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Initial Benchmarks Of Microsoft's WSL2 - Windows Subsystem For Linux 2 On Windows 10 Is A Mixed Bag

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Since the release of WSL2 as a Windows 10 Insider Preview update this week, we've been putting the new Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 under some benchmarks compared to WSL1 and bare metal Linux. While WSL2 has improved the I/O performance thanks to the new Hyper-V-based virtualization approach employed by WSL2, the performance has regressed in other areas for running Linux binaries on Windows 10. Here are our preliminary benchmark results.

In this comparison is a look at the Windows 10 WSL1 performance against that of the new WSL2 when using the same Windows 10 Insiders build as of this week that introduced the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 support. The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS WSL instance was used for testing with its default packages. In addition to looking at the WSL1 vs. WSL2 performance of Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS itself was also tested bare metal on the same system for looking at the raw performance of Ubuntu on the Intel desktop being tested. Additionally, Clear Linux 29920 was also tested for what has largely become a "gold standard" for Linux performance in showing what Intel systems are capable of achieving performance-wise under Linux, so that is being used in this comparison as a reference point.

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Security: EvilGnome Scaremongering, Intel Defects, New Patches and the "Desktop Security Nightmare"

  • EvilGnome Is A Linux Spyware That Records Audio And Steals Your Files [Ed: FOSSBytes has moved on from pushing non-FOSS misinformation to actually doing anti-FOSS FUD. Painting malware one needs to actually install as a real threat.]
  • CPU vulnerability mitigations keeping Linux devs busy: SUSE's Pavlík [Ed: Intel defects now waste software developers' time. They should just replace/recall those billions of defective chips]

    A veteran Linux kernel developer at Germany-based SUSE says the one thing that keeps him and his team busy these days is CPU vulnerability mitigations...

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (bzip2), Fedora (freetds, kernel, kernel-headers, and knot-resolver), openSUSE (bubblewrap, fence-agents, kernel, libqb, libu2f-host, pam_u2f, and tomcat), Oracle (vim), SUSE (kernel, LibreOffice, libxml2, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (libmspack and squid, squid3).

  • The Desktop Security Nightmare

    Many of us have extremely sensitive data on our systems. Emails to family, medical or bank records, Bitcoin wallets, browsing history, the list goes on. Although we have isolation between our user account and root, we have no isolation between applications that run as our user account. We still, in effect, have to be careful about what attachments we open in email. Only now it’s worse. You might “npm install hello-world”, and audit hello-world itself, but get some totally malicious code as well. How many times do we see instructions to gem install this, pip install that, go get the other, and even curl | sh? Nowadays our risky click isn’t an email attachment. It’s hosted on Github with a Not only that, but my /usr/bin has over 4000 binaries. Have every one been carefully audited? Certainly not, and this is from a distro with some of the highest quality control around. What about the PPAs that people add? The debs or rpms that are installed from the Internet? Are you sure that the postinst scripts — which run as root — aren’t doing anything malicious when you install Oracle Virtualbox? [...] One thing a person could do would be to keep the sensitive data on a separate, ideally encrypted, filesystem. (Maybe even a fuse one such as gocryptfs.) Then, at least, it could be unavailable for most of the time the system is on. Of course, the downside here is that it’s still going to be available to everything when it is mounted, and there’s the hassle of mounting, remembering to unmount, password typing, etc. Not exactly transparent. I wondered if mount namespaces might be an answer here. A filesystem could be mounted but left pretty much unavailable to processes unless a proper mount namespace is joined. Indeed that might be a solution. It is somewhat complicated, though, since nsenter requires root to work. Enter sudo, and dropping privileges back to a particular user — a not particularly ideal situation, and complex as well. Still, it might well have some promise for some of these things.

