Gentoo Weekly Newsletter -- Volume 3, Issue 34

Posted by dave on Aug 24, 2004 3:44 AM EDT
Mailing list; By Kurt Lieber <>
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This week's Gentoo Weekly Newsletter brings news of the first official meeting of Gentoo users and developers in the UK along with some recent statistics of the 2004.2 release. Also included is an update on the Gentoo Forums and recent performance issues some users may have been experiencing. Enjoy!

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gentoo Weekly Newsletter This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of August 23rd, 2004. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- =20

1. Gentoo News

=20 Gentoo 2004 UK Meeting ---------------------- =20 The first Gentoo UK Meeting will be held at Salford University,=20 Manchester, on Saturday 4th September 2004. The day's events will be a=20 mixture of presentations from invited speakers and break-out sessions=20 where you get the chance to discuss the aspects of Gentoo that matter to=20 you with the developers who will be attending on the day.=20

Confirmed Gentoo Linux developers attending include Stuart Herbert from=20 the PHP and web-app teams, Rob Holland from the tenshi project, and=20 Ciaranm McCreesh from the Sparc team.=20

We're also delighted that Harry Moyes from Manchester Wireless=20 ( will be speaking at the event.=20

Full details can be found here:

Our thanks to Reuben Finch from Freenode[1] for organizing the event, and= =20 to Ricky Clarkson and Andrew Young of Salford University for their=20 generous help and support.=20

1. =20 Successful 2004.2 Release via BitTorrent Distribution ----------------------------------------------------- =20 With only limited publicity for its debut, the latest release of Gentoo=20 Linux was the first to try an additional method of distribution besides=20 the usual HTTP or FTP downloads: BitTorrent filesharing. Looking at the=20 data volume that has been piped through in the two weeks since the=20 release, the introduction of such a P2P service for downloading Gentoo=20 Linux was immediately very popular with users. The BitTorrent service=20 provided by the German NPO Gentoo e.V.[2] reports that already more than=20 two terabytes worth of data have been processed by the tracker, with=20 roughly one TB for the x86 and Athlon/P4 LiveCD images alone. Unlike other= =20 filesharing services, the MIT-licensed BitTorrent builds peer networks=20 flexibly for each individual file, so that clients desiring information=20 about download locations may get different partners for every downloadable= =20 item, and eventually provide chunks of data they've already got to others= =20 in the process.

2. =20 Gentoo Forums receive a hardware upgrade ---------------------------------------- =20 The Gentoo web forums recently received a much needed hardware upgrade.=20 Many users have been commenting on the recent poor performance of the=20 forums, which was caused by the site's continued growth and popularity.=20 The new hardware, graciously provided by the OSU Open Source Lab[3], is=20 nearly twice as powerful as the old system and should hopefully provide=20 some breathing room for further growth. The Gentoo Foundation wishes to=20 thank the OSU OSL for their continued support of the Gentoo Linux project.= =20

3. =20

2. Projects Update

=20 Releng =20 The Release Engineering team has named a new Operations Lead: Chris=20 Gianelloni[4] (wolf31o2). The group is starting to get back into the swing= =20 of things after a well-deserved hiatus following the 2004.2 release. John= =20 Davis (zhen) has put together and released catalyst-1.0.9, which=20 incorporates complete support for cascading profiles and preliminary=20 X/GameCD support, which should completed by 2004.3's release.=20

4. [] =20

3. Gentoo Security

=20 rsync: Potential information leakage =20 rsync fails to properly sanitize paths. This vulnerability could allow the= =20 listing of arbitrary files and allow file overwriting outside module's=20 path on rsync server configurations that allow uploading. =20 For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[5]

5. =20 xine-lib: VCD MRL buffer overflow =20 xine-lib contains an exploitable buffer overflow in the VCD handling code =20 For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[6]

6. =20 courier-imap: Remote Format String Vulnerability =20 There is a format string vulnerability in non-standard configurations of=20 courier-imapd which may be exploited remotely. An attacker may be able to= =20 execute arbitrary code as the user running courier-imapd (oftentimes root). =20 For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[7]

7. =20 Qt: Image loader overflows =20 There are several bugs in Qt's image-handling code which could lead to=20 crashes or arbitrary code execution. =20 For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[8]

8. =20 Cacti: SQL injection vulnerability =20 With special configurations of Cacti it is possible to change passwords=20 via a SQL injection attack. =20 For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[9]

9. =20 Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird: New releases fix vulnerabilities =20 New releases of Mozilla, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Mozilla Firefox fix=20 several vulnerabilities, including remote DoS and buffer overflows. =20 For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[10]

