Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

About Tux Machines

Thursday, 27 Jun 19 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

Search This Site

Quick Roundup

Type Title Author Replies Last Postsort icon
Story Music and video at the Linux terminal Roy Schestowitz 27/06/2019 - 4:02am
Story 5 Open Source 2D Animation Software to Use Roy Schestowitz 27/06/2019 - 3:48am
Story SUSE Manager 4: Traditional server management marries DevOps Rianne Schestowitz 2 27/06/2019 - 3:41am
Story LG buddies up with Qt to expand webOS in autos, smart home, and robots Roy Schestowitz 27/06/2019 - 3:31am
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 1 27/06/2019 - 3:20am
Story SUSE: Release of SUSE CaaS Platform, SUSE Enterprise Storage, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 1 and More Roy Schestowitz 5 27/06/2019 - 2:42am
Story Android Leftovers Rianne Schestowitz 26/06/2019 - 10:08pm
Story Runs on the Librem 5 Smartphone – Week 1 Roy Schestowitz 26/06/2019 - 9:58pm
Story today's howtos Roy Schestowitz 26/06/2019 - 9:42pm
Story Games Leftovers Roy Schestowitz 26/06/2019 - 9:29pm

Khadas Vim3 SBC starts at $100 with NPU-equipped Amlogic A311D

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Hardware

The open-spec “Khadas Vim3” SBC is on pre-order for $100 (2GB/16GB) or $140 (4GB/32GB) with an Amlogic A311D with a 5-TOPS NPU instead of the planned S922X. Other features include 40-pin GPIO, HDMI 2.1, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, USB 3.0 and Type-C, and M.2 with NVMe.

Shenzhen Wesion’s Khadas project announced the Khadas Vim3 in mid-May with the same Amlogic S922X found on Hardkernel’s Odroid-N2. Earlier this month it announced the June 24 launch date along with pricing of $70 (2GB/16GB) and $100 (4GB/32GB). Last week, however, a blog post announced a switch to the similar, but more powerful and AI-enhanced Amlogic A311D. Today, the board went on pre-order at $100 and $140 with the A311D, with shipments expected on Aug. 10.

Read more

LibreOffice 6.3 Beta2 ready for testing

Filed under
LibO

The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 6.3 Beta2 is ready for testing!

LibreOffice 6.3 will be released as final in mid August, 2019, being LibreOffice 6.3 Beta2 the third pre-release since the development of version 6.3 started in mid November, 2018 ( See the release plan ). Since LibreOffice 6.3 Beta1, 226 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 106 bugs have been set to FIXED in Bugzilla. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

LibreOffice 6.3 Beta2 can be downloaded from here, it’s available for Linux, MacOS and Windows. Besides, and it can be installed along with your actual installation.

Read more

Graphics: Release of Mesa 19.0.7 and Mesa 19.1.1

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
  • mesa 19.0.7
    Hi List,
    
    I'd like to announce the availability of mesa 19.0.7. This is the last release
    of the mesa 19.0 series, and all users are encouraged to migrate 19.1.x instead.
    
    I'd like to apologize for the lateness of this release, in my defence I was on
    vacation most of the 19.0.7 cycle and there were several patches that needed
    backport.
    
    There's nothing too crazy here for the final release of the series. It's pretty
    spread across the system except for radv which had a number of small bug fixes.
    
    Thanks again for the smooth sailing 19.0.x series, I'll see y'all again as
    release manager in October for the 19.3 cycle.
    
    Dylan
    
    Bas Nieuwenhuizen (5):
          radv: Prevent out of bound shift on 32-bit builds.
          radv: Decompress DCC when the image format is not allowed for buffers.
          radv: Fix vulkan build in meson.
          anv: Fix vulkan build in meson.
          meson: Allow building radeonsi with just the android platform.
    
