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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: 1 hour 5 min ago

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 27, 2019

3 hours 31 min ago
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 27, 2019 is available.

[$] An openSUSE foundation proposal

8 hours 4 min ago
Over the past couple of months, things have been moving fairly swiftly toward the establishment of a separate entity to govern the openSUSE project. The idea is mainly meant to set up an organization that can receive and disburse funds on behalf of the project, rather than as some kind of move away from its parent company, SUSE. Also, while SUSE seems to be in a healthy position with a strong interest in supporting and working on openSUSE, that could change down the road, so a foundation or similar organization seems like the right way to go. At this point, the first draft of the foundation proposal has been posted; it generally has the support of SUSE management, so it is time to see what thoughts the community has.

Security updates for Wednesday

13 hours 52 min ago
Security updates have been issued by Debian (python3.4), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (firefox and kernel-alt), SUSE (ImageMagick and SUSE Manager Server 3.2), and Ubuntu (bzip2).

[$] CVE-less vulnerabilities

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 08:49:49 PM
More bugs in free software are being found these days, which is good for many reasons, but there are some possible downsides to that as well. In addition, projects like OSS-Fuzz are finding lots of bugs in an automated fashion—many of which may be security relevant. The sheer number of bugs being reported is overwhelming many (most?) free-software projects, which simply do not have enough eyeballs to fix, or even triage, many of the reports they receive. A discussion about that is currently playing out on the oss-security mailing list.

GitLab 12.0

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 06:04:26 PM
GitLab 12.0 has been released. "GitLab gives users the ability to automatically create review apps for each merge request. This allows anyone to see how the design or UX has been changed. In GitLab 12.0, we are expanding the ability to discuss those changes by bringing the ability to insert visual review tools directly into the Review App itself. With a small code snippet, users can enable designers, product managers, and other stakeholders to quickly provide feedback on a merge request without leaving the app." Other features include the ability to easily access a project's Dependency List, restrict access by IP address, and much more.

Three stable kernel updates

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 02:35:07 PM
Stable kernels 5.1.15, 4.19.56, and 4.14.130 have been released. The all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 02:26:20 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (python), Debian (bzip2, libvirt, python2.7, python3.4, rdesktop, and thunderbird), Fedora (thunderbird and tomcat), openSUSE (aubio, docker, enigmail, GraphicsMagick, and python-Jinja2), SUSE (kernel, libvirt, postgresql96, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (ceph, firefox, imagemagick, libmysofa, linux, linux-hwe, neutron, and policykit-desktop-privileges).

Introducing people.kernel.org

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 02:10:39 PM
Konstantin Ryabitsev has announced a new public blogging platform for kernel developers. "Ever since the demise of Google+, many developers have expressed a desire to have a service that would provide a way to create and manage content in a format that would be more rich and easier to access than email messages sent to LKML. Today, we would like to introduce people.kernel.org, which is an ActivityPub-enabled federated platform powered by WriteFreely and hosted by very nice and accommodating folks at write.as." (LWN looked at WriteFreely back in March).

Changes at the Apache Software Foundation

Tuesday 25th of June 2019 02:00:37 PM
Here's a statement from the Apache Software Foundation regarding changes in its leadership: "It is with a mix of sadness and appreciation that the ASF Board accepted the resignations of Board Member Jim Jagielski, Chairman Phil Steitz, and Executive Vice President Ross Gardler last month." There is no indication of why all these people decided to leave at the same time.

[$] Lockdown as a security module

Monday 24th of June 2019 08:41:09 PM
Technologies like UEFI secure boot are intended to guarantee that a locked-down system is running the software intended by its owner (for a definition of "owner" as "whoever holds the signing key recognized by the firmware"). That guarantee is hard to uphold, though, if a program run on the system in question is able to modify the running kernel somehow. Thus, proponents of secure-boot technologies have been trying for years to provide the ability to lock down many types of kernel functionality on secure systems. The latest attempt posted by Matthew Garrett, at an eyebrow-raising version 34, tries to address previous concerns by putting lockdown under the control of a Linux security module (LSM).

Canonical backtracks on i386 packages

Monday 24th of June 2019 07:14:22 PM
Canonical has let it be known that minds have been changed about removing all 32-bit x86 support from the Ubuntu distribution. "Thanks to the huge amount of feedback this weekend from gamers, Ubuntu Studio, and the WINE community, we will change our plan and build selected 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS. We will put in place a community process to determine which 32-bit packages are needed to support legacy software, and can add to that list post-release if we miss something that is needed."

