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LWN Kernel Articles: 4.20/5.0 Merge, Jiri Kosina, Arnd Bergmann and Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Linux
  • 4.20/5.0 Merge window part 1

    Linus Torvalds has returned as the keeper of the mainline kernel repository, and the merge window for the next release which, depending on his mood, could be called either 4.20 or 5.0, is well underway. As of this writing, 5,735 non-merge changesets have been pulled for this release; experience suggests that we are thus at roughly the halfway point.

  • Improving the handling of embargoed hardware-security bugs

    Jiri Kosina kicked off a session on hardware vulnerabilities at the 2018 Kernel Maintainers Summit by noting that there are few complaints about how the kernel community deals with security issues in general. That does not hold for Meltdown and Spectre which, he said, had been "completely mishandled". The subsequent handling of the L1TF vulnerability suggests that some lessons have been learned, but there is still plenty of room for improvement in how hardware vulnerabilities are handled in general.

    There are a number of reasons why the handling of Meltdown and Spectre went bad, he said, starting with the fact that the hardware vendors simply did not know how to do it right. They didn't think that the normal security contact (security@kernel.org) could be used, since there was no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place there. Perhaps what is needed is the creation of such an agreement or, as was discussed in September, a "gentleman's agreement" that would serve the same role.

  • Removing support for old hardware from the kernel

    The kernel supports a wide range of hardware. Or, at least, the kernel contains drivers for a lot of hardware, but the hardware for which many of those drivers was written is old and, perhaps, no longer in actual use. Some of those drivers would certainly no longer work even if the hardware could be found. These drivers provide no value, but they are still an ongoing maintenance burden; it would be better to simply remove them from the kernel. But identifying which drivers can go is not as easy as one might think. Arnd Bergmann led an inconclusive session on this topic at the 2018 Kernel Maintainers Summit.

    Bergmann started by noting (to applause) that he recently removed support for eight processor architectures from the kernel. It was, he said, a lot of work to track down the right people to talk to before removing that code. In almost every case, the outgoing architectures were replaced — by their creators — by Arm-based systems. There probably are not any more architectures that can go anytime soon; Thomas Gleixner's suggestion that x86 should be next failed to win the support of the group.

  • The proper use of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL()

    The kernel, in theory, puts strict limits on which functions and data structures are available to loadable kernel modules; only those that have been explicitly exported with EXPORT_SYMBOL() or EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() are accessible. In the case of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL(), only modules that declare a GPL-compatible license will be able to see the symbol. There have been questions about when EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() should be used for almost as long as it has existed. The latest attempt to answer those questions was a session run by Greg Kroah-Hartman at the 2018 Kernel Maintainers Summit; that session offered little in the way of general guidance, but it did address one specific case.

More in Tux Machines

Software: TenFourFox/Firefox, Linux Boot Loaders, Viber Alternatives, Switchconf, and HowTos

  • Clean out your fonts, people

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    We all know what Signal is. By using this app, you can easily talk to your friends without all the SMS fees. You can also create groups, share media and all kinds of attachments – it’s all private. The server never gets access to your messages. However, if you don’t like this app, we come with the best 5 alternatives for it.

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OSS Leftovers

  • How open source and AI can take us to the Moon, Mars, and beyond

    Research institutions and national labs across the globe are pouring hundreds of thousands of research hours into every conceivable aspect of space science. And, overwhelmingly, the high performance computing (HPC) systems used for all research are running open source software. In fact, 100% of the current TOP500 supercomputers run on some form of Linux. Therefore, it’s likely that the future of space exploration will be built on the open source philosophy of knowledge sharing and collaboration among researchers and developers. Success will depend on the adoption of open technologies to stimulate collaboration among nations, as well as advances in the field of AI and machine learning. Although these are ambitious objectives that could take several years to fully implement, we are already seeing great progress: open source software is already running in space, AI and machine learning is used in spacecraft communications and navigation, and the number of commercial companies interested in the space economy is growing.

  • ElectrifAi launches AI industry’s first open source machine learning platform

    With the new platform, ElectrifAi’s data scientists – as well as those of its customers – can code and access data in any programming language. According to ElectrifAi, the incorporation of Docker Containers and Kubernetes enables the firm to build and deploy hybrid cloud enterprise solutions at scale.

  • The development of the open source platform – An industry perspective

    There has been much dialog, but not much action with regard to the evolution of retail trading platforms in recent years. For many brokerages, relying on the status quo which represents an unholy alliance between third party vendor MetaQuotes, thereby disabling a broker from owning its own client base or infrastructure and becoming subservient to an affiliate marketing platform rather than empowered by a multi-faceted trading platform, remains. FinanceFeeds has attended numerous meetings with brokerage senior executives across the globe, all of whom understand the value and importance of going down the multi-asset product expansion route, and almost all of whom understand the clear virtues of having a bespoke user interface which engenders a loyal customer base, enables brokers to own the entire intellectual property base of its business – which let’s face it is why entrepreneurs start businesses in the first place – and offer differentiating services to specific audiences. A simple glance at the continuity and geographic location of client bases of companies such as Hargreaves Lansdown or CMC Markets, and the absolute lack of reliance on affiliate networks is testimony to that. This week, Richard Goers, CEO of Australian professional trading platform development company ManagedLeverage spoke out about a continuing issue which is something that has been prominent in the viewpoint of FinanceFeeds for some years, that being the development of open source platforms.

  • Break Up Your Innovation Program, If You Want It To Survive

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  • Don’t be fooled by the [Internet]: this week in tech, 20 years ago

    One thing I wanted to say is, don’t be fooled by the internet. It’s cool to get on the computer, but don’t let the computer get on you. It’s cool to use the computer, don’t let the computer use you. Y’all saw The Matrix. There’s a war going on. The battlefield’s in the mind. And the prize is the soul. So just be careful. Be very careful. Thank you.

