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Equinix/LinuxKit and Kernel Stuff: Privacy, Hardware Support, and Rust

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  • Equinix boosts Packet's Tinkerbell open source bare metal provisioning system

    The most important new component is Hook, an in-memory operating system installation environment developed within the community, based on Docker’s LinuxKit. Hook allows end-users to rebuild action images more quickly cutting build times from 45 minutes to 90 seconds. It also cuts memory footprint.

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  • The Linux Kernel & GNOME Desktop Preparing For Privacy Screen Support - Phoronix

    Over the past year there has been an uptick in Linux developers from different vendors working on laptop privacy screen support under Linux. When it comes to the support with newer Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, it looks like that kernel support could soon land and the GNOME desktop is already preparing to support this feature. 

    Select Lenovo laptops in recent years have offered a built-in "Privacy Guard ePrivacy Filter" for limiting the viewing angles of the laptop with a simple push of a button on the ThinkPad laptops. While the effectiveness of the "ePrivacy" feature is debatable in its current form and with the current work from home craze / limited travel making the feature less pressing at the moment, the Linux support is coming together. 

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  • Gigabyte Motherboard WMI Temperature Driver Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.13 - Phoronix

    Earlier this month I reported on a WMI temperature driver for Gigabyte motherboards being worked on by an independent developer. That "gigabyte-wmi" driver is now slated for inclusion in the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle. 

    This driver exposes the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) temperature sensors under Linux. When writing originally about this new driver it was only tested on a Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro WiFi motherboard but since then has been tested and confirmed to also be working on the likes of the Gigabyte's B550M DS3H, B550 Gaming X V2, and Z390 I Aorus Pro WiFi motherboards as well. 

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  • A New Gigabyte Motherboard WMI Temperature Driver Will Likely Arrive In Linux 5.13

    Linux users with newer Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards for AMD processors have to compile a out-of-tree version of the it87 to get hardware sensors and fan control working, and sensor support for the very newest motherboards is a shot in the dark even if you do that. That may change for Gigabyte-users with Linux 5.13 as a new, Gigabyte-specific WMI driver has been merged into the Linux kernels platform drivers git tree. It will likely be merged into Linux 5.13 when the merge window opens.

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  • Rust Support In The Linux Kernel Undergoing Another Round Of Discussions

    Last month the initial infrastructure for allowing the Rust programming language to be used within the Linux kernel landed in the Linux-Next tree for more widespread testing ahead of its possible inclusion in the mainline kernel. Now a "request for comments" has been started again on the kernel mailing list around the prospects of Rust code for the Linux kernel. 

    Kernel developer Miguel Ojeda started this latest "RFC" proposal on the Linux kernel mailing list. The lengthy mailing list post outlines the beliefs of the involved developers over adding Rust code to the kernel, the benefits like improved memory safety, and more. 

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  • Google Supports Getting Rust Into The Linux Kernel

    It should come as little surprise -- especially given the recent news of Google allowing Rust to be used for Android system-level code -- but engineers at the search giant are in support of Rust code being used within the mainline Linux kernel. 

    In addition to yesterday's Rust RFC for the Linux kernel and that discussion still taking place on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Google engineers on the Google Security Blog have penned their own piece on the matter. 

Microsofters pushing Linux to GitHub trap

  • Google backs effort to bring Rust to the Linux kernel

    After bringing support for the systems programming language Rust to Android, Google is now looking to bring it to the Linux kernel to reduce security flaws.

    As Google explained last month, Rust -- a language that emerged from Mozilla -- provides memory safety guarantees to the Android operating system, which has historically been written in C and C++. Google is targeting Rust at new Android code, rather than rewriting the millions of lines of existing code in Rust.

Google throws support behind bringing Rust to the Linux kernel

  • Google throws support behind bringing Rust to the Linux kernel

    After greenlighting plans to use the Rust programming language in Android’s low-level system-code, Google is now throwing its weight behind the move to allow Rust as a supported language for developing the Linux kernel.

    Google looks at Rust as a memory-safe language that it hopes will help curb the growing number of memory-based security vulnerabilities in the mobile operating system. It believes the Linux kernel should use Rust for the same reasons.

    “We feel that Rust is now ready to join C as a practical language for implementing the kernel. It can help us reduce the number of potential bugs and security vulnerabilities in privileged code while playing nicely with the core kernel and preserving its performance characteristics,” wrote Wedson Almeida Filho from Google's Android Team.

Google on Rust in the Linux kernel

  • Rust in the Linux kernel

    In our previous post, we announced that Android now supports the Rust programming language for developing the OS itself. Related to this, we are also participating in the effort to evaluate the use of Rust as a supported language for developing the Linux kernel. In this post, we discuss some technical aspects of this work using a few simple examples.

    C has been the language of choice for writing kernels for almost half a century because it offers the level of control and predictable performance required by such a critical component. Density of memory safety bugs in the Linux kernel is generally quite low due to high code quality, high standards of code review, and carefully implemented safeguards. However, memory safety bugs do still regularly occur. On Android, vulnerabilities in the kernel are generally considered high-severity because they can result in a security model bypass due to the privileged mode that the kernel runs in.

  • Rust in the Linux kernel (Google security blog)

    The Google security blog has a detailed article on what a device driver written in Rust looks like. "That is, we use Rust's ownership discipline when interacting with C code by handing the C portion ownership of a Rust object, allowing it to call functions implemented in Rust, then eventually giving ownership back.

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