Items tagged with Linux

Accurate timers are critical to the function of the low-level parts of the underlying code that drives the user-facing software we actually use in our daily lives. Fortunately, x86-64 PCs include numerous timers. Actually selecting which of those timers to use in a given scenario, however, can be a headache due to bugs, design flaws or implementation issues. The preferred timer on most modern machines should be the High-Precision Event Timer, or HPET. Sadly, that's not always the case on recent Intel hardware. Back in 2019, Linux started disabling the HPET on Coffee Lake and Ice Lake-based Intel platforms, owing to problems with the timers' accuracy when the system enters the PC10 low-power... Read more...
By all accounts—even our own—the Apple M1 SoC powering the company's newest machines is a beast, but it comes with a drawback in that you can only run MacOS on it. A lot of folks love MacOS for various reasons, to be sure. It's also undeniable that the proprietary OS limits your access to the majority of desktop and laptop software, though. While it's very unlikely we'll ever see a native version of Windows for Apple Silicon, Linux is the next best thing for software compatibility, and that's already happening. The Asahi Linux project just published its September 2021 progress report outlining all of the advancements that it achieved during the last month, and the news is... Read more...
A recent Linux patch from AMD hints that the company might be gearing up to refresh its second generation Radeon DNA (RDNA 2) graphics card lineup, similar to how NVIDIA has a history of adding "Ti" and "Super" variants of its GPU product lines. Nothing is official at the moment, but if a refresh does occur, would expect to see a bump in performance and power efficiency. Before we get to the Linux patch, let's go over AMD's current generation lineup. The Radeon RX 6000 series on the desktop consist of the following models... Radeon RX 6900 XT: Navi 21 XTX Radeon RX 6800 XT: Navi 21 XT Radeon RX 6800: Navi 21 XL Radeon RX 6700 XT: Navi 22 XT Radeon RX 6600 XT: Navi 23 XT There's obviously room... Read more...
Over the past few years, the surge in cryptocurrency values has meant that unscrupulous individuals are looking for ways to make money without putting in the hard work. In the case of cryptocurrency malware, the software is installed on unsuspecting computers, forcing them to mine without the victim seeing a single dime in the resulting revenue. Such is the same with LemonDuck, which the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team is warning about this week. Once LemonDuck malware finds its way onto a target machine, it is swept up into a botnet that mines for cryptocurrencies. What makes LemonDuck so dangerous, however, is that it doesn't just target one platform. Instead, it is viable on... Read more...
NVIDIA is far along in the process of acquiring Arm from SoftBank, and it has promised a laundry list of benefits that will come with the blockbuster tech marriage. In addition to the financial resources that NVIDIA brings to the table to keep Arm at the forefront of performance-per-watt dominance, the company has discussed the technological benefits of incorporating existing NVIDIA tech into Arm designs. NVIDIA today made two significant announcements regarding its efforts to bring Arm further under its wings. First, at this week's Game Developers Conference (GDC), NVIDIA showcased demos of Wolfenstein: Youngblood and The Bistro running with RTX ray traced effects. NVIDIA's demos were running... Read more...
NVIDIA DLSS is an AI rendering technology used to increase performance while allowing players to still enjoy high-fidelity and quality in games. As of late, this technology has been added to a myriad of games, such as Rainbow Six: Siege earlier this year. Now, the tech is slated to come to five new game titles in the coming weeks. Announced today, NVIDIA DLSS will make its way to Facepunch Studio's multiplayer survival game Rust and becomes available on July 1st. Rust's Project Lead, Helk, explained that this is important because, "in Rust split-second reactions can be the difference between life and death, with NVIDIA DLSS offering our players a performance boost, without sacrificing visual... Read more...
In April, we first reported on Linux Kernel dev and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman banned submissions from the University of Minnesota due to new concerning patches. It has also come to light that UMN has done questionable research on the Linux kernel team, and people were already wary. Now, the Linux Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has published its findings of the events and recommendations for the future. Over the rather lengthy audit of the situation, the TAB lays out a timeline of events from 2018 up through today detailing what has led to what we now face. Since that original date, UMN had submitted nearly 400 bug-fix patches centering around research papers. Two years later in August, UMN... Read more...
