Welcome to LWN.net [LWN.net] (2024)

[$] Fedora approves shipping pre-built macOS binaries

[Distributions] Posted May 29, 2024 18:15 UTC (Wed) by jzb

The Asahi Linux project worksto support Linux on Apple Silicon hardware. Theproject's flagshipdistribution is the FedoraAsahi Remix, which has its own installer (rather than Anaconda) toaccommodate the unique requirements of installing on Apple'shardware. Previously the installer was built by the Asahi project, but it has asked for (and received) an exceptionfrom the FedoraEngineering Steering Committee (FESCo) to include two binariesfrom upstream open-source projects so that the installer can be built on Fedorainfrastructure.

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Results from the 2024 FreeBSD Community Survey Report

[Distributions] Posted May 29, 2024 17:41 UTC (Wed) by jzb

The FreeBSD Foundation has announcedthe 2024FreeBSD Community Survey Report. The report provides a summary of1,446 responses to an anonymous online survey of FreeBSD users. Itprovides insights into user profiles, typical usage, how the FreeBSDproject is viewed, as well as recommendations for expanding theFreeBSD community and contributor base:

Currently fewer than half of users consider FreeBSD their dailydriver; Individuals are less likely than Corporate Users to considerFreeBSD primary. The barrier seems to be less about software and moreabout hardware support, particularly around Wi-Fi drivers (which areat the top of the wish list for the Foundation to focus on in thecoming year). A relatively high number of those who don't considerFreeBSD their main OS say they would consider doing so with hardwaresupport for desktops and laptops that was equivalent to Linux.

The rawdata for the survey is available as well.

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A plea for more thoughtful comments

[Front] Posted May 29, 2024 16:28 UTC (Wed) by corbet

When redesigning the LWN site in 2002, we thought long and hard aboutwhether the ability to post comments should be part of it; LWN had notoffered that feature for the first four years of its existence. There werealready plenty of examples of how comments can go bad by then, but wedecided to trust our readers to keep things under control. Much of thetime, that trust has proved justified, but there have been times wherethings have not gone so well. This time is quickly becoming one of thoseothers.

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Security updates for Wednesday

[Security] Posted May 29, 2024 13:20 UTC (Wed) by jzb

Security updates have been issued by AlmaLinux (glibc and tomcat), Fedora (chromium, fcitx5-qt, python-pyqt6, qadwaitadecorations, qgnomeplatform, qt6, qt6-qt3d, qt6-qt5compat, qt6-qtbase, qt6-qtcharts, qt6-qtcoap, qt6-qtconnectivity, qt6-qtdatavis3d, qt6-qtdeclarative, qt6-qtgraphs, qt6-qtgrpc, qt6-qthttpserver, qt6-qtimageformats, qt6-qtlanguageserver, qt6-qtlocation, qt6-qtlottie, qt6-qtmqtt, qt6-qtmultimedia, qt6-qtnetworkauth, qt6-qtopcua, qt6-qtpositioning, qt6-qtquick3d, qt6-qtquick3dphysics, qt6-qtquicktimeline, qt6-qtremoteobjects, qt6-qtscxml, qt6-qtsensors, qt6-qtserialbus, qt6-qtserialport, qt6-qtshadertools, qt6-qtspeech, qt6-qtsvg, qt6-qttools, qt6-qttranslations, qt6-qtvirtualkeyboard, qt6-qtwayland, qt6-qtwebchannel, qt6-qtwebengine, qt6-qtwebsockets, qt6-qtwebview, and zeal), Red Hat (glibc, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, linux-firmware, mod_http2, pcp, pcs, protobuf, python3, rpm-ostree, and rust), SUSE (git, glibc-livepatches, kernel, libxml2, openssl-1_1, SUSE Manager Client Tools, SUSE Manager Client Tools, salt, and xdg-desktop-portal), and Ubuntu (amavisd-new, firefox, flask-security, frr, git, intel-microcode, jinja2, libreoffice, linux-intel-iotg, unbound, and webkit2gtk).

