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Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: September 12th, 2005


1.  Gentoo news

Major package updates for Apache

The Gentoo Apache Team is pleased to announce the stabilizing of package updates that have been in the works for over a year. Some of the major changes include:

  • New configuration and configuration locations to more closely match upstream and reduce confusion for users coming from other distributions.
  • Modules now use a centralized eclass that builds, installs, and displays standard information on enabling the module. This allows easier maintenance of existing modules, and allows us to more rapidly develop ebuilds for modules that are not yet in the tree.
  • Expanded USE flags to let you choose which MPM is compiled.
  • A new gentoo-webroot that will eventually provide a gentoo-themed icon-set, error documents, and default website. This has been put in it's own package, and includes a USE-flag to not install the gentoo-webroot into /var/www/localhost - useful if you put your own website there.
  • And much more, including the fixing of many many bugs.

These changes will stabilized on Sunday, September 18th. These changes have been throughly tested and given a thumbs up by many many users. They also allow you to use the new php (including support for php5) ebuilds when they become fully available.

Because of these changes and improvements, when you upgrade to the new revision of Apache, you will need to take care of some things. These are fully documented in our Upgrading Apache document, but in summary, this is what you will need to do:

  1. Merge any customizations that you have made to the Apache configuration into the new configuration at /etc/apache2/httpd.conf (The configuration file location has changed). Note that the init script for apache checks for a configuration in the old location and refuses to start if you haven't moved/removed it - this is to avoid the possibility of moving to a configuration that isn't right for your machine.
  2. Update any modules that you used to revisions that support the new eclass. Older modules will not work due to location changes.
  3. Restart Apache

We have done our best to make it easy to migrate, but if you have problems, feel free to visit us in #gentoo-apache on or on our mailing list and we'll be glad to help.

2.  Heard in the community


USE="minimal" for kernel sources

The kernel sources are rather large, but carry "unneeded" things like assembler sources for all arches you don't have. So why not strip down the kernel sources to be as small as possible, saving important diskspace in the process? This thread discusses why Gentoo won't offer such a kernel and why it's in general a bad idea to strip down the kernel sources.

[Summary] tentative x86 arch team glep

Chris White has done it again and offers a summary of one of those horrifically long threads that make reading the -dev mailinglist so time-consuming. Thanks Chris!

3.  Gentoo in the press

ComputerWorld (9 September 2005)

"One of the open-source movement's most visible boosters" Eric S. Raymond seems to have had a narrow escape from being lured into the same sort of position that Gentoo founder Daniel Robbins now occupies with Microsoft, writes Robert McMillan in a ComputerWorld article. Given the fact that the publisher of the Halloween documents might feel more than just a little out of place at the company he's been fighting quite eagerly for years, it may have been oversight on behalf of a recruiter who just didn't know exactly who he was trying to hire...

REBOL website (9 September 2005)

Carl Sassenroth, head of REBOL Technologies, has extended the reach of his programming language/operating environment to a new platform, as he explains in a short notice about REBOL for Linux on PPC, tested on the PegasosPPC in both Gentoo and Debian Linux, and ready for download to whoever would like to try it out.

4.  Tips and tricks

Tweaking kernel options yet some more

Remember our rather concise tip about the search function in the kernel's make menuconfig last week? A related tip is particularly helpful whenever you're trying to do something like eradicate an unknown dependency. For example, let's say that you want to change your kernel configuration from modular to monolithic. But when you try to make that change, it is blocked because there are still features marked "M" somewhere.

An easy way to hunt these hidden dependencies down is to "Save Configuration to an Alternate File" first, picking something like (i.e. just type ".now" enter). Next, jump to another console and look at the file:

Code Listing 4.1: Read the config file

less /usr/src/kernel/

Now have a look at the real product of menuconfig. Just search:

Code Listing 4.2: Search for modular options


Once you've found where the offending area is, you can go back to make menuconfig and use last week's tip to search for its location in the hierarchy (if it's still not clear).

This tip is especially handy when trying to create a minimal system and you find that the kernel has been packed full of support for obsolete hardware that escaped your first review. By searching through the .config file while using menuconfig, you can really expand on its capabilities.

5.  Moves, adds, and changes


The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • None this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • Matti Bickel (mabi) - Arch tester for PPC
  • Christian Hartmann (ian) - Official staff (Global forums moderator)
  • Mauricio Lima Pilla (pilla) - Official staff (Global forums moderator)


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

  • None this week

6.  Gentoo Security

OpenTTD: Format string vulnerabilities

OpenTTD is vulnerable to format string vulnerabilities which may result in remote execution of arbitrary code.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

phpLDAPadmin: Authentication bypass

A flaw in phpLDAPadmin may allow attackers to bypass security restrictions and connect anonymously.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Net-SNMP: Insecure RPATH

The Gentoo Net-SNMP package may provide Perl modules containing an insecure DT_RPATH, potentially allowing privilege escalation.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

Squid: Denial of Service vulnerabilities

Squid contains several bugs when handling certain malformed requests resulting in a Denial of Service.

For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement

7.  Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 04 September 2005 and 11 September 2005, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 794 new bugs during this period
  • 386 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 29 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 8269 currently open bugs: 97 are labeled 'blocker', 198 are labeled 'critical', and 543 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:

8.  GWN feedback

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Page updated September 12, 2005

Summary: This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of 12 September 2005.

Ulrich Plate

Chris X Edwards

Patrick Lauer

Michael Stewart

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