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[$] The kernel developer panel at LPC
[Kernel] Posted Nov 19, 2018 17:36 UTC (Mon) by corbet

The closing event at the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) was a panel of kernel developers. The participants were Laura Abbott, Anna-Maria Gleixner, Shuah Khan, Julia Lawall, and Anna Schumaker; moderation was provided by Kate Stewart. This fast-moving discussion covered the challenges of kernel development, hardware vulnerabilities, scaling the kernel, and more.

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Security updates for Monday
[Security] Posted Nov 19, 2018 15:37 UTC (Mon) by ris

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (grafana and patch), Debian (chromium-browser), Fedora (cabextract, curl, elfutils, firefox, flatpak, glusterfs, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, kio-extras, libmspack, mariadb, mupdf, poppler, suricata, and wireshark), Mageia (hylafax+, jhead, libmspack/cabextract, nginx, sdl2/mingw-SDL2, and squid), openSUSE (amanda, apache-pdfbox, chromium, ImageMagick, LibreOffice and dependency libraries, libxkbcommon, openssh, systemd, and xorg-x11-server), and SUSE (ImageMagick, openssh, squid, and squid3).

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[$] Bringing the Android kernel back to the mainline
[Kernel] Posted Nov 15, 2018 20:17 UTC (Thu) by corbet

Android devices are based on the Linux kernel but, since the beginning, those devices have not run mainline kernels. The amount of out-of-tree code shipped on those devices has been seen as a problem for most of this time, and significant resources have been dedicated to reducing it. At the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference, Sandeep Patil talked about this problem and what is being done to address it. The dream of running mainline kernels on Android devices has not yet been achieved, but it may be closer than many people think.

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Kernel prepatch 4.20-rc3
[Kernel] Posted Nov 19, 2018 14:38 UTC (Mon) by corbet

The 4.20-rc3 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "The changes in rc3 are pretty tiny, which means that the statistics look slightly different from the usual ones - drivers only account for less than a third of the patch, for example."

Comments (none posted)

[$] Weekly Edition for November 15, 2018
Posted Nov 15, 2018 1:21 UTC (Thu)

The Weekly Edition for November 15, 2018 is available.

Inside this week's Weekly Edition

  • Front: System-call wrappers; Debian and librsvg; ktask; Device-tree schemas; Automated Testing Summit; iwd.
  • Briefs: PostgreSQL security releases; Kernel pull-request bot; TAB election results; Quotes; ...
  • Announcements: Newsletters; events; security updates; kernel patches; ...
Read more

Security updates for Friday
[Security] Posted Nov 16, 2018 15:52 UTC (Fri) by ris

Security updates have been issued by Fedora (lldpad, pdns, and php), Mageia (flash-player-plugin, gdal, mutt, patch, php-pear-CAS, postgresql9.4|6, ruby-rack, and teeworlds), SUSE (kernel-rt, postgresql10, and squid), and Ubuntu (openjdk-7).

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[$] A report from the Automated Testing Summit
[Development] Posted Nov 14, 2018 22:21 UTC (Wed) by jake

In the first session of the Testing & Fuzzing microconference at the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), Kevin Hilman gave a report on the recently held Automated Testing Summit (ATS). Since the summit was an invitation-only gathering of 35 people, there were many at LPC who were not at ATS but had a keen interest in what was discussed. The summit came out of a realization that there is a lot of kernel testing going on in various places, but not a lot of collaboration between those efforts, Hilman said.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta
[Distributions] Posted Nov 15, 2018 18:44 UTC (Thu) by ris

Red Hat has announced the release of RHEL 8 Beta. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta introduces the concept of Application Streams to deliver userspace packages more simply and with greater flexibility. Userspace components can now update more quickly than core operating system packages and without having to wait for the next major version of the operating system. Multiple versions of the same package, for example, an interpreted language or a database, can also be made available for installation via an application stream. This helps to deliver greater agility and user-customized versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux without impacting the underlying stability of the platform or specific deployments."

Comments (55 posted)

[$] Device-tree schemas
[Kernel] Posted Nov 14, 2018 18:56 UTC (Wed) by corbet

Device trees have become ubiquitous in recent years as a way of describing the hardware layout of non-discoverable systems, such as many ARM-based devices. The device-tree bindings define how a particular piece of hardware is described in a device tree. Drivers then implement those bindings. The device-tree documentation shows how to use the bindings to describe systems: which properties are available and which values they may have. In theory, the bindings, drivers and documentation should be consistent with each other. In practice, they are often not consistent and, even when they are, using those bindings correctly in actual device trees is not a trivial task. As a result, developers have been considering formal validation for device-tree files for years. Recently, Rob Herring proposed a move to a more structured documentation format for device-tree bindings using JSON Schema to allow automated validation.

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Security updates for Thursday
[Security] Posted Nov 15, 2018 15:59 UTC (Thu) by ris

Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kde-connect, mingw-SDL2_image, SDL2_image, and subscription-manager), Red Hat (flash-plugin), SUSE (openssh-openssl1, systemd, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-azure, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, postgresql-10, and python2.7).

