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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: 6 hours 1 min ago

More stable kernel updates

Saturday 22nd of October 2016 03:33:46 PM
The 4.8.4, 4.7.10, and 4.4.27 stable updates are out. These would appear to contain the usual fixes. Note that 4.7.10 is the end of the line for the 4.7.x series.

[$] Dirty COW and clean commit messages

Friday 21st of October 2016 05:08:07 PM
We live in an era of celebrity vulnerabilities; at the moment, an unpleasant kernel bug called "Dirty COW" (or CVE-2016-5195) is taking its turn on the runway. This one is more disconcerting than many due to its omnipresence and the ease with which it can be exploited. But there is also some unhappiness in the wider community about how this vulnerability has been handled by the kernel development community. It may well be time for the kernel project to rethink its approach to serious security problems.

Friday's security updates

Friday 21st of October 2016 02:50:26 PM

Debian-LTS has updated bind9 (denial of service).

Fedora has updated libgit2 (F23: two vulnerabilities).

Mageia has updated kernel (three vulnerabilities), libtiff (multiple vulnerabilities, two from 2015), and openslp (code execution).

openSUSE has updated dbus-1 (13.2: code execution), ghostscript-library (42.1: three vulnerabilities, one from 2013), roundcubemail (42.1: two vulnerabilities), and squidGuard (42.1: cross-site scripting from 2015).

Red Hat has updated bind (RHEL6&5: denial of service) and bind97 (RHEL5: denial of service).

Scientific Linux has updated bind (SL6&5: denial of service) and bind97 (SL5: denial of service).

Ubuntu has updated bind9 (12.04: denial of service).

Ranking the Web With Radical Transparency (

Thursday 20th of October 2016 11:29:53 PM interviews Sylvain Zimmer, founder of the Common Search project, which is an effort to create an open web search engine. "Being transparent means that you can actually understand why our top search result came first, and why the second had a lower ranking. This is why people will be able to trust us and be sure we aren't manipulating results. However for this to work, it needs to apply not only to the results themselves but to the whole organization. This is what we mean by 'radical transparency.' Being a nonprofit doesn't automatically clear us of any ulterior motives, we need to go much further. As a community, we will be able to work on the ranking algorithm collaboratively and in the open, because the code is open source and the data is publicly available. We think that this means the trust in the fairness of the results will actually grow with the size of the community."

More information about Dirty COW (aka CVE-2016-5195)

Thursday 20th of October 2016 09:12:39 PM
The security hole fixed in the stable kernels released today has been dubbed Dirty COW (CVE-2016-5195) by a site devoted to the kernel privilege escalation vulnerability. There is some indication that it is being exploited in the wild. Ars Technica has some additional information. The Red Hat bugzilla entry and advisory are worth looking at as well.

Security advisories for Thursday

Thursday 20th of October 2016 03:49:08 PM

CentOS has updated java-1.8.0-openjdk (C7; C6: multiple vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated kernel (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2015).

Debian-LTS has updated kernel (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2015) and libxvmc (code execution).

Fedora has updated glibc-arm-linux-gnu (F23: denial of service) and perl-DBD-MySQL (F23: denial of service).

Oracle has updated java-1.8.0-openjdk (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-sun (multiple vulnerabilities), java-1.7.0-oracle (multiple vulnerabilities), and java-1.8.0-oracle (RHEL7&6: multiple vulnerabilities).

Scientific Linux has updated java-1.8.0-openjdk (SL7&6: multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated quagga (SLE11: code execution).

Ubuntu has updated kernel (12.04; 14.04; 16.04; 16.10: privilege escalation), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: privilege escalation), linux-lts-xenial (14.04: privilege escalation), linux-raspi2 (16.04: privilege escalation), linux-snapdragon (16.04: privilege escalation), and linux-ti-omap4 (12.04: privilege escalation).

