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Kernel: RISC-V, Dbus-Broker and More

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  • Why RISC-V doesn't (yet) support KVM

    The RISC-V CPU architecture has been gaining prominence for some years; its relatively open nature makes it an attractive platform on which a number of companies have built products. Linux supports RISC-V well, but there is one gaping hole: there is no support for virtualization with KVM, despite the fact that a high-quality implementation exists. A recent attempt to add that support is shining some light on a part of the ecosystem that, it seems, does not work quite as well as one would like.

    Linux supports a number of virtualization mechanisms, but KVM is generally seen as the native solution. It provides a standard interface across systems, but much of KVM is necessarily architecture-specific, since the mechanisms for supporting virtualization vary from one processor to the next. Thus, architectures that support KVM generally have a kvm directory nestled in with the rest of the architecture-specific code.

    Given that, some eyebrows were raised when Anup Patel's patch series adding RISC-V KVM support deposited the architecture-specific code into the staging directory instead. Staging is normally used for device drivers that do not meet the kernel's standards for code quality; if all goes well they are improved and eventually "graduate" out of the staging directory. It is not usually a place for architecture support. So staging maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman was quick to ask why things were being done that way.

  • Control-flow integrity in 5.13

    Among the many changes merged for the 5.13 kernel is support for the LLVM control-flow integrity (CFI) mechanism. CFI defends against exploits by ensuring that indirect function calls have not been redirected by an attacker. Quite a bit of work was needed to make this feature work well for the kernel, but the result appears to be production-ready and able to defend Linux systems from a range of attacks.

  • Multi-generational LRU: the next generation

    The multi-generational LRU patch set is a significant reworking of the kernel's memory-management subsystem that promises better performance for a number of workloads; it was covered here in April. Since then, two new versions of that work have been released by developer Yu Zhao, with version 3 being posted on May 20. Some significant changes have been made since the original post, so another look is in order.

    As a quick refresher: current kernels maintain two least-recently-used (LRU) lists to track pages of memory, called the "active" and "inactive" lists. The former contains pages thought to be in active use, while the latter holds pages that are thought to be unused and available to be reclaimed for other uses; a fair amount of effort goes into deciding when to move pages between the two lists. The multi-generational LRU generalizes that concept into multiple generations, allowing pages to be in a state between "likely to be active" and "likely to be unused". Pages move from older to newer generations when they are accessed; when memory is needed pages are reclaimed from the oldest generation. Generations age over time, with new generations being created as the oldest ones are fully reclaimed.

  • Dbus-Broker 29 Released, Says Goodbye To Some Older Kernel Support - Phoronix

    Dbus-Broker 29 was released on Wednesday as the latest version of this high-performance Linux message broker that retains compatibility with the original D-Bus implementation.

    With BUS1 still appearing not any closer to being mainlined for in-kernel IPC following the failed KDBUS work, Dbus-Broker remains the most performant D-Bus solution available for now.

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today's howtos

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    In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to install go on Ubuntu 22.04 Golang is an open-source programming language that is easy to learn and use. It is built-in concurrency and has a robust standard library. It is reliable, builds fast, and efficient software that scales fast. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel-type systems enable flexible and modular program constructions. Go compiles quickly to machine code and has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. In this guide, we are going to learn how to install golang 1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04. Go 1.19beta1 is not yet released. There is so much work in progress with all the documentation.

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  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
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