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LWN on Fedora 36 and Kernel Stats

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Red Hat
  • Adding package information to ELF objects

    While it is often relatively straightforward to determine what package provided a binary that is misbehaving—crashing for instance—on Fedora and other Linux distributions, there are situations where it may be harder to do so. A feature recently proposed for Fedora 36—currently scheduled for the end of April 2022—would embed information into the binaries themselves to show where they came from. It is part of a multi-distribution effort to standardize how this information is stored in the binaries (and the libraries they use) to assist crash-reporting and other tools.

    On October 25, Fedora program manager Ben Cotton posted the proposal to the Fedora devel mailing list; it is also available on the wiki. The basic idea is that each ELF object that gets created for an RPM package will get a .note.package ELF section added to it. That section will contain a JSON-formatted description of exactly which RPM it was distributed with. So those binaries will contain information that can tie them directly to the package, even in the absence of RPM metadata on the system.

    The facility would be used by the systemd-coredump utility to log package versions when crashes occur. For regular Fedora systems, which normally have the RPM metadata available, there is no large advantage. But for other situations where Fedora-created binaries might be run—and crash—this mechanism would allow administrators and tools to recognize where exactly the binary came from.

  • Some 5.15 development statistics

    The 5.15 kernel was released on October 31, with the code name appropriately changed to "Trick or Treat". By that time, 12,377 non-merge changesets had been merged into the mainline, adding a net total of 332,000 lines of code. Read on for a look at where the contributions to the 5.15 kernel came from.

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