[$] Bringing the Android kernel back to the mainline

Android devices are based on the Linux kernel but, since the beginning,
those devices have not run mainline kernels. The amount of out-of-tree
code shipped on those devices has been seen as a problem for
most of this time, and significant resources have been dedicated to reducing it.
At the 2018 Linux Plumbers
Conference
, Sandeep Patil talked about this problem and what is being
done to address it. The dream of running mainline kernels on Android
devices has not yet been achieved, but it may be closer than many people think.

Source: LWN

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta

Red Hat has announced
the release
of RHEL 8 Beta. “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta introduces the concept of Application Streams to deliver userspace packages more simply and with greater flexibility. Userspace components can now update more quickly than core operating system packages and without having to wait for the next major version of the operating system. Multiple versions of the same package, for example, an interpreted language or a database, can also be made available for installation via an application stream. This helps to deliver greater agility and user-customized versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux without impacting the underlying stability of the platform or specific deployments.

Source: LWN

Security updates for Thursday

Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kde-connect, mingw-SDL2_image, SDL2_image, and subscription-manager), Red Hat (flash-plugin), SUSE (openssh-openssl1, systemd, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux-azure, linux-hwe, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, postgresql-10, and python2.7).

Source: LWN

[$] A report from the Automated Testing Summit

In the first session of the Testing
& Fuzzing microconference
at the 2018 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), Kevin
Hilman gave a report on the recently held Automated Testing
Summit
(ATS). Since the summit was an invitation-only gathering of 35
people, there were many at LPC who were not at ATS but had a keen
interest in what was discussed. The summit came out of a realization that
there is a lot of kernel testing going on in various places, but not a lot
of collaboration between those efforts, Hilman said.

Source: LWN

[$] Device-tree schemas

Device trees have become ubiquitous in recent years as a way of
describing the hardware layout of non-discoverable systems, such as many
ARM-based devices. The device-tree bindings define how a particular
piece of hardware is described in a device tree. Drivers then implement
those bindings. The device-tree documentation shows how to use the
bindings to describe systems: which properties are available and which values
they may have. In theory, the bindings, drivers and documentation should be
consistent with each other. In practice, they are often not consistent and,
even when they are, using those bindings correctly in actual device trees
is not a trivial task. As a result, developers have
been considering formal validation for device-tree files for years.
Recently, Rob Herring proposed
a move to a more structured documentation format for device-tree bindings
using JSON Schema to allow automated
validation.

Source: LWN

Results: Linux Foundation Technical Board Election 2018

The results of the 2018 election for members of the Linux Foundation’s
Technical Advisory Board have been posted; the members elected this time
around are Chris Mason, Laura Abbott, Olof Johansson, Dan Williams, and
Kees Cook. Abbott and Cook are new members to the board this time around.
(The other TAB members are Ted Ts’o, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Jonathan Corbet,
Tim Bird, and Steve Rostedt).

Source: LWN

Security updates for Wednesday

Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (powerdns and powerdns-recursor), Debian (ceph and spamassassin), Fedora (feh, flatpak, and xen), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, openstack-cinder, python-cryptography, and Red Hat Single Sign-On 7.2.5), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.4, python3.5).

Source: LWN

[$] Debian, Rust, and librsvg

Debian supports
many architectures
and, even for those it does not officially support,
there are Debian ports that try
to fill in the gap. For most user applications, it is mostly a matter of
getting GCC up and running for the architecture in question, then building
all of the different packages
that Debian provides. But for packages
that need to be built with LLVM—applications or libraries that use Rust,
for example—that simple recipe becomes more complicated. How much the lack
of Rust support for an unofficial architecture
should hold back the rest of the distribution was the subject of a somewhat
acrimonious discussion recently.

Source: LWN