Two years of postmarketOS

Monday 24th of June 2019 04:39:53 PM
PostmarketOS is an Alpine Linux based operating system for mobile devices. The postmarketOS blog takes a look at the project after two years of development. "Wouldn't it be great if you could take any obsolete smartphone from the past ten years and replace its outdated and insecure software with a maintained, modular free software stack? How about then using it as a Raspberry Pi-like device for your next tinkering project? With some constraints, postmarketOS makes this possible today for 139 booting devices. Every single package in the whole OS can be updated, with the only exceptions being the vendor's Linux kernel and firmware blobs (if you plan on using them). In a few cases, it is even possible to switch out the discontinued vendor kernel forks with the upstream kernel releases straight from Linus Torvalds."

Security updates for Monday

Monday 24th of June 2019 03:32:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (jackson-databind, libvirt, pdns, and vim), Fedora (evince, firefox, gjs, libxslt, mozjs60, and poppler), openSUSE (dbus-1, firefox, ImageMagick, netpbm, openssh, and thunderbird), Oracle (libssh2, libvirt, and python), Scientific Linux (python), SUSE (compat-openssl098 , dbus-1 , evince , exempi , firefox , glib2 , gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base , gstreamer-plugins-base , java-1_8_0-ibm , libssh2_org , libvirt , netpbm , samba , SDL2 , sqlite3 , thunderbird , and wireshark ), and Ubuntu (web2py).

Kernel prepatch 5.2-rc6

Sunday 23rd of June 2019 01:10:04 PM
The 5.2-rc6 kernel prepatch has been released. Linus worries that the volume of changes has increased — but not too much. "With all that out of the way, I'm still reasonably optimistic that we're on track for a calm final part of the release, and I don't think there is anything particularly bad on the horizon." He also notes that, due to travel, he'll be releasing 5.2-rc7 later than usual.

Weekend stable kernel updates

Saturday 22nd of June 2019 03:12:19 PM
The 5.1.13, 4.19.54, 4.14.129, 4.9.183, and 4.4.183 stable kernels have all been released with another set of important fixes. A few milliseconds later, 5.1.14 and 4.19.55 came out with one more networking fix.

[$] FreeBSD turns 26

Friday 21st of June 2019 10:18:48 PM
The FreeBSD operating system is continuing to make progress, 26 years after it got its name. Among the areas where work is being done is on improved support for RISC-V, FUSE filesystem updates, C runtime changes, and security improvements. FreeBSD Day is celebrated on June 19, in recognition of the date in 1993 when the name FreeBSD was coined for a fork of the 386BSD project. The first official release of FreeBSD did not occur until November 1, 1993, however.

Ahead of FreeBSD Day, the project released its quarterly report for the first quarter of 2019, outlining some of its ongoing efforts. In addition to the quarterly report, the executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation provided LWN with some insights into the state of the project and the foundation that supports it.

[$] Statistics from the 5.2 kernel — and before

Friday 21st of June 2019 02:52:11 PM
As of this writing, just over 13,600 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.2 development cycle. The time has come, once again, for a look at where that work came from and who supported it. There are some unique aspects to 5.2 that have thrown off some of the usual numbers.

Huang: Open Source Could Be a Casualty of the Trade War

Friday 21st of June 2019 02:07:54 PM
Bunnie Huang writes about the escalating trade wars and how they could be harmful to the open-source community. "Because the administrative action so far against Huawei relies only upon export license restrictions, the Linux Foundation has been able to find shelter under a license exemption for open source software. However, should Huawei be designated as a 'foreign adversary' under EO13873, it greatly expands the scope of the ban because it prohibits transactions with entities under the direction or influence of foreign adversaries. The executive order also broadly includes any information technology including hardware and software with no exemption for open source."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 21st of June 2019 01:11:36 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (libvirt and python), Debian (intel-microcode, php-horde-form, and znc), Fedora (firefox), Mageia (firefox, flash-player-plugin, git, graphicsmagick, kernel, kernel-linus, kernel-tmb, phpmyadmin, and thunderbird), Oracle (libssh2, libvirt, and python), Red Hat (libvirt and python), Scientific Linux (libvirt), Slackware (bind and mozilla), SUSE (enigmail), and Ubuntu (bind9, intel-microcode, mosquitto, postgresql-10, postgresql-11, and thunderbird).

[$] C, Fortran, and single-character strings

Thursday 20th of June 2019 03:16:53 PM
The calling interfaces between programming languages are, by their nature, ripe for misunderstandings; different languages can have subtly different ideas of how data should be passed around. Such misunderstandings often have the effect of making things break right away; these are quickly fixed. Others can persist for years or even decades before jumping out of the shadows and making things fail. A problem of the latter variety recently turned up in how some C programs are passing strings to Fortran subroutines, with unpleasant effects on widely used packages like LAPACK.

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