Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: March 10th, 2003
distcc in a nutshell
A question often asked by our readers is, "What is distcc?". In a nutshell, distcc
allows you to distribute compilation of C or C++ code across several machines on a network. For home users with multiple computers,
this means you can distribute the load of compiling KDE 3.1 across all your Gentoo machines. For embedded devices or older computers,
it means you can build packages on a faster machine (or group of machines) to take advantage of the increased processing power.
distcc works closely with gcc to ensure that distcc distributed compiles produce the same result as using gcc directly.
distcc 1.2.3 was recently marked as stable in the Portage tree, so users are encouraged to try it out and discover the wonders of distributed
compiling. Obviously, there's a lot more to distcc than is described here. Users interested in learning more should check out the following
Remarkable response to our call for developers
In last week's GWN, we posted a number of open positions in the Gentoo Linux project. The response to this posting was remarkable, with nearly 75 responses received. As a result, Gentoo Linux now has the assistance of two new documentation editors and a new kernel developer. We're still sorting through the respondents to the Web Developer position and will be contacting folks with regards to that in the coming days.
Where possible, we've tried to send individual responses to each of the respondents. If you haven't received a response, we apologize and thank you for offering to help Gentoo Linux. We'll continue to post open positions in future editions of the GWN, so keep an eye out for them.
A recently discovered vulnerability in sendmail could permit a remote user to gain root privileges on the server
with a carefully crafted email message. A proof-of-concept exploit has been demonstrated, but no exploits in the
wild have been reported.
- Severity: Critical - Remote Root Exploit
- Packages Affected: net-mail/sendmail versions prior to sendmail-8.12.8
- Rectification: Synchronize and emerge -u sendmail, emerge clean.
- GLSA Announcement
Snort contains a buffer overflow that may be exploited to run arbitrary code with the privileges of the Snort IDS
process, potentially root.
- Severity: Critical - Remote Execution of Code
- Packages Affected: net-analyzer/snort versions prior to snort-1.9.1
- Rectification: Synchronize and emerge -u snort, emerge clean.
- GLSA Announcement
TCPDump contains a vulnerability in the way it parses certain UDP packets that allows a carefully crafted packet to
provoke an infinite loop.
- Severity: High - Remote DOS
- Packages Affected: net-analyzer/tcpdump versions prior to tcpdump-3.7.2
- Rectification: Synchronize and emerge -u tcpdump, emerge clean.
- GLSA Announcement
MySQLcc has its configuration and connection files set as world-readable.
- Severity: Moderate - Local Information Exposure
- Packages Affected: dev-db/mysqlcc versions prior to mysqlcc-0.8.10-r1
- Rectification: Synchronize and emerge -u mysqlcc, emerge clean.
New Security Bug Reports
The following new security bugs were posted this week:
Arthur Britto started a persistent thread on the gentoo-security list by posting a
complaining about GLSAs (Gentoo-Linux Security Announcements) being cross-posted to gentoo-security and
gentoo-announce. The discussion quickly split into two camps - those arguing that redundancy in important
messages was valuable and those insisting that a clearly defined single channel for GLSAs was more important.
The conversation occasionally evolved into discussions about whether using filters and procmail to strip
redundant messages was the right way to resolve it, and even included suggestions for setting up a third,
dedicated, list for GLSAs. The thread finally concluded with a
for it to stop along with the official pronouncement that all GLSAs will in the future be posted only to gentoo-announce,
and that gentoo-security should be confined to discussions about security issues rather than security announcements.
Featured Developer of the Week
Jared H. Hudson
Figure 3.1: Jared H. Hudson
Jared H. Hudson, whom we feature this week, is the x86 QA Coordintor and the x86 stages/GRPs Coordinator as of Gentoo Linux's latest 1.4_rc3 release candidate. This means he's responsible for making sure that the stages and GRPs work properly so that users can install Gentoo Linux. Jared's involvement with Gentoo (which happens to be the first OSS project he has worked on) began with his fixing a bug in a Gentoo package, impressing a senior developer. Accepting a subsequent invitation to join the team, Jared has been handling bug reports like the other developers, especially in PHP, DNS, emacs, and vim - his areas of expertise. He also created use.desc (located in /usr/portage/profiles/), which lists what the use flags in Gentoo do.
Jared's last job was as a Linux sysadmin for a web hosting company that went bankrupt; now he's seeking employment. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas (though he would like to move to Europe) with two cats: Script (she's a script kitty) and Frankie, and a dual Athlon 1200 box running Waimea, and often xmms, emacs, gcc, mozilla, and gaim. Jared loves reading and has been playing Magic: the Gathering lately.