    Charmaine Lee (1):
          svga: Remove unnecessary check for the pre flush bit for setting vertex buffers
    
    Deepak Rawat (1):
          winsys/svga/drm: Fix 32-bit RPCI send message
    
    Dylan Baker (4):
          docs: Add SHA256 sums for 19.0.6
          cherry-ignore: add additional 19.1 only patches
          Bump version for 19.0.7 release
          Docs add 19.0.7 release notes
    
    Emil Velikov (1):
          mapi: correctly handle the full offset table
    
    Gert Wollny (2):
          virgl: Add a caps feature check version
          virgl: Assume sRGB write control for older guest kernels or virglrenderer hosts
    
    Haihao Xiang (1):
          i965: support UYVY for external import only
    
    Jason Ekstrand (2):
          nir/propagate_invariant: Don't add NULL vars to the hash table
          anv: Set STATE_BASE_ADDRESS upper bounds on gen7
    
    Kenneth Graunke (1):
          glsl: Fix out of bounds read in shader_cache_read_program_metadata
    
    Kevin Strasser (2):
          gallium/winsys/kms: Fix dumb buffer bpp
          st/mesa: Add rgbx handling for fp formats
    
    Lionel Landwerlin (2):
          intel/perf: fix EuThreadsCount value in performance equations
          intel/perf: improve dynamic loading config detection
    
    Mathias Fröhlich (1):
          egl: Don't add hardware device if there is no render node v2.
    
    Nanley Chery (1):
          anv/cmd_buffer: Initalize the clear color struct for CNL+
    
    Nataraj Deshpande (1):
          anv: Fix check for isl_fmt in assert
    
    Samuel Pitoiset (5):
          radv: fix alpha-to-coverage when there is unused color attachments
          radv: fix setting CB_SHADER_MASK for dual source blending
          radv: fix occlusion queries on VegaM
          radv: fix VK_EXT_memory_budget if one heap isn't available
          radv: fix FMASK expand with SRGB formats
    
    
    
    git tag: mesa-19.0.7
    
  • Mesa 19.0.7 Now Available As The Last Of The Series

    Mesa 19.0.7 was released on Monday as the last Mesa 19.0 stable release, ending this quarterly update series from Q1.

    Mesa 19.0.7 is the end of the line and users are encouraged to move to Mesa 19.1 stable, which has been out since earlier this month. Mesa 19.2 is where all feature development is happening and it should be released around the end of August or more likely will end up being September due to blocker bugs often ending up delaying the releases.

  • Mesa 19.1.1
    Mesa 19.1.1 is now available.
    
    In this release we have:
    
    Mostly in fixes for different drivers (RADV, ANV,
    Nouveau, Virgl, V3D, R300g, ...)
    
    Also different fixes for different parts (Meson build, GLX,
    etc).
    
    
    Alejandro Piñeiro (1):
          v3d: fix checking twice auf flag
    
    Bas Nieuwenhuizen (5):
          radv: Skip transitions coming from external queue.
          radv: Decompress DCC when the image format is not allowed for buffers.
          radv: Fix vulkan build in meson.
          anv: Fix vulkan build in meson.
          meson: Allow building radeonsi with just the android platform.
    
    Dave Airlie (1):
          nouveau: fix frees in unsupported IR error paths.
    
    Eduardo Lima Mitev (1):
          freedreno/a5xx: Fix indirect draw max_indices calculation
    
    Eric Engestrom (3):
          util/futex: fix dangling pointer use
          glx: fix glvnd pointer types
          util/os_file: resize buffer to what was actually needed
    
    Gert Wollny (1):
          virgl: Assume sRGB write control for older guest kernels or virglrenderer hosts
    
    Haihao Xiang (1):
          i965: support UYVY for external import only
    
    Jason Ekstrand (1):
          anv: Set STATE_BASE_ADDRESS upper bounds on gen7
    
    Juan A. Suarez Romero (3):
          docs: Add SHA256 sums for 19.1.0
          Update version to 19.1.1
          docs: add release notes for 19.1.1
    
    Kenneth Graunke (2):
          glsl: Fix out of bounds read in shader_cache_read_program_metadata
          iris: Fix iris_flush_and_dirty_history to actually dirty history.
    
    Kevin Strasser (2):
          gallium/winsys/kms: Fix dumb buffer bpp
          st/mesa: Add rgbx handling for fp formats
    
    Lionel Landwerlin (2):
          anv: do not parse genxml data without INTEL_DEBUG=bat
          intel/dump: fix segfault when the app hasn't accessed the device
    
    Mathias Fröhlich (1):
          egl: Don't add hardware device if there is no render node v2.
    
