August 2003

Linux Kernel 2.4.23-pre2 Now Available For Download Posted Sunday, August 31, 2003 @ 7:37 PM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.23-pre2 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
Reverse Engineering an MPEG Driver Posted Friday, August 29, 2003 @ 11:44 AM by mayhem
Following on from the recent spate of reverse engineering articles, there is an interesting summary of the reverse engineering of a binary only Linux driver. The driver is for the integrated MPEG decoder on VIA's popular EPIA-M boards. At the moment VIA has not publicly released the source code for the MPEG chipset on these boards and will only make the code available under NDA saying that "Typically, only requests from companies developing product for sale will be approved." As a result this is holding back development of open source tools (e.g. xine, mplayer, vdr) that would be able to make use of the interesting hardware on these boards. (Source: Slashdot)
New Linux Based Super Computer Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 3:10 PM by mayhem
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has brought online a 11.8 teraflops supercomputer based on the Linux operating system, comprised of ~2,000 Itanium processors, and assembled by HP. Touted to be the fastest unclassified computer in the US, its main duties will be atmospheric chemistry, systems biology, catalysis and materials science. (Source: Slashdot)
The Penguin in the Apple Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 3:05 PM by mayhem
In this article we discuss the Apple PowerBook, covering the hardware features and the installation of Gentoo Linux and trying to understand if it really is a good choice for Linux users...

More information is available at LinuxToday or you can go directly to the article at LinuxJournal. (Source: Linux Today)
PHP 4.3.3 Released Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 3:01 PM by mayhem
This maintenance release solves a fair number of bugs found in prior PHP versions and addresses several security issues... Full article is available here, and release information can be found at this link. (Source: Linux Today)
Alston dismisses call for open source procurement guidelines Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 12:24 PM by mayhem
Guidelines proposed by the Australian Unix Users Group (AUUG) promoting a "level playing field" between open source and proprietary software within government departments are unnecessary, according to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. ... While agreeing with AUUG?s proposal that software be purchased on its merits, a spokesperson for the department's Minister, Senator Richard Alston, said open source software is already being considered for its value proposition.

Full article can be found here. (Source: NewsForge)
Sendmail vulnerable to DoS attacks Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 12:23 PM by mayhem
Popular open-source mail agent Sendmail contains a remotely exploitable vulnerability that could cause a system to crash. Also, Linux distributor Turbolinux has warned of flaws in GNOME and Perl. More information is available here. (Source: NewsForge)
Is a Linux supercomputer in your future? Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 12:21 PM by mayhem
Linux admins, start checking out the HOWTOs and FAQs on Linux clusters. While they might not be as common as file and print servers, Linux-based supercomputers are increasingly showing up at medium and large-sized business to simulate everything from product designs to the company's own business processes. (Source:
Eiffel: The language that OOP forgot? Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 12:18 PM by mayhem
Eiffel was one of the first object-oriented programming languages ever written, and is still considered by many to be the purest. Though it has never been widely used, some are finding Eiffel to be an increasingly appealing alternative in the face of the industry's increasing security concerns and the growing unwieldiness of C++. Full article is available to read here. (Source:

I don't know about anyone else, but I had to use Eiffel at Uni and it wasn't a bad language, mind you that was a few years ago... this has sparked some interest to check it out once again :)
Spam filtering with postfix, AMaViSd-new, and Spamassassin Posted Thursday, August 28, 2003 @ 11:47 AM by mayhem writes "Spam, it's become the thorn in everyone's side, flooding mailboxes from home users to choking mail servers at the corporate level. Spam accounts for nearly half of the traffic carried on the Internet and it is only going to get worse.

It can be fought with success using the right open source tools, a little elbow grease, and a little maintenance after its setup.

