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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 16 min ago

Kernel prepatch 5.6-rc6

Monday 16th of March 2020 01:44:33 PM
The 5.6-rc6 kernel prepatch has been released. "Diffstat looks normal, and the number of commits is right in the middle of the usual range too. And I don't think any of the commits look all that strange either - it's all pretty small."

[$] A QUIC look at HTTP/3

Friday 13th of March 2020 09:35:09 PM
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a core component of the world-wide web. Over its evolution it has added features, including encryption, but time has revealed its limitations and those of the whole protocol stack. At FOSDEM 2020, Daniel Stenberg delivered a talk about a new version of the protocol called HTTP/3. It is under development and includes some big changes under the hood. There is no more TCP, for example; a new transport protocol called QUIC is expected to improve performance and allow new features.

Data Sharing and Open Source Software Help Combat Covid-19 (Wired)

Friday 13th of March 2020 08:09:00 PM
Wired has an article on an open-source tool that is being used to track strains of Covid-19 throughout the world. "In the case of the Seattle area teenager, genetic data about his strain of Covid-19 was uploaded to Gisaid, a platform for sharing genomic data. Then researchers at Nextstrain made the connection with the earlier patient. Nextstrain is an open source application that tracks the evolution of viruses and bacteria, including Covid-19, Ebola, and lesser-known outbreaks such as Enterovirus D68 using data sourced largely from Gisaid. Hodcroft and other researchers involved with the project analyze the data shared on Gisaid for mutations and visualize the results. That’s how the team was able to spot the connection between the two Covid-19 cases in Washington."

Varrazzo: Thinking psycopg3

Friday 13th of March 2020 04:11:52 PM
Psycopg is the database adapter used by most Python programs needing to work with the PostgreSQL database manager. In this blog post, psycopg maintainer Daniele Varrazzo looks forward to the next major version. "There is a chance now to rethink how thick the C libpq wrapper should be. We can reduce the C implementation to a minimal wrapper around the libpq (replaceable by a CFFI Python wrapper if compiling C is not available on the client), using it as a foundation to build a familiar DBAPI blocking interface. A blocking behaviour is not bad in itself: it allows to write most of the programs, the ones which don't need crazy concurrency, in a simple and familiar paradigm; the async layer would be available under the hood to squeeze the best performance in programs who have embraced an asynchronous pattern and framework."

Security updates for Friday

Friday 13th of March 2020 03:27:58 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox, golang-golang-x-crypto, kernel, mbedtls, ppp, and python-django), Debian (slirp and yubikey-val), Fedora (firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, mbedtls, monit, seamonkey, sympa, and zsh), Gentoo (chromium, e2fsprogs, firefox, groovy, postgresql, rabbitmq-c, ruby, and vim), Mageia (ppp), openSUSE (kernel), and SUSE (glibc, kernel, openstack-manila, php5, and squid).

Stable kernels for everyone

Thursday 12th of March 2020 10:22:34 PM
As expected, the 5.5.9, 5.4.25, 4.19.109, 4.14.173, 4.9.216, and 4.4.216 stable kernels have all been released; each contains another set of important fixes.

