August 26, 2004

Cliff's List Filter - Aug 17-23

Author: Ian Palmer

Welcome to this week's coverage of news from the Linux Kernel, GNOME, KDE and Mozilla developers lists. Up this week: KDE 3.3 is released; scalability improvements for SMP SELinux; patches to improve packet-writing with DVDs; a Konqueror cookie vulnerability; Balsa 2.2 will most likely miss the "Sarge" boat; and the usual assortment of tips, fixes and other miscellaneous help.

Linux Kernel

  • Kaigai Kohei posted a set of performance improvements for SELinux, this week. These performance enhancements feature the use of the RCU (Read-Copy Update), a synchronization technique for Linux that was introduced in the Linux 2.5 series kernels, which should improve scalability on SMP systems. The patches should apply cleanly to Linux 2.6.8.1.
  • These fixes should help out those of you trying to do packet writing with read/write DVDs, especially if you've run into trouble with hard lock-ups when trying to mount or unmount the media. The first patch fixes a problem with mistaken Mt. Rainier detection. The second patch corrects a problem with the DVD+RW support in the cdrom driver. Last, but optional, is the third patch which prints the identity of the inserted media to the kernel log.
  • There have been a few reports of network speed regressions when using Linux 2.6.8+ on networks with a Cisco router. If you've run into this behavior, you can apply a temporary fix by turning off TCP window scaling, but the problem actually comes from broken routers. If you do adjust your window scaling and it does solve the problem, please be sure to report this issue to your Cisco support rep.
  • Herbert Poetzl announced the release of his Bind Mount Extensions, which allow the 'noatime', 'nodiratime', and 'ro' mount options to vfs --bind mounts. Currently there are no plans to get these patches into the mainline kernel, as the changes may be a bit drastic for the stable 2.6 series, but may pop up in 2.7 development on that particular kernel series heats up.
  • An HVSI driver for IBM p5 servers was contributed by Hollis Blanchard on August 18.
  • Mariusz Mazur releases his Linux LibC Headers for Linux 2.6.8. These headers are designed to export the Linux ABI to userspace and are heavily edited to remove definitions that are only used by the kernel.
  • Eric W. Biederman released a new version of kexec, for Linux 2.6.8.1. kexec can be used to load a new Linux kernel from a currently running Kernel. It's primarily developed and tested with the x86 platform in mind, but minimal support for other platforms is included.
  • Developers who would like to follow Linux Kernel development and would prefer to use Subversion over CVS or BitKeeper can now do so by using the new Linux Kernel Subversion Mirror. Thanks to Chia-liang Kao for setting up this new repository.
  • Another resource for budding IPv6 users: Jeff Garzik points out that there is a HOWTO that describes how to setup IPv6 support for Fedora. The beauty of this method is that once configured using this method, you can even access IPv6 hosts over current Internet connection (IPv6-to-IPv4).

GNOME

  • A bit of disappointing news from the Balsa front, due to instabilities and other issues, Balsa 2.2 will more than likely miss Debian "Sarge". The version of Balsa likely to be included in the new Debian release will be 2.0.17-2.
  • Some of the new pieces of GNOME software released this week:
    • GDM, the GNOME display Manager, released version 2.6.0.4 on August 18.
    • GNOME Nettool continues its run to v1.0 with the release of v0.99.2 on August 20.
    • GNOME System Tools, v0.91.0, a set of cross-platform configuration utilities, was also released on August 20.
    • Last but not least, an update for Genius, a desktop calculator for GNOME, can now export its graphs to PNG files among a few other additions in its newest release, version 0.7.1.

KDE

Mozilla

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