Tag Archives: Desktop Linux

Fedora’s GRUB2 EFI Build To Offer Greater Security Options


In addition to disabling root password-based SSH log-ins by default, another change being made to Fedora 31 in the name of greater security is adding some additional GRUB2 boot-loader modules to be built-in for their EFI boot-loader.

GRUB2 security modules for verification, Cryptodisk, and LUKS will now be part of the default GRUB2 EFI build. They are being built-in now since those using the likes of UEFI SecureBoot aren’t able to dynamically load these modules due to restrictions in place under SecureBoot. So until now using SecureBoot hasn’t allowed users to enjoy encryption of the boot partition and the “verify” module with ensuring better integrity of the early boot-loader code.

At last Friday’s FESCo meeting, the ticket was approved for including these modules in the default GRUB2 EFI build starting with Fedora 31 due out in October.

For future releases they may also look at automated signature verification as part of grub2-mkconfig as well as allowing cryptodisk to be configured from the Anaconda installer.

Ubuntu Developer Talks Down Impact Of 32-Bit Changes For Ubuntu 19.10


Following Valve saying they won’t be officially supporting Ubuntu 19.10 and Wine developers questioning their Ubuntu 32-bit builds following the announcement this week of not providing new 32-bit packages for new Ubuntu releases, longtime Ubuntu developer and Canonical employee Steve Langasek is trying to provide some clarity into the situation.

Steve “vorlon” Langasek commented overnight on the Ubuntu Discourse:

I’m sorry that we’ve given anyone the impression that we are “dropping support for i386 applications”. That’s simply not the case. What we are dropping is updates to the i386 libraries, which will be frozen at the 18.04 LTS versions. But there is every intention to ensure that there is a clear story for how i386 applications (including games) can be run on versions of Ubuntu later than 19.10.

In a follow-up post, he says the 32-bit Mesa will be available and is what is found in the Ubuntu 18.04 archive — similar to what they’ve been talking of the possibilities of using 32-bit libraries moving forward from the 18.04 LTS archive. While Ubuntu 18.04 LTS does get new hardware enablement stacks, this will generally be months behind what is normally found in the newest Ubuntu releases.

Steve also commented that 32-bit only packages like PCSX2 would be available just in the Ubuntu 18.04 repository and bound to their current versions. But is suggesting such 32-bit applications consider moving to the Snap packaging format.

There was also a question about 32-bit printer drivers to which Steve responded they are exploring options for how to support the most popular of these printers.

Those wanting to follow the latest Ubuntu 32-bit discussions can jump on this thread.

Mesa 19.1.1 Is Coming Next Week With A Variety Of Fixes


Debuting two weeks ago was the Mesa 19.1 quarterly feature update while due out early next week is the first bug-fix point release.

Mesa 19.1 is a huge update over 19.0 and earlier. Mesa 19.1 brought multiple new Gallium3D drivers as well as a new Vulkan driver (TURNIP), performance optimizations, new Vulkan extensions, mature Icelake support, and a variety of other features as listed in the aforelinked article.

Mesa 19.1.1 is now coming with more than two dozen fixes. The changes in Mesa 19.1.1 include several RADV Vulkan driver fixes ranging from Meson build fixes to Vega M fixes and other random work. There is also a number of smaller fixes touching Intel Iris, GLX, V3D, GLSL, and other areas.

For those still using the R300 Gallium3D driver for ATI/AMD R300 through R500 (Radeon X1000 series) hardware, there is a fix for the years old performance regression.

If all goes well, Mesa 19.1.1 will be officially released on Tuesday while out now for testing is the release candidate.

Wine 4.11 Brings Ability To Enumerate Display Devices, Updated Mono


Wine 4.11 is out tonight as the latest bi-weekly development release for running Windows games/applications on Linux and other platforms.

With Wine 4.11 is initial support for enumerating display devices. In particular, a Xinerama display device handler is added to the Wine X11 driver and the ability to handle display device changes.

Wine 4.11 also ships with an updated version of the Mono engine, more DLLs are now built as PE files by default (continuing a recent trend), there is a faster implementation of slim reader/write locks on Linux, and various bug fixes.

Just 17 bug fixes made it into Wine 4.11, which is rather low compared to some bi-weekly development snapshots carrying dozens. Among these 17 fixes are fixes for software like SWAT4, Max Payne 3, Catzilla, Fallout 4, applications using Chromium Embedded Framework, and Nero CoverDesigner.

More details on Wine 4.11 at WineHQ.org.

Bzip2 Is About To See Its First Real Update In Close To A Decade


The Bzip2 open-source compression program is about to see its first real release since September 2010. This new version brings new build systems, security fixes, and much more.

Earlier this month we wrote about Bzip2 seeing a revival under new maintainership. With Federico Mena-Quintero having taken the reigns from Bzip2 creator Julian Seward, he’s busy working on this imminent 1.0.7 release as well as longer-term plans like potentially porting parts of the program to Rust.

With the Bzip2 1.0.7 release coming soon, there is now Meson build system support given all the popularity of this cross-platform and speedy build system that’s exploded in popularity recently. Additionally, there is also a CMake build system for other use-cases.

As there’s been no official Bzip2 release in nine years, various Linux distributions have been carrying their own patches to address compile-time issues, security problems. bugs, etc. Many of those distribution patches are also now in the upstream Bzip2 code-base for the v1.0.7 milestone. Also included in this release is a brand new fix for a CVE security issue in Bzip2 around a possible out-of-bounds write.

More details on the upcoming Bzip2 1.0.7 release via this blog post by Federico.