    Richard Thier (1):
          r300g: restore performance after RADEON_FLAG_NO_INTERPROCESS_SHARING was added
    
    Rob Clark (1):
          freedreno/a6xx: un-swap X24S8_UINT
    
    Samuel Pitoiset (4):
          radv: fix occlusion queries on VegaM
          radv: fix VK_EXT_memory_budget if one heap isn't available
          radv: fix FMASK expand with SRGB formats
          radv: disable viewport clamping even if FS doesn't write Z
    
    git tag: mesa-19.1.1
    
  • Mesa 19.1.1 Released - Led By RADV & Intel Driver Fixes

    Mesa 19.1.1 is out as the first point release to this quarter's Mesa 19.1 series that was christened earlier this month.

GNOME Desktop/GTK: GNOME Shell 3.33.3, GStreamer Rust Bindings 0.14.0 and Sysprof

Filed under
GNOME
  • GNOME Shell 3.33.3

    GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a visually attractive and easy to use experience.

  • GNOME Shell & Mutter See Their 3.33.3 Releases With Notable X11/Wayland Changes

    Arriving late, a few days after the GNOME 3.33.3 development snapshot, the Mutter and GNOME Shell updates are now available.

    The Mutter 3.33.3 window manager / compositor update is notable with preparations for running XWayland on-demand -- a.k.a. just when needed for X11 client usage and not constantly. The Mutter update also now honors the startup sequence workspace on Wayland, fixes around fractional scaling, adds the new Sysprof-based profiling support, adds mouse and locate-pointer accessibility, consolidates the frame throttling code, improves screencasting support on multi-monitor systems, fixes running X11 applications with sudo under Wayland, adds initial KMS transactional support, and there are many bug fixes.

  • GStreamer Rust bindings 0.14.0 release

    Apart from updating to GStreamer 1.16, this release is mostly focussed on adding more bindings for various APIs and general API cleanup and bugfixes.

    The most notable API additions in this release are bindings for gst::Memory and gst::Allocator as well as bindings for gst_base::BaseParse and gst_video::VideoDecoder and VideoEncoder. The latter also come with support for implementing subclasses and the gst-plugins-rs module contains an video decoder and parser (for CDG), and a video encoder (for AV1) based on this.

  • Sysprof design work

    Since my last post, I’ve been working on a redesign of Sysprof (among other things) to make it a bit more useful and friendly to newcomers.

    Many years ago, I worked on a small profiler project called “Perfkit” that never really went anywhere. I had already done most of my UI research for this years ago, so it was pretty much just a matter of applying that design to the Sysprof code-base.

Intel UMWAIT Support Queued For Linux 5.3 - New Feature For Tremont Cores

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Adding to the growing list of features for the upcoming Linux 5.3 kernel is now Intel UMWAIT support for better power-savings.

UMWAIT is a new feature for Intel Tremont CPUs cores. UMWAIT can help enhance power savings during idle periods with "user mode wait" functionality. UMWAIT allows for monitoring a range of addresses in a lightweight power/performance state or an enhanced mode that can still help with conserving power but less so in order to offer lower latencies. UMWAIT is intended to be used as an alternative to kernel spinloops when needing to wait/sleep for short periods of time when the system is idle.

Read more

Five Linux Server Administration Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server

In 2017, an employee at GitLab, the version control hosting platform, was asked to replicate a database of production data. Because of a configuration error, the replication did not work as expected, so the employee decided to remove the data that had been transferred and try again. He ran a command to delete the unwanted data, only to realize with mounting horror that he had entered the command into an SSH session connected to a production server, deleting hundreds of gigabytes of user data. Every seasoned system administrator can tell you a similar story.

The Linux command line gives server admins control of their servers and the data stored on them, but it does little to stop them running destructive commands with consequences that can’t be undone. Accidental data deletion is just one type of mistake that new server administrators make.

