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Kernel: Linux Work by Intel. Oracle, and AMD

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Linux
  • Intel Proposes Linux Kernel Driver Allow/Deny Filtering

    As part of their work around Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) support for Linux, Intel engineers are proposing a driver filter option for Linux to be able to set allow or deny lists of driver(s) that can or cannot be loaded by the booted kernel.

    In order to reduce the attack surface within guest virtual machines while still wanting to be able to use the same kernel build between a host and guest, Intel engineers are looking to add this driver filter support to the kernel. When booting the guest, via the kernel command-line they can just specify the specific drivers to allow to be loaded by the kernel or alternatively setting a list of specific drivers that shouldn't be allowed to be loaded by the system.

  • Oracle Working On BPF CO-RE Support For GCC To Easily Run BPF Programs On Any Kernel

    Running eBPF kernel programs continues to be increasing popular and used for a variety of use-cases in production environments but one of the challenges is around needing to compile the (e)BPF programs for a given kernel while BPF CO-RE has been working to change that. The LLVM Clang compiler already supports the ability for BPF "Compile Once, Run Everywhere" while now Oracle engineers are working to bring the same level of support to GCC.

  • AMD PTDMA Driver Revised Ahead Of Its Possible Inclusion For Linux 5.15 - Phoronix

    One of the AMD patch series that has been in the works for more than one year is the PTDMA driver providing pass-through DMA engine support on Linux. The driver is now up to its eleventh revision but the mainlining might happen soon.

    The AMD PTDMA Linux driver effort dates back to September 2019 for enabling their PTDMA controller in performing high bandwidth memory-to-memory and I/O copy operations. Modern AMD CPUs support multiple PTDMA controllers, the PTDMA driver hooks into the kernel's direct memory access (DMA) subsystem and is intended to be used with AMD Non-Transparent Bridge (NTB) devices but not for general purpose peripheral DMA.

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Why do programmers prefer to use Linux?

Windows is the most widely used operating system, both in home and business environments. Most of the programs are created to run on this operating system. However, the people who create these programs (developers, programmers and system administrators mainly) prefer to leave Windows aside and work on another operating system: Linux. Why? What brings you to this? Linux offers a large number of advantages when it comes to working and developing, advantages that range from flexibility to security and system performance. Today, Linux is a perfectly affordable system for any user, since it is not much more complicated to use than any Windows system. However, this OS does not end up gaining popularity within home environments, its main strength being the servers and the computers of the programmers. Read more

Databases: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.2.24, check_pgbackrest 2.1, and SQLite fdw 2.1.0

Kernel: BOLT, OpenZFS, and Latency-Related Work

  • Facebook Has Been Working On BOLT'ing The Linux Kernel For Greater Performance - Phoronix

    For several years now Facebook engineers have been working on BOLT as a way to speed-up Linux/ELF binaries. This "Binary Optimization and Layout Tool" is able to re-arrange executables once profiled to generate even faster performance than what can be achieved by a compiler's LTO and PGO optimizations. One of the latest BOLT efforts has been on optimizing the Linux kernel image.

  • OpenZFS 2.0.6 Released With Support For Newer Kernels

    While the OpenZFS 2.1 feature release has been available since July, for those still using the OpenZFS 2.0.x series and not yet prepared to make the jump to that big new release with dRAID and other changes, OpenZFS 2.0.6 was released this week. OpenZFS 2.0.6 is another maintenance release for those not migrating yet to the v2.1 series. OpenZFS 2.0.6 most notably brings support for newer versions of the Linux kernel: OpenZFS 2.0.5 supported up through Linux 5.12 while OpenZFS 2.0.6 now supports Linux 5.13/5.14 plus some early 5.15 compatibility patches.

  • Intel's User Interrupts With Sapphire Rapids Looking Quite Great For Faster IPC - Phoronix

    Earlier this month Intel engineers posted their initial Linux kernel enablement around x86 User Interrupts with this feature premiering with Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" CPUs. As implied by the name, the User Interrupt functionality allows for interrupts to bypass the kernel for more efficient, low-latency, low-utilization interrupts being received by other user-space tasks. Intel talked more about User Interrupts this week at LPC2021.

Firefox and Hardware Acceleration on Linux

In some Firefox version after 88.0 it looks like they're enabling WebRenderer by default, and it also looks like my hardware (an Nvidia graphics card with the proprietary driver)[1] isn't whitelisted, so what Firefox does is enable "software WebRenderer" instead. First things first, I had been trying WebRenderer for some time (more than a couple of month) by force-enabling it, and while it seemed to make things better at first, on the whole the experience was awful, and because WebRenderer, if I understand correctly, uses GPU acceleration, that affected the rest of the desktop, so after a while I disabled WebRenderer (and "Hardware Acceleration" in the preferences tab, and set the processes limit to 2, while I was there), and then things seemed to be better. Due to the iffy state Firefox can be in sometimes, I had decided to skip updates for as long as I can, i.e. I update Firefox, then stick with the version I have until an extension I use no longer works, or there is a really compelling new feature in a new version of Firefox (which, sadly, doesn't seem to be as often as it was before the "rapid release" schedule Mozilla had adapted...). So here I was using Firefox 88.0, shut the machine down at night, turned it on in the morning, then when I was opening a link, Firefox started and all the tabs had the "your tab crashed" "reload this tab?" message, clicking that button had no effect. So nothing worked, not restoring the previous tabs, disabling all extensions, moving ~/.mozilla and starting anew; a couple of online searches later, still nothing, then I looked at rpm -qa --last | less, now I think the reason is a glibc update, which broke Firefox, probably it would be fixed by rebuilding Firefox against the new glibc. Not really OpenSuse Tumbleweed's problem because the current version of Firefox in the repos is 92.0... Read more Also: Mozilla VPN boosted with multi-hop, blocking and custom DNS features