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The kernel column #93 by Jon Masters

Oct 26, 2010, 19:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jon Masters)


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"The development cycle for the 2.6.36 kernel has rapidly come to a close, and with it comes the preparation of new features for the 2.6.37 'merge window', which immediately follows the 2.6.36 release. More on those new features in a moment. New features are always exciting areas to work on: they pay the bills and keep kernel developers' brains stimulated in appropriate ways. At this point, Linux averages 5.5 changes per hour, every hour of every day, and is perhaps one of the most active software projects in human history.

"With that rate of churn do come a few downsides we should be mindful of, not the least of which are horribly embarrassing security regressions. I've mentioned this topic before, but recent events necessitate revisiting it once again.

"This month saw not one, but two large and widespread (across many kernels) security problems to add to the compatibility system call issue mentioned last time (which itself affected pretty much every system out there). The first security bug has to do with a change back in 2.6.23 that altered the manner in which command-line options passed to new processes are handled to remove an arbitrary limit."

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