The Many Changes & Additions To Find With The Linux 5.2 Kernel

The Linux 5.2 kernel merge window has been open for two weeks now and is expected to close today or in the next few days (there is some uncertainty due to Linus Torvalds traveling this week due to his daughter's graduation). But anyhow all of the major pull requests have already been sent in so here is a look at the new features to find with the Linux 5.2 kernel and the many other changes.

12 Hours Ago - Software - 1 Comment

18 May

The Performance Impact Of MDS / Zombieload Plus The Overall Cost Now Of Spectre/Meltdown/L1TF/MDS

The past few days I've begun exploring the performance implications of the new Microarchitectural Data Sampling "MDS" vulnerabilities now known more commonly as Zombieload. As I shared in some initial results, there is a real performance hit to these mitigations. In this article are more MDS/Zombieload mitigation benchmarks on multiple systems as well as comparing the overall performance impact of the Meltdown/Spectre/Foreshadow/Zombieload mitigations on various Intel CPUs and also AMD CPUs where relevant.

18 May 11:30 AM EDT - Software - 51 Comments
The Open-Source / Linux Highlights From OSTS 2019

We've had a number of articles covering the interesting news out of Intel's 2019 Open-Source Technology Summit (OSTS) held at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington. Here's a look back at the news out of the open-source event as well as some other smaller bits of information shared during the event.

18 May 08:03 AM EDT - Linux Events - Open-Source Technology Summit - 10 Comments

17 May

Developers Start Debating Whether To Block Password-Based Root SSH Logins For Fedora 31

While upstream SSH has disabled password logins for the root user as their default configuration the past number of years and that has carried over into being the out-of-the-box behavior for many operating systems, Fedora continues allowing password-based SSH root log-ins by default. But with the next Fedora release they are thinking about changing that default behavior.

17 May 09:15 AM EDT - Fedora - Fedora 31 SSH Root Logins - 29 Comments
A Push Towards Firmware-less Video Decoding By Linux Kernel Media Drivers

Veteran Linux multimedia developer Paul Kocialkowski summed up the current situation this week of many hardware platforms having a general purpose micro-controller running a non-free firmware blob for coordinating the video decoding work. It makes it easier to program with this firmware-based approach but makes the driver less free and now with recent Linux infrastructure improvements could better support dealing with the video hardware itself.

17 May 07:40 AM EDT - Multimedia - Firmware vs. Registers - 6 Comments

16 May

Intel Has Been Recently Ramping Up Their FreeBSD Support

While Intel's open-source Linux support is largely stellar and was a big focus of this week's Open-Source Technology Summit in Washington, their FreeBSD support isn't nearly as polished but over the past roughly year and a half they've been establishing a FreeBSD team and working towards feature parity and supporting critical functionality for their customers.

16 May 09:26 PM EDT - Intel - Better Intel FreeBSD Support - 3 Comments
MDS / Zombieload Mitigations Come At A Real Cost, Even If Keeping Hyper Threading On

The default Linux mitigations for the new Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS) vulnerabilities (also known as "Zombieload") do incur measurable performance cost out-of-the-box in various workloads. That's even with the default behavior where SMT / Hyper Threading remains on while it becomes increasingly apparent if wanting to fully protect your system HT must be off.

16 May 03:37 PM EDT - Linux Security - Microarchitectural Data Sampling - 56 Comments
Intel's Coffeelake OpenCL Performance Between Beignet & Their Modern NEO Driver

A few days back I posted a number of Intel OpenCL benchmarks between their former Beignet and new "NEO" Linux compute stacks that was done using a Skylake NUC for the Iris Pro 580 graphics. For those wondering how these two open-source Intel OpenCL implementations compare for the more common UHD Graphics 630, here are some benchmarks using an Intel Core i9 8700K "Coffeelake" processor.

16 May 10:22 AM EDT - Intel - Coffeelake NEO - 4 Comments

15 May

Wine 4.0.1 Released With 44 Fixes

For those with reasons sticking to formal Wine stable releases as opposed to the feature-progressing Wine bi-weekly snapshots, Wine 4.0.1 is now the latest and greatest.

15 May 06:38 PM EDT - WINE - Wine 4.0.1 - Add A Comment
The BSDs Get Promptly Mitigated For The MDS Side-Channel Vulnerabilities

When Spectre and Meltdown came to light, there was some frustrations in the BSD community that it took time for them to be briefed and ultimately handling the mitigations for these CPU security vulnerabilities. Fortunately, with the new Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS, also dubbed "Zombieload") vulnerabilities, the key BSDs have seen punctual patches.

15 May 09:09 AM EDT - BSD - Zombieload - 9 Comments
The Process For Eventually Releasing X.Org Server 1.21

While formally the X.Org Server aimed to put out a new feature update every six months, in recent years they have been well off that trajectory with not much feature activity going on especially now that GLAMOR / XWayland / xf86-video-modesetting have stabilized and many Linux distributions eyeing Wayland by default. But there is now at least some little bit of interest in what's going into X.Org Server 1.21.

15 May 03:15 AM EDT - X.Org - xorg-server 1.21 - 26 Comments

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