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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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Security updates for Friday

금, 2021/07/16 - 10:43오후
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (firefox-esr), Fedora (linuxptp), Gentoo (commons-collections), Mageia (aom, firefox, python-django, thunderbird, and tpm2-tools), openSUSE (claws-mail, kernel, nodejs10, and nodejs14), Red Hat (nettle), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (firefox, kernel, nodejs10, and nodejs14), and Ubuntu (libslirp and qemu).
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[$] GitHub is my copilot

목, 2021/07/15 - 11:22오후
Your editor has worked in the computing field for rather longer than he cares to admit; for all of that time it has been said that a day will come when all that tedious programming work will no longer be necessary. Instead, we'll just say what we want and the computer will figure it out. Arguably, the announcement of GitHub Copilot takes us another step in that direction. On the way, though, it raises some interesting questions about copyright and free-software licensing.
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Security updates for Thursday

목, 2021/07/15 - 10:36오후
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr and php7.0), Fedora (firefox, mingw-djvulibre, and seamonkey), Gentoo (fluidsynth, openscad, and urllib3), openSUSE (ffmpeg, nodejs12, and sqlite3), Red Hat (firefox), and SUSE (ffmpeg, kernel, nodejs10, nodejs12, nodejs14, and sqlite3).
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Nguyen: CVE-2021-22555: Turning \x00\x00 into 10000$

목, 2021/07/15 - 9:46오후
For those who appreciate detailed descriptions of how to exploit a kernel vulnerability, this report on a netfilter bug by Andy Nguyen should certainly satisfy.

CVE-2021-22555 is a 15 years old heap out-of-bounds write vulnerability in Linux Netfilter that is powerful enough to bypass all modern security mitigations and achieve kernel code execution. It was used to break the kubernetes pod isolation of the kCTF cluster and won 10000$ for charity (where Google will match and double the donation to 20000$).

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[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for July 15, 2021

목, 2021/07/15 - 9:49오전
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for July 15, 2021 is available.
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[$] Planning the CentOS 8 endgame

목, 2021/07/15 - 7:06오전
CentOS 8 is reaching its end of life (EOL) at the end of 2021, though it was originally slated to be supported until 2029. That change was announced last December, but it may still come as a surprise to some, perhaps many, of the users of the distribution. While the systems running CentOS 8 will continue to do so, early next year they will stop getting security (and other) updates. The CentOS project sees CentOS Stream as a viable alternative, but users may not agree—should the project simply leave CentOS 8 systems as ticking time bombs in 2022 and beyond?
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Some massive stable kernel updates

목, 2021/07/15 - 1:07오전
The 5.13.2, 5.12.17, 5.10.50, and 5.4.132 stable kernel updates are out. They are huge; when asked why, Greg Kroah-Hartman responded:

They show the problem that we currently have where maintainers wait at the end of the -rc cycle and keep valid fixes from being sent to Linus. They "bunch up" and come out only in -rc1 and so the first few stable releases after -rc1 comes out are huge. It's been happening for the past few years and only getting worse. These stable releases are proof of that, the 5.13.2-rc release was the largest we have ever done and it broke one of my scripts because of it :(

There has been more than the usual amount of discussion about patches that perhaps should not have been included; the probability of regressions in these releases may be a bit above average. They also, of course, contain a lot of important bug fixes.

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Security updates for Wednesday

수, 2021/07/14 - 11:46오후
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (xstream), Debian (linuxptp), Fedora (glibc and krb5), Gentoo (pillow and thrift), Mageia (ffmpeg and libsolv), openSUSE (kernel and qemu), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (php5, php7.0).
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[$] Copyleft-next and the kernel

수, 2021/07/14 - 6:35오전
The Linux kernel is, as a whole, licensed under the GPLv2, but various parts and pieces are licensed under other compatible licenses and/or dual-licensed. That picture was much murkier only a few years back, before the SPDX in the kernel project cleaned up the licensing information in most of the kernel source by specifying the licenses, by name rather than boilerplate text, directly in the files. A recent move to add yet another license into the mix is encountering some headwinds, but the license in question has already being used in a few kernel files, and has been for four years at this point.
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Firefox 90 released

수, 2021/07/14 - 3:31오전
Version 90 of the Firefox browser is out. The headline feature this time around, beyond working links in PDF output, is a new version of the SmartBlock feature which appears to have been designed with a specific goal in mind: "Third-party Facebook scripts are blocked to prevent you from being tracked, but are now automatically loaded 'just in time' if you decide to 'Log in with Facebook' on any website."
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Tails 4.20 is out

수, 2021/07/14 - 1:22오전
Tails is a privacy focused distribution and Tails 4.20 "completely changes how to connect to the Tor network from Tails" with the new Tor Connection assistant. This new assistant is most useful for users who are at high risk of physical surveillance, under heavy network censorship, or on a poor Internet connection:

  • It protects better the users who need to go unnoticed if using Tor could look suspicious to someone who monitors their Internet connection (parental control, abusive partner, school or work network, etc.).

  • It allows people who need to connect to Tor using bridges to configure them without having to change the default configuration in the Welcome Screen.

  • It helps first-time users understand how to connect to a local Wi-Fi network.