Audiocasts/Shows: Ubuntu Podcast, Python Podcasts, User Error

  • Ubuntu Podcast: S12E15 – Diablo

    This week we’ve been buying a new phone and playing with QEMU. We discuss the release fo Debian 10, Ubuntu users saying “Thank you”, Nvidia drivers, WSL and Ubuntu MATE for the GPD MicroPC. We also round up some events and tech news. It’s Season 12 Episode 15 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Mark Johnson, Martin Wimpress and Stuart Langridge are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Episode #139: f"Yes!" for the f-strings
  • Episode #221: Empowering developers by embedding Python

    How do we get kids excited about programming? Make programming tangible with embedded devices. Did you know that after kids learned to code with the BBC micro:bit, 90% of kids "thought coding was for everyone" and 86% said it made CS topics more interesting?

  • Old and Insecure | User Error 70

    Whether Linux is inherently secure, the next phase of online interaction, and wasting our free time. Plus where to focus your contributions, and a tricky hypothetical question.

Graphics: Nouveau, Wayland's Weston and Libinput

  • The Open-Source NVIDIA "Nouveau" Driver Gets A Batch Of Fixes For Linux 5.3

    Originally on Thursday was finally the Nouveau-next 5.3 pull request that offered improvements to the display color management, fixes to Secure Boot on newer hardware, and Turing TU116 mode-setting support. But that was rejected by the DRM maintainers for being way too late as usually the cut-off for new feature material is when hitting RC6 on the previous cycle, just not days before the end of the current merge window. Not that those changes were all too exciting or notable, but this pushes back the color management and other work to Linux 5.4. Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs of Red Hat as a result today sent in Nouveau-fixes 5.3. This pull request has support still for the TU116 GPU since that shouldn't regress any existing support as well as having fixes around KMS, a memory leak, and a few other basic fixes.

  • Wayland's Weston Lands A Pipewire Plug-In As New Remote Desktop Streaming Option

    Wayland's Weston compositor for the past year has provided a remoting plug-in for virtual output streaming that was built atop RTP/GStreamer. Now though a new plug-in has landed in the Weston code-base making use of Red Hat's promising PipeWire project. The PipeWire plug-in was merged into Weston today and is similar to the GStreamer-powered remoting plug-in but instead leverages PipeWire. The compositor's frames are exported to PipeWire and the same virtual output API is shared between these plug-ins. The virtual outputs can be configured using the weston.ini configuration file. Any PipeWire client in turn can read these frames.

  • Libinput 1.14 RC Arrives With Better Thumb Detection & Dell Canvas Totem Support

    Linux input expert Peter Hutterer of Red Hat shipped the much anticipated release candidate today for libinput 1.14, the open-source input handling library used by both X.Org and Wayland systems.

  • libinput 1.13.901
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    want to make use of it. A summary of the changes can be found here:
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    tablet. Note that this does not affect the left-handed-ness of the touchpad,
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    proximity out events is now always timeout-based. It is no longer necessary
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    changes can be found here:
    Tablets that send duplicate tools (BTN_TOOL_PEN and BTN_TOOL_ERASER) now
    ignore the latter. This is an intermediate fix only but at least makes those
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    The handling of kernel fuzz has been slightly improved. Where our udev rule
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    rely on the kernel now to handle it. Previously our hysteresis would take
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    Note to distribitors: the python-evdev dependency has been dropped, the
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    And of course a random assortment of fixes, improvements, etc. Many thanks
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    As usual, the git shortlog is below.

Powered by Plasma: ALBA Synchrotron in Barcelona, Spain

As you go about your daily tasks, you’re probably unaware that Plasma runs on the computers in one of Europe’s largest research facilities. We were also oblivious – until we met Sergi Blanch-Torné at FOSDEM 2019. We’re always looking for interesting stories from people who use KDE software at their workplace, in school, or in government institutions. You can imagine our delight, then, when we met Sergi Blanch-Torné at this year’s FOSDEM. Sergi is a Controls Software Engineer at ALBA, a KDE user, and a Free software advocate and contributor. Not only was he willing to tell us about his favorite KDE apps, but he also works at one of the most amazing places on Earth! In this interview, he tells us what it’s like to work at ALBA, and answers the burning question: “what even is a synchrotron?”. ALBA is a third-generation synchrotron radiation facility in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park, in Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain. Managed by the Consortium for the Construction, Equipping and Exploitation of the Synchrotron Light Source (CELLS), it is jointly funded by the Spanish and the Catalonian Administration. Read more