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Linux 2.6.30 Full of New Goodies: Fastboot, Ftrace, Wifi Security, Filesystems - page 2

Fastbooting the Kernel Itself

  • June 18, 2009
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Another key addition in the 2.6.30 Linux kernel release is Ftrace, a framework for tracing system calls.

"The Ftrace tracing infrastructure should make debugging certain problems easier," Jones explained. "Previously, we would need to recompile the kernel with debugging patches added. Now, we have the ability to turn on certain types of profiling dynamically at runtime."

Security also gets a boost in the kernel with the addition of the Tomoyo framework, which offers an alternate approach to SELinux (which stands for "security enhanced Linux"). Tomoyo, like SELinux is an access-control solution. According to the Tomoyo project site, the most distinguishable feature of Tomoyo Linux is its real-time policy learning feature.

Whereas SELinux operates in either permissive or enforcing modes, Tomoyo Linux also has a third mode -- learning mode -- in which it "generates definitions of domains and ACL (access control lists) for each domain ... automatically," according to the project site. "This policy-learning functionality covers from the system boot to shutdown."

Tomoyo is a project that had been begun by Japan's NTT, while SELinux is an effort that originally sprouted out of the U.S. government's National Security Agency (NSA).

NTT also has another contribution that made it into the 2.6.30 with the NILFS2 filesystem (short for "New Implementation of a Log-structured File System").

"NILFS is a new implementation of a log-structured file system (LFS) supporting continuous snapshotting," according to the NILFS project site. "In addition to versioning capability of the entire filesystem, users can even restore files mistakenly overwritten or destroyed just a few seconds ago."

There is also support in the 2.6.30 for a number of technologies that have not yet been finalized in standards. Linux 2.6.30 adds preliminary support for the under-development IEEE 802.11w standard for enhanced wireless security.

Preliminary support for NFS 4.1 is also being included ahead of the final standard being ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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