Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: June 16th, 2003
Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposals
Grant Goodyear recently announced Gentoo Linux Enhancement Proposals (GLEPs), which are intended to track and manage large-scale proposals, such as the "Herds" proposal. Based on Python's system of PEPs (Python Enhancement Proposals) this system will help ensure large-scale proposals don't get lost in the shuffle. Grant's GLEP proposal is still in draft form and subject to revision based on feedback from the user and developer community.
bugs.gentoo.org gets a new home
As mentioned earlier, Gentoo Linux is undergoing a number of infrastructure changes designed to accomodate the increased load on our infrastructure servers. One of these changes was completed last week with the successful migration of bugs.gentoo.org onto a new, dedicated server. This change not only gives bugs.gentoo.org additional capacity, but it also frees up additional headroom for forums.gentoo.org since previously, the two services were sharing a single server.
Note: There were no new security announcements this week.
New Security Bug Reports
The following new security bugs were posted this week:
Rev. Jeffrey Paul, Gentoo Linux in production environments and much more
Figure 3.1: Rev. Jeffrey Paul, aka Sneak
This week we feature Jeffrey Paul, aka sneak. He's currently 20 years old and lives in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. sneak's one of the core organizers of RUBI-CON, a data and network security conference, held each spring in Detroit. He plans to present a speech at RC6 about the use of Gentoo Linux in a production environment, and hopes to have a chance to use Gentoo Hardened/SELinux in production by then to incorporate it into his speech. He also was investigated by the FBI for cracking UNIX computers overseas when he was 14, although nothing ever came of it. Since that time, he's been nearly 100% whitehat. Besides that Jeffrey is a reverend of the Universal Life Church, a freelance photographer taking pictures of local events and a DJ playing Detroit techno exclusively. To find out more about him visit his website.
Gentoo Linux in production environments
sneak's been a freelance IT consultant for five years. His focus is on stability and security, which is why he chose Gentoo Linux.
One of his clients, a sales and marketing firm in Troy, Michigan relies heavily on Gentoo Linux. Their infrastructure exists primarily to support their office LAN and the WAN between their three locations. Their two servers running Gentoo are responsible for their internet connectivity via proxy (Squid), their next-generation database system (MySQL/PHP/Apache), their public website (MySQL/PHP/Apache), their files and collaboration (Samba and netatalk), their backups (OpenSSH/scp), and their email (postfix). Gentoo's speed and convenience, cheap commodity x86 hardware, and the flexibility of Linux allow to keep the entire office running smoothly with limited IT resources. With Portage, Jeffrey says, system administration takes about a tenth of the time it did before the switch to Gentoo.
Another one of his clients is an IT services and application development provider in Oak Park, Michigan. Their infrastructure exists for hosting their client's sites, both as a hosting provider and as a web application development company. A mix of NT servers (only because Exchange doesn't run on Linux and VBScript works better on NT) and Gentoo, he provides consulting regarding their datacenter network and administrates all of their currently 3 Gentoo Linux servers. There, Gentoo is used for everything that matters, namely DNS, DHCP, IDS, and mail. This services are provided by qmail, sqwebmail, and qmailadmin (on Apache) for most clients. They also run ISC BIND9, ISC dhcpd, and of course OpenSSH. The administration machine runs Nagios (formerly Netsaint), MRTG, and some other custom monitoring tools.
Lately Jeffrey has been getting away from consulting, trying to find full-time employment in IT in the Detroit area. If you feel like plugging his jobhunt, he certainly wouldn't mind.
datavibe.net and the Gentoo community at Livejournal
For four years now, sneak has run datavibe.net, a nonprofit freenet provider of UNIX services. It's not running Gentoo already because he's been waiting for some new hardware, but this will change pretty soon. The plan is to use Gentoo Hardened on datavibe.net as soon as it's production ready.
sneak also is co-maintainer of the Gentoo community at Livejournal, a resource he is pleased to advertise in the GWN.
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 4.1: Rob Holland
Rob Holland is a member of the email@example.com team that looks after media-sound. He participates in ebuild bug fixing, testing, and committing ebuilds, taking special interest in the ardour-cvs, jack-cvs, and other Digital-Audio-Workstation things as he uses them a lot at home. It was actually through his work with the ardour-cvs ebuild that Rob became part of the Gentoo team: when he submitted a few updates for it, he got talking to Jon Ellis, one of the more experienced developers of the sound team, who somehow convinced Rob to do his work for him. (Rob wants to say "Meh!", to Jon, explaining that it'll no doubt get Jon giggling to himself as he often does.) Rob also maintains the GNUStep colection of ebuilds and WindowMaker stuff, as well as the keychain and cyrus-imapd ebuilds. He used to do a lot of work with OpenBSD - not as a developer there, but locally, building embedded systems out of it, and also has made a couple suggestions to Paul Davis, the maker of Ardour, some of which have been implemented.
