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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: May 31, 2004

Content:

1.  Gentoo News

Beta LiveCDs and stages for PPC64

It is our pleasure to announce beta level livecds and stages for ppc64, now available on our mirrors. The hardware supported by gentoo-ppc64 includes PowerMacintosh G5, IBM pSeries, older IBM 64 bit RS/6000s (such as the model 260, 270, F80, H80, see PenguinPPC64 for a complete list) and soon IBM iSeries hardware.

Gentoo-ppc64 is the other side of the ppc equation, a 64 bit kernel as well as a 64 bit user space. We are the first linux distribution to offer a 64 bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment. This is a significant and exciting step as there is interest in cluster computing circles, users of java, and more generally those who have needs of large address spaces. It's fairly exciting to be on the forefront and continue to push the capabilities of linux on ppc64 forward.

Changes to net-mail/mailwrapper various related mail transfer agents. Gentoo/BSD seeking interested developers.

The net-mail/mailwrapper package provides an extremely lightweight wrapper for /usr/sbin/sendmail that allows a user to have more than one mail transfer agent (MTA) installed simultaneously. The way that mailwrapper works is quite elegant: mailwrapper installs a small (7KB) binary as /usr/sbin/sendmail that, when executed, notes the name that it was executed as (MTAs often have several symlinks to /usr/sbin/sendmail), looks up that name in /etc/mailer.conf to find the binary that really should be executed, and then executes that binary. At the moment the exim, nullmailer, postfix, sendmail, and ssmtp MTAs automatically install mailwrapper as a dependency, and the MTA ebuild itself installs an /etc/mailer.conf file that will use the just-installed MTA by default.

After numerous requests (well, complaints, actually), the mailwrapper package will become an optional dependency of the various mail transfer agents in portage that will be enabled by the mailwrapper USE flag. Also, the default location of of the mailer.conf file is going to change from /etc/mailer.conf to the more sensible /etc/mail/mailer.conf. These two changes, taken together, mean that upgrading exim, nullmailer, postfix, sendmail, or ssmtp will not be entirely clean. If you decide to keep mailwrapper by adding "mailwrapper" to your USE flags, then the upgrade will install a new mailer.conf file in /etc/mail that will be used by an upgraded mailwrapper package. Thus, any customizations that you had in the old /etc/mailer.conf file will now be ignored until you add them to the new /etc/mail/mailer.conf file. Once that's done you can remove the now-useless /etc/mailer.conf file. On the other hand, if you decide that you don't want mailwrapper, and thus you have *not* added "mailwrapper" to your USE flags, then when you upgrade your MTA the MTA package will install its own /usr/sbin/sendmail executable, thereby breaking the mailwrapper package if it had been installed. Since you neither need nor want it, just "emerge -C mailwrapper" to remove the now-broken package.

Gentoo/BSD seeking interested developers

Gentoo/BSD isn't dead - but development has been rather slow lately, so we're looking for people interested in helping out. For those of you who don't know, Gentoo/BSD, still in its infancy, is an effort to provide a fully capable BSD operating system with Gentoo design sensibilities with the ultimate goal of allowing users to choose any combination of Linux or *BSD kernels, *BSD or GNU libc, and *BSD or GNU userland tools. For more information, see the Gentoo/BSD project page. If you're interested in helping out, join the gentoo-bsd@gentoo.org mailing list and send us an email to let us know you're interested.

2.  Gentoo Security

Opera telnet URI handler file creation/truncation vulnerability

A vulnerability exists in Opera's telnet URI handler that may allow a remote attacker to overwrite arbitrary files.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Insecure Temporary File Creation In MySQL

Two MySQL utilities create temporary files with hardcoded paths, allowing an attacker to use a symlink to trick MySQL into overwriting important data.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Midnight Commander: Multiple vulnerabilities

Multiple security issues have been discovered in Midnight Commander including several buffer overflows and string format vulnerabilities.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Apache 1.3: Multiple vulnerabilities

Several security vulnerabilites have been fixed in the latest release of Apache 1.3.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Heimdal: Kerberos 4 buffer overflow in kadmin

A possible buffer overflow in the Kerberos 4 component of Heimdal has been discovered.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

MPlayer, xine-lib: vulnerabilities in RTSP stream handling

Multiple vulnerabilities, including remotely exploitable buffer overflows, have been found in code common to MPlayer and the xine library.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

3.  Gentoo International

Germany: Local Ebuild Overlay

Christian Hartmann announced an addition to the German gentoo.de infrastructure, an automated Portage overlay chock-full of German ebuilds,mostly containing localised versions of mainstream packages such as Openoffice and TeX. The entire tree can be loaded to a local overlay by simply adding a host entry to the gensync routine. A thorough explanation of the process is documented at the gentoo.de website (in German).

