Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: January 26, 2004

Posted by dave on Jan 27, 2004 6:30 AM EDT
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"Much progress has been made recently in integrating SELinux into Gentoo Linux..."

Gentoo Weekly Newsletter: January 26, 2004


1. Gentoo News

SELinux i686 LiveCD now available

Much progress has been made recently in integrating SELinux into Gentoo Linux, and now we're proud to announce that an experimental SELinux i686 LiveCD is available, along with fresh stages 1 through 3. The install guide is also experimental, but now users should be able to install SELinux from scratch. Tread with care, and make sure to report bugs. The only current known issue has to do with denials from DHCP when booting from the LiveCD.

For more SELinux-related info (baselayout has been modified to make /sbin/init the initial policy load), read Chris PeBenito's message to gentoo-dev.

2. Featured Developer of the Week

Sergey Kuleshov

Figure 2.1: Sergey Kuleshov

Fig. 1: Sergey Kuleshov

This week, we are featuring Sergey Kuleshov (svyatogor), the lead for the Gentoo Documentation Project's Internationalization Subproject, and one of the Russian translators. His main responsibilities include co-ordinating and training new translators and translation teams, ensuring translation accuracy is checked and (of course) doing some of the translations to Russian. He is also responsible for ensuring that translation teams continue to update documentation as it evolves.

Sergey is a university student, currently pursuing a BSc in Mathematics Computing and Statistics via correspondence with London University. He lives on Cyprus and enjoys reading Science Fiction. He is also learning to play guitar. He normally uses a P4 workstation (2.6 GHz, 1024 MB, 80 GB) as well as a 600 MHz Celeron Notebook. He is a fluxbox user who prefers

mlterm for console chores and gvim for editing. He communicates using Mozilla Firebird and Thunderbird, as well as PSI Jabber and XChat.

Sergey has been using Linux for the last four years, progressing from Corel Linux through several iterations of Red Hat and Mandrake before discovering Gentoo in 2001. His experience with Gentoo began with a few articles by George Shapovalov and Aleksey Fedorchuk on, and moved to the new distro when he finally got his PCMCIA NIC working with the LiveCD. He explained that his preference for Gentoo comes out of the fact that it is an "OS where you really know what is going on." He joined the Gentoo developer team after reading in GWN that George Shapovalov was heading up Russian translation efforts. Sergey volunteered his services, and was brought into the project. Sergey has also started up his own OSS project, the GNSS Neural Network Simulator", which "is a tool for creating and teaching various types of neural networks."

3. Gentoo Security

GLSA: honeyd

Honeyd is a virtual honeypot daemon that can simulate virtual hosts on unallocated IP addresses. Identification of Honeyd installations allows an adversary to launch attacks specifically against Honeyd. No remote root exploit is currently known. A bug in handling NMAP fingerprints caused Honeyd to reply to TCP packets with both the SYN and RST flags set. Watching for replies, it is possible to detect IP addresses simulated by Honeyd. Although there are no public exploits known for Honeyd, the detection of Honeyd IP addresses may in some cases be undesirable.

Honeyd 0.8 has been released along with an advisory to address this issue. In addition, Honeyd 0.8 drops privileges if permitted by the configuration file and contains command line flags to force dropping of privileges.

  • Severity: Low
  • Packages Affected: <honeyd-0.8

  • Rectification: emerge sync; emerge -pv >=honeyd-0.8; emerge >honeyd-0.8
  • GLSA Announcement

4. Heard in the Community


Backup Techniques

Backups are critical if your computer has data of any worth on it. Gentoo-user had a great thread on different backup methods.

Gentoo 2004 LiveCD

Beejay announced that the first Gentoo 2004.0 LiveCD was pushed out to the master mirror this week. Do your bugtesting part and get downloading!

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

6. Bugzilla



The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ( to record and track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the development team. Between 16 January 2004 and 22 January 2004, activity on the site has resulted in:

  • 619 new bugs during this period
  • 365 bugs closed or resolved during this period
  • 16 previously closed bugs were reopened this period

Of the 4818 currently open bugs: 110 are labeled 'blocker', 179 are labeled 'critical', and 342 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

Using watch to repeat comands

This week's tip shows you how to use watch to have commands run repeatedly. Make sure you have the sys-apps/procps package installed to make use of watch.

Whenever you have a long-running process (such as removing a complex directory tree or creating a large backup with tar), it is common to periodically check the progress of the task using ls, ps, grep, or a combination of these and

other utilities. Instead of repeatedly executing these commands, you can have watch do it for you. For the most basic usage, just append your command to watch and run it. The screen will update every few seconds (2 by default), and rerun the command for you.

For example, if you're copying an ISO image that's about 650MB and you want to see if it's done, you could use a command similar to this one:

Code listing 7.1

% watch ls -lh filename.iso

When the size stops increasing and it's around 650MB, you know the file copy operation has finished.

For more information on using watch, see man 1 watch.

8. Moves, Adds, and Changes


The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:

  • none this week


The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:

  • Andrew Bevitt (Cyfred) - xfree86
  • Akinori Hattori (hattya) - cjk
  • Blake Matheny (jake) - ada, haskell, CL, Lisp
  • Gustavo Felisberto (humpback) - jabber
  • Leandro Maciel Dorileo (dorileo) - kernel


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

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12. Other Languages

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