A Unix Systems Developer and Systems Admin (Rob prefers the first) at LINX by day, he also runs a Linux consultancy in his spare time("spare time...hahaha", says Rob). Rob tends to run desktops with WindowMaker, Galeon, irssi, and ardour, Muse, timidity, and freqtweak for audio stuff. He runs a small network at home with his desktop, an Athlon XP 1400+ with 512MB RAM and a delta midiman card, his fiancee's two Window machines and Apple Powerbook (all with wavelan), as well as a Compaq Evo N400c for his LINX work. For his business he runs five or six PCs, all x86s with various hardware configurations. They mostly run apache, cyrus imapd and exim with some glue code he wrote in Perl to handle virtual domains without having to fiddle with a bunch of configuration files. His favorite apps include: vi, because he'd feel lost without it, ardour because it lets him write music without worrying about crashes, Jack because it doesn't leave glitches in audio while recording, Mulberry because he's a sucker for GUI email clients and its good IMAP support, and irssi because it easily does everything he needs in an IRC client.
A guitarist, bass player, and drummer, Rob says he likes being able to play and record his own songs. He enjoys watching evil films like Seven and Roadkill, playing on his XBox, and spending time with Jasmine, his cat. On August 31st, he's going to marry his fiancee, Sarah, at the tender age of 21.
Heard in the Community
Local Rsync and Distfile Server
Nominated for our "best first post by a Forum newbie" award, Grimthorne has graced the Documentation, Tips & Tricks section of the Forums with an excellent Howto on setting up a "Portage gateway", a single-entry-point for rsync'ing the portage tree and central repository for distfiles. For anyone administering more than a single Gentoo host at home or the office, this could prove to come in very handy indeed:
XPM bug attempts to remove XFree
Fast reflexes on behalf of one of the Forum moderators, bsolar, helped prevent damage from happening to Gentoo users' desktops on Thursday. The XPM (XPixMap) package had been removed from the portage tree, which unfortunately caused all of Xfree to disappear if someone had autocleaning enabled, a nasty bug that could have bitten a lot more people:
Unified tool for Gentoo specific tasks?
Brain waves are out there carrying thoughts about a unified configuration tool for the Gentoo specific configuration tasks. Gentoo specific, meaning configurations like say what mirror portage is to fetch pagkages from. Michael Kohl, the idea man, speaks further about the UI.
Proposed md5sum change.
The md5sum is a checksum system for safeguarding data and to letting users know when that all important data has been corrupted. This way portage lets the user know if an md5'ed package has changed. Though, portage looks at the md5sum for the compressed file fetched from the mirror and not its contents. Read about the differences and the pros and cons.
How flexible is the package compilation / installation process with portage? And what about the information passed to the user about the packages during a multi package emerge?
Is it possible to run scripts in between decompression / compilation and installation of a package?
New Website for Swedish Gentooists
Anders Olsson and a group of fellow IT students at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm recently acquired the gentoo.se domain and have started building a nice little website around it. Sweden used to be an IRC-only country, i.e. sporting a very active Swedish language channel on irc.freenode.net, but nothing much in terms of documentation and other Gentoo info was available besides that. All the usual content you'd find on most national Gentoo pages is still in planning stages, but Gentoo.se already offers webmail services! firstname.lastname@example.org, anyone?
The following notable packages were updated or added to portage this week
The following stable packages were updated or added to portage this week
Total categories: 83 (1 category added since last week)
Total packages: 4655 (91 packages added since last week)
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track
bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 6 Jun 2003 and 12 Jun 2003, activity
on the site has resulted in:
- 293 new bugs during this period
- 438 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 15 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 3303 currently open bugs: 55 are labeled 'blocker', 137 are labeled 'critical', and 262 are labeled 'major'.
Closed Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period are:
New Bug Rankings
The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during this period are:
Tips and Tricks
Tips & Tricks is on hiatus this week and will return in next week's issue. In the mean time, if you have a Tip or Trick that you think should be featured here, send an email to email@example.com
Quote/Signature of the week
This week's featured signature was found in a message from Stewart Honsberger to gentoo-dev: "Capitalists, by nature, organize to protect themselves. Geeks, by nature, resist organizaion."
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
- Chuck Brewer (killian)
- Jeraimee Hughes (A.Sleep)
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
Contribute to GWN
Interested in contributing to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? Send us an email.
Please send us your feedback and help make GWN better.
GWN Subscription Information
To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To unsubscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to email@example.com from the email address you are subscribed under.
The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages: