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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: May 26th, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

Hardware failures on Oregon State mirror

On Friday, the server that hosts gentoo.oregonstate.edu suffered two hard disk failures in its RAID 5 array, one of which was unfortunately the hot spare. This caused a series of problems, including a number of corrupted files and bad digests. We are actively working with the folks at OSU to resolve the problem, both in the short term as well as the long term. In the mean time, users are asked to use an alternate mirror until the problem has been fully resolved.

Gentoo Linux is seeking developers for the GNOME team

The Gentoo GNOME Desktop team is looking for new developers to help squash bugs and keep the Gentoo GNOME-related ebuilds on the bleeding edge of development. We are looking for dedicated developers, preferably with experience in developing for GNOME/GTK, some experience in creating ebuilds and solid problem solving capabilities. A plus would be experience in the area of accessibility, possibly in combination with GNOME. Most of all we're looking for people who stand completely behind the current GNOME development philosophy. If you think you got what it takes and can help us out then please send a resume to Marinus Schraal, explain why you would like to be part of the team, include references to work you've done on OSS and provide us with your bugzilla email address if possible.

Gentoo Linux in the news

Gentoo Linux has been generating some good press of late, with a mention on Slashdot discussing our intent to port Gentoo Linux to the AMD Opteron platform. Additionally, Gentoo Linux received a favorable review from LinuxWorld.com, where the author states, "[U]ntil further notice, Gentoo is now my flavor of Linux."

2.  Gentoo Security

Summary

GLSA: lv

The lv file viewer reads a configuration file from the current directory. This could permit a malicious user to insert commands that would be executed by lv on viewing a particular file.

  • Severity: High - Potential local root exploit.
  • Packages Affected: app-text/lv prior to lv-4.49.5
  • Rectification: Synchronize and emerge lv, emerge clean.
  • GLSA Announcement

GLSA: cdrtools

cdrecord contains a format string vulnerability that could permit the execution of arbitrary code.

  • Severity: High - Arbitrary code execution.
  • Packages Affected:
    1. app-cdr/cdrtools prior to cdrtools-1.11.33-r1 (xcdroast users)
    2. app-cdr/cdrtools prior to cdrtools-1.11.39-r1 (sparc)
    3. app-cdr/cdrtools prior to cdrtools-2.01_alpha14 (others)
  • Rectification: Synchronize and emerge \=app-cdr/(your_version), emerge clean.
  • GLSA Announcement
  • Advisory

GLSA: xinetd

The xinet daemon contains a memory leak associated with rejecting connections.

  • Severity: Moderate - Memory leak.
  • Packages Affected: sys-apps/xinetd prior to xinetd-2.3.11
  • Rectification: Synchronize and emerge xinetd, emerge clean.
  • GLSA Announcement
  • Advisory

GLSA: ut2003-demo

The Unreal Tournament game demo has a bug in how it handles spoofed negative index values. This could permit a denial of service attack on the client.

The security fix for this bug caused problems with the game itself. As such, it has been removed in -r2 of the ebuild until a better patch can be integrated.

  • Severity: Moderate - DoS.
  • Packages Affected: app-games/ut2003-demo prior to ut2003-demo-2206-r1
  • Rectification: Synchronize and emerge ut2003-demo, emerge clean.
  • GLSA Announcement
  • Advisory

New Security Bug Reports

The following new security bugs were posted this week:

  • imap clients
  • kernel
  • app-games/maelstrom
  • net-analyzer/nessus

3.  User stories

Mathy and lanzone.be


Figure 3.1: Mathy Vanvoorden (left)

Fig. 1: A tired Mathy (left) trying to solve a problem with Squid

Mathy Vanvoorden from Belgium organizes LAN parties together with his brother and some other people. He is the webmaster of lanzone.be (where he also did the HTML and PHP coding) and politics.be. A few months ago the LANzone team decided to switch all their gameservers to Gentoo Linux (except for Delta Force Land Warrior, which only runs on Windows) and now we're going to learn about the tricks involved:

Avoiding backaches

All of Mathy's gameservers are thin clients which boot from a Dual Pentium III. This setup has many benefits over regular servers. Firstly they don't need any hard drives, which saves money and leads to lighter servers which is really nice for the backs of the people carrying them. :-) But the greatest advantage is the easiness of hooking up a new game server: just plug in two network cards, set the MAC adress in dhcpd so the machine gets a static IP adress, copy a base directory and have fun!

