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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: January 12, 2004

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Summary

2003 Gentoo Bug Hunt Winners

The 2003 Gentoo Bug Hunt has come to a close. Here are the winners, who are developers who have closed the most bugs in the last quarter of 2003 (in order):

  • Mike Frysinger, with 672 bugs closed
  • Martin Holzer, with 565 bugs closed
  • Heinrich Wendel, with 480 bugs closed
  • Caleb Tennis, with 277 bugs closed
  • Michael Sterett, with 192 bugs closed
  • Markus Nigbur, with 180 bugs closed
  • Marinus Schraal, with 179 bugs closed

In addition, the following developers receive an honorable mention for their great bug stomping efforts:

And last but not least, non-developer bug janitor Andrew Cooks had an impressive showing easily worth an honorable mention: he closed 100 bugs.

If you are one of the winners or have received an honorable mention, please contact Daniel Robbins and make sure that he has your mailing address. If you're a winner, then we need to determine what hardware you should receive. Daniel has decided not to purchase the prize hardware components in advance so that winners can suggest or request components they may need.

Thank you everyone (not just those mentioned here) for your efforts to make Gentoo better for everyone! :)

2.  Featured Developer of the Week

Olivier Crête


Figure 2.1: Olivier Crête

Fig. 1: Olivier Crête

This week, we are featuring Olivier Crête (tester), a Montréal resident who is currently spending a year in Europe. Olivier is on the AMD64 project, maintains a few packages that would otherwise have been abandoned, and is working on some of the Adelie Linux clustering enhancements to Gentoo. He is also co-maintainer of GnomeICU, a Gnome-based ICQ client.

Olivier has been using Linux since 1997, progressing from RedHat 4.2 through 7.3 before the brand-new laptop he acquired in early-2002 caused him to look around for a distro that could be optimized for his new hardware. He has been on Gentoo ever since, largely because he "found the Gentoo forums to be really helpful, and the Gentoo community was wonderful". The next summer, he was employed at Cyberlogic, a Montreal company providing computers and support services, including clustering. One of the projects he worked on there was Adelie Linux,using Gentoo as the foundation for clustering, including AMD Opteron-based clusters. Cyberlogic was very supportive of their staff pursuing an AMD64 version of Gentoo, and Olivier worked with Daniel Robbins and others to start making it a reality. In particular, Olivier noted that Brad House, the current Gentoo AMD64 Project lead, "is doing a tremendous job and the AMD64 port would not be anywhere near where it is without his contribution."

A third-year Software Engineering Student at the Canadian École Polytechnique de Montréal, Olivier is currently studying as an exchange student at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Informatique et de Mathématiques Appliquées de Grenoble (ENSIMAG) in France He enjoys traveling, and you can read about his adventures (in French) on his blog. He is currently working on a Dell Inspiron Laptop, and (as a Gnome Developer) he uses Gnome 2.4. He recently abandoned Pine in favor of Evolution for email, and counts Mozilla Firebird, xchat, Gossip, Amsn and aterm among his most oft-used applications. Democratically, he uses GNU Emacs for development, and vi for general editing.

Olivier closed our correspondence with the following observation: "What I really like about Gentoo is not only that its a great distribution from a technical point of view, but that it has a great community. The life and blood of a Free Software project is in its community, and Gentoo has one of the best communities that I have been part of." His favorite quote was from Henry Spencer: "Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly."

3.  Gentoo Security

GLSA: Linux kernel do_mremap() privilege escalation vulnerability

A critical security vulnerability has been found in recent Linux kernels which allows for local privilege escalation. Arbitrary code may be able to exploit this vulnerability and may disrupt the operation of other parts of the kernel memory management subroutines finally leading to unexpected behavior.

Since no special privileges are required to use the mremap() system call any process may misuse its unexpected behavior to disrupt the kernel memory management subsystem. Proper exploitation of this vulnerability may lead to local privilege escalation including execution of arbitrary code with kernel level access. Proof-of-concept exploit code has been created and successfully tested, permitting root escalation on vulnerable systems. As a result, all users should upgrade their kernels to new or patched versions.

There is no temporary workaround - a kernel upgrade is required. A list of unaffected kernels is provided in the GLSA announcement.

