Linux gets rid of a tool that caused security errors

Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux system, announced the new release of the kernel (5.10), which he considers one of the most important updates in the history of the kernel.

The launch aims to make the platform more powerful and easier to use than ever before, introducing a number of additions, upgrades and new features to users around the world.

With the closing of the two-week consolidation window that precedes the release of every new version of the Linux kernel, Torvalds has shared his ideas.

He drew attention to the removal of the addressing tool, called (set_fs), belonging to the original version of Linux, meaning that it had been around for nearly 30 years.

The consolidation window is an essential part of any new kernel release process, during which the patches sent from the developer community are incorporated daily, and the review process ensures that each patch carries out the desired change.

The new version of the kernel marked the end of a decade-old feature, so that this feature became redundant long after it was discovered that it causes security errors.

Torvalds wrote: The most exciting change for me here is the removal of (set_fs), adding that it is not a major change, but it is interesting because the complete model of the tool reverts to almost the original version of Linux.

The addressing tool can be used to override address spaces, and it was used extensively when managing early (Intel x86) processors to control the range of default addresses that could be accessed via unmarked code.

The CVE Dictionary in 2010 detailed the security issues that the addressing tool posed.

By bypassing certain access restrictions, the tool was found to be able to gain privileges, and in some cases allow user space to overwrite kernel data.

Given the security shortcomings of the tool, some architectures, including (x86), (powerpc), (s390) and (RISC-V) have removed address space overrides.

On top of this long-awaited historic fix, version 5.10, like most kernel releases, comes with more changes.

Torvalds counted nearly 14,000 corrections, with changes ranging from support (SOC) from Nvidia for cars and autonomous robots to support for the Nintendo Switch platform.

The reports counted about 704,000 lines of new code, with 419,000 lines deleted, making version 5.10 of the kernel comparable in size to version 5.8 of the Linux kernel.

And according to the usual Linux schedule, there are now several weeks of bug fixes, with several candidate releases released ahead of the stable kernel release expected in December.

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