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[$] Debian, Rust, and librsvg
[Distributions] Posted Nov 14, 2018 0:46 UTC (Wed) by jake

Debian supports many architectures and, even for those it does not officially support, there are Debian ports that try to fill in the gap. For most user applications, it is mostly a matter of getting GCC up and running for the architecture in question, then building all of the different packages that Debian provides. But for packages that need to be built with LLVM—applications or libraries that use Rust, for example—that simple recipe becomes more complicated. How much the lack of Rust support for an unofficial architecture should hold back the rest of the distribution was the subject of a somewhat acrimonious discussion recently.

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Results: Linux Foundation Technical Board Election 2018
[Kernel] Posted Nov 14, 2018 17:02 UTC (Wed) by corbet

The results of the 2018 election for members of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board have been posted; the members elected this time around are Chris Mason, Laura Abbott, Olof Johansson, Dan Williams, and Kees Cook. Abbott and Cook are new members to the board this time around. (The other TAB members are Ted Ts'o, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Jonathan Corbet, Tim Bird, and Steve Rostedt).

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[$] C library system-call wrappers, or the lack thereof
[Kernel] Posted Nov 12, 2018 23:01 UTC (Mon) by corbet

User-space developers may be accustomed to thinking of system calls as direct calls into the kernel. Indeed, the first edition of The C Programming Language described read() and write() as "a direct entry into the operating system". In truth, user-level "system calls" are just functions in the C library like any other. But what happens when the developers of the C library refuse to provide access to system calls they don't like? The result is an ongoing conflict that has recently flared up again; it shows some of the difficulties that can arise when the system as a whole has no ultimate designer and the developers are not talking to each other.

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Stable kernel updates
[Kernel] Posted Nov 14, 2018 16:12 UTC (Wed) by ris

Stable kernels 4.19.2, 4.18.19, 4.14.81, and 4.9.137 have been released. They all contain a relatively large set of important fixes and users should upgrade.

Comments (none posted)

[$] ktask: optimizing CPU-intensive kernel work
[Kernel] Posted Nov 9, 2018 16:21 UTC (Fri) by corbet

As a general rule, the kernel is supposed to use the least amount of CPU time possible; any time taken by the kernel is not available for the applications the user actually wants to run. As a result, not a lot of thought has gone into optimizing the execution of kernel-side work requiring large amounts of CPU. But the kernel does occasionally have to take on CPU-intensive tasks, such as the initialization of the large amounts of memory found on current systems. The ktask subsystem posted by Daniel Jordan is an attempt to improve how the kernel handles such jobs.

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Security updates for Wednesday
[Security] Posted Nov 14, 2018 16:03 UTC (Wed) by ris

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (powerdns and powerdns-recursor), Debian (ceph and spamassassin), Fedora (feh, flatpak, and xen), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, openstack-cinder, python-cryptography, and Red Hat Single Sign-On 7.2.5), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.4, python3.5).

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[$] iwd: simplifying WiFi management
[Development] Posted Nov 8, 2018 16:57 UTC (Thu) by corbet

It has been nearly 13 years since Jeff Garzik proclaimed that Linux was "proving its superiority in the area of crappy wireless (WiFi) support". Happily, the situation has improved somewhat since then, but that doesn't mean that things can't get better yet. During the Embedded Linux Conference portion of the 2018 Open Source Summit Europe, Marcel Holtmann described the work being done to create iwd, a new system for configuring and managing WiFi connections. If this project has its way, future users will have little room for complaint about how WiFi works on Linux systems.

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Security updates for Tuesday
[Security] Posted Nov 13, 2018 15:43 UTC (Tue) by ris

Security updates have been issued by Debian (firmware-nonfree and imagemagick), Fedora (cabextract, icecast, and libmspack), openSUSE (icecast), Red Hat (httpd24), Slackware (libtiff), SUSE (apache-pdfbox, firefox, ImageMagick, and kernel), and Ubuntu (clamav, spamassassin, and systemd).

Full Story (comments: none) Weekly Edition for November 8, 2018
Posted Nov 8, 2018 0:34 UTC (Thu)

The Weekly Edition for November 8, 2018 is available.

Inside this week's Weekly Edition

  • Front: The open-source license commons; Glibc manual; Zinc; 4.20 part 2; Package installation in Debian; SpamAssassin.
  • Briefs: Linux 4.20-rc1; ChRIS project; Zink; Quotes; ...
  • Announcements: Newsletters; events; security updates; kernel patches; ...
Read more

Security updates for Monday
[Security] Posted Nov 12, 2018 16:15 UTC (Mon) by ris

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (curl, lib32-curl, lib32-libcurl-compat, lib32-libcurl-gnutls, libcurl-compat, libcurl-gnutls, systemd, and thunderbird), Debian (ansible, ghostscript, qemu, thunderbird, and xen), Fedora (community-mysql, gettext, links, mysql-connector-java, xen, and zchunk), Gentoo (icecast, libde265, okular, pango, and PHProjekt), Mageia (ansible, audiofile, iniparser, libtiff, mercurial, opencc, and python-dulwich), openSUSE (accountsservice, apache2, audiofile, curl, libarchive, ntfs-3g_ntfsprogs, opensc, python, python-base, qemu, soundtouch, and systemd), Oracle (git, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, python-paramiko, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Red Hat (rh-git29-git), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (gettext and libmspack).

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