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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: 52 min 55 sec ago

Bringing Leap and SUSE Linux Enterprise closer together - a proposal

3 hours 56 min ago
The openSUSE Leap distribution is a community effort built on top of a set of stable packages from the SUSE Linux Enterprise offering. SUSE is now floating a proposal to unify the work of building those two distributions; click below for the details or see the "closing the Leap gap" FAQ, which summarizes things this way: "Today, SUSE is also offering the pre-built binaries from SLE in addition to the sources, to increase compatibility and to leverage synergies." The intended advantages (or "leveraged synergies") seem to be reducing the effort required to create Leap and making it easier to migrate a system between the two distributions.

The growing disconnect between KDE and the Qt Company

5 hours 33 min ago
Here's a message posted by Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer to the kde-community mailing list detailing the current state of discussions between the KDE community, the Qt development project, and the Qt Company. It seems they are not going entirely well. "But last week, the company suddenly informed both the KDE e.V. board and the KDE Free QT Foundation that the economic outlook caused by the Corona virus puts more pressure on them to increase short-term revenue. As a result, they are thinking about restricting ALL Qt releases to paid license holders for the first 12 months. They are aware that this would mean the end of contributions via Open Governance in practice."

There is a response from the Qt Company that doesn't add a whole lot.

Security updates for Thursday

5 hours 41 min ago
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, ipmitool, krb5-appl, and telnet), Debian (ceph and firefox-esr), Mageia (firefox), openSUSE (bluez and exiv2), Red Hat (firefox), SUSE (ceph, libssh, mgetty, permissions, python-PyYAML, rubygem-actionview-4_2, and vino), and Ubuntu (libiberty and libssh).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 9, 2020

Thursday 9th of April 2020 12:04:53 AM
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 9, 2020 is available.

Stable kernel updates

Wednesday 8th of April 2020 03:22:30 PM
Stable kernels 5.6.3, 5.5.16, and 5.4.31 have been released. As usual, they all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 8th of April 2020 02:58:32 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (firefox), Debian (chromium and firefox-esr), Oracle (ipmitool and telnet), Red Hat (firefox and qemu-kvm), Scientific Linux (firefox, krb5-appl, and qemu-kvm), Slackware (firefox), SUSE (gmp, gnutls, libnettle and runc), and Ubuntu (firefox, gnutls28, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-4.15, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1, linux-oracle-5.0).

[$] Concurrency bugs should fear the big bad data-race detector (part 1)

Wednesday 8th of April 2020 02:06:02 PM
The first installment of the "big bad" series described how a compiler can optimize your concurrent program into oblivion, while the second installment introduced a tool to analyze small litmus tests for such problems. Those two articles can be especially helpful for training, design discussions, and checking small samples of code. Although such automated training and design tools are welcome, automated code inspection that could locate even one class of concurrency bugs would be even better. In this two-part article, we look at a tool to do that kind of analysis.

[$] VMX virtualization runs afoul of split-lock detection

Tuesday 7th of April 2020 07:53:41 PM
One of the many features merged for the 5.7 kernel is split-lock detection for the x86 architecture. This feature has encountered a fair amount of controversy over the course of its development, with the result that the time between its initial posting and appearance in a released kernel will end up being over two years. As it happens, there is another hurdle for split-lock detection even after its merging into the mainline; this feature threatens to create problems for a number of virtualization solutions, and it's not clear what the solution would be.

Firefox 75.0

Tuesday 7th of April 2020 03:43:40 PM
Firefox 75.0 has been released. New features include improvements to the address bar, making search easier, all trusted Web PKI Certificate Authority certificates known to Mozilla will be cached locally, and Firefox is available as a Flatpak. See the release notes for more details.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 7th of April 2020 02:40:26 PM
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, and kernel-tools), openSUSE (glibc and qemu), Red Hat (chromium-browser, container-tools:1.0, container-tools:rhel8, firefox, ipmitool, kernel, kernel-rt, krb5-appl, ksh, nodejs:10, nss-softokn, python, qemu-kvm, qemu-kvm-ma, telnet, and virt:rhel), Scientific Linux (ipmitool and telnet), SUSE (ceph and firefox), and Ubuntu (haproxy, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.3, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux, linux-hwe).

