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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: 58 min 12 sec ago

Perl 6 renamed to Raku

1 hour 26 min ago
The pull request changing the name of Perl 6 to Raku has been merged. See the full text for more information. "This document describes the steps to be taken to effectuate a rename of 'Perl 6' to 'Raku', as described in issue #81. It does not pretend to be complete in scope or in time. To change a name of a project that has been running for 19+ years will take time, a lot of effort and a lot of cooperation. It will affect people in foreseen and unforeseen ways." (Thanks to Sean Whitton)

Security updates for Tuesday

1 hour 57 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (sudo and xtrlock), openSUSE (sudo), Red Hat (Single Sign-On), Slackware (sudo), SUSE (binutils, dhcp, ffmpeg, kernel, kubernetes-salt, sudo, and tcpdump), and Ubuntu (sudo).

KDE Plasma 5.17 released

3 hours 37 min ago
The KDE project has announced the release of version 5.17 of the Plasma desktop environment. "Night Color, the color-grading system that relaxes your eyes when the sun sets, has landed for X11. Your Plasma desktop also recognizes when you are giving a presentation, and stops messages popping up in the middle of your slideshow. If you are using Wayland, Plasma now comes with fractional scaling, which means that you can adjust the size of all your desktop elements, windows, fonts and panels perfectly to your HiDPI monitor."

Python 3.8.0 released

Monday 14th of October 2019 10:15:39 PM
Version 3.8.0 of the Python language has been released. New features include the controversial assignment expressions, positional-only arguments, the Vectorcall mechanism, and more; see the what's new in Python 3.8 document for more information.

PyPy 7.2 released

Monday 14th of October 2019 07:11:30 PM
Version 7.2 of PyPy, an implementation of the Python language, is out. With this release, Python 3.6 support is deemed ready: "This release removes the 'beta' tag from PyPy3.6. While there may still be some small corner-case incompatibilities (around the exact error messages in exceptions and the handling of faulty codec errorhandlers) we are happy with the quality of the 3.6 series and are looking forward to working on a Python 3.7 interpreter."

[$] Finding race conditions with KCSAN

Monday 14th of October 2019 06:13:07 PM
Race conditions can be some of the trickiest bugs to find. The resulting problems can be subtle, and reproducing the problem in order to track it down can be difficult or impossible; often code inserted to narrow down a race condition will cause it to stop manifesting entirely. A tool that can find race conditions automatically would thus be a valuable thing for the kernel community to have. In late September, Marco Elver announced a tool called KCSAN (the Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer) that does exactly that — and which has already found a number of real problems.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 14th of October 2019 03:00:06 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, sdl, and unbound), Debian (clamav, libdatetime-timezone-perl, openssl, tcpdump, and tzdata), Fedora (cutter-re, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, jackson-parent, libapreq2, ming, opendmarc, radare2, and thunderbird), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (kernel), and SUSE (axis, jakarta-commons-fileupload, kernel, sles12sp3-docker-image, sles12sp4-image, system-user-root, and webkit2gtk3).

Kernel prepatch 5.4-rc3

Monday 14th of October 2019 01:52:12 PM
The 5.4-rc3 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Things continue to look fairly normal, with rc3 being larger than rc2, as people are starting to find more regressions, but 5.4 so far remains on the smaller side of recent releases."

More stable kernels

Saturday 12th of October 2019 11:19:26 PM
The 5.3.6, 4.19.79, and 4.14.149 stable kernel updates have been released; each contains another set of important updates.

[$] Calibrating your fear of big bad optimizing compilers

Friday 11th of October 2019 02:14:14 PM
As noted earlier, when compiling Linux-kernel code that does a plain C-language load or store, as in "a=b", the C standard grants the compiler the right to assume that the affected variables are neither accessed nor modified by any other thread at the time of that load or store. The compiler is therefore permitted to carry out a surprisingly large number of optimizations, any number of which might ruin your concurrent code's day. Given that current compilers usually do not emit diagnostics warning of potential ruined days, it would be good to have other tools take on this task.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 11th of October 2019 02:04:07 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (lucene-solr and ruby-openid), Fedora (krb5 and SDL2), openSUSE (kernel and libopenmpt), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.4).

Understanding Scheduling Behavior with SchedViz (Google Open Source Blog)

Thursday 10th of October 2019 10:38:28 PM
The Google Open Source Blog has an announcement of the release of the SchedViz tool that is used internally at the company "to discover many opportunities for better scheduling choices and to root-cause many latency issues". SchedViz provides a GUI to explore kernel traces: "The SchedViz UI displays collections in several ways. A zoomable and pannable heatmap shows system cores on the y-axis, and the trace duration on the x-axis. Each core in the system has a swim-lane, and each swim-lane shows CPU utilization (when that CPU is being kept busy) and wait-queue depth (how many threads are waiting to run on that CPU.) The UI also includes a thread list that displays which threads were active in the heatmap, along with how long they ran, waited to run, and blocked on some event, and how many times they woke up or migrated between cores. Individual threads can be selected to show their behavior over time, or expanded to see their details."

[$] BPF at Facebook (and beyond)

Thursday 10th of October 2019 04:47:38 PM
It is no secret that much of the work on the in-kernel BPF virtual machine and associated user-space support code is being done at Facebook. But less is known about how Facebook is actually using BPF. At Kernel Recipes 2019, BPF developer Alexei Starovoitov described a bit of that work, though even he admitted that he didn't know what most of the BPF programs running there were doing. He also summarized recent developments with BPF and some near-future work.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 10th of October 2019 01:47:25 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (clamav, libtomcrypt, and rsyslog), Fedora (suricata), SUSE (libopenmpt and python-requests), and Ubuntu (libsoup2.4 and octavia).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 10, 2019

Thursday 10th of October 2019 12:58:31 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 10, 2019 is available.