[$] Dentry negativity

Thursday 12th of March 2020 08:14:11 PM
Back in 2017, Waiman Long posted a patch set placing limits on the number of "negative dentries" stored by the kernel. The better part of three years later, that work continues with, seemingly, no better prospects for getting into the mainline. It would be understandable, though, if many people out there don't really know what negative dentries are or why kernel developers care about them. That, at least, can be fixed, even if the underlying problem seems to be more difficult.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 12th of March 2020 03:00:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel), Debian (dojo, firefox-esr, sleuthkit, and wpa), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, and python-psutil), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (kernel), Scientific Linux (kernel), SUSE (ardana-ansible, ardana-cinder, ardana-cobbler, ardana-db, ardana-horizon, ardana-input-model, ardana-monasca, ardana-mq, ardana-nova, ardana-octavia, ardana-osconfig, ardana-tempest, ardana-tls, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, keepalived, openstack-barbican, openstack-ceilometer, openstack-cinder, openstack-dashboard, openstack-dashboard-theme-SUSE, openstack-designate, openstack-heat, openstack-horizon-plugin-designate-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-ironic-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-neutron-lbaas-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-octavia-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-ironic-python-agent, openstack-keystone, openstack-magnum, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-fwaas, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-vpnaas, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, openstack-octavia-amphora-image, openstack-sahara, openstack-swift, python-amqp, python-ironic-lib, python-keystoneauth1, python-keystoneclient, python-keystonemiddleware, python-ovs, supportutils-plugin-suse-openstack-cloud, rubygem-crowbar-client, rubygem-puma, venv-openstack-horizon, ardana-cinder, ardana-cobbler, ardana-designate, ardana-extensions-example, ardana-extensions-nsx, ardana-glance, ardana-heat, ardana-input-model, ardana-ironic, ardana-keystone, ardana-logging, ardana-monasca, ardana-monasca-transform, ardana-mq, ardana-neutron, ardana-nova, ardana-octavia, ardana-osconfig, ardana-tempest, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, keepalived, mariadb, openstack-cinder, openstack-dashboard, openstack-dashboard-theme-SUSE, openstack-heat, openstack-heat-templates, openstack-horizon-plugin-designate-ui, openstack-horizon-plugin-neutron-lbaas-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-keystone, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-vsphere, openstack-nova, openstack-octavia, openstack-octavia-amphora-image, openstack-resource-agents, openstack-sahara, openstack-trove, python-cinderlm, python-congressclient, python-designateclient, python-ironic-lib, python-ne tworking-cisco, python-osc-lib, python-oslo.context, python-oslo.rootwrap, python-oslo.serialization, python-oslo.service, python-stevedore, python-taskflow, rubygem-crowbar-client, rubygem-pumavenv-openstack-swift, firefox, ipmitool, kernel, and php72), and Ubuntu (firefox).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 12, 2020

Thursday 12th of March 2020 01:25:44 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 12, 2020 is available.

[$] Handling attacks on a community

Wednesday 11th of March 2020 09:07:12 PM
A recent message to the debian-project mailing list by Debian project leader (DPL) Sam Hartman is about a proposal to moderate the mailing list. There have been repeated attacks on various project members and the distribution itself posted to the list over the last few years, many from sock-puppet, throwaway email accounts, which spawned a recent discussion on the debian-private mailing list; Hartman was summarizing that discussion for those who are not on the private list. But the problems on debian-project (and other Debian public lists) are kind of just the tip of the iceberg; there is an ongoing, persistent effort to roil the distribution and its community.

GNOME 3.36 released

Wednesday 11th of March 2020 07:36:57 PM
Version 3.36 of the GNOME desktop environment is out. "This release brings a new lock screen and a new app for managing shell extensions, among other things. Once again, the shell has received many performance improvements. Improvements to core GNOME applications include better support for metered networks and parental controls in GNOME Software, a new look for the initial setup assistant, a redesigned GNOME Clocks, and many more." See the release notes for details and screenshots.

Ekstrand: Plumbing explicit synchronization through the Linux ecosystem

Wednesday 11th of March 2020 07:33:05 PM
For those who are interested in the details of graphics synchronization: Jason Ekstrand describes in detail the value of explicit synchronization, the reason why we can't have it now, and a proposal for eventually making it possible to go explicit. "Explicit synchronization is the future of graphics and media. At least, that seems to be the consensus among all the graphics people I've talked to. I had a chat with one of the lead Android graphics engineers recently who told me that doing explicit sync from the start was one of the best engineering decisions Android ever made. It's also the direction being taken by more modern APIs such as Vulkan."

