Gentoo Logo

Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: August 18, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

Gentoo migrates to a more robust DNS infrastructure

Recently, Gentoo Technologies switched from running in-house DNS servers to using outsourced DNS service powered by UltraDNS. This new outsourcing relationship offers Gentoo a more reliable, scalable DNS infrastructure and allows us to spend more time developing Gentoo Linux and less time administering infrastructure servers.

In addition, UltraDNS offers us several new features and capabilities previously unavailable in our BIND name server environment. These features include SiteBacker and DirectionalDNS. Gentoo is currently using SiteBacker to ensure that users are always able to access www.gentoo.org, which currently comprises four servers. When one server goes down, such as for planned maintenance, SiteBacker automatically redirects client requests to one of the other three servers, minimizing disruptions to our users.

Gentoo is also currently experimenting with DirectionalDNS as a means of offering targeted responses to DNS queries for rsync.gentoo.org. Based upon the success of this test, we will be looking to expand the use of DirectionalDNS to other domains as well.

UltraDNS servers currently respond to nearly 5 million Gentoo-related DNS queries per month, and their service and support have been exceptional throughout. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank UltraDNS for their support of the Gentoo Linux project.

More photos from LWE


Figure 1.1: Kevyn Shortell at LWE 2003

Fig. 1: Kevyn Shortell at LWE 2003

Gentoo Linux developer Kevyn Shortell has put up more photos from Linux World Expo 2003 here on his site, as well as letting us know that the PPC team had a PowerMac G4, an iBook and a Total Impact Briq, not an iBook and a PowerMac G3, as we said in last week's newsletter. At time of writing, Kevyn hasn't yet put up captions or thumbnails or captions, and the page is 11MB including images, so surf on down there at your own risk. :-) Thanks to Kevyn for putting up the photos and pointing out the error.

2.  Gentoo Security

Summary

GLSA: gentoo-sources

Quote from advisory:

"The route cache implementation in Linux 2.4, and the Netfilter IP conntrack module, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption) via packets with forged source addresses that cause a large number of hash table collisions."

"The ioperm system call in Linux kernel 2.4.20 and earlier does not properly restrict privileges, which allows local users to gain read or write access to certain I/O ports."

"A race condition in the way env_start and env_end pointers are initialized in the execve system call and used in fs/proc/base.c on Linux 2.4 allows local users to cause a denial of service (crash)."

  • Severity: Critical - multiple vulnerabilities.
  • Packages Affected: <gentoo-sources-2.4.20-r6
  • Rectification: emerge sync; emerge gentoo-sources; emerge clean. After that, compile, install and reboot your computer to complete the upgrade.
  • GLSA Announcement

GLSA: semi

"The (1) semi MIME library 1.14.5 and earlier, and (2) wemi 1.14.0 and possibly other versions, allows local users to overwrite arbitrary files via a symlink attack on temporary files."

  • Severity: Medium - insecure temporary files creation.
  • Packages Affected: <semi-1.14.5-r1
  • Rectification: Synchronize and emerge semi, emerge clean.
  • GLSA Announcement

New Security Bug Reports

The following new security bugs were posted in the past week:

3.  User stories

User stories is on hiatus this week. Remember to send us your bizarre, hilarious, or incredible Gentoo stories so they can be featured here!

4.  Featured Developer of the Week

Nick Hadaway


Figure 4.1: Nick Hadaway

Fig. 1: Nick Hadaway

This week, we are featuring Nick Hadaway (raker), a very active and prolific developer. Nick started working on Gentoo in early 2002, initially taking responsibility for maintaining most of the packages in /net-mail, and a few other packages. He has now expanded that role into work with /media-*, /net-ftp, Windowmaker and LDAP packages. Apart from the usual dev duties of maintaining ebuilds, Nick contributes C and C++ code patches and testing. He perceives his primary role as dealing with bugs by "listening to what users want and mak[ing] their wish a reality", if he can.

Some years ago, Nick began working on his own Linux source-based distro (Give Me Some Linux). His idea will sound familiar: using shell-scripts and higher-level languages to automate package installation from source. Upon discovering Gentoo, Nick abandoned the increasingly complex task of maintaining his distro, because "Gentoo filled [his] every desire", and because of his delight in its distinction from Red Hat. He promptly made a point to begin contributing to the Gentoo project. Over the past two years, Nick has earned the respect of his peers as an effective and able contributer.

