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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: 3 hours 35 min ago

[$] The great leap backward

5 hours 13 min ago
Sayre's law states: "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake". In that context, it is perhaps easy to understand why the discussion around the version number for the next major openSUSE Leap release has gone on for hundreds of sometimes vitriolic messages. While this change is controversial, the openSUSE board hopes that it will lead to more rational versioning in the long term — but the world has a way of interfering with such plans.

Security updates for Wednesday

6 hours 1 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (botan1.10, mysql-5.5, and rtmpdump), Fedora (collectd, firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, libdwarf, nss-softokn, nss-util, and tigervnc), Red Hat (httpd24-httpd and python27), and SUSE (kernel).

No more grsecurity test patches

6 hours 48 min ago
The grsecurity project has announced that its kernel-hardening patches will now be an entirely private affair. "Today we are handing over future maintenance of grsecurity test patches to the community. This makes grsecurity for Linux 4.9 the last version Open Source Security Inc. will release to non-subscribers."

[$] Which email client for Ubuntu 17.10?

6 hours 56 min ago
An email client was once a mandatory offering for any operating system, but that may be changing. A discussion on the ubuntu-desktop mailing list explores the choices for a default email client for Ubuntu 17.10, which is due in October. One of the possibilities being considered is to not have a default email client at all.

Kali Linux 2017.1 Release

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 07:09:41 PM
The Kali Linux 2017.1 rolling release is available. Kali is a Debian derivative aimed at penetration testing and related tasks. This release includes support for RTL8812AU wireless card injection, streamlined support for CUDA GPU cracking, OpenVAS 9 packaged in Kali repositories, and more.

Linkerd 1.0 released

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 06:06:41 PM
The linkerd 1.0 release is available. "Linkerd a service mesh for cloud native applications. As part of this release, we wanted to define what this actually meant." Support for per-service router configuration has been added, along with new plugin interfaces for policy control. (LWN looked at linkerd in early April).

Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages (InfoWorld)

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 05:44:13 PM
InfoWorld plays with the Bash Bunny, a USB device for attacking computers. "It can run anything a regular Debian Linux distro can run, such as Python scripts or common Linux commands. To infiltrate other computing devices, Bash Bunny can fake its identity as a trusted media device, networking device, keyboard, or other serial device. For example, it can load itself as a keyboard device and mimic keystrokes. You can download dozens of existing payload scripts, create your own, or ask questions in a fairly active user forum."

[$] Turmoil for Drupal

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 04:02:31 PM

The Drupal content management system (CMS) has been an open-source tool of choice for many web site owners for well over a decade now. Over that time, it has been overseen by its original developer, Dries Buytaert, who is often referred to as the benevolent dictator for life (BDFL) for the project. Some recent events have led a sizable contingent in the Drupal community to question his leadership, however. A request that a prominent developer leave the Drupal community, apparently over elements of his private life rather than any Drupal-related misstep, has led to something of an outcry in that community—it may well lead to a change in the governance of the project.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 03:59:43 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (activemq, libav, minicom, mysql-5.5, tiff3, and xen), Fedora (ansible, collectd, icu, and pcre), openSUSE (chromium and firefox), Red Hat (chromium-browser and kernel), Slackware (firefox), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-gke, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-hwe, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, qemu, and samba).

Debian is shutting down its public FTP services

Tuesday 25th of April 2017 01:40:04 PM
If you're one of the few people still using FTP to access the Debian repositories, the time has come to move on: FTP service will be shut down at the beginning of November.

Collabora Office 5.3 Released

Monday 24th of April 2017 10:15:47 PM
Collabora Office 5.3 has been released with all the fixes and several backported features from the upstream LibreOffice 5.3 release. "The biggest change in this release is the inclusion of a long list of new features, combined with many User Interface improvements, making Collabora Office more powerful and at the same time faster and more comfortable to work with."

[$] Two new block I/O schedulers for 4.12

Monday 24th of April 2017 07:00:08 PM
The multiqueue block layer subsystem, introduced in 2013, was a necessary step for the kernel to scale to the fastest storage devices on large systems. The implementation in current kernels is incomplete, though, in that it lacks an I/O scheduler designed to work with multiqueue devices. That gap is currently set to be closed in the 4.12 development cycle when the kernel will probably get not just one, but two new multiqueue I/O schedulers.

