FOSS Roundup #1 – Exploits and Drivers and Wayland, Oh My!

Welcome to the first edition of my weekly FOSS roundup! This is the first in what I hope to be a regular weekly newsletter covering the latest development-focused news from the free and open-source world. Join me every Sunday at 9 AM (ET) for coffee and Linux-flavored news. ☕

Polkit exploit grants root access to anybody

A “simple and universal” exploit was released this week and patched in most major Linux distributions. The exploit found for Polkit has existed for years and affects most distributions and architectures. Update your machines and make sure you’re running a supported release, not an end-of-life release.

elementary published their 2021 UI study results

The elementary team has published the results from their 2021 UI study. Through December 2021 and January 2022, over 2,500 individuals shared their thoughts on app launchers, docks and taskbars, multitasking, and other components of the desktop experience. It’s an interesting read!

Writing Linux GPU drivers without hardware

Alyssa Rosenzweig shared an incredible article about her journey developing graphics drivers for the Arm Valhall GPUs without any existing hardware. Months without the hardware and a few days with proved enough to make these drivers a reality.

Expanding Wayland support

News surrounding Wayland has been accelerating recently, with (at least) two major software updates this week. SDL 2.0.22, a key component for many games and game engines, will default to Wayland over X11.

And in the browser space, Firefox Nightly will now use Wayland by default for supported configurations.

What I’m working on…

I’m just starting to get back into the swing of things this week. I’ve made some solid strides in the Xubuntu documentation project in recent weeks, so I hope to stay focused on that until it’s finally out the door. As commits are pushed, you can see the changes live here.

Thanks for reading!

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