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OpenMandriva Lx 4 Launching Soon with KDE Plasma 5.13, GCC 8.1, and Linux 4.18

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The team announced some of the upcoming features that users should expect from the final OpenMandriva Lx 4 release, which should be launched sometime this summer or early this fall. Being a KDE-oriented distro, OpenMandriva Lx 4 will feature the latest KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment by default.

Of course, it will ship with the most recent point release of the KDE Plasma 5.13 desktop environment, which will be accompanied by the latest KDE Applications 18.04.3 software suite, due for release on July 12, 2018, as well as the KDE Frameworks 5.48.0 software suite, which is expected to land at the end of next, probably on July 14.

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Avoiding gaps in IOMMU protection at boot

    When you save a large file to disk or upload a large texture to your graphics card, you probably don't want your CPU to sit there spending an extended period of time copying data between system memory and the relevant peripheral - it could be doing something more useful instead. As a result, most hardware that deals with large quantities of data is capable of Direct Memory Access (or DMA). DMA-capable devices are able to access system memory directly without the aid of the CPU - the CPU simply tells the device which region of memory to copy and then leaves it to get on with things. However, we also need to get data back to system memory, so DMA is bidirectional. This means that DMA-capable devices are able to read and write directly to system memory. As long as devices are entirely under the control of the OS, this seems fine. However, this isn't always true - there may be bugs, the device may be passed through to a guest VM (and so no longer under the control of the host OS) or the device may be running firmware that makes it actively malicious. The third is an important point here - while we usually think of DMA as something that has to be set up by the OS, at a technical level the transactions are initiated by the device. A device that's running hostile firmware is entirely capable of choosing what and where to DMA. Most reasonably recent hardware includes an IOMMU to handle this. The CPU's MMU exists to define which regions of memory a process can read or write - the IOMMU does the same but for external IO devices. An operating system that knows how to use the IOMMU can allocate specific regions of memory that a device can DMA to or from, and any attempt to access memory outside those regions will fail. This was originally intended to handle passing devices through to guests (the host can protect itself by restricting any DMA to memory belonging to the guest - if the guest tries to read or write to memory belonging to the host, the attempt will fail), but is just as relevant to preventing malicious devices from extracting secrets from your OS or even modifying the runtime state of the OS. But setting things up in the OS isn't sufficient. If an attacker is able to trigger arbitrary DMA before the OS has started then they can tamper with the system firmware or your bootloader and modify the kernel before it even starts running. So ideally you want your firmware to set up the IOMMU before it even enables any external devices, and newer firmware should actually do this automatically. It sounds like the problem is solved.

  • Our upcoming Webinar on Security with Ubuntu and IBM Z

    My first interaction with the Ubuntu community was in March of 2005 when I put Ubuntu on an old Dell laptop and signed up for the Ubuntu Forums. This was just a few years into my tech career and I was mostly a Linux hobbyist, with a handful of junior systems administrator jobs on the side to do things like racking servers and installing Debian (with CDs!). Many of you with me on this journey have seen my role grow in the Ubuntu community with Debian packaging, local involvement with events and non-profits, participation in the Ubuntu Developer Summits, membership in the Ubuntu Community Council, and work on several Ubuntu books, from technical consultation to becoming an author on The Official Ubuntu Book. These days I’ve taken my 15+ years of Linux Systems Administration and open source experience down a slightly different path: Working on Linux on the mainframe (IBM Z). The mainframe wasn’t on my radar a year ago, but as I got familiar with the technical aspects, the modernization efforts to incorporate DevOps principles, and the burgeoning open source efforts, I became fascinated with the platform. As a result, I joined IBM last year to share my discoveries with the broader systems administration and developer communities. Ubuntu itself got on board with this mainframe journey with official support for the architecture (s390x) in Ubuntu 16.04, and today there’s a whole blog that gets into the technical details of features specific to Ubuntu on the mainframe: Ubuntu on Big Iron I’m excited to share that I’ll be joining the author of the Ubuntu on Big Iron blog, Frank Heimes, live on February 6th for a webinar titled How to protect your data, applications, cryptography and OS – 100% of the time. I’ll be doing an introduction to the IBM Z architecture (including cool hardware pictures!) and general security topics around Linux on Z and LinuxONE.

  • Intel Makes Public Two More Data Leakage Disclosures

    Intel last night made public two more data leakage disclosures, which tie back to Zombieload and November's TAA issue. [...] As of writing no CPU microcode updates have been released for Linux users but as soon as that happens I'll begin with some tests for seeing any new performance overhead.

  • Canonical Outs Major Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Kernel Security Update for Cloud Users

    New Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel security update addresses 15 vulnerabilities in the Linux 5.0 kernel packages for various cloud systems.

Data transfer in GTK4

  • Data transfer in GTK4

    The traditional methods for user-initiated data transfers between desktop apps are the clipboard or Drag-and-Drop. GTK+ has supported these methods since the beginning of time, but up until GTK3, the APIs we had for this kind of data transfer were thinly disguised copies of the corresponding X11 apis: selections, and properties and atoms. This is not too surprising, since the entire GDK api was modeled on X11. Unfortunately, the implementation includes horrors such as incremental transfers and string format conversions. For GTK4, we’re leaving these things behind as we are moving things in GDK around to be closer to the Wayland API. Data transfer is one the areas in most urgent need of this modernization. Thankfully, it is almost complete at this point, so it is worth taking a look at what has changed, and how things will work in the future.

  • GTK4 Data Transfer APIs Being Modernized Around Wayland

    Red Hat's Matthias Clasen has provided an update on one of the latest areas the GTK developers are working on finishing up with the forthcoming GTK 4.0 tool-kit... Improving the data transfer interfaces around handling for copy/paste and drag-and-drop. With GTK4, the data transfer interfaces are being re-engineered with an emphasis on moving closer to the Wayland API where as with GTK3 the GDK API was modeled on the X11 interfaces.

Ditch Windows 7 For Ubuntu Linux With This Great Guide

If you’re still using Windows 7 and not paying for extended support (likely the vast majority of home users), you’re entering very risky waters. Microsoft won’t be sending along any more updates or security patches which leaves you exposed to all kinds of nastiness. You may be considering upgrading to Windows 10, or even buying a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed since many older computers don’t meet the hardware requirements to run the latest version of Microsoft’s OS. But Canonical, the company behind the Linux distribution Ubuntu, has published a new guide to ease you through the transition from Windows 7 to Linux. Read more

LibreOffice 6.4 Released, This is What’s New

LibreOffice 6.4 is here, serving as the latest stable release of this hugely popular open source productivity suite And, as you’d expect, LibreOffice 6.4 features a veritable crop of core updates and key improvements. The Document Foundation, the non-profit organisation who help steer development of this free office software, say LibreOffice 6.4 is a “performance-focused” release that features “almost perfect support for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.” It’s also the first major release of LibreOffice to be made in the suite’s tenth anniversary year. For more on what’s new, read on! Read more Also: Performance-focused LibreOffice 6.4 is available for download We Love Performance... So We Love LibreOffice 6.4 With This Office Suite Now Running Faster LibreOffice 6.4 released LibreOffice 6.4 Released. This is What’s New. LibreOffice Office Suite 6.4 Released [Ubuntu PPA]