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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: September 29, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

BugDay on Saturday, October 4

The third Gentoo BugDay will be held this Saturday, October 4th. Come down to the #gentoo-bugs channel in irc.freenode.net to work with Gentoo Linux developers and help take a chunk out of the bugs in the distribution.

Featured Sponsor - Oregon State University

Gentoo Linux relies heavily on its sponsors to provide everything from bandwidth to hardware to technical expertise. Without these sponsors, Gentoo Linux would not be able to provide the level of service that it does today. In an effort to raise awareness of our sponsors and their businesses and services, we will occasionally be featuring them in the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter. Our inaugural Featured Sponsor is also our most important sponsor: Oregon State University.

Located in Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University is 80 miles south of Portland. OSU is Oregon's land grant, sea grant and space grant university, with nearly 20,000 students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries.

Earlier this year, OSU was approached by Gentoo about hosting opportunities. In an effort to give back to the community that has helped us all out so much they offered rack space and bandwidth for a couple of machines. OSU now hosts the forums, database, CVS and the primary distfile mirror for Gentoo. Gentoo currently uses well over 400GB of outbound bandwidth per day from OSU (peaking at 1TB during the release of 1.4).


Figure 1.1: Top machine: sard.gentoo.org, an IA64 box. Black machine: our CVS box. Beige machine: irc.oregonstate.edu(not a Gentoo box)

Fig. 1: Three of our machines at OSU


Figure 1.2: falcon.gentoo.org, which hosts Bugzilla and will host the forums soon

Fig. 2: Another machine hosted at OSU

Scott Kveton from Oregon State University has been pivotal in making the Gentoo and other hosting opportunities happen.

"OSU is trying to do its part for the open source community. We're a large shop that uses open source almost exclusively in our environments" said Kveton.

"The State of Oregon itself is a very progressive place. The OSDL is here (Open Source Development Lab) and we've even had several bills making their way through our state legislature about the use of open source in government. We're trying to take it a step further and create a place for open source developers to house their projects for the rest of the world."

In addition to Gentoo, OSU hosts several other projects:

OSU will soon be hosting pieces of the Debian GNU/Linux, Free Software Foundation and Mozilla.org infrastructure.

Oregon State University is well on the way to being known as the home of hosting for open source development. For more information on hosting opportunities please visit the OSS @ Oregon State University pages.

2.  Gentoo Security

Summary

GLSA: OpenSSH

Quote from advisory:

"Portable OpenSSH versions 3.7p1 and 3.7.1p1 contain multiple vulnerabilities in the new PAM code. At least one of these bugs is remotely exploitable (under a non-standard configuration, with privsep disabled)."

  • Severity: Medium - multiple vulnerabilities in new PAM code.
  • Packages Affected: <openssh-3.7.1_p2
  • Rectification: emerge sync; emerge openssh; emerge clean
  • GLSA Announcement

New Security Bug Reports

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

3.  Featured Developer of the Week

Joachim Blaabjerg


Figure 3.1: Joachim Blaabjerg

Fig. 1: Joachim Blaabjerg

This week's featured developer is Joachim Blaabjerg (styx), who describes his work as "a grunt developer" on security-related issues and occasional forays into the kernel. Joachim first began using Linux in early 2000, moving from Red Hat through Slackware, Debian, Trustix and Mandrake before settling on Linux From Scratch. That was, of course, before he discovered Gentoo, which he migrated to in February of 2002. He became a developer rather quickly - being named to the rolls that April. He has not been very active for the last few months, but hopes to rectify that in the near future.

Joachim has a fair bit of Linux development experience. He worked on his own security-focused Linux distro (SuxOS) for much of 2001 and 2002 before abandoning the work in 2002 due to the daunting size of the project. He has also been working on his own HTTP server while contributing to open-source security projects like WOLK and LIDS. He even maintained his own kernel patch series for some time, and has contributed patches and bug-fixes to a number of other projects. He is most proud of his work on the XFS sources for Gentoo, and the work he did with Michael Cohen on other Gentoo kernels. This is somewhat impressive if we note that Joachim is a high-school student who turned 18 the day before this publication.

Joachim uses vim for editing; gcc bash, and cvs for development; and irssi, nc, ssh and pig for communication. He is a KDE aficionado, and uses Konsole, KMail,Konqueror and KNode extensively. He currently owns three computers: an AthlonXP(2000+, 512MB) development box named Elysium, a DEC 3000 (64-bit Alpha 175 MHz, 32MB) server that goes by Zaphod and Methuselah, a Sun SparcStation LX (MicroSparc 50 MHz, 64 MB) that is running a somewhat lethargic Gentoo.

Joachim lives in Oslo, Norway, and currently works in a warehouse, but hinted broadly that he would certainly consider a Unix-related job (if only to free up more time to work on Gentoo) if it were offered. He is single, and enjoys cars, music, movies, going out with friends and working out. The favorite quote he offers is Benjamin Franklin's "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.".

