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The Week in Linux News

by Baiju Thakkar

Linux Networking

Networking under Linux is not as hard as you might think. There are how-to articles that cover everything from routing to netmasks to IP addresses. But sometimes you need someone to explain things to you. These resources will help you.

  • "The Linux Home Network" by Preston F. Crow covers everything you need to know to make Internet and intranet connections at home.
  • "Linux Network Basics" by Matthew Newhall answers such questions as:
    • What is PPP?
    • What is Ethernet?
    • What is TCP/IP?

Setting up a network is only the beginning. You might have a working network up and running. But is it safe?

"Every network, regardless of operating system used, connected through the Internet is vulnerable due to system weaknesses from known or obvious security holes."

The article "Filling Network Holes" by John Johnson for Security Portal covers all you need to know to protect your network.

Speaking of Security ...

Security is essential to any environment. Whether you're at home or at work, security always seems to come up. Nobody wants their computer broken into. Here are some resources that will beef up your security.

  • "Improving Linux Security Using Medusa"
    Medusa is a kernel patch that improves security by providing a seamless protective layer between system resources and applications, providing access control to system resources.
  • Building a Robust Linux Security Solution
    Linux possesses a stable, robust, open-source kernel whose quality is subject to daily scrutiny by thousands of "power users" around the world. As with any other open-source system, once vulnerability is identified, it is typically published and verified within hours -- with a fix typically available in days.
  • "The Reality of Building Secure Private Networks"
    Deploying a secure Internet-based private network is especially complex. One reason is that Virtual Private Network (VPN) component security focuses at the network layers and uses technology standards like IPSec or vendor proprietary protection schemes that limit interoperability.
  • "Tracking the Movements of a Script Kiddie"
    This article is the second of a three-part series. In the first article, Know Your Enemy, they covered the tools and methodologies of the "script kiddie," specifically, how they probe for vulnerabilities and then attack.

Security Focus reported these vulnerabilities.

More Developer Resources

Last week more developer resources were launched by different sources. These sites provide you with information or resources to help you as a developer.

  • and SuSE Inc. Debut The Linux Viewlet Project
    The Linux Viewlet Project is designed to provide millions of Linux developers and users with a database of free viewlets addressing the widest possible range of Linux questions.
  • VA Linux announces CompileFarm
    The new SourceForge CompileFarm service, a part of the VA Linux SourceForge resource site, will give open-source developers the ability to build and test applications on multiple versions of both the Linux and BSD (Berkeley System Distribution) operating systems over the Internet.
  • LinuxMonth Launches
    The reason we decided to launch this site was simple: to spread the Linux word and aid in the world domination crusade. Our motto is "Linux Articles for Linux Enthusiasts."
  • Datamation Track Linux Professionals
    Sure, there are open source applications with more available jobs (Perl). And yes, there are open source jobs that pay better (Sendmail). But Linux is, well, Linux. It's the original open source pioneer and everyone's favorite underdog. How much are you worth?

New Releases

Here are some releases from the past week.

  • Linux kernel 2.3.51
    The last of the development kernels before "first of the pre-2.4.x kernels" according to Linus Torvalds.
  • XFree86 4.0 released
    XFree86 4.0 is now available. The documentation is available online. Please read the ReadMe file and release notes first. The distribution is available from our FTP site
  • OpenSSH 1.2.3
    OpenSSH is a free version of the SSH suite of network connectivity tools. Increasing numbers of people on the Internet rely on this software.
  • Sendmail 8.10.0
    Sendmail 8.10.0 is available from The release has a gzipped tar file and a PGP signature file.
  • Perl 5.6 RC1
    Gurusamy Sarathy has released the first release candidate for Perl 5.6. It is on ActiveState's FTP site; this version won't be on CPAN because of potential naming problems.
  • Zend PHP Optimizer
    The Zend Optimizer uses multipass code optimizations to double the running speed of PHP 4.0 applications. This is done by running an optimization of the code created by the runtime compiler, before the code is executed.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading.

by Baiju Thakkar
Linux Bureau Chief
O'Reilly Network

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