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Syndicate content is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 4 hours 49 min ago

Some weekend stable kernels

10 hours 26 min ago
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the 4.9.88, 4.4.122, and 3.18.100 stable kernels. As usual, they contain fixes throughout the tree and users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 16th of March 2018 03:07:44 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (clamav and firefox-esr), openSUSE (Chromium and kernel-firmware), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (ceph), Scientific Linux (firefox), Slackware (curl), and SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm and mariadb).

Malcolm: Usability improvements in GCC 8

Thursday 15th of March 2018 08:58:23 PM
Over on the Red Hat Developer Program blog, David Malcolm describes a number of usability improvements that he has made for the upcoming GCC 8 release. Malcolm has made a number of the C/C++ compiler error messages much more helpful, including adding hints for integrated development environments (IDEs) and other tools to suggest fixes for syntax and other kinds of errors. "[...] the code is fine, but, as is common with fragments of code seen on random websites, it’s missing #include directives. If you simply copy this into a new file and try to compile it as-is, it fails. This can be frustrating when copying and pasting examples – off the top of your head, which header files are needed by the above? – so for gcc 8 I’ve added hints telling you which header files are missing (for the most common cases)." He has various examples showing what the new error messages and hints look like in the blog post.

[$] The strange story of the ARM Meltdown-fix backport

Thursday 15th of March 2018 04:55:17 PM
Alex Shi's posting of a patch series backporting a set of Meltdown fixes for the arm64 architecture to the 4.9 kernel might seem like a normal exercise in making important security fixes available on older kernels. But this case raised a couple of interesting questions about why this backport should be accepted into the long-term-support kernels — and a couple of equally interesting answers, one of which was rather better received than the other.

Stable kernels 4.15.10 and 4.14.27

Thursday 15th of March 2018 04:54:46 PM

Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.15.10 and 4.14.27 stable kernels. Each contains a large number of patches throughout the kernel tree; users should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 15th of March 2018 04:34:11 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (samba), CentOS (389-ds-base, kernel, libreoffice, mailman, and qemu-kvm), Debian (curl, libvirt, and mbedtls), Fedora (advancecomp, ceph, firefox, libldb, postgresql, python-django, and samba), Mageia (clamav, memcached, php, python-django, and zsh), openSUSE (adminer, firefox, java-1_7_0-openjdk, java-1_8_0-openjdk, and postgresql94), Oracle (kernel and libreoffice), Red Hat (erlang, firefox, flash-plugin, and java-1.7.1-ibm), Scientific Linux (389-ds-base, kernel, libreoffice, and qemu-kvm), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (curl, firefox, linux, linux-raspi2, and linux-hwe).

[$] Weekly Edition for March 15, 2018

Thursday 15th of March 2018 12:04:27 AM
The Weekly Edition for March 15, 2018 is available.

[$] Discussing PEP 572

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 08:36:59 PM

As is often the case, the python-ideas mailing list hosted a discussion about a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) recently. In some sense, this particular PEP was created to try to gather together the pros and cons of a feature idea that regularly crops up: statement-local bindings for variable names. But the discussion of the PEP went in enough different directions that it led to calls for an entirely different type of medium in which to have those kinds of discussions.

ACME v2 and Wildcard Certificate Support is Live

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 03:54:38 PM
Let's Encrypt has announced that ACMEv2 (Automated Certificate Management Environment) and wildcard certificate support is live. ACMEv2 is an updated version of the ACME protocol that has gone through the IETF standards process. Wildcard certificates allow you to secure all subdomains of a domain with a single certificate. (Thanks to Alphonse Ogulla)

GNOME 3.28 released

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 03:43:10 PM
GNOME 3.28 has been released. "This release brings a more beautiful font, an improved on-screen keyboard and a new 'Usage' application. Improvements to core GNOME applications include support for favorites in Files and the file chooser, a better month view in the Calendar, support for importing pictures from devices in Photos, and many more." See the release notes for details.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 03:24:11 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (calibre, dovecot, and postgresql), CentOS (dhcp and mailman), Fedora (freetype, kernel, leptonica, mariadb, mingw-leptonica, net-snmp, nx-libs, util-linux, wavpack, x2goserver, and zsh), Gentoo (chromium), Oracle (389-ds-base, mailman, and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (389-ds-base, kernel, kernel-alt, libreoffice, mailman, and qemu-kvm), Scientific Linux (mailman), Slackware (firefox and samba), and Ubuntu (samba).

