Linux Weekly News

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Updated: 27 min 27 sec ago

Django 2.0 released

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 11:44
Version 2.0 of the Django web framework has been released. This version drops support for Python 2.x, and adds a long list of new features; see the announcement for details.

[$] A thorough introduction to eBPF

Sat, 12/02/2017 - 10:36
In his 2017 talk [YouTube] on the eBPF in-kernel virtual machine, Brendan Gregg proclaimed that "super powers have finally come to Linux". Getting eBPF to that point has been a long road of evolution and design. While eBPF was originally used for network packet filtering, it turns out that running user-space code inside a sanity-checking virtual machine is a powerful tool for kernel developers and production engineers. Over time, new eBPF users have appeared to take advantage of its performance and convenience. This article explains how eBPF evolved how it works, and how it is used in the kernel.

The Linux Journal shuts down

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 14:26
We were sad to encounter the announcement that the Linux Journal will be shutting down. "The simple fact is that we’ve run out of money, and options along with it. We never had a wealthy corporate parent or deep pockets of our own, and that made us an anomaly among publishers, from start to finish. While we got to be good at flying close to the ground for a long time, we lost what little elevation we had in November, when the scale finally tipped irrevocably to the negative." The Linux Journal was out there tracking what was happening in our community long before anybody else; it will be missed.

Security updates for Friday

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 10:02
Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, libxml2, optipng, and sox), Fedora (kernel, mediawiki, moodle, nodejs-balanced-match, nodejs-brace-expansion, and python-werkzeug), openSUSE (optipng), Oracle (kernel and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, qemu-kvm, and qemu-kvm-rhev), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (thunderbird).

PHP 7.2.0 Released

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:26
Version 7.2.0 of the PHP language is out. It includes a number of new features, including "counting of non-countable objects" (which turns out to be issuing a warning when such a count is attempted) and the integration of the libsodium crypto library.

Announcing FreeRTOS Kernel Version 10 (AWS Open Source Blog)

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:12
Amazon has announced the release of FreeRTOS kernel version 10, with a new license: "FreeRTOS was created in 2003 by Richard Barry. It rapidly became popular, consistently ranking very high in EETimes surveys on embedded operating systems. After 15 years of maintaining this critical piece of software infrastructure with very limited human resources, last year Richard joined Amazon. Today we are releasing the core open source code as FreeRTOS kernel version 10, now under the MIT license (instead of its previous modified GPLv2 license). Simplified licensing has long been requested by the FreeRTOS community. The specific choice of the MIT license was based on the needs of the embedded systems community: the MIT license is commonly used in open hardware projects, and is generally whitelisted for enterprise use." While the modified GPLv2 was removed, it was replaced with a slightly modified MIT license that adds: "If you wish to use our Amazon FreeRTOS name, please do so in a fair use way that does not cause confusion." There is concern that change makes it a different license; the Open Source Initiative and Amazon open-source folks are working on clarifying that.

KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond (

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 10:38 covers the goals that the KDE project has set for itself in the coming year. "In synch with KDE's vision, Sebastian Kugler says that 'KDE is in a unique position to offer users a complete software environment that helps them to protect their privacy'. Being in that position, Sebastian explains, KDE as a FLOSS community is morally obliged to do its utmost to provide the most privacy-protecting environment for users. This is especially true since KDE has been developing not only for desktop devices, but also for mobile - an area where the respect for users' privacy is nearly non-existent."

Four new stable kernels

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:49
Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, and 3.18.85 stable kernels. As usual, they contain fixes throughout the tree; users of those series should upgrade.

Security updates for Thursday

Thu, 11/30/2017 - 09:09
Security updates have been issued by Debian (bzr and exim4), Mageia (ghostscript, libtiff, mediawiki, postgresql, thunderbird, and vlc), openSUSE (kernel-firmware and samba), Oracle (samba4), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (exim4, libxcursor, and libxfont, libxfont1, libxfont2).

[$] Weekly Edition for November 30, 2017

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 20:12
The Weekly Edition for November 30, 2017 is available.