Nick works as a computer consultant in Chicago, and occasionally moonlights as a manager/jack-of-all-trades for his mother's restaurant near Milwaukee. He has an additional night job as a rock musician in Madison, WI. He currently is in the process of maintaining or establishing residences in all three cities. He studied Electrical Engineering and Music Performance at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and has taken Computer Science courses at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

When not patching bugs or dealing with pizza (insert obligatory Hiro Protagonist reference here), he is usually creating music. He plays trumpet, bass and drums - even contributing vocals. He enjoys hard-core and "real techno" and was active in the rave scene when it was a little more current. He enjoys clubs and parties and will often travel a fair distance to attend a significant one.

Nick uses an aging PII-450 at home, and a variety of boxen in other places. The first app he launches is the appropriately retro "xterm -bg black -fg green". He uses Windowmaker as his WM, and Pine or SquirrelMail for mail. He concluded our interview by reminding us that "Gentoo is ... FNORD!".

5.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

Gentoo Forums Now With Italian User Interface

Forum moderatrice Brandy announced on Thursday that Italian has been added as an interface language for the Gentoo Forums. Besides English and now Italian, available board languages include Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Users who wish to see the menu texts in their native language can switch the default in their profile.

Yet Another Portage Debate

There were times when the Forums went weeks without someone asking why Portage isn't rewritten in C++, but this week was clearly not one of them. Check this thread for an assessment of this and other proposed variations to Gentoo's package management technology:

Xvnc Terminal Server Installation Guide, Diskless Gentoo Installation

On occasion, tutorials about things that are not yet covered by the general documentation are being donated by Forum users. This week lines explains the procedure for setting up a VNC server that automatically spawns sessions when someone is connecting to it, a clever way to prevent having to start a new VNC server for each user. Contributions like that can lead to more than just 15 minutes of fame: Another installation guide posted by Swiss.Mage back in June, this one talking about a diskless Gentoo installation, must have been so convincing that it ascended to be a chapter of the official Alternative Install Guide last week:

gentoo-user

6.  Gentoo International

Canada: Adelie Linux - Gentoo Single System Image Project

A little sidelined by other news surrounding Gentoo's Linuxworld Expo (LWE) involvement two weeks ago, the Gentoo Cluster Project certainly deserves more attention. After all, the remote cluster system that showed graphics rendering with a parallel version of POVRAY at the booth in San Francisco was proof for an exceptionally well done collaboration between academics, corporate backers and Gentoo developers: The driving force behind it all is an initiative known as Adelie Linux, part of the University of Montreal's Center for Research on Computation and its Applications (CERCA), an institute specializing in parallel and distributed multi-processor systems. When CERCA's High Performance Computing Group needed an environment for their own Beowulf systems, they chose Gentoo Linux "because it is a young, innovative, and very well designed distribution that give their users a great deal of flexibility, a clear upgrade path and a very high level of hardware optimization, which makes it especially attractive for all kind of high performance applications". A local IT-solutions firm, Cyberlogic, joined CERCA in conducting the Single System Image project that is now fully operational, running on the university's own and an external industrial Beowulf. According to Cyberlogic, the Adelie/SSI cluster management system allows for a centralization of all operations on the server, providing a single point of control for the whole distributed environment, offering a performance increase of up to 30%, easier administration and expansion, fast bootup and enhanced robustness. Cyberlogic's complete cluster solutions, based on Gentoo and Adelie, are available with processors ranging from Xeon and Pentium 4 to Athlon MP/XP, and - thanks to Olivier Crête's AMD 64 port of Gentoo - even Opteron CPUs.

Germany: Interview with Gentoo PPC Lead Developer Pieter van den Abeele

The German online Linux magazine PPCNUX (obviously focusing on Linux for the Macintosh platform) has conducted an interview with Pieter van den Abeele, lead developer for Gentoo PPC. Pieter describes his involvement in producing a Gentoo LiveCD aiming for bootability on every single Macintosh out there, and has a lot to say about how Gentoo differentiates from other Linuces for the PowerPC, about the MetaPkg project porting Portage to Mac OS X and other aspects of Gentoo Linux development for the most popular non-x86 platform. Difficult to overlook is also his call for help: developers who would like to offer time, expertise and possibly hardware to expand Gentoo PPC to hardware from Eyetech (AmigaOne), Genesi (PegasosPPC), IBM (RS/6000) and oldworld Macintoshs should contact him right away. No need to be afraid to click on the link to the magazine if you don't speak German, by the way: They decided to publish the interview in English.