Read more

Fedora 31 Looking At No Longer Building i686 Linux Kernel Packages

Filed under
Linux
Red Hat

Not to be confused with Ubuntu's varying stance on dropping 32-bit packages beginning with their next release later this year, Fedora 31 now has a proposal pending to discontinue their i686 kernel builds but they will still be keeping with their 32-bit packaging.

This Fedora 31 change proposal by Justin Forbes, one of Fedora's kernel hackers, is just about ending i686 kernel builds beginning with this Fedora release due out in October. The i686 kernel-headers package would still be offered in order to satisfy necessary dependencies for 32-bit programs needing those headers. Of course, users will have to be running off a 64-bit kernel. All 32-bit programs should continue to work on Fedora 31.

Read more

Also: Fedora Workstation 31 Is Looking Great With Many Original Features Being Worked On

Fedora booth at Red Hat Summit

Fedora Update Week 23–24

Deprecating a.out Binaries

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Remember a.out binaries? They were the file format of the Linux kernel till around 1995 when ELF took over. ELF is better. It allows you to load shared libraries anywhere in memory, while a.out binaries need you to register shared library locations. That's fine at small scales, but it gets to be more and more of a headache as you have more and more shared libraries to deal with. But a.out is still supported in the Linux source tree, 25 years after ELF became the standard default format.

Recently, Borislav Petkov recommended deprecating it in the source tree, with the idea of removing it if it turned out there were no remaining users. He posted a patch to implement the deprecation. Alan Cox also remarked that "in the unlikely event that someone actually has an a.out binary they can't live with, they can also just write an a.out loader as an ELF program entirely in userspace."

Read more

An easier way to test Plasma

Filed under
KDE

Having the Plasma and Usability & Productivity sprints held at the same time and place had an unexpected benefit: we were able to come up with a way to make it easier to test a custom-compiled version of Plasma!

Previously, we had some documentation that asked people to create a shell script on their computers, copy files to various locations, and perform a few other steps. Unfortunately, many of the details were out of date, and the whole process was quite error-prone. It turned out that almost none of the Plasma developers at the sprint were actually using this method, and each had cobbled together something for themselves. Some (including myself) had given up on it and were doing Plasma development in a virtual machine.

So we put some time into easing this pain by making Plasma itself produce all the right pieces automatically when compiled from source. Then, we created a simple script to install everything properly.

Read more

Benchmarking The Experimental Bcachefs File-System Against Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, XFS & ZFS

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

Bcachefs is the file-system born out of the Linux kernel's block cache code and has been worked on the past several years by developer Kent Overstreet. Our most recent benchmarking of Bcachefs was last year, so with the prospects of Bcachefs potentially being staged soon in the mainline Linux kernel, I ran some benchmarks using the latest kernel code for this next-generation file-system.
Those unfamiliar with this copy-on-write file-system can learn more at Bcachefs.org. The design features of this file-system are similar to ZFS/Btrfs and include native encryption, snapshots, compression, caching, multi-device/RAID support, and more. But even with all of its features, it aims to offer XFS/EXT4-like performance, which is something that can't generally be said for Btrfs.

Read more

Games: TheoTown, Prison Architect and More

Filed under
Gaming
  • Retro themed city-builder 'TheoTown' has now added Linux support

    TheoTown, developed by blueflower is a city-builder with a retro style that looks to be inspired by the classic Sim City 2000 and it's now available on Steam for Linux.

    Released on Steam earlier this month, TheoTown is also available on mobile but the PC version is a full and proper game with no in-app purchase nonsense. On Android at least, the game is very highly rated and I imagine a number of readers have played it there so now you can pick it up again on your Linux PC and continue building the city of your dreams. So far, the Steam user reviews are also giving it a good overall picture.

  • Reminder: Update your PC info for the next round of statistics updates

    This is your once a month reminder to make sure your PC information is correct on your user profiles. A fresh batch of statistics is generated on the 1st of each month.

  • Prison Architect gains a new warden with Double Eleven, free update incoming

    After Paradox Interactive acquired the rights to Prison Architect from Introversion Software, they've now announced that Double Eleven will be handling future updates.

