Debian 10.7 Released With Numerous Security Fixes

Debian 11 is starting its release dance next month with the initial transition and essentials freeze while the actual stable release should make it out later in the year. For now Debian 10 remains the current stable series and this weekend marks the debut of Debian GNU/Linux 10.7.

7 Hours Ago - Debian - Debian 10.7 - 1 Comment
Auxiliary Bus Support Coming To Linux 5.11

Coming to the Linux 5.11 is the Auxiliary Bus infrastructure that allows creating an auxiliary device and binding an auxiliary driver to it. This is for a new core driver feature around increasingly complex devices that rely upon several drivers for support/operation.

8 Hours Ago - Hardware - Auxiliary Bus - 1 Comment
A Quick Look At The Spectre Mitigation State For AMD Zen 3 On Windows 10

Earlier this week I looked at the Spectre mitigation performance impact on AMD Zen+ / Zen 2 / Zen 3 processors given the recent launch of the Ryzen 5000 series and those newest CPUs still requiring some mitigation handling. Questions were raised about the Spectre mitigation handling on Windows, so I ran some quick tests there as I happened to have a Windows 10 install on the Ryzen 9 5900X test box at the moment for some unrelated Windows vs. Linux gaming.

11 Hours Ago - AMD - Spectre + STIBP - 3 Comments
Loongson64 Finally Seeing KASLR With Mainline Linux 5.11 Kernel

While the Linux kernel has supported Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (KASLR) for a decade and a half in varying forms, it hasn't been supported for all hardware targets. Only in 2021 is the mainline Linux kernel seeing KASLR working for the MIPS-based Loongson64 platform.

21 Hours Ago - Hardware - Loongson64 + KASLR - 1 Comment

4 December

Another Look At The Performance Impact To IBM's POWER9 L1d Flushing Change

Last week I provided some benchmarks looking at the IBM POWER9 mitigation for the L1 data cache needing to be flushed upon entering the kernel and on user accesses due to a recently disclosed vulnerability. POWER9 allows speculatively operating on validated data in the L1 cache, but when it comes to incompletely validated data paired with other side channels it could lead to local users potentially obtaining improper access to data in the L1 data cache. When benchmarking the impact on a POWER9 4c/16t CPU the overall impact was fairly modest while since then I fired up some benchmarks as well on a large POWER9 server with 44 cores / 176 threads to see the performance impact of this default Linux kernel change.

4 December 10:00 AM EST - Software - 4 Comments

3 December

Mesa 20.3 Released With Big Improvements For Open-Source Graphics Drivers

Mesa 20.3 has been released as the Q4'2020 open-source graphics driver update, primarily around providing OpenGL and Vulkan support on the likes of Intel and AMD Radeon graphics along with the reverse-engineered Nouveau support, many smaller drivers especially in the embedded space, and the growing list of CPU-based implementations and other translation efforts.

3 December 01:51 PM EST - Mesa - Mesa 20.3 - 28 Comments
AMD Is Making Progress On Open-Source Firmware - Initially With OpenBMC

While we are still waiting to see what AMD might do for returning to open-source AGESA or better supporting Coreboot and the like, they are making some inroads with open-source firmware support -- beyond the context of Chromebooks where they continue to engage due to Google's engineering requirements. AMD is working to "align with the industry direction of open-source firmware stacks" with their initial focus being on open-source OpenBMC firmware support for their server platforms.

3 December 11:11 AM EST - AMD - Open-Source AMD OpenBMC - 21 Comments
C++20 Is Still Settling While LLVM Clang Already Adds Option For Starting C++2b/C++23

It was just in September that the C++20 standards draft was approved as a major update to the programming language over C++17. While compilers like GCC and LLVM Clang are still completing all of the changes for C++20 support, Clang is already moving ahead and has added support for the "-std=c++2b" option as it begins the endeavor of staging changes likely for C++23.

3 December 06:33 AM EST - LLVM - C++23 - 24 Comments
Dbus-Broker 25 Released With More Fixes

The BUS1 kernel code for providing an in-kernel, capability-based IPC mechanism hasn't seen much (or any?) activity in well over a year but at least the Dbus-Broker project continues ahead. Dbus-Broker continues ahead as this D-Bus compatible implementation focused on correctness while being optimized for performance.

3 December 06:13 AM EST - Free Software - Dbus-Broker 25 - 7 Comments
POCL 1.6-RC1 Released With Better CUDA Performance

POCL as the "Portable Computing Language" that implements OpenCL and allows it to function atop CPUs as well as CUDA-enabled NVIDIA GPUs, HSA-supported AMD GPUs, and other possible back-ends, is preparing for a new feature release.

3 December 03:30 AM EST - Programming - Portable Computing Language - 2 Comments

2 December

The Spectre Mitigation Performance Impact On AMD Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" Processors

For those wondering what the current cost is to the default Spectre mitigation protections on the new AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" processors, here are a set of performance tests looking at that overhead with the still relevant mitigations applied by default and then if forcing them off. The Zen 3 mitigation overhead was compared then to similar AMD Zen 2 and Zen+ processors.

2 December 03:29 PM EST - Processors - 7 Comments
Intel Begins Upstreaming Work For Their Vision Processing Unit On Linux

While Intel engineers over the course of the year began upstreaming various elements of the Keem Bay SoC support, the actual Vision Processing Unit (VPU) enabling hasn't been sent out for review until now. Intel has sent out their initial patches for bringing up the Vision Processing Unit on the open-source Linux kernel.

2 December 09:13 AM EST - Intel - Intel Vision Processing Unit - Add A Comment

1 December

Intel Begins Preparing Linux Graphics Driver Support For Xe HP As "Gen12.5"

Xe HP is Intel's discrete GPU aiming to compete against the latest-generation AMD and NVIDIA compute accelerators. Xe HP isn't scheduled to reach general availability until well into 2021 while now as they begin ramping up their sampling of Xe HP to potential customers, the Linux open-source driver support is preparing to roll-out.

1 December 03:18 PM EST - Intel - Gen 12.5 - 2 Comments
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Linux Performance Exceeds The RTX 2080 SUPER - Costs Just $399 USD

NVIDIA tomorrow is launching the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with their Founder's Edition card and AIB variants are also expected. For about $400 USD, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti offers performance comparable or slightly faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and especially much stronger performance for compute and RTX workloads. With the review embargo now lifted a day ahead of the launch, here are the initial Linux benchmarks of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti under Ubuntu Linux.

1 December 09:00 AM EST - Graphics Cards - 41 Comments
Another Linux FBDEV Driver Poised For Removal In Favor Of Superior DRM Alternative

For years there have been calls to deprecate Linux's FBDEV and work around replacing FBDEV drivers with modern Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) drivers. While hardware vendors are now trending in the direction of DRM drivers (and the FBDEV emulation support if needed) after the embedded space was somewhat of a holdout, FBDEV drivers and the subsystem still exist as we roll into 2021. But at least one more FBDEV driver is now looking likely for removal in favor of its modern and maintained DRM counterpart.

1 December 12:19 AM EST - Linux Kernel - DisplayLink - 13 Comments

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