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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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On his blog, Andy Grover makes a case for using the Rust language for new projects instead of C or Python. "Second, there are people like me, people working in C and Python on Linux systems-level stuff — the “plumbing”, who are frustrated with low productivity. C and Python have diametrically-opposed advantages and disadvantages. C is fast to run but slow to write, and hard to write securely. Python is more productive but too slow and RAM-hungry for something running all the time, on every system. We must deal with getting C components to talk to Python components all the time, and it isn’t fun. Rust is the first language that gives a system programmer performance and productivity. These people might see Rust as a chance to increase security, to increase their own productivity, to never have to touch libtool/autoconf ever again, and to solve the C/Python dilemma with a one language solution."
On The Mozilla blog, Chris Riley announces the "Secure Open Source" (SOS) fund to provide money to help with the security of open-source software. "The SOS Fund will provide security auditing, remediation, and verification for key open source software projects. The Fund is part of the Mozilla Open Source Support program (MOSS) and has been allocated $500,000 in initial funding, which will cover audits of some widely-used open source libraries and programs. But we hope this is only the beginning. We want to see the numerous companies and governments that use open source join us and provide additional financial support. We challenge these beneficiaries of open source to pay it forward and help secure the Internet. Security is a process. To have substantial and lasting benefit, we need to invest in education, best practices, and a host of other areas. Yet we hope that this fund will provide needed short-term benefits and industry momentum to help strengthen open source projects." SOS sounds similar in scope to the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) set up by the Linux Foundation.
Ubuntu has updated firefox (multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (16.04; 15.10; 14.04; 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-utopic (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-vivid (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-wily (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-xenial (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-raspi2 (16.04; 15.10: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-snapdragon (16.04: code execution), linux-ti-omap4 (12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), and squid3 (multiple vulnerabilities).
The first version of KDE neon, which is a distribution based on Ubuntu 16.04 that is meant to be a stable platform on which to try the latest Plasma desktop, has been released. "KDE neon User Edition 5.6 is based on the latest version of Plasma 5.6 and intends to showcase the latest KDE technology on a stable foundation. It is a continuously updated installable image that can be used not just for exploration and testing but as the main operating system for people enthusiastic about the latest desktop software. It comes with a slim selection of apps, assuming the user's capacity to install her own applications after installation, to avoid cruft and meaningless weight to the ISO. The KDE neon team will now start adding all of KDE's applications to the neon archive. Since the announcement of the project four months ago the team has been working on rolling out our infrastructure, using current best-practice devops technologies. A continuous integration Jenkins system scans the download servers for new releases and automatically fires up computers with Docker instances to build packages. We work in the open and as a KDE project any KDE developer has access to our packaging Git repository and can make fixes, improvements and inspect our work."
Mageia has updated firefox (multiple vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated ImageMagick (13.2: command execution).
Red Hat has updated firefox (multiple vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated file (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities from 2014), icedtea-web (SL6: two vulnerabilities), ntp (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities, one from 2014), openssh (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities), openssl (SL6: multiple vulnerabilities), qemu-kvm (SL6: code execution), and thunderbird (SL6: two vulnerabilities).
Nikolai Tschacher demonstrates how easy it is to run arbitrary code by way of "typosquatting" uploads to programming language download sites. "Because everybody can upload any package on PyPi, it is possible to create packages which are typo versions of popular packages that are prone to be mistyped. And if somebody unintentionally installs such a package, the next question comes intuitively: Is it possible to run arbitrary code and take over the computer during the installation process of a package?" He tried an experiment and was able to run a little program that phoned home from thousands of systems.
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 9, 2016 is available.
The Maru OS handset distribution (reviewed here in April) has moved out of the beta-test period and is now freely downloadable without an invitation. Maru functions as both an Android handset and an Ubuntu desktop (when connected to an external monitor). For now, it remains limited to Nexus 5 handsets. "Now that the beta program is over, I’m finally turning my attention to the open-source project so we can expand device support with the help of the community. Let’s get Maru in the hands of a lot more people!"
Greg Kroah-Hartman has released stable kernels 4.6.2, 4.5.7, 4.4.13, and 3.14.72. This is the last 4.5.y stable kernel release. Users of the 4.5 kernel series should upgrade to the 4.6 kernel series.
openSUSE has updated expat (Leap42.1: code execution), gd (13.2: information leak), glibc (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), GraphicsMagick (Leap42.1; 13.2: command execution), libimobiledevice, libusbmuxd (Leap42.1, 13.2: sockets listening on INADDR_ANY), libksba (Leap42.1: denial of service), and php5 (Leap42.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated expat (SLE11-SP4: code execution).
