Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: March 1st, 2004
Gentoo Linux is proud to announce the release of Gentoo Linux 2004.0 for the
x86, AMD64, PowerPC, Sun SPARC, and SGI MIPS architectures. Additionally, the
Gentoo Hardened team is announcing the inaugural release of a security-enhanced
Gentoo platform for the x86 architecture.
In addition to many bugfixes and security updates since the 1.4 release, Gentoo
Linux 2004.0 contains a cutting-edge development toolchain and user environment
including, but not limited to, Linux kernel 2.6.3, GCC 3.3.2, GLIBC 2.3.2, KDE
3.2, GNOME 2.4.1, and xfce4.
We are pleased to announce the new Gentoo
Store. Available at the Gentoo Store are Gentoo Linux LiveCDs that come
complete with the on-CD Gentoo Installation Handbook, 2004.0 Release Notes and
optimized pre-compiled binary packages. Users who want to stay up-to-date for
2004 can purchase a subscription that offers the shipment of each quarterly
2004.x release sent straight to their door. Those wishing to donate to Gentoo
Linux can now do so in an easy and secure manner utilizing the new donation
system. The Gentoo Store accepts PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover for both
orders and donations.
Gentoo Linux 2004.0 marks the debut of Catalyst, the new Gentoo release
meta-tool. Using Catalyst, developers and users can create and customize every
aspect of their Gentoo Linux system; from installation stages, to bootable
LiveCDs, to customized binary packages for the Gentoo Reference Platform (GRP).
For more information on Catalyst, please see the Catalyst project page and online documentation.
Installation stages, LiveCDs, and Gentoo Reference Platform sets can be found on
our mirrors. More
information about the Gentoo Hardened project can be found on its project page. For more
information, please consult our documentation, mailing lists, user forums, and official IRC channels.
Featured Developer of the Week
Figure 2.1: Alexander Gabert
This week, we are featuring Alexander
Gabert (pappy), another developer specializing in the security realm for
Gentoo. Alexander is the lead for the gcc-hardened project, which has
the goal of implementing security enhancements such as PIE (position
independent executables) and PaX
address space randomization and stack protection. He is also co-lead, along
with Ned Ludd (solar), for the implantation
another stack protection utility. In addition, he is exploring work with the
HPPA team on implementing Gentoo for pa-risc processors as well as adding
user documentation for Hardened Gentoo.
Alexander came to Gentoo via Red Hat and SuSE through BSD, OpenVMS and Linux
from Scratch. He was impressed with the opportunity to apply some of his
interest in security to the new distro. In particular, he was interested in
implementing the PaX userland components in Gentoo - which quickly resulted in
an invitation to join the development team. He has also worked on implementing
toolchains for non-x86 platforms like PA-RISC. He works with a computer
menagerie that includes routers, pa-risc workstations, vaxen, and Intel-based
machines. He prefers Evolution, Afterstep and several xterms for his
During the day, Alexander works for EDS as a field service engineer, a position
he describes as "driving around and replacing power supplies and hard disks".
He lives in a small town outside Munich, Germany, where he has recently moved
into a house that is now populated with computers, children, a new wife and an
aging electrical system. He entered the computer industry directly after
finishing secondary school and German military service. His
non-computer-related pastimes include playing chess, basketball, roller-blading,
and playing with his children. Alexander offered his view on some recent
controversies in the community: "We are working on a freely available,
open-source operating system ... There is something that seems to be missing
when lawyers carrying suitcases full of printouts walk into courtrooms to fight
about it." A slightly sanitized version of his favorite quote would read
"fighting for peace is like making love for virginity."
No new security annoucements were posted this week.
Heard in the Community
Gentoo and Commercial Support
Given the semi-random nature of a "meta-distribution" package, some users
attempting to install commercial Linux software on Gentoo have run into some
roadblocks. In this case, a
user attempting to install Codeweaver's CrossoverOffice has some interesting
comments from one of the company's founders.
Italy: Gentoo Pub in Milano on 6 March 2004
There was a test run for a Gentoo Milano Meeting on 28 February of unknown
success at the time of this writing, but whatever the outcome of it was: Next
Saturday, the Gentooista residents of Milano in Northern Italy will meet at the
entrance to Garibaldi station (and spontaneously decide where to get fed and
watered, no doubt). If you want to join them, be there at 18:15 hours sharp on
Saturday, 6 March 2004. Coordination thread at forums.gentoo.org, right here (in
The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla (bugs.gentoo.org) to record and track bugs,
notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team.
Between 21 February 2004 and 27 February 2004, activity on the site has resulted
- 733 new bugs during this period
- 507 bugs closed or resolved during this period
- 21 previously closed bugs were reopened this period
Of the 5175 currently open bugs: 137 are labeled 'blocker', 215 are labeled
'critical', and 390 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
Recovering the root password
This week's tip shows you a couple of ways to reset the root password if you've
The easiest way is of course to boot off the Gentoo LiveCD, chroot into the
primary hard disk as described in the Gentoo Install Guide and use
If you don't have a LiveCD, or the system doesn't have CDROM drive, you can
reboot the system into single user mode to reset the password. Simply pass the
options "init=/bin/sh" to the kernel from the bootloader menu. When the
system boots it will drop you into a root shell. The disk will be mounted
read-only so remount it read-write with mount -o rw,remount /dev/ROOT (be
sure to change ROOT to your actual root partition). Edit
/etc/shadow and remove the encrypted password. Reset the root
password with passwd and reboot the system.
You should now be able to login with the new password.
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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