cron.weekly issue #137: Kernel 5.7, TrueNAS, LibreSSL, Drupal & more

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Mattias Geniar, June 07, 2020

Follow me on Twitter as @mattiasgeniar

Hi everyone! 👋

Welcome to cron.weekly issue #137.

This isn’t an easy episode. The news and video footage from the violence against black people coming from the US make it impossible for me to stay quiet.

Black Lives Matter

As a white, cisgender male, working in tech, living in a wealthy country, I am privileged. I am privileged that I get to read about racism, instead of having to live it. I am privileged by not having to fear police officers. So many things in my life are “just normal”.

I’ve never been discriminated against, profiled or otherwise excluded from any activity just by the colour of my skin. That is privilege.

Earlier this week, I made a mistake. I asked “what can I do to help?"

It’s a mistake because it puts the task of helping on to someone else. I’m not going to bother researching ways to help myself - oh no, I want someone else to tell me what to do.

I believe the time has passed for me to sit passively on the sidelines. That time has probably passed many years ago, and I’m very late to realize this. It is up to each and every one of us to take an active stance against racism.

This isn’t a political movement where you have the left, the right and some middle ground. You’re either against racism, or you’re a racist. If, like me, you’ve been standing passively on the sidelines for all this time, now is the time to take a stand.

If you’re against racism - like I hope so many of you are - I ask for your help.

It will take an active approach to fight injustice, not a passive one. I cannot undo our collective history (Belgium played a horrible role), but I can actively work towards a better future. To that end, I want to educate myself better. I’m aware of large gaps in my knowledge that urgently need to be filled.

Ask not how you can help, but start by actively participating in the movement to end racism. Vote for a better government. Stand up against injustice. Educate yourself.

I’ve been going through this varied list of topics, a combination of articles, books, podcasts and videos. If you have other resources, I would love to hear about them.

Before I continue with the tech content you subscribed for, I want to acknowledge that most of the links I get to share are written by white males. I am aware of this and will actively seek out other communities to source material from, to provide a more diverse newsletter that is representative of the colourful world we live in.

As we move from the war against the Corona-virus to the oldest war of all times - racism - I truly hope all of you can stay safe.

Take care y’all,


News & general 🗞

Linux 5.7

Linus has released the 5.7 kernel right on schedule. The 5.7 release includes almost 14,000 commits from more than 2,000 developers worldwide.

For the best list of changes, head over the this list of Linux 5.7 changes on

clang-11.0.0 miscompiles SQLite

“It appears that the clang-11.0.0 compiler mis-compiles sqlite3.c version 3.32.1."

It’s not every day that a compiler compiles the wrong thing. Despite C being a fairly old language, I find it interesting to see how these bugs still pop up in compilers - probably the last place to look for malfunctioning code.

TrueNAS isn’t abandoning BSD - but it is adopting Linux

The TrueNAS team is creating a new version that is based on Debian. The original TrueNAS remains BSD-based, but the question is for how long? There will now be 3 versions of TrueNAS: two free editions - TrueNAS is based on BSD, TrueNAS SCALE is base on Debian 11 - and a commercial offering, also based on the BSD edition.

Root Server Technical Operations Assn

The 13 root name servers (DNS) are operated by 12 independent organisations and consist of 1084 instances worldwide. Quite interesting to read some of the background details on the backbone of the internet: DNS!

Finding secrets by decompiling Python bytecode in public repositories

tl;dr: Cache rules everything around me. .pyc files can contain secrets and should not be checked in to source control. Use the standard Python .gitignore.

Tools & Projects 🛠

Drupal 9

After 5 years of development, Drupal 9 is released. Easier content authoring, increases in performance and an easy upgrade path from Drupal 8.


Lightweight API-driven Authoritative DNS server with support for ANAME’s, URL redirects, proxying & certificate management.

Cover Your Backend.

Cronitor provides continuous monitoring for the jobs, pipelines, daemons and APIs that power data-driven companies. It’s the utility-knife style monitoring tool you need to cover your backend, while you focus on growing your business. Sponsored


Run Mac in a Docker container! Run near-native OSX-KVM in Docker with X11 Forwarding.


This looks like an interesting vim plugin: it gives you tips, as you type, on how to improve/shorten the actions you’re doing. It’s like the Clippy helper on Windows, but actually useful!

Bitcoin Core 0.20.0

Quite a lot of updates in this new Bitcoin Core release, most notably featuring better hardware support in the wallet, an improved way of selecting which IPs to connect to as peers (the goal is to be as globally diversified as possible), the removal of OpenSSL as a dependency and the start of the building blocks for assumeutxo to provide faster bootstrapping for new nodes on the network.

LibreSSL 3.2.0

A noticeable change in this LibreSSL release: TLS 1.3 is now enabled by default on the client and the server.

Bridgecrew | Codified cloud security platform

Automatically find and fix misconfigurations in AWS, Terraform, and Kubernetes in both run-time and build-time. Integrate Bridgecrew with your repos and CI/CD pipeline to prevent cloud security issues from ever being deployed. Sign up for free. Sponsored


A CLI interface to git that relies heavily on fzf, the fuzzy searcher.


A friendly browser-based tool for anonymizing photographs. Quite cool to see how much you can do in a browser, completely client-side.

Guides & Tutorials 🎓

The beauty of Unix pipelines

The Unix philosophy lays emphasis on building software that is simple and extensible.” This post gives several examples of the beauty that can be a Unix pipeline - chaining multiple small tools together to accomplish something powerful.

Improve Linux system performance with noatime

I liked this post because it doesn’t just tell you how to disable atime, but does a good job at explaining how it works, how it changed the behaviour over the years and what the consequences are.

Running Awk in parallel to process 256M records

Awk can be fast. Really fast. In this post, the author shares lots of awk code to process large amounts of data. Most importantly, he shows the possibilities of more advanced awk!

Ultimate Guide to Python Debugging

Lots of good tips on debugging Python code in this one. I’ve recently been coding in Python again and found this to be quite valuable for a newbie like me!

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