The tools we used are Debian GNU/Linux, Postfix, amavisd-new, spamassassin, and razor. We will also use Fetchmail to retrieve mail from our isp and pass it to postfix. The combination creates a strong e-mail gateway that will filter and strip spam from ever entering your, or your companies mailboxes. Full article."
Linux Kernel 2.4.22 Now Available For Download Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2003 @ 7:37 PM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.22 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
Linux Kernel 2.4.22-rc4 Now Available For Download Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2003 @ 7:34 PM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.22-rc4 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
Sun Mad Hatter Linux Desktop Revealed Posted Monday, August 25, 2003 @ 9:20 AM by mayhem
Sun has released screenshots of its upcoming Mad Hatter Linux desktop. Mad Hatter includes GNOME, StarOffice, Evolution, and Mozilla. Sun has made minor modifications to Gnome to make it more familiar to Windows users. Sun's Mad Hatter, along with SuSE's new push on the desktop, could make Linux on the corporate desktop and laptop a bigger reality. (Source: Slashdot)
Linux Kernel 2.6.0-test4 Now Available For Download Posted Monday, August 25, 2003 @ 9:13 AM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.6.0-test4 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog is not available as yet.
Linux Kernel 2.4.22-rc3 Now Available For Download Posted Monday, August 25, 2003 @ 9:12 AM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.22-rc3 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
SCO: Code Proof Analyzed, Linus Interviewed Posted Thursday, August 21, 2003 @ 11:42 PM by mayhem
Bruce Perens has now obtained a copy of the entire slide show from which the recently scrutinized SCO-related Linux code excerpts came, and has analyzed the remainder of the 'evidence' they presented there. Their other code exhibit turns out to have been the venerable Berkeley Packet Filter(!), and their revised line-counts are consistent with simply adding together all the lines of code that have been contributed by Unix licensees.

Also, A new interview with Linus Torvalds has been posted on In it he slams SCO over the recently leaked source code. Among other things, he points out in the interview that some of the code in question has been removed from the 2.6 kernel ['because developers complained about how "ugly" it was'] before SCO even started complaining. (Source: Slashdot)
Linux Hits the Road Posted Monday, August 11, 2003 @ 7:36 PM by mayhem
Vicroads does regular surveys of the roads in Victoria, Australia, to determine where they need to be patched or otherwise repaired. It used to be done in a vehicle travelling at 20 kph: slow, tedious, and hazardous to the traffic around it. Now, thanks to Linux, it's being done at speeds of 80 to 100 kph. The Melbourne Age has the details. Short version: the cost has fallen from $1.2 million Australian to $850,000. Not bad... (Source: Slashdot)
Linux Kernel 2.4.22-rc2 Now Available For Download Posted Saturday, August 9, 2003 @ 11:02 AM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.22-rc2 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
Gentoo 1.4 Final Released Posted Thursday, August 7, 2003 @ 12:55 AM by mayhem
After a long wait, the Gentoo team has finally released the latest version of their distribution. Gentoo Linux 1.4 is now available. 1.4 includes automated kernel builds, CFLAGS generation, the Gentoo Reference Platform, and support for netless installation. (Source: Slashdot)
AMD Demonstrates Linux-Based PDA at LinuxWorld Posted Thursday, August 7, 2003 @ 12:54 AM by mayhem
AMD has demonstrated a new Linux-based handheld at LinuxWorld. The OpenPDA runs on low-power Alchemy chips, with support for USB, Ethernet, UARTS. Here is press release. Among the highlights are: A comprehensive Metrowerks suit as the basis of OpenPDA applications, Qt, Java, Opera browser. (Source: Slashdot)
Linux Kernel 2.4.22-rc1 Now Available For Download Posted Thursday, August 7, 2003 @ 12:51 AM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.22-rc1 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
Start here to learn about Linux Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2003 @ 10:58 AM by mayhem
This page will guide you to material that will help you get started using Linux. Linux is not UNIX, although it is intended to be very UNIX-like. This article offers an extensive introduction to the difference between Linux and Unix, why Linux is important, what Linux can do, how to use it, and much more. (Source: Slashdot)
Replacing SMTP? Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2003 @ 10:52 AM by mayhem
In reading over one of the RFC's governing the SMTP protocol, and other RFC's as well, it's interesting to note that you see some big names and big companies from time to time. With all the loopholes in the current SMTP specification, is it possible for the Slashdot collective to come up with another one? Would it stand a chance in making it into a standard, or do they just listen to Cisco, AT&T, etc? I realize that a lot of people have a lot of ideas how things should be done (and they haven't been shy about posting them to Slashdot), but has anyone tried to write the RFC for a replacement protocol? As a side note (where I won't be shy about posting how things should be done), if there were a replacement trusted protocol, one could have mail received via that protocol bypass spam filtering, id checking, or whatever checks might be in place (saving processor cycles, etc). The regular checks could still be done on other mail received via the 'older' SMTP protocol. If more and more ISP's make use of this, SMTP could be gradually phased out... or if you are one for a sudden cut-over, just cut to the new one at the same time as the IPv6 upgrade! (Source: Slashdot)
Red Hat Sues SCO, Sets Up Legal Fund Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2003 @ 10:51 AM by mayhem
Red Hat has released a PR Newswire article stating that it intends to sue SCO Group to prove that it doesn't infringe any of SCO's intellectual property regarding the Red Hat Linux platform, and to hold it accountable for its actions and smear campaign. They've also announced the creation of a legal fund, to which they've pledged $1M US dollars to fight complaints such as these, called the 'Open Source Now' fund. (Source: Slashdot)
Linux Kernel 2.4.22-pre10 Now Available For Download Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2003 @ 10:47 AM by mayhem
You can now download the 2.4.22-pre10 Linux Kernel from here, or any of the mirrors here, full changelog information is available here.
Ultramagnetic: Encrypted Instant Messaging Posted Sunday, August 3, 2003 @ 2:50 PM by mayhem
vindicator writes "Ultramagnetic is the name of a new instant messaging client based on the popular Gaim software. It adds 256-bit AES encryption with GnuPG's libgcrypt as well as support for Hacktivismo's Six/Four routing protocol for ultra-anonymity.