An important set of stable kernel updates

Thursday 20th of October 2016 01:44:39 PM
The 4.8.3, 4.7.9, and 4.4.26 stable kernel updates have been released. There's nothing in the announcements to indicate this, but they all contain a fix for CVE-2016-5195, a bug that can allow local attackers to overwrite files they should not have write access to. So the "all users must upgrade" message seems more than usually applicable this time around.

[$] Weekly Edition for October 20, 2016

Thursday 20th of October 2016 12:02:41 AM
The Weekly Edition for October 20, 2016 is available.

Security advisories for Wednesday

Wednesday 19th of October 2016 04:52:17 PM

Debian has updated quagga (stack overrun) and tor (denial of service).

Debian-LTS has updated dwarfutils (multiple vulnerabilities), guile-2.0 (two vulnerabilities), libass (two vulnerabilities), libgd2 (two vulnerabilities), libxv (insufficient validation), and tor (denial of service).

Fedora has updated epiphany (F24: unspecified), ghostscript (F24; F23: multiple vulnerabilities), glibc-arm-linux-gnu (F24: denial of service), guile (F24: two vulnerabilities), libgit2 (F24: two vulnerabilities), openssh (F23: null pointer dereference), qemu (F24: multiple vulnerabilities), and webkitgtk4 (F24: unspecified).

Mageia has updated asterisk (denial of service), flash-player-plugin (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (multiple vulnerabilities), and mailman (password disclosure).

Red Hat has updated java-1.8.0-openjdk (RHEL6, 7: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (RHEL6.7: use-after-free), and mariadb-galera (RHOSP8: SQL injection/privilege escalation).

Live kernel patches for Ubuntu

Wednesday 19th of October 2016 02:33:54 PM
Canonical has announced the availability of a live kernel patch service for the 16.04 LTS release. "It’s the best way to ensure that machines are safe at the kernel level, while guaranteeing uptime, especially for container hosts where a single machine may be running thousands of different workloads." Up to three systems can be patched for free; the service requires a fee thereafter. There is a long FAQ about the service in this blog post; it appears to be based on the mainline live-patching functionality with some Canonical add-ons.

Kügler: Plasma’s road ahead

Tuesday 18th of October 2016 07:36:01 PM
Sebastian Kügler reports on KDE's Plasma team meeting. "We took this opportunity to also look and plan ahead a bit further into the future. In what areas are we lacking, where do we want or need to improve? Where do we want to take Plasma in the next two years?" Specific topics include release schedule changes, UI and theming improvements, feature backlog, Wayland, mobile, and more. (Thanks to Paul Wise)

Tuesday's security updates

Tuesday 18th of October 2016 04:22:57 PM

Debian-LTS has updated libarchive (three vulnerabilities), libxrandr (insufficient validation), libxrender (insufficient validation), and quagga (stack overrun).

openSUSE has updated ffmpeg (Leap42.1; SPH for SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities) and kcoreaddons (Leap42.1, 13.2; SPH for SLE12: HTML injection).

Red Hat has updated atomic-openshift (RHOSCP: authentication bypass), kernel (RHEL6.5: privilege escalation), and openssl (RHEL6.7: multiple vulnerabilities).

[$] Graphics world domination may be closer than it appears

Tuesday 18th of October 2016 02:25:40 PM
The mainline kernel has support for a wide range of hardware. One place where support has traditionally been lacking, though, is graphics adapters. As a result, a great many people are still using proprietary, out-of-tree GPU drivers. Daniel Vetter went before the crowd at Kernel Recipes 2016 to say that the situation is not as bad as some think; indeed, he said, in this area as well as others, world domination is proceeding according to plan.

Secure Your Containers with this One Weird Trick (RHEL Blog)

Monday 17th of October 2016 05:55:41 PM
Over on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Blog, Dan Walsh writes about using Linux capabilities to help secure Docker containers. "Let’s look at the default list of capabilities available to privileged processes in a docker container: chown, dac_override, fowner, fsetid, kill, setgid, setuid, setpcap, net_bind_service, net_raw, sys_chroot, mknod, audit_write, setfcap. In the OCI/runc spec they are even more drastic only retaining, audit_write, kill, and net_bind_service and users can use ocitools to add additional capabilities. As you can imagine, I like the approach of adding capabilities you need rather than having to remember to remove capabilities you don’t." He then goes through the capabilities listed describing what they govern and when they might need to be turned on for a container application.