  • Severity: High
  • Packages Affected: see GLSA announcement
  • Rectification: emerge sync; emerge -pv your-favorite-sources; emerge your-favorite-sources; follow usual procedures for compiling and installing a kernel.
  • GLSA Announcement

4.  Heard in the Community

Web Forums

Greet the Repoman

Genone is among those Gentoo developers with more than just occasional guest appearances in the Forums. Last week he put up a post describing the characteristics of an upcoming Portage version 2.0.50, which has quickly developed in a lively thread discussing the advantages of new and improved features, but also points out possible hickups other tools like etcat might run into if they're used in conjunction with the new Portage:

Stuck Between An ~ARCH and A Hard Place

For the moderators, the sudden outbreak of complaints about kdelibs-3.1.4 compiles ending rather abruptly on peculiar error messages was hard to contain, particularly because many people seem to panic and forget about the Forum's search function. After a biug @urge of duplicates, only one thread remained alive. Luckily, Gentoo dev Caleb had both that Forum thread and the corresponding bug report in his focus and provided a temporary solution (update autoconf to a release number beyond "x86" stable) within a very decent response time. Anyway, the actual error is on its way out as soon as autoconf-2.58 is bumped to usability for people not living on the bleeding ~x86 edge:

gentoo-user

DJBDNS and Gentoo

DJBDNS is a popular alternative to the traditional and sometimes buggy BIND package from ISC. This thread covers some basics of getting DJBDNS up and running on Gentoo.

Experimental Gentoo 2004 Stages

The new Gentoo 2004.0 stages were quietly announced on gentoo-user this week. Download them, and submit bug reports!

The Command Line Editor Thread

Finally this week, a more entertaining thread. How many ways can you replace a text string in a bunch of files from the Linux command line? Many.

gentoo-dev

Submitting Ebuilds.

Interesting in submitting ebuilds? Want to know a bit more about how developers get to be developers? Feel like finding a bit more about how this whole portage tree thing works when dealing with fun issues like spam, security and screwups? Have a look here and here for a start.

5.  Gentoo International

Time Out

There are certainly things worth noting - if only we knew about them. Please help the GWN team with information about international events, user stories and interesting projects from your own countries! By all means, do send suggestions to gwn-feedback@gentoo.org.

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 02 January 2004 and 08 January 2004, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 578 new bugs during this period
  • 322 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 8 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 4590 currently open bugs: 100 are labeled 'blocker', 187 are labeled 'critical', and 331 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

Forwarding an SSH agent

This weeks tip shows you how to forward ssh sessions between hosts so you don't have to copy private keys between hosts.

Note: Remote SSH sessions and public keys are covered in the Keychain documentation.

If you're using remote sessions with public key authentication you are probably used to logging into remote hosts without having to retype your password. So logging into Host B from Host A and logging into Host C from Host A works great. But what if you need to login to Host C from Host B (e.g. to use scp or rsync). Instead of copying your private key from Host A to Host B, SSH has a configuration flag you can use.

This flag is called ForwardAgent and it will forward you ssh-agent process from Host A to Host B so that you can use the same authentication from Host B to Host C without copying your private SSH key.

To enable ssh-agent forwarding, set ForwardAgent yes in either .ssh/config or /etc/ssh/ssh_config.

Code Listing 7.1: /etc/ssh/ssh_config

Host *
  ForwardAgent  yes

Now you can ssh from Host A to Host B and ssh or scp to Host C using the authentication information from Host A.

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 12 January 2004

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of January 12th, 2004.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Luke Giuliani
Contributor

Kurt Lieber
Contributor

Rafael Cordones Marcos
Contributor

David Narayan
Contributor

David Nielsen
Contributor

Ulrich Plate
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Hendrik Eeckhaut
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Jorn Eilander
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Bernard Kerckenaere
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Peter ter Borg
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Jochen Maes
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Roderick Goessen
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Gerard van den Berg
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Matthieu Montaudouin
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Xavier Neys
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Martin Prieto
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Antoine Raillon
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Sebastien Cevey
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Jean-Christophe Choisy
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Thomas Raschbacher
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Steffen Lassahn
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Matthias F. Brandstetter
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Lukas Domagala
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Tobias Scherbaum
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Daniel Gerholdt
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Marc Herren
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Tobias Matzat
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Marco Mascherpa
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Claudio Merloni
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Christian Apolloni
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Stefano Lucidi
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Yoshiaki Hagihara
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Katsuyuki Konno
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Yuji Carlos Kosugi
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Yasunori Fukudome
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Takashi Ota
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Radoslaw Janeczko
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Lukasz Strzygowski
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Michal Drobek
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Adam Lyjak
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Krzysztof Klimonda
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Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos
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Eduardo Belloti
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João Rafael Moraes Nicola
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Marcelo Gonçalves de Azambuja
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Otavio Rodolfo Piske
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Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
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Pedro de Medeiros
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Ventura Barbeiro
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Bruno Ferreira
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Gustavo Felisberto
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José Costa
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Luis Medina
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Ricardo Loureiro
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Aleksandr Martyncev
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Sergey Galkin
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Alex Spirin
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Lanark
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Fernando J. Pereda
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Lluis Peinado Cifuentes
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Zephryn Xirdal T
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Guillermo Juarez
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Jesús García Crespo
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Carlos Castillo
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Julio Castillo
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Aycan Irican
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Bugra Cakir
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Cagil Seker
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Emre Kazdagli
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Evrim Ulu
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