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Greg Kroah-Hartman
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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I can't believe it's taken me so long before finally getting this poster for my office. Better late than never I suppose...
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Better pictures of the Ara prototype phone.
I just sat down with Rafe Caramago and several members of his Project Ara team to learn more about the modular smartphone — because there's a lot going on with this thing. The project, which many...
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+Joost Ringoot Ara didn't steal from the fairphone. The fairphone initiative has been to get vendors to provide upgradable phones that do not end up in a landfill so easily. They then tried to show how you could make such a phone.
Ara is another implementation of it, and hopefully other vendors will follow (although on the Apple side, I'm not holding my breath since their business model has always been to prevent upgrades and entice their users to throw their hardware away and buy the new version).
The fairphone folks would like nothing more than all phone from all vendors to follow this model.
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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I just mentioned this as a throw-away comment at the end of a longer post about USB disks, so might as well put it here.

I'm looking for a new laptop. I'd LOVE to be able to just use a Chromebook (I'm typing this from one now), but my "cloud" infrastructure to do kernel patch reviews and development just isn't in place yet. Heck, it's still just a dream between me and +Konstantin Ryabitsev and +Dan Kohn so until that happens, I'm stuck with building locally.

So, any recommendations? Here's my requirements:
- lots of ram (32Gb?)
- fast ssd
- fast processor (local builds, remember?)
- high-res screen (like on the Pixel, it spoiled me)
- intel graphics (sorry, no binary kernel drivers for me)
- semi-decent weight and battery life (I lugged a macbook pro around the world for a few years and hated it, and my current Samsung is really light, so lighter is better)

Any suggestions?
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The Oryx Pro uses Nvidia graphics. Personally, I try to stay away from needing binary drivers.
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Doing builds of a certain mobile-operating-system-based-on-Linux usually doesn't work on my tiny laptop due to the small internal ssd size, but keeping a source tree on an external disk works really well.

Thankfully we are finally seeing external drives that support the "stream" USB storage specification. Unfortunately, you can't seem to find them in the "pre-packaged" form, so you have to build your own.

This is the device I've been using for a few months now, with great success. It's fast, portable, and seems durable so far. Throw a fast SSD into it and you have a solution that is cheaper, and faster, than a pre-packaged drive. I've been using Samsung 850 EVO drives a bunch, they work well, and easily hit USB 3.0 line speeds.

Another enclosure I got can be found here:
it runs at the same speed of the StarTech one, but the cable isn't built-in, so I have one less thing to loose when I travel.

If you search for others, the magic string to look for is "UASP", and make sure you have the 'uas.ko' kernel driver enabled in your build (you do run a custom kernel, right?) so that it can actually go as fast as the hardware will let it.

Although, my laptop is getting old, and 8Gb of RAM is almost impossible to build large systems with these days, so maybe I just need to get a new laptop, anything anyone would recommend with lots of ram, high-res screen, and Intel graphics?
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Inateck seems to have followed the spirit of your last posting about not obeying specs when they designed a USB A socket into their enclosure :-)
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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The real reason we are doing more kernel security work these days is thanks to the great efforts of +Konstantin Ryabitsev and +Kees Cook  over the past year, educating stubborn kernel developers about why these things are worth it. Many thanks to their work for hitting us over the head until we got it through our thick skulls.

I link to their presentations that helped cause this change in my talk, hopefully it is online soon. I know it was recorded, my "bare" slides don't do much on their own without the words behind it.
EXCLUSIVE: Linux kernel 4.6 comes out on Sunday with new security features. It’s important to update your systems, says maintainer Greg Kroah Hartman. Read the interview:
Greg Kroah-Hartman is a superstar in the open source world. He is a Linux Foundation Fellow and the maintainer of the stable branch of the Linux kernel, the staging subsystem, USB, Linux drivers, userspace I/O, TTY layer...the list of his work is quite long. He was also the creator of openSUSE Tumbleweed, a rolling release distribution.
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The authors are already aware of the limitations. Read your own passive aggressive and sarcastic comments if you want to see what I was talking about. The thread needed some balance instead of only a very biased perspective.
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Some places are "rougher" than others to release kernel in...

Go grab them while they are hot, before I do another set of releases next week, from some other country.

3.14.69, 4.4.10, and 4.5.4 are now out from my trees, and Ben has released 3.2.80 and 3.16.35 (the 3.16-stable tree rises from the dead!), and Sasha will have 3.18.33 and 4.1.24 out in a few hours.

And yes, to quote myself from my talk at the +CoreOS conference in Berlin 2 days ago, (hey, if I don't quote myself, who will?), if you aren't using a longterm or stable kernel release (or Linus's -rc releases), your machines have known bugs on them, unfixed. Don't be someone who doesn't want to update just because you are lazy.

