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Vacation Photos

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Tux and Rianne

Last week we did not post as much news as usual because we went to the south of England with Roy's sister. We did take some photos.

More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox and kernel), Debian (thunderbird), Fedora (curl), openSUSE (curl and python-Werkzeug), Oracle (kernel and thunderbird), Red Hat (rh-nginx114-nginx), SUSE (curl, ibus, MozillaFirefox, firefox-glib2, firefox-gtk3, openldap2, openssl, openssl1, python-urllib3, and util-linux and shadow), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and wpa).

  • SGX and security modules

    Software Guard Extensions (SGX) is a set of security-related instructions for Intel processors; it allows the creation of private regions of memory, called "enclaves". The aim of this feature is to work like an inverted sandbox: instead of protecting the system from malicious code, it protects an application from a compromised kernel hypervisor, or other application. Linux support for SGX has existed out-of-tree for years, and the effort of upstreaming it has reached an impressive version 22 of the patch set. During the upstreaming discussion, the kernel developers discovered that the proposed SGX API did not play nicely with existing security mechanisms, including Linux security modules (LSMs).

  • GitHub acquires Semmle to help developers spot security vulnerabilities [Ed: Company in NSA PRISM pretends to care about security (and also, Microsoft now uses GitHub to change people's code without asking the developers)]

    Software hosting service GitHub has acquired Semmle, a code analysis platform that helps developers discover security vulnerabilities in large codebases.

today's howtos

LWN Articles About Linux (Kernel): Linux Plumbers Conference, Staging, Linux Conference North America, Stable Statistics

  • Topics from the Open Printing microconference

    On day two of the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference, two of the principals behind the Open Printing project led the very first Open Printing microconference. Project leader Till Kamppeter and program manager Aveek Basu described the current state of printing on Linux and some of the plans for the future, including supporting scanning for multi-function devices. The picture they painted was rosy, at least for printing, which may not quite match the experience of many Linux users. As with many projects, though, Open Printing is starved for contributors—something that was reflected in the sparse attendance at the microconference. Basu began by pointing out that some attendees had likely printed their boarding passes from Linux, which highlights the importance of printing for Linux. People use it for bank documents, transport tickets, and more. He has been at Lexmark for 11 years, working on printing for Linux, macOS, and other Unix-based systems. Kamppeter said that he has been the Open Printing leader since 2001. The idea of the project is to do everything possible to make printing "just work" with Linux and other operating systems; the goal is "plug and print".

  • What happens to kernel staging-tree code

    The staging tree was added to the kernel in 2008 for the 2.6.28 development cycle as a way to ease the process of getting substandard device drivers into shape and merged into the mainline. It has been followed by controversy for just about as long. The recent disagreements over the EROFS and exFAT filesystems have reignited many of the arguments over whether the staging tree is beneficial to the kernel community or not. LWN cannot answer that question, but we can look into what has transpired in the staging tree in its first eleven years to see if there are any conclusions to be drawn there. The core idea behind the staging tree is that it is open to code that does not live up to the normal standards for inclusion into the kernel. Once a driver is added there, it is available to anybody who is brave enough to try to make use of it, but the real purpose is to allow developers to improve the code to the point that it is ready to go into the kernel proper. It serves as an easy place for new developers to try out simple changes and, when it works well, it helps the kernel to gain hardware support that might otherwise languish out-of-tree indefinitely.

  • The USB debugging arsenal

    At the 2019 Embedded Linux Conference North America, which was held in San Diego in August, Krzysztof Opasiak gave a presentation on demystifying the ways to monitor—and even change—USB traffic on a Linux system. He started with the basics of the USB protocol and worked up into software and hardware tools to observe, modify, and fuzz the messages that get sent. Those tools are part of the arsenal that is available to those interested in looking deeply into USB. Opasiak works in Poland for what he called a "small Korean company" (Samsung). He noted that it is not that easy to sniff USB traffic and that the ways to do so are not well known. But "there are no dragons"; nothing bad will happen if you do so. In some ways, USB is like the internet and some of the same tools can be used for both.

  • 5.3 Kernel development cycle statistics

    It's that time of the development cycle again: work on the 5.3 kernel is winding down with an expected final release date of September 15. Read on for LWN's traditional look at where the code in 5.3 came from in this relatively busy development cycle. As of this writing, 14,435 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for 5.3; these changes were contributed by 1,846 developers

Kmdr – Display CLI Commands Explanation In Terminal

A while ago, we wrote about ExplainShell, a web-based tool to learn what each part of a Linux command does. It divides the complex and lengthy Linux commands into multiple parts and gives explanation for each part. Using this tool, a Linux newbie can learn about various command line parameters and options without having to refer man pages. However, It will only help you to learn Linux commands. But what if you want to learn other CLI commands, for example Python? You won’t find explanation of Python commands in ExplainShell. No worries! Today, I stumbled upon a similar tool named Kmdr that provides CLI commands explanation for hundreds of programs. It helps you to easily learn CLI commands without leaving the terminal and without having to go through lengthy man pages. Not just Linux commands, Kmdr provides explanation for a lot of CLI commands including ansible, conda, docker, git, go, kubectl, mongo, mysql, npm, ruby gems, vagrant and hundreds of other programs such as those built into bash. Read more