Heard In The Community
1.4-rc3-triggered Newbie Influx
Even the oldest hands seem to wear a badge saying "I'm friendly to newbies" these days, setting aside an extraordinary amount of patience and helpful advice for the many newcomers attracted by the third release candidate. Is it safe to use? Will it do what my <insert prior Linux distribution> could do? Will it change my life, water the plants, walk the dog? Just ask, somebody will answer without patronizing or spitting gratuitous flames at you:
New Dutch Forum Moderator Needed
The Dutch forum is in need of someone to crack the whip from time to time. Don't worry, they usually behave exceptionally well. It's all about spotting the occasional duplicate thread, making important announcements sticky and looking over the forum's well-being in general. Post applications to this thread or send a personal message to the site admin who originated the call:
Gentoo and the LSB
took place recently regarding Gentoo's compliance with the LSB. Currently there are two issues
holding Gentoo from being an "LSB Compliant" distribution. The first being that LSB requires the ability to
install RPMs on a system. The second offender is that KDE and Gonome are in different directories, and
that the LSB standard can easily be scrutinized ATM. A few
on handling the directory hiearchy
of the GUI desktops made their way into the thread, which lead to worthwhile explanations of the
different parts of a *nix file system. Remembering that both Gentoo and the LSB are new and developing
projects, hopes of a brighter future will come. For now, the LSB experiences mixed attitudes within the
Gentoo-user community, from enthusiasts to claims that the LSB is, and will always be a "
CFLAGS... Get your CFLAGS...
As long as there is Gentoo, there will be questions about CFLAGS and compiler optimizations. Due to the
fact that Gentoo is a source based distribution, and that these sources are likely to be compiled under
the direction of a tweaked out penguin, a lot of emphasis is placed on choosing the best set of options
for the system's hardware. For most of us the decision is made quickly by using one of the many
examples available for all sorts of hardware. To delve further into the subject, and make sense of what
these flags actually mean provides a very insightful read. Jason Giangrande's
not only surfaced many
, but provided some links to great explanatory
Cruft detecting script
the creation of a cruft detecting script, i.e. a script that would detect
all the files that Portage has lost track of and therefore will lay in the filesystem
as long as we do not do something about it. A quick
posted by Evan Powers but more tuning and exploring seems to be needed with this useful
Open Gentoo Linux Development Positions
John P. Davis posted an announcement
that Gentoo Linux is recruiting new developers.
man .vs. man-db
James H. Cloos Jr.
Gentoo is currently using
man which seems quite
outdated and that man-db seems a better
alternative and it is being used by popular GNU/Linux distributions like Debian and Suse.
Vienna Meeting Report
Fortunately, improvisation is second nature for Gentoo users: If you don't know how to solve a problem, you're not worthy of having one in the first place. Last week, the Vienna Gentoo user crowd had to change the venue for their meeting on the fly because the original location's staff, ("presumably blonde"), had managed to misplace the reservation. As it turned out, the neighboring Community Center of the Austrian Communist Party, Cafe 7Stern, was more hospitable, featuring a waitress with strong beliefs ("Better take a beer like everyone else, laddie") and a wacko lady occasionally visiting the Gentoo table asking why the show on stage wasn't about to begin. Latecomers missed the fun because of the location change, but everybody else was visibly enjoying the meeting, and they're already discussing follow-ups. The full account (in German) is posted here.
Figure 5.1: Gentoo users meet in Vienna
New: Romanian IRC Channel
On Thursday last week, Panzerboy announced the creation of a channel for Romanian Gentoo users on the same IRC network as the others: #gentoo-ro on irc.freenode.net. Feel free to /join...
