Gentoo Archives: gentoo-gwn

From: Yuji Kosugi <carlos@g.o>
To: gentoo-gwn@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-gwn] Gentoo Weekly Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 18
Date: Tue, 04 May 2004 05:14:11
Gentoo Weekly Newsletter
This is the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter for the week of May 3rd, 2004.
1. Gentoo News
Gentoo Linux Chief Architect Daniel Robbins retires
(this article was contributed by developer Grant Goodyear[1])

 1. g2boojum@g.o
Unless you have been living under a rock you already know that this week 
Daniel Robbins resigned from as Gentoo Linux Chief Architect. Gentoo will 
be continuing on as a newly created Not-for-Profit organization, but 
before Daniel moves on for good I would like to take a bit of time to 
acknowledge some of drobbins' many, many accomplishments during his 
stewardship of Gentoo. 
Figure 1.1: Gentoo site in May 2001
Daniel Robbins got his start in Linux distribution developing as a 
developer with Stampede Linux before leaving to found Enoch Linux, which 
later became Gentoo Linux. (You can read some of the history of this 
period in drobbins'  "Making the Distribution"[2] series). I'm not sure 
exactly when Gentoo was born, but checking the wayback machine[3] one can 
find an archived Gentoo website from July 2000. It is interesting to note 
that although Gentoo did (and probably still does) contain some elements 
from Stampede, it can't really be considered a fork because Gentoo was 
pretty much created from scratch. 

I joined Gentoo Linux sometime in early 2001. At that time Gentoo was 
still pretty much in its infancy, but it was usable. There were only a 
dozen or so developers, all packages had to be installed using the ebuild 
command because emerge had not yet been written, and the online bugs 
database was the gentoo-dev mailing list. Even at that early stage, 
however, one could see many of drobbins' design decisions that have 
carried on to present-day Gentoo. The use of source-based packages meant 
that the familiar (especially at that time) RPM dependency nightmare of 
not having precisely the right library version installed would go away. 
The decision to eschew *BSD's make-based ports system in favor of one 
based on bash and python made package creation almost ridiculously simple, 
which meant that anybody could contribute a reasonable ebuild. The 
flexibility inherent to configure scripts was encoded as USE variables. 
Flexibility, in fact, had become a guiding principle underlying Gentoo, 
which explains why the Gentoo base system is deliberately minimal, and 
customizable before installation. Indeed, one strong difference between 
the *BSD ports system and Gentoo's portage is the fact that Gentoo makes 
no distinction between the core system and the ports/packages. Gentoo was 
remarkably short-handed in the early days, so all Gentoo-specific tools 
were designed to be scriptable (which is why ebuild and emerge, unlike 
Debian's dselect, do not ask questions of the user). Drobbins had thus 
invented the "metadistribution". He did have some very talented help, 
including Achim Gottinger who was an ebuild-writing machine, but it seems 
to have been mainly Daniel's vision that created and maintained these 
design decisions. 
Besides serving as Gentoo visionary, drobbins also did a lot of darn hard 
work on the the distribution. Until the last year or so Daniel was the 
lead, and sometimes only, portage developer. Not only did drobbins design 
the current[4] website, but he also wrote the underlying  
guide xml[5] along with an xsl tranform to process it. Drobbins, along 
with Azarah, created the necessary support for Gentoo to be the first 
distribution to use devfs by default. (Incidentally, thanks to Azarah's 
hard work Gentoo was also the first distribution to have complete support 
for udev.) A collaboration between drobbins and Azarah led to Gentoo being 
the first (only?) distribution to use need-based init scripts instead of 
the more common numbered system-V scripts. (I have vague recollections of 
drobbins and Azarah spending a notable amount of time discussing how to 
implement the new dependency-based init scripts, but I don't remember who 
actually initiated the project.) Drobbins and zhen designed and 
implemented catalyst[6], the new Gentoo stage and livecd creation script. 
In his copious spare time drobbins wrote or modified a substantial number 
of the ebuilds in the portage tree. I'm sure that I'm missing quite a host 
of accomplishments, but suffice it to say that he's been a rather busy 

