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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 8 min ago

Vetter: Maintainers don't scale

Friday 20th of January 2017 02:53:06 AM
Daniel Vetter has posted the text of his talk on kernel maintenance. "At least for me, review isn’t just about ensuring good code quality, but also about diffusing knowledge and improving understanding. At first there’s maybe one person, the author (and that’s not a given), understanding the code. After good review there should be at least two people who fully understand it, including corner cases. And that’s also why I think that group maintainership is the only way to run any project with more than one regular contributor."

Larsson: The flatpak security model – part 1: The basics

Thursday 19th of January 2017 07:14:41 PM
On his blog, Alexander Larsson begins a description of flatpak security. "Long story short, flatpak uses bubblewrap to create a filesystem namespace for the sandbox. This starts out with a tmpfs as the root filesystem, and in this we bind-mount read-only copies of the runtime on /usr and the application data on /app. Then we mount various system things like a minimal /dev, our own instance of /proc and symlinks into /usr from /lib and /bin. We also enable all the available namespaces so that the sandbox cannot see other processes/users or access the network. On top of this we use seccomp to filter out syscalls that are risky. For instance ptrace, perf, and recursive use of namespaces, as well as weird network families like DECnet. In order for the application to be able to write data anywhere we bind mount $HOME/.var/app/$APPID/ into the sandbox, but this is the only persistent writable location."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 19th of January 2017 06:38:35 PM

CentOS has updated kernel (C7: three vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated mapserver (code execution).

Debian-LTS has updated libav (multiple vulnerabilities) and mapserver (code execution).

Fedora has updated ark (F25: code execution), chicken (F25; F24: two vulnerabilities), and runc (F25: privilege escalation).

openSUSE has updated libgit2 (42.1; SPH for SLE12: two vulnerabilities), openjpeg2 (42.1: multiple vulnerabilities), and v8 (42.2: code execution).

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).

Slackware has updated mariadb (multiple unspecified vulnerabilities).

Ubuntu has updated mysql-5.5, mysql-5.7 (multiple unspecified vulnerabilities).

[$] Weekly Edition for January 19, 2017

Thursday 19th of January 2017 02:01:12 AM
The Weekly Edition for January 19, 2017 is available.

[$] Designing for failure

Wednesday 18th of January 2017 09:06:47 PM
Nobody starts a free-software project hoping that it will fail, so it is a rare project indeed that plans for its eventual demise. But not all projects succeed, and a project that doesn't plan for failure risks is doing its users harm. Dan Callahan joined Mozilla to work on the Persona authentication project, and he was there for its recent shutdown. At the 2017 in Hobart, Tasmania, he used his keynote slot to talk about the lessons that have been learned about designing a project for failure.

Wednesday's security updates

Wednesday 18th of January 2017 05:17:41 PM

Arch Linux has updated webkit2gtk (multiple vulnerabilities).

CentOS has updated qemu-kvm (C7: denial of service).

Debian-LTS has updated icoutils (multiple vulnerabilities).

Fedora has updated icoutils (F25; F24: three vulnerabilities), mingw-libgsf (F25: denial of service), and php-PHPMailer (F24: three vulnerabilities).

openSUSE has updated bind (42.2, 42.1; 13.2: three denial of service flaws), libgit2 (13.2: two vulnerabilities), openjpeg2 (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), pdns (42.2, 42.1, 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), qemu (42.2: multiple vulnerabilities), and squid (42.2: three vulnerabilities, one from 2014).

Oracle has updated kernel (OL7: three vulnerabilities) and qemu-kvm (OL7: denial of service).

Red Hat has updated docker (RHEL7: privilege escalation), docker-latest (RHEL7: privilege escalation), kernel (RHEL7: three vulnerabilities), kernel-rt (RHEL7; RHEMRG2.5: three vulnerabilities), qemu-kvm (RHEL7: denial of service), and runc (RHEL7: privilege escalation).

Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL7: three vulnerabilities) and qemu-kvm (SL7: denial of service).

SUSE has updated kernel (SLE12-SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).

Ubuntu has updated nvidia-graphics-drivers-304 and nvidia-graphics-drivers-340 (denial of service).

An updated FSF high-priority project list

Tuesday 17th of January 2017 09:10:37 PM
The Free Software Foundation has reworked its high-priority project list to reflect its view of computing in 2017. See the changelog for a list of the changes that were made. Among other things, the Gnash flash player has fallen off the list. "Smart phones are the most widely used form of personal computer today. Thus, the need for a fully free phone operating system is crucial to the proliferation of software freedom."

Security advisories for Tuesday

Tuesday 17th of January 2017 04:57:25 PM

Arch Linux has updated python-crypto (code execution) and python2-crypto (code execution).