    Double Eleven are a well-known developer and publisher of quite a number of titles, with them also previously been responsible for the console versions of Prison Architect so it seems like a pretty good fit as they already worked with the game.

  • Steam To Drop Support For Ubuntu

    Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and that’s why it gets the attention of big companies like steam to design software for it. But recently, Linux community is kind of unhappy over Canonical decision on dropping Ubuntu 32-bit packages.

    The community already discussed that in case Ubuntu drops 32-bit packages support in upcoming Ubuntu 19.10 or future releases, it’d create big problems including Wine users and Linux gamers. And here comes the first news from Steam, the gaming platform.

    Pierre-Loup Griffais from Valve tweeted that Ubuntu 19.10 or any future Ubuntu releases will not be officially supported by Steam. He also said that the team will work on to minimize the breakage for existing users and thinking to focus on any other Linux distribution.

  • Canonical to Continue Building Selected 32-Bit i386 Packages for Ubuntu 19.10, Azul Systems Announces Zulu Mission Control v7.0, Elisa v. 0.4.1 Now Available, Firefox Adds Fission to the Nightly Build and Tails Emergency Release

    After much feedback from the community, Canonical yesterday announced it will continue to build selected 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS. The statement notes that Canonical "will also work with the WINE, Ubuntu Studio and gaming communities to use container technology to address the ultimate end of life of 32-bit libraries; it should stay possible to run old applications on newer versions of Ubuntu. Snaps and LXD enable us both to have complete 32-bit environments, and bundled libraries, to solve these issues in the long term."

  • OpenVIII, an in-development open source game engine for Final Fantasy VIII

    Any fans of Final Fantasy VIII reading? You're going to want to keep an eye on the in-development game engine OpenVIII.

    While it doesn't seem like it's currently playable, plenty of work has already gone into OpenVIII to work with "video support, music support, audio support, in-game menu" and more. The project is currently classed by the developer as a "pre-prototype" so don't go getting any hopes up yet about playing Final Fantasy VIII natively on Linux.

  • Littlewood hasn't been out for long, but this peaceful RPG has a lot to like about it

    Entering Early Access last week, Sean Young's peaceful RPG Littlewood is a game for those who like to relax a little. Note: Key provided directly by the developer.

    What happens after the world has been saved, after all the major battles have already been fought? That's exactly what Littlewood is all about, you saved the world and lost your memory so you're helping to re-build the town.

    In some ways, it actually reminds me of my experience with Forager. It's small, it's sweet and it doesn't feel like it's constantly begging for attention. Quite different in setting though of course, more along the lines of Stardew Valley but with less emphasis on constant farming. I love the building interface too, while it's quite simplistic it allows you to pick up trees, stones and move everything out of your way. Nothing feels annoying, so it's really sweet.

  • Cyberspace first-person shooter 'Black Ice' just had a massive upgrade

    Currently in Early Access, it has been a long time since Black Ice had an update to the "stable" version but the developer hasn't been sat idle. A massive update to the entire game just landed.

    Featuring some of what I showed off recently, Black Ice has come a very long was since the initial few releases making it a vastly more interesting game. One of the biggest changes, is an overhaul to the entire world design full of new areas, combat arenas with even more to come. Additionally, there's now some random events that will happen to also make the world seem a bit more lively. One server might try to hack another, so you can jump in and fight them all or sit back and watch the fireworks.

KDE Plasma 5.16.2 Desktop Environment Released with More Than 30 Bug Fixes

Filed under
KDE
Security

Coming just one week after the first point release, the KDE Plasma 5.16.2 maintenance update is here to add yet another layer of bug fixes with the ultimate goal to make the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment more stable and reliable for users. In particular, this second point release introduces a total of 34 changes across various core components and apps.

"Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.16.2. Plasma 5.16 was released in June with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. This release adds a week's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important," reads today's announcement.

Read more

Also: Plasma 5.16.2

Stable kernels 5.1.15, 4.19.56, and 4.14.130

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.1.15

    I'm announcing the release of the 5.1.15 kernel.

    All users of the 5.1 kernel series must upgrade.

