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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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[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 20, 2023

Čet, 04/20/2023 - 02:10
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 20, 2023 is available.

[$] Vanilla OS shifting from Ubuntu to Debian

Sre, 04/19/2023 - 18:45
Vanilla OS, a lightweight, immutable operating system designed for developers and advanced users, has been using Ubuntu as its base. However, a recent announcement has revealed that, in the upcoming Vanilla OS 2.0 Orchid release, the project will be shifting to Debian unstable (Sid) as its new base operating system. Vanilla OS is making the switch due to Ubuntu's changes to its version of the GNOME desktop environment along with the distribution's reliance on the Snap packaging format. The decision has generated a fair amount of interest and discussion within the open-source community.

The rebooting of Solus Linux

Sre, 04/19/2023 - 14:37
The desktop-oriented Solus distribution has been through a difficult period; this post describes the extensive changes that have been made in response.

Notably, innovation in the Linux ecosystem is presently centered around the use of application sandboxing, containers and the development of immutable operating systems with a well understood Software Bill of Materials. Each of these concepts allow for a degree of separation and stability when developing, testing and certifying software and products.

The current Solus tooling, as well as the resulting packaging and development experience, is somewhat ill-suited to this objective and would most likely need a wholesale re-engineering of the tools before this becomes feasible.

However, there is a more straightforward path for Solus: Rebasing onto Serpent OS.

Security updates for Wednesday

Sre, 04/19/2023 - 14:26
Security updates have been issued by Debian (asterisk), Fedora (lldpd and openssh), Red Hat (curl, kernel, and openvswitch2.13), SUSE (compat-openssl098, glib2, grafana, helm, libgit2, openssl, and openssl-1_1), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.15, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.15, linux-azure-fde, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.15, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.15, linux-gkeop, linux-ibm, linux-kvm, linux-lowlatency, linux-lowlatency-hwe-5.15, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.15, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.19, linux-kvm, linux-lowlatency, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, and vim).

Linux Plumbers Conference CFP announcements

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 23:41
The 2023 Linux Plumbers Conference (November 13-15, Richmond VA, USA) has put out its calls for proposals for the refereed track (due August 6) and the microconference track (June 1). Proposals are also being accepted for the kernel-summit track.

[$] Textual: a framework for terminal user interfaces

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 20:55
For developers seeking to create applications with terminal user interfaces (TUIs), options have been relatively limited compared to the vast number of graphical user interface (GUI) frameworks available. As a result, many command-line applications reinvent the same user interface elements. Textual aims to remedy this: it's a rapid-application-development framework for Python TUI applications. Offering cross-platform support, Textual incorporates layouts, CSS-like styles, and an expanding collection of widgets.

An openSUSE ALP status update

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 20:09
Richard Brown has posted an update on the status of the SUSE Adaptable Linux Platform (ALP) project and what it means for the openSUSE distribution.

The ALP concept should be flexible enough that these openSUSE Products will be able to leverage all the stuff SUSE is doing for SUSE's ALP Products, but then we (community) can add anything we want. If we find it is not flexible enough, then we (SUSE) will work to adapt it to make it possible for the community to build what it wants.

So, if we the community want to build something like old Leap, that should be totally technically feasible.

LXD 5.13 released

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 17:11
Version 5.13 of the LXD virtual-machine manager has been released. New features include fast live migration, support for AMD's secure enclaves, and more. See this announcement for details.

Fedora 38 released

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 15:48
The Fedora 38 release is available. Fedora has mostly moved past its old pattern of late releases, but it's still a bit surprising that this release came out one week ahead of the scheduled date. Some of the changes in this release, including reduced shutdown timeouts and frame pointers have been covered here in the past; see the announcement and the Workstation-edition "what's new" post for details on the rest.

If you want to use Fedora Linux on your mobile device, F38 introduces a Phosh image. Phosh is a Wayland shell for mobile devices based on Gnome. This is an early effort from our Mobility SIG. If your device isn’t supported yet, we welcome your contributions!

Security updates for Tuesday

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 15:23
Security updates have been issued by Debian (protobuf), Fedora (libpcap, libxml2, openssh, and tcpdump), Mageia (kernel and kernel-linus), Oracle (firefox, kernel, kernel-container, and thunderbird), Red Hat (thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (gradle, kernel, nodejs10, nodejs12, nodejs14, openssl-3, pgadmin4, rubygem-rack, and wayland), and Ubuntu (firefox).

