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Kernel Exploits, Email History, Distributed Communities, CVS and Kerberos, and Geoffrey Young

by chromatic
Linux Newsletter for 05/28/2003

Hi there. Yesterday was a holiday in the US, so your editor relaxed and barbecued instead of writing the Linux newsletter. That's okay; we're back today with renewed vigor and leftover chocolate cake. Here's what's new in the world of

Noel Davis started the week with yet another Security Alerts column. Remote exploits include Linux 2.4 kernels, several IMAP clients, and the Unreal engine that powers several games. Be safe. Patch your systems.

Email's been around for a while, longer than HTTP, MIME, and Unicode. How did we get from slinging 7-bit ASCII to the all-singing, all-dancing, wonderland of today? Robert Bernier explores the early days of email in Command-Line Email, as well as the guts of POP3 and SMTP, demonstrating some tricks of the CLI that are still useful.

Jennifer Vesperman found herself experimenting with technologies no one had yet put together during research for the just-going-to-the-printer-now Essential CVS. Sure, in theory, CVS could use Kerberos for user authentication; if anyone had done it, no one was talking about it. How do you put together something you've never used? If you're Jenn, you jump right in. Find out more about her misadventures in Adventures with CVS, Kerberos, and GSS-API.

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The secret of any successful project is a healthy community; we've talked about this before. This week, Howard Feldman of the Distributed Folding project explores distributed computing communities. What motivates people to donate spare cycles? How and why do teams form? Howard explores all of these questions in Distributed Computing: Distributed Communities.

This week's featured OSCON speaker is Geoff Young, speaking on Programming the Apache Lifecycle and Writing Tests with Apache::Test. Geoff is a co-author of the mod_perl Cookbook and a nice guy, to boot. He knows that of which he speaks.

Geoff has written an informative article for entitled Testing mod_perl 2.0. Everyone knows that testing is important, but until it's easy, it won't be ubiquitous. Apache::Test takes care of the dirty work of starting and stopping Apache, running your tests, and reporting the results. Testing mod_perl applications is finally too easy to ignore.

Next week's articles include a discussion of multimethods (multiple dispatch), the Swiss-army knife of network applications, and common style mistakes in PHP programs.

See you then,

Technical Editor
O'Reilly Network and Linux DevCenter Top Five Articles Last Week

  1. Command-Line Email
    Unix and the Internet have both come a long way in the past thirty-some years; many of the tools and protocols grew out of those early years. Email is no exception. Robert Bernier takes a look at the basic design and history of SMTP and POP3, the email protocols, and suggests some useful tricks that still work.

  2. Adventures with Kerberos, CVS, and GSS-API
    One of the difficulties of writing about technology is exploring the dark corners where no one's ever been before. Jennifer Vesperman, author of the upcoming Essential CVS, recently tried to make her CVS installation use Kerberos authentication. She describes how she went about integrating the two in this article.

  3. Distributed Computing: Distributed Communities
    The growth of the Internet, the rise of personal computer power, and the increasing acceptance of broadband connections have lead to greater adoption of distributed computing techniques. Recent years have seen several legitimate research projects farm out number-crunching to anyone willing to donate spare cycles. Howard Feldman examines the history and current state of distributed computing and recommends several worthwhile projects.

  4. Linux Kernel Problems
    Noel Davis looks at problems in Linux 2.4 kernels, sendmail, IMAP clients, cdrecord, lv, GNU Privacy Guard, EnGarde Secure Linux's sudo, SCO OpenLinux's mgetty and faxspool directory, BEA WebLogic Server, Unreal Engine, and WebLogic Express.

  5. Video Playback and Encoding with MPlayer and MEncode
    No consumer Linux box is complete without the ability to play digital video files. Until recently, this was difficult -- the codecs weren't freely available or distributable. MPlayer seeks to change this. KIVILCIM Hindistan introduces MPlayer and demonstrates some of its features.

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