First, Linux has never been a popular topic, so trying to get up-to-date news isn’t easy.
Second, in roughly 30 years, Linux has basically stayed stuck between 1.5-2% +- of worldwide Desktop/Laptop OS usage share. The Linux Desktop OS has never been anything more than a toy OS to experiment with. However, it is very popular ‘n useful as a ‘Specialty’ OS, e.g. as a sever, as a portable OS (my favorite use for it), Penetration Testing ‘n Ethical Hacking distros like Kali Linux, Anti-forensic ‘n Anonymous distros like Kodachi Linux, etc.
ZDNet’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has the following 1/26/2021 article – The Linux Foundation’s demands to the University of Minnesota for its bad Linux patches security project:
ZDNet has obtained a copy of the Linux Foundation’s letter to the University of Minnesota laying out what happened with the bad Linux kernel patches ‘research project’ and demanding ‘all information necessary to identify all proposals of known-vulnerable code from any U of MN experiment’.
The letter, from Mike Dolan, the Linux Foundation’s senior VP and general manager of projects, begins:
“It has come to our attention that some University of Minnesota (U of MN) researchers appear to have been experimenting on people, specifically the Linux kernel developers, without those developers’ prior knowledge or consent.”
Unbelievable!?!?! How did ZDNet obtain that letter? By some ‘Unethical human experiment’ aided by some unidentified Linux kernel developer?
While the IRB appears to have approved this research after the fact, the Linux kernel community was not kept in the loop. The researchers claim that they spoke to people in the Linux community, but they are never identified. Hence, Kroah-Hartman’s reaction when, once more, he was presented with “nonsense patches” and yet another attempt to waste the Linux kernel maintainers’ time by “continuing to experiment on the kernel community developers.”
Third, Linux is infamous for its Fragmentation problems, and this entire story represents just how ‘Fragmented’ Linux ‘n *EVERYTHING* connected to it is. Even a simple story like this becomes almost impenetrable due the ‘Fragmentation’ surrounding it, and mostly caused by the overreactions of the entire Linux Leadership Community, IMHO.
- Will add this post to the series on the *Linux Security Issues* page.
LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!