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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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A pile of stable kernel updates

Sre, 04/20/2022 - 08:53
The 5.17.4, 5.15.35, 5.10.112, 5.4.190, 4.19.239, 4.14.276, and 4.9.311 stable kernel updates have all been released; each contains another relatively large set of important fixes.

The More You Know, The More You Know You Don’t Know (Project Zero)

Sre, 04/20/2022 - 07:19
The Google Project Zero blog is carrying a report on zero-day vulnerabilities found to be exploited during 2021.

5 of the 7 [Android] 0-days from 2021 targeted GPU drivers. This is actually not that surprising when we consider the evolution of the Android ecosystem as well as recent public security research into Android. The Android ecosystem is quite fragmented: many different kernel versions, different manufacturer customizations, etc. If an attacker wants a capability against "Android devices", they generally need to maintain many different exploits to have a decent percentage of the Android ecosystem covered. However, if the attacker chooses to target the GPU kernel driver instead of another component, they will only need to have two exploits since most Android devices use 1 of 2 GPUs: either the Qualcomm Adreno GPU or the ARM Mali GPU.

[$] Super Python (part 1)

Tor, 04/19/2022 - 16:01
A mega-thread in the python-ideas mailing list is hardly surprising, of course; we have covered quite a few of them over the years. A recent example helps shine a light into a dark—or at least dim—corner of the Python language: the super() built-in function for use by methods in class hierarchies. There are some, perhaps surprising, aspects to super() along with wrinkles in how to properly use it. But it has been part of the language for a long time, so changes to its behavior, as was suggested in the thread, are pretty unlikely.

Mourning Pedro Francisco

Tor, 04/19/2022 - 15:51
Luis Falcon brings the sad news that Pedro Francisco has passed on. "Pedro created and managed MasGNULinux, a Spanish blog with news about Free Software and GNU/Linux. MasGNULinux was the best reference in the latest Free Software projects for the Spanish speaking community."

Security updates for Tuesday

Tor, 04/19/2022 - 11:46
Security updates have been issued by Debian (gzip and xz-utils), Fedora (dhcp and rsync), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), openSUSE (chromium), SUSE (gzip, openjpeg2, and zabbix), and Ubuntu (klibc).

McIntyre: Firmware - what are we going to do about it?

Tor, 04/19/2022 - 07:48
Steve McIntyre argues that Debian needs to rethink its approach to non-free firmware.

Today, a user with a new laptop from most vendors will struggle to use it at all with our firmware-free Debian installation media. Modern laptops normally don't come with wired ethernet now. There won't be any usable graphics on the laptop's screen. A visually-impaired user won't get any audio prompts. These experiences are not acceptable, by any measure.

10 years of stories behind Guix (Guix blog)

Pon, 04/18/2022 - 23:41
Over on the blog for the GNU Guix project, which is a "transactional package manager and an advanced distribution of the GNU system that respects user freedom", the project reflects on its ten-year journey. The post consists of personal accounts from around two dozen contributors about the project, its history, and its community. It’s been ten years today since the very first commit to what was already called Guix—the unimaginative name is a homage to Guile and Nix, which Guix started by blending together. On April 18th, 2012, there was very little to see and no actual "project". The project formed in the following months and became a collective adventure around a shared vision.

Ten years later, it’s amazing to see what more than 600 people achieved, with 94K commits, countless hours of translation, system administration, web design work, and no less than 175 blog posts to share our enthusiasm at each major milestone. It’s been quite a ride!

Git 2.36.0 released

Pon, 04/18/2022 - 18:48
Version 2.36.0 of the Git source-code management system is out. As usual, the list of new features is long; this GitHub blog post covers some of the highlights:

But this [merge conflict] output can be understandably difficult to interpret. In Git 2.36, --remerge-diff takes a different approach. Instead of showing you the diffs between the merge resolution and each parent simultaneously, --remerge-diff shows you the diff between the file with merge conflicts, and the resolution.

[$] User events — but not quite yet

Pon, 04/18/2022 - 18:25
The ftrace and perf subsystems provide visibility into the workings of the kernel; by activating existing tracepoints, interested developers can see what is happening at specific points in the code. As much as kernel developers may resist the notion, though, not all events of interest on a system happen within the kernel. Administrators will often want to look inside user-space processes as well; they would be even happier with a mechanism that allows the simultaneous tracing of events in both the kernel and user space. The user-events subsystem, developed by Beau Belgrave and added during the 5.18 merge window, promises that capability, but users will almost certainly have to wait another cycle to gain access to it.

Security updates for Monday

Pon, 04/18/2022 - 14:09
Security updates have been issued by Debian (abcm2ps and chromium), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, and fribidi), and Mageia (crun, docker-containerd, libarchive, mediawiki, and ruby).

Kernel prepatch 5.18-rc3

Pon, 04/18/2022 - 07:33
The 5.18-rc3 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "It's Sunday afternoon, and you all know what that means. It's time for another release candidate. (Yes, yes, it's also Easter Sunday, but priorities, people!)"
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