Aside from all of the technical stuff, drobbins also presided over the 
expansion of Gentoo from a handful of developers and tens of users to the 
current distribution of hundreds of developers and untold thousands of 
users, much of which seemed to happen virtually overnight. So Daniel 
Robbins became a manager. No longer was it sufficient to manage simply by 
hanging out in #gentoo-dev on He now had to think 
strategically, and organize teams of people to work on projects. Most of 
all he had to delegate, while learning to manage fractious developers. It 
was not an easy transition, and Gentoo has had its share of high-profile 
developer clashes and defections, but Gentoo now has a set of organized 
top-level projects, with people to lead them, and a new Not-for-Profit on 
the horizon. Along the way drobbins grew into his new role quite 
Now Daniel Robbins has decided that it is time to move on to something 
new. I, personally, am sad to see him go, but I understand the need. 
Daniel, I have learned an astounding amount from you over the last several 
years; thank you very much. Best wishes, and please do keep in touch! 
10th BugDay a big success
(this article was contributed by developer Bryan Ostergaard[7])

 7. kloeri@g.o
Saturday May 1st, saw the tenth BugDay. Once again it was a big success 
with many users as well as developers testing and fixing bugs. I'm not 
sure if it's an all time high but I like to report that during the BugDay 
timeframe more than 220 bugs was closed in bugzilla.
I also asked one user to join the team of developers and spotted a few 
other potential developers.
Finally I'd like to thank all BugDay participants for making this such a 
great event - this wouldn't be possible without a strong and thriving 
2. Gentoo Security
Multiple Vulnerabilities in ssmtp
There are multiple format string vulnerabilities in the SSMTP package, 
which may allow an attacker to run arbitrary code with ssmtp's privileges 
(potentially root). 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[8] 

Buffer overflows and format string vulnerabilities in LCDproc
Multiple remote vulnerabilities have been found in the LCDd server, 
allowing execution of arbitrary code with the rights of the LCDd user. 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[9] 

Multiple vulnerabilities in xine
Several vulnerabilities have been found in xine-ui and xine-lib, 
potentially allowing an attacker to overwrite files with the rights of the 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[10] 

Multiple Vulnerabilities in Samba
There is a bug in smbfs which may allow local users to gain root via a 
setuid file on a mounted Samba share. Also, there is a tmpfile symlink 
vulnerability in the smbprint script distributed with Samba. 
For more information, please see the GLSA Announcement[11] 

3. Heard in the Community
Web Forums
Farewell to drobbins 
In a wave of sympathy washing over the Forum upon the news of Daniel 
Robbins' departure from the Gentoo project, the Forum community has been 
busy to say goodbye, and raking together the funds for sort of a 
going-away present, by donating to cover some of the losses drobbins has 
made over time: 
 * Daniel Robbins leaves Gentoo. Donation time![12] 

Running Faketoo... 
If their Forum postcount had anything to do with how guruesque people are, 
Josh Glover[13] wouldn't score too high. Fortunately, numbers aren't all 
that counts. Last week, Josh volunteered instructions for running Gentoo 
instances in a chroot jail - a Faketoo installation, in a manner of 
speaking - for development purposes, and provoked a lively discussion of 
his method's vices and virtues. See his Captain's log, a script to enter 
the jail, and the debate in the Documentation, Tips & Tricks forum: 

 * Faketoo[14] 
Best Filesystem for Servers 
EXT3, ReiserFS, XFS? Which is the best for servers? Read this thread[15] 
to get some opinions of Gentoo users in the know. 

SSH Tunneling for Newbies 
SSH is truly the Sysadmin's Swiss army knife. In this thread[16] learn how 
to tunnel[17] any other network protocol (such as Windows RDP, or X) 
securely through SSH. 

