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LWN: Linux Weekly Newsletter

Security updates for Friday

([Security] Dec 18, 2020 14:07 UTC (Fri) (jake))

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (blueman, chromium, gdk-pixbuf2, hostapd, lib32-gdk-pixbuf2, minidlna, nsd, pam, and unbound), CentOS (gd, openssl, pacemaker, python-rtslib, samba, and targetcli), Debian (kernel, lxml, and mediawiki), Fedora (mbedtls), openSUSE (clamav and openssl-1_0_0), Oracle (firefox and openssl), Red Hat (openssl, postgresql:12, postgresql:9.6, and thunderbird), Scientific Linux (openssl and thunderbird), and SUSE (cyrus-sasl, openssh, slurm_18_08, and webkit2gtk3).

Security updates for Thursday

([Security] Dec 17, 2020 14:21 UTC (Thu) (corbet))

Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, sympa, thunderbird, tomcat8, and xerces-c), Fedora (fprintd, kernel, libfprint, and synergy), Mageia (bitcoin, dpic, firefox, jasper, jupyter-notebook, sam2p, thunderbird, and x11-server), Oracle (firefox, gd, kernel, net-snmp, openssl, python-rtslib, samba, and targetcli), Red Hat (fapolicyd, openshift, Red Hat Virtualization, and web-admin-build), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (unzip).

GTK 4.0

([Development] Dec 16, 2020 18:55 UTC (Wed) (ris))

Version 4.0 of the GTK toolkit has been [1]released . " It is impossible to summarize 4 years of development in a single post. We’ve written detailed articles about many of the new things in this release over the past year: [2]Data transfers , [3]Event controllers , [4]Layout managers , [5]Render nodes , [6]Media playback , [7]Scalable lists , [8]Shaders , [9]Accessibility . " GTK 2 has reached the end of its life.

[1] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/12/16/gtk-4-0/

[2] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/01/29/data-transfer-in-gtk4/

[3] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/04/29/custom-widgets-in-gtk-4-input/

[4] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/04/27/custom-widgets-in-gtk-4-layout/

[5] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/04/24/custom-widgets-in-gtk-4-drawing/

[6] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/05/20/media-in-gtk-4/

[7] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/06/07/scalable-lists-in-gtk-4/

[8] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/09/30/gtk-3-99-2/

[9] https://blog.gtk.org/2020/10/21/accessibility-in-gtk-4/

[$] Managing multifunction devices with the auxiliary bus

([Kernel] Dec 17, 2020 19:04 UTC (Thu) (mrybczyn))

Device drivers usually live within a single kernel subsystem. Sometimes, however, developers need to handle functionalities outside of this model. Consider, for example, a network interface card (NIC) exposing both Ethernet and RDMA functionalities. There is one hardware block, but two drivers for the two functions. Those drivers need to work within their respective subsystems, but they must also share access to the same hardware. There is no standard way in current kernels to connect those drivers together, so developers invent ad-hoc methods to handle the interaction between them. Recently, Dave Ertman [1]posted a patch set introducing a new type of a bus, called the "auxiliary bus", to address this problem.

[1] https://lwn.net/ml/netdev/20201113161859.1775473-1-david.m.ertman@intel.com/

Two stable kernels

([Kernel] Dec 16, 2020 16:35 UTC (Wed) (ris))

Stable kernels [1]5.9.15 and [2]5.4.84 have been released. They both contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/840400/

[2] https://lwn.net/Articles/840401/

Security updates for Wednesday

([Security] Dec 16, 2020 16:30 UTC (Wed) (ris))

Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr), Fedora (mingw-openjpeg2, openjpeg2, and synergy), openSUSE (audacity and gdm), Oracle (libexif, libpq, and thunderbird), Red Hat (firefox, gnutls, go-toolset:rhel8, java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, kernel, kernel-rt, linux-firmware, mariadb-connector-c, mariadb:10.3, memcached, net-snmp, nginx:1.16, nodejs:12, openssl, pacemaker, postgresql:10, python-django-horizon, python-XStatic-Bootstrap-SCSS, python-XStatic-jQuery, and python-XStatic-jQuery224), Scientific Linux (gd, kernel, pacemaker, python-rtslib, samba, and targetcli), SUSE (openssh, PackageKit, spice, and spice-gtk), and Ubuntu (firefox and imagemagick).