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[$] Supporting BPF in GCC

[Kernel] Posted May 28, 2024 19:45 UTC (Tue) by daroc

The GCC project has been working to support compiling to BPFfor some time. José Marchesi and David Faust spoke in an extended session at the 2024Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory Management, and BPF Summitabout how that work has been going, and what is left for GCC to be on-par withLLVM with regard to BPF support. They also related tentative plans for howGCC BPF support would be maintained in the future.

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[$] Filesystems and iomap

[Kernel] Posted May 28, 2024 13:56 UTC (Tue) by jake

The iomapblock-mapping abstraction is being used by more filesystems, in partbecause of its support for large folios. But there are some challenges inadopting iomap, which was the topic of a discussion led by Ritesh Harjaniin a combined storage and filesystem session at the 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory Management, and BPF Summit. One of the main troublespots is how to handle metadata, which is not an area that iomap has been aimedat.

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[$] Measuring memory fragmentation

[Kernel] Posted May 28, 2024 13:29 UTC (Tue) by corbet

In the final session in the memory-management track of the 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit, the exhausted group ofdevelopers looked one more time at the use of huge pages and the associatedproblem of memory fragmentation. At its worst, this problem can make hugepages harder (and more expensive) to allocate. Luis Chamberlain, who ranthe session, felt that people were worried about this problem, but thatthere was little data on how severe it truly is.

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[$] The state of the memory-management community in 2024

[Kernel] Posted May 28, 2024 13:28 UTC (Tue) by corbet

A longstanding tradition in the memory-management track of the Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit is a session withmaintainer Andrew Morton to discuss the overall state of the community andthe development process. The 2024 gathering upheld that tradition towardthe end of the final day of the event. It seems that Morton and theassembled developers were all happy with how memory-management work isgoing, but there is always room for improvement.

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Security updates for Tuesday

[Security] Posted May 28, 2024 13:19 UTC (Tue) by corbet

Security updates have been issued by Debian (less), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), SUSE (apache2, java-1_8_0-openj9, kernel, libqt5-qtnetworkauth, and openssl-3), and Ubuntu (netatalk and python-cryptography).

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Huston: Calling Time on DNSSEC?

[Security] Posted May 27, 2024 21:56 UTC (Mon) by corbet

Geoff Huston suggeststhat it is time to give up on DNSSEC and look for a better way to securethe Internet namespace.

What appears to be very clear (to me at any rate!) is that DNSSECas we know it today is just not going anywhere. It's too complex,too fragile and just too slow to use for the majority of servicesand their users. Some value its benefits highly enough that theyare prepared to live with its shortcomings, but that's not the casefor the overall majority of name holders and for the majority ofusers, and no amount of passionate exhortations about DNSSEC willchange this.

Comments (71 posted)

[$] LLVM improvements for BPF verification

[Kernel] Posted May 27, 2024 17:04 UTC (Mon) by daroc

Alan Jowett gave a remote presentation at the 2024Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory Management, and BPF Summit about what features could beadded to LLVM to make writing BPF programs easier. While there is nothing specificto LLVM about BPF code (and the next session in the track was led by GCCdeveloper José Marchesi about better support for that compiler), LLVM is currently the mostcommon way to turn C code into BPF bytecode. That translation, however, runsinto problems when the BPF verifier cannot understand the code LLVM'soptimizations produce.

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[$] Fleshing out memory descriptors

[Kernel] Posted May 27, 2024 13:39 UTC (Mon) by corbet

One of the long-term goals of the folio conversion in the kernel'smemory-management subsystem is the replacement of the pagestructure, which describes a page of physical memory, with an eight-byte"memory descriptor". This change would reduce the overhead of trackingphysical memory, increase type safety, and make memory management moreflexible. Thus far, though, details on what the memory-descriptor futurewill look like have been relatively scarce. At the 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit, Matthew Wilcox led adiscussion to try to fill in the picture somewhat.