CentOS has updated bind (C7; C6; C5: denial of service) and bind97 (C5: denial of service).

Debian-LTS has updated pdns-recursor (code execution).

Fedora has updated bind (F24: three denial of service flaws), bind99 (F24: three denial of service flaws), and SimGear (F25: file overwrites).

Gentoo has updated file (multiple vulnerabilities), libxml2 (multiple vulnerabilities), miniupnpc (denial of service), pidgin (multiple vulnerabilities), vlc (code execution), and xdelta (code execution).

openSUSE has updated ark (42.2, 42.1; SPH for SLE12: code execution), encfs (42.2, 42.1, 13.2: code execution from 2014), gstreamer-0_10-plugins-bad (13.2: code execution), gstreamer-0_10-plugins-base (13.2: code execution), gstreamer-0_10-plugins-good (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), gstreamer-plugins-bad (42.1; 13.2: three vulnerabilities), gstreamer-plugins-base (42.1; 13.2: code execution), gstreamer-plugins-good (42.1; 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), icinga (14.2, 14.1: two vulnerabilities), icoutils (42.2; 42.1; 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), openjpeg2 (42.2: multiple vulnerabilities), pcsc-lite (42.2, 42.1, 13.2: privilege escalation), and python-pycrypto (14.2, 14.1, 13.2: denial of service).

Oracle has updated bind (OL7; OL6; OL5: denial of service), bind97 (OL5: denial of service), and docker-engine docker-engine-selinux (OL7; OL6: two vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated kernel (RHEL6.5: code execution).

Scientific Linux has updated bind (SL7; SL5,6: denial of service) and bind97 (SL5: denial of service).

[$] The Machine: Controlling storage with a filesystem

Tuesday 17th of January 2017 01:58:23 AM
Keith Packard is the chief architect for The Machine project at HPE; we covered his talk on this project back in 2015. At the 2017 Kernel Miniconf, Packard focused on one specific aspect of The Machine's hardware and software configuration: how storage is managed and presented to applications. Like much that is being done with this project, its storage architecture is an interesting combination of new ideas and long-established techniques.

Prokoudine: GIMP 2016 in review

Monday 16th of January 2017 11:37:15 PM
Alexandre Prokoudine looks at user-visible changes for the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) over 2016. Changes include better handling of layers, channels, masks, and paths, remembering defaults across sessions, improved configurability, color management, and more.

Calligra 3.0 released

Monday 16th of January 2017 10:00:18 PM
Calligra 3.0 has been released. The Calligra Suite includes office, graphics, and project management applications. "We have chosen to cut back on the number of applications. Krita has left us to be independent and although it was emotional it was also done with complete support from both sides. We are saying goodbye to Author, which never differentiated itself from Words. We also removed Brainstorm the purpose of which will be better fitted by a new application (nothing planned from our side). Flow and Stage has gone in this release but we intend to bring them back in the future." The 3.x series updates the applications to use KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5.

The Linux Test Project has been released

Monday 16th of January 2017 07:27:32 PM
The Linux Test Project test suite stable release for January 2017 is out. There are new test cases, a new shell test library and many tests rewritten to make use of it, and much more. LWN looked at LTP last December.

Monday's security updates

Monday 16th of January 2017 05:44:49 PM

Arch Linux has updated libgit2 (multiple vulnerabilities), nginx (privilege escalation), nginx-mainline (privilege escalation), and wordpress (multiple vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated icoutils (three vulnerabilities), pdns (multiple vulnerabilities), pdns-recursor (denial of service), python-bottle (regression in previous update), and tiff (multiple vulnerabilities).

Debian-LTS has updated botan1.10 (integer overflow), gcc-mozilla (update to GCC 4.8), icedove (multiple vulnerabilities), libx11 (denial of service), otrs2 (code execution), python-bottle (regression in previous update), wireless-regdb (radio regulations updates), and xen (two vulnerabilities).

Fedora has updated bind (F25: three denial of service flaws), bind99 (F25: three denial of service flaws), ca-certificates (F25; F24: certificate update), docker-latest (F25: privilege escalation), gnutls (F24: multiple vulnerabilities), libgit2 (F25: multiple vulnerabilities), and onionshare (F25; F24: file injection).

Gentoo has updated apache (multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2014).

Mageia has updated golang (denial of service) and irssi (multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated bind (RHEL7; RHEL5,6: denial of service) and bind97 (RHEL5: denial of service).

Scientific Linux has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (SL5,6,7: multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated qemu (SLE12-SP2: multiple vulnerabilities).

Kernel prepatch 4.10-rc4

Monday 16th of January 2017 01:52:54 AM
The 4.10-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Things are still looking fairly normal, and this is the usual weekly Sunday rc release. We're up to rc4, and people are clearly starting to find the regressions. Good, good."

