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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: December 22nd, 2003

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

First Anniversary of Gentoo Weekly Newsletter next week

We've come a long way - next week we'll be celebrating the first anniversary of the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter. Watch out for some special content, including some of the year's top Gentoo moments, an interview of Daniel Robbins, as well as pictures and profiles of the GWN staff.

2.  Featured Developer of the Week

Hanno Böck


Figure 2.1: Hanno Böck

Fig. 1: Hanno Böck

This week, we feature Hanno Böck (hanno), who maintains the ebuilds for dosemu as well as the design applications scribus and bluefish. He also contributes to bug-fixes and assists with laptop issues. He sometimes submits bug patches to a number of open source projects whose products he uses. He is particularly pleased with the success of a number of kernel patches he has submitted for hardware peripheral support on devices like the Intel PRO/100 VE NIC, the NetGear FA101 USB Network Adaptor, and the Vivicam 300 Digital Camera.

Originally from Murrhardt, Germany (near Stuttgart), Hanno is currently studying Information Science at the University of Tübingen. He lives there in a small flat with his girlfriend, Sabine. He is particularly pleased with the fact that she has progressed from novice computer-use to Gentoo geek over the tenure of their relationship. Hanno has been using Gentoo since reading about it on the German news site pro-linux.de in early 2002. After contributing several ebuilds, he was made a developer - possibly to give him his own CVS access so he would stop bugging Daniel Robbins and Seemant Kulleen to commit his work.

Hanno develops on a desktop Athlon XP 2000+ and a Sony Vaio (PCG-GR114MK) laptop. He uses IceWM for his Window Manager, and launches Sylpheed-Claws on startup to check his mail. He is also a fan of Gimp and MPlayer. To satisfy his addiction to old games, he uses zsnes Nintendo emulator. He is active in the demoscene by creating 4K Intros for Linux and as a member of the group Headcrash and organizer of the 0a000h-party. He is also active politically, and is a member of the BUNDjugend, a youth organization of the Friends of the Earth.

Hanno offered us a statement by Albert Einstein as a topical favorite quote: "He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice...It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.". When asked about Gentoo, Hanno remarked that "it's not the best distro I could imagine, but it's the best from all existing ones."

3.  Gentoo Security

Summary

GLSA: xchat

There is a remotely exploitable bug in xchat 2.0.6 that could lead to a denial of service attack. This is caused by sending a malformed DCC packet to xchat 2.0.6, causing it to crash. Versions prior to 2.0.6 do not appear to be affected by this bug.

For more information, please see http://mail.nl.linux.org/xchat-announce/2003-12/msg00000.html

  • Severity: Medium
  • Packages Affected: =2.0.6
  • Rectification: emerge sync; emerge -pv '>=net-irc/xchat-2.0.6-r1'; emerge '>=net-irc/xchat-2.0.6-r1'; emerge clean
  • GLSA Announcement

GLSA: lftp

Two buffer overflow problems have been found in lftp, a multithreaded command-line based FTP client. A specially created directory on a web server could be used to execute arbitrary code on the connecting machine. The user's machine has to connect to a malicious web server using HTTP or HTTPS, then issue an "ls" or "rels" command.

Please see http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/347587/2003-12-13/2003-12-19/0 for more details on this problem.

  • Severity: Minimal
  • Packages Affected: <=2.6.9
  • Rectification: emerge sync emerge -pv '>=net-ftp/lftp-2.6.10' emerge '>=net-ftp/lftp-2.6.10' emerge clean
  • GLSA Announcement

New Security Bug Reports

The following new security bugs were posted this week:

  • None this week

4.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

While the Others Are Waiting

When you're among those who don't consider Christmas shopping a fascinating pastime, and the end of the year starts to get boring with little else to do, why not recompile a few kernels or your entire system with the new Intel C compiler? And while you're at it, don't forget to report back what does compile and what doesn't, to this thread please:

And We Do Mean Unstable...

There's a poll about the portagisation of the rather volatile set of kernel patches known as love-sources, which, interestingly enough, their former maintainer Lovechild himself appears to vote against. Must be the spirit of the season: emotions for once don't run high about who gets to decorate the Portage tree. Merry christmas, Forum style.

gentoo-user

Gentoo And Distrowatch

One of the more popular threads this week started with a quote from DistroWatch.

Phantom Free Space

It pays to do regular fsck's on your hard disks. This thread is a good example of what happens when you don't!

gentoo-dev

Portage comparisons.

Ever wonder how up to date portage actually is? Well Ryan Phllips created a script to check how up to date the portage tree was compared to Freshmeat. Have a look here to check out the original post, which includes some links to results and the script itself.

5.  Gentoo International

Christmas? Chanukah? Bonenkai? Log the bash and report back!

We can only assume there'll be plenty of Gentoo User Group end of year parties all over the planet, because we haven't been invited to any. If you have, or are going to, and feel you should share the experience with the rest of us (of course you do), please send photos for our next issue!

6.  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 12 December 2003 and 18 December 2003, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 402 new bugs during this period
  • 232 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 13 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 4361 currently open bugs: 95 are labeled 'blocker', 176 are labeled 'critical', and 314 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:

7.  Tips and Tricks

Using /etc/skel

This week's tip shows you how to use /etc/skel to ensure that all new users on your system get the same initial settings.

The /etc/skel directory is the directory used by useradd to create the default settings in a new user's home directory.

To change the location of /etc/skel, edit /etc/default/useradd.

Code Listing 7.1

# useradd defaults file
GROUP=100
HOME=/home
INACTIVE=-1
EXPIRE=
SHELL=/bin/bash
SKEL=/etc/skel

Typically files included in /etc/skel are .rc files for shell initialization, but you could also include a public_html directory, a custom dircolors file, or anything else.

Code Listing 7.2

% ls -A /etc/skel
.bash_profile  .bashrc  .maildir  .screenrc  .tcsh.config

For more information on customizing /etc/skel see man useradd.

8.  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

9.  Contribute to GWN

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

10.  GWN Feedback

Please send us your feedback and help make the GWN better.

11.  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.

12.  Other Languages

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Print

Page updated 22 December 2003

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of December 22nd, 2003.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Luke Giuliani
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Shawn Jonnet
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Michael Kohl
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Kurt Lieber
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Rafael Cordones Marcos
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David Narayan
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Gerald J Normandin Jr.
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Ulrich Plate
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Hendrik Eeckhaut
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Steffen Lassahn
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Lukas Domagala
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Daniel Gerholdt
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