Garrett: PSA: upgrade your LUKS key derivation function

Tor, 04/18/2023 - 15:06
Matthew Garrett points out that many Linux systems using encrypted disks were installed with a relatively weak key derivation function that could make it relatively easy for a well-resourced attacker to break the encryption:

So, in these days of attackers with access to a pile of GPUs, a purely computationally expensive KDF is just not a good choice. And, unfortunately, the subject of this story was almost certainly using one of those. Ubuntu 18.04 used the LUKS1 header format, and the only KDF supported in this format is PBKDF2. This is not a memory expensive KDF, and so is vulnerable to GPU-based attacks. But even so, systems using the LUKS2 header format used to default to argon2i, again not a memory expensive KDF. New versions default to argon2id, which is. You want to be using argon2id.

The article includes instructions on how to (carefully) switch an installed system to a more secure setup.

New release: digiKam 8.0.0

Pon, 04/17/2023 - 21:45
The digiKam photo-management tool has announced its 8.0.0 release, after two years of development, bug fixing, and testing. Major new features include a documentation overhaul (with a new web site), support for more file formats, a new optical character recognition (OCR) tool, improved metadata handling, a neural-net-based image quality classifier, better integration with G'MIC-Qt, a Qt6-compatible code base, and lots more. See the announcement for all the details.

[$] Avoiding the merge trap

Pon, 04/17/2023 - 16:46
The kernel subsystem maintainers out there probably have a deep understanding of the sinking feeling that results from opening one's inbox and seeing a response from Linus Torvalds to a pull request. When all goes well, pull requests are acted upon silently; a response usually means that all has not gone well. Several maintainers got to experience that feeling during the 6.3 merge window, which seemed to generate more than the usual number of grumpy responses related to merge commits. Avoiding that situation is not hard, though, with a bit of attention paid to how merges are done.

Security updates for Monday

Pon, 04/17/2023 - 15:34
Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, rails, and ruby-rack), Fedora (firefox, ghostscript, libldb, samba, and tigervnc), Mageia (ceph, davmail, firefox, golang, jpegoptim, libheif, python-certifi, python-flask-restx, thunderbird, and tomcat), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (firefox), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (apache2-mod_auth_openidc, aws-nitro-enclaves-cli, container-suseconnect, firefox, golang-github-prometheus-prometheus, harfbuzz, java-1_8_0-ibm, kernel, liblouis, php7, tftpboot-installation images, tomcat, and wayland), and Ubuntu (chromium-browser, imagemagick, kamailio, and libreoffice).

Kernel prepatch 6.3-rc7

Pon, 04/17/2023 - 02:54
The 6.3-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Let's hope we have just one more calm week, and we'll have had a nice uneventful release cycle. Knock wood".

Duffy: Run an open source-powered virtual conference!

Sob, 04/15/2023 - 00:53
On her blog, Máirín Duffy writes about using open-source software to run a virtual conference. The Fedora design team recently ran the first Creative Freedom Summit as a virtual conference for FOSS creative tools. The team could have used the same non-open-source platform that is used by the Flock Fedora conference, but took a different path: Using Matrix's Element client, we embedded the live stream video and an Etherpad into a public Matrix room for the conference. We used attendance in the channel to monitor overall conference attendance. We had live chat going throughout the conference and took questions from audience members both from the chat and the embedded Q&A Etherpad.

Back in 2020, the Linux Plumbers Conference also put together a virtual conference using free software, as did LibrePlanet and likely others.

[$] TOTP authentication with free software

Pet, 04/14/2023 - 17:19
One-time passwords (OTPs) are increasingly used as a defense against phishing and other password-stealing attacks, usually as a part of a two-factor authentication process. Perhaps the most commonly used technique is sending a numeric code to a phone via SMS, but SMS OTPs have security problems of their own. An alternative is to use time-based one-time passwords (TOTPs). The normal TOTP situation is to have all of the data locked into a proprietary phone app, but it need not be that way.

Security updates for Friday

Pet, 04/14/2023 - 15:09
Security updates have been issued by Debian (haproxy and openvswitch), Fedora (bzip3, libyang, mingw-glib2, thunderbird, xorg-x11-server, and xorg-x11-server-Xwayland), and Ubuntu (apport, ghostscript, linux-bluefield, node-thenify, and python-flask-cors).

Stable kernels 6.2.11, 6.1.24, and 5.15.107

Čet, 04/13/2023 - 17:09
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 6.2.11, 6.1.24, and 5.15.107 stable kernels. They contain another collection of important fixes throughout the kernel tree.

[$] Process-level kernel samepage merging control

Čet, 04/13/2023 - 15:27
The kernel samepage merging (KSM) feature can save significant amounts of memory with some types of workloads, but security concerns have greatly limited its use. Even when KSM can be safely enabled, though, the control interface provided by the kernel makes it unlikely that KSM actually will be used. A small patch series from Stefan Roesch aims to change this situation by improving and simplifying how KSM is managed.