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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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Rust 1.60.0 released

Čet, 04/07/2022 - 16:41
Version 1.60.0 of the Rust language is available. Changes include coverage-testing improvements, the return of incremental compilation, and changes to the Instant type:

Prior to 1.60, the monotonicity guarantees were provided through mutexes or atomics in std, which can introduce large performance overheads to Instant::now(). Additionally, the panicking behavior meant that Rust software could panic in a subset of environments, which was largely undesirable, as the authors of that software may not be able to fix or upgrade the operating system, hardware, or virtualization system they are running on.

[$] Private memory for KVM guests

Čet, 04/07/2022 - 15:11
Cloud computing is a wonderful thing; it allows efficient use of computing systems and makes virtual machines instantly available at the click of a mouse or API call. But cloud computing can also be problematic; the security of virtual machines is dependent on the security of the host system. In most deployed systems, a host computer can dig through its guests' memory at will; users running guest systems have to just hope that doesn't happen. There are a number of solutions to that problem under development, including this KVM guest-private memory patch set by Chao Peng and others, but some open questions remain.

Security updates for Thursday

Čet, 04/07/2022 - 14:39
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (bind), Debian (firefox-esr), Fedora (fribidi, gdal, and mingw-gdal), openSUSE (pdns-recursor and SDL2), Oracle (kernel), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (glibc and openvpn-openssl1), and Ubuntu (fribidi and linux-azure-5.13, linux-oracle-5.13).

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 7, 2022

Čet, 04/07/2022 - 03:15
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 7, 2022 is available.

[$] Gathering multiple system parameters in a single call

Sre, 04/06/2022 - 22:38
Running a command like lsof, which lists the open files on the system along with information about the process that has each file open, takes a lot of system calls, mostly to read a small amount of information from many /proc files. Providing a new interface to collect those calls together into a single (or, at least, fewer) system calls is the target of Miklos Szeredi's getvalues() RFC patch that was posted on March 22. While the proposal does not look like it is going far, at least in its current form, it did spark some discussion of the need—or lack thereof—for a way to reduce this kind of overhead, as well as to explore some alternative ways to get there via code that already exists in the kernel.

Emacs 28.1 released

Sre, 04/06/2022 - 13:59
Version 28.1 of the Emacs editor has been released. The announcement says little about what's in this release, but there are a lot of details in the NEWS file. Significant changes include native compilation of ELisp files, support for running the editor in a seccomp() sandbox, improved emoji support, and much more. Wayland support did not make it into this release, but is already merged for version 29.

Security updates for Wednesday

Sre, 04/06/2022 - 13:36
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (rizin), Fedora (fish, gdal, mingw-fribidi, mingw-gdal, mingw-openexr, mingw-python-pillow, mingw-python3, and python-pillow), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), Oracle (Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) Unbreakable Enterprise kernel and kernel), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.2 (python-waitress)), Scientific Linux (kernel), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (mozilla-nss), and Ubuntu (h2database).

[$] Debian still having trouble with merged /usr

Sre, 04/06/2022 - 00:29
The addition of the "/usr merge" feature has been something of longstanding mess in the Debian world. It seems like a relatively innocuous change, which is in keeping with the practice of most other distributions at this point; it effectively eliminates the top-level /bin, /sbin, and /lib* directories in order to move their contents to the corresponding locations under /usr. But ever since we first covered the feature introduction for Debian—more than six years ago—it has a been a recurring series of headaches within that community. Recent events have seemingly simply prolonged the pain, though perhaps the end is in sight.

Rust Lang Roadmap for 2024

Sre, 04/06/2022 - 00:00
The Rust language team has put up a blog entry describing the plans for the language over the next couple of years or so.

More precise analyses, less rigamarole: Make the compiler better able to recognize when code is correct via improvements to the borrow checker, type inference, and so forth. Identify and eliminate "boilerplate" patterns like having to copy-and-paste the same set of where clauses everywhere.

Firefox 99.0 released

Tor, 04/05/2022 - 16:18
Version 99.0 of the Firefox browser has been released. "The Linux sandbox has been strengthened: processes exposed to web content no longer have access to the X Window system (X11)".

Cook: Security things in Linux v5.10

Tor, 04/05/2022 - 14:10
Kees Cook catches up with the security-related changes in the 5.10 kernel, released at the end of 2020.