Jansson: On the Graying of GNOME

([Development] Dec 16, 2020 15:24 UTC (Wed) (corbet))

Hans Petter Jansson has done [1]an analysis of contributions to the GNOME project , raising some concerns about how well the project is doing at bringing in new developers for the long haul. " According to this, GNOME peaked at slightly above 1,400 contributors in 2010 and went into decline with the GNOME 3.0 release the following year. However, 2020 saw the most contributors in a long time, even with preliminary data — there’s still two weeks to go. Who knows if it’s an anomaly or not. It’s been an atypical year across the board. "

[1] https://hpjansson.org/blag/2020/12/16/on-the-graying-of-gnome/

[$] Speeding up CPython

([Development] Dec 16, 2020 19:34 UTC (Wed) (jake))

Python, at least in the CPython reference implementation, is not a particularly speedy language. That is not at all surprising to anyone who has used it—the language is optimized for understandability and development speed, instead. There have been lots of efforts over the years to speed up various parts of the interpreter, compiler, and virtual-machine bytecode execution, though no comprehensive overhaul has been merged into CPython. An interesting new proposal could perhaps change that, though it is unclear at this point if it will take off.

Firefox 84.0 and 78.6 ESR

([Development] Dec 15, 2020 17:19 UTC (Tue) (ris))

Firefox 84.0 has been released. This version includes an accelerated rendering pipeline for Linux/GNOME/X11 users and improved performance and compatibility with Docker. This is the final release to support Adobe Flash. The [1]release notes have additional details.

[1] https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/84.0/releasenotes/ Firefox 78.6.0 ESR has also been released, with various stability, functionality, and security fixes. See the [1]release notes for more information.

[1] https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/78.6.0/releasenotes/

CloudLinux promises a CentOS Replacement

([Distributions] Dec 15, 2020 16:42 UTC (Tue) (corbet))

CloudLinux has put out a press release stating that it will commit over $1 million per year toward the creation and maintenance of a CentOS replacement distribution. " CloudLinux is sponsoring Project Lenix, which will create a free, open-source, community-driven, 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8 (and future releases). It will provide an uninterrupted way to convert existing CentOS servers with absolutely zero downtime. Entire server fleets will be able to be converted with a single command with no reinstallation and no reboots required. "

Security updates for Tuesday

([Security] Dec 15, 2020 16:13 UTC (Tue) (ris))

Security updates have been issued by Debian (libxstream-java and xen), Fedora (curl), openSUSE (curl, kernel, mariadb, and openssl-1_1), Oracle (kernel, libexif, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Red Hat (curl, gd, kernel, kernel-rt, linux-firmware, net-snmp, openssl, pacemaker, python-rtslib, samba, targetcli, and xorg-x11-server), Scientific Linux (libexif, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), and SUSE (clamav, gdm, and kernel).

[$] 5.11 Merge window, part 1

([Kernel] Dec 18, 2020 20:42 UTC (Fri) (corbet))

When Linus Torvalds [1]released the 5.10 kernel , he noted that the 5.11 merge window would run up against the holidays. He indicated strongly that maintainers should send him pull requests early as a result. Maintainers appear to have listened; over 10,000 non-merge changesets were pulled into the mainline in the first three days of the 5.11 merge window. Read on for a summary of the most significant changes in that flood of patches.

[1] https://lwn.net/ml/linux-kernel/CAHk-=whCKhxNyKn1Arut8xUDKTwp3fWcCj_jbL5dbzkUmo45gQ@mail.gmail.com/

Stable kernel 5.10.1 released

([Kernel] Dec 14, 2020 20:32 UTC (Mon) (corbet))

The [1]5.10.1 stable kernel update has been released on an expedited schedule; it contains reverts for a couple of late-arriving 5.10 patches that turned out not to be as good an idea as it first seemed.

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/840123/

Security updates for Monday

([Security] Dec 14, 2020 16:02 UTC (Mon) (ris))

Security updates have been issued by Debian (lxml, openexr, openssl, and openssl1.0), Fedora (libpri, libxls, mediawiki, nodejs, opensc, php-wikimedia-assert, php-zordius-lightncandy, squeezelite, and wireshark), openSUSE (curl, openssh, openssl-1_0_0, python-urllib3, and rpmlint), Red Hat (libexif, libpq, and thunderbird), Slackware (p11), SUSE (kernel, Kubernetes, etcd, helm, openssl, openssl-1_0_0, and python), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-snapdragon, and linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi).