Details on the thin clients

The setup used by Mathy and his friends is slightly based on the Linux Terminal Server Project but evolved beyond that. Although they are using the project's kernel patch, the initrd script has already been modified and lots of changes were made to the Gentoo Linux init scripts (e.g. removing dependencies so that init wouldn't try to fsck mounted NFS systems).

Using these thin clients is very easy: they are connected to the main server using a 100 MBit switch and boot from a floppy (although the LANzone guys are thinking about buying network cards with boot roms so they can get rid of the disk drives which would be even better for their backs ;-). After booting they just present a regular login. Based on which user one enters a gameserver will be started. This is accomplished by replacing the login shells with a script that starts up the server. So for example login in using the UID 'ut2k3instadm' will bring up an UT 2003 Instagib deathmatch server.

Final words

Many other small adaptations had to been done for specific gameservers, but this would go to far to be covered here. As a last note, LANzone also uses Gentoo Linux for the 0.5 Terabyte FTP server (running ProFTPD) and the router (using iptables and Squid to limit incoming traffic to 5 kB/s per user), although Mathy's thinking about switching the router to a BSD because he heard that they handle traffic shaping better than Linux and he's curious about trying it out.

4.  Heard In The Community

Web Forums

Gnome 2.3.2

Forum veteran Lovechild started a thread announcing the ebuild he concocted mere minutes after the new Gnome version was published, and ever since then the band of Gnome fanatics in the forums has been merrily patching and tweaking it to almost stable use. Get carried away by the enthusiasm in this thread:

When Portage Chokes

You'd expect critical alerts on bugs.gentoo.org or the mailing lists first, but whenever something affects a large number of people, many of them look to the Forums as the main emergency alert mechanism. Last week, Oregon State University's rsync server had temporary trouble that immediately got spotted by a lot of users. Check the sticky thread for an instant workaround in cases like this:

gentoo-dev

JRE Support - Is it worth it?

It has been brought up that there might be a couple of good reasons to remove the Java Runtime Envirronment (JRE) support from Gentoo. Read the full discussion.

5.  Gentoo International

Gentoo Poland Established

Their URL points to more than just Poland as a base, but it's essentially for their compatriots here and there and everywhere that the Polish Gentooists busied themselves with setting up a complete Gentoo Poland framework. Started by a handful of activists a few weeks ago, the #gentoo-pl IRC channel on irc.freenode.net is now quite popular, and the very well organized website has made great progress in providing translations of the Gentoo documentation, a forum of their own, and many other features. And to round it all up, the group around Jaroslaw Swierad is currently bringing together enough translators to work on a Polish version of the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, too.

German Gentoo User Meeting Planning

A small group of Gentoo Linux users, led by Gentoo developer Sascha Schwabbauer and Gentoo Linux user Tilman Klar, have started an effort to put together a German Gentoo User Meeting. As part of the effort, Sascha has put up a web page that asks German Gentoo Linux users where they live. The responses to this survey will determine where the meeting will be held. Anyone interested in attending is invited to input their location using the above form.

Additional details about the German Gentoo Linux user meeting will be made available in future editions of the GWN.

6.  Portage Watch

The following stable packages were updated or added to portage this week

Total categories: 82

Total packages: 4428 (32 new packages added this week).

7.  Bugzilla

Summary

Statistics

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:

  • 343 new bugs this week
  • 346 bugs closed or resolved this week
  • 7 previously closed bugs were reopened this week.
  • 2669 total bugs currently marked 'new'
  • 339 total bugs currently assigned to developers

There are currently 3056 bugs open in Bugzilla. Of these: 44 are labeled 'blocker', 111 are labeled 'critical', and 242 are labeled '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:

8.  Tips and Tricks

Blocking Spam with bogofilter

While we've already had one tip on blocking spam with SpamAssassin, this week we look at another way to block spam using bogofilter (available in portage), crontab and Evolution. This example uses MH style mailboxes but could be extended to other types as well.

