Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: August 18, 2003
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
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.
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
"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:
User stories is on hiatus this week. Remember to send us your bizarre, hilarious, or incredible Gentoo stories so they can be featured here!
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 4.1: 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
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!".
Heard in the Community
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:
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.
The following stable packages were updated or added to portage in the last two weeks:
- app-admin/aide: AIDE (Advanced Intrusion Detection Environment) is a replacement for Tripwire
- app-admin/ufed: Gentoo Linux USE flags editor
- app-benchmarks/stress: Imposes stressful loads on different aspects of the system.
- app-editors/jedit: Programmer's editor written in Java
- app-editors/kvim: KDE editor based on vim
- app-editors/vi: The original VI package
- app-editors/vile: VI Like Emacs -- yet another full-featured vi clone
- app-emacs/apel: A Portable Emacs Library is a library for making portable Emacs Lisp programs.
- app-emacs/emacs-w3m: emacs-w3m is interface program of w3m on Emacs.
- app-emacs/flim: A library to provide basic features about message representation or encoding -- FLIM
- app-emacs/limit: LIMIT - Library about Internet Message, for IT generation
- app-emacs/mew: great MIME mail reader for Emacs/XEmacs
- app-emacs/navi2ch: Navi2ch is navigator for 2ch which works under many Emacsen
- app-emacs/semi: a library to provide MIME feature for GNU Emacs -- SEMI
- app-games/asc: turn based strategy game designed in the tradition of the Battle Isle series
- app-games/atanks: Worms and Scorched Earth-like game
- app-games/doomlegacy: Doom legacy, THE doom port
- app-games/halflife-adminmod: give people admin access (and a looooooot more)
- app-games/kmuddy: MUD client for KDE
- app-games/transfusion-bin: Blood remake
- app-misc/gallery: Web based (PHP Script) photo album viewer/creator.
- app-misc/kdirstat: KDirStat - nice KDE replacement to du command
- app-misc/krename: KRename - a very powerful batch file renamer
- app-misc/linux_logo: Displays an ansi or an ascii logo and some system information.
- app-office/openoffice: OpenOffice.org, a full office productivity suite.
- app-office/qhacc: Personal Finance for QT
- app-shells/dsh: DSH - Distributed Shell
- app-text/a2ps: Any to PostScript filter
- app-text/acroread: Adobe's PDF reader
- app-text/kbedic: English <-> Bulgarian Dictionary
- app-text/ptex: The ASCII publishing TeX distribution
- dev-db/mysql: A fast, multi-threaded, multi-user SQL database server
- dev-dotnet/ml-pnet: Mono C# libraries for Portable .NET
- dev-dotnet/pnet: Portable .NET runtime, compiler, tools
- dev-dotnet/pnetc: Portable .NET C library
- dev-dotnet/pnetlib: Portable .NET C# library
- dev-java/ant: Java-based build tool similar to 'make' that uses XML configuration files.
- dev-java/java-sdk-docs: Javadoc for Java SDK version 1.4.2
- dev-java/sun-jdk: Sun's J2SE Development Kit, version 1.4.2
- dev-libs/dietlibc: A minimal libc
- dev-libs/dvmysql: dvmysql provides a C++ interface to mysql
- dev-libs/libdshconfig: Library for parsing dsh.style configuration files
- dev-libs/memcached-api-php: PHP API for memcached
- dev-libs/newt: redhat's newt windowing toolkit development files
- dev-libs/progsreiserfs: library for accessing and manipulating reiserfs partitions
- dev-libs/ucl: UCL: The UCL Compression Library
- dev-util/calltree: A plugin for cachegrind that adds call-graph profiling, needed by kcachegrind
- gnome-base/bonobo-activation: Gnome2 replacement for OAF
- gnome-base/gnome: Meta package for the GNOME desktop, merge this package to install
- gnome-base/gnome-session: the Gnome2 session manager
- gnome-base/libgtop: library that proivdes top functionality to applications
- gnome-extra/at-spi: This is the Gnome Accessibility Toolkit
- gnome-extra/gconf-editor: An editor to the GNOME 2 config system
- gnome-extra/gnome-media: Multimedia related programs for the Gnome2 desktop
- gnome-extra/libgail-gnome: GAIL libraries for Gnome2
- kde-base/kdeadmin: KDE administration tools (user manager, etc.)
- kde-base/kdegames: KDE games (solitaire :-)
- kde-base/kdemultimedia: KDE multimedia apps: noatun, kscd, artsbuilder...
- kde-base/kdenetwork: KDE network apps: kmail, kppp, knode...
- kde-base/kdepim: KDE PIM (Personal Information Management) apps: korganizer...