    The updated 5.1.y git tree can be found at:
    git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.1.y
    and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
    https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

  • Linux 4.19.56
  • Linux 4.14.130

Introducing people.kernel.org

Filed under
Linux

Ever since the demise of Google+, many developers have expressed a desire to have a service that would provide a way to create and manage content in a format that would be more rich and easier to access than email messages sent to LKML.

Today, we would like to introduce people.kernel.org, which is an ActivityPub-enabled federated platform powered by WriteFreely and hosted by very nice and accommodating folks at write.as.

Read more

Statement by The Apache Software Foundation Board of Directors

Filed under
OSS

It is with a mix of sadness and appreciation that the ASF Board accepted the resignations of Board Member Jim Jagielski, Chairman Phil Steitz, and Executive Vice President Ross Gardler last month.

As an ASF co-founder, Jim has held every officer position since the Foundation’s incorporation, with the exception of a one-year break in 2018. He has played a substantial role in the development and success of the organization and is a recognized advocate of Open Source at the developer and corporate levels.

An ASF Member since 2005, Phil was instrumental in the adoption, growth, and ubiquity of Apache Java projects across many industries, most visibly financial services. He served as Vice President Apache Commons for four years, and as ASF Chairman August 2017 - May 2019.

Ross has been championing The Apache Way to governments, corporations, and educational institutions for nearly two decades. Since becoming an ASF Member in 2005, he served as Vice President of Community Development (2009-2012), ASF Director and President (2015-2016), and ASF Executive Vice President October 2016 - May 2019.

We laud their contributions to many of the ASF's achievements over the past two decades [1]. Their motivation, vision, and passion is truly inspiring. Whilst we will greatly miss their day-to-day leadership at the executive level, we are heartened that the Foundation will continue to benefit through their participation as ASF Members.

Read more

5 Best and Free Desktop Email Clients for Linux and Windows

If you are looking for free Email clients for Linux and Windows – here are 5 of them we list which you can try and consider for casual or professional uses.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Fedora Workstation 31, AAC Support

  • Fedora Workstation 31 to come with Wayland support, improved core features of PipeWire, and more

    On Monday, Christian F.K. Schaller, Senior Manager for Desktop at Red Hat, shared a blog post that outlined the various improvements and features coming in Fedora Workstation 31. These include Wayland improvements, more PipeWire functionality, continued improvements around Flatpak, Fleet Commander, and more.

  • Fedora's AAC Support Finally Seeing Audio Quality Improvements

    Fedora's version of the FDK-AAC library that they began shipping in 2017 to finally provide AAC audio support strips out what was patented encumbered functionality. But that gutting of the code did cause some problems like audio playback glitches that are now being addressed. Fortunately, better AAC support is on the way to Fedora. There is this F30 update pending to provide an updated AAC implementation with quality enhancements.

Mozilla: Firefox's Gecko Media Plugin & EME Architecture, Accessibility, Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday Results

  • Chris Pearce: Firefox's Gecko Media Plugin & EME Architecture

    For rendering audio and video Firefox typically uses either the operating system's audio/video codecs or bundled software codec libraries, but for DRM video playback (like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the like) and WebRTC video calls using baseline H.264 video, Firefox relies on Gecko Media Plugins, or GMPs for short. This blog post describes the architecture of the Gecko Media Plugin system in Firefox, and the major class/objects involved, as it looked in June 2019. For DRM video Firefox relies upon Google's Widevine Content Decryption Module, a dynamic shared library downloaded at runtime. Although this plugin doesn't conform to the GMP ABI, we provide an adapter to allow it to be run through the GMP system. We use the same Widevine CDM plugin that Chrome uses. For decode and encode of H.264 streams for WebRTC, Firefox uses OpenH264, which is provided by Cisco. This plugin implements the GMP ABI.

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: How accessibility trees inform assistive tech

    The web is accessible by default. It was designed with features to make accessibility possible, and these have been part of the platform pretty much from the beginning. In recent times, inspectable accessibility trees have made it easier to see how things work in practice. In this post we’ll look at how “good” client-side code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) improves the experience of users of assistive technologies, and how we can use accessibility trees to help verify our work on the user experience.

  • QMO: Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday Results

    As you may already know, Friday June 14th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 68 Beta 10.