4.  Heard in the Community

gentoo-user

Yahoo Blocks Instant Messaging

Gentoo users were not immune to the recent Yahoo move to block third party instant messengers from using their service. Will Gaim be patched to fix it? Check it out here .

Measuring Network Metrics

Ever wonder how fast your cable modem really gets? Internet-based calculators for download are immensely innaccurate. Some suggestions for Linux-based tools were discussed this week.

5.  Gentoo International

Gentoo International is on hiatus this week.

6.  Portage Watch

Portage Watch is on hiatus 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. Between 19 September 2003 and 25 September 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 493 new bugs during this period
  • 368 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 9 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 4526 currently open bugs: 118 are labeled 'blocker', 217 are labeled 'critical', and 383 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:

8.  Tips and Tricks

Using netstat

This week's tip demonstrates some useful applications of the netstat command. Netstat is a command used to print out a list of network connections, routing tables, and other statistics related to networking.

Just typing netstat should display a long list of information that's usually more than you want to go through at any given time. The trick to keeping the information useful is knowing what you're looking for and how to tell netstat to only display that information.

For example, if you only want to see TCP connections, use netstat --tcp. This shows a list of TCP connections to and from your machine. The following example shows connections to our machine on ports 993 (imaps), 143 (imap), 110 (pop3), 25 (smtp), and 22 (ssh). It also shows a connection from our machine to a remote machine on port 389 (ldap).

Note: To speed things up you can use the --numeric option to avoid having to do name resolution on addresses and display the IP only.

Code Listing 8.1: netstat --tcp

% netstat --tcp --numeric
Active Internet connections (w/o servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State      
tcp        0      0 192.168.128.152:993     192.168.128.120:3853    ESTABLISHED 
tcp        0      0 192.168.128.152:143     192.168.128.194:3076    ESTABLISHED 
tcp        0      0 192.168.128.152:45771   192.168.128.34:389      TIME_WAIT   
tcp        0      0 192.168.128.152:110     192.168.33.123:3521     TIME_WAIT   
tcp        0      0 192.168.128.152:25      192.168.231.27:44221    TIME_WAIT   
tcp        0    256 192.168.128.152:22      192.168.128.78:47258    ESTABLISHED   

If you want to see what (TCP) ports your machine is listening on, use netstat --tcp --listening. Another useful flag to add to this is --programs which indicates which process is listening on the specified port. The following example shows a machine listening on ports 80 (www), 443 (https), 22 (ssh), and 25 (smtp);

Code Listing 8.2: netstat --tcp --listening --programs

# sudo netstat --tcp --listening --programs
Active Internet connections (only servers)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address   Foreign Address   State     PID/Program name
tcp        0      0 *:www           *:*               LISTEN    28826/apache2
tcp        0      0 *:ssh           *:*               LISTEN    26604/sshd
tcp        0      0 *:smtp          *:*               LISTEN    6836/
tcp        0      0 *:https         *:*               LISTEN    28826/apache2 
  

Note: Using --all displays both connections and listening ports.

The next example uses netstat --route to display the routing table. For most people, this will show one IP and and the gateway address but if you have more than one interface or have multiple IPs assigned to an interface, this command can help troubleshoot network routing problems.

Code Listing 8.3: netstat --route

% netstat --route
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
192.168.1.0     0.0.0.0         255.255.255.0   U     0      0        0 eth0
0.0.0.0         192.168.1.1     0.0.0.0         UG    1      0        0 eth0
  

The last example of netstat uses the --statistics flag to display networking statistics. Using this flag by itself displays all IP, TCP, UDP, and ICMP connection statistics. To just show some basic information. For example purposes, only the output from --raw is displayed here. Combined with the uptime command, this can be used to get an overview of how much traffic your machine is handling on a daily basis.

Code Listing 8.4: netstat --statistics --route

% netstat --statistics --raw
Ip:
    620516640 total packets received
    0 forwarded
    0 incoming packets discarded
    615716262 incoming packets delivered
    699594782 requests sent out
    5 fragments dropped after timeout
    3463529 reassemblies required
    636730 packets reassembled ok
    5 packet reassembles failed
    310797 fragments created
(ICMP statistics truncated)
  

Note: For verbosity, the long names for the various flags were given. Most can be abbreviated to avoid excessive typing (e.g. netstat -tn, netstat -tlp, netstat -r, and netstat -sw).

While netstat is a common utility, hopefully this has demonstrated some different ways to make use of the command. For more information see man 8 netstat.

9.  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:

  • Stefan Knoblich (stkn) -- VoIP

Changes

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

  • none this week

10.  Contribute to GWN

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11.  GWN Feedback

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12.  GWN Subscription Information

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13.  Other Languages

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Print

Page updated 29 September 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of September 29th, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
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Cal Evans
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Chris Gavin
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Luke Giuliani
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Shawn Jonnet
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Michael Kohl
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Kurt Lieber
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