[$] A full task-isolation mode for the kernel

Monday 6th of April 2020 03:13:07 PM
Some applications require guaranteed access to the CPU without even brief interruptions; realtime systems and high-bandwidth networking applications with user-space drivers can fall into the category. While Linux provides some support for CPU isolation (moving everything but the critical task off of one or more CPUs) now, it is an imperfect solution that is still subject to some interruptions. Work has been continuing in the community to improve the kernel's CPU-isolation capabilities, notably with improvements in the nohz (tickless) mode, but it is not finished yet. Recently, Alex Belits submitted a patch set (based on work by Chris Metcalf in 2015) that introduces a completely predictable environment for Linux applications — as long as they do not need any kernel services.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 6th of April 2020 02:44:34 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, gnutls28, and libmtp), Fedora (cyrus-sasl, firefox, glibc, squid, and telnet), Gentoo (firefox), Mageia (dcraw, firefox, kernel, kernel-linus, librsvg, and python-nltk), openSUSE (firefox, haproxy, icu, and spamassassin), Red Hat (nodejs:10, openstack-manila, python-django, python-XStatic-jQuery, and telnet), Slackware (firefox), SUSE (bluez, exiv2, and libxslt), and Ubuntu (firefox).

Firefox 74.0.1

Friday 3rd of April 2020 09:23:08 PM
Firefox 74.0.1 has been released with two security fixes. CVE-2020-6819 is a use-after-free when running the nsDocShell destructor and CVE-2020-6820 is a use-after-free when handling a ReadableStream. In both cases there have been targeted attacks in the wild abusing these flaws. These issues have also been fixed in Firefox ESR 68.6.1.

[$] 5.7 Merge window part 1

Friday 3rd of April 2020 02:54:17 PM
As of this writing, 7,233 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.7 kernel development cycle — over the course of about three days. If current world conditions are slowing down kernel development, it would seem that the results are not yet apparent at this level. As usual, these changesets bring no end of fixes, improvements, and new features; read on for a summary of what the first part of the 5.7 merge window has brought in.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 3rd of April 2020 02:35:44 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (mediawiki and qbittorrent), Gentoo (gnutls), Mageia (bluez, kernel, python-yaml, varnish, and weechat), Oracle (haproxy and nodejs:12), SUSE (exiv2, haproxy, libpng12, mgetty, and python3), and Ubuntu (libgd2).

Six more stable kernels

Thursday 2nd of April 2020 08:38:34 PM
Stable kernels 5.5.15, 5.4.30, 4.19.114, 4.14.175, 4.9.218, and 4.4.218 have been released. They all contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

[$] Frequency-invariant utilization tracking for x86

Thursday 2nd of April 2020 03:45:25 PM
The kernel provides a number of CPU-frequency governors to choose from; by most accounts, the most effective of those is "schedutil", which was merged for the 4.7 kernel in 2016. While schedutil is used on mobile devices, it still doesn't see much use on x86 desktops; the intel_pstate governor is generally seen giving better results on those processors as a result of the secret knowledge embodied therein. A set of patches merged for 5.7, though, gives schedutil a better idea of what the true utilization of x86 processors is and, as a result, greatly improves its effectiveness.

Stable kernel 5.6.2

Thursday 2nd of April 2020 03:23:40 PM
The 5.6.2 stable kernel has been released with some important fixes, including one for the 5.6 wireless regression. Users should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 2nd of April 2020 02:55:06 PM
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, kernel, linux-hardened, linux-lts, and pam-krb5), Debian (haproxy, libplist, and python-bleach), Fedora (tomcat), Gentoo (ghostscript-gpl, haproxy, ledger, qtwebengine, and virtualbox), Red Hat (haproxy, nodejs:12, qemu-kvm-rhev, and rh-haproxy18-haproxy), SUSE (memcached and qemu), and Ubuntu (apport).