- media-fonts/acroread-asianfonts: Asian Font Packs for Acrobat Reader 5.0
- media-fonts/urw-fonts: HOMEPAGE=""free good quality fonts gpl'd by URW++
- media-gfx/w3mimgfb: Image viewer for w3m under frame buffer environment
- media-libs/gst-plugins: Additional plugins for gstreamer - streaming media framework
- media-libs/gstreamer: Streaming media framework
- media-libs/libquicktime: A library based on quicktime4linux with extensions
- media-libs/libvorbis: the Ogg Vorbis sound file format library
- media-libs/netpbm: A set of utilities for converting to/from the netpbm (and related) formats
- media-libs/stimg: Simple and tiny image loading library
- media-libs/vflib: Japanese Vector Font library
- media-libs/xine-lib: Core libraries for Xine movie player
- media-plugins/xmms-realrandom: Real Random XMMS Plugin
- media-sound/knob: Knob - The KDE Volume Control Applet
- media-sound/sox: The swiss army knife of sound processing programs
- media-tv/kwintv: a KDE application that allows you to watch television.
- media-video/cinelerra: Cinelerra - Professional Video Editor
- media-video/gxine: GTK+ Front-End for libxine
- media-video/xine-ui: Skinned front end for Xine movie player.
- net-dialup/mingetty: A compact getty program for virtual consoles only.
- net-dialup/speedtouch: GPL Driver for the Alcatel Speedtouch USB under *nix
- net-ftp/ftpd: The netkit FTP server with optional SSL support
- net-im/kopete: The KDE Instant Messenger
- net-irc/xchat: X-Chat is a graphical IRC client for UNIX operating systems.
- net-libs/libvncserver: library for creating vnc servers
- net-mail/cmd5checkpw: A checkpassword compatible authentication program that used CRAM-MD5 authentication mode.
- net-mail/evolution: A GNOME groupware application, a Microsoft Outlook workalike
- net-mail/mozilla-thunderbird: Thunderbird Mail Client
- net-mail/queue-fix: Qmail Queue Repair Application with support for big-todo
- net-misc/gemsvnc: an X11 vnc server for remote control
- net-misc/iputils: Network monitoring tools including ping and ping6
- net-misc/ntp: Network Time Protocol suite/programs
- net-misc/smb4k: Smb4K is a SMB share browser for KDE 3.1.x.
- net-misc/tsclient: GTK2 frontend for rdesktop
- net-misc/whois: improved Whois Client
- net-p2p/gift: A OpenFT, Gnutella and FastTrack p2p network client
- net-p2p/giftcurs: A ncurses frontend to the giFT (OpenFT) daemon
- net-p2p/giftoxic: A GTK+2 giFT frontend
- net-p2p/giftui: A GTK+2 giFT frontend
- net-wireless/kismet: Kismet is a 802.11b wireless network sniffer.
- net-www/mozilla: The Mozilla Web Browser
- net-www/w3m-m17n: Multilingual text based WWW browser
- sec-policy/selinux-bind: SELinux policy for BIND
- sec-policy/selinux-ntp: SELinux policy for the network time protocol daemon
- sec-policy/selinux-portmap: SELinux policy for portmap
- sec-policy/selinux-privoxy: SELinux policy for privoxy
- sys-apps/busybox: Utilities for rescue and embedded systems
- sys-apps/coreutils: Standard GNU file utilities (chmod, cp, dd, dir, ls...), text utilities (sort, tr, head, wc..), and shell utilities (whoami, who,...)
- sys-apps/di: Disk Information Utility
- sys-apps/fakeroot: Run commands in an environment faking root privileges
- sys-apps/file: Program to identify a file's format by scanning binary data for patterns
- sys-apps/hwdata-knoppix: data hwsetup program
- sys-apps/hwsetup: Hardware setup program
- sys-apps/kudzu: Red Hat Hardware detection tools
- sys-apps/mdadm: An extremely useful tool for running RAID systems - it can be used as a replacement for the raidtools, or as a supplement.
- sys-apps/netkit-base: Old-style inetd
- sys-apps/parted: Create, destroy, resize, check, copy partitions and file systems
- sys-apps/qtparted: QtParted is a nice Qt partition tool for Linux
- sys-apps/raidtools: Linux RAID 0/1/4/5 utilities
- sys-apps/star: An enhanced (world's fastest) tar, as well as enhanced mt/rmt
- sys-apps/xinetd: Xinetd is a powerful replacement for inetd, with advanced features
- sys-devel/distcc: a program to distribute compilation of C code across several machines on a network
- sys-kernel/ac-sources: Full sources for Alan Cox's Linux kernel
- sys-kernel/hppa-sources: Full sources for the Linux kernel with patch for hppa
- sys-kernel/hppa-sources-dev: Full sources for the Linux kernel with patch for hppa
- sys-kernel/ksymoops: Utility to decode a kernel oops, or other kernel call traces.
- sys-kernel/mm-sources: Full sources for the development linux kernel with Andrew Morton's patchset
- sys-libs/glibc: GNU libc6 (also called glibc2) C library
- sys-libs/pam: Pluggable Authentication Modules
- sys-libs/pwdb: Password database
- x11-base/xfree: Xfree86: famous and free X server
- x11-base/xfree-drm: Xfree86 Kernel DRM modules
- x11-themes/knifty: A native KWin window decoration for KDE 3.x.
Total categories: 96 (1 category added in the last week)
Total packages: 6295 (311 packages added in the 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 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:
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.
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
% import gvim.png
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moves, Adds and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project.
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