Stable kernels 4.9.4 and 4.4.43

Sunday 15th of January 2017 09:22:50 PM
The 4.9.4 and 4.4.43 stable kernel updates are available; each contains a relatively large set of important fixes.

Google Infrastructure Security Design Overview

Saturday 14th of January 2017 03:46:22 PM
Google has posted an overview of its infrastructure security. It includes information about low-level details, such as physical security and secure boot, encryption of data at rest as well as communications between services and to users, keeping employee devices and credentials safe, and more. Undoubtedly there are lessons here for many different organizations. "This document gives an overview of how security is designed into Google’s technical infrastructure. This global scale infrastructure is designed to provide security through the entire information processing lifecycle at Google. This infrastructure provides secure deployment of services, secure storage of data with end user privacy safeguards, secure communications between services, secure and private communication with customers over the internet, and safe operation by administrators. Google uses this infrastructure to build its internet services, including both consumer services such as Search, Gmail, and Photos, and enterprise services such as G Suite and Google Cloud Platform."

Quantum Computing Is Real, and D-Wave Just Open-Sourced It (Wired)

Friday 13th of January 2017 09:12:45 PM
Wired covers the release of Qbsolv as open-source software (under the Apache License v2) by D-Wave, which is a company that makes quantum computing hardware. Qbsolv is "designed to help developers program D-Wave machines without needing a background in quantum physics". Further:

Qbsolv joins a small but growing pool of tools for would-be quantum computer programmers. Last year Scott Pakin of Los Alamos National Laboratory–and one of Qbsolv’s first users–released another free tool called Qmasm, which also eases the burden of writing code for D-Wave machines by freeing developers from having to worry about addressing the underlying hardware. The goal, Ewald says, is to kickstart a quantum computing software tools ecosystem and foster a community of developers working on quantum computing problems. In recent years, open source software has been the best way to build communities of both independent developers and big corporate contributors.

Of course to actually run the software you create with these tools, you’ll need access to one of the very few existing D-Wave machines. In the meantime, you can download a D-Wave simulator that will let you test the software on your own computer. Obviously this won’t be the same as running it on a piece of hardware that uses real quantum particles, but it’s a start.

Security advisories for Friday

Friday 13th of January 2017 05:03:29 PM

Arch Linux has updated ark (code execution), bind (multiple vulnerabilities), docker (privilege escalation), flashplugin (multiple vulnerabilities), irssi (multiple vulnerabilities), lib32-flashplugin (multiple vulnerabilities), and libvncserver (two vulnerabilities).

CentOS has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (C7; C6; C5: multiple vulnerabilities) and kernel (three vulnerabilities).

Debian has updated rabbitmq-server (authentication bypass).

Debian-LTS has updated asterisk (two vulnerabilities, one from 2014).

Fedora has updated docker (F25: privilege escalation), libgit2 (F24: multiple vulnerabilities), and pcsc-lite (F24: privilege escalation).

Gentoo has updated postgresql (multiple vulnerabilities, two from 2015), runc (privilege escalation), and seamonkey (multiple vulnerabilities).

Mageia has updated flash-player-plugin (multiple vulnerabilities), php-ZendFramework2 (parameter injection), unzip (two vulnerabilities, one from 2014), and webmin (largely unspecified).

Oracle has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (OL7; OL6; OL5: multiple vulnerabilities) kernel 2.6.39 (OL6; OL5:multiple vulnerabilities), kernel 3.8.13 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities), and kernel 4.1.12 (OL7; OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat has updated java-1.6.0-openjdk (multiple vulnerabilities).

Scientific Linux has updated kernel (SL6: three vulnerabilities).

Masnick: Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life

Thursday 12th of January 2017 10:45:35 PM
Over at Techdirt, Mike Masnick writes about a libel suit filed against the site: "As you may have heard, last week we were sued for $15 million by Shiva Ayyadurai, who claims to have invented email. We have written, at great length, about his claims and our opinion — backed up by detailed and thorough evidence — that email existed long before Ayyadurai created any software. We believe the legal claims in the lawsuit are meritless, and we intend to fight them and to win. There is a larger point here. Defamation claims like this can force independent media companies to capitulate and shut down due to mounting legal costs. Ayyadurai's attorney, Charles Harder, has already shown that this model can lead to exactly that result. His efforts helped put a much larger and much more well-resourced company than Techdirt completely out of business."

The 4.9.3 and 4.4.42 stable kernels have been released

Thursday 12th of January 2017 07:38:28 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.9.3 and 4.4.42 stable kernels. As usual, there are fixes throughout the tree and users of those kernel series should upgrade.

