Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: April 26th, 2004
New apache maintainer and public mailing list
We're pleased to announce that Chuck Short is the new maintainer of
Apache-related packages for Gentoo Linux, and leader of the newly-formed
Apache herd. Chuck succeeds Donny Davies, who is retiring from the Gentoo
Project. Chuck is being helped by a group of volunteers who responded to our recent call for Apache maintainers. We hope that some of these will be invited to become full Gentoo developers in the coming months.
We've set up a new public mailing list for discussing the use of Gentoo on
webservers. It's also a place to share your thoughts about how we can
further improve Gentoo as a webserver platform. The mailing list is
firstname.lastname@example.org; send a blank email to
email@example.com to subscribe.
Gentoo Linux seeking a new squid maintainer
With the departure of Donny Davies, The Gentoo Linux Project is seeking a new maintainer for squid. We're looking for a dedicated developer with experience with squid and writing ebuilds. You may want to search Bugzilla for squid-related bugs to get an idea of the kind of bugs you'll have to deal with. If you're still interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ipsec-tools and iputils contain a remote DoS vulnerability
racoon, which is included in the ipsec-tools and iputils packages in
Portage, does not check the length of ISAKMP headers. Attackers may be able
to craft an ISAKMP header of sufficient length to consume all available
system resoources, causing a Denial of Service.
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement
Featured Developer of the Week
(This article was contributed by developer Grant Goodyear)
This week one of Gentoo's senior developers, Donny Davies
(woodchip), retired with a message to the gentoo-dev
mailing list stating "Because of work and various
other social commitments I can no longer fulfill
my duties as package maintainer for this project.
As such, I wish to pass on responsibilities to whomever
wants the job." On behalf of the rest of the Gentoo
team, I wish Donny well in his new endeavors. I also
wish to acknowledge here some of woodchip's many accomplishments
during his time with Gentoo.
Donny became a Gentoo developer sometime during 2001. I had
been a developer for only a short time when woodchip joined,
and my records of that period are rather sketchy, so I'm not
sure exactly when he joined. (It would be possible to grep the
cvs log to determine when Donny made his first commit, but
woodchip touched so many files that wading through the log is a
highly non-trivial exercise.) On 2 Sep 2001 he committed a
samba revision where he had stripped out svc support (once upon
a time most servers in Gentoo were setup to run from
daemontools by default), so his tenure has been at least
My recollection is that one of woodchip's more impressive
early feats was the complete replacement of all of the
init scripts in Portage for Gentoo Linux 1.0_rc6. Through
1.0_rc5 Gentoo had used fairly standard rc scripts
modified from Stampede Linux, but for 1.0_rc6 Daniel Robbins
(drobbins) and Martin Schlemmer (azarah) had created a new
dependency-based init script system that is still used
today. Within a span of days Donny rewrote every single
init script in the Portage tree and committed new masked
packages to await the release of 1.0_rc6. Thanks to
woodchip (and drobbins and azarah, of course) the transition
to the new init scripts was nearly painless.
Since then woodchip has been responsible for maintaining
some of the most vital packages in Portage. Solar recently
of all of the packages that have woodchip's name
in the ChangeLog, and the breadth of packages that he
has touched is truly impressive. Less visible, but
perhaps even more important, woodchip was the principle
maintainer for the Gentoo PAM, apache, and samba
packages. As useful as PAM is for simplifying
authentication on a Linux system, the package itself
is a nightmare to maintain because for much of its life
a great deal of the package's most useful functionality
has existed only as a barely-coherent collection of
redhat patches. At the same time, PAM is one package
that is never (well, hardly ever) allowed to break,
since the result of a broken PAM configuration is generally an
inability to log into the machine. Apache is a similarly
vital package, and woodchip handled the transition from
Apache-1.x to Apache-2.x with considerable aplomb. The
transparent installation of Apache modules into the
correct module directory along with appropriately installed
configuration fragments is entirely due to Donny's careful
shepherding. Similar care can be seen in the samba
Donny, thank you very much for all that you have
done for Gentoo, for your willingness to answer all
sorts of weird and naive questions, and for your
friendship. Gentoo will be much poorer without you.
Heard in the Community
New Forum Administrator
Since Wednesday 21 April, former moderator ian! is now giving the other site admins a helping hand in keeping the Gentoo Forums fully functional. Sadly, his new duties will also include the cancelation of a steady number of user accounts that are being abused to spam the Forums each week...
Portage Slotting 101
Here's an informative
thread about Portage and how "slotting" of different package versions works.
UTF-8 Console Fonts and More
International Gentooers may be interested in the
UTF-8 thread that blossomed into a detailed discussion of how non-english fontsets and languages
are handled in Gentoo.
Germany: German NFP Registered, Local Gentoo Merchandise Shop Opened
While Daniel Robbins is busy converting Gentoo into a not-for-profit organisation on his side of the Atlantic, the German Gentoo developers have finalised all the necessary steps for registering an almost identical legal entity, called "eingetragener Verein" (registered association) under the German law. It'll take the commercial courts another four to six weeks to acknowledge the setup, but the association is already operational, has opened a bank account, and started raking in bushels of money via their new online shop, whose main advantage over the Gentoo store in the US lies in its comparatively low-cost deliveries to customers in Germany. Proceeds from the online sales are split between the manufacturer of the goods on offer, and the association who'll reinvest the leftovers in things like burning and printing LiveCDs to be thrown around the crowds at events across Europe, and covering the costs for the increasing number of Gentoo booths at those same trade fairs and conferences.
UK: New Gentoo-UK IRC Channel Opened
The British Gentooistas have been lagging behind their European neighbours, at least in creating regional Gentoo support sites. Now, even if they cannot possibly be blamed for lacking the same type of online activities (traditionally centered on translations of the English Gentoo documentation), they could at least have agreed on a venue for their first regional user meeting by now, let alone a date. But last week's creation of a UK-specific IRC channel (#gentoo-uk on irc.freenode.net) on Freenode by Edinburgh-based Gentoo developer Ciaran McCreesh should finally provide a good starting point for future activities. Looking forward to their announcements.
Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks is on hiatus this week.
Moves, Adds, and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
- Donny Davies (woodchip) - Apache and system components
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux project:
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