[$] Python data classes

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:51

The reminder that the feature freeze for Python 3.7 is coming up fairly soon (January 29) was met with a flurry of activity on the python-dev mailing list. Numerous Python enhancement proposals (PEPs) were updated or newly proposed; other features or changes have been discussed as well. One of the updated PEPs is proposing a new type of class, a "data class", to be added to the standard library. Data classes would serve much the same purpose as structures or records in other languages and would use the relatively new type annotations feature to support static type checking of the use of the classes.

[$] BPF-based error injection for the kernel

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:41
Diligent developers do their best to anticipate things that can go wrong and write appropriate error-handling code. Unfortunately, error-handling code is especially hard to test and, as a result, often goes untested; the code meant to deal with errors, in other words, is likely to contain errors itself. One way of finding those bugs is to inject errors into a running system and watching how it responds; the kernel may soon have a new mechanism for doing this sort of injection.

Security updates for Wednesday

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:44
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (apr and procmail), Debian (curl and xen), Fedora (cacti, git, jbig2dec, lucene4, mupdf, openssh, openssl, quagga, rpm, slurm, webkitgtk4, and xen), Oracle (apr and procmail), Red Hat (apr, java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, procmail, samba4, and tcmu-runner), Scientific Linux (apr, procmail, and samba4), and Ubuntu (curl, openjdk-7, python2.7, and python3.4, python3.5).

[$] 4.15 Merge window part 2

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:34
Despite the warnings that the 4.15 merge window could be either longer or shorter than usual, the 4.15-rc1 prepatch came out right on schedule on November 26. Anybody who was expecting a quiet development cycle this time around is in for a surprise, though; 12,599 non-merge changesets were pulled into the mainline during the 4.15 merge window, 1,000 more than were seen in the 4.14 merge window. The first 8,800 of those changes were covered in this summary; what follows is a look at what came after.

Security updates for Tuesday

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:26
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (powerdns and powerdns-recursor), CentOS (curl and samba), Debian (ffmpeg and roundcube), Fedora (cacti and samba), openSUSE (thunderbird), Oracle (curl), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm and rh-mysql56-mysql), Scientific Linux (curl), Slackware (samba), SUSE (kernel-firmware and samba), and Ubuntu (exim4, firefox, libxml-libxml-perl, optipng, and postgresql-common).

Ubuntu 17.10: Return of the GNOME (ars technica)

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:33
Ars technica reviews the Ubuntu 17.10 release. "In light of the GNOME switch, this release seems like more of a homecoming than an entirely new voyage. But that said, Ubuntu 17.10 simultaneously feels very much like the start of a new voyage for Ubuntu. The last few Ubuntu desktop releases have been about as exciting as OpenSSH releases—you know you need to update, but beyond that, no one really cares."

[$] Tools for porting drivers

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 16:08

Out-of-tree drivers are a maintenance headache, since customers may want to use them in newer kernels. But even those drivers that get merged into the mainline may need to be backported at times. Coccinelle developer Julia Lawall introduced the audience at Open Source Summit Europe to some new tools that can help make both forward-porting and backporting drivers easier.

Linux Mint 18.3 released

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:26
Linux Mint has released 18.3 "Sylvia" in Cinnamon and MATE editions. Linux Mint 18.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. Both editions feature a revamped Software Manager with support for flatpaks. See more about what's new in the Cinnamon and MATE editions or check out the release notes for Cinnamon and MATE.

Announcing Tumbleweed Snapshots

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 11:06
The newly announced openSUSE "Tumbleweed snapshots" feature is an attempt to make rolling distributions a little easier for those who don't want to stay on the leading edge all the time. In essence, it keeps a snapshot of the state of the distribution at regular intervals and enables users to install applications from their particular snapshot. That allows the installation of new applications without the need to drag in everything else that may have changed since the system as a whole was updated. "Tumbleweed Snapshots provides the best of both worlds, the latest packages when you want them and the one package you need in the middle of working on a project."

Security updates for Monday

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:38
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (varnish), Debian (libofx and python-werkzeug), Fedora (fedpkg, mediawiki, qt5-qtwebengine, and rpkg), Mageia (apr-util, bchunk, chromium-browser-stable, vlc, and webkit2), openSUSE (backintime, konversation, perl, tboot, and tnef), Oracle (samba), Red Hat (curl and samba), Scientific Linux (samba), and SUSE (kvm and samba).