The following stable packages were added to portage this week
- app-emulation/goosnes : A GTK+ frontend for Snes9X http://bard.sytes.net/goosnes/
- app-emulation/qmamecat : mame catalog and frontend http://www.mameworld.net/mamecat/
- app-emulation/visualboyadvance : gameboy, gameboy color, and gameboy advance emulator http://vboy.emuhq.com/
- app-games/poopmup : You are now free to fly around the city and poop on passers-by http://sourceforge.net/projects/poopmup/
- app-games/zoom : A fast, clean, modern Z-code interpreter for X http://www.logicalshift.demon.co.uk/unix/zoom/
- app-games/toppler : reimplemention of Nebulus using SDL http://toppler.sourceforge.net/
- app-games/adonthell : roleplaying game engine http://adonthell.linuxgames.com/
- app-games/fbg : A tetris-clone written in OpenGL http://home.attbi.com/~furiousjay/code/fbg.html
- app-games/fortune-mod-kernelcookies : A collection of funny lines from the Linux kernel http://unattached.i-no.de/software-misc.shtml
- app-games/geki3-KXL : 2D length scroll shooting game http://kxl.hn.org/
- app-games/gnocatan : A clone of the popular board game The Settlers of Catan http://gnocatan.sourceforge.net/
- app-games/gnubg : GNU BackGammon http://www.gnu.org/software/gnubg/gnubg.html
- app-games/grande-KXL : It is a ZANAC type game http://kxl.hn.org/
- app-games/pyddr : Dance Dance Revolution! You need this game more than Frozen Bubble http://www.icculus.org/pyddr/
- app-games/pyddr-songs : Music for the pyDDR game http://icculus.org/pyddr/
- app-games/tuxmathscrabble : math-version of the popular board game for children 4-10 http://sourceforge.net/projects/tuxmathscrabble/
- app-games/wastesedge : role playing game to showcase the adonthell engine http://adonthell.linuxgames.com/
- app-games/wtf : translates acronyms for you http://www.mu.org/~mux/wtf/
- app-games/wumpus : Classic Hunt the Wumpus Adventure Game http://cvsweb.netbsd.org/bsdweb.cgi/src/games/wump/
- app-games/crimson : tactical war game in the tradition of Battle Isle http://www.lanipage.de/jens/
- app-games/groundhog : Kids card/puzzle game http://home-2.consunet.nl/~cb007736/groundhog.html
- app-games/matritsa : Kids card/puzzle game http://imagic.weizmann.ac.il/~dov/freesw/matritsa.html
- app-i18n/imhangul : Gtk+-2.0 Hangul Input Modules http://imhangul.kldp.net/
- app-i18n/imhangul_status_applet : Status Applet for imhangul http://imhangul.kldp.net/
- app-misc/banner : The well known banner program for linux http://cedar-solutions.com
- app-misc/cdctl : Utility to control your cd/dvd drive http://cdctl.sourceforge.net/
- dev-db/mysqlcc : a MySQL GUI Client http://www.mysql.com/
- dev-libs/dvacm4 : dvacm4 provides autoconf macros used by the dv* C++ utilities http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvacm/html/
- dev-libs/dvcgi : dvcgi provides a C++ interface for C++ cgi programs http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvcgi/html/
- dev-libs/dvenv : dvenv provides polymorphic tree-structured environments, generalizing the Dv::Util::Props class http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvenv/html/
- dev-libs/dvmysql : dvmysql provides a C++ interface to mysql http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvmysql/html/
- dev-libs/dvnet : dvnet provides an interface wrapping sockets into streams http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvnet/html/
- dev-libs/dvssl : dvssl provides a simple interface to openssl http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvssl/html/
- dev-libs/dvthread : dvthread provides classes for threads and monitors, wrapped around the posix thread library http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvthread/html/
- dev-libs/dvutil : dvutil provides some general C++ utility classes for files, directories, dates, property lists, reference counted pointers, number conversion etc. http://tinf2.vub.ac.be/~dvermeir/software/dv/dvutil/html/
- dev-tcltk/tclgpgme : Tcl/Tk libraries to gpgme. http://beepcore-tcl.sourceforge.net/
- dev-tcltk/tcllib : Tcl Standard Library. http://www.tcl.tk/software/tcllib/
- dev-tcltk/tclxml-expat : Tcl wrapper libraries for expat XML parser. http://tclxml.sourceforge.net/
- dev-tcltk/tkTheme : Tcl/Tk Theming library. http://www.xmission.com/~georgeps/Tk_Theme/other/
- dev-tcltk/tkXwin : Tcl/Tk library to detect idle periods of an X session. http://beepcore-tcl.sourceforge.net/
- dev-tcltk/tls : TLS OpenSSL extension to Tcl. http://tls.sourceforge.net/
- media-libs/fmod : music and sound effects library, and a sound processing system http://www.fmod.org/
- gnome-extra/fontilus : Fontviewer for Nautilus http://www.gnome.org/
- net-im/tkabber : Featurefull Jabber client for tcl/tk. http://www.jabber.ru/projects/tkabber/index_en.html
- net-irc/konversation : A user friendly IRC Client for KDE3.x http://konversation.sourceforge.net
- net-news/knews : A threaded newsreader for X. http://www.matematik.su.se/~kjj/
