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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: 8 min 37 sec ago

[$] Overlayfs features

7 hours 41 min ago
The overlayfs filesystem is being used more and more these days, especially in conjunction with containers. Amir Goldstein and Miklos Szeredi led a discussion about recent and upcoming features for the filesystem at LSFMM 2017.

[$] Memory-management patch review

9 hours 45 min ago
Memory-management (MM) patches are notoriously difficult to get merged into the mainline kernel. They are subjected to a high degree of review because this is an area where it is easy to get things wrong. Or, at least, that is how it used to be. The final memory-management session at the 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit was concerned with patch review in the MM subsystem — or the lack of it.

Security updates for Wednesday

9 hours 55 min ago
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (icoutils and openjpeg), Debian (eject, graphicsmagick, libytnef, and tnef), Fedora (drupal8, firefox, kernel, ntp, qbittorrent, texlive, and webkitgtk4), Oracle (bash, coreutils, glibc, gnutls, kernel, libguestfs, ocaml, openssh, qemu-kvm, quagga, samba, samba4, tigervnc, and wireshark), Red Hat (curl), Slackware (mariadb), SUSE (samba), and Ubuntu (apparmor).

GCC for new contributors

11 hours 27 min ago
David Malcolm has put together the beginnings of an unofficial guide to GCC for developers who are getting started with the compiler. "I’m a relative newcomer to GCC, so I thought it was worth documenting some of the hurdles I ran into when I started working on GCC, to try to make it easier for others to start hacking on GCC. Hence this guide."

[$] The next steps for userfaultfd()

11 hours 42 min ago
The userfaultfd() system call allows user space to intervene in the handling of page faults. As Andrea Arcangeli and Mike Rapaport described in a 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit session dedicated to the subject, userfaultfd() was originally created to help with the live migration of virtual machines between physical hosts. It allows pages to be copied to the new host on demand, after the machine itself has been moved, leading to faster, more predictable migrations. Work on userfaultfd() is not finished, though; there are a number of other features that developers would like to add.

[$] Supporting shared TLB contexts

Tuesday 28th of March 2017 07:57:14 PM
A processor's translation lookaside buffer (TLB) caches the mappings from virtual to physical addresses. Looking up virtual addresses is expensive, so good performance often depends on making the best use of the TLB. In the memory-management track of the 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Mike Kravetz described a SPARC processor feature that can improve TLB performance and explored ways in which that feature could be supported.

Kubernetes 1.6 released

Tuesday 28th of March 2017 07:53:42 PM
Version 1.6 of the Kubernetes orchestration system is available. "In this release the community’s focus is on scale and automation, to help you deploy multiple workloads to multiple users on a cluster. We are announcing that 5,000 node clusters are supported. We moved dynamic storage provisioning to stable. Role-based access control (RBAC), kubefed, kubeadm, and several scheduling features are moving to beta. We have also added intelligent defaults throughout to enable greater automation out of the box."

Google's new open-source site

Tuesday 28th of March 2017 06:17:37 PM
Google has announced the launch of opensource.google.com. "Today, we’re launching opensource.google.com, a new website for Google Open Source that ties together all of our initiatives with information on how we use, release, and support open source. This new site showcases the breadth and depth of our love for open source. It will contain the expected things: our programs, organizations we support, and a comprehensive list of open source projects we've released. But it also contains something unexpected: a look under the hood at how we "do" open source."

[$] Huge pages in the ext4 filesystem

Tuesday 28th of March 2017 03:38:48 PM
When the transparent huge page feature was added to the kernel, it only supported anonymous (non-file-backed) memory. In 2016, support for huge pages in the page cache was added, but only the tmpfs filesystem was supported. There is interest in expanding support to other filesystems, since, for some workloads, the performance improvement can be significant. Kirill Shutemov led the only session that combined just the filesystem and memory-management tracks at the 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit in a discussion of adding huge-page support to the ext4 filesystem.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 28th of March 2017 02:27:53 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (eject, gst-plugins-bad1.0, gst-plugins-base1.0, gst-plugins-good1.0, gst-plugins-ugly1.0, gstreamer1.0, php5, and tiff), Fedora (kernel), Gentoo (curl, deluge, libtasn1, and xen-tools), Mageia (mbedtls, putty, and roundcubemail), openSUSE (dbus-1, gegl, mxml, open-vm-tools, partclone, qbittorrent, tcpreplay, and xtrabackup), and Ubuntu (eject, gst-plugins-base0.10, gst-plugins-base1.0, and gst-plugins-good0.10, gst-plugins-good1.0).

