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LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
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Huang: Rust: A Critical Retrospective

Čet, 05/19/2022 - 14:55
Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has posted an extensive review of the Rust language derived from the experience of writing "over 100k lines" of code.

Rust is a difficult language for authoring code because it makes these "cheats" hard – as long as you have the discipline of not using "unsafe" constructions to make cheats easy. However, really hard does not mean impossible – there were definitely some cheats that got swept under the rug during the construction of Xous.

This is where Rust really exceeded expectations for me. The language's structure and tooling was very good at hunting down these cheats and refactoring the code base, thus curing the cancer without killing the patient, so to speak. This is the point at which Rust’s very strict typing and borrow checker converts from a productivity liability into a productivity asset.

Security updates for Thursday

Čet, 05/19/2022 - 14:18
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (microcode_ctl, rubygem-nokogiri, and vim), Mageia (htmldoc, python-django, and python-oslo-utils), Red Hat (container-tools:2.0, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, and pcs), SUSE (ardana-barbican, grafana, openstack-barbican, openstack-cinder, openstack-heat-gbp, openstack-horizon-plugin-gbp-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-keystone, openstack-neutron-gbp, python-lxml, release-notes-suse-openstack-cloud, autotrace, curl, firefox, libslirp, php7, poppler, slurm_20_11, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (bind9, gnome-control-center, and libxrandr).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 19, 2022

Čet, 05/19/2022 - 02:01
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 19, 2022 is available.

LWN is hiring

Sre, 05/18/2022 - 21:48
LWN does its best to provide comprehensive coverage of the free-software development community, but there is far more going on than our small staff can handle. When expressed that way, this problem suggests an obvious solution: make the staff bigger. Thus, LWN is looking to hire a writer/editor.

[$] Unique identifiers for NFS

Sre, 05/18/2022 - 18:35
In a combined filesystem and storage session at the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM), Chuck Lever wanted to discuss the need for a permanent, globally unique ID for network filesystems. He was joined by Hannes Reinecke who has worked on the problem for NVMe storage devices; Lever said something along those lines is needed for NFSv4. He was hoping to find a solution during the session, though it would seem that the solution may lie in user space—and documentation.

openSUSE Leap Micro 5.2 released

Sre, 05/18/2022 - 15:56
OpenSUSE Leap Micro is a new distribution, described as "an ultra-reliable, lightweight operating system built for containerized and virtualized workloads". The initial release (5.2) is now available. More information can be found in the 5.2 release notes.

[$] Snapshots, inodes, and filesystem identifiers

Sre, 05/18/2022 - 15:29
A longstanding problem with Btrfs subvolumes and duplicate inode numbers was the topic of a late-breaking filesystem session at the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM). The problem had cropped up in the bcachefs session but Josef Bacik deferred that discussion to this just-created session, which he led. The problem is not limited to Btrfs, though, since filesystem snapshots for other filesystems can have similar kinds of problems.

Yet another set of stable kernel updates

Sre, 05/18/2022 - 14:52
The 5.17.9, 5.15.41, 5.10.117, 5.4.195, 4.19.244, 4.14.280, and 4.9.315 stable kernel updates have all been released; each contains another set of important fixes.

Security updates for Wednesday

Sre, 05/18/2022 - 14:46
Security updates have been issued by Debian (elog, needrestart, openssl, and waitress), Fedora (curl, libxml2, slurm, and vim), Scientific Linux (zlib), SUSE (e2fsprogs, nodejs10, php72, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (apport, clamav, needrestart, and pcre3).

[$] Bringing bcachefs to the mainline

Tor, 05/17/2022 - 18:13
Bcachefs is a longstanding out-of-tree filesystem that grew out of the bcache caching layer that has been in the kernel for nearly ten years. Based on a session led by Kent Overstreet at the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM), though, it would seem that bcachefs is likely to be heading upstream soon. He intends to start the process toward mainline inclusion over the next six months or so.

[$] Sharing page tables with mshare()

Tor, 05/17/2022 - 15:52
The Linux kernel allows processes to share pages in memory, but the page tables used to control that sharing are not, themselves, shared; as a result, processes sharing memory maintain duplicate copies of the page-table data. Normally this duplication imposes little overhead, but there are situations where it can hurt. At the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM), Khaled Aziz (remotely) and Matthew Wilcox led a session to discuss a proposed mechanism to allow those page tables to be shared between cooperating processes.