Security Leftovers/FUD

  • New Linux Worm Attacks IoT Devices [Ed: How to blame "Linux" for default passwords in devices (and some now also blame "Iran", citing a CIA 'proxy' Recorded Future in relation to this because they want war)]

    Silex has 'bricked' more than 2000 Linux-based IoT devices so far.

  • Your server remote login isn't root:password, right? Cool. You can keep your data. Oh sh... your IoT gear, though? [Ed: All this "Silex" 'news' tries to blame Iran for cracking by guessing default passwords; but this is attempted every day by dozens of nations, every minute in a lot of cases. Any political motivation behind this Iran angle?]

    Earlier this week, infosec outfit Recorded Future claimed a Tehran-backed group known as Elfin, or APT33, has been increasingly active in recent months, largely targeting industrial facilities and companies within Saudi Arabia that do business with the US and other Western countries.
  • 'Silex' Malware Renders Internet-of-Things Devices Useless. Here's How to Prevent It [Ed: War lovers' media, e.g. Fortune (see parent) and CBS (through ZDNet) push this whole "Iran" angle, manufactured in part by Recorded Future, which works with the CIA. This is the source of all these "Iran is cracking your gear" stories (every large nation does it all the time, so why the focus on Iran all of a sudden?)]
  • Silex malware targeting IoT devices spotted by security researchers
  • Daily News Roundup: Hackers Broke into Ten Telecom Networks [Ed: Definitely sounds like they used Windows, which executes malware without obstructing the users (who might just open an E-mail or click on a link)]

    Security researchers have revealed hackers spent years burrowing into ten different telecoms. Using a common method of an email with a link leading to malware, the hackers then used sophisticated techniques to target specific individuals. Security researchers at Cybereason revealed details of years-long attempts to break into telecom services (cell phone carriers). Starting in 2017, and possibly before, hackers sent emails to unsuspecting telecom employees with malicious links. The initial payload gave the hackers access to the telecom networks. Once in, the hackers ultimately compromised the network, gaining administrative privileges, and even creating a VPN on the system that let hackers access large amounts of data and empowered them even to shut down the telecom network entirely. The hackers had so much power that Amit Serper, Principal Security Researcher at Cybereason, described them as essentially a “de facto shadow IT department of the company.”

Kernel: LWN's Latest (SACK etc.) and Phoronix on Saitek R440 Force Racing Wheel Support Coming to Linux

  • The TCP SACK panic

    Selective acknowledgment (SACK) is a technique used by TCP to help alleviate congestion that can arise due to the retransmission of dropped packets. It allows the endpoints to describe which pieces of the data they have received, so that only the missing pieces need to be retransmitted. However, a bug was recently found in the Linux implementation of SACK that allows remote attackers to panic the system by sending crafted SACK information. Data sent via TCP is broken up into multiple segments based on the maximum segment size (MSS) specified by the other endpoint—or some other network hardware in the path it traversed. Those segments are transmitted to that endpoint, which acknowledges that it has received them. Originally, those acknowledgments (ACKs) could only indicate that it had received segments up to the first gap; so if one early segment was lost (e.g. dropped due to congestion), the endpoint could only ACK those up to the lost one. The originating endpoint would have to retransmit many segments that had actually been received in order to ensure the data gets there; the status of the later segments is unknown, so they have to be resent. In simplified form, sender A might send segments 20-50, with segments 23 and 37 getting dropped along the way. Receiver B can only ACK segments 20-22, so A must send 23-50 again. As might be guessed, if the link is congested such that segments are being dropped, sending a bunch of potentially redundant traffic is not going to help things.

