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LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 2 hours 22 min ago

Tails 4.0

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 06:03:46 PM
Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is, as the spelled out name implies, a privacy focused distribution, designed to run from removable media. Version 4.0 has been released. "We are especially proud to present you Tails 4.0, the first version of Tails based on Debian 10 (Buster). It brings new versions of most of the software included in Tails and some important usability and performance improvements. Tails 4.0 introduces more changes than any other version since years."

Firefox 70 released

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 05:34:06 PM
Version 70 of the Firefox web browser is out. The headline features include a new password generator and a "privacy protection report" showing users which trackers have been blocked. "Amazing user features and protections aside, we’ve also got plenty of cool additions for developers in this release. These include DOM mutation breakpoints and inactive CSS rule indicators in the DevTools, several new CSS text properties, two-value display syntax, and JS numeric separators." See the release notes for more details.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 02:48:31 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (jss and kernel), Debian (libpcap, openjdk-8, and tcpdump), Fedora (java-11-openjdk), openSUSE (libreoffice), Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk, python, and wget), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk), SUSE (ceph, ceph-iscsi, ses-manual_en, dhcp, openconnect, and procps), and Ubuntu (exiv2, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-snapdragon, and uw-imap).

GNOME's patent-troll counterattack

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 01:03:47 PM
Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC filed a patent suit against the GNOME Foundation in September, asserting a violation in the Shotwell photo manager. GNOME has now gone on the counterattack, questioning the validity of the patent and whether it applies to Shotwell at all. There is also an unspecified counterclaim to strike back against Rothschild. "We want to send a message to all software patent trolls out there — we will fight your suit, we will win, and we will have your patent invalidated. To do this, we need your help."

[$] "git request-pull" and confusing diffstats

Monday 21st of October 2019 10:26:25 PM
When a kernel subsystem maintainer has a set of commits to send up the chain toward the mainline, the git request-pull command is usually the right tool for the job. But various maintainers have noticed over the years that this command can sometimes generate confusing results when confronted with anything but the simplest of histories. A brief conversation on the linux-kernel mailing list delved into why this situation comes about and what maintainers can do in response.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 21st of October 2019 02:47:39 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (aspell, graphite-web, imagemagick, mediawiki, milkytracker, nfs-utils, and openjdk-11), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mediawiki, and radare2), openSUSE (dhcp, libpcap, lighttpd, and tcpdump), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Slackware (python), SUSE (bluez, kernel, and python-xdg), and Ubuntu (aspell).

Kernel prepatch 5.4-rc4

Monday 21st of October 2019 01:31:05 PM
The 5.4-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "This release cycle remains pretty normal. In fact, the rc's have been a bit on the smaller side of the average of the last few releases, and rc4 continues this, if only barely."

[$] Implementing alignment guarantees for kmalloc()

Friday 18th of October 2019 09:52:44 PM
kmalloc() is a frequently used primitive for the allocation of small objects in the kernel. During the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory Management Summit, Vlastimil Babka led a session about the unexpected alignment problems developers face when using this function. After a few months he has come back with the second version of a patch set implementing a natural alignment guarantee for kmalloc(). From the strong opposition it faced initially, it seemed that the change would not get accepted. However, it ended up in Linus Torvalds's tree. Let's explore what happened.

LTTng 2.11.0 "Lafontaine" released

Friday 18th of October 2019 02:53:21 PM
After more than two years of development, the Linux trace toolkit next generation (LTTng) project has released version 2.11.0 of the kernel and user-space tracing tool. The release covers the LTTng tools, LTTng user-space tracer, and LTTng kernel modules. It includes a number of new features that are described in the announcement including session rotation, dynamic user-space tracing, call-stack capturing for the kernel and user space, improved networking performance, NUMA awareness for user-space tracing buffer allocation, and more. "The biggest feature of this release is the long-awaited session rotation support. Session rotations now allow you to rotate an ongoing tracing session much in the same way as you would rotate logs. The 'lttng rotate' command rotates the current trace chunk of the current tracing session. Once a rotation is completed, LTTng does not manage the trace chunk archive anymore: you can read it, modify it, move it, or remove it. Because a rotation causes the tracing session’s current sub-buffers to be flushed, trace chunk archives are never redundant, that is, they do not overlap over time, unlike snapshots. Once a rotation is complete, offline analyses can be performed on the resulting trace, much like in 'normal' mode. However, the big advantage is that this can be done without interrupting tracing, and without being limited to tools which implement the 'live' protocol."

Five new stable kernels

Friday 18th of October 2019 02:15:14 PM
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 5.3.7, 4.19.80, 4.14.150, 4.9.197, and 4.4.197 stable kernels. All five contain important fixes throughout the kernel tree, as usual. Users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 18th of October 2019 01:20:10 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (poppler, sudo, and wordpress), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and kernel), and SUSE (kernel and postgresql10).

Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) released

Thursday 17th of October 2019 10:09:52 PM
Ubuntu has announced the release of 19.10 "Eoan Ermine" in desktop and server editions as well as all of the different flavors: Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu. "The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 5.3 based Linux kernel, and our default toolchain has moved to gcc 9.2 with glibc 2.30. Additionally, the Raspberry Pi images now support the new Pi 4 as well as 2 and 3. Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 introduces GNOME 3.34 the fastest release yet with significant performance improvements delivering a more responsive experience. App organisation is easier with the ability to drag and drop icons into categorised folders and users can select light or dark Yaru theme variants. The Ubuntu Desktop installer also introduces installing to ZFS as a root filesystem as an experimental feature." More information can also be found in the release notes.