With static branches, an if/else choice can be hard-coded, instead of being run-time evaluated every time. Such branches can be updated too (the kernel just rewrites the code to switch around the “branch”). All these principles apply to static calls as well, but they’re for replacing indirect function calls (i.e. a call through a function pointer) with a direct call (i.e. a hard-coded call address). This eliminates the need for Spectre mitigations (e.g. RETPOLINE) for these indirect calls, and avoids a memory lookup for the pointer. For hot-path code (like the scheduler), this has a measurable performance impact. It also serves as a kind of Control Flow Integrity implementation: an indirect call got removed, and the potential destinations have been explicitly identified at compile-time.

Cook: Security things in Linux v5.10

Tor, 04/05/2022 - 14:10
Kees Cook catches up with the security-related changes in the 5.10 kernel, released at the end of 2020.

With static branches, an if/else choice can be hard-coded, instead of being run-time evaluated every time. Such branches can be updated too (the kernel just rewrites the code to switch around the “branch”). All these principles apply to static calls as well, but they’re for replacing indirect function calls (i.e. a call through a function pointer) with a direct call (i.e. a hard-coded call address). This eliminates the need for Spectre mitigations (e.g. RETPOLINE) for these indirect calls, and avoids a memory lookup for the pointer. For hot-path code (like the scheduler), this has a measurable performance impact. It also serves as a kind of Control Flow Integrity implementation: an indirect call got removed, and the potential destinations have been explicitly identified at compile-time.

LXD 5.0 LTS released

Tor, 04/05/2022 - 13:39
Version 5.0 LTS of the LXD container-management system has been released. This is a long-term-support release, which will be supported into 2027. New features include disk and USB hotplug support, the ability to start with degraded networking, and more; see this forum post for more information.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tor, 04/05/2022 - 13:33
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (polkit, postgresql, and zlib), openSUSE (389-ds and opera), Red Hat (kpatch-patch), SUSE (389-ds and util-linux), and Ubuntu (waitress).

Behnel: Cython is 20!

Tor, 04/05/2022 - 01:10
On his blog, Stefan Behnel writes about the 20th anniversary of Cython, which is a compiler for Python extensions written in C, for wrapping C libraries in order to provide Python bindings for them, and for embedding Python into other applications. It is used by NumPy, scikit-learn (and other scikit-* extensions), pandas, and more. On April 4th, 2002, Greg Ewing published the first release of Pyrex 0.1.

Already at the time, it was invented and designed as a compiler that extended the Python language with C data types to build extension modules for CPython. A design that survived the last 20 years, and that made Pyrex, and then Cython, a major corner stone of the Python data ecosystem. And way beyond that.

Now, on April 4th, 2022, its heir Cython is still very much alive and serves easily hundreds of thousands of developers worldwide, day to day.

Claws Mail 4.1.0 released

Pon, 04/04/2022 - 17:37
Version 4.1.0 of the Claws Mail email client is out. New features include text zooming in the message view, improvements to a number of preferences, a "keyword warner" plugin to give a warning before sending a message containing any (user-defined) keywords, and more.

[$] 5.18 Merge window, part 2

Pon, 04/04/2022 - 15:11
Linus Torvalds released the 5.18-rc1 kernel prepatch on April 3, after having pulled 13,207 non-merge changesets into the mainline repository. This merge window has thus not only been turbulent, with a significant number of regressions and refused pull requests, it has also been relatively busy. Just over 9,000 of those changesets were pulled after the first 5.18 merge window summary was written; the time has come to catch up with the remainder of changes merged for this development cycle.

Security updates for Monday

Pon, 04/04/2022 - 14:40
Security updates have been issued by Debian (asterisk, qemu, and zlib), Fedora (389-ds-base, ghc-cmark-gfm, ghc-hakyll, gitit, libkiwix, openssl, pandoc, pandoc-citeproc, patat, phoronix-test-suite, seamonkey, and skopeo), Mageia (libtiff, openjpeg2, and php-smarty), openSUSE (python), Oracle (httpd), Red Hat (httpd), and SUSE (libreoffice, python, and python36).

Kernel prepatch 5.18-rc1

Ned, 04/03/2022 - 23:16
Linus has released 5.18-rc1 and closed the merge window for the 5.18 release. "In fact, at least in pure commits, this has been a bigger merge window than we've had in some time. But let's hope it's all smooth sailing this release." In the end, 13,207 non-merge changesets were merged during this merge window.

The 4.14.275 stable kernel is out

Sob, 04/02/2022 - 23:05
The 4.14.275 stable kernel update has been released; it seems to consist mostly of backports of a set of arm64 Spectre mitigations.
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