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Syndicate content is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 2 days 5 min ago

[$] Moving physical pages from user space

Monday 18th of September 2023 03:10:51 PM
Processes in a Linux system run within their own virtual address spaces. Their virtual addresses map to physical pages provided by the hardware, but the kernel takes pains to hide the physical addresses of those pages; processes normally have no way of knowing (and no need to know) where their memory is located in physical memory. As a result, the system calls for memory management also deal in virtual addresses. Gregory Price is currently trying to create an exception to this rule with a proposal for a new system call that would operate on memory using physical addresses.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 18th of September 2023 07:14:01 AM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, libwebp, and thunderbird), Fedora (chromium, curl, flac, libtommath, libwebp, matrix-synapse, python-matrix-common, redis, and rust-pythonize), Gentoo (binwalk, ghostscript, python-requests, rar, samba, and wireshark), Oracle (.NET 6.0, kernel, and kernel-container), Slackware (python3), and SUSE (firefox).

Kernel prepatch 6.6-rc2

Monday 18th of September 2023 05:43:15 AM
The 6.6-rc2 kernel prepatch is out for testing.

I think the most notable thing about 6.6-rc2 is simply that it's exactly 32 years to the day since the 0.01 release. And that's a round number if you are a computer person.

Because other than the random date, I don't see anything that really stands out here.

The Debian Project mourns the loss of Abraham Raji

Friday 15th of September 2023 10:50:17 PM
The Debian project is mourning Abraham Raji, who died in an accident on September 13. Abraham was a popular and respected Debian Developer as well a prominent free software champion in his home state of Kerala, India. He was a talented graphic designer and led design and branding work for DebConf23 and several other local events in recent years. Abraham gave his time selflessly when mentoring new contributors to the Debian project, and he was instrumental in creating and maintaining the Debian India website.

The Debian Project honors his good work and strong dedication to Debian and Free Software. Abraham’s contributions will not be forgotten, and the high standards of his work will continue to serve as an inspiration to others.

[$] Shrinking shrinker locking overhead

Friday 15th of September 2023 02:51:21 PM
Much of the kernel's performance is dependent on caching — keeping useful information around for future use to avoid the cost of looking it up again. The kernel aggressively caches pages of file data, directory entries, inodes, slab objects, and much more. Without active measures, though, caches will tend to grow without bounds, leading to memory exhaustion. The kernel's "shrinker" mechanism exists to be that active measure, but shrinkers have some performance difficulties of their own. This patch series from Qi Zheng seeks to address one of the worst of those by removing some locking overhead.

Security updates for Friday

Friday 15th of September 2023 02:45:13 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (c-ares and samba), Fedora (borgbackup, firefox, and libwebp), Oracle (.NET 6.0 and kernel), Slackware (libwebp), SUSE (chromium and firefox), and Ubuntu (atftp, dbus, gawk, libssh2, libwebp, modsecurity-apache, and mutt).

PostgreSQL 16 released

Thursday 14th of September 2023 08:58:03 PM
Version 16 of the PostgreSQL database manager has been released.

PostgreSQL 16 contains many new features and enhancements, including:

  • Allow parallelization of FULL and internal right OUTER hash joins
  • Allow logical replication from standby servers
  • Allow logical replication subscribers to apply large transactions in parallel
  • Allow monitoring of I/O statistics using the new pg_stat_io view
  • Add SQL/JSON constructors and identity functions
  • Improve performance of vacuum freezing
  • Add support for regular expression matching of user and database names in pg_hba.conf, and user names in pg_ident.conf

Videos from FOSSY released (Software Freedom Conservancy)

Thursday 14th of September 2023 04:59:41 PM
The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has announced the availability of videos from the first-ever Free and Open Source Yearly (FOSSY) conference, which was held in July in Portland, Oregon in the US. During the four days of the conference, there were a wide variety of talks from speakers with a range of experience and backgrounds, and amazing community focused discussions. Featuring wide ranging topics such as a panel discussion about software coops, what is life like without a smartphone (where the picture on the right is from), and thinking about FOSS from a systems theory perspective. Our track organizers brought together communities from all over, and led by example choosing speakers, topics and setting up panels for important conversations. There is definitely a talk that will interest you, whether you are interested in nonprofit board structure, an introduction to Reproducible Builds or maybe you are looking to have more nature adventures with free software.

[$] Why glibc's fstat() is slow

Thursday 14th of September 2023 04:29:36 PM
The fstat() system call retrieves some of the metadata — owner, size, protections, timestamps, and so on — associated with an open file descriptor. One might not think of it as a performance-critical system call, but there are workloads that make a lot of fstat() calls; it is not something that should be slowed unnecessarily. As it turns out, though, the GNU C Library (glibc) has been doing exactly that, but a fix is in the works.

Security updates for Thursday

Thursday 14th of September 2023 02:05:15 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, libwebp, ruby-loofah, and ruby-rails-html-sanitizer), Fedora (open-vm-tools and salt), Oracle (.NET 7.0, dmidecode, flac, gcc, httpd:2.4, keylime, libcap, librsvg2, and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (.NET 6.0 and .NET 7.0), Slackware (libarchive and mozilla), SUSE (chromium and kernel), and Ubuntu (curl, firefox, ghostscript, open-vm-tools, postgresql-9.5, and thunderbird).

[$] Weekly Edition for September 14, 2023

Thursday 14th of September 2023 12:59:40 AM
The Weekly Edition for September 14, 2023 is available.