7.  Portage Watch

The following stable packages were updated or added to portage in the last two weeks:

Total categories: 96 (1 category added in the last week)

Total packages: 6295 (311 packages added in the last week)

8.  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. Between 08 August 2003 and 14 August 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 414 new bugs during this period
  • 286 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 8 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 3605 currently open bugs: 94 are labeled 'blocker', 156 are labeled 'critical', and 287 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:

9.  Tips and Tricks

Creating ScreenShots with import

This week's tip shows you how to take screenshots of your desktop or individual windows using the import command. import is provided by ImageMagick so you'll need to install it from portage.

Code Listing 9.1: Getting ImageMagick

# emerge media-gfx/imagemagick
  

Now that ImageMagick is installed, you can use it to take screenshots of either your entire desktop, parts of it, or just individual windows. First, let's look at taking a screenshot of your entire desktop and saving it as the file desktop.png.

Note: To use other image formats such as jpg, simply specify that file extension and import will create it in that format (i.e. desktop.jpg).

Code Listing 9.2: Desktop Screenshot

% import -window root desktop.png
  

Next we'll look at taking a screenshot of just one window. To do this, use the import command and click on the window you want to capture.

Code Listing 9.3: Window Screenshot

(First, specify the file to save)
% import gvim.png
(Now click on your gvim window to take the screenshot)
  

This should get you started but there are many other things you can do with import and ImageMagick. To see a list of the many options that can be passed to import, see the man page (man 1 import).

10.  Featured Quote/Signature of the Week

Featured Quote/Signature is on hiatus this week. If you see an interesting signature or hear an interesting quote in the web forums, mailing lists, IRC, or in a meatspace conversation with a fellow Gentooist, let us know at gwn-feedback@gentoo.org.

11.  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

12.  Contribute to GWN

Interested in contributing to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? Send us an email.

13.  GWN Feedback

Please send us your feedback and help make GWN better.

14.  GWN Subscription Information

To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to gentoo-gwn-subscribe@gentoo.org.

To unsubscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to gentoo-gwn-unsubscribe@gentoo.org from the email address you are subscribed under.

15.  Other Languages

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



Print

Page updated 18 August 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of August 18th, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Cal Evans
Contributor

Chris Gavin
Contributor

Luke Giuliani
Contributor

Shawn Jonnet
Contributor

Michael Kohl
Contributor

Kurt Lieber
Contributor

Rafael Cordones Marcos
Contributor

David Narayan
Contributor

Gerald J Normandin Jr.
Contributor

Ulrich Plate
Contributor

Mathy Vanvoorden
Dutch Translation

Hendrik Eeckhaut
Dutch Translation

Jorn Eilander
Dutch Translation

Bernard Kerckenaere
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

Stefano Lucidi
Italian Translation

Yoshiaki Hagihara
Japanese Translation

Katsuyuki Konno
Japanese Translation

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Japanese Translation

Yasunori Fukudome
Japanese Translation

Takashi Ota
Japanese Translation

Radoslaw Janeczko
Polish Translation

Lukasz Strzygowski
Polish Translation

Michal Drobek
Polish Translation

Adam Lyjak
Polish Translation

Krzysztof Klimonda
Polish Translation

Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Eduardo Belloti
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

João Rafael Moraes Nicola
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Marcelo Gonçalves de Azambuja
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Otavio Rodolfo Piske
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Pedro de Medeiros
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Ventura Barbeiro
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Bruno Ferreira
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Gustavo Felisberto
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

José Costa
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Luis Medina
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Ricardo Loureiro
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Sergey Galkin
Russian Translator

Sergey Kuleshov
Russian Translator

Alex Spirin
Russian Translator

Dmitry Suzdalev
Russian Translator

Anton Vorovatov
Russian Translator

Denis Zaletov
Russian Translator

Lanark
Spanish Translation

Fernando J. Pereda
Spanish Translation

Lluis Peinado Cifuentes
Spanish Translation

Zephryn Xirdal T
Spanish Translation

Guillermo Juarez
Spanish Translation

Jesús García Crespo
Spanish Translation

Carlos Castillo
Spanish Translation

Julio Castillo
Spanish Translation

Sergio Gómez
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

Donate to support our development efforts.

Copyright 2001-2014 Gentoo Foundation, Inc. Questions, Comments? Contact us.