10. =20 =

4. Featured Developer of the Week =

=20 Christian Andreetta =20 Figure 4.1: Christian Andreetta =20 This week, we are featuring Christian Andreetta[11] (satya), one of=20 several developers supporting samba[12] under Gentoo. In addition to the=20 traditional developer activities of creating and supporting ebuilds,=20 Christian focuses on providing support for antivirus integration,=20 printing, and authorization tools like kerberos and ldap. He has also=20 contributed to a number of other FOSS projects, like the python-based=20 skunkweb[13] and postgresql[14]. He is also looking forward to becoming=20 active working with the clusters and app-sci herds in Gentoo. When pressed= =20 for an example of work he was particularly proud of, he confessed to being= =20 pleased about the resolution to Bug #48871[15], a new Samba ebuild that=20 resolved a number of other bugs.=20

11. [] 12. 13. 14. 15. =20 Christian completed a Bachelor's degree in Information Engineering,=20 specializing in biomedical and control systems. He is currently employed=20 as a Technology Officer for the University of Padova in Italy, but hinted= =20 that he would be interested in working in Applied Research in other=20 European countries. Christian began using Unix in the early 90s, with=20 Solaris and HP-UX. In 1997, he was looking for a Unix-like operating=20 system for his home computers and experimented with Red Hat and Slackware= =20 before settling on Mandrake. A magazine article in 2002 led hem to Gentoo,= =20 and he "converted all of [his] systems as soon as possible." He became a=20 Gentoo developer by being active on bugzilla as a user, contributing=20 patches and ebuilds. When a call went out for samba maintainers, he=20 volunteered and was accepted based on his earlier work.=20 =20 Christian usually develops using the Scintilla[16] text editor, with the=20 amaroK[17] radio streamer running. kgpg[18], kworldclock[19] and=20 distcc-gnome[20] are launched automatically when his system starts. He=20 works on an Asus L3C laptop that is abundantly supplied with RAM, and uses= =20 KDE for his desktop environment. When away from his computers, Christian=20 practices shiatsu massage. He prefers having people around him, which=20 extends to a development philosophy that he describes as preferring "group= =20 work over lone", adding his pleasure at working with the other members of= =20 the Samba team. He closed with the observation that Gentoo provides=20 "simple tools and is very well documented. Every user is easily a=20 developer."=20

16. 17. 18. 19. 20. =20

5. Heard in the Community

=20 Web Forums ---------- =20 Don't Drink and Sing - Gentoo Song Revisited=20 =20 Forum userKen{NoBeeb}[21] aka Kristoffer Ericson from Sweden checked back= =20 on a thread he created in January, and was pleasantly surprised that=20 apparently thousands of people had listened to the Gentoo song he recorded= =20 (while inebriated, or so he claims), and evidently liked it! So he=20 re-mastered his old tune and put a new version up for download, this time= =20 in almost acceptable sound quality:=20

21. =20 * Gentoo Song[22]=20 22.

=20 Booting from Floppies=20 =20 For users with historic hardware, the standard installation method of=20 booting from a Gentoo LiveCD can be challenging at times. Many alternative= =20 procedures including netbooting via PXE, rescue floppies borrowed from=20 minimal Linux distributions exist, but for those who actually have a=20 CD-ROM drive that's just refusing to boot from the media, the GPL'ed Smart= =20 Boot Manager may provide an easy solution: =20 * Installing from floppy [Solved][23]=20 * Smart Boot Manager Website[24]=20 23. 24.


6. Gentoo International

=20 UK: Gentoo Meet-Up Car Sharing Exchange=20 =20 Since the venue for the planned UK meet-up in September has been decided,= =20 users have begun making travel arrangements to get to Manchester.=20 Sheffield-based Gentoo developer Tomk[25] has set up a tool on his website= =20 at that helps tackling the UK Gentoo community's geographic= =20 challenges. If you plan on coming to Manchester by car, or seek=20 opportunities to hitch a ride to take you there, check the UK Meet-Up Car= =20 Pool[26] page provided by Tom.=20

25. [] 26. =20

7. Bugzilla

=20 Summary ------- =20 * Statistics=20 * Closed Bug Ranking=20 * New Bug Rankings=20 =20 Statistics ---------- =20 The Gentoo community uses Bugzilla ([27]) to record and=20 track bugs, notifications, suggestions and other interactions with the=20 development team. Between 14 August 2004 and 20 August 2004, activity on=20 the site has resulted in:=20

27. =20 * 689 new bugs during this period=20 * 534 bugs closed or resolved during this period=20 * 26 previously closed bugs were reopened this period=20 =20 Of the 6889 currently open bugs: 135 are labeled 'blocker', 194 are=20 labeled 'critical', and 554 are labeled 'major'.=20 =20 Closed Bug Rankings ------------------- =20 The developers and teams who have closed the most bugs during this period= =20 are:=20 =20 * PPC Porters[28], with 62 closed bugs[29] =20 * Portage Team[30], with 43 closed bugs[31] =20 * Gentoo Gnome Team[32], with 31 closed bugs[33] =20 * Gentoo Games[34], with 28 closed bugs[35] =20 * Gentoo KDE Team[36], with 24 closed bugs[37] =20 28. [] 29.=20 D&ch fieldbug_status&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto2004-08-20&resoluti= onFIX ED& 30. [] 31.=20 D&ch fieldbug_status&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto2004-08-20&resoluti= onFIX ED& 32. [] 33.=20 D&ch fieldbug_status&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto2004-08-20&resoluti= onFIX ED& 34. [] 35.=20 D&ch fieldbug_status&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto2004-08-20&resoluti= onFIX ED& 36. [] 37.=20 D&ch fieldbug_status&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto2004-08-20&resoluti= onFIX ED&