Now, speaking of lazy, back to my coffee while my scripts do their release magic :)
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Nice to have you in town! No skating this time? (sorry for the weather)
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Thanks to +Konstantin Ryabitsev and the other great admins at the +The Linux Foundation I have a new build server. Time to do an 'allmodconfig' build for the 4.6.0 kernel out of a tmpfs:

real 7m43.855s
user 242m16.547s
sys 30m16.079s

We keep adding code, 3.14.y completes in less than 5 minutes, but has 1293 less modules.

This is going to help out immensely with the stable kernel work.
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2x Xeon E5-2699v3 and 128GiB of RAM                                                                                
gcc 5.3.1:                                                                                                         
13524.43user 981.87system 4:18.27elapsed 5616%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 374940maxresident)k                           
0inputs+12769232outputs (0major+360922574minor)pagefaults 0swaps                                                   
gcc 6.1.1:                                                                                                         
16412.08user 1023.46system 4:57.71elapsed 5856%CPU (0avgtext+0avgdata 374672maxresident)k                          
0inputs+13473864outputs (0major+360155784minor)pagefaults 0swaps                                                   
Buy more of these sweet Intel CPUs :)
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Ok, last Ara link for a while, but this is a good read.
I had exactly half an hour with four people from the Project Ara team at Google I/O to extract as much information as I could about the mission to actually launch a modular phone. So I rattled off...
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Even though all module roads run through Google, the Ara team insists that it's still creating an "open platform" that anybody can develop on.

Why is this making me think of Alan Parsons Project's "You Don't Believe"? Hrm.  This seems an awful lot like being type accepted by the FCC, except Google isn't a U.S. government agency.

Also has a SecureBoot-y flavor all about it.
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Almost 12Gb/s and 1/3 the power of USB 3, open specs and code, this has been a fun project to work on:
After more than a year of silence, Google's wildest idea about smartphones is starting to come true.
Jamie Bainbridge's profile photoLuis Rodriguez (mcgrof)'s profile photoGreg Kroah-Hartman's profile photoJohn McHugh's profile photo
Been waiting for this for some time, saw a group designing a software defined radio module for it some time ago. Should be fun 😃
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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I made fun of this odd A to micro-B converter in the past, when I bought it in Japan, but it turns out it's really useful. Turns any USB storage device into something that Android can mount properly when plugged into your phone.

Again, horrid abuse of the spec, but as with many specs, people ignored it and made their devices work anyway. nice job Nexus developers, much appreciated.
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The adapter cable I have also enables the use of a keyboard or mouse on a Galaxy S 5 or a Nexus running CyanogenMod (and I guess keyboard and mouse are supported by more devices than USB mass storage). I might even try a USB hub, a keyboard, a mouse and a USB memory stick at the same time. +Greg Kroah-Hartman will you try that, too ?
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Crap, so much for using this for future users...
I must, sadly, withdraw my endorsement of yubikey 4 devices (and perhaps all newer yubikeys), as apparently Yubico has replaced all open-source components that made yubikey NEOs so awesome with proprietary closed-source code in Yubikey 4s:

Our team will be evaluating NitroKey Pros as devices to replace yubikeys ( and I will follow up here with the results and general recommendations once our testing is complete.

If you are already using yubikeys, there is no need to replace them, as this will not result in a net improvement in security -- especially if you are only using them for one-time password functionality (press the button to emit a 6-digit code). If you are looking to get a device for storing your private PGP keys, I recommend against using Yubikey 4 devices -- but NEOs are okay, as they still use open-source code.

I strongly believe that all security devices must be powered by libre software and I am saddened at the steps taken by Yubico to make yubikey 4 a black-box platform.
The Password is Dead. Passwords can be either difficult to remember or too short to securely protect important accounts. Traditional password systems have not been able to keep up with the increasing number of accounts needed for various websites nowadays. Passwords should be unique and the same ...
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I was about to go and buy some yubi 4's for work. Looks like it's gonna to be the NEO for now or alternatives.
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Greg Kroah-Hartman

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As +Theodore Ts'o said last year, mutt makes it trivial to see the phishing attempts and other "fun" emails I get all the time.

Combined with the fact that it enables me to handle with ease huge volumes of email that make people who use gui email clients cry, is also of course the main reason why I use it.

Heck, I even use mutt with some gmail accounts, it handles them with no problems at all and enables you to see threads of patches which gmail has no way at all to show in the web view.

Highly recommended for anyone who relies on email for their work (which these days, is almost everyone...)
Command-line email clients are more secure simply by being simpler.
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