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

[$] Portable LLMs with llamafile

[Development] Posted May 14, 2024 15:00 UTC (Tue) by daroc

Large language models (LLMs) have been the subject of much discussion andscrutiny recently. Of particular interest to open-source enthusiasts are theproblems with running LLMs on one's own hardware — especially when doing sorequires NVIDIA's proprietary CUDA toolkit, which remains unavailable in manyenvironments.Mozilla has developedllamafile as apotential solution to these problems. Llamafile can compile LLM weightsinto portable, native executables for easy integration, archival, ordistribution. These executables can take advantage of supported GPUs whenpresent, but do not require them.

Full Story (comments: 2)

[$] Some 6.9 development statistics

[Kernel] Posted May 13, 2024 17:28 UTC (Mon) by corbet

The 6.9 kernel was releasedon May12 after a typical nine-week development cycle. Once again,this is a major release containing a lot of changes and new features. Ourmerge-window summaries (part1, part2) covered those changes; now thatthe development cycle is complete, the time has come to look at where allthat work came from — and to introduce a new and experimental LWN featurefor readers interested in this kind of information.

Full Story (comments: 7)

[$] Managing expectations with a contributions and credit policy

[Front] Posted May 13, 2024 15:35 UTC (Mon) by vaurora

Maintainers of open-source projects sometimes have disagreements withcontributors over how contributions are reviewed, modified, merged, andcredited. A written policy describing how contributions are handled canhelp maintainers set reasonable expectations for potential contributors.In turn, that can make the maintainer's job easier because it can helpreduce a source of friction in the project. A guide to help create thiskind of policy for a project has recently been developed.

Full Story (comments: 4)

[$] Debian dismisses AI-contributions policy

[Distributions] Posted May 10, 2024 16:08 UTC (Fri) by jzb

In April, the Gentoo Linux project banned the use ofgenerative AI/ML tools due to copyright, ethical, and qualityconcerns. This means contributors cannot use tools like ChatGPT or GitHub Copilot tocreate content for the distribution such as code, documentation,bug reports, and forum posts. A proposal for Debian to adopt a similarpolicy revealed a distinct lack of love for those kinds of tools,though it would also seem few contributors supportbanning them outright.

Full Story (comments: 145)

[$] Another push for sched_ext

[Kernel] Posted May 9, 2024 14:17 UTC (Thu) by corbet

The extensible scheduler class (or "sched_ext") is a comprehensiveframework that enables the implementation of CPU schedulers as a set of BPFprograms that can be loaded at run time. Despite having attracted a fairamount of interest from the development community, sched_ext has run intoconsiderable opposition and seems far from acceptance into the mainline.The posting by Tejun Heo of a newversion of the sched_ext series at the beginning of May has restartedthis long-running discussion, but it is not clear what the end result willbe.

Full Story (comments: 32)

[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2024

Posted May 9, 2024 0:03 UTC (Thu)

The LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2024 is available.

Inside this week's LWN.net Weekly Edition

  • Front: Gittuf; Systemd 256; Accessibility; Inheritable credentials; The file_operations structure; Plasma in Fedora.
  • Briefs: Linux 6.9-rc7; GCC 14.1; Go 1.22 randomness; 2023 PSF report; Rust 1.78.0; curl up; 2023 Free Software Awards; Quotes; ...
  • Announcements: Newsletters, conferences, security updates, patches, and more.

Read more

[$] Securing Git repositories with gittuf

[Security] Posted May 8, 2024 16:11 UTC (Wed) by jzb

The so-called software supply chain starts with source code. But most security measures and toolingdon't kick in until source is turned into an artifact—a sourcetarball, binary build, container image, or other method of delivering arelease to users. The gittuf projectis an attempt to provide a security layer for Git that can handle key management,enforce security policies for repositories, and guard against attacksat the version-control layer. At Open Source Summit North America (OSSNA), Aditya Sirish AYelgundhalli and Billy Lynch presentedan introduction to gittuf with an overview of its goals andstatus.

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[$] A proposal to switch Fedora Workstation's desktop

[Distributions] Posted May 7, 2024 21:46 UTC (Tue) by jake

A proposal to switch the default desktop for Fedora Workstation from GNOMEto KDE Plasma largely went over like the proverbial lead balloon—unsurprisingly.But the conversation about the proposal did surface some areas where thedistribution could perhaps be more inclusive with regard to the other desktop choicesavailable. The project believes that itbenefits from being opinionated and not requiring users to makemultiple decisions before they can even install the distribution, but thereis a balance to be found.