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 11th of March 2020 02:44:43 PM
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (qemu-kvm and sudo), Debian (chromium), Mageia (gpac, libseccomp, and tomcat), openSUSE (gd and postgresql10), Oracle (qemu-kvm), Red Hat (chromium-browser), Scientific Linux (qemu-kvm), Slackware (firefox), and SUSE (ipmitool, java-1_7_0-openjdk, librsvg, and tomcat).

[$] The Let's Encrypt certificate revocation scare

Tuesday 10th of March 2020 05:20:13 PM
The Let's Encrypt project has made real strides in helping to ensure that every web site can use the encrypted HTTPS protocol; it has provided TLS certificates at no charge that are accepted by most or all web browsers. Free certificates accepted by the browsers are something that was difficult to find prior to the advent of the project in 2014; as of the end of February, the project has issued over a billion certificates. But a bug that was recently found in the handling of Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) by the project put roughly 2.6% of the active certificates—roughly three million—at risk of immediate revocation. As might be expected, that caused a bit of panic in some quarters, but it turned out that the worst outcome was largely averted.

Firefox 74.0

Tuesday 10th of March 2020 03:01:01 PM
The latest release of Firefox features some login management improvements, the ability to add custom sites to the Facebook Container, better privacy for web voice and video calls, and better add-on management. See the release notes for more information.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 10th of March 2020 02:32:42 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (libvpx and network-manager-ssh), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, and podman), openSUSE (chromium and python-bleach), Oracle (curl), Red Hat (ansible and qemu-kvm), SUSE (gd, ipmitool, and php7), and Ubuntu (runc and sqlite3).

[$] The short and long-term future of community conferences

Tuesday 10th of March 2020 12:53:49 AM
The Linux development community is spread out over the planet and interacts primarily through email and online systems. It is widely felt, though, that there is great value in getting people together in person occasionally to talk about current issues and get to know each other as people. This year, though, the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the conference schedule to an extent that won't be known for some time. But there are longer-term concerns as well, to the point that the head organizer for one of the kernel community's most successful events is questioning whether it should continue to exist.

LibrePlanet 2020: In-person component canceled

Monday 9th of March 2020 11:38:11 PM
LibrePlanet was scheduled for March 14-15 but it has been canceled. "However, just because we won't be holding a conference in person this year doesn't mean that we've given up our fight to "free the future." Instead, LibrePlanet will be a fully free (as in freedom) virtual conference and livestream. We had an extremely exciting program planned, and we're going to try and maintain as much of that schedule as possible with all of the speakers who are willing and able to participate remotely. The resulting livestream will be run on and entirely accessible via free software, so that you can enjoy these amazing talks from the comfort of your home."

Chemnitzer Linux-Tage canceled

Monday 9th of March 2020 08:39:22 PM
The Chemnitzer Linux-Tage that was to take place March 14-15 has been canceled. "Whether we meet later this year or first in March 2021, we will discuss within the organization team in the next few days."

openSUSE Summit Dublin and SUSECON canceled

Monday 9th of March 2020 08:34:53 PM
The openSUSE Summit in Dublin, Ireland was scheduled for March 27-28. The event has been canceled due to travel bans. SUSECON is still scheduled for March 23-27, however it will be a digital event. The in-person meeting in Dublin has been canceled.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Open Hardware and Some Traps

  • AgVa Phone Ventilator Connects to a Smartphone to Fight COVID-19

    One major highlight during this COVID-19 crisis is the lack of enough ventilators for patients, a piece of critical equipment that greatly affects the breathing of critically ill patients. There are not enough ventilators available in hospitals right now for all of the potential patients who will be struck by the virus, so it is clear we need more ventilators. Makers are joining the call to service with their existing maker tools, and an example is the attempt to make a low-cost, open-source Arduino ventilator device.