Security advisories for Monday

Monday 17th of October 2016 03:40:38 PM

Arch Linux has updated guile (two vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated libgd2 (denial of service).

Debian-LTS has updated icedove (multiple vulnerabilities), libarchive (file overwrite), libdbd-mysql-perl (denial of service), and mpg123 (denial of service).

Fedora has updated chromium (F24: multiple vulnerabilities).

Gentoo has updated oracle-jdk-bin (multiple vulnerabilities).

openSUSE has updated thunderbird (13.1: multiple vulnerabilities) and tiff (13.1: denial of service).

Oracle has updated openssl (OL5: multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated chromium-browser (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).

A set of stable kernels

Sunday 16th of October 2016 06:35:49 PM
The 4.8.2, 4.7.8, and 4.4.25 stable kernels have been released. Each contains the usual set of important fixes.

The 4.9 merge window closes

Saturday 15th of October 2016 08:10:59 PM
Linus has released 4.9-rc1 and closed the merge window for this release one day earlier than some might have expected. "My own favorite 'small detail under the hood' happens to be Andy Lutomirski's new virtually mapped kernel stack allocations. They make it easier to find and recover from stack overflows, but the effort also cleaned up some code, and added a kernel stack mapping cache to avoid any performance downsides." The virtually mapped kernel stack work was covered here in June. There were 14,308 non-merge changesets pulled for this release, meaning that 4.9 will be, by far, the busiest development cycle ever.

Celebrating open standards around the world

Friday 14th of October 2016 07:04:13 PM celebrates World Standards Day on October 14. "Whether in the world of software, where without standards we would have been unable to connect the world through the Internet and the World Wide Web, or the physical world, where standards make nearly everything you buy easier, more useful, and safer, the world would be a difficult place to navigate without standards. And critical to the useful of standards is making them available to all in an accessible, free format, unencumbered by legal or other hurdles."

[$] PostgreSQL 9.6 improves synchronous replication and more

Friday 14th of October 2016 06:05:58 PM
The PostgreSQL project released version 9.6 on September 29th. This new major release has an assortment of new goodies for PostgreSQL fans, including parallel query and phrase search, new options for synchronous replication, remote query execution using foreign data wrappers, "crosstab" data transformations in psql, and more. Together with version 9.6, the community released a completely rewritten version of the pgAdmin database graphical interface. We'll explore multiple synchronous replicas, foreign data wrapper changes, crosstabs and the new pgAdmin here.

Friday's security advisories

Friday 14th of October 2016 04:05:32 PM

Arch Linux has updated gdk-pixbuf2 (denial of service).

Debian has updated freeimage (two vulnerabilities).

Debian-LTS has updated libxfixes (integer overflow).

Fedora has updated dbus (F24: code execution) and xen (F24; F23: three vulnerabilities).

openSUSE has updated compat-openssl098 (Leap42.1: multiple vulnerabilities), derby (13.2: information leak), libreoffice (Leap42.1: code execution), php5 (Leap42.1: multiple vulnerabilities), go1.4 (SPH for SLE12: denial of service), systemd (Leap42.1: denial of service), and unzip (13.2: two vulnerabilities).

Oracle has updated kernel 4.1.12 (OL7; OL6: stack corruption).

Red Hat has updated mariadb-galera (RHOSP9; RHELOSP7 for RHEL7; RHELOSP6 for RHEL7; RHELOSP5 for RHEL7; RHELOSP5 for RHEL6: SQL injection/privilege escalation).

SUSE has updated xen (SLE12; SLES11-SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).

Ubuntu has updated linux-ti-omap4 (12.04: three vulnerabilities).