Full Story (comments: 38)

[$] Systemd heads for a big round-number release

[Distributions] Posted May 7, 2024 15:50 UTC (Tue) by daroc

Thesystemd project is preparing for a new release.Version256-rc1 was releasedon April25 with a large number of changes and new features. Most of thechanges relate to security, easier configuration, unprivileged access to systemresources, or all three of these. Users of systemd will find setting upcontainers — even without root access — much simpler and more secure.

Full Story (comments: 28)

[$] Modernizing accessibility for desktop Linux

[Development] Posted May 6, 2024 17:08 UTC (Mon) by jzb

In some aspects, such as in gaming, the Linux desktop has madeenormous strides in the past few years. In others, such asaccessibility, things have stagnated. At Open Source Summit North America (OSSNA), Matt Campbell spokeabout the need for, and an approach to, modernizing accessibility fordesktop Linux. This included a discussion of Newton, a fledglingproject that may greatly improve accessibility on the Linux desktop.

Full Story (comments: 6)

Manjaro 24.0 released

[Distributions] Posted May 14, 2024 17:17 UTC (Tue) by jzb

Version24.0of the Arch-based Manjaro distribution is now available withthe 6.9kernel, GNOME46, Xfce4.18, and an update to thePamac packageinstaller. This is also the project's first release with KDEPlasma6:

The Plasma edition comes with the latest Plasma 6.0 series and KDEGear 24.02. It brings exciting new improvements to your desktop.

With Plasma 6, KDE's technology stack has undergone major upgrades:a transition to the latest version of application framework, Qt, andan improved graphics platform when Wayland is used. These changes areas smooth and unnoticeable to the users as possible. You will see thesame familiar desktop environment that you know and love. But theseunder-the-hood upgrades benefit Plasma's security, efficiency, andperformance, and improve support for modern hardware. Thus Plasmadelivers an overall more reliable user experience, while paving theway for many more improvements in the future.

The project also offers minimal install images with the 6.6LTSand 6.1LTS kernels to support older hardware.

Comments (none posted)

Security updates for Tuesday

[Security] Posted May 14, 2024 13:06 UTC (Tue) by jzb

Security updates have been issued by Debian (glib2.0 and shim), Fedora (glib2, gnome-shell, tcpdump, tpm2-tools, tpm2-tss, and uriparser), Mageia (mutt), Oracle (git-lfs, glibc, kernel, kernel-container, nodejs:18, nodejs:20, and pcp), SUSE (apache2, opensc, openssl-1_1, openssl-3, perl, python-Pillow, python-pyOpenSSL, python-Werkzeug, SUSE Manager Client Tools Beta, tpm2-0-tss, and tpm2.0-tools), and Ubuntu (sqlparse and strongswan).

Full Story (comments: none)

Security updates for Monday

[Security] Posted May 13, 2024 13:07 UTC (Mon) by jzb

Security updates have been issued by AlmaLinux (nodejs:18 and shim), Debian (atril and chromium), Fedora (chromium, glib2, gnome-shell, mediawiki, php-wikimedia-cdb, php-wikimedia-utfnormal, stb, and tcpdump), Gentoo (Kubelet, PoDoFo, Rebar3, and thunderbird), Mageia (glibc and libnbd), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (bind and dhcp and varnish), and SUSE (chromium, cpio, freerdp, giflib, gnutls, opera, python-Pillow, python-Werkzeug, tinyproxy, and tpm2-0-tss).

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The 6.9 kernel is out

[Kernel] Posted May 12, 2024 22:20 UTC (Sun) by corbet

Linus has released the 6.9 kernel. "So 6.9 is now out, and last week has looked quite stable (and thewhole release has felt pretty normal)."Significant changes in this release includethe ability to create pidfds for individualthreads,the BPF arena subsystem,the BPF token security mechanism,truncate() support in io_uring,support for the Rust language on 64-bit Arm systems,weighted interleaving in thememory-management subsystem,the device-mappervirtual data optimizer target,initial FUSE passthrough support,and more.See the LWN merge-window summaries(part1, part2) for more information.

Comments (9 posted)

Security updates for Friday

[Security] Posted May 10, 2024 13:02 UTC (Fri) by daroc

Security updates have been issued by AlmaLinux (container-tools:4.0, container-tools:rhel8, git-lfs, glibc, libxml2, nodejs:18, and nodejs:20), Debian (dav1d and libpgjava), Fedora (kernel and pypy), Red Hat (glibc and nodejs:16), SUSE (ffmpeg, ffmpeg-4, ghostscript, go1.21, go1.22, less, python-python-jose, python-Werkzeug, and sssd), and Ubuntu (fossil, glib2.0, and libspreadsheet-parsexlsx-perl).