This week's tip was submitted by John Mylchreest.

You will need bogofilter and a mail client that reads MH style mailboxes such as mutt or Evolution.

Code Listing 8.1: Installing bogofilter

# emerge bogofilter

Create a folder called SPAM and mark it as MH format. Additionally, mark Inbox as MH format.

Add a filter for incoming mail that pipes to a shell command. The shell command should be /usr/bin/bogofilter. Set the return condition to 0 and set the action as "Move to Folder SPAM". Add another action to this filter called "Stop Processing".

Create another filter than runs after the first one. This filter should have two criteria. The first is that Size should be greater than 0. The second is another external pipe; this time to /usr/bin/bogofilter -Sn (notice the -Sn). The -Sn option tells bogofilter to register the text as non-spam and to undo any prior registrations of the message as spam.

The last step is to set up a crontab to evaluate spam messages. Add the following to your crontab with crontab -e.

Code Listing 8.2: crontab

(Go through the SPAM folder and learn what spam looks like)
0 0 * * * cd ~/evolution/local/SPAM/mbox/ ; for i in *; do if [ ! "$i" = "*" ] ; \
then /usr/bin/bogofilter -Ns < $i ; rm $i ; fi ; done
(Go through the Inbox folder and learn what spam is not.)
5 0 * * * cd ~/evolution/local/Inbox/mbox/; for i in *; do if [ ! "$i" = "*" ] ; \
then /usr/bin/bogofilter -Sn < $i ; fi ; done

9.  Quote/Signature of the week

Old but still good: "There are 10 types of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those who don't". (Signature of forums user ssjf)

10.  Moves, Adds and Changes

Moves

The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • none this week

Adds

The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • none this week

Changes

The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.

  • none this week

11.  Contribute to GWN

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12.  GWN Feedback

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13.  GWN Subscription Information

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14.  Other Languages

The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:



Print

Page updated 26 May 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of May 26th, 2003.

Kurt Lieber
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brice Burgess
Contributor

Michael Kohl
Contributor

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Contributor

Rafael Cordones Marcos
Contributor

David Narayan
Contributor

Ulrich Plate
Contributor

Peter Sharp
Contributor

Kim Tingkaer
Contributor

Mathy Vanvoorden
Dutch Translation

Hendrik Eeckhaut
Dutch Translation

Jorn Eilander
Dutch Translation

Bernard Bernieke
Dutch Translation

Peter Ter Borg
Dutch Translation

Jochen Maes
Dutch Translation

Roderick Goessen
Dutch Translation

Gerard van den Berg
Dutch Translation

Matthieu Montaudouin
French Translation

Martin Prieto
French Translation

Antoine Raillon
French Translation

Sebastien Cevey
French Translation

Jean-Christophe Choisy
French Translation

Steffen Lassahn
German Translation

Matthias F. Brandstetter
German Translation

Thomas Raschbacher
German Translation

Klaus-J. Wolf
German Translation

Marco Mascherpa
Italian Translation

Claudio Merloni
Italian Translation

Christian Apolloni
Italian Translation

Daniel Ketel
Japanese Translation

Yoshiaki Hagihara
Japanese Translation

Andy Hunne
Japanese Translation

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Japanese Translation

Yasunori Fukudome
Japanese Translation

Takashi Ota
Japanese Translation

Ventura Barbeiro
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Bruno Ferreira
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Gustavo Felisberto
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Ricardo Jorge Louro
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Ricardo Nogueira
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Sergey Kuleshov
Russian Translation

Dmitry Suzdalev
Russian Translation

Lanark
Spanish Translation

Rafael Cordones Marcos
Spanish Translation

Julio Castillo
Spanish Translation

Sergio Gómez
Spanish Translation

Pablo Pita Leira
Spanish Translation

Carlos Castillo
Spanish Translation

Tirant
Spanish Translation

Jaime Freire
Spanish Translation

Lucas Sallovitz
Spanish Translation

Aycan Irican
Turkish Translation

Bugra Cakir
Turkish Translation

Cagil Seker
Turkish Translation

Emre Kazdagli
Turkish Translation

Evrim Ulu
Turkish Translation

Gursel Kaynak
Turkish Translation

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