[$] An introduction to RISC-V

Wednesday 14th of March 2018 02:34:46 PM

LWN has covered the open RISC-V ("risk five") processor architecture before, most recently in this article. As the ecosystem and tools around RISC-V have started coming together, a more detailed look is in order. In a series of two articles, guest author Richard W.M. Jones will look at what RISC-V is and follow up with an article on how we can now port Linux distributions to run on it.

[$] Designing ELF modules

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 08:26:24 PM
The bpfilter proposal posted in February included a new type of kernel module that would run as a user-space program; its purpose is to parse and translate iptables rules under the kernel's control but in a contained, non-kernel setting. These "ELF modules" were reposted for review as a standalone patch set in early March. That review has happened; it is a good example of how community involvement can improve a special-purpose patch and turn it into a more generally useful feature.

An important Samba 4 security release

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 06:33:39 PM
Anybody running Samba 4 servers probably wants to take a look at this alert and upgrade their systems. "CVE-2018-1057: On a Samba 4 AD DC the LDAP server in all versions of Samba from 4.0.0 onwards incorrectly validates permissions to modify passwords over LDAP allowing authenticated users to change any other users' passwords, including administrative users."

Numerous vulnerabilities in AMD processors

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 06:30:27 PM
A company called CTS has disclosed a long series of vulnerabilities in AMD processors. "The chipset is a central component on Ryzen and Ryzen Pro workstations: it links the processor with hardware devices such as WiFi and network cards, making it an ideal target for malicious actors. The Ryzen chipset is currently being shipped with exploitable backdoors that could let attackers inject malicious code into the chip, providing them with a safe haven to operate from." See the associated white paper for more details.

Update: there are a lot of questions circulating about the actual severity of these vulnerabilities and the motivations of the people reporting them. It may not be time to panic quite yet.

Firefox 59 released

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 05:38:09 PM
Mozilla has released Firefox 59, the next iteration of Firefox Quantum. From the release notes: "On Firefox for desktop, we’ve improved page load times, added tools to annotate and crop your Firefox Screenshots, and made it easier to arrange your Top Sites on the Firefox Home page. On Firefox for Android, we’ve added support for sites that stream video using the HLS protocol."

[$] JupyterLab: ready for users

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 02:54:58 PM

In the recent article about Jupyter and its notebooks, we mentioned that a new interface, called JupyterLab, existed in what its developers described as an "early preview" stage. About two weeks after that article appeared, Project Jupyter made a significant announcement: JupyterLab is "ready for users". Users will find a more integrated environment for scientific computation that is also more easily extended. JupyterLab takes the Jupyter Notebook to a level of functionality that will propel it well into the next decade—and beyond.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 13th of March 2018 02:49:23 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (samba), Fedora (tor), openSUSE (glibc, mysql-connector-java, and shadow), Oracle (dhcp), Red Hat (bind, chromium-browser, and dhcp), Scientific Linux (dhcp), and SUSE (java-1_7_0-openjdk, java-1_8_0-ibm, and java-1_8_0-openjdk).

[$] Variable-length arrays and the max() mess

Monday 12th of March 2018 09:37:50 PM
Variable-length arrays (VLAs) have a non-constant size that is determined (and which can vary) at run time; they are supported by the ISO C99 standard. Use of VLAs in the kernel has long been discouraged but not prohibited, so there are naturally numerous VLA instances to be found. A recent push to remove VLAs from the kernel entirely has gained momentum, but it ran into an interesting snag on the way.

The Rust 2018 roadmap

Monday 12th of March 2018 05:31:24 PM
Here is the Rust community's plan for the rest of this year. "This year, we will deliver Rust 2018, marking the first major new edition of Rust since 1.0 (aka Rust 2015). We will continue to publish releases every six weeks as usual. But we will designate a release in the latter third of the year (Rust 1.29 - 1.31) as Rust 2018. This new 'edition' of Rust will be the culmination of feature stabilization throughout the year, and will ship with polished documentation, tooling, and libraries that tie in to those features."