  • Short waits with umwait

    If a user-space process needs to wait for some event to happen, there is a whole range of mechanisms provided by the kernel to make that easy. But calling into the kernel tends not to work well for the shortest of waits — those measured in small numbers of microseconds. For delays of this magnitude, developers often resort to busy loops, which have a much smaller potential for turning a small delay into a larger one. Needless to say, busy waiting has its own disadvantages, so Intel has come up with a set of instructions to support short delays. A patch set from Fenghua Yu to support these instructions is currently working its way through the review process. The problem with busy waiting, of course, is that it occupies the processor with work that is even more useless than cryptocoin mining. It generates heat and uses power to no useful end. On hyperthreaded CPUs, a busy-waiting process could prevent the sibling thread from running and doing something of actual value. For all of these reasons, it would be a lot nicer to ask the CPU to simply wait for a brief period until something interesting happens. To that end, Intel is providing three new instructions. umonitor provides an address and a size to the CPU, informing it that the currently running application is interested in any writes to that range of memory. A umwait instruction tells the processor to stop executing until such a write occurs; the CPU is free to go into a low-power state or switch to a hyperthreaded sibling during that time. This instruction provides a timeout value in a pair of registers; the CPU will only wait until the timestamp counter (TSC) value exceeds the given timeout value. For code that is only interested in the timeout aspect, the tpause instruction will stop execution without monitoring any addresses.

  • Dueling memory-management performance regressions

    The 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit included a detailed discussion about a memory-management fix that addressed one performance regression while causing another. That fix, which was promptly reverted, is still believed by most memory-management developers to implement the correct behavior, so a patch posted by Andrea Arcangeli in early May has relatively broad support. That patch remains unapplied as of this writing, but the discussion surrounding it has continued at a slow pace over the last month. Memory-management subsystem maintainer Andrew Morton is faced with a choice: which performance regression is more important? The behavior in question relates to the intersection of transparent huge pages and NUMA policy. Ever since this commit from Aneesh Kumar in 2015, the kernel will, for memory areas where madvise(MADV_HUGEPAGE) has been called, attempt to allocate huge pages exclusively on the current NUMA node. It turns out that the kernel will try so hard that it will go into aggressive reclaim and compaction on that node, forcing out other pages, even if free memory exists on other nodes in the system. In essence, enabling transparent huge pages for a range of memory has become an equivalent to binding that memory to a single NUMA node. The result, as observed by many, can be severe swap storms and a dramatic loss of performance. In an attempt to fix this problem, Arcangeli applied a patch in November 2018 that loosened the tight binding to the current node. But, it turned out, some workloads want that binding behavior. Local huge pages will perform better than huge pages on a remote node; even local small pages tend to be better than remote huge pages. For some tasks, the performance penalty for using remote pages is high enough that it is worth going to great lengths — even enduring a swap storm at application startup — to avoid it. No such workload has been publicly posted, but the patch was reverted by David Rientjes in December after a huge discussion.

  • Rebasing and merging in kernel repositories

    What follows is a kernel document I have been working on for the last month in the hope of reducing the number of subsystem maintainers who run into trouble during the merge window. If all goes according to plan, this text will show up in 5.3 as Documentation/maintainer/rebasing-and-merging.txt. On the off chance that some potentially interested readers might not be monitoring additions to the nascent kernel maintainer's handbook, I'm publishing the text here as well. Maintaining a subsystem, as a general rule, requires a familiarity with the Git source-code management system. Git is a powerful tool with a lot of features; as is often the case with such tools, there are right and wrong ways to use those features. This document looks in particular at the use of rebasing and merging. Maintainers often get in trouble when they use those tools incorrectly, but avoiding problems is not actually all that hard. One thing to be aware of in general is that, unlike many other projects, the kernel community is not scared by seeing merge commits in its development history. Indeed, given the scale of the project, avoiding merges would be nearly impossible. Some problems encountered by maintainers result from a desire to avoid merges, while others come from merging a little too often.

  • Years Late But Saitek R440 Force Racing Wheel Support Is On The Way For Linux

    If you happen to have a Saitek R440 Force Wheel or looking to purchase a cheap and used racing wheel for enjoying the various Linux racing game ports or even the number of games working under Steam Play like F1 2018 and DiRT Rally 2.0, Linux support is on the way. The Saitek R440 Force Wheel can still be found from the likes of eBay for those wanting a cheap/used PC game racing wheel. Now coming soon to the Linux kernel is support for this once popular gaming wheel -- which was originally released back in 2004. The Linux kernel patch originally adding the Saitek R440 was sent last year only to be resent out recently in an attempt for mainline acceptance.