- net-www/mini_httpd : Small forking webserver with optional ssl and ipv6 support http://www.acme.com/software/mini_httpd/
- net-www/monkeyd : fast, efficient, (REALLY) small, and easy to configure web server http://monkeyd.sourceforge.net/
- sys-kernel/gaming-sources : Full sources for the Gentoo gaming-optimized kernel http://members.optusnet.com.au/ckolivas/kernel/
- x11-terms/kuake : A Quake-style terminal emulator http://www.nemohackers.org/index.php?p=kuake
- media-sound/id3ed : id3ed is an ID3 tag editor for mp3 files. You can set tags interactively or from the command line, or a combination of both. id3ed can set genre by name or number. You can also remove or view tags. http://www.azstarnet.com/~donut/programs/id3ed.html
- media-sound/liteamp : Liteamp - yet another light-weight ogg and mp3 player for gnome http://liteamp.kldp.net
- media-sound/takcd : Command line CD player http://bard.sytes.net/takcd/
- media-sound/timidity++ : A handy MIDI to WAV converter with OSS and ALSA output support http://www.goice.co.jp/member/mo/timidity/
- media-sound/waif : Why Another Infernal Frontend -- console front end for various media-players http://eds.org/~straycat
- media-video/filmgimp : motion picture editing tool used for painting and retouching of movies http://filmgimp.org/
- media-video/gxine : GTK+ Front-End for libxine http://xine.sourceforge.net/
- media-video/kmplayer : MPlayer frontend for KDE http://www.xs4all.nl/~jjvrieze/kmplayer.html
Updates to notable packages
- sys-apps/portage - portage-2.0.47-r8.ebuild;
- sys-devel/gcc - gcc-3.2.2-r3.ebuild;
- sys-libs/glibc - glibc-2.3.2.ebuild;
- x11-base/xfree - xfree-4.3.0.ebuild;
- sys-kernel/* - ac-sources-2.4.21_pre5-r1.ebuild; ac-sources-2.4.21_pre5-r2.ebuild; ck-sources-2.4.20-r4.ebuild; development-sources-2.5.64.ebuild; gaming-sources-2.4.20.ebuild; gs-sources-2.4.21_pre5.ebuild; lolo-sources-184.108.40.206_pre3.ebuild; lolo-sources-220.127.116.11_pre4.ebuild; mm-sources-2.5.63-r2.ebuild; mm-sources-2.5.64-r1.ebuild; mm-sources-2.5.64-r2.ebuild; ppc-sources-benh-2.4.20-r7.ebuild; ppc-sources-benh-2.4.20-r8.ebuild; redhat-sources-18.104.22.168.48-r1.ebuild; sparc-sources-2.4.20-r4.ebuild; usermode-sources-2.4.19-r49.ebuild; usermode-sources-2.4.19-r50.ebuild; usermode-sources-2.4.19-r51.ebuild; usermode-sources-2.4.20-r1.ebuild;
- dev-db/mysql - mysql-3.23.54a-r1.ebuild; mysql-4.0.11a.ebuild;
- sys-devel/perl - perl-5.8.0-r10.ebuild;
- dev-db/postgresql - postgresql-7.3.2.ebuild;
- app-admin/gentoolkit - gentoolkit-0.1.19-r1.ebuild; gentoolkit-0.1.19-r2.ebuild; gentoolkit-0.1.19.ebuild;
New USE variables
- dvb - Enables support for Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) cable/satelite TV cards
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. In the last 7 days, activity
on the site has resulted in:
- 263 new bugs this week
- 459 bugs closed or resolved this week
- 7 previously closed bugs were reopened this week.
- 1971 total bugs currently marked 'new'
- 485 total bugs currently assigned to developers
There are currently 2517 bugs open in bugzilla. Of these: 60 are labeled 'blocker', 92 are labelled 'critical',
and 174 are labelled 'major'.
Closed Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs this week are:
New Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs this week are:
Tips and Tricks
Creating a Certificate Authority (CA)
This week's tip shows you how to create your own Certificate Authority used for signing SSL certificates.
The first step is to create your new CA certificate.
You now have your own CA with which to sign certificates. Your CA public key is /etc/ssl/demoCA/cacert.pem and your private key is /etc/ssl/demoCA/private/cakey.pem.
Code Listing 1.1: Establishing CA certificates
# cd /etc/ssl
# ./misc/CA.pl -newca
CA certificate filename (or enter to create)
Making CA certificate ...
Using configuration from /etc/ssl/openssl.cnf
Generating a 1024 bit RSA private key
writing new private key to './demoCA/private/cakey.pem'
Enter PEM pass phrase:<your password>
Verifying password - Enter PEM pass phrase:<your password (again)>
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:<your country>
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:<your state/province>
Locality Name (eg, city) :<your city>
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgets Pty Ltd]:<your company name>
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) :<your department>
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) :<your name>
Email Address :<your email>
When using a certificate signed by your CA, you may get an error about an untrusted CA. In this case, you'll need to publish your CA public key to the client.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
- Jay Pfeifer (pfeifer) -- core system/kernel
- Lars Weiler (pylon) -- Gentoo/PPC
- Carl Anderson (carl) -- Gentoo Documentation
- Jorge Paulo (peesh) -- Gentoo Documentation
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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