Last week, we reported on a Linux Kernel developer banned The University of Minnesota for some ethically questionable research. Since then, UMN issued an apology and started an investigation into how this all happened, but some people are having none of it. This week in the Linux Kernel security saga, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced that the Linux Foundation and its Technical Advisory Board sent a letter to UMN outlining what must be done to regain the trust of the Linux community, and no further discussion will be had. Earlier this year, three researchers from UMN published a paper that proved that vulnerabilities could be slipped past Linux Kernel maintainers. The team used three easily fixed... Read more...
Yesterday we reported on a Linux kernel developer "banning" the University of Minnesota from providing patches to the kernel. However, this did not come out of the blue as some faculty and students had performed questionable research that wasted Linux kernel maintainers’ time and effort. It appears staff at UMN are now looking into the issue and have taken it quite seriously. In the last few months, researchers out of the University of Minnesota have been conducting computer science research, leading to multiple papers being published. One of these papers was about the feasibility of introducing vulnerabilities into open-source software, such as the Linux kernel, by sneaking them by reviewers.... Read more...
When independent or academic research is carried out, ethics is a primary concern if you have anything to do with people outside the research group. With that in mind, the University of Minnesota has seemingly been performing ethically questionable research on the Linux kernel by submitting useless or vulnerable code. Now, one of the biggest developers of the Linux kernel has banned UMN from submitting patches after becoming fed up with the “research.” Earlier this year, two researchers from the University of Minnesota published a research paper around the premise of sneaking malicious code into open source software (OSS). The paper specifically targeted the Linux kernel, one of the... Read more...
In the immediate future, Intel will be rolling out its Rocket Lake processors, comprised of 11th Gen Core desktop CPUs. Then a little bit further down the road, we will get to see how Intel's hybrid design works out, with the eventual introduction of Alder Lake. What about after that? We've seen references to a Meteor Lake platform, and now another reference to Lunar Lake, which is likely destined for a 2023 or 2024 launch. If you are keeping count, Lunar Lake would logically land within Intel's 14th Gen Core processor plans. That is assuming (A) Lunar Lake is real, and (B) Intel does not shake things up with something else in between, and/or get funky with its Gen labels. Now that Pat Gelsinger... Read more...
Linux is generally considered the Fort Knox of operating system (OS) standards, but it is not completely immune to security exploits. And it's not just kids breaking and bypassing screensave locks, either. Case in point, the folks at Qualys discovered a heap overflow vulnerability in Sudo, the common utility in major Unix-like OSes, that could allow an attacker to gain root privileges on an unpatched system. According to the security researchers at Qualys, the vulnerability has been hiding in plain sight for almost a decade, tracing back to July 2011. It affects all legacy versions of Sudo from 1.8.2 to 1.8.31p2, and all stable builds from 1.9.0 to 1.9.5p1. "Successful exploitation of this vulnerability... Read more...
One of the more pragmatic aspects of Intel-powered Macs was their ability to run alternative operating systems, including Windows and Linux, without much effort at all. Apple even included a Windows preparation tool, Boot Camp, on all of its systems with Intel Core processors. With the advent of Apple Silicon Macs (such as the recent Mac mini) that have the company's M1 SoC under the hood, Apple discontinued Boot Camp. Those systems had been locked into macOS 11 Big Sur, but thanks to Arm-based virtual cloud device maker Corellium, Ubuntu Linux is now "completely usable." Arm offers an array of licenses to its architecture that range from processor licenses, in which a chip vendor can whole hog... Read more...
If you give some kids restricted access to technology, they are bound to find a loophole or bug that lets them do what they want regardless. After being asked by his kids to “hack” his Linux desktop, one Dad let the kids play with the keyboard. This button-mashing actually crashed the machine's screensaver by sheer luck, allowing them onto the desktop, ultimately leading to the discovery of a high priority security vulnerability for the Linux Mint team. The bug report, posted to GitHub by user Robo2Bobo, states that it became possible to crash the screensaver and unlock the desktop via the virtual keyboard. Robo2Bobo then explained that this was found because “A few weeks ago,... Read more...
