2000 12 15

                    LINUX NEWS
            Friday, December 15, 2000


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

    Window$ Sinks the Kursk!
    Layoffs at Red Hat
    Will Linux save Microsoft?
    GNOME for Windows

3) Linux Resources

    More VMWare Competition
    Securing sendmail
    Got LDAP?
    Handful of Vulnerabilities
    A Lighter PDF Reader

4) App o’ the week

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1) Sean's Notes

Well, 2.2.18 is hot off the presses.  Come see what's changed:


Besides stuff like a port to the S/390, support for over 2GHz
machines, and the usual myriad of bug fixes, the USB code has
been ripped out of the 2.3/2.4 stream and made to work under 2.2

This, of course, brings us to one of the topics that has plagued
the Linux newbie, and even the experienced folks for quite some
time -- How to compile and install the new kernel?

The first thing to do is grab the source from your mirror.


is where I grabbed mine.  The next thing to do is set up /usr/src
to keep your trees separate.  /usr/src/linux is generally a symbolic
link to your kernel tree:

# cd /usr/src
# rm linux
# mkdir linux-2.2.18
# ln -s linux-2.2.18 linux

presto.  Next thing we do is unpack the archive

# tar -xzf linux-2.2.18.tar.gz
# cd linux

At this point, /usr/src/linux has the source tree.  As with most
software, there are three steps
- Configure
- Compile
- Install

Getting into the configure menu is the easy part:

# make menuconfig

Through the menus, you'll be able to choose the options you want,
and if you want them to be compiled as a module or not.  Since
modules can be loaded in and out, there is little harm in making
most of your drivers into modules.  Figuring out exactly what
you need is up to you though!

Exiting the menu, you've configured the kernel and are in /usr/src/linux.
The compilation step is actually quite easy due to the makefiles you
just configured:

# make dep clean bzImage modules

That does four separate builds.  The first fixes up the make process
so that dependencies (one file depending on another) are resolved, the
next cleans the build out (it's a fresh install this time, but you may
have upgraded).  "bzImage" builds the kernel itself, and "modules"
builds the modules you selected.

To install the kernel and modules requires another make:

# make install

At this point, assuming your distribution is still at its defaults,
you can reboot into your new kernel!  If you end up at your old kernel,
things to check are:

/etc/lilo.conf specifies what gets booted.  Take a look at the
line, and make sure that /path/to/kernel is the kernel you just installed
date and name will give you a clue).  If not, you can change it so that
it reflects the new kernel.  After that, run "/sbin/lilo" to rebuild
the boot sector.  If you've installed a kernel before (or tried), it's
quite likely that a link is out of place somewhere, so you're going to
boot your old kernel.

Did the "make install" finish properly?  Did one of the previous
makes not finish?  Take a look at the error -- you may be missing
some of the development tools to build the kernel.

If you choose to go to 2.2.19 when it comes out, you'll find the process
gets a lot easier.  Since you have the 2.2.18 tree, all you need is
the .19 patch (patch-2.2.19.gz).  Download that, and apply it to the

# cd /usr/src/linux
# zcat patch-2.2.19.gz | patch -p0

You've already configured the kernel, so the only thing to do is
configure any new items:

# make oldconfig

Then it's off to the "make dep clean bzImage modules" phase!

The Kernel-HOWTO at
is a good read.  It's a bit out of date, but explains the sections
in the configure menus and some more of the troubleshooting
aspects of kernel installation.

Talk about your kernel building experiences in one of BrainBuzz's Linux


Finally, feel free to email me with your thoughts and comments!

Long live the Penguin,


2) Linux News

Window$ Sinks the Kursk!
Remember that Russian submarine that sank a while back?
Was it a collision that caused it?  Torpedo misfire?
What if it were a failed Windows upgrade?


Layoffs at Red Hat
According to Red Hat, the layoff of 20 people and closing of 3
offices was to eliminate some redundancy caused by acquisitions.
Is this a sign of things to come in the Linux world, or is it
as Red Hat says?  This article talks about the layoffs, and
shows some interesting statistics about the other public Linux


Will Linux save Microsoft?
Could Microsoft use the Linux strategy to save itself?  Hey,
it worked when they took the Netscape strategy and gave
away Internet Explorer.  Scary thought.  Good article.


GNOME for Windows
This is pretty slick!  The GNOME desktop, ported to Windows.
Stuck with Windows, but find yourself longing for the panel?
Give this a shot.  Some pretty good screen shots demonstrating
the level of customization that can be had are included too.


3) Linux Resources

More VMWare Competition
Win4Lin is like VMWare, but with the sole intent of running
Windows 95 or 98 under a Linux host.  The reviewer says that
there is little speed loss, so it doesn't appear to be doing
instruction translating like VMWare.  Anyone tried this out?


Securing sendmail
sendmail is one of the best Mail Transfer Agents (MTA) out there.
It's powerful (though complex), and speedy enough for any situation.
Unfortunately it had a lot of security problems in its early days,
and if not configured properly, these can come back to haunt you.
Learn how to properly configure this beast for maximum security.


LDAP, the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is a great way
to put together a phone directory, single sign-on system, or anything
else that calls for a quick lookup into hierarchically organized data
(org chart, network, etc.).  These series of articles give the
beginner an introduction to LDAP, and then information on how
to design the structure.


Handful of Vulnerabilities
Some bugs found in software like glibc, Midnight Commander, slocate,
ed, and majordomo.  Oops.  Depends on the distribution though,
so take a peek at this site to see if you're vulnerable.  Then
check with your vendor to see if there is an update.


A Lighter PDF Reader
This tuneup article from Linux.com lets you know about some
alternatives to Adobe's PDF reader.  I followed some of the
advice in the comments after reading this, and was amazed at
the difference!


4) App o' the week
Look out Exchange, here comes Eridu, a killer web based groupware
application.  Anyone familiar with Outlook Web Access will be
right at home here.  It's developed in PHP as part of a University
programming project, and has been put on Sourceforge so that others
can aid in its development.  Scheduling, Email, and task lists
are supported.  Demo is available on the site, so check it out!


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