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Linux Kernel: STACKLEAK, Speck, PSI

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Linux
  • Linux 4.19 Kernel Getting STACKLEAK Feature

    Another security hardening measure coming to the Linux kernel is STACKLEAK.

    Kees Cook of Google queued STACKLEAK into one of his feature branches that will be sent in for the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel.

  • Google Decides Not To Use Speck For Disk Encryption, Instead Developing HPolyC

    While the controversial Speck crypto support was added to Linux 4.17 and with Linux 4.18 it's being exposed via fscrypt for a disk encryption option, which Google intended to be used on low-end "Android Go" devices that don't have CPUs with capable native encryption extensions, instead Google is backtracking.

  • Linux "PSI" Patches Report Stall/Pressure Information For CPU / Memory / Storage

    One of the interesting patch series in the works is the "PSI" work by Johannes Weiner of Facebook.

    PSI in this context is actually Pressure Stall Information. This information to be exposed by future versions of the Linux kernel make it possible to quantify resource pressure on the system across CPU, memory, and I/O -- including within cgroups.

How do I protect my OS with Linux security features?

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Linux
Security

The kernel space is the environment in which full and unlimited access to all the hardware and devices exists; other security systems don't apply in kernel space. Kernel layer access is limited to the root user, but the Linux root user is not an admin with a lot of permissions. The root user account has unlimited access to the kernel space and is secured with a very complex password

Permissions determine how admins can access files, but they don't decide how admins can access the system. The Linux permission system only applies to IT administrators who are not the root user or end users.

Originally, there were just three permissions: read, write and execute. Administrators can apply these permissions to admin accounts, group owners and other users. However, computing needs have changed and rendered these permissions too limited, so Linux OS developers added a second set of permissions to address specific use cases. This set includes various combinations of the original read, write and execute permissions.

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Lenovo Will Finally Offer Automatic Firmware Updates to Linux-Powered Computers

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Linux

According to Richard Hughes, who officially welcomed Lenovo to LVFS, tens of thousands of Linux users will soon receive automatic firmware updates in the coming weeks either through the GNOME Software graphical package manager or by running the fwupdmgr update command in a terminal emulator.

In the coming months, hundreds of thousands of Linux users will also receive automatic firmware updates for their Lenovo computers as the team of developers behind the Linux Vendor Firmware Service initiative will move numerous Lenovo models from the testing channels to the stable ones.

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4MLinux 25.2 released.

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GNU
Linux

This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 4.14.55. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.33, MariaDB 10.3.8, and PHP 7.2.7 (see this post for more details).

You can update your 4MLinux by executing the "zk update" command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

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Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) Is Now Powered by the Linux 4.17 Kernel

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Linux
Ubuntu

Launched on June 3, 2018, the Linux 4.17 kernel series introduces better power management and HDMI audio/sound support for AMD graphics cards in the open-source AMDGPU graphics driver, support for Intel's High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) digital copy protection, and support for Intel's Cannon Lake architecture.

Additionally, Linux kernel 4.17 adds support for the Andes NDS32 RISC-like architecture, but removes support for a bunch of microarchitectures, including CRIS, M32R, Blackfin, TILE, FR-V, MN10300, Metag, and SCORE. Support for the Nvidia Tegra Xavier processor is available as well in Linux kernel 4.17.

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Why the Failure to Conquer the Desktop Was Great for GNU/Linux

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GNU
Linux

Canonical recently launched Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. It's an important release. In part, that's because Canonical will support it for five years, making it one of the relatively rare LTS products in Ubuntu's history. Ubuntu 18.04 also marks a high-profile return to GNOME as the default desktop, after a few years of controversial experimentation with Unity. The result is regarded by many as the best desktop Ubuntu so far (that's my view too, for what it's worth). And yet, the emphasis at launch lay elsewhere. Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical and founder of Ubuntu, said:

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8 Best Online Linux Terminals and Distributions

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GNU
Linux

This article focuses on those interested in learning how to use the Linux terminal without necessarily having a Linux machine they can use at their convenience. You can use them to not only practice Linux commands but to also test scripts, analyze compilation time, etc.

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Stable kernels 4.17.13, 4.14.61, 4.9.118 and 4.4.146

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Linux

Kernel: LoRa, Zstd, CPU, IWLWIFI

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Linux
  • LoRa Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel - Allows Long-Range, Low-Power Wireless

    Linux kernel patches are in the works for LoRa for various chipsets/modules and the new networking subsystem itself along with a new socket interface. LoRa allows for long-range, low-power wireless with minimal infrastructure.

