flatpak, hiawatha, and webkit2gtk), Debian (gsoap, mosquitto, php5, thunderbird, and tiff), Fedora (elfutils, ghostscript, gsi-openssh, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, kf5-kauth, mingw-podofo, mingw-poppler, mosquitto, podofo, and python-markdown2), Mageia (firefox, flash-player-plugin, lxc, and thunderbird), openSUSE (avahi, docker, libu2f-host, LibVNCServer, nginx, phpMyAdmin, and pspp, spread-sheet-widget), Red Hat (rhvm-appliance), and SUSE (python-numpy).

Kernel prepatch 5.0-rc7

Monday 18th of February 2019 03:38:02 AM
The 5.0-rc7 kernel prepatch has been released. Linus says: "Nothing particularly odd stands out, and everything is pretty small. Just the way I like it."

Geary 0.13.0 released

Sunday 17th of February 2019 03:04:13 PM
Version 0.13.0 of the Geary graphical email client is out. "This is a major new release, featuring a number of new features — including a new user interface for creating and managing email accounts, integration with GNOME Online Accounts (which also provides OAuth login support for some services), improvements in displaying conversations, composing new messages, interacting with other email apps, reporting problems as they occur, and number of important bug fixes, server compatibility fixes, and security fixes."

Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS released

Friday 15th of February 2019 04:47:06 PM
The Ubuntu team has announced the release of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavors of Ubuntu with long-term support. Support periods vary for different flavors. "Like previous LTS series, 18.04.2 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images." Ubuntu Server installs the GA kernel, however the HWE kernel may be selected from the installer bootloader.

[$] Per-vector software-interrupt masking

Friday 15th of February 2019 04:25:02 PM
Software interrupts (or "softirqs") are one of the oldest deferred-execution mechanisms in the kernel, and that age shows at times. Some developers have occasionally been heard to mutter about removing them, but softirqs are too deeply embedded into how the kernel works to be easily ripped out; most developers just leave them alone. So the recent per-vector softirq masking patch set from Frederic Weisbecker is noteworthy as an exception to that rule. Weisbecker is not getting rid of softirqs, but he is trying to reduce their impact and improve their latency.

More in Tux Machines

5 Linux GUI Cloud Backup Tools

We have reached a point in time where most every computer user depends upon the cloud … even if only as a storage solution. What makes the cloud really important to users, is when it’s employed as a backup. Why is that such a game changer? By backing up to the cloud, you have access to those files, from any computer you have associated with your cloud account. And because Linux powers the cloud, many services offer Linux tools. Let’s take a look at five such tools. I will focus on GUI tools, because they offer a much lower barrier to entry to many of the CLI tools. I’ll also be focusing on various, consumer-grade cloud services (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox, Wasabi, and pCloud). And, I will be demonstrating on the Elementary OS platform, but all of the tools listed will function on most Linux desktop distributions. Read more

Sandwich-style 96Boards SBC runs Linux on ST’s new Cortex-A7/M4 SoC

Arrow unveiled a 96Boards CE Extended “Avenger96” SBC with a compute module that runs Linux on ST’s Cortex -A7/M4 hybrid STM32MP1 SoC. The SBC has 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, GbE, WiFi/BT, and 3x USB ports. Arrow and manufacturing partner DH Electronics are collaborating on a sandwich-style 96Boards CE Extended SBC with a computer-on-module based on STMicroelectronics’ newly announced STM32MP SoC. Details on the Avenger96 SBC are sketchy and partially revealed via EENews Europe and Electronics Weekly posts. Read more

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