Bedrock Linux 0.7.3 to be Released

Main feature of Bedrock that allows the use of packages and components from various Linux distributions, mixing distributions in one environment
15 April 2019   665

A release of the Bedrock Linux 0.7.3 meta-distribution is available, allowing the use of packages and components from various Linux distributions, mixing distributions in one environment. The system environment is formed from stable Debian and CentOS repositories; in addition, you can install more recent versions of programs, for example, from Arch Linux / AUR, and also compile Gentoo portage. To install third-party proprietary packages, library compatibility with Ubuntu and CentOS is provided.

Instead of installation images, a script was proposed in Bedrock that changes the environment of already installed type distributions. For example, it claims that Debian, Fedora, Manjaro, openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Void Linux replacements work, but there are some problems with replacing CentOS, CRUX, Devuan, GoboLinux, GuixSD, NixOS and Slackware. The installation script is prepared for x86_64 and ARMv7 architectures.

In the process, the user can activate the repositories of other distributions in Bedrock and install applications from them that can run side by side with programs from different distributions. Including installation from various distributions of graphic applications is supported.

Linux 5.3 Kernel to be Released

Huge amount of updates, improvements, changes and new features awaits all Linux users
17 September 2019   260

After two months of development, Linus Torvalds introduced the Linux 5.3 kernel release. Among the most notable changes: support for AMD Navi GPUs, Zhaoxi processors, and Intel Speed ​​Select power management technology, the ability to use umwait instructions to wait without using loops, increasing the interactivity utilization clamping mode for asymmetric CPUs, the pidfd_open system call, the ability to use IPv4 addresses from the subnet, the possibility of hardware acceleration of nftables, support for HDR in the DRM subsystem, integration of the ACRN hypervisor.

In the announcement of the new release, Linus reminded all developers of the main rule of kernel development - maintaining the invariance of behavior for user space components. Changes in the kernel should in no way violate already running applications and lead to user-level regressions. At the same time, a violation of behavior can cause not only a change in the ABI, removal of outdated code or errors, but also an indirect effect of correctly working useful improvements. As a good example, the useful optimization in Ext4 code was discarded, which reduces the number of accesses to the drive by disabling the read-ahead inode table for small I / O requests.

Optimization has led to the fact that, due to a decrease in disk activity, the entropy for the random number generator getrandom () began to accumulate more slowly and in some configurations, under certain circumstances, there could be hangs during loading until the entropy pool is full. Since the optimization is really useful, a discussion arose among the developers, in which it was proposed to eliminate the problem by disabling the default blocking mode of the getrandom () call with the addition of an optional flag to wait for entropy, but such a change will affect the quality of random numbers at the initial stage of loading. In the change rollback commit, Linus noted that he plans to bring the optimization back as soon as the problem with getrandom () is resolved.

The new version adopted 15794 patches from 1974 developers, the patch size is 92 MB (the changes affected 13986 files, 258419 lines of code were added, 599137 lines were deleted). About 39% of all the changes presented in 5.3 are related to device drivers, about 12% of changes are related to updating the code specific to hardware architectures, 11% are connected to the network stack, 3% to file systems and 3% to internal kernel subsystems.

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