  • It provides feedback while connecting to Tor and helps troubleshoot network problems.
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Security updates for Tuesday

화, 2021/07/13 - 11:54오후
Security updates have been issued by Debian (sogo), Fedora (libvirt), Gentoo (polkit), Mageia (binutils, freeradius, guile1.8, kernel, kernel-linus, libgrss, mediawiki, mosquitto, php-phpmailer, and webmin), openSUSE (bluez and jdom2), Oracle (kernel and xstream), Scientific Linux (xstream), and SUSE (kernel and python-pip).
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[$] The conclusion of the 5.14 merge window

화, 2021/07/13 - 6:15오전
The 5.14 merge window closed with the 5.14-rc1 release on July 11. By that time, some 12,981 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository; nearly 8,000 of those arrived after the first LWN 5.14 merge-window summary was written. This merge window has thus seen fewer commits than its predecessor, which saw 14,231 changesets before the 5.13-rc1 release. That said, there is still a lot of interesting work that has found its way into the kernel this time around.
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Security updates for Monday

화, 2021/07/13 - 12:15오전
Security updates have been issued by Fedora (djvulibre), Gentoo (connman, gnuchess, openexr, and xen), openSUSE (arpwatch, avahi, dbus-1, dhcp, djvulibre, freeradius-server, fribidi, gstreamer, gstreamer-plugins-bad, gstreamer-plugins-base, gstreamer-plugins-good, gstreamer-plugins-ugly, gupnp, hivex, icinga2, jdom2, jetty-minimal, kernel, kubevirt, libgcrypt, libnettle, libxml2, openexr, openscad, pam_radius, polkit, postgresql13, python-httplib2, python-py, python-rsa, qemu, redis, rubygem-actionpack-5_1, salt, snakeyaml, squid, tpm2.0-tools, and xstream), Red Hat (xstream), and SUSE (bluez, csync2, dbus-1, jdom2, postgresql13, redis, slurm_20_11, and xstream).
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Solus 4.3 released

월, 2021/07/12 - 10:35오후
Version 4.3 of the Solus "home computing" distribution has been released. "This release delivers new desktop environment updates, software stacks, and hardware enablement."
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Kernel prepatch 5.14-rc1

월, 2021/07/12 - 11:55오전
Linus has released 5.14-rc1 and closed the merge window for this development cycle:

On the whole, I don't think there are any huge surprises in here, and size-wise this seems to be a pretty regular release too. Let's hope that that translates to a nice and calm release cycle, but you never know.

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Some weekend stable kernels

월, 2021/07/12 - 5:53오전
The 5.12.16, 5.10.49, 5.4.131, 4.19.197, 4.14.239, 4.9.275, and 4.4.275 stable kernels have been released. Each contains a relatively small set of important fixes.
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Security updates for Saturday

일, 2021/07/11 - 8:58오전
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (gitlab, nodejs, openexr, php, php7, rabbitmq, ruby-addressable, and spice), Fedora (suricata), Gentoo (binutils, docker, runc, and tor), Mageia (avahi, botan2, connman, gstreamer1.0-plugins, htmldoc, jhead, libcroco, libebml, libosinfo, openexr, php, php-smarty, pjproject, and python), openSUSE (apache2, bind, bouncycastle, ceph, containerd, docker, runc, cryptctl, curl, dovecot23, firefox, graphviz, gstreamer-plugins-bad, java-1_8_0-openj9, java-1_8_0-openjdk, libass, libjpeg-turbo, libopenmpt, libqt5-qtwebengine, libu2f-host, libwebp, libX11, lua53, lz4, nginx, ovmf, postgresql10, postgresql12, python-urllib3, qemu, roundcubemail, solo, thunderbird, ucode-intel, wireshark, and xterm), and SUSE (permissions).
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Announcing Arti, a pure-Rust Tor implementation (Tor blog)

토, 2021/07/10 - 3:05오전
The Tor project, which provides tools for internet privacy and anonymity, has announced a rewrite of the Tor protocols in Rust, called Arti. It is not ready for prime time, yet, but based on a grant from Zcash Open Major Grants (ZOMG), significant work is ongoing; the plan is "to try bring Arti to a production-quality client implementation over the next year and a half". The C implementation is not going away anytime soon, but the idea is that Arti will eventually supplant it. The project sees a number of benefits from using Rust, including: For years now, we've wanted to split Tor's relay cryptography across multiple CPU cores, but we've run into trouble. C's support for thread-safety is quite fragile, and it is very easy to write a program that looks safe to run across multiple threads, but which introduces subtle bugs or security holes. If one thread accesses a piece of state at the same time that another thread is changing it, then your whole program can exhibit some truly confusing and bizarre bugs.

But in Rust, this kind of bug is easy to avoid: the same type system that keeps us from writing memory unsafety prevents us from writing dangerous concurrent access patterns. Because of that, Arti's circuit cryptography has been multicore from day 1, at very little additional programming effort.

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[$] Syncing all the things

금, 2021/07/09 - 10:53오후
Computing devices are wonderful; they surely must be, since so many of us have so many of them. The proliferation of computers leads directly to a familiar problem, though: the files we want are always on the wrong machine. One solution is synchronization services that keep a set of files up to date across a multitude of machines; a number of companies have created successful commercial offerings based on such services. Some of us, though, are stubbornly resistant to the idea of placing our data in the hands of corporations and their proprietary systems. For those of us who would rather stay in control of our data, systems like Syncthing offer a possible solution.
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