Full Story (comments: none)

Security updates for Thursday

[Security] Posted May 9, 2024 13:31 UTC (Thu) by jake

Security updates have been issued by AlmaLinux (ansible-core, avahi, bind, buildah, containernetworking-plugins, edk2, fence-agents, file, freeglut, freerdp, frr, git-lfs, gnutls, golang, grafana, grafana-pcp, gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free, gstreamer1-plugins-base, gstreamer1-plugins-good, harfbuzz, httpd, ipa, libjpeg-turbo, libnbd, LibRaw, libreswan, libsndfile, libssh, libtiff, libvirt, libX11, libXpm, mingw components, mingw-glib2, mingw-pixman, mod_http2, mod_jk and mod_proxy_cluster, motif, mutt, openssl and openssl-fips-provider, osbuild-composer, pam, pcp, perl, pmix, podman, python-jinja2, python-jwcrypto, python3.11, python3.11-cryptography, python3.11-urllib3, qemu-kvm, qt5-qtbase, runc, skopeo, sssd, systemd, tcpdump, tigervnc, toolbox, webkit2gtk3, xorg-x11-server, xorg-x11-server-Xwayland, and zziplib), CentOS (firefox, grub2, kernel, squid, thunderbird, tigervnc, and xorg-x11-server), Debian (chromium, glib2.0, python-idna, webkit2gtk, and wordpress), Fedora (freerdp, freerdp2, and pypy), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, exfatprogs, freeglut, libtiff, libvirt, libxml2, openpmix, php-tcpdf, ruby, tpm2-tools, tpm2-tss, traceroute, and zziplib), Oracle (bind, buildah, git-lfs, gnutls, golang, grafana, grafana-pcp, libreswan, libvirt, libxml2, mod_http2, podman, python-jwcrypto, skopeo, sssd, and tigervnc), Red Hat (nodejs:18, nodejs:20, and squid:4), and SUSE (avahi, ghostscript, go1.21, go1.22, python-pymongo, python-Werkzeug, and sssd).

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Fedora Asahi Remix 40 is now available

[Distributions] Posted May 8, 2024 15:53 UTC (Wed) by jzb

Fedora Magazine reportsthat the Fedora AsahiRemix for Apple Arm hardware, based on Fedora40, is now available:

Fedora Asahi Remix offers KDE Plasma 6 as our flagship desktopexperience. It also features a custom Calamares-based initial setupwizard. A GNOME variant is also available, featuring GNOME 46, withboth desktop variants matching what Fedora Linux offers. Fedora AsahiRemix also provides a Fedora Server variant for server workloads andother types of headless deployments. Finally, we offer a Minimal imagefor users that wish to build their own experience from the ground up.

See the installationguide to get started with the Asahi Remix.

Comments (1 posted)

Security updates for Wednesday

[Security] Posted May 8, 2024 13:46 UTC (Wed) by jzb

Security updates have been issued by Debian (glib2.0 and php7.3), Gentoo (Commons-BeanUtils, Epiphany, glibc, MariaDB, Node.js, NVIDIA Drivers, qtsvg, rsync, U-Boot tools, and ytnef), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (git-lfs and kernel), SUSE (flatpak, less, python311, rpm, and sssd), and Ubuntu (libde265, libvirt, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-ibm, linux-ibm-5.4, linux-iot, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-xilinx-zynqmp, linux, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.15, linux-azure-fde, linux-azure-fde-5.15, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.15, linux-gke, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.15, linux-ibm, linux-ibm-5.15, linux-kvm, linux-lowlatency, linux-lowlatency-hwe-5.15, linux-nvidia, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.15, linux-oem-6.5, and nghttp2).

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GCC 14.1 released

[Development] Posted May 7, 2024 12:57 UTC (Tue) by corbet

Version14.1 of the GCC compiler suite has been released. The list of changesis long; it includes support for more C++26 features, preparation forFortran 2023 support, a new -fhardened flag to enablesecurity-hardening features, vectorizer improvements, and a number of static-analyzer improvements. See the release notes fordetails.

Comments (10 posted)

Secure Randomness in Go 1.22 (Go Blog)

[Development] Posted May 7, 2024 12:46 UTC (Tue) by corbet

The Go Blog has a detailedarticle on the new, more secure random-number generator implemented forthe 1.22 release.

For example, when Go 1.20 deprecated math/rand's Read, we heardfrom developers who discovered (thanks to tooling pointing out useof deprecated functionality) they had been using it in places wherecrypto/rand's Read was definitely needed, like generating keymaterial. Using Go 1.20, that mistake is a serious security problemthat merits a detailed investigation to understand thedamage. Where were the keys used? How were the keys exposed? Wereother random outputs exposed that might allow an attacker to derivethe keys? And so on. Using Go 1.22, that mistake is just a mistake.

Comments (5 posted)

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