[$] A new release for GNU Octave

([Development] Dec 15, 2020 19:45 UTC (Tue) (leephillips))

On November 26, version 6.1 of [1]GNU Octave , a language and environment for numerical computing, was [2]released . There are several new features and enhancements in this release, including improvements to graphics output, better communication with web services, and over 40 new functions. We will take a look at where Octave fits into the landscape of numerical tools for scientists and engineers, and recount some of its long history.

[1] https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/

[2] https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/news/release/2020/11/26/octave-6.1.0-released.html

The 5.10 kernel has been released

([Kernel] Dec 14, 2020 0:08 UTC (Mon) (corbet))

Linus has [1]released the 5.10 kernel. " I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that's true here too. There's a fair amount of fixes in here, including a few last-minute reverts for things that didn't get fixed, but nothing makes me go 'we need another week'. Things look fairly normal. "

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/840022/ Significant changes in this release include [1]support for the Arm memory tagging extension, [2]restricted rings for io_uring, [3]sleepable BPF programs , the [4]process_madvise() system call , ext4 "fast commits", and more. See the LWN merge-window summaries ( [5]part 1 , [6]part 2 ) and the [7]KernelNewbies 5.10 page for more details.

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/834289/

[2] https://lwn.net/Articles/826053/

[3] https://lwn.net/Articles/825415/

[4] https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=ecb8ac8b1f14

[5] https://lwn.net/Articles/834157/

[6] https://lwn.net/Articles/834504/

[7] https://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_5.10

Six new stable kernels

([Kernel] Dec 11, 2020 16:19 UTC (Fri) (jake))

The [1]5.9.14 , [2]5.4.83 , [3]4.19.163 , [4]4.14.212 , [5]4.9.248 , and [6]4.4.248 stable kernels have been released by Greg Kroah-Hartman. As usual, they contain important fixes throughout the tree; users should upgrade.

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/839874/

[2] https://lwn.net/Articles/839875/

[3] https://lwn.net/Articles/839876/

[4] https://lwn.net/Articles/839877/

[5] https://lwn.net/Articles/839878/

[6] https://lwn.net/Articles/839879/

Security updates for Friday

([Security] Dec 11, 2020 15:52 UTC (Fri) (jake))

Security updates have been issued by Debian (minidlna and x11vnc), Fedora (pam), openSUSE (chromium, minidlna, nsd, openssl-1_1, and pngcheck), SUSE (gcc7 and kernel), and Ubuntu (lxml and squirrelmail).

[$] Statistics from the 5.10 kernel development cycle

([Kernel] Dec 14, 2020 20:46 UTC (Mon) (corbet))

Linus Torvalds [1]released the 5.10 kernel on December 13 at the end of a typical nine-week development cycle. At that point, 16,174 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline; that makes 5.10 a larger cycle than 5.9, but it falls just short of the record set by 5.8, which ended with 16,308 changesets. For the most part 5.10 is just another routine kernel release, but there are a couple of interesting things to be seen in the overall statistics.

[1] https://lwn.net/ml/linux-kernel/CAHk-=whCKhxNyKn1Arut8xUDKTwp3fWcCj_jbL5dbzkUmo45gQ@mail.gmail.com/

[$] Reducing page structures for huge pages

([Kernel] Dec 11, 2020 16:12 UTC (Fri) (corbet))

Kernel development is a constant exercise in reducing overhead; any resources taken by the kernel are not available for the workload that users actually want to run. As part of this, the [1]page structure used to manage memory has been kept as small as possible. Even so, page structures typically take up just over 1.5% of the available memory, which is too much for some users. LWN recently [2]looked at DMEMFS as one approach to reduce this overhead, but that is not the only work happening in this area. Two developers are currently working independently on patches to reduce the overhead associated with huge pages in particular.

[1] https://elixir.bootlin.com/linux/v5.9.13/source/include/linux/mm_types.h#L29

[2] https://lwn.net/Articles/839216/

Two OpenWrt service releases

([Distributions] Dec 10, 2020 15:42 UTC (Thu) (corbet))

The OpenWrt project has released two updates: [1]18.06.9 and [2]19.07.5 . Both contain a number of important fixes, including a few with CVE numbers attached. Also notable is that 18.06.9 is the last update for 18.06; users will need up upgrade to 19.07 for continued support.

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/839705/

[2] https://lwn.net/Articles/839706/


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