Daniel Robbins Feedback 
As it was announced earlier[18] this week, Daniel has decided move on to 
new aspirations. Some warm kudos and thanks[19] were given on the 
gentoo-user list after the news broke. 

4. Gentoo International
Italy: Strong Gentoo Involvement at Webbit 04 
Webbit [20] is a three-day convention providing technological knowledge, 
with a focus on small and medium sized companies, and public 
administrations. This year's Webbit is going to be held in Padova from 6 
to 8 May, and is centered around Open Source development, with the 
activists of the notorious Gechi (Gentoo Channel Italia[21] who are going 
to present Gentoo Linux[22] quite impressively no less than five times, 
with speeches on:

 * Introduction to Gentoo Linux[23] 
 * Gentoo Linux: Centralized administration for multiple installations[24] 
 * Samba Backup Server for Linux and Windows Networks[25] 
 * Using Linux and Open Source in the enterprise[26] 
 * GIMP 2.0 : introducing professinal creativity[27]
5. Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks is on hiatus this week.
6. Moves, Adds, and Changes
The following developers recently left the Gentoo team:
 * Daniel Robbins (drobbins) - Chief Architect 
 * Rob Holland (tigger) 
The following developers recently joined the Gentoo Linux team:
 * None this week 
The following developers recently changed roles within the Gentoo Linux 
 * None this week 
7. Contribute to GWN
Interested in contributing to the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter? Send us an 

 28. gwn-feedback@g.o
8. GWN Feedback
Please send us your feedback[29] and help make the GWN better.

 29. gwn-feedback@g.o
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10. Other Languages
The Gentoo Weekly Newsletter is also available in the following languages:
 * Danish[30] 
 * Dutch[31] 
 * English[32] 
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 * Portuguese (Portugal)[39] 
 * Russian[40] 
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 * Turkish[42] 

