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Linux 5.4 Features Are Huge From exFAT To New GPUs To Enabling Lots Of New Hardware

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  • Linux 5.4 Features Are Huge From exFAT To New GPUs To Enabling Lots Of New Hardware

    Phoronix: Linux 5.4 Features Are Huge From exFAT To New GPUs To Enabling Lots Of New Hardware

    The Linux 5.4 merge window is set to end today with the release of Linux 5.4-rc1. With the major pull requests in, here is a look at the prominent changes and new features coming with Linux 5.4. As is standard practice, there will be about eight weekly release candidates of Linux 5.4 prior to officially releasing this kernel as stable in late November or potentially early December depending upon how the cycle plays out.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=28299

  • #2
    As good as a lot of that is, 5.4 also looks to be the "you ain't gonna root that phone anymore" kernel that Google has been after.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
      As good as a lot of that is, 5.4 also looks to be the "you ain't gonna root that phone anymore" kernel that Google has been after.
      That would be a real shame. One of the reasons I prefer Android to iOS is the ability to root easily and retain root.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
        As good as a lot of that is, 5.4 also looks to be the "you ain't gonna root that phone anymore" kernel that Google has been after.
        The question is why they didn't implement it themselves for their current Android kernels which are quite old? It will probably take a lot of time till Android gets the 5.4 kernel with lockdown patches.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

          That would be a real shame. One of the reasons I prefer Android to iOS is the ability to root easily and retain root.
          Just look at FS-VERITY, DM-VERITY, and LOCKDOWN and ask yourself this:

          Are those going to make rooting phones easier or harder?

          Consider this:

          On some phones the unlocking process wipes a DRM partition that then cripples the capabilities of the camera and other parts of the SOC. It's very common on Sony and LG phones. On phones like that we have to root first, backup all the partitions, unlock the phone, install our custom rom, restore the wiped DRM partition(s), and then boot up the phone. All these new kernel features are going to increase the difficulty to do that because they can now check a read-only partition of hash codes to see if an individual file has been changed so they're gonna have to figure out how to spoof a partition hash and individual file hashes (XX-VERITY) while also working around not having access to kernel features (LOCKDOWN).

          These new "features" are going to put a lot of us in the position of do we A, unlock our phone and cripple it to receive timely security updates; or do we B, leave our phone locked and not receive timely security updates. They're nothing but anti-consumer features that do nothing but allow corporations to use free software while imposing their will on the users of the hardware. It lets them use free software & release their sources to stay free software compliant...but it's like thoughts and prayers...fucking pointless since we can't actually make use of the sources on the damn hardware it pairs with.

          That makes me want to ask:

          What's the point of being GPL compliant if the end user can't make use of it?

          Exactly. These let them have their cake and eat it too by using the Linux kernel to turn an OS into an unchangeable binary firmware blob by restricting users' freedoms in how they use their hardware that they purchased. They also further entrench "buy to upgrade" by making it even harder to fully unlock and root our devices for long term use so we literally have to Pay to (use Google) Play. I'm kind of proud of that pun.

          The GPLv2 needs an updated clause about hardware freedom along the line of "if your hardware requires GPL software to function, the end-user should be allowed to freely modify, install, replace, remove, whatever the GPL software used".

          What sucks is these can be great in the hands of end-users wanting to harden our systems; they're just ripe for abuse by "evil corporations" to use free software to make proprietary, locked-down hardware which literally pisses on the spirit of the Free Software Movement and the Open Source Movement.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Volta View Post

            The question is why they didn't implement it themselves for their current Android kernels which are quite old? It will probably take a lot of time till Android gets the 5.4 kernel with lockdown patches.
            They have been and now they're standard features.

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            • #7
              How long for Creative soundcard sense switch between headphones and speaker system?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
                The GPLv2 needs an updated clause about hardware freedom along the line of "if your hardware requires GPL software to function, the end-user should be allowed to freely modify, install, replace, remove, whatever the GPL software used".
                Indeed. we should call it GPLv3. oh wait.. XD
                What sucks is these can be great in the hands of end-users wanting to harden our systems; they're just ripe for abuse by "evil corporations" to use free software to make proprietary, locked-down hardware which literally pisses on the spirit of the Free Software Movement and the Open Source Movement.
                I think Torvalds already has expressed his opinion regarding this, and basically it comes to 'please send your code contribution and enjoy the party'.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post

                  Just look at FS-VERITY, DM-VERITY, and LOCKDOWN and ask yourself this:

                  Are those going to make rooting phones easier or harder?
                  I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure dm-verity has been implemented in Android kernels for a long time. Don't know much about vs-verity and how applicable lockdown is to non x86 systems.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
                    These new "features" are going to put a lot of us in the position of do we A, unlock our phone and cripple it to receive timely security updates; or do we B, leave our phone locked and not receive timely security updates.
                    C) Stop using Android.
                    The GPLv2 needs an updated clause about hardware freedom along the line of "if your hardware requires GPL software to function, the end-user should be allowed to freely modify, install, replace, remove, whatever the GPL software used".
                    There's GPLv3.

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