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Security updates for Monday

[Security] Posted May 27, 2024 13:35 UTC (Mon) by jake

Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2, bluez, chromium, fossil, libreoffice, python-pymysql, redmine, and ruby-rack), Fedora (buildah, crosswords, dotnet7.0, glycin-loaders, gnome-tour, helix, helvum, libipuz, loupe, maturin, mingw-libxml2, ntpd-rs, perl-Email-MIME, and a huge list of Rust-based packages due to a "mini-mass-rebuild" that updated the toolchain to Rust 1.78 and picked up fixes for various pieces), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, mariadb, and roundcubemail), Oracle (kernel, libreoffice, nodejs, and tomcat), and SUSE (cJSON, libfastjson, opera, postgresql15, python3, and qt6-networkauth).

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[$] The rest of the 6.10 merge window

[Kernel] Posted May 27, 2024 13:04 UTC (Mon) by corbet

Linus Torvalds released 6.10-rc1 and closedthe 6.10 merge window on May26. By that time, 11,534 non-mergechangesets had been pulled into the mainline for the next release; nearly5,000 of those came in after "The first half ofthe 6.10 merge window" was written. While the latter half of the mergewindow tends to focus more on fixes, there was also a lot of newfunctionality that landed during this time.

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[$] The next steps for the maple tree

[Kernel] Posted May 27, 2024 12:48 UTC (Mon) by corbet

The maple tree data structure was addedduring the 6.1 development cycle; since then, it has taken itsplace at the core of the kernel's memory-management subsystem.Unsurprisingly, work on maple trees is not yet done. Maple-tree maintainerLiam Howlett ran a session in the memory-management track of the 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit to discuss the currentstate of the maple tree and which features can be expected next.

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Kernel prepatch 6.10-rc1

[Kernel] Posted May 26, 2024 22:55 UTC (Sun) by corbet

Linus has released6.10-rc1 and closed the merge window for this release. For reasonsthat have not been spelled out, the codename for the release has beenchanged to "Baby Opossum Posse".

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Eight weekend stable kernel updates

[Kernel] Posted May 26, 2024 0:07 UTC (Sun) by jzb

The 6.9.2, 6.8.11, 6.6.32, 6.1.92, 5.15.160, 5.10.218, 5.4.277, and 4.19.315stable kernel updates have all been released. Each contains animportant set of fixes. Users of those kernels should upgrade.

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[$] Two talks on multi-size transparent huge page performance

[Kernel] Posted May 25, 2024 16:38 UTC (Sat) by corbet

Using huge pages has been known for years to improve the performance ofmany workloads. But traditional huge pages, often sized by the CPU at 2MB,can be difficult to allocate and can waste memory due to internalfragmentation. Driven by both the folio transition and hardwareimprovements, attention to smaller, multi-size transparent huge pages(mTHPs) has been on the rise. In two memory-management-track sessions atthe 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit, developers discussed thekernel's ability to reliably allocate mTHPs and the performance gains thatresult.

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[$] Atomic writes without tears

[Kernel] Posted May 24, 2024 21:33 UTC (Fri) by jake

John Garry and Ted Ts'o led a discussion about supporting atomic writes for bufferedI/O, without any torn (or partial) writes to the device, at the 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory Management, and BPF Summit. It is something of acontinuation of a discussion at last year'ssummit. The goal is to help PostgreSQL, which writes its data using16KB buffered I/O; it currently has to do a lot of extra work to ensurethat its data is safe on disk. A promise of non-torn, 16KB buffered writeswould allow the database to avoid doing double writes.

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[$] Allocator optimizations for transparent huge pages

[Kernel] Posted May 24, 2024 20:42 UTC (Fri) by corbet

The original Linux kernel, posted in 1991, ran on a system with a 4KB pagesize. Over 30years later, most of us are still running on systemswith 4KB pages, even though the amount of installed memory has grown by afew orders of magnitude. It is generally accepted that using large pagesizes results in better performance for most applications, but allocatinglarger pages is often difficult. During a memory-management session at the 2024 Linux Storage,Filesystem, Memory-Management and BPF Summit, Yu Zhao presented hisideas on improving the allocation of huge pages in the kernel.

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