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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: 5 hours 59 min ago

[$] 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.

Agocs: Boosting performance with shader binary caching in Qt 5.9

Thursday 23rd of March 2017 04:49:18 PM
Laszlo Agocs takes a look at improvements to the basic OpenGL enablers that form the foundation of Qt Quick and the optional OpenGL-based rendering path of QPainter in Qt 5.9. "As explained here, such shader programs will attempt to cache the program binaries on disk using GL_ARB_get_program_binary or the standard equivalents in OpenGL ES 3.0. When no support is provided by the driver, the behavior is equivalent to the non-cached case. The files are stored in the global or per-process cache location, whichever is writable. The result is a nice boost in performance when a program is created with the same shader sources next time."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 23rd of March 2017 03:13:00 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (audiofile, jhead, libxslt, samba, suricata, and wordpress), Fedora (openslp), Mageia (icoutils, kdelibs4, and virtualbox), Oracle (icoutils and openjpeg), Red Hat (icoutils and openjpeg), and Ubuntu (audiofile, git, and samba).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 23, 2017

Thursday 23rd of March 2017 12:59:15 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 23, 2017 is available.

GitLab 9.0 Released with Subgroups and Deploy Boards

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 07:43:02 PM
GitLab 9.0 has been released with many new features and improvements. "In the last several releases, GitLab has transformed how development teams get from idea to production. In just a few minutes, you can deploy GitLab to a container scheduler, add CI/CD with auto deployed review apps, utilize ChatOps, and analyze your cycle time. With 9.0 you can now watch your deploys with deploy boards and monitor application performance with Prometheus."

NTPsec Project announces 0.9.7

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 06:10:04 PM
The NTPsec Project has announced the 0.9.7 release of NTPsec, with assistance from the Mozilla Foundation's "Secure Open Source" initiative. NTPsec is an implementation of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). "NTPsec 0.9.7 incorporates significant improvements in security, accuracy, precision, visualization, and usability, with assistance, contributions, and audits provided by infosec researchers and other technical contributors. For this release, the NTPsec Project worked particularly closely with the Mozilla Foundation's "Secure Open Source" initiative, who funded an infosec audit, and with Cure53.de, who provided the audit."

GNOME 3.24 released

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 05:43:39 PM
The GNOME Project has announced the release of GNOME 3.24, "Portland". "This release is the result of 6 months’ hard work by the GNOME community. It contains major new features such as night light, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. GNOME's existing applications have been improved and there is also a new Recipes app. Improvements to our platform include refined notifications and several revamped settings panels."

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 03:52:09 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released stable kernels 4.10.5, 4.9.17, and 4.4.56. All of them contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 03:46:34 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (irssi), Fedora (qemu), openSUSE (mbedtls), and Ubuntu (eglibc, glibc).

[$] Unaddressable device memory

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 02:32:24 PM
In a morning plenary session on the first day of the 2017 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Jérôme Glisse led a discussion on memory that cannot be addressed by the CPU because it lives in devices like GPUs or FPGAs. There is often a substantial pile of memory on these devices and it can be accessed much more quickly by the devices than the system RAM can be. Making it easier for user-space programmers to use that memory transparently is the goal of the heterogeneous memory management (HMM) patches that Glisse has been working on.

Garrett: A new Shim review process

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 01:50:14 PM
Matthew Garrett announces a new, hopefully more efficient process for reviewing bootloaders to be used with Shim in UEFI secure boot systems. "To that end, we're adopting a new model. A mailing list has been created at shim-review@lists.freedesktop.org, and members of this list will review submissions and provide a recommendation to Microsoft on whether these should be signed or not."