    The latest Linux kernel LoRa patches were published in July for review on the kernel mailing list and are the most up-to-date LoRa implementation for the Linux kernel. The patch-set explains some details that should excite open-source and DIY fans, "LoRa is a long-range, low-power wireless technology by Semtech. Unlike other LPWAN technologies, users don't need to rely on infrastructure providers and SIM cards and expensive subscription plans, they can set up their own gateways. Modules, adapters and evaluation boards are available from a large number of vendors. Ma

  • Zstd Compression Support Coming For Linux Pstore

    Linux's Pstore "persistent store" functionality, which is most often used for preserving kernel panics and related information across reboots when the system runs into a show-stopping problem, will soon be supporting Zstd compression for storing greater amounts of data.

    Pstore is often backed by flash chips with limited capacities as their non-volatile storage for securing the last bits of system debugging details across reboots. For squeezing more data with Pstore, deflate, LZO, LZ4, LZ4HC, and 842 have been the supported compression algorithms for this generic persistent store file-system.

  • The CPU (Consuming Power Unlimited)

    One might assume that a CPU heavy application should increase only CPU power usage, but the motherboard also has to supply the data at higher rates, which translates to increased disk I/O. This implies that the motherboard, buses, RAM and data disks, all consume more power to deliver the higher data throughput. Since these subsystems are intertwined and hardware manufacturers rarely provide actual power consumption numbers, our best bet to estimate the individual power draw would be to develop regression models to predict the numbers. This is precisely what is done by PowerTop.

  • Intel IWLWIFI Adding 802.11ax Support In Linux 4.19

    The latest Linux wireless driver code was sent in today for queueing in the net-next tree ahead of the Linux 4.19 kernel.

    With the latest wireless-drivers-next activity, the most notable feature pull request is the IWLWIFI driver now supporting 802.11ax, the latest WiFi standard succeeding 802.11ac. The WLAN 802.11ax specification operates on 2.4/5GHz spectrums and beyond MMIO/MU-MIMO adds in OFDMA: Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access. The top speed of 802.11ax is expected at 11 Gbps. The first of the next-gen WiFi devices supporting this standard are expected over the next calendar year.

Screenshots/Screencasts: Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon Edition and Linux Lite 4.0

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GNU
Linux
  • What’s New in Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon Edition
  • What’s New in Linux Lite 4.0

    Linux Lite 4.0 codename “Diamond” is the latest release of Linux Lite, based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and powered by Linux Kernel 4.15 series. Also, comes with a brand new icon and system theme, namely Papirus and Adapta. Timeshift app by default for system backups, and new, in-house built Lite applications.

    Among the new Lite applications, we can mention the Lite Desktop, which manages application icons and other objects on the desktop, and Lite Sounds, a tool designed to help users manage system-wide sounds. Also, Linux Lite 4.0 ships with the MenuLibre tool to help you easily edit application menu entries. help manual has been majorly updated. All content and images have been updated.

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Linux Scaling Benchmarks With The AMD Threadripper 2990WX In Various Workloads

While yesterday were the benchmarks showing how Linux games struggle to scale past a few CPU cores/threads, in this article is a look at the scaling performance of various applications/workloads under Linux up to 64 threads using the AMD Threadripper 2990WX. Here's a look at how the Linux performance changes in a variety of applications from one to sixty-four threads with this new HEDT processor. The benchmarks today are for mostly curiosity sake about Linux and the Threadripper 2990WX, particularly on the impact of 32 threads (cores) to 64 threads with SMT, etc. In the next few days is a much more interesting comparison and that is looking at the Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux performance on the Threadripper 2990WX at various SMT and CCX configurations. That should reveal a lot about Windows' scaling abilities given the immense interest this week in the Windows vs. Linux Threadripper performance. But for today are just these reference numbers. Read more

AryaLinux: A Distribution and a Platform

I’ll be honest, if you’re just a standard desktop user, AryaLinux is not for you. Although you can certainly get right to work on the desktop, if you need anything outside of the default applications, you might find it a bit too much trouble to bother with. If, on the other hand, you’re a developer, AryaLinux might be a great platform for you. Or, if you just want to see what it’s like to build a Linux distribution from scratch, AryaLinux is a pretty easy route. Even with its quirks, AryaLinux holds a lot of promise as both a Linux distribution and platform. If the developers can see to it to build a GUI front-end for the alps package manager, AryaLinux could make some serious noise. Read more

Lennart Jern: How Do You Fedora?

Lennart Jern is a Swedish-speaking Finn, who has been living in Umeå, Sweden, for about three years. He was born and raised in southern Finland where he obtained his master’s degree in applied mathematics. His time at university exposed Lennart’s true passion. “While at the university, I realized that computer science was really what I wanted to work with.” In order to follow his dream of working in computer science he moved to Sweden with his wife to pursue a master’s program in computer science. After a short while he had learned enough to land a job with a local startup. “I’m working with cloud/distributed systems, specifically with tools like kubernetes and OpenShift.” Lennart’s first contact with Linux was in 2006. Some of the computers in his high school were running OpenSuse. He installed Ubuntu’s Hardy Heron in 2008 and has been using Linux ever since. Read more