=20 New Bug Rankings ---------------- =20 The developers and teams who have been assigned the most new bugs during=20 this period are:=20 =20 * Gentoo Kernel Bug Wranglers and Kernel Maintainers[38], with 19 new=20 bugs[39] =20 * Gentoo Sound Team[40], with 14 new bugs[41] =20 * Gentoo Science Related Packages[42], with 11 new bugs[43] =20 * OSX Porters[44], with 11 new bugs[45] =20 * Gentoo Core System Packages Team[46], with 11 new bugs[47] =20 38. [] 39.=20 ug_s tatusREOPENED&chfieldassigned_to&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto= 2004-08 -20& 40. [] 41.=20 ug_s tatusREOPENED&chfieldassigned_to&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto= 2004-08 -20& 42. [] 43.=20 ug_s tatusREOPENED&chfieldassigned_to&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto= 2004-08 -20& 44. [] 45.=20 ug_s tatusREOPENED&chfieldassigned_to&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto= 2004-08 -20& 46. [] 47.=20 ug_s tatusREOPENED&chfieldassigned_to&chfieldfrom2004-08-14&chfieldto= 2004-08 -20&


8. Tips and Tricks

=20 Comparing Files --------------- =20 Often people compare the differences between two files using diff. But if= =20 you needed to do a comparison of similarities between files, comm is the=20 command to use.=20 =20 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Code Listing 8.1: | | comm usage syntax | --------------------------------------------------------------------------- | | |comm [option] file1 file2 | | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------- =20 Note: both file1 and file2 need to be sorted before using comm as it does= =20 a line by line comparison. =20 comm outputs three columns: lines that are unique to file1, lines that are= =20 unique to file2, and lines that are common to both files. The options=20 '-1', '-2', '-3' will suppress the corresponding columns.=20 =20 Running comm -2 file1 file2 with the following files, would output five.=20 =20 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Code Listing 8.2: | | comm output | --------------------------------------------------------------------------- | | |File1: | |one | |two | |three | | | |File2: | |one | |five | |three | | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------- =20 =

9. Moves, Adds, and Changes =

=20 Moves ----- =20 The following developers recently left the Gentoo team: =20 * None this week=20 =20 Adds ---- =20 The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team: =20 * None this week=20 =20 Changes ------- =20 The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux=20 project: =20 * None this week=20 =20

10. Contribute to GWN

=20 Interested in contributing to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? Send us an=20 email[48].

48. [] =20

11. GWN Feedback

=20 Please send us your feedback[49] and help make the GWN better.

49. [] =20 =

12. GWN Subscription Information =

=20 To subscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to=20 []. =20 To unsubscribe to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, send a blank email to=20 [] from the email address you are=20 subscribed under. =20

13. Other Languages

=20 The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages: =20 * Danish[50]=20 * Dutch[51]=20 * English[52]=20 * German[53]=20 * French[54]=20 * Japanese[55]=20 * Italian[56]=20 * Polish[57]=20 * Portuguese (Brazil)[58]=20 * Portuguese (Portugal)[59]=20 * Russian[60]=20 * Spanish[61]=20 * Turkish[62]=20 =20 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

=20 Yuji Carlos Kosugi - Editor AJ Armstrong - Contributor Brian Downey - Contributor Kurt Lieber - 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 Shigehiro Idani - Japanese Translation Masayoshi Nakamura - Japanese Translation Tomoyuki Sakurai - Japanese Translation Lukasz Strzygowski - Polish Translation Karol Goralski - Polish Translation Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos - Portuguese=20 (Brazil) Translation Eduardo Belloti - Portuguese (Brazil) Translation Jo=C3=A3o Rafael Moraes Nicola - Portuguese (Brazil)= =20 Translation Marcelo Gon=C3=A7alves de Azambuja - Portuguese= =20 (Brazil) Translation Otavio Rodolfo Piske - Portuguese (Brazil)=20 Translation Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis - Portuguese=20 (Brazil) Translation Pedro de Medeiros - Portuguese (Brazil) Translation Ventura Barbeiro - Portuguese (Brazil)=20 Translation Bruno Ferreira - Portuguese (Portugal)=20 Translation Gustavo Felisberto - Portuguese (Portugal)=20 Translation Jos=C3=A9 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 Guillermo Juarez - Spanish Translation Fernando J. Pereda - Spanish Translation Juan Diego Guti=C3=A9rrez Gallardo - Spanish Translation Nicolas Silva - 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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