[$] The future of DAX

Monday 27th of March 2017 11:01:01 PM
DAX is the mechanism that enables direct access to files stored in persistent memory arrays without the need to copy the data through the page cache. At the 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Ross Zwisler led a plenary session on the future of DAX. Development in this area offers a number of interesting trade-offs between data safety and enabling the highest performance.

DragonFly BSD 4.8

Monday 27th of March 2017 09:20:46 PM
DragonFly BSD 4.8 has been released. "DragonFly version 4.8 brings EFI boot support in the installer, further speed improvements in the kernel, a new NVMe driver, a new eMMC driver, and Intel video driver updates." DragonFly is an independent BSD variant, perhaps best known for the HAMMER filesystem.

SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva are 2016 Free Software Awards winners

Monday 27th of March 2017 03:38:17 PM
The Free Software Foundation has announced the winners of the 2016 Free Software Awards. The Award for Projects of Social Benefit went to SecureDrop and the Award for the Advancement of Free Software went to Alexandre Oliva. "SecureDrop is an anonymous whistleblowing platform used by major news organizations and maintained by Freedom of the Press Foundation. Originally written by the late Aaron Swartz with assistance from Kevin Poulsen and James Dolan, the free software platform was designed to facilitate private and anonymous conversations and secure document transfer between journalists and sensitive sources."

Stable kernel updates

Monday 27th of March 2017 03:16:47 PM
Stable kernels 4.10.6, 4.9.18, and 4.4.57 have been released. All of them contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 27th of March 2017 03:11:46 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (apt-cacher, jbig2dec, libplist, python3.2, tnef, and xrdp), Fedora (firefox, mbedtls, and sane-backends), Mageia (flash-player-plugin, freetype2, glibc, kernel, kernel-linus, kernel-tmb, libquicktime, libwmf, and tnef), and Ubuntu (thunderbird).

Kernel prepatch 4.11-rc4

Sunday 26th of March 2017 09:57:22 PM
The 4.11-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "So on the whole things look fine. There's changes all over, and in mostly the usual proportions. Some core kernel code shows up in the diffstat slightly more than it usually does - we had an audit fix and a bpf hashmap fix, but on the whole it all looks very regular."

[$] Sharing pages between mappings

Sunday 26th of March 2017 03:39:33 PM
In the memory-management subsystem, the term "mapping" refers to the connection between pages in memory and their backing store — the file that represents them on disk. One of the fundamental assumptions in the kernel is that a given page in the page cache belongs to exactly one mapping. But, as Miklos Szeredi explained in a plenary session at the 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, there are situations where it would be desirable to associate the same page with multiple mappings. Achieving this goal may not be easy, though.

Click below (subscribers only) for continuing coverage from LSFMM 2017

Eudyptula Challenge Status report

Friday 24th of March 2017 06:49:52 PM
The Eudyptula Challenge is a series of programming exercises for the Linux kernel. It starts from a very basic "Hello world" kernel module, moves up in complexity to getting patches accepted into the main kernel. The challenge will be closed to new participants in a few months, when 20,000 people have signed up. LWN covered the Eudyptula Challenge in May 2014, when it was fairly new. At this time over 19,000 people have signed up and only 149 have finished.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 24th of March 2017 03:23:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (libpurple), Debian (audiofile, cgiemail, and imagemagick), Fedora (cloud-init, empathy, and mupdf), Mageia (firefox and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (icoutils and openjpeg), Slackware (mcabber and samba), and Ubuntu (eglibc).

Relicensing OpenSSL

Friday 24th of March 2017 11:27:42 AM
Back in 2015, the OpenSSL project announced its intent to move away from its rather quirky license. Now it has announced that the change is moving forward. "After careful review, consultation with other projects, and input from the Core Infrastructure Initiative and legal counsel from the SFLC, the OpenSSL team decided to relicense the code under the widely-used ASLv2." It is worth noting that this change and the way it is being pursued are not universally popular, in the OpenBSD camp, at least.

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