Inkscape 1.2 released

Tor, 05/17/2022 - 14:31
Version 1.2 of the Inkscape drawing tool has been released. New features include multi-page support, editable markers, the ability to flow text around shapes, and more; see the release notes for details.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tor, 05/17/2022 - 14:31
Security updates have been issued by Debian (cifs-utils, ffmpeg, libxml2, and vim), Fedora (rsyslog), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), SUSE (chromium, containerd, docker, e2fsprogs, gzip, jackson-databind, jackson-dataformats-binary, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, kernel, nodejs8, openldap2, pidgin, podofo, slurm, and tiff), and Ubuntu (clamav, containerd, libxml2, and openldap).

[$] Dynamically allocated pseudo-filesystems

Pon, 05/16/2022 - 20:06
It is perhaps unusual to have a kernel tracing developer leading a filesystem session, Steven Rostedt said, at the beginning of such a session at the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM). But he was doing so to try to find a good way to dynamically allocate kernel data structures for some of the pseudo-filesystems, such as sysfs, debugfs, and tracefs, in the kernel. Avoiding static allocations would save memory, especially on systems that are not actually using any of the files in those filesystems.

SFC v. Vizio remanded back to California state courts

Pon, 05/16/2022 - 16:58
Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has announced that it succeeded with its motion in US Federal Court to send the case back to California, where it was originally filed. The suit was filed in October 2021 by SFC, as an owner of Vizio televisions, to get the company to comply with the GPL on some of the code in the TVs. Back in November, Vizio had asked to move the case to Federal Court, because the GPL is only a copyright license (which is a dispute handled at the Federal level) and not a contract (that could be adjudicated in state court). Friday's ruling disagreed with that premise: The May 13 ruling by the Honorable Josephine L. Staton stated that the claim from Software Freedom Conservancy succeeded in the "extra element test" and was not preempted by copyright claims, and the court finds "that the enforcement of 'an additional contractual promise separate and distinct from any rights provided by the copyright laws' amounts to an 'extra element,' and therefore, SFC's claims are not preempted."

"The ruling is a watershed moment in the history of copyleft licensing. This ruling shows that the GPL agreements function both as copyright licenses and as contractual agreements," says Karen M. Sandler, executive director of Software Freedom Conservancy. Sandler noted that many in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) legal community argue incorrectly that the GPL and other copyleft licenses only function as copyright licenses.

[$] The netfslib helper library

Pon, 05/16/2022 - 16:27
A new helper library for network filesystems, called netfslib, was the subject of a filesystem session at the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM). David Howells developed netfslib, which was merged for 5.13 a year ago, and led the session. Some filesystems, like AFS and Ceph, are already using some of the services that netfslib provides, while others are starting to look into it.

Security updates for Monday

Pon, 05/16/2022 - 14:32
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (gzip, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and zlib), Debian (adminer, htmldoc, imagemagick, libgoogle-gson-java, lrzip, openjdk-8, openssl, and ruby-nokogiri), Fedora (ecdsautils, et, libxml2, podman, and supertux), Mageia (cairo, clamav, curl, fish, freetype2, golang-github-prometheus-client, python-django-registration, python-nbxmpp, python-waitress, and xmlrpc-c), Red Hat (pcs), SUSE (curl, kernel, pidgin, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (tiff).

Kernel prepatch 5.18-rc7

Pon, 05/16/2022 - 02:19
The 5.18-rc7 kernel prepatch has been released for testing. Linus says: "So things continue to be fairly calm, and as such this is likely the last rc before 5.18 unless something bad happens next week".

Sunday's stable kernels

Ned, 05/15/2022 - 21:20
The 5.17.8, 5.15.40, 5.10.116, 5.4.194, 4.19.243, 4.14.279, and 4.9.314 stable kernels have been released; each contains another set of important fixes.

[$] Proactive reclaim for tiered memory and more

Pet, 05/13/2022 - 17:46
Memory reclaim in Linux is largely a reactive practice; the kernel tries to find memory it can repurpose in response to the amount of free memory falling too low. Developers have often wondered if a proactive reclaim mechanism might lead to better performance, for some workloads at least, and optimal use of tiered-memory systems will likely require more active reclamation of memory as well. At the 2022 Linux Storage, Filesystem, Memory-management and BPF Summit (LSFMM), Davidlohr Bueso led a brief session on the topic.
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