Stable kernel 3.18.50

Monday 24th of April 2017 04:13:12 PM
Stable kernel 3.18.50 has been released with many important fixes. Users should upgrade.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 24th of April 2017 04:00:03 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox and weechat), Debian (chicken, firefox-esr, libcroco, libreoffice, and tiff), Fedora (backintime, bind, firefox, libarchive, libnl3, pcre2, php-pear-CAS, and python-django), Mageia (icu and proftpd), openSUSE (mozilla-nss and wireshark), Red Hat (java-1.6.0-sun, java-1.7.0-oracle, and java-1.8.0-oracle), Scientific Linux (firefox and java-1.8.0-openjdk), Slackware (mozilla, ntp, and proftpd), and Ubuntu (firefox).

openSUSE Leap's backward version jump

Monday 24th of April 2017 03:03:15 PM
The openSUSE project has announced that the release following openSUSE Leap 42 will be called openSUSE Leap 15. "SUSE have decided that their next version of SLE will be 15, not 13. Upon learning of SUSE's plans the Board and Leap release team have been considering our options. This included ignoring the changes to SLE and releasing Leap 43 as planned, at the cost of the link between SLE versions and Leap versions. 45 was also considered, as were some frankly hilarious ideas that made me worry about my own sanity and that of my fellow contributors. After considering the pros and cons of all the options however, the decision has been that Leap 15 will be our next version."

Kernel prepatch 4.11-rc8

Monday 24th of April 2017 01:36:01 AM
Linus has released 4.11-rc8 instead of the expected 4.11 final. "So originally I was just planning on releasing the final 4.11 today, but while we didn't have a *lot* of changes the last week, we had a couple of really annoying ones, so I'm doing another rc release instead. I did get fixes for the issues that popped up, so I could have released 4.11 as-is, but it just doesn't feel right."

What's new in OpenStack Ocata (Opensource.com)

Saturday 22nd of April 2017 04:03:32 PM
Over at Opensource.com, Rich Bowen looks at some of the new features in OpenStack Ocata, which was released back in February. "First, it's important to remember that the Ocata cycle was very short. We usually do a release every six months, but with the rescheduling of the OpenStack Summit and OpenStack PTG (Project Team Gathering) events, Ocata was squeezed into 4 months to realign the releases with these events. So, while some projects squeezed a surprising amount of work into that time, most projects spent the time on smaller features and finishing up tasks leftover from the previous release. At a high level, the Ocata release was all about upgrades and containers, themes that I heard from almost every team I interviewed. Developers spoke of how we can make upgrades smoother, and how we can deploy bits of the infrastructure in containers. These two things are closely related, and there seems to be more cross-project collaboration this time around than I've noticed in the past."

Stable kernels 4.10.12, 4.9.24, and 4.4.63 released

Friday 21st of April 2017 01:47:16 PM
The 4.10.12, 4.9.24, and 4.4.63 stable kernels have been released. Users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 21st of April 2017 01:09:05 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (bind, firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, and nss and nss-util), Debian (icedove), Fedora (jenkins-xstream and xstream), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, flash-player-plugin, gimp, and wireshark), openSUSE (gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base), Oracle (bind, firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, and nss and nss-util), Red Hat (firefox and java-1.8.0-openjdk), Scientific Linux (bind, firefox, nss and nss-util, and nss-util), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (bind9, curl, freetype, and qemu).

Grok the GIL (opensource.com)

Thursday 20th of April 2017 04:44:26 PM
Here's an opensource.com article describing how the Python global interpreter lock works and some nuances of writing threaded Python code. "Although the GIL does not excuse us from the need for locks, it does mean there is no need for fine-grained locking. In a free-threaded language like Java, programmers make an effort to lock shared data for the shortest time possible, to reduce thread contention and allow maximum parallelism. Because threads cannot run Python in parallel, however, there's no advantage to fine-grained locking. So long as no thread holds a lock while it sleeps, does I/O, or some other GIL-dropping operation, you should use the coarsest, simplest locks possible."