The Qt Blog announces the launch of the Qt Automotive Suite. "With cumulative experience from over 20 automotive projects it was noted how Qt is really well suited to the needs of building IVIs and Instrument Clusters, that there were already millions of vehicles on the road with Qt inside, and that there were a lot of ongoing projects. There was though a feeling that things could be even better, that there were still a few things holding back the industry, contributing to the sense that shipped IVI systems could be built faster, cheaper and with a higher quality."
Linux users tend to pride themselves on their position at the leading edge of a fast-moving development community. But, in truth, much of what we do is rooted in many decades of Unix tradition, and we tend to get grumpy when young developers show up and start changing things around. A recent change of default in systemd represents such a change and the kind of response that it brings out; as a result, Linux distributors are going to have to make a decision on whether they should preserve the way things have always worked or make a change that, while potentially disruptive to users, is arguably a step toward more predictable, controllable, and secure behavior.
Firefox 47 has been released. This version enables the VP9 video codec for users with fast machines, plays embedded YouTube videos with HTML5 video if Flash is not installed, and more. There is a blog post about these and other improvements. "Now, we are making it even easier to access synced tabs directly in your desktop Firefox browser. If you’re logged into your Firefox Account, you will see all open tabs from your smartphone or other computers within the sidebar. In the sidebar you can also search for specific tabs quickly and easily." See the release notes for more information.
Debian has updated spice (two vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated clamav-database (Leap42.1: database refresh).
Red Hat has updated glibc (RHEL6.5: sends DNS queries to random file descriptors), jenkins (RHOSE3.2: multiple vulnerabilities), spice (RHEL7: two vulnerabilities), and spice-server (RHEL6: two vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated expat (SLE12-SP1: code execution).
Open Build Service 2.7 has been released. "Three large features around the topic of integrating external resources made it into this release. We worked on automatic tracking of moving repositories of development versions like Fedora Rawhide, distribution updates or rolling Linux releases like Arch. A change to the OBS git integration to enable developers to work on continuous builds. And last but not least an experimental KIWI import that can be used to easily migrate your images from SUSE studio."
Debian-LTS has updated libxml2 (multiple vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated php (F22: multiple vulnerabilities), phpMyAdmin (F22: multiple vulnerabilities), roundcubemail (F23; F22: cross-site scripting), sudo (F23: information leak), and xen (F23: multiple vulnerabilities).
Slackware has updated ntp (multiple vulnerabilities).
SUSE has updated Chromium (SPH for SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).
The second 4.7 prepatch is now available for testing. Linus says: "There's a late non-fix I took even though the merge window is over, because I've been wanting it for a while. I doubt anybody notices the actual effects of a pty change/cleanup that means that our old disgusting DEVPTS_MULTIPLE_INSTANCES kernel config option is gone, because the cleanup means that it is no longer needed." For details on this change, see this article from last week's Kernel Page.
At his blog, Gunnar Wolf urges developers to stop using "short" (eight hex-digit) PGP key IDs as soon as possible. The impetus for the advice originates with Debian's Enrico Zini, who recently found two keys sharing the same short ID in the wild. The possibility of short-ID collisions has been known for a while, but it is still disconcerting to see in the wild. "Those three keys are not (yet?) uploaded to the keyservers, though... But we can expect them to appear at any point in the future. We don't know who is behind this, or what his purpose is. We just know this looks very evil."
Wolf goes on to note that short IDs are not merely human-readable conveniences, but are actually used to identify PGP keys in some software programs. To mitigate the risk, he recommends configuring GnuPG to never shows short IDs, to ensure that other programs do not consume short IDs, and to "only sign somebody else's key if you see and verify its full fingerprint. [...] And there are surely many other important recommendations. But this is a good set of points to start with."
Debian has updated libxml2 (multiple vulnerabilities).
Mageia has updated chromium-browser-stable (M5: multiple vulnerabilities), libgd (M5: multiple vulnerabilities), nginx (M5: denial of service), pgpdump (M5: buffer overrun), and php (M5: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated chromium-browser (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated nginx (14.04, 15.10, 16.04: denial of service).
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