  • How Suse is taking open source deeper into the enterprise

    The diversity in the open source software world can be a boon and a bane to wider adoption in the enterprise. After all, without the right knowhow, it can be hard to figure out how they are going to work together on existing infrastructure – and if the chosen projects will eventually survive. That’s where open source companies such as Suse step in. While smaller than US-based rival Red Hat, Suse has found its footing in identifying and supporting open source projects that help to run mission-critical enterprise workloads, improve developer productivity and solve business problems in industries such as retail.

  • SUSE joins iRODS Consortium

    iRODS is open source storage data management software for data discovery, workflow automation, secure collaboration, and data virtualization. By creating a unified namespace and a metadata catalog of all the data and users within a storage environment, the iRODS rule engine allows users to automate data management. [...] Alan Clark, SUSE CTO Office lead focused on Industry Initiatives and Emerging Standards and chairman of the OpenStack Foundation board of directors, said, “SUSE is excited to join the iRODS Consortium, lending our open source technical expertise to help advance the iRODS data management software. The integration with SUSE Enterprise Storage helps customers lower total cost of ownership, leveraging commodity hardware to support their iRODS-managed storage environments. As a leading provider of open source software, SUSE helps our customers leverage the latest open source technologies for application delivery and software-defined infrastructure. SUSE tests and hardens our solutions, ensuring they are enterprise ready and backed by our superior support experience.”

  • Cortex Command Goes Open Source, Gets LAN Support

    To help facilitate future community development, Data Realms have released the game’s source code.

  • Why Open Source Matters For Chinese Tech Firms?

    As companies plow more and more investment into AI research, China has finally woken up to the realisation of open source and how it can shape the development of a field that’s becoming increasingly attractive. Over the last few years, open-source has become the foundation of innovation — and the major contributions come from tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Amazon among others. In November 2015, Google made an unparalleled move by open-sourcing its software library — which now rivals Torch, Caffe and Theano. These are the open-source lessons that big Chinese companies seem to be learning fast. Traditionally, Chinese firms have trailed behind their US counterparts when it comes to the contributions from the US and Europe, but that’s changing now. Over a period of time, Chinese tech companies are trying to grow their influence in the open-source world by building a robust ecosystem. Not only that, they have learnt that open-sourcing tech can help attract great ML talent and increasingly it is also making good business sense. At a time when the AI tool stack is evolving, enterprises are rushing to grab a pie and provide a unified software and hardware technology stack. Internet and cloud Chinese tech giants have woken up to the promise of open source and AI-related datasets and models can serve the bigger business goals of the companies.

  • How Open Source Alluxio Is Democratizing Data Orchestration

    Alluxio is one of the many leading open-source projects/companies – including Spark and Mesosphere – that emerged from UC Berkeley Labs. Haoyuan (H.Y.) Li Founder, Chairman and CTO of Alluxio, sat down with Swapnil Bhartiya, Editor-in-Chief of TFIR to discuss how Alluxio is providing new ways for organizations to manage data at scale with its data orchestration platform. Alluxio’s data orchestration layer has increased efficiency by four times, so companies are finding that work that used to take one year now takes three months. For many enterprise companies, the path to the cloud starts with an intermediate step of a hybrid cloud approach, Li said. He also sees widespread enterprise adoption of a multi-cloud strategy.

  • Cloudera Moves To All-Open Source Model In Major Shift

    Amidst financial troubles and departure of chief executive Tom Reilly, company says it wants to emulate success of pure open source pioneer Red Hat.

  • Cloudera Follows Hortonworks' Open Source Lead

    Trying to survive the carnage AWS and the like are causing in the Big Data space, Cloudera is open sourcing its entire product line. [...] Less than six months after closing its merger with Hortonworks, the Big Data company Cloudera has announced it's going all open source.

Database News on YugaByte Going for Apache 2.0 Licence

  • YugaByte Becomes 100% Open Source Under Apache 2.0 License

    YugaByte, a provider of open source distributed SQL databases, announced that YugaByte DB is now 100% open source under the Apache 2.0 license, bringing previously commercial features into the open source core. The transition breaks the boundaries between YugaByte’s Community and Enterprise editions by bringing previously commercial-only, closed-source features such as Distributed Backups, Data Encryption, and Read Replicas into the open source core project distributed under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. Starting immediately, there is only one edition of YugaByte DB for developers to build their business-critical, cloud-native applications.

  • YugaByte's Apache 2.0 License Delivers 100% Open Source Distributed SQL Database

    YugaByte, the open source distributed SQL databases comapny, announced that YugaByte DB is now 100 percent open source under the Apache 2.0 license, bringing previously commercial features into the open source core. The move, in addition to other updates available now through YugaByte DB 1.3, allows users to more openly collaborate across what is now the world’s most powerful open source distributed SQL database.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: YugaByte DB

    This week’s SD Times Open Source Project of the Week is the newly open-sourced YugaByte DB, which allows users to better collaborate on the distributed SQL database. The move to the open-source core project distributed under the Apache 2.0 license makes previously closed-sourced features such as distributed backups, data encryption and read replicas more accessible, according to the team. By doing this, YugaByte plans to break the boundaries between YugaByte’s Community and Enterprise editions. “YugaByte DB combines PostgreSQL’s language breadth with Oracle-like reliability, but on modern cloud infrastructure. With our licensing changes, we have removed every barrier that developers face in adopting a business-critical database and operations engineers face in running a fleet of database clusters, with extreme ease,” said Kannan Muthukkaruppan, co-founder and CEO of YugaByte.

Programming: Ruby, NativeScript, Python, Rust/C/C++ FUD From Microsoft