More in Tux Machines

Canonical Patches Nvidia Graphics Drivers Vulnerability in All Ubuntu Releases

It's time to update your Ubuntu Linux operating system if you have a Nvidia graphics card running the Nvidia Legacy 340 or 304 binary X.Org drivers provided on the official software repositories. Read more

Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance andd New Device From CompuLab

  • Long-term Embedded Linux Maintenance Made Easier
    The good old days when security breaches only happened to Windows folk are fading fast. Malware hackers and denial of service specialists are increasingly targeting out of date embedded Linux devices, and fixing Linux security vulnerabilities was the topic of several presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE) in October. One of the best attended was “Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years” by Pengutronix kernel hacker Jan Lübbe. After summarizing the growing security threats in embedded Linux, Lübbe laid out a plan to keep long-life devices secure and fully functional. “We need to move to newer, more stable kernels and do continuous maintenance to fix critical vulnerabilities,” said Lübbe. “We need to do the upstreaming and automate processes, and put in place a sustainable workflow. We don’t have any more excuses for leaving systems in the field with outdated software.”
  • CompuLab Has Upgraded Their Small Form Factor "IPC" Line To Kabylake
    HARDWARE -- Our friends and Linux-friendly PC vendor, CompuLab, have announced a new "IPC" line-up of their small form factor computers now with Intel Kabylake processors. In the past on Phoronix we tested CompuLab's Intense-PC (IPC) and then the IPC2 with Haswell processors, among other innovative PCs from CompuLab. Now they are rolling out the IPC3 with Intel's latest Kabylake processors.
  • Fanless mini-PC runs Linux Mint on Kaby Lake
    Compulab launched a rugged “IPC3” mini-PC that runs Linux on dual-core, 7th Gen Core i7/i5 CPUs, and also debuted three GbE-equipped FACE expansion modules. Compulab has opened pre-orders starting at $693 for the first mini-PCs we’ve seen to offer the latest, 14nm-fabricated 7th Generation Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processors. The passively cooled, 190 x 160 x 40mm IPC3 (Intense PC 3), which is available in up to industrial temperature ranges, follows two generations of similarly sized IPC2 mini-PCs. There’s the still available, 4th Gen “Haswell” based IPC2 from 2014 and the apparently discontinued 5th Gen “Broadwell” equipped IPC2 from 2015.
  • Compulab IPC3 is a tiny, fanless PC with Intel Kaby Lake CPU
    Compulab is an Israeli company that makes small, fanless computers for home or commercial use. The company’s latest mini PC aimed at enterprise/industrial usage is called the IPC3, and it has a die-cast aluminum case with built-in heat sinks for passive cooling and measures about 7.4″ x 6.3″ x 1.6″.

Games for GNU/Linux

  • Imperium Galactica II: Alliances released for Linux & SteamOS, seems native too
    Imperium Galactica II: Alliances [GOG, Steam] just released for Linux & SteamOS and it looks like it's a native version. Note: My friends at GOG sent over a copy, so big thanks to them. There's no sign of DOSBox or Wine and I had no idea this game had ever been ported to Linux. Pretty awesome really for a game like this to get a proper Linux build when it gets a new release.
  • Nearly five years after the Kickstarter, Carmageddon still isn’t on Linux despite the stretch goal being reached
    The problem here, for me, is that they later did a revamp of the title called Carmageddon: Max Damage. This was to fix some problems, boost sales again and port it to consoles. Carmageddon: Max Damage also never made it to Linux. Fun fact, they actually released a trailer where they just run over a ton of penguins, make from that what you will: Not saying this was trolling the entire Linux gaming community, but it sure felt like it after their previous trolling attempts directed at our official Twitter account.
  • Valve Rolls Out New Steam Client Stable Update with Promised Linux Changes, More
    Today Valve announced the availability of a new stable update of the Steam Client for all supported platforms, including the company's SteamOS operating system for Steam Machines, as well as GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Bringing all the new features during the Beta stages of development, the new Steam Client update improves the interaction between the Steam runtime and your GNU/Linux distribution's libraries. This is a huge and long-anticipated milestone for the Steam Client, which, unfortunately, did not work out-of-the-box on all Linux-based operating systems.

Robolinux 8.7.1 Linux OS Is Out and It's Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 "Jessie"

The developers of the Robolinux GNU/Linux distribution have announced today, January 18, 2017, the release and immediate availability of a new stable update based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie" operating system series. Still offering a free installer, the Robolinux 8.7.1 "Raptor" edition is now available for download with the usual Cinnamon, MATE 3D, Xfce 3D, and LXDE flavors. It's based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 8.7.1 "Jessie" operating system, which means that it ships with its newest Linux 3.16 kernel and over 170 bug fixes and security patches. The GRUB bootloader and login screens have been refreshed too. Read more