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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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Allison Lortie writes about a new proposed GTK release scheme that may take some getting used to. "Meanwhile, Gtk 4.0 will not be the final stable API of what we would call 'Gtk 4'. Each 6 months, the new release (Gtk 4.2, Gtk 4.4, Gtk 4.6) will break API and ABI vs. the release that came before it. These incompatible minor versions will not be fully parallel installable; they will use the same pkg-config name and the same header file directory. We will, of course, bump the soname with each new incompatible release — you will be able to run Gtk 4.0 apps alongside Gtk 4.2 and 4.4 apps, but you won’t be able to build them on the same system. This policy fits the model of how most distributions think about libraries and their 'development packages'." Only the last release in each major number series (expected every two years) would have a stable API. Read the whole thing to fully understand what is being proposed.
Let's Encrypt has a preliminary report about an email address disclosure. "On June 11 2016 (UTC), we started sending an email to all active subscribers who provided an email address, informing them of an update to our subscriber agreement. This was done via an automated system which contained a bug that mistakenly prepended between 0 and 7,618 other email addresses to the body of the email. The result was that recipients could see the email addresses of other recipients. The problem was noticed and the system was stopped after 7,618 out of approximately 383,000 emails (1.9%) were sent. Each email mistakenly contained the email addresses from the emails sent prior to it, so earlier emails contained fewer addresses than later ones." A postmortem is underway. (Thanks to Paul Wise)
Update: postmortem results have been added to the incident report. "A small piece of software had been written to handle one-off mass emailing to our subscribers. It was being used for the first time when this incident occurred. The software went through code review and testing as it was being developed, but testing was insufficient. It did not catch a bug which prepended the email addresses of prior recipients to the body of emails. Insufficient testing is considered to be the root cause of this incident."
Fedora has updated xen (F22: multiple vulnerabilities).
openSUSE has updated firefox, nss (Leap42.1, 13.2; 13.1: multiple vulnerabilities), opera (Leap42.1: multiple vulnerabilities), php5 (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), phpMyAdmin (13.1: three vulnerabilities), and proftpd (13.1: weak key usage).
SUSE has updated qemu (SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities).
Thomas Gleixner wrote the following to us: The Linux Kernel community is mourning the passing of Hans-Jürgen Koch. Hans was a free-software enthusiast and an active contributor. He worked on Radio Data System support both in kernel and user space and was the main author and maintainer of the UIO subsystem and contributed in various ways to the Linux kernel as a professional and hobbyist. He authored a UIO book, gave countless talks at various open-source conferences, and served as a member of the Linuxtag program committee.
His calm and modest nature made it a pleasure to work with him. Meeting him in person was always a enjoyable experience. His interests spanned a broad range from literature, music and history to politics and engagement for the german branch of Friends of the Earth. His wicked sense of humor along with his always ready to be told bag of anecdotes enlivened quite some social events.
He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends.
The third 4.7 prepatch is out for testing. Linus says: "The diffstat looks fairly normal and innocuous. There's more of a filesystem component to it than usual, but that's mostly some added new btrfs tests, and if you ignore that part it's all the normal stuff: drivers dominate (gpu and networking drivers are the bulk, but there's i2c, rdma, ...) with some arch updates, and general networking code. And the usual random stuff all over."
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."
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