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Links 08/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC1 Out the Gate, Yocto Project Reaches 4.2

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • 9to5LinuxLinus Torvalds Announces First Linux Kernel 6.4 Release Candidate

        The two-week merge window for Linux kernel 6.4 is now closed and the first Release Candidate is available to download from the website or from Linus Torvalds’ git tree for early adopters, system integrators, and bleeding-edge users who want to get a glimpse of what’s about to be included in the final release.

        Linus Torvalds writes in his announcement post that the Linux 6.4-rc1 patch consists of about 55 percent updated and new drivers, about 20 percent architecture updates, and the rest is the usual random mix of documentation, tooling, networking, filesystem, and core kernel stuff.

      • LWNKernel prepatch 6.4-rc1

        This is just one more back in the long-running shadow-stack story; see this article for some background.

        In the end, 13,044 non-merge changesets were pulled during this merge window.

      • LWNLinux 6.4-rc1
        So here we are, two weeks later, with the merge window over, and -rc1
        tagged and pushed out.

        Things look pretty normal - the only somewhat unusual thing for me personally was that we had two different pull requests that ended up with me doing my own little series of updates on top.

        So both the ITER_UBUF update from Jens, and the x86 LAM support from Dave Hansen (really Kirill, but I see the pull from Dave) caused me to do some extra x86 user access cleanups.

        The reason I mention that isn't so much "oh, I got to code a bit again", but that this actually caused me to *finally* switch to a more modern default 'git diff' algorithm. The default git diff algorithm is the very traditional one (aka 'Myers algorithm'), and while it works just fine, there's been various heuristics updates to make for nicer diffs by default.

        So I'm now using the 'histogram' algorithm, that takes the "uniqueness" of a line into account when deciding on longest common subsequence, because some of my patches were just an unreadable mess with the plain Myers diff. Not that histogram always helps, but it does often make things more legible.

        Now, this shouldn't really impact anybody else, and I know some people were already using either the patience of histogram algorithms, but I mention it because it does occasionally cause line number differences in the diffstats, and thus affects the pull-request output.

        I'm already used to small differences, but *if* you send me pull requests, this does mean that it might be just slightly easier on me if you follow my lead on picking a diff algorithm, and do

        git config diff.algorithm histogram

        in your kernel tree. Or, if you find that you prefer it over-all, maybe add "--global" there to do it in your main gitconfig to affect all your trees.

        [ Or just edit your .gitconfig files manually, it's actually what I do, but when telling others "you might want to do this", it's simpler to just give the "git config" command line ]

        Anyway, this is absolutely *not* a requirement, and honestly, in 95% of all cases it probably won't even change the diff output at all. But I thought I might just mention it to make people aware (and to maybe minimize the number of pull requests where I go "ok, let's figure out why my end result isn't exactly the same as the one in the PR").

        As to the actual changes in this merge window: the mergelog below gives the high-level view. The diffstat is completely dominated by AMD GPU hardware description files once again, and this time the 'perf' tool has followed suite, and so the other big area ends up being all the perf event JSON file descriptions. Ugh.

        But if you ignore those two "massive, but uninteresting" parts of the changes, everything else looks fairly normal. Lots of development all over, with "that's interesting" mainly depending on the reader. Drivers, architecture updates, filesystems, networking, memory management - there's a bit of everything.

        The one feature that didn't make it was the x86 shadow stack code. That side was probably a bit unlucky, in that it came in as I was looking at x86 issues anyway, and so I looked at it quite a bit, and had enough reservations that I asked for a couple of fairly big re-organizations.

        We'll get to that at a later date, possibly the next release.

        Anyway, please do go test it all out,


    • Applications

      • Linux Links6 Best Free and Open Source Subtitle Downloaders

        Asubtitle is a text representation of the dialogue, narration, music, or sound effects in a video file. Subtitles are available in multiple formats.

        Subtitles can literally make the difference between being immersed in a movie or only watching the screen, trying to keep up with developments. Good subtitling does not distract but actually enhances viewing pleasure, and even native speakers can find subtitles useful, not only where the individual is hearing-impaired.

        There is a good range of open source software that lets you download subtitles. This article showcases dedicated subtitle downloaders, but some media players (including VLC and SMPlayer) also let you download subtitles.

        Here are our recommendations summarised in one of our legendary ratings charts.

      • Neowin7-Zip 23.00 Beta

        7-Zip is a open source file archiver with a high compression ratio. The program supports 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP, WIM, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR, Z. Most of the source code is under the GNU LGPL license. The unRAR code is under a mixed license: GNU LGPL + unRAR restrictions. Check license information here: 7-Zip license.

        You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don't need to register or pay for 7-Zip.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Kushal Das: Fixing missing yubikey trouble on fedora 38

        From the time I updated to Fedora 38, I am having trouble with my Yubikey. If I remove the key, just plugging it back does not help. gpg can not detect it.