[$] An update on the input stack

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 09:59:52 PM
The input stack for Linux is an essential part of interacting with our systems, but it is also an area that is lacking in terms of developers. There has been progress over the last few years, however; Peter Hutterer from Red Hat came to the 2019 X.Org Developers Conference to talk about some of the work that has been done. He gave a status report on the input stack that covered development work that is going on now as well as things that have been completed in the last two years or so. Overall, things are looking pretty good for input on Linux, though the "bus factor" for the stack is alarmingly low.

Stallman: No radical changes in GNU Project

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 06:46:01 PM
Richard Stallman has issued a brief statement saying that there will not be any radical changes in the GNU Project's goals, principles and policies. "I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are made, because I won't be here forever and we need to ready others to make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so. But these won't lead to unbounded or radical changes."

[$] Free software support for virtual and augmented reality

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 04:05:12 PM
A talk at the recent X.Org Developers Conference in Montréal, Canada looked at support for "XR" in free software. XR is an umbrella term that includes both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). In the talk, Joey Ferwerda and Christoph Haag from Collabora gave an overview of XR and the Monado project that provides support for those types of applications.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 02:57:03 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (chromium), openSUSE (rust and sqlite3), SUSE (dnsmasq, firefox, and kubernetes, patchinfo), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.5, python3.6, python3.7).

OpenSSH 8.1 released

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 02:39:40 PM
OpenSSH 8.1 is out. It includes some security fixes, including the encryption of keys at rest to defend them against speculative-execution attacks. There is also an experimental new signature and verification mechanism for public keys.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Enters Final Freeze Ahead of October 17th Release

As of October 10th, the Ubuntu 19.10 release is officially in Final Freeze, the last step of its development stage, which means that only release critical bugs affecting the ISO images or the installers will be accepted in the archives. Release Candidate images are also now available for testing to ensure an uneventful and smooth release. "We will shut down cronjobs and spin some RC images late Friday or early Saturday once the archive and proposed-migration have settled a bit, and we expect everyone with a vested interest in a flavour (or two) and a few spare hours here and there to get to testing to make sure we have another uneventful release next week," said Adam Conrad. Read more

KDE neon 5.17

KDE neon 5.17 is out. You can upgrade your existing KDE neon User Edition install or install fresh from an ISO image or run the Docker image. Featuring Plasma 5.17 it is packed full of new features according to OMG Ubuntu. Read more

Games: The Universim, POSTAL 4: No Regerts, RPCS3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Games Archive and X-Plane

  • City building god sim 'The Universim' will now let you launch rockets with satellites into orbit

    The Universim is slowly turning into a city building god game truly worth playing, with the Sky High update now available expanding the game into planetary orbit. Being able to actually launch things into space is a stepping stone towards visiting other planets. Currently, the Cosmodrome will allow you to send up Defence Satellites that will enable ground to air defences for your Defence Towers. So now you have a reasonable chance to take down meteors and other threats from space.

  • POSTAL 4: No Regerts released into Early Access, Linux version likely in future

    Running With Scissors are back, with a surprise release of POSTAL 4: No Regerts on Steam and a Linux version is looking likely in future. Naturally, someone posted on Steam to ask about the possibility of Linux support. This is something that happens a lot but here it's a bit different. RWS already supported Linux with multiple previous Postal releases.

  • PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 is coming along quickly with their August progress report up

    Delayed as usual due to the progress reports being done by contributors, the team working on the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 have another post up to show off more incredible progress. To start with, they have again changed how they list what games are playable and not with the removal of games that won't work due to servers being shut down. They said even if RPCS3 becomes 100% complete, they wouldn't work unless someone accurately emulated and hosted servers for them. With that in mind, they also did a lot of testing of games that previously only went in-game to see how many are now properly playable. Thanks to all the testing, the Playable category has jumped up to 1,426 titles!

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition arrives on Linux on November 5th

    Feral Interactive have finally confirmed the Linux release date for Shadow of the Tomb Raider after announcing it for Linux back in November last year. They've said today it will officially release as "Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition" on November 5th! Looking around at dates, technically this is the earliest we've seen any of the newer Tomb Raider series arrive on Linux. The first Tomb Raider came to Linux in 2016 after an original 2013 release, with Rise of the Tomb Raider arriving on Linux 2018 after an original 2016 release and we get the final game in the reboot trilogy next month!

  • The Internet Archive website has added another 2,500 MS-DOS games

    Another point scored for game preservation. The Internet Archive have added another 2,500 MS-DOS games you can play right in your browser. In their official announcement, they said that while they've added a few more to their collection here and there this is the biggest yet and it ranges from "tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago".

  • 2,500 More MS-DOS Games Playable at the Archive

    Another few thousand DOS Games are playable at the Internet Archive! Since our initial announcement in 2015, we’ve added occasional new games here and there to the collection, but this will be our biggest update yet, ranging from tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago.

  • Vulkan support is not far away now for the flight sim X-Plane 11, physics & flight model updates coming

    X-Plane 11, the detailed flight simulator is finally closing in on an update that will bring in Vulkan support as detailed in a new developer blog post.

7 Linux Applications You Should Start Using Right Now

Linux used to be the go-to operating system among the tech-savvy crowd. Because back in the day, it was a lot more demanding to use. Now Linux has modern, user-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint. The application repository they have in common has matured too. Customizing it to your heart’s desire is now easier than ever before. And this should be the end goal — to mold the OS into a tool that’s custom-tailored to your needs. So if you haven’t already, consider installing the following types of applications. Read more