[$] The bogus CVE problem

Wednesday 13th of September 2023 08:46:31 PM
The "Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures" (CVE) system was launched late in the previous century (September 1999) to track vulnerabilities in software. Over the years since, it has had a somewhat checkered reputation, along with some some attempts to replace it, but CVE numbers are still the only effective way to track vulnerabilities. While that can certainly be useful, the CVE-assignment (and severity scoring) process is not without its problems. The prominence of CVE numbers, and the consequent increase in "reputation" for a reporter, have combined to create a system that can be—and is—actively gamed. Meanwhile, the organizations that oversee the system are ultimately not doing a particularly stellar job.

Stable kernels 6.5.3, 6.4.16, and 6.1.53

Wednesday 13th of September 2023 11:33:35 AM
The 6.5.3, 6.4.16, and 6.1.53 stable kernel updates have been released; each contains a large number of important fixes. Note that the 6.4.x line ends with 6.4.16.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wednesday 13th of September 2023 11:30:51 AM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (e2guardian), Fedora (libeconf), Red Hat (dmidecode, kernel, kernel-rt, keylime, kpatch-patch, libcap, librsvg2, linux-firmware, and qemu-kvm), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (chromium and shadow), and Ubuntu (cups, dotnet6, dotnet7, file, flac, and ruby-redcloth).

A GCC -fstack-protector vulnerability on arm64

Tuesday 12th of September 2023 09:18:11 PM
The GCC stack-protector feature detects stack-based buffer overruns by putting a canary value on the stack and noticing if that value is changed. It turns out, though, that dynamically allocated local variables (such as variable-length arrays and space obtained with alloca()) are placed beyond the canary, so overflows of those variables will not be detected. As a result, arm64 binaries built with vulnerable versions of GCC are not as protected as they should be and need to be rebuilt.

Dynamic allocations are just as susceptible to overflows as other locals. In fact, they're arguably more susceptible because they're almost always arrays, whereas fixed locals are often integers, pointers, or other types to which variable-length data is never written. GCC's own heuristics for when to use a stack guard reflect this.

Kees Cook, meanwhile, has pointed out that the kernel no longer uses variable-length arrays, so kernel builds should not be affected by this vulnerability.

[$] Arduino: open source for microcontroller boards

Tuesday 12th of September 2023 08:27:49 PM
Arduino has emerged as one of the prime success stories of the open-hardware movement. In recent years, the company has shifted its focus toward Internet of Things (IoT) applications. As part of this transformation, it has completely redesigned its open-source integrated development environment (IDE), adding a more professional feature set for its hobbyist target audience. If you have experimented with Arduino in the past, but have lost track of its progress, now might be a good time to give it another try.

Password-stealing Linux malware served for 3 years and no one noticed (Ars Technica)

Tuesday 12th of September 2023 08:26:30 PM
Ars Technica reports on a credential-stealing Trojan horse that would infect only some of those who installed the "Free Download Manager". The article is based on a Kaspersky report that details the malicious payload offered up at that site from 2020 to 2022. The site, freedownloadmanager[.]org, offered a benign version of a Linux offering known as the Free Download Manager. Starting in 2020, the same domain at times redirected users to the domain deb.fdmpkg[.]org, which served a malicious version of the app. The version available on the malicious domain contained a script that downloaded two executable files to the /var/tmp/crond and /var/tmp/bs file paths. The script then used the cron job scheduler to cause the file at /var/tmp/crond to launch every 10 minutes. With that, devices that had installed the booby-trapped version of Free Download Manager were permanently backdoored.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 12th of September 2023 12:23:00 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (node-cookiejar and orthanc), Oracle (firefox, kernel, and kernel-container), Red Hat (flac and httpd:2.4), Slackware (vim), SUSE (python-Django, terraform-provider-aws, terraform-provider-helm, and terraform-provider-null), and Ubuntu (c-ares, curl, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.15, linux-azure-fde, linux-azure-fde-5.15, linux-raspi, and linux-ibm, linux-ibm-5.4).

[$] The rest of the 6.6 merge window

Monday 11th of September 2023 02:24:45 PM
Linus Torvalds released 6.6-rc1 and closed the 6.6 merge window on September 10. At that point, 12,230 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository, which is exactly 500 more than were pulled for 6.5 at this stage in the cycle. Over 7,000 of those changes were pulled after our first-half summary was written; they brought a fair amount of new functionality with them. Read on for an overview of those changes.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 11th of September 2023 01:56:30 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (frr, kernel, libraw, mutt, and open-vm-tools), Fedora (cjose, pypy, vim, wireshark, and xrdp), Gentoo (apache), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, clamav, ghostscript, librsvg, libtiff, openssl, poppler, postgresql, python-pypdf2, and unrar), Red Hat (flac), SUSE (firefox, geoipupdate, icu73_2, libssh2_org, rekor, skopeo, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-xilinx-zynqmp, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-6.2, linux-ibm, linux-oracle, linux-starfive, linux-gcp-5.15, linux-gkeop-5.15, and opendmarc).

More in Tux Machines

digiKam 7.7.0 is released

After three months of active maintenance and another bug triage, the digiKam team is proud to present version 7.7.0 of its open source digital photo manager. See below the list of most important features coming with this release. Read more

Dilution and Misuse of the "Linux" Brand

Samsung, Red Hat to Work on Linux Drivers for Future Tech

The metaverse is expected to uproot system design as we know it, and Samsung is one of many hardware vendors re-imagining data center infrastructure in preparation for a parallel 3D world. Samsung is working on new memory technologies that provide faster bandwidth inside hardware for data to travel between CPUs, storage and other computing resources. The company also announced it was partnering with Red Hat to ensure these technologies have Linux compatibility. Read more

today's howtos

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  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
  • Self-host a Ghost Blog With Traefik

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