  • Raspberry Pi Dev Server Manages Triple-Boot System With Help From Ubuntu

    This Raspberry Pi project covers all of your on-the-go developer needs. Designed by a developer known as CodeF.red, it uses a Raspberry Pi 4 running Ubuntu to help manage his triple boot laptop rig. With the portable dev server, he can easily swap between the Windows, macOS and Linux. The server is running Ubuntu off an NVME drive connected via USB (we have also detailed how to install Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi). The unit is controllable with a Bluetooth keyboard and also features a touchscreen. The maker also upgraded the Pi's cooling capabilities with a 5V Noctua fan with a super-low noise profile. The dev server uses Docker and can be controlled via SSH. Since it uses Ubuntu, you can add plenty of additional tools, like Glances for cross-platform monitoring features. Like many other Pi projects, the creator crafted this one using hardware already had on hand. CodeF.red said via Reddit that he considers the NVMe drive "overkill," especially since the performance is limited by the USB connection. But after removing the drive from an old Mac, it was gathering dust and needed to be put to use.

  • Digital making at home: a guide for parents
  • NXP WiFi 6 Solutions Launched for Home, Enterprise, IoT and Automotive Markets
  • 3.5″ SubCompact SBC Leverages Intel Whiskey Lake Processor for Embedded & AI Applications

    The company provides Windows drivers for graphics, audio, I2C, touch controller, Ethernet, etc… Linux will certainly boot in the board, and I’d expect most features to work, but it’s still possible that some specific hardware features, like the touch controller, may not work properly or at all.

Google Chromebook vs. Gallium Chromebook

Chromebooks have been improving a lot over the years. They’re not just web browsers with keyboards anymore. Many Chromebooks can now run Linux programs via an included Crostini virtual machine container, and many can also run Android apps. (As long as it’s not enrolled in enterprise management: Be careful about buying refurbished Chromebooks.) Those additions can greatly improve the usefulness of Chromebooks and greatly reduces their limitations. A few months ago, I wrote that a $99 Chromebook with Gallium OS installed is so much better. That was just an editorial with a “how to” though and I didn’t provide any in-depth experimentation or proof, so that’s what we’re going to do in this article. I bought two refurbished $60 Lenovo N22 Chromebooks and installed Gallium OS on one of them while letting the other one update itself to the latest version of Chrome OS 80. This is after I got them un-enrolled from Google’s Enterprise Management of course. Read more

Canonical/Ubuntu: Snap Store, Center for Internet Security (CIS) and MAAS

  • An adventure through the Snap Store

    An application store with a large number of entries is a double-edged sword. It’s often a good sign of a vibrant, thriving community of software creators, developers and users working together. But then, people new to the ecosystem may struggle finding relevant content right away. The Snap Store currently offers about 7,000 applications, so exploration and discovery can take quite a bit of time and effort. We’d like to help you find useful, interesting applications by taking you on a little tour through the Snap Store.

  • CIS hardened Ubuntu: cyber attack and malware prevention for mission-critical systems

    The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a nonprofit organisation that uses a community-driven process to release benchmarks to safeguard enterprises against cyber attacks. It is one of the most recognised industry standards that provides comprehensive configuration checklists to identify and remediate security vulnerabilities in a computing environment. CIS benchmark has hundreds of configuration recommendations, so hardening a system manually can be very tedious. For large deployments and clouds that may not be practically viable. To drastically improve this process for enterprises, Canonical has made CIS automation tooling available to its Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure customers. The compliance tooling has two objectives: it lets our customers harden their Ubuntu systems effortlessly and then quickly audit those systems against the published CIS Ubuntu benchmarks. The SCAP content for audit tooling that scans the system for compliance is CIS certified.

  • Questioning the doc

    Here’s a VLOG about some changes we’re making to the MAAS documentation. It’s all about using questions at the top of articles to help direct attention. This idea grew out of our frustration over long pages with lots of complex information. We tried a top table of contents, but that looks weird and requires a lot of policing to keep up-to-date.