For as long as developers have been writing software code, they've been inadvertently creating bugs. It's when those bugs can compromise the security of a PC that a bug goes from an annoyance to a potential real danger. Security issues with apps can be worked around in the interim, even if it means uninstalling it, but what about when the security vulnerability is in the driver for some critical piece of hardware; say a video adapter? When that happens, developers have to isolate the cause and act quickly to plug the holes, or else risk any PC with that hardware being open to attack. Such was the case for NVIDIA this week.  The GeForce, Quadro, and AI accelerator maker has issued a series... Read more...
Earlier this year, retro gamers and emulator fans got their hands on the Odroid-Go Advanced Black Edition, a portable emulator akin to a Nintendo Switch. Now, Odroid has announced another product, the Odroid-Go Super, which has some marked improvements and losses over the last device. First, and most importantly, are the specs in this retro gaming console. This time around, though, not much is changing. The Odroid-Go Super retains the Rockchip RK3326 SoC with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 processor paired with a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. It also still has 1GB of RAM and 16MB of flash memory for bootloading. However, the most noticeable upgrade is the screen, which has gone from 3.5” to 5”. The... Read more...
Blockchain is back, and cryptocurrency is coming up again. Earlier this week, PayPal announced that it would accept cryptocurrency payments, which gave Bitcoin a bump in price. With AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" cards coming soon, there could be a new rush to mine cryptocurrency.  The fine folks at Phoronix, however, have discovered something called “navi10 blockchain SKU” in the AMD Linux drivers hinting at older hardware purpose-built for mining. When Bitcoin and Ethereum peaked several years ago, it lead to a mass frenzy of graphics cards for mining. At that time, GPU manufacturers started to produce display-less GPUs for cryptocurrency mining. These GPUs would, in theory,... Read more...
A new Bluetooth security vulnerability has appeared, and this time Linux is under the gun. Andy Nguyen, an information security researcher, discovered the vulnerabilities. They are collectively known as BleedingTooth, which allows for zero-click remote code execution on Linux devices within Bluetooth range. The code can be executed with kernel privileges, and Intel has rated the exploit at an 8.3 on the common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS). According to the research page for CVE-2020-12351, BleedingTooth is a "Heap-Based Type Confusion in L2CAP." What this means is that a malicious user can send data to the Bluetooth subsystem (BlueZ program) in Linux, after which the code for the subsystem... Read more...
Recently, an article entitled “Last phase of the desktop wars?” poses an interesting notion and question, that is both polarizing and provocative, regarding the future of Microsoft's OS strategy. What is next for Windows? As the author of the article, open source software developer and advocate Eric S. Raymond notes, Microsoft has added features to Windows to better align it with Linux. He also suggests that the divide between Linux and Windows could eventually shrink until the two operating systems essentially become one. As he puts it, Linux would win the desktop wars, “not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.”... Read more...
While COVID-19 can claim some credit for more workers than ever performing their job duties remotely over the course of this year, the fact is the corporate world has been moving in that direction for a long time. At the same time, more businesses are trusting their data with private datacenters or public cloud hosting solutions. The two-fold struggle for IT departments has been how to securely give employees access to cloud apps, in-house data servers, and applications, while also managing a fleet of PCs when that fleet is outside of the corporate firewall. VPNs can help but there's a lot more to it than that. In fact, VPNs are just another variable that has to be considered, and often... Read more...
Linux typically does not get all that much love when it comes to games. Now, the penguin-people out there are getting an update to a free kart racer called Super Tux Kart with Tux the penguin as the main character. First off, what is Super Tux Kart? According to the project’s webpage, it is an “3D open-source arcade racer with a variety characters, tracks, and modes to play.” In the early 2000s, a project called TuxKart floated around for Linux (if you want to see this lovely Word-webpage, you can do so here). Once the project tapered off around 2004, it was picked up again in 2006 by Joerg Henrichs, now with the moniker of “Super Tux Kart.” Over time, updates... Read more...
Microsoft has confirmed that support for Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) was backported to version 1903 and version 1909 of Windows 10. Developers have worked over the last few months to bring WSL 2 to those versions of Windows 10 and did so thanks to customer feedback from users who have enjoyed using it. WSL 2 is a new version of the architecture in WSL that modifies how the Linux distribution interacts with Windows. Each Linux distribution can run as WSL 1 or WSL 2 and can be switched between any time. Some of the significant changes for WSL 2 distros include: File system performance now on par with Mac and Linux speeds Improved System Call Support for all Linux applications notably:... Read more...
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