Yuji Carlos Kosugi <carlos@g.o> - Editor
AJ Armstrong <aja@×××××××××××××.com> - Contributor
Brian Downey <bdowney@×××××××××××.net> - Contributor
Grant Goodyear <g2boojum@g.o> - Contributor
Stuart Herbert <stuart@g.o> - Contributor
Kurt Lieber <klieber@g.o> - Contributor
David Narayan <david@×××××××.net> - Contributor
Bryan Ostergaard <kloeri@g.o> - Contributor
Ulrich Plate <plate@g.o> - Contributor
Simon Holm Thagersen <simon@××××××.net> - Danish Translation
Jesper Brodersen <broeman@g.o> - Danish Translation
Arne Mejlholm <aaby@g.o> - Danish Translation
Hendrik Eeckhaut <Hendrik.Eeckhaut@×××××.be> - Dutch Translation
Jorn Eilander <sephiroth@××××××××.nl> - Dutch Translation
Bernard Kerckenaere <bernieke@××××××××.com> - Dutch Translation
Peter ter Borg <peter@××××××.nl> - Dutch Translation
Jochen Maes <linux@××××.be> - Dutch Translation
Roderick Goessen <rgoessen@××××.nl> - Dutch Translation
Gerard van den Berg <gerard@××××××.net> - Dutch Translation
Matthieu Montaudouin <mat@××××××××.com> - French Translation
Xavier Neys <neysx@g.o> - French Translation
Martin Prieto <riverdale@×××××××××.org> - French Translation
Antoine Raillon <cabec2@××××××.net> - French Translation
Sebastien Cevey <seb@×××××.net> - French Translation
Jean-Christophe Choisy <mabouya@××××××××××××.org> - French Translation
Thomas Raschbacher <lordvan@g.o> - German Translation
Steffen Lassahn <madeagle@g.o> - German Translation
Matthias F. Brandstetter <haim@g.o> - German Translation
Lukas Domagala <Cyrik@g.o> - German Translation
Tobias Scherbaum <dertobi123@g.o> - German Translation
Daniel Gerholdt <Sputnik1969@g.o> - German Translation
Marc Herren <dj-submerge@g.o> - German Translation
Tobias Matzat <SirSeoman@g.o> - German Translation
Marco Mascherpa <mush@××××××.net> - Italian Translation
Claudio Merloni <paper@×××××××.it> - Italian Translation
Stefano Lucidi <stefano.lucidi@×××××××××××××.org> - Italian Translation
Katuyuki Konno <katuyuki@××××××××.jp> - Japanese Translation
Hiroyuki Takeda <hiro@××××××××××××××.jp> - Japanese Translation
Masato Hatakeyama <hatake@×××××××××××.jp> - Japanese Translation
Masayoshi Nakamura <masayang@×××××××××.com> - Japanese Translation
Yasunori Fukudome <yasunori@××××××××××××××××.uk> - Japanese Translation
Tomoyuki Sakurai <web-gentoo-doc-jp@××××××××××××.nu> - Japanese Translation
Lukasz Strzygowski <lucass@××××××.pl> - Polish Translation
Karol Goralski <gooroo@××××××.pl> - Polish Translation
Atila "Jedi" Bohlke Vasconcelos <bohlke@×××××××××.br> - Portuguese 
(Brazil) Translation
Eduardo Belloti <dudu@××××××××.net> - Portuguese (Brazil) Translation
Jo??o Rafael Moraes Nicola <joaoraf@×××××××××.br> - Portuguese (Brazil) 
Marcelo Gon??alves de Azambuja <mgazambuja@×××××××××.br> - Portuguese 
(Brazil) Translation
Otavio Rodolfo Piske <angusy@××××××××.org> - Portuguese (Brazil) 
Pablo N. Hess -- NatuNobilis <natunobilis@××××××××.org> - Portuguese 
(Brazil) Translation
Pedro de Medeiros <pzilla@××××××××.br> - Portuguese (Brazil) Translation
Ventura Barbeiro <venturasbarbeiro@××××××.br> - Portuguese (Brazil) 
Bruno Ferreira <blueroom@××××××××××××.net> - Portuguese (Portugal) 
Gustavo Felisberto <humpback@××××××××××.net> - Portuguese (Portugal) 
Jos?? Costa <jose_costa@×××××××.pt> - Portuguese (Portugal) Translation
Luis Medina <metalgodin@×××××××××.org> - Portuguese (Portugal) Translation
Ricardo Loureiro <rjlouro@×××××××.org> - Portuguese (Portugal) Translation
Aleksandr Martyncev <amncorp@××.ru> - Russian Translator
Sergey Galkin <gals_home@××××.ru> - Russian Translator
Sergey Kuleshov <svyatogor@g.o> - Russian Translator
Alex Spirin <asp13@××××.ru> - Russian Translator
Denis Zaletov <dzaletov@×××××××.ru> - Russian Translator
Lanark <lanark@××××××××××.ar> - Spanish Translation
Fernando J. Pereda <ferdy@××××××.org> - Spanish Translation
Lluis Peinado Cifuentes <lpeinado@×××.edu> - Spanish Translation
Zephryn Xirdal T <ZEPHRYNXIRDAL@××××××××××.net> - Spanish Translation
Guillermo Juarez <katossi@××××××××××××××××.es> - Spanish Translation
Jes??s Garc??a Crespo <correo@××××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Carlos Castillo <carlos@×××××××××××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Julio Castillo <julio@×××××××××××××.com> - Spanish Translation
Sergio G??mez <s3r@××××××××××××.ar> - Spanish Translation
Aycan Irican <aycan@××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Bugra Cakir <bugra@×××××××××.com> - Turkish Translation
Cagil Seker <cagils@××××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Emre Kazdagli <emre@××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Evrim Ulu <evrim@××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation
Gursel Kaynak <gurcell@××××××××.tr> - Turkish Translation