[$] Really fixing getrandom()

Thursday 17th of October 2019 05:08:23 PM
The final days of the 5.3 kernel development cycle included an extensive discussion of the getrandom() API and the reversion of an ext4 improvement that was indirectly causing boot hangs due to a lack of entropy. Blocking filesystem improvements because they are too effective is clearly not a good long-term development strategy for the kernel, so there was a consensus that some sort of better solution had to be found. What was lacking was an idea of what that solution should be. It is thus surprising that the problem appears to have been dealt with in 5.4 with little in the way of dissent or disagreement.

Bazel 1.0 released

Thursday 17th of October 2019 02:23:16 PM
Google has announced version 1.0 of its Bazel build system. "A growing list of Bazel users attests to the widespread demand for scalable, reproducible, and multi-lingual builds. Bazel helps Google be more open too: several large Google open source projects, such as Angular and TensorFlow, use Bazel. Users have reported 3x test time reductions and 10x faster build speeds after switching to Bazel."

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 17th of October 2019 01:27:50 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (sudo), Debian (libsdl1.2 and libsdl2), Mageia (e2fsprogs, kernel, libpcap and tcpdump, nmap, and sudo), openSUSE (GraphicsMagick and sudo), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, jss, and kernel), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Scientific Linux (jss), SUSE (gcc7 and libreoffice), and Ubuntu (leading to a double-free, libsdl1.2, and tiff).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 17, 2019

Thursday 17th of October 2019 12:25:53 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 17, 2019 is available.

[$] WireGuard and the crypto API

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 09:38:05 PM
When last we looked in on the progress of the WireGuard VPN tunnel toward the mainline kernel, it seemed like the main sticking point had been overcome. The Zinc cryptography API used by WireGuard was generally seen as a duplication of effort with the existing kernel cryptographic algorithms, so an effort to rework Zinc to use that existing code seemed destined to route around that problem and bring WireGuard to the mainline. In the six months since then, though, things have gone fairly quiet in WireGuard-land; that all changed based on a conversation at the recent Kernel Recipes conference in Paris.

[$] FPGAs and free software

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 04:11:09 PM
The problems with field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) is not exactly an obvious talk topic for a graphics-related conference like the 2019 X.Org Developers Conference (XDC). Ben Widawsky acknowledged that, but said that he sees parallels in the situation with FPGA support in the free-software world and the situation with graphics hardware support in the past. It is his hope that the tools for developing with FPGAs can make the same journey that graphics drivers have made over the last two decades or so.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 16th of October 2019 02:37:20 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and unbound), Fedora (opendmarc, runc, and sudo), openSUSE (epiphany, GraphicsMagick, and libopenmpt), Oracle (kernel and sudo), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, jss, kernel, kernel-rt, and kpatch-patch), SUSE (crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, grafana, novnc, openstack-keystone, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, openstack-tempest, python-pysaml2, python-urllib3, rubygem-chef, rubygem-easy_diff, sleshammer, libpcap, sudo, and tcpdump), and Ubuntu (aspell and libsdl1.2).

Perl 6 renamed to Raku

Tuesday 15th of October 2019 03:29:29 PM
The pull request changing the name of Perl 6 to Raku has been merged. See the full text for more information. "This document describes the steps to be taken to effectuate a rename of 'Perl 6' to 'Raku', as described in issue #81. It does not pretend to be complete in scope or in time. To change a name of a project that has been running for 19+ years will take time, a lot of effort and a lot of cooperation. It will affect people in foreseen and unforeseen ways." (Thanks to Sean Whitton)

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MX Linux 19 'Patito Feo' is here!

In the classic story The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, a bird is bullied and tormented by a bunch of mean ducks -- simply because his appearance is different, and he is perceived as ugly. Spoiler alert: he grows up to be a beautiful swan and has the last laugh. Take that, mean ducks! In many ways, Linux users have been like that bullied bird -- made fun of for being different, but as time marches on, it is clear that they are the true swans of the computing world. And so, how appropriate that MX Linux 19, which is released today, is code-named "Patito Feo," which is Spanish for ugly duckling. Yes, following some beta releases, the increasingly popular Debian 10 Buster-based distribution is finally here. The operating system features kernel 4.19 and uses the lightweight Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. It even features a patched sudo, so you don't need to worry about that nasty security vulnerability that had some folks worried. Of course, there is a bunch of great software installed, such as Firefox 69, Thunderbird 60.9, LibreOffice 6.1.5, VLC 3.0.8, GIMP 2.10.12, and more! Read more

Red Hat is positioning itself as the digital transformation partner of the enterprise

Although the concept of digital transformation isn't new, the way in which companies are leveraging technology to make changes to their day-to-day business is constantly evolving, according to Red Hat senior vice president of cloud platforms Ashesh Badani. Using packaging and logistics giant UPS as his example, Badani said the organisation has been working with Red Hat on how it can make its monolithic architecture more modern, in a way that can support them into the future, but also allow for faster innovation. "Essentially take processing to the edge to improve the way they schedule packages, deliver them, increase efficiency routes," he told Red Hat Forum in Melbourne last week. "Be able to do that quickly, because every customer wants personalisation, and they want to be able to make sure that they can see where their packages are." Badani said UPS is now taking advantage of micro services-based technologies, which he said allows for the analytics to take place at the edge, useful in places such as distribution centres that are closest to the actual customers. Read more

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