LineageOS 17.1 released

Thursday 2nd of April 2020 02:21:20 PM
LineageOS 17.1 is out. This release of the Android-based distribution once known as CyanogenMod includes a rebase onto the Android 10 release of the Android Open Source Project, improved theme support, support for on-screen fingerprint sensors, the ability to use biometric sensors to control access to apps, and more. "On the whole, we feel that the 17.1 branch has reached feature and stability parity with 16.0 and is ready for initial release. With 17.1 being the most recent and most actively developed branch, on April 1st, 2020 it will begin receiving nightly builds and 16.0 will be moved to weekly builds."

More in Tux Machines

Programming an Tutorials: LaTeX, SQL, Python, Rust and More

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn LaTeX

    LaTeX is a professional document preparation system and document markup language written by Leslie Lamport. It’s a very mature system with development starting more than 30 years ago. LaTeX is widely used in the publication of scientific documents in many disciplines, such as mathematics, statistics, physics, economics, political science. It helps an author produce professional looking documents, papers, and books that are perfectly typeset. The formatted works are consistent, accurate, and reusable. It’s particularly suited to the production of long articles and books, as it has facilities for the automatic numbering of chapters, sections, theorems, equations etc., and also has facilities for cross-referencing. LaTeX is not a WYSIWYG system. LaTeX uses the TeX typesetting program for formatting its output. LaTeX is a set of macros for TeX that aims to help the user concentrate on the content, rather than the formatting. Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn LaTeX. If you’re looking for free LaTeX programming books, check here.

  • The 20 Best SQL Books for Beginner and Professional

    SQL is one of the widely used languages in this modern world. To deal with Relational databases, SQL is very necessary. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It allows a user to insert, update, search, and delete database records. SQL itself isn’t a programming language. However, its standard permits making procedural augmentations for it, which extends it to the usefulness of a develop programming language. Thus, it has become quite essential to own some proper SQL books for learning this language.

  • Tangling multiple files

    I have lately been using org-mode literate programming to generate example code and beamer slides from the same source. I hit a wall trying to re-use functions in multiple files, so I came up with the following hack. Thanks 'ngz' on #emacs and Charles Berry on the org-mode list for suggestions and discussion.

  • PyCharm 2020.1 Out Now

    Rebase your branch with ease, debug smarter, and use a font designed for programming. Download the new version now, or upgrade from within your IDE.

  • How to Provide Test Fixtures for Django Models in Pytest

    If you’re working in Django, pytest fixtures can help you create tests for your models that are uncomplicated to maintain. Writing good tests is a crucial step in sustaining a successful app, and fixtures are a key ingredient in making your test suite efficient and effective. Fixtures are little pieces of data that serve as the baseline for your tests. As your test scenarios change, it can be a pain to add, modify, and maintain your fixtures. But don’t worry. This tutorial will show you how to use the pytest-django plugin to make writing new test cases and fixtures a breeze.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 333

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WWW: Brave, Mozilla and WebAssembly

  • Saving your battery as well as your privacy? New Brave for Android claims 5% power reduction

    Brave has updated its Android web browser and claims a 5 per cent battery saving versus the previous release. The new release is version 1.5.120, already available in the Play Store, which has been "completely rebuilt over the past few months", according to the company. Brave also said the code repository is now shared between the mobile and desktop versions, a unified codebase that will enable "easier implementations of features". Brave continues to be based on the Google-sponsored Chromium project.

  • Mozilla installs Scheduled Telemetry Task on Windows with Firefox 75
  • The Talospace Project: Firefox 75 on POWER

    Firefox 75 seems to build uneventfully on this Raptor Talos II and as always this post is being typed in the new version. I'm not particularly enamoured of the zooming address bar and I'm sure you won't be able to turn it off eventually, but for now you can. A number of the developer-facing features are quite compelling, though. In addition, if you're on Wayland (Xorg forever), Firefox on Wayland now has H.264 VA-API and full WebGL support; I don't know how well these work on Wayland on ppc64le and I'm not going to be the one to tell you, but I'm sure some of you folks will try.