      • University of TorontoAdvisory file locks and mandatory file locks are two quite different things

        Advisory file locks are in effect a form of broadcast interprocess communication (IPC) between vaguely cooperating processes. Processes use 'file locking' to broadcast information about what they're doing (such as reading or modifying a file) and what other processes shouldn't do (such as modify or sometimes read the file). Generally there's a simple system to regulate who can broadcast what sort of messages; for example, in Unix you may need to be able to open a file for writing before you can obtain an exclusive lock on it (ie, to broadcast your desire that no one else access the file).

      • LinuxTechiHow to Setup High Availability Apache Cluster on RHEL 9/8
    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Sprint 2023 in Augsburg

          After what felt like an eternity we were finally able to come together in Augsburg, Germany for the Plasma Sprint that was originally planned for April of 2020, kindly hosted by TUXEDO Computers in their offices. There were sixteen attendees from six countries and it was great to have three newcomers on board, too.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • [Yocto] Release notes for 4.2 (mickledore)
    • LWNYocto Project 4.2 released

      Version 4.2 of the Yocto Project distribution builder has been released. It features improved Rust support, a number of BitBake enhancements, lots of updated software, and numerous security fixes.

    • Fernando BorrettiNixOS for the Impatient

      NixOS is a Linux distribution configured using Nix. It is declarative, meaning that the entire system state can be defined in a single .nix file; and reproducible, meaning you can have multiple computers set up identically.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • MichaÅ‚ WoźniakMastodon monoculture problem

      Mastodon-the-software is used by far by the most people on fedi. The biggest instance,, is home to over 200.000 active accounts as of this writing. This is roughly 1/10th of the whole Fediverse, on a single instance. Worse, Mastodon-the-software is often identified as the whole social network, obscuring the fact that Fediverse is a much broader system comprised of a much more diverse software.

      This has poor consequences now, and it might have worse consequences later. What also really bothers me is that I have seen some of this before.

    • Libre ArtsLibreArts Weekly recap — 7 May 2023

      Week highlights: Google Summer of Code 2023 project announced, new releases of DreamWorks MoonRay, BlenderBIM, dav1d, new features in FreeCAD and Ardour.

    • Education

      • Rlang5 new books added to Big Book of R

        Thanks to Niels Ohlsen for for helping me add the books, and to Adejumo Ridwan Suleiman and Mokandil for their submissions.

      • The Register UKDEF CON to set thousands of hackers loose on LLMs

        This year's DEF CON AI Village has invited hackers to show up, dive in, and find bugs and biases in large language models (LLMs) built by OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and others.

        The collaborative event, which AI Village organizers describe as "the largest red teaming exercise ever for any group of AI models," will host "thousands" of people, including "hundreds of students from overlooked institutions and communities," all of whom will be tasked with finding flaws in LLMs that power today's chat bots and generative AI.

    • Licensing / Legal

      • IndiaExplained: What is Open Source Software and its relation to the AI race?

        That said, historically some of the most sophisticated and advanced technologies have been open sourced and that has been a way to develop at a rapid phase. While this is a great collaborative way to develop tech, little has been done to regulate the OSS models, making it equally dangerous if fallen into the wrong hands.

    • Programming/Development

      • ChrisWho Was On The Winning Team?

        However, there’s an easier way to do it by thinking combinatorically33 And this is the reason I wrote this up in the first place: I didn’t expect to be able to use the enumerative combinatorics I learned a few months ago, but thanks to spaced repetition it was still fairly accessible in my brain!: There are \({19 \choose 5}\) ways to select the members of the winning team from all 19 colleagues. There are \({15 \choose 5}\) ways to select the winning team without picking any Peter44 If we restrict the valid candidate pool to only those whose names are not Peter, there are 15 colleagues to choose from.. Thus, the probability that Peter is in the winning team is \[1 - {15 \choose 5} \bigg/ {19 \choose 5} = 74 \%.\]

        It was a fairly good guess!

      • 37signals LLCProgramming types and mindsets

        One of the longest running schisms in programming is that of static vs dynamic typing. I've heard a million arguments from both sides throughout my entire career, but seen very few of them ever convinced anyone of anything. As rationalizations masquerading as reason rarely do in matters of faith. The rider will always justify the way of the elephant.

      • Dr Werner VogelsMonoliths are not dinosaurs

        A great example can be found in two insightful blog posts written by Prime Video’s engineering teams. The first describes how Thursday Night Football live streaming is built around a distributed workflow architecture. The second is a recent post that dives into the architecture of their stream monitoring tool, and how their experience and analysis drove them to implement it as a monolithic architecture. There is no one-size-fits-all. We always urge our engineers to find the best solution, and no particular architectural style is mandated. If you hire the best engineers, you should trust them to make the best decisions.

      • Matt MightHello, Perceptron: An introduction to artificial neural networks

        The purpose of this article is to give programmers without much exposure to machine learning an understanding of the key building block powering generative AI: the artificial neuron.

      • 37signals LLCEscaping creative downturns

        If I'm stuck in a creative downturn, there's usually only one remedy: keep going. That is, accept the downturn, but continue to stare at the computer, waiting for it to pass. While staring at the computer, there's room for menial and managerial tasks put aside during more inspired times. Checking up on things, getting back to people, and reading copious amount of [Internet]. But it's still a creative deadzone.

  • Leftovers

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