Download now! Don't let The Man hold you down!!"
Intrusion Detection Posted Friday, August 1, 2003 @ 10:03 PM by mayhem
If someone broke into your network, how would you know? There wouldn't be any muddy footprints. If you had a strong firewall that had good logging capabilities, you might find evidence of an attack in your logs, but a smart hacker could even get around that. To make the case for rigorous intrusion detection beyond that provided by firewalls and their logs, consider the case of a classic e-mail virus: A worker receives an e-mail from a coworker's home account saying that he's found a copy of a file that's been missing for a few months. The worker clicks on the executable attachment that says it's a zip file, which installs a Trojan horse that lies in wait until it detects a period of keyboard and mouse inactivity for long enough to assume that the worker isn't looking at the computer. The Trojan horse then opens a connection to a hacker's computer. Even if your firewall is designed to block outbound connections on unusual ports (the vast majority are not), nothing prevents the hacker from serving his attack software on a common port like 80 (HTTP). Your firewall will merely see what looks like an HTTP connection flowing out of the network to a web server, a type of connection it sees thousands of times a month.

More information available in the article here. (Source:
Best Network Port Scanners for Linux Posted Friday, August 1, 2003 @ 10:02 PM by mayhem
The important thing to remember about network scanning is that new security flaws come out every day. As with antivirus software, scanners need to be updated with new signatures, or "checks," to recognize a flaw.

Full article can be found here. (Source:
Build a wireless access point on Linux Posted Friday, August 1, 2003 @ 10:01 PM by mayhem
When the ability to write and modify your own management software is the main objective, a custom-built wireless access point is the way to go. This article explains what's involved in building a wireless bridge using Linux, including software and hardware considerations. You will see what kinds of concerns and pitfalls you'll face should you want to do this. (Source:
Microsoft Deploys Linux, Open Software in Test Lab Posted Friday, August 1, 2003 @ 10:00 PM by mayhem
Microsoft has deployed Linux and other open-source software in test labs used by business customers to experiment with Microsoft's products. The products include Linux, Apache, MySQL and Open LDAP directory-access software on Intel-based computers, according to Martin Taylor, who is in charge of Microsoft's Linux competitive strategy. He said the goal was to learn 'what can you do and how can you do it' using open-source software in a competitive analysis. This step comes after Microsoft's recent admission that Linux is Microsoft's biggest threat after economic conditions. Mirrors at CMPnetAsia and InternetWeek. (Source: Slashdot)
Desktop Linux Sliding in Under the Radar? Posted Friday, August 1, 2003 @ 9:58 PM by mayhem
This article at ComputerWorld describes a sysadmin's discovery that many people in his company are installing Linux on their desktops without consulting IT. The writer is concerned with the security implications, but there is a wider issue. At present the 'official' penetration of Linux into the desktop market is something around 1%. The writer of this article doesn't give figures, but it sounds like he may have stumbled on several times that percentage of desktop Linux installations. If so then this is an important trend. Linux got its foot in the datacentre door in exactly the same way a few years ago, with unofficial installations doing odd server jobs. If you are a sysadmin, in an organization that runs Windows on the desktop, have you stumbled on many unofficial Linux installations? (Source: Slashdot)