  • We could all do with a bit of empathy in our systems, says Mozilla as it ships Firefox 75 in the thick of global pandemic

    Mozilla has squeezed out version 75 of the Firefox browser, crediting "empathy" in its systems for an ability to continue emissions even as Microsoft and Google hit the pause button on their Chromium-based apps. The release came hot on the heels of fixes aimed at plugging holes in both version 74 and the Extended Support Release (ESR) of Firefox. Version 75 of the newly third-placed browser (depending how you take your market-share statistics) includes some significant search improvements, with results arising from searches in the address bar featuring popular keywords in a bold font. The address bar itself also enlarges when the user opts to do a search, replete with a larger font. As well as the cosmetics (some of which bring Firefox more into line with the competition and also aligns the Linux version with other desktop incarnations), Direct Composition is being integrated for Firefox on Windows to speed things along and some Penguinistas will be delighted to find the thing available in Flatpak.

  • Andy Wingo: multi-value webassembly in firefox: a binary interface

    Hey hey hey! Hope everyone is staying safe at home in these weird times. Today I have a final dispatch on the implementation of the multi-value feature for WebAssembly in Firefox. Last week I wrote about multi-value in blocks; this week I cover function calls. on the boundaries between things In my article on Firefox's baseline compiler, I mentioned that all WebAssembly engines in web browsers treat the function as the unit of compilation. This facilitates streaming, parallel compilation of WebAssembly modules, by farming out compilation of individual functions to worker threads. It also allows for easy tier-up from quick-and-dirty code generated by the low-latency baseline compiler to the faster code produced by the optimizing compiler. There are some interesting Conway's Law implications of this choice. One is that division of compilation tasks becomes an opportunity for division of human labor; there is a whole team working on the experimental Cranelift compiler that could replace the optimizing tier, and in my hackings on Firefox I have had minimal interaction with them. To my detriment, of course; they are fine people doing interesting things. But the code boundary means that we don't need to communicate as we work on different parts of the same system.

Qt and Free Software Contention

  • The growing disconnect between KDE and the Qt Company

    Here's a message posted by Olaf Schmidt-Wischhöfer to the kde-community mailing list detailing the current state of discussions between the KDE community, the Qt development project, and the Qt Company. It seems they are not going entirely well. "But last week, the company suddenly informed both the KDE e.V. board and the KDE Free QT Foundation that the economic outlook caused by the Corona virus puts more pressure on them to increase short-term revenue. As a result, they are thinking about restricting ALL Qt releases to paid license holders for the first 12 months. They are aware that this would mean the end of contributions via Open Governance in practice."

  • Qt and Open Source

    There have been discussions on various internet forums about the future of Qt open source in the last two days. The contents do not reflect the views or plans of The Qt Company. The Qt Company is proud to be committed to its customers, open source, and the Qt governance model.

  • The Qt Company Provides A Brief Comment On Open-Source

    Yesterday a KDE developer who serves on the board of the KDE Free Qt Foundation commented that The Qt Company is evaluating restricting new releases to paying customers for 12 months. That was said to be under consideration due to COVID19 / coronavirus impacting their finances and needing to boost short-term revenues. The Qt Company has now come out with an incredibly brief statement on the matter. Obviously many are concerned that The Qt Company could be erecting a wall around new Qt releases with this possible year delay before going out cleanly as open-source. This comes months after The Qt Company already shifted to make Qt LTS releases customer-only, among other steps to boost their commercial business at the beginning of the year.

ReactOS 0.4.13 Released With Fixes For USB Storage, Less Blue Screens of Death

ReactOS 0.4.13 is out today as the newest feature update to this open-source operating system project continuing to strive for binary software compatibility with Microsoft Windows. ReactOS 0.4.13 is shipping with various improvements around USB storage, various boot issues and handling around their Live CD, various hardware improvements such as for HP laptops and separately for AMD SB600 chipsets, different Blue Screen of Death issues have been resolved, and a wide range of fixes. Read more