France: Demonstration Against Software Patents

Gentooists in France went and participated in a Parisian demonstration on 29 May, protesting the recent decisions on software patenting in general and the French legislation in particular. Unrest about the LEN (link in French), a new law on "Trust in the digital economy" that keeps web hosting providers and the open source developer community in France extremely unhappy, brought about a thousand demonstrators to the streets on a lovely Pentecoste Saturday. Here are photos of Gentooists who went along, from Place Colonel Fabien via Canal St. Martin all the way to the Bastille, symbol of the French revolution:


Figure 3.1: Faces to match their Gentoo Forum IDs: Fafounet (left, just back from a lengthy stint in Germany) and Roms

Fig. 1: Fafounet and Roms


Figure 3.2: A thousand demonstrators marching down Canal St Martin

Fig. 2: Canal St Martin

4.  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 21 May 2004 and 27 May 2004, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 546 new bugs during this period
  • 324 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 14 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 6224 currently open bugs: 134 are labeled 'blocker', 192 are labeled 'critical', and 503 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:

5.  Tips and Tricks

Implementing a command line thesaurus

Many people make use of dict to lookup word definitions. (If this is new to you, try dict word). Sometimes what we need instead of a dictionary is a thesaurus. This week's tip demonstrates a script to do just that.

Note: You need app-text/html2text installed before using this script.

Code Listing 5.1: ~/bin/thes

#!/bin/sh
#--------
# Command line thesaurus

BROWSER="/usr/bin/lynx -source"
WEBSITE="http://thesaurus.reference.com/search?q=$1"
HTML2TEXT="/usr/bin/html2text -style compact"

if test $1; then
    ${BROWSER} ${WEBSITE} | ${HTML2TEXT} | ${PAGER}
else
    echo "Usage: $0 word"
    exit 1
fi

To use this script, name it thes, make it executable, and make sure that it's in your $PATH. Then, run the script followed by the word you're interested in.

Code Listing 5.2

$ thes word

6.  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:

  • Michael Hanselmann (hansmi) - PPC testing

Changes

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

  • None this week

7.  Contribute to GWN

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8.  GWN Feedback

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9.  GWN Subscription Information

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10.  Other Languages

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Print

Page updated 31 May 2004

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of May 31st, 2004.

Yuji Carlos Kosugi
Editor

AJ Armstrong
Contributor

Brian Downey
Contributor

Grant Goodyear
Contributor

Kurt Lieber
Contributor

David Narayan
Contributor

Ulrich Plate
Contributor

Sven Vermeulen
Contributor

Simon Holm Thagersen
Danish Translation

Jesper Brodersen
Danish Translation

Arne Mejlholm
Danish Translation

Hendrik Eeckhaut
Dutch Translation

Jorn Eilander
Dutch Translation

Bernard Kerckenaere
Dutch Translation

Peter ter Borg
Dutch Translation

Jochen Maes
Dutch Translation

Roderick Goessen
Dutch Translation

Gerard van den Berg
Dutch Translation

Matthieu Montaudouin
French Translation

Xavier Neys
French Translation

Martin Prieto
French Translation

Antoine Raillon
French Translation

Sebastien Cevey
French Translation

Jean-Christophe Choisy
French Translation

Thomas Raschbacher
German Translation

Steffen Lassahn
German Translation

Matthias F. Brandstetter
German Translation

Lukas Domagala
German Translation

Tobias Scherbaum
German Translation

Daniel Gerholdt
German Translation

Marc Herren
German Translation

Tobias Matzat
German Translation

Marco Mascherpa
Italian Translation

Claudio Merloni
Italian Translation

Stefano Lucidi
Italian Translation

Katuyuki Konno
Japanese Translation

Hiroyuki Takeda
Japanese Translation

Masato Hatakeyama
Japanese Translation

Masayoshi Nakamura
Japanese Translation

Yasunori Fukudome
Japanese Translation

Tomoyuki Sakurai
Japanese Translation

Lukasz Strzygowski
Polish Translation

Karol Goralski
Polish Translation

Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Eduardo Belloti
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

João Rafael Moraes Nicola
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Marcelo Gonçalves de Azambuja
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Otavio Rodolfo Piske
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Pedro de Medeiros
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Ventura Barbeiro
Portuguese (Brazil) Translation

Bruno Ferreira
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Gustavo Felisberto
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

José Costa
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Luis Medina
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Ricardo Loureiro
Portuguese (Portugal) Translation

Aleksandr Martyncev
Russian Translator

Sergey Galkin
Russian Translator

Sergey Kuleshov
Russian Translator

Alex Spirin
Russian Translator

Denis Zaletov
Russian Translator

Lanark
Spanish Translation

Fernando J. Pereda
Spanish Translation

Lluis Peinado Cifuentes
Spanish Translation

Zephryn Xirdal T
Spanish Translation

Guillermo Juarez
Spanish Translation

Jesús García Crespo
Spanish Translation

Carlos Castillo
Spanish Translation

Julio Castillo
Spanish Translation

Sergio Gómez
Spanish Translation

Aycan Irican
Turkish Translation

Bugra Cakir
Turkish Translation

Cagil Seker
Turkish Translation

Emre Kazdagli
Turkish